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Jesus Christ in Islam

Christianity is a Semitic religion, which claims to have nearly two billion adherents all over the world. Christianity owes its name to Jesus Christ. Jesus is also a revered figure in Islam.

(i) Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus. No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus.
(ii) Muslims believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah.
(iii) Muslims believe that he was born miraculously without any male intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe.
(iv) Muslims believe that He gave life to the dead with God's permission.
(v) Muslims believe that He healed those born blind, and the lepers with God's permission.

One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus, where exactly is the parting of ways? Christians assert that Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross whereas the Muslims claim that He was neither crucified nor did He die on the cross. The idea that Jesus did not die on the cross stems from the Quran in S. 4:157-158:

"And because of their (the Jews) saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger- they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise."

If the Sura is to be taken literally then all that the text says is that it was made to appear as if Christ had been crucified and killed. How this was done remains unanswered. There are any number of conjectures to suggest how Jesus was not crucified and did not die on the cross. The general Islamic view is that someone else was crucified in Jesus' place, with most Muslims believing that Judas Iscariot was the one whom the unbelievers killed. According to this majority view of modern Islamic scholarship Judas was made to look like Jesus on the night when Christ was to be crucified. The unbelieving Jews thought that they had crucified Christ when in reality it was Judas that they had killed. Even amongst the Muslims who believe that someone else was killed in Jesus' place, not all unanimously agree that it was Judas. Some of the suggestions that have been put forward are:

1) A Jew named Judas (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot) entered a house where Christ was, with the purpose of arresting Him, but did not find Him. God caused the likeness of Christ to be on him, and when he came out of the house people thought he was Jesus, and took him and crucified him.
2) The Jews, when they arrested Jesus, set over Him a watchman, but Jesus was taken up to God by a miracle and God caused Jesus' likeness to rest on the watchman, whom they took and crucified, while he cried out "I am not Jesus."
3) One of Jesus' friends was promised Paradise, and volunteered to die instead of Him. God caused him to resemble Jesus and he was taken and crucified but Jesus was taken up to heaven.
4) One of Jesus' followers betrayed Him, (that is, Judas), and came to the Jews to guide them to Him, and went with them to take Him. God caused him to appear like Jesus and he was taken and crucified. (Adapted from Iskander Jadeed's The Cross in the Gospel and the Koran [The Good Way, P.O. Box 66 CH-8486- Rikon, Switzerland], pp. 12-13)
5) Titawus, a Jew, entered the house where Jesus was, trying to arrest Him. He could not find Him. Instead, God changed his likeness and made him resemble Jesus. Upon coming out, the Jews had him arrested and crucified, thinking that he was Jesus. (Jadeed, Victory Of The Truth [Good Way], p. 113)
6) Some Muslims have stated that "When the Jews surrounded Jesus and His friends, all took on the likeness of Jesus. The Jews were confused and so killed one of the others." (On the authority of Salma)
7) "Jesus came with seventeen disciples. The Jews surrounded them. God made the disciples in the likeness of Jesus. The Jews said to the disciples, `You have bewitched us. You'd better tell us which one of you is Jesus, or we will kill you all.' Then Jesus said to the disciples, `Who is willing to give his life today for paradise? One of the disciples volunteered and went outside saying to the Jews, 'I am Jesus.' They took him and crucified him."
8) "The Children of Israel surrounded Jesus and nineteen of His disciples in a house. Jesus said to the disciples, `Who is willing to take my image, die, and go to Paradise?' One disciple offered himself, and was taken outside and crucified, while Jesus ascended up to heaven."
9) David the King of Israel sent a man to kill Jesus. That man took men with him. Jesus was with thirteen of His disciples. When He knew they had arrived He made one of the disciples to look exactly like Him. When the Jews saw that disciple, they took him out.
10) The final view is that Jesus was crucified but did not die. He swooned and on the third day He was resuscitated by some of his disciples, namely Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. From there he went to India and died at an old age.

Muslims who adhere to this last view include the Ahmadiyyas and the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.). Orthodox Sunni Muslims consider these sects to be heretical. Amazingly, the most famous swoon theory proponent is neither an Ahmadi or a member of the N.O.I. Rather it is South African Muslim Apologist Ahmad Deedat, considered to be Islam's greatest defender. In his writings and debates, Deedat attempts to prove that Jesus did not die on the cross but simply swooned. He also attempts to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Jesus simply recovered and appeared alive to his followers, proving that he had not died on the cross. (Deedat, Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction, I.P.C.I, 4th Floor, 124 Queen Street, Durban 4001, RSA, or P.O. BOX 2439 Durban 4000, RSA)

This theory will also not work since it contradicts the Quranic witness, taken literally, that Jesus was neither crucified nor killed. And, taken literally, it also contradicts Muhammad's statement that Jesus did not die. While denying the death of Jesus Christ on the cross the Quran in S. 4:157-158 says, "But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise." How, and at what stage, Allah took Him up is not clear.

Hence, no matter from what angle we look at it the literal interpretation of the Quran leaves us with difficulties. Because unless a credible alternative, supported by evidence, is found, the fact of the crucifixion and death of Jesus can not be negated for the simple reason that there is an abundance of evidence available in the Bible and elsewhere to support the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In fact when the Muslims are in doubt they are asked by the Quran to refer to the Book (Bible) to find the correct answer.


"If thou wert in doubt As to what We have revealed Unto thee, then ask those Who have been reading The Book from before thee: The Truth hath indeed come To thee from thy Lord: So be in no wise Of those who doubt." S. 10:94
"And before thee (Muhammad), We sent no one, except men, to whom We granted revelation. Ask the people of the Scripture message, if you don't know." S. 21:

1) If we look into the Old Testament, which is the first half of the Bible, we find that there are many prophecies that point to the suffering and death of the Messiah.

For example:
His own people would reject Him (Prophecy: Isaiah 53:3; Fulfilment: John 1:11).
A friend would betray Him (Prophecy: Psalm 41:9; Fulfilment: John 13:18-30).
The price for His betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver (Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12; Fulfilment: Matthew 26:15).
The 30 pieces of silver would buy a potter's field (Prophecy: Zechariah 11:13; Fulfilment: Matthew 27:3-10).
Wicked people would pierce His hands and feet (Prophecy: Psalm 22:16; Fulfilment: Luke 23:33; 24:38-40).
He would suffer execution but without the breaking of any of His bones (Prophecy: Psalm 34:20; Fulfilment: John 19:33-36).
People would dare Him to save Himself. (Prophecy Psalm 22:7; Fulfilment: Luke 23:35)
Others would cast lots for His garments (Prophecy:Psalm 22:18; Fulfilment: John 19:23-24).
He would cry out," My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" (Prophecy: Psalm 22:1; Fulfillment: Matt.27:46)
Then they would look on Him whom they have pierced (Prophecy: Zech.12:10: Fulfilment: John 19:34)
He would be buried with the wealthy (Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9; Fulfilment: Matthew 27:57-60).

2) The fact of the crucifixion and death of Jesus is described in very great detail by His contemporaries viz. Matthew, who was close to Jesus, and John, who was one of the twelve disciples, as well as by Mark and Luke, who were very close to the apostles of Jesus. At the time of his arrest His disciples were with Him. Peter followed Jesus after His arrest and was a witness to the trial of Jesus. At the time of His crucifixion His mother, Mary, Mary Magdalene and His closest disciple, John, were present near the cross. Many people who had come to see the crucifixion had seen and heard Jesus preaching and hence they would have recognized Him. And who would have been brave enough to die in His place when most of His disciples had fled out of fear? Thus there are many witnesses to the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus and no witnesses to say otherwise.

3) Jesus Himself foretells His own suffering and death:

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." (Luke 18:31-33)
But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matt.12: 39-40.
".....And whosoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matt.20: 27-28.
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified." Matt.26: 1-2.
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matt.26: 27-28.

4) The fact that Jesus was crucified and killed is recorded by many non-Christian historians.

Cornelius Tacitus (A.D. 55-120), an historian of first-century Rome, is considered one of the most accurate historians of the ancient world. An excerpt from Tacitus tells us that Nero "inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class...called Christians. ...Christus [Christ], from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus...."

Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian (A.D. 38-100+), wrote about Jesus in his Jewish Antiquities. From Josephus, we learn that Jesus was a wise man who did surprising feats, taught many, won over followers from among Jews and Greeks, was believed to be the Messiah, was accused by the Jewish leaders, was condemned to be crucified by Pilate, and was considered to be resurrected.

Thus the prophecies of the Old Testament in the Bible point to his suffering and death. Jesus Himself foretells His own suffering and death on the cross. All the four gospel writers, as well as Peter the Apostle in his letters, say that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. Non-Christian historians also affirm his crucifixion and death. In the face of all this evidence a different interpretation of Sura 4: 157,158 of the Quran must be found, otherwise we would be led to a conclusion, unacceptible to most Muslims, that the Prophet made some mistake.

One interpretation can be that S. 4:157 does not deny Jesus' crucifixion, but simply denies that it was the Jews who were responsible for the crucifixion. This interpretation is consistent with the Quran itself, as the following passage demonstrates:

"Ye (Muslims) slew them not,but Allah slew them . And thou (Muhammad)threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair test from Him. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower." S. 8:17

Hence, it wasn't the Jews who crucified Christ but God's set purpose, which allowed Christ to be crucified.

Noted Muslim scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub in his book,The Qur'an and Its Interpreters vol.II- The House of `Imran, states:

"This view (that God caused Jesus to die) is reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas and Wahb b. Munabbih who said, `God caused Jesus to die for three hours of the day, during which He raised him up to Him.' Ibn Ishaq mistakenly reports that `Christians claim that God caused Jesus to die for seven hours, after which He brought him back to life.'"

If this view is correct, then Muslims should have no objections to Jesus' death and resurrection. In fact, one Muslim writer wholeheartedly embraces it:

"The mere saving of Jesus from being killed would not make Allah the best of planners, for any person could save Jesus from being killed... In keeping with His being the best of planners, a resurrection is what Allah planned. Plainly then, the Jews accomplished their plan and killed Jesus, but Allah accomplished His best plan by raising Jesus to life again and unto Himself." (A.H. Obaray, Op. Cit., p. 39)

Thus Jesus was not slain by the Jews but He died on the cross as per the will of God and He was lifted up (bodily) into heaven and, as per the Hadith, He would descend from heaven again (bodily) a second time. In fact, in the tradition, precise details of where He would descend, and how long he would live until His second death and final resurrection have been given.

But why has there been so much objection to Jesus' death on the cross by the Muslims? There seem to be two reasons:
1) They could not reconcile the fact that a great Prophet like Jesus would be allowed to be killed by mere men. This is due to the fact that they have not been able to understand God's plan that was revealed through the Prophets before Jesus, and revealed by Jesus Himself.

More than seven hundred years before the death of Jesus Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 53 described in detail how and why Jesus had to die:

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions.
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed
.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, everyone, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgement,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living.
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked--
But with the rich at His death,

Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
.....He shall see the travail of His soul, and, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
......Because He poured out His soul unto death,

And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
"

During the Last Supper Jesus gave a cup of wine to His disciples and said,

" Drink from it, all of you. For this is My Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for the many for the remission of sins." Matt.ch.26: v.27, 28.

Now, why does Jesus call this the New Covenant? He is obviously referring to the Old Testament in which offering (qurbani) of a lamb was prescribed for the atonement of sins and this practice is continued by the Muslims at Bakri-Id. In the New Covenant Jesus Himself was led as a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7) and was offered as Qurbani on the cross as the supreme, spotless sacrifice to save people from their sins and, therefore, slaughter of a lamb is now no longer necessary to save us from our sins.

2) The second reason why the Muslims do not accept Jesus death on the cross is that it would mean that Jesus was raised up after death and this conflicts with their belief of a final resurrection at the time of Qayamat, and hence the Hadith tradition that Jesus would come back (bodily) a second time to die again so that he can be raised up at the time of Qayamat.

"Every soul shall have A taste of death; And only on the Day Of Judgement shall you Be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved Far from the Fire And admitted to the Garden Will have attained The object (of Life): For the life of this world Is but goods and chattel Of deception." S. 3:185

Acceptance of Jesus' death and resurrection on the third day would amount to the acceptance of the divinity of Jesus because no prophet till date, including Prophet Mohammed, has been raised to life before Qayamat.

"Muhammad is no more Than an Apostle: many Were the Apostles that passed away Before him..." S. 3:144

The late Maulana Muhammad Ali of the Ahmadiyya sect states in relation to this passage:

"While this verse lays stress on the essential truth of Islam, it served another important purpose at the death of the Prophet. Some of the companions thought that the Prophet was not dead. Abu Bakr went in, and seeing that life had departed, ascended the pulpit and read this verse, which had a magical effect upon his hearers, all of them being convinced that the Prophet had passed away, as all prophets had passed away before him. The prophets were but mortals, and their span of mortal life must no doubt terminate like that of other mortals. This verse affords a conclusive proof that Jesus Christ was also dead; otherwise Abu Bakr's argument could not have silenced the doubters of the Prophet's death." (Ali, Holy Quran [USA; Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore Inc., 1995], pp.168-169, f. 496)

Just as the fact of the death of Jesus on the cross can not be denied, so also it can not be denied that He rose from the dead on the third day. Because there were many witnesses of the risen Jesus, as Paul writes:

"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, OF WHOM THE GREATER PART REMAIN TO THE PRESENT, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time." 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

However, this poses a problem to the Muslims because it would raise Jesus to the level of God and it would conflict with their belief that there is only one God. Dr.Zakir Naik says in Islamic Voice. "A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (Pbuh) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (Pbuh) himself says, 'I am God' or where he says, 'worship me'." Many Muslims claim that Jesus was a mere man, a great Prophet, and that He never claimed to be God because He always referred to God as His Father. But actually there are many passages in the gospels where Jesus not only hints that He is God but He also clearly says that He is God. Consider the following passages:

And He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" Luke 7:48,49
"When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven you.' But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,' Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?'" Mark 3:6-11;Matt.9:2-6;Luke 15:17-26
"Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was I AM." John ch.9: v.58.
"And behold I shall be with you till the end of time." Matt.ch.28: v.20.
"No one comes to the Father except through Me." John ch.14: v.6.
Because, He says,
" I and the Father are ONE." John ch.10: v.30.
Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hands here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and My God!" John 20: 26-29.
"For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." Matt.12:8

Many rationalists, as well as some Muslims, believe that the divinity of Jesus was a later creation of the Apostles, chiefly Paul. But some of the quotations above have been taken from John who lived with Jesus as His disciple and He was aware of the divinity of Jesus. In fact John begins His gospel writing with the following declaration:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God......And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of His Father full of grace and truth." John 1:1-14.

The other disciples who lived with Jesus also came to accept Jesus as God:

When Jesus came into the region of Caesaria Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "who do men say that I, Son of Man, am?"
So they said to Him, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them," But who do you say that I am?"
And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus answered and said to Him, "Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."Matt.16: 13-17
And those in the boat worshipped Him saying,"Truly You are the Son of God". Matt.14:25
Even the Jews were aware that Jesus claimed to be God as the following excerpt shows:
The Jews took up stones to stone Him.
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?"
The Jews answered Him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God." John 10: 31-33.
Jesus was quite sure about His own divinity:
Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matt.28: 18-20.

Muslims see in the trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) a conflict with the Old Testament teaching about the oneness of God. However, this conflict disappears if we consider the fact that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three Gods but are the manifestations of the same One God in three different forms. For example, the chemical H2O appears in three forms viz. ice, water and water vapour. Ice is a solid, water is a liquid and water vapour is a gas but there can be no dispute that all the three are basically the same substance although they may appear to be different physically. So also there can be no dispute that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are but the same One God. Jesus used the trinity to explain to simple people what otherwise would have been beyond their comprehension because God alone is almighty, understands everything, and it is possible for Him to do anything.

"These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father." John 16: 25
"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me" John 15:26,27. "He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you." John 16: 14,15.
"At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." John Ch.14: v.20

By asserting dogmatically our theory that God can not transform Himself into a human or some other form we are at once putting a limitation on His power and ability. If our theory does not agree with a fact it is foolish to reject the fact. Much in the same way as the Roman Catholic Church dogmatically held on to the theory that the sun went round the earth, and excommunicated Galileo who, after careful observation, had said that it was the earth that went around the sun. Similarly Muslims reject the historical fact of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus, they reject His Divinity, they reject the trinity because of what they believe Prophet Mohammed said. Although in Islam a Muslim is enjoined to believe in Jesus, His virgin birth and His great miracles, why is he prevented in believing what Jesus said about Himself in the Bible?

Then Jesus cried out and said, "One who believes in Me believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me." John Ch.12: v.44,45.
Jesus said to him, "I am the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the FATHER except through ME" John ch.14: v.6.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If any one does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned." John Ch.5: v.5,6.

Even if we accept the claims of the Muslims that Jesus was a man but he was later 'deified' by the early Christians it would be difficult to accept the fact that the Christians would have been able to corrupt the scriptures that existed for many centuries before the birth of Jesus. More than 700 years before the birth of Jesus the Prophet Isaiah made many prophecies about the coming Messiah. For example, Isaiah (Ch.7: v.14) talks about a royal son who would be born of a virgin mother and whose very name would signify God's presence with His people, Immanuel (which is the Hebrew word for "God is with us").

Just a few chapters later (Isaiah Ch.9) Isaiah talks about a royal child who would sit on the throne of David but whose name would be Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. While these names are similar to royal titles of the ancient kings, they include divine characteristics that no earthly king could fill.

Then in Isaiah 11, the prophet talks about a son that would come from the root of Jesse (the father of David), who would be anointed with the very spirit of God and who would reign in perfect righteousness. His kingdom would be characterized by the perfect peace that existed in the Garden of Eden, where wolf and lamb, cow and bear would lie down with one another and even the forces of destruction in a fallen creation would be overcome by the power of God's grace, forgiveness, and salvation.

Later in his book, Isaiah combines these promises of a wonderful son of David with the description of a servant who would bring forth perfect justice and righteousness, but would do so with quiet humility, even suffering abuse and death for the sake of His people (Isaiah Ch.42: v.1-4, Isaiah Ch.53).

The Prophet Daniel also predicted the coming of a Messianic king who would be "cut off" i.e. killed. He also gave very accurately the time of his coming that coincides with the time of Jesus. The Jews who knew about this prophecy were keenly awaiting the coming of the Messianic king during the time of Jesus. For more details about this prophecy please read the article Easter, a historical perspective.

While God's Old Testament people of Israel were waiting for God to fulfil the promise of this great messianic king, it was difficult for them to imagine a king who would come not to be served but to serve and even to give His life as a ransom for them. Yet the proclamation of John the Baptist, who himself fulfilled the words of Isaiah (Ch.40), and of Jesus himself were that " the kingdom of God has come near!" And precisely in His suffering and death, the Roman inscription proclaimed Jesus of Nazareth as "King of the Jews."

The Prophet Micah prophecied that the Messainic King would be born at Bethlehem. Already at Bethlehem, the promises given through Isaiah came true. And in His death, this same Jesus, now rightly called the Christ or Messiah, fulfilled the words of Isaiah (Ch.53: v.6), "God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

How could the kingdom of the Messianic king last forever as prophecied if it was to end with his death? But the death of the Messiah is not the end of the prophecies. His ressurection from the dead had also been prophecied many centuries before. Following His suffering and death, He was indeed "to rise from the dead" as can be seen from the prophecy in Psalm Ch.16:v.8-10: "I have set Jehovah always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall dwell in safety. For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption."

The prophet Hosea wrote: "After two days will He revive us: on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him: (Hosea Ch.6: v.2).

So, the scriptures that existed many centuries before Jesus was born made prophecies that were accurately fulfilled in Jesus. Thus the Messiah, who was to be a born of a virgin at Bethlehem at that exact time and who was to suffer and die for the sins of man and was to rise up from the dead on the third day could be no one else but Jesus. Prophet Isaiah described this Messiah as Mighty God and Everlasting Father. Therefore, Jesus was not a mere prophet as claimed by the Muslims but God Himself.

If Jesus was merely a great Prophet then, as per the Hadith, at His Second Coming we would have another Prophet, Jesus, after Prophet Mohammed, and, therefore, Prophet Mohammed would not be the last Prophet, but Jesus would be the last Prophet. This would contradict the statement of Prophet Mohammed that he is the last Prophet of Allah. But if Jesus came a second time, not as a Prophet, but as God, then the contradiction would disappear. And Jesus describes His Second Coming thus:

"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matt.24: 30; Mark 13:26; Luke 22: 27
"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise Him up on the last day." John 6: 40

JESUS is, therefore, coming a second time, not as a mere Prophet, but in His true form as Almighty GOD Himself to judge the living and the dead on the day of Qayamat. We can not reject this fact without making the absurd statement that Jesus who, according to Islam, was privileged by a virgin birth through Allah's intervention, and who was gifted by Allah with extraordinary powers to cure the sick and even to raise the dead to life, and who was morally pure and holy, and who was "lifted up" (raised to life) by Allah, was only a liar and a fraud. Even Prophet Mohammed was not given the stamp of Allah's authority to perform great works as had been given to Prophet Moses and Prophet Daniel, and he also died like any mortal and would have to wait for the judgement day (Qayamat) to be resurrected again and, yet, Muslims accept his words without question.

Jesus answered them,"Is it not written in your law,' I said, you are gods? ' If He called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world,' You are blaspheming, ' because I said,' I am the Son of God '? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father." John ch.10:v.34-38

Comments of a former Muslim:

"Islam is a religion that has to be credited for teaching its followers to be virtuous, chaste, and benevolent. There is no doubt that Muhammad remains a genius in history. One has to also note that a Muslim may do as many good works as possible in this world and on the Day of Judgment God weighs the deeds of every individual in a "balance." The good deeds will be placed in one pan of the balance, and the evil deeds in the other. If the good deeds are heavier, then the believer will go to the paradise described in Quran as a place of sexual pleasure and frolicking with the wide-eyed huris (sura al-Waqia 56:20-23). However, Christ our Lord said "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30). My Muslim friend, according to Islam, if your evil deeds are heavier, you will be cast into the fires of hell. It looks like you would need to be only fifty-one percent good to get into paradise. Yet you remain absolutely unsure whether or not you are going to heaven. All you say, my Muslim friend, is, "Only God Knows!" You hope for the mercy of Allah and hope that the angels or the Prophet will intercede for you in the last day, so you will be saved from Hell.

"I was like you, my Muslim sister or brother, right in the same boat until I knew that you can be absolutely sure of going to Heaven. Tears well up in my eyes just to recall how lost I was and now that I am found. While trembling in tears, seeing the majesty of God, I rejoice to know that I have eternal life for certain.

"God in the Bible is both just and merciful. His justice requires that everyone be punished in Hell, for He is perfect 100 percent. No matter how hard we try to please God, we always fall short of His perfection. Our good works will not bring us closer to God. God saw our insufficiency, and decided to pay the penalty Himself. He sent His Word Isa Al Masih (Jesus Christ), who is absolutely sinless and faultless to carry the punishment of our sins on the cross. What can you say to the Judge when He chooses to pay your penalty for you? The Bible says in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." It is because God loves us that He sent His Word, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Islam never grants us the assurance of going to Heaven, but Christ absolutely does! Praise God! Thank you, my Lord, for sovereignly choosing to pay the price Yourself in the Person of Your incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the express revelation of the nature of Allah Almighty."-Ibrahim

(Ibrahim was a Muslim who converted to Christianity in 1989 and is now known as Timothy Abraham. He may be contacted at his email address:JesusVictor@aol.com)



2004: Robert P Minz, 27 Nayatoli Lane, Old Hazaribag Road, Ranchi-834001, Jharkhand,INDIA
Phone: 91 651 2531566 E-mail: rpminz@indiatimes.com

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