This blog is written by a Christian living in the Middle East. My desire is to discuss Islam and Christianity in ways that will be helpful for people of the other religion.
Soooo let me get this straight.Just because a person calls himself Muslims, he is free to have any beliefs whatsoever??What about Jehovah's witnesses who call themselves Christians?A faith is based on its scripture, not on what some of the followers believe. Look at what the Quran says and not what a couple of random ''Muslims'' say.
Jehovah's Witnesses don't call themselves Christians. Our faith is not based upon our scripture, but in the person of Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh. Our scriptures came together nearly 400 years after Christ entered human history.The problem with modern man is that he thinks everything is true or nothing is. Language must mean something.Bahais also have elements of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam in its tenets. It's a hybrid religion. The many different sects of Islam also adhere to the Koran, and each of them calls themselves Muslim.Are Ahmadis and Sufis Muslim? Are Alawites any less Muslim than Sunnis or Shias?
This is a well done film. I really appreciated the way they presented the argument, though biased. It also helps picture a situation most in the west are ignorant on since their people on the field can present things quite differently.
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JW do call themselves christianOn their websitehttp://www.jw.org/enthey say''''We do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. '''You can combine aspects of various faiths, but that does not necessarily make you belong to any one of them. A person cannot believe in two gods and be called a Christian or Jew.Similarly, the quran explicitly teachers that everyone is responsible for their own sins. '''No one shall bear (or share) the burden (of sin) for anyone else.'''6:164I dont know whether this is enough to consider someone a non-Muslim, but it would definitely be wrong to call this an ''Islamic acceptable belief''
So Abdul Hakeem, if you met a Muslim brother or sister who said they believed that the Prophet Issa died on the cross and was raised from the dead, and then taken into heaven, and that this death and resurrection led to the forgiveness of their sins--what would you think? Let's assume the other aspects of their Islam are pretty normal.
One of the first things I would ask them is what is the evidence in support of their views either from A.. Historical proof B. Proof from Islamic SourcesIf what these ''Muslims'' believe does not have the support of these proofs,then I will tell them their belief is incorrect or at best unproven.
Abdul Hakiim:They would answer,"I believe the Qur'an itself teaches that Prophet Issa was crucified. 4:157 teaches only that the Jews did not crucify, which is in agreement with the witness of al hawariyuun, the students of Prophet Issa, in the injiil. Also the Qur'an says, "O Issa, I will cause you to die, and I will rise you up to me", which is the correct translation of Arabic, mutawafiika--the one who causes you to die. So Allah will cause him to die (the Cross) and then then raise him up to him (the Resurrection and the Ascension into heaven). People who don't know Arabic don't get this, but I know Arabic, subhan allah wa ta'ala."So that is the answer your Muslim brother gives you--that the Qur'an teaches it. Having established that, he goes on to say that since this is the Qur'an's teaching, that we do not need to look for further historical evidence.
While 3:55 can be translated like that, it is not the only way.Non-Muslim translator Arberry states it in the following words:[003:055] When God said, 'Jesus, I will take thee to Me and will raise thee to Me and I will purify thee of those who believe not.The renowned Commentary Tafheemul quran states'''The expression used is mutawaffika. The original meaning of tawaffa is to take and receive. To 'seize a person's sou!' constitutes the figurative rather than the literal meaning of the word. Here the word is used in the sense of 'recall', for example, the recall of an official from his work. '''
Ibn Taymiyyah commented on 3:55--------Such a verse gives an evidence that Jesus did not die normally, since if that was the true meaning, then Jesus died like all other believers whose souls Allah takes and then causes them to ascend to the heaven. As a result, such an incident would not be a peculiarity to Jesus .-------There is also a hadith which comments on 4:157:----"Jesus will descend, in body and soul. And if he died, Allah would not state: (they killed him not, nor crucified him)"----Lets quote the next verse------Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise----- (4:158)Based on this verse and its preceding one, there consensus has been that Jesus was not crucified.(As mentioned by Shiekh Abdullah Al-Faqih on his website:http://www.islamweb.net/womane/nindex.php?page=showfatwa&FatwaId=84206) All the above was taken (with some modifications) fromhttp://www.islamweb.net/womane/nindex.php?page=showfatwa&FatwaId=84206
Fine Abdul Hakiim, but that is what the guys says. So do you accept him as a fellow Muslim or not? You disagree on that one verse of the Qur'an, and he knows Arabic (you do not, obviously), and he knows that every time in the Qur'an the verb tawaffa appears it means to 'cause to die', and he knows that translators intentionally deceive folks like you who don't know Arabic well.
How do we know he knows arabic?Even if he does, there is a world of a difference between quranic arabic and modern arabic.'''There were always two a 'Arabic languages: one was necessary to read and unerstand the Quran...and the other was the language and culture of the arabs''''The Crisis of Islamic Civilizationpage 90books.google.comI have posted one non-Muslim and one Muslim scholar who explain a possible meaning of the word. Combine that with the hadith and Muslim consensus, I dont see how 4:157 can be interpreted to mean Jesus died on the Cross.Also, I dont think we should jump to the conclusion that translators are ''decieving people''.It always good to assume the best of people, especially when we are talking about people who specialize in the subject FAR better than we do.
BTWI am more than willing to interpret the Quran the other way OR maybe even become a Christian if you can give me solid historical proof that Jesus (PBUH)rose from the dead.Thanks for the interesting discussion.Is it just me, or is just going to be just me and Abu Dawood who will be reading the comments after this point! :)
انا و اياك حبيبي!
Abdul Hakiim,We know he knows both colloquial Arabic (one version of it) and Quranic Arabic because I am representing this person, and I know both. Very well. You are relying on blogs and websites. I'm relying on the ancient laws of Arabic grammar and the text o the Qur'an. Show me a verse that clearly teaches that Jesus was not crucified. Just one. You can't find it, because it's not there.All you have are some Muslim scholars trying to make the Quranic text fit the Islamic tradition. My brother and friend, come to true prayer. Come to true well-being. Come to the mediator of a superior covenant. Messiah, the Son of Mary, who is, according to your own book, close to Allah and pure. Come to him and he will save your marriage.
blogs and websites??I used at least one non-Muslim translator of the quran to prove my point.Why is the Muslim interpretation necessarily wrong? Are Muslims not allowed to interpret their scripture?Are Muslim scholars unreliable or inept? That seems a little biased to me.I do not deny that the word CAN mean death. However, because of the ambiguity does it not make sense to think that 3:55 means Jesus was not crucified in light of these Islamic texts------Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise----- (4:158)The hadith from Shiekh Al-Faqih's website----"Jesus will descend, in body and soul. And if he died, Allah would not state: (they killed him not, nor crucified him)"----But even if we agree for sake of arguement that Jesus was crucified according to Islam, where is the mention of the atonement for my sins?
What does my marriage have to do with this????Also, when you say that you know Quranic Arabic very well, what do you mean by ''very well''? Is that your proffesion, your hobby or what?Look forward to hearing from you :)
Abdul Hakeem, The word tawaffa appears often in teh Qur'an. Every single time it appears, it is translated 'die' or 'cause to die'. Only in this one single verse is it translated 'take you up'. I believe the reason for this is that Muslims invented the doctrine that Jesus did not die well after the Qur'an had been completed and edited. Therefore, Islamic scholars had to figure out a way to make the Qur'an NOT say what it clearly DID say (that Jesus died).It is a classic example of making the text fit what you already believe. Christians do this sort of thing too.
I am not going to go into details about the word.I have already agreed that the the arabic word CAN be translated into ''death''. There is ambiguity and nothing certain can be said. If a word has many meanings, then lets agree for sake of argument that we dont know (again this is just for sake of argument as we both will not agree)However, IF the quran did say that Jesus (upon him be peace) died,why should that affect me?How does that prove the doctine of atonement? The doctrine of the Trinity? The original sin?
That's all, I just want you to agree with your new (odd) Muslim brother who says they believe in the Qur'an, and yet they are also convinced that the Qur'an clearly teaches that Jesus died and was raised from the dead, and that he believe the text of the Gospel/injiil has never been corrupted. He also argues that you SHOULD believe that Jesus died, by the way, because that is the superior interpretation of the word mutawaffika here.You tell him you do not believe so. He asks you why not? What is your answer?
I would again ask where is the proof that he rose form the dead, and died for everyone's sins?If someone wants to convince me to believe in something, I need to be presented firm evidence (historical in this case).Regarding the corruption of the Gospel, this is virtually indisputable amongst Islamic scholars and secular historians.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDgaSpmMnpMsee 4:30 onwardsthis can be seen on the speaker's own website (last 12 minutes)http://www.bartdehrman.com/flv_biblemisquotejesus/doesbiblemisquote.htmI encourage everyone to see the whole debate in order to get both sides of the story (its not fair if only my view is shown)
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