By Sam Shamoun
We continue from where we previously left off.
What makes Ally’s objection rather remarkable (in fact disingenuous) is that his very own prophet described Jesus as the Word of Allah that was sent down to Mary, as well as a Spirit that came forth from him!
When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. S. 3:45 Arberry
People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him -- That He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian. S. 4:171 Arberry
This is why we even have certain ahadith identifying Jesus as the Word and Spirit of Allah:
"O People of the Book! Do not go to excess concerning your deen. Say nothing but the truth about Allah. The Messiah, 'Isa son of Maryam, was only the Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He cast INTO Maryam, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. Do not say, 'Three.' It is better that you stop. Allah is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Him. Allah is enough as a Guardian." (4:171)
Abu 'Ubayd said that "His Word" is "Be" and it is. Someone else said that "a Spirit from Him" means that He gave him life and gave him a spirit, "Say not 'Three'" [about Allah].
3252. It is related from 'Ubada that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever testifies that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, that 'Isa is the slave of Allah and His Messenger and a Word which He cast into Maryam and a spirit from Him, and that the Garden is real and the Fire is real will enter the Garden whatever his actions." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 64. Book of theProphets; capital and underline emphasis ours)
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “On the Day of Resurrection the Believers will assemble and say, ‘Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.’… ‘Go to Moses, the slave to whom Allah spoke (directly) and gave him the Torah.” So they will go to him and he will say, “I am not fit for this undertaking.’ And he will mention (his) killing a person who was not a killer, and so he will feel ashamed thereof before his Lord, and he will say, ‘Go to Jesus, Allah's Slave, His Apostle and Allah's Word and a Spirit coming from Him.’ Jesus will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad the Slave of Allah whose past and future sins were forgiven by Allah.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60,Number 3)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira and Hudhaifa that the Messenger of Allah said… “They would come to Moses, but he would say: I am not in a position to do that; you better go to Jesus, the Word of Allah and His Spirit…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0380)
Now for Ally to be consistent he must cite Quranic verses where Jesus is reported to have made the following exact statements:
“I am the Messiah, the Son of Mary.”
“I am the Messenger of Allah.”
“I am the Word of Allah that he committed to Mary.”
“I am a Spirit from Allah.”
Seeing that Ally cannot do so we therefore need to ask him the very question which he raised against Christians:
“Where did Muhammad get these descriptions from? Did Jesus ever say ‘I am the Word of Allah,’ or “I am the Spirit from Allah” etc.? Did he say these words anywhere in your Quran? Even in Muhammad’s scripture Jesus doesn’t say any of these things; Muhammad is claiming that Allah is saying these things about Jesus. So now how does Muhammad know this, if Jesus didn’t actually say these things?”
This either means that Muhammad made it up or, more likely, he was simply parroting what he heard the Christians going around saying about the Lord Jesus.
However, this raises some serious problems for Ally. It is only in John’s writings where the titles “the Word” (cf. John 1:1, 14), “the Word of Life” (cf. 1 John 1:1), and “the Word of God” (cf. Revelation 19:13) appear in relation to Christ. Ally is therefore left with having to either admit that Muhammad took over titles of Jesus from uninspired, unreliable sources, which he then tried to pass off as divine revelations given to him, much to his shame and disgrace.(1) Or he must accept the fact that John’s descriptions of the risen Lord were revelations that the Spirit had given him to write down, which explains why Allah would confirm and employ them in the Quran. (This assumes Ally's perspective of the Quran, which we wholeheartedly reject since we do not accept that Allah of the Quran is God; nor do we believe that the Quran is God's word).
After all, if as Ally believes, Muhammad didn’t simply borrow these details from Christians, but rather received them from Allah himself via Gabriel, then he really has no choice but to accept the fact that John didn’t simply make up these titles for Jesus. Rather, John must have received this information from the Holy Spirit, just as he himself intimates (see John 7:38-39, 14:26,16:12-13 along with 2:17, 22 and 12:16).
Otherwise, Ally has no choice but accept the fact that Muhammad ascribed to Christ titles and names, which supposedly anonymous and uninspired writers who never met the historical Jesus erroneously made up, and then had the audacity to attribute them to the risen Lord.
Either way, Ally is again left shamefaced for making arguments that end up exposing him as an inconsistent, dishonest polemicist, as well as proving that Muhammad was a false prophet.
Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural references taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.
Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural references taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.
(1) Muhammad’s embarrassment can be further seen from the fact that the following text, which speaks of the Quran containing unclear passages whose meaning are known only to Allah,
It is He who sent down upon thee the Book, wherein are verses clear that are the Essence of the Book, and others ambiguous (mutashabihatun). As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part (tashabaha), desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only God. And those firmly rooted in knowledge say, ‘We believe in it; all is from our Lord’; yet none remembers, but men possessed of minds. S. 3:7 Arberry
Was “revealed” when the Christians started to use Muhammad’s own statements against him.
For example, according to the Muslim scholars and commentators, the first 83 verses of surah 3 were composed after a Christian delegation from Najran challenged Muhammad concerning his views of Christ:
Surah Al `Imran was revealed in Al-Madinah, as evident by the fact that the first eighty-three Ayat in it relate to the delegation from Najran that arrived in Al-Madinah on the ninth year of Hijrah (632 CE). We will elaborate on this subject when we explain the Ayah about the Mubahalah (3:61) in this Surah, Allah willing. We should also state that we mentioned the virtues of Surah Al `Imran along with the virtues of Surat Al-Baqarah in the beginning of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah. (Tafsir IbnKathir; bold emphasis ours)
This explains why Ibn Kathir placed passages where Christ is described as “His [Allah’s] Word” and “the Spirit of Allah” (Ruhullah) among the ambiguous texts:
(they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof) meaning, they refer to the Mutashabih, because they are able to alter its meanings to conform with their false interpretation since the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings. As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people. This is why Allah said…
(seeking Al-Fitnah) meaning, they seek to misguide their following by pretending to prove their innovation by relying on the Qur’an — the Mutashabih of it — but, this is proof against and not for them. For instance, Christians might claim that `Isa is divine because the Qur’an states that he is Ruhullah and His Word, which He gave to Mary, all the while ignoring Allah’s statements…
(He `Isa was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him.) (43:59), and…
(Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” and he was.)(3:59).
There are other Ayat that clearly assert that `Isa is but one of Allah’s creatures and that he is the servant and Messenger of Allah, among other Messengers. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 3:7; bold emphasis ours)
Thus, It only makes sense that Ibn Kathir would place such descriptions under the category of unclear verses seeing how Q. 3:7 was composed precisely for the purpose of preventing Christians from using such texts against Muhammad!
Now this raises serious problems for Ally since Q. 3:7 shows how Muhammad basically got caught using titles for Jesus which he picked up from the Christians without realizing the serious damage this would do to his denial of the eternal existence and Deity of Christ. He, therefore, was left with no choice but to go into damage control mode and argue that these Quranic verses are ambiguous and that Christians shouldn’t be focusing on them!
What a truly embarrassing and humiliating position to be in, especially since such corrections that Muhammad was forced to make in order cover up his contradictions and mistakes, are clear proofs that he was not a true prophet of God.
All of this means that, according to Q. 3:7, neither Ally nor any other Muslim has the authority to tell us what these passages which describe Jesus as the Word and Spirit of Allah actually mean, since only Allah knows their precise meaning. This explains why the following Muslim expositor made the following comments in regards to Jesus being described as the Spirit of Allah:
“When Allah says ‘and others that are mutashabiyat’. Now there are other types of ayahs in the Quran that Allah calls ‘mutashabiyat’. These are ayahs whose true meaning is beyond our reach, the true meaning of these ayahs are known to Allah Alone. All that we can take from these ayahs is a general meaning, but their true meaning, their detailed meaning, their literal meaning is only known to Allah. An example of such mutashabiyat ayahs are those ayahs that the Christians were using to claim that the Quran supports their corrupted beliefs. We do not know what Allah means when He refers to ‘Isa as His “Ruh”, but we do know that it certainly does not mean that ‘Isa shares in the Divinity of Allah in any way. This is because there are clear muhakamat ayahs that tell us that Allah is One and Only and that all Divinity belongs only to Him. Because of this only Allah Knows the true meaning of what He meant when He referred to ‘Isa as His ‘Ruh’…” (Abdur RaheemAs-Saranbi, Quran-Tafsir, p. 21; bold emphasis ours)
Contrary to the above assertions, we definitely do know from God’s inspired Word, the Holy Bible, what titles such as Ruhullah mean in reference to Christ, and they do confirm that the Lord Jesus fully shares in the absolute Divinity of God. Therefore, to appeal to Quranic texts where Jesus is said to be no more than a slave of Allah,
He [‘Iesa (Jesus)] was not more than a slave. We granted Our Favour to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel (i.e. his creation without a father). S. 43:59 Hilali-Khan
Does absolutely nothing to explain away all those problematic verses which ascribe eternal preexistence to Jesus. Rather, all that these conflicting texts end up doing is highlighting the fact that the Quran is filled with irreconcilable contradictions, especially in respect to its position concerning Christ. Such errors and inconsistencies simply prove that the Quran cannot be the Word of God, nor could Muhammad have been a true prophet sent by God.
We will therefore leave it to Ally to clear up all of this confusion and mess which comes from the very scripture that he erroneously thinks is a revelation from the one true God revealed in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded and preserved in the inspired pages of the Holy Bible.