<< Numbers 23:19 >>
Isaiah 43:10 (King James Version)
10Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
In a store today, a little old lady with a big shopping cart was making her wait through a very narrow aisle, so I stepped aside as she walked by. Instead, she stopped dead in her tracks..
Little Old Lady (staring at me up and down and very amused): Oh! Hello there!
Me (caught off guard): Um, hello.
Little Old Lady: Where are you from!
Little Old Lady: Oh wow, and you dress like that? (referring to my niqaab ensemble). Is that your custom?
Me: It’s part of my religion, I’m a Muslim.
Little Old Lady: Oh, how sweet. Do you beleive in Jesus?
Me: Yes, I do. I beleive he’s a Prophet of God.
Little Old Lady: Oh yes, and he’s our savior.
Me: Well…God is my savior.
The End : )
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How did Christianity become mixed with polytheistic beliefs?
If true Christianity brought the message of the Oneness of God (Tawheed), and stated that He alone is to be worshipped to the exclusion of anyone else in His creation, whether that is ‘Eesa (Jesus) or anyone else, then how did this religion become mixed with polytheistic beliefs (shirk) and how did they take ‘Eesa (Jesus – peace be upon him) and his mother as gods besides Allaah?.
I find this question quite nice as in college I had a teacher who seemed to be a true christian who believed in God as one, not part of a trinity, and that Jesus was a prophet and the Messiah, and strangly he refused to eat pork also. His character was that truely of a christian, not filled with hatred or anger or rudness. The impression he left on me was great and the respect I had for him was enormous, and I hope that the gates of Paradise open to let him in.
Praise be to Allaah.
There can be no doubt that the call to believe in Allaah alone (Tawheed) and to worship Him alone to the exclusion of anyone else, is the basic message that was brought by the Prophet of Allaah ‘Eesa (peace be upon him), as it was the basic message brought by all the Prophets. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allaah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghoot (all false deities, i.e. do not worship Taghoot besides Allaah).’ Then of them were some whom Allaah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth)”
“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allaah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else)”
‘Eesa will bear witness to this call against his people, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when Allaah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allaah?”’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner‑self though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, You, only You, are the All‑Knower of all that is hidden (and unseen).
117. ‘Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allaah) did command me to say: “Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them; and You are a Witness to all things’”
With regard to how the followers of this religion deviated after that from pure Tawheed to idolatrous beliefs and the worship of Jesus and his mother besides God, this is something which happened early on in Christian history. We will quote here some evidence to that effect from their own people’s words. Let whoever has ears listen.
It says in the American Encyclopedia:
The belief in the Oneness of God – as a theological movement – began at a very early stage in history, and in fact it preceded the belief in trinity by many decades. Christianity developed from Judaism, and Judaism firmly believes that there is one God.
The path that led from Jerusalem (the home of the first disciples of Christ) to Nicea (where it was decided in 325 CE that Christ was equal to God in essence and eternal nature) can hardly be described as a straight path.
The doctrine of trinity which was affirmed in the fourth century CE bears no resemblance to the original teachings of Christ concerning the nature of God. Au contraire, it is the opposite, a deviation from that teaching. Hence it developed in opposition to the belief in One God… (27/294).
You can refer to the views of some of those Christians who still believe in the Oneness of God in the same American Encyclopedia, 27/300-301
Will Durant says:
When Christianity conquered Rome, the new religion (i.e., Christianity) was infused with the blood of the old idolatrous religion: the title of archbishop, worship for the great mother, and an innumerable number of lords who gave peace of mind and were like who exist in all places and cannot be detected with the senses. All of this came into Christianity as the blood of the mother comes into her child.
The civilized empire handed over power and administration to the papacy and the impact of the word replaced the impact of the sword. The preachers of the church started to assume positions of power.
Christianity did not put an end to idolatry, rather it reinforced it. The Greek mind came back to life in a new form, in the doctrines and rituals of the church. The Greek rituals appeared in the rituals of the monastic saints. From Egypt came the idea of the holy trinity, the day of reckoning, eternal reward and punishment, and man’s eternal life in one of the other. From Egypt also came the worship of the mother and child, the mystical union with God, the union which led to Platonism and agnosticism, and the erasing of Christian doctrine. And from Persia came the belief in the return of the Messiah and his ruling the earth for 1000 years.
Qissat al-Hadaarah, 11/418 (The Story of Civilization)
Despite the element of atheism in the words of Durant, which is something that he is known for, and which is apparent in his claim that the idea of eternal reward or punishment came from the Egyptians, tracing the origins of deviant idolatry in Christianity is no longer a secret, and he is not the only one who has researched them. In his book Christianity and Idolatry, Robertson states that Mithraism, which is a religion of Persian origin, flourished in Persia approximately six centuries before the birth of Christ, and it reached Rome around the year 70 CE, where it spread throughout the Roman lands. Then it reached Britain and spread to a number of British cities. What concerns us here about this religion is that it says:
– That Mithras, after whom it is named, was an intermediary between God and man (for a similar doctrine in Christianity, see Acts 4:12).
– He was born in a cave or in a corner of the earth (cf. Luke 2:8)
– His birthday was December 25 (which is the day celebrated by the Christians as the day when Jesus was born)
– He had twelve disciples (cf. Matthew 10:1)
– He died to save the world (cf. I Corinthians 15:3)
– He was buried but he came back to life (cf. I Corinthians 15:4)
– He ascended to heaven in front of his disciples (cf. Acts 1:9)
– He was called “Saviour” (cf. Titus 2:13)
– Among his attributes is that he is like a peaceful lamb (cf. John 1:29)
– The “Divine supper” was held in his memory every year (cf. I Corinthians 11:23-25)
– One of his symbols was baptism
– Sunday was sacred to them
The French Orientalist Leon Joteh, in his book “An Introduction to Islamic philosophy” is of the view that the origin of the Christian trinity is to be found in Greek philosophy, specifically in the ideas of modern Platonism, which took the basis of the idea of trinity as a view of the Creator of the universe from Plato, then developed it to a great extent, so that the resemblance between this idea and Christianity became greater. So (in their view) the Creator, the One Who is absolutely perfect, appointed two intermediaries between him and mankind, who emanated from Him, and were also part of Him at the same time, meaning that they are contained in His essence. These two entities are reasoning and divine spirit. Then he said:
The marriage of Jewish belief and Greek philosophy did not only produce philosophy, rather it produced a religion too, namely Christianity which imbibed many ideas from the Greeks. The Christian concept of divinity is taken from the same source as modern Platonism. Hence you see many similarities between the two, although they may vary in some details. They are both based on a belief in trinity, in which the three “persons” are one.
This is what the American writer Draper refers to:
Idolatry and polytheism entered Christianity through the influence of the hypocrites who occupied positions of influence and high positions in the Roman state by pretending to be Christians, but they never cared about religion and were not sincere at all. Similarly Constantine had spent his life in darkness and evil, and he did not follow the commands of the church except for a short while at the end of his life. (p. 337)
Although the followers of Christianity gained some power, to the extent that they managed to have Constantine appointed as ruler, they failed to eradicate idolatry completely. As a result of their struggle, their principles became fused with idolatry, from which point there developed a new religion in which Christianity and idolatry were manifested equally.
Thus the Christians followed the same path of those disbelievers who had come before them, step by step, as their own Book testifies. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the Jews say: ‘Uzayr (Ezra) is the son of Allaah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allaah. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allaah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!”
And Allaah is the Source of strength.
|Prophet Jesus (alaihis-salaam) and the Da Vinci Code
This article has been adapted and additional footnotes have been added to it by the editor
‘Say (O Muslims), ‘We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibraheem (Abraham), Isma’eel (Ishmael), Issaquah (Isaac), Yaqoob (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Yaqoob], and that which has been given to Moosa and Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 136]
‘(Remember) when the angels said, ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [‘Be!’ – and he was! i.e. Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam] from Him, his name will be the Messiah Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam, held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.’ [Soorah aal-Imran (3): 45]
We believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah. We respect and honor all of them without any discrimination. We believe that all prophets preached the message of Tawheed (oneness of Allah) and all of them invited human beings to worship Allah alone and to live righteous lives.
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was not the only prophet of God, but he was the last and final prophet of God. Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of Islam; all prophets submitted to God and followed the way of submission to God (Islam). We believe that Jesus was one of the great prophets of God.
In the Qur’aan, Jesus is called Isa. He is also known as al-Masih (the messiah) and Ibn Maryam (son of Mary). He has many other honorable names and titles in the Qur’aan. Every Muslim believes in him, honors and loves him. His mother Mary is also highly respected, loved and honored. There is a big controversy going on all over the world at this time about Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code. Many Christians, especially Catholics, are outraged with this novel. Some Muslims and non-Muslims are asking for our reactions to this book.
We stand for the respect of all religious figures of all religions. Furthermore, Jesus (alaihis-salaam) is also a blessed prophet for us. We believe in him and honor him. We also have something to say about this novel and movie.
There are two things that I would like to say about The Da Vinci Code. One is positive and the other is negative. The positive thing is that it says that for the first four centuries, Jesus was known only as a prophet of God, and not God. At the Council of Nicea around the year 325 CE, the Emperor Constantine and some bishops changed the true teachings of Jesus (*1).
The Da Vinci Code also says that Jesus (peace be upon him) married one of his female disciples, Mary Magdalene, and had children and that his descendants still exist today. Although the Qur’aan does not say anything about Jesus’s marriage, his wife, or his children (neither does the New Testament), there is nothing wrong, from the Islamic point of view, if he were married and had children. Allah says in the Qur’aan, ‘We did send Messengers before thee, and appointed for them wives and children…’ [Soorah Hud (13): 38]
Some Christians consider this story about Jesus to be blasphemous. According to them, to say that Jesus was married means that he is not God. Although they say that God had a son, they say that Jesus could not have had a son. However, as Muslims, we say that just because Jesus wasn’t married doesn’t make him God. Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist), who was Jesus’ contemporary, was not married, yet no one considered him to be divine.
Celibacy does not make any person divine. If Jesus were married, then this does not take away his honor because there were many prophets who came before and after him who were married and had offspring. It is interesting to see a number of books produced today by Christian writers that also say that Jesus was not crucified and that he never claimed to be the son of God. This is what the Qur’aan said a long time ago.
There is, however, a negative side of The Da Vinci Code, that we as Muslims should criticize. The Da Vinci Code is a novel, a work of fiction. It does not present facts about Jesus’s life in a serious and respectful manner. It has fictionalized his life and story, and in this sense, it has downgraded this great messenger of Allah.
The author of The Da Vinci Code took some historical facts and then spun a mystery story to thrill and chill his readers. Allah’s Prophets and His Messengers should not be treated in this manner. They are entitled to receive utmost honor and respect from us. It is for this reason that Islam forbids making pictures of Allah’s prophets and messengers and also forbids creating fictitious stories and movies about them. Islam teaches us that we should present the prophets’ life stories with great care, respect, and the utmost authenticity. Narrated Abdullah bin Amr, ‘The Prophet said, ‘Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of Bani Israel (which have been taught to you), for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee (56/667)]
We hope that more and more truth will come out about the life and teachings of Jesus (alaihis-salaam). We totally reject those who abuse his person through fiction and falsehood. We as Muslims should use this opportunity to inform others about the Islamic position regarding Jesus (alaihis-salaam). Ameen.
** Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi is the president of the Fiqh Council of North America.
2. Allah says about Himself in the Qur’aan, ‘He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife He created all things and He is the Knower of everything) (6:101)
3. And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (i.e. Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam.’ [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 157]
From As-Sunnah Newsletter (issue11)
Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter – http://www.qsep.com
Have you ever really gone and picked up a Quran? Do you know what is written inside? Maybe its a “weird book with all kinds of scary religious nonsense of a people who worship some moon god and idol worshiping, with those strange prayers, and kissing a black stone and walking around a black box—- gee– their book must be just as weird!”
Well, here, I thought to put up every so often some pages which you can read and then you may judge for yourself. In this section we can see how God discusses his favor upon upon Jesus.
108) On the Day when Allâh will gather the Messengers together and say to them: “What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)? They will say: “We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the All¬Knower of all that is hidden (or unseen).” (109) (Remember) when Allâh will say (on the Day of Resurrection). “O ‘Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Rûh-ul-Qudus [Jibrail (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al¬Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, a figure like that of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) as you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’ ” (110) And when I (Allâh) revealed Al-Hawârîyyun (the disciples) [of ‘Īsā (Jesus)] to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: “We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.” (111) (Remember) when Al-Hawârîyyûn (the disciples) said: “O ‘Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Can your Lord send down to us a table spread (with food) from heaven?” ‘Īsā (Jesus) said: “Fear Allâh, if you are indeed believers.” (112)They said: “We wish to eat thereof and to satisfy your heart (to be stronger in Faith), and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses.” (113) ‘Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Allâh, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – a festival and a sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the Best of sustainers.” (114) Allâh said: “I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among (all) the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinn).” (115) And (remember) when Allâh will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O ‘Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allâh?’ ” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden (and unseen). (116)“Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allâh) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world). (117) “If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All¬Mighty, the All¬Wise.” (118) Allâh will say: “This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) – they shall abide therein forever. Allâh is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great success (Paradise). (119) To Allâh belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is Able to do all things. (120)
Ahmed Deedat was one of the best scholars debating between Islam and Christianity as he had both books memorized like the back of his hand. It was a great loss for all people with the passing of this gentle giant. May Allah be pleased with him and accept his efforts and his deeds.