Categories
Muhammad Polemical Rebuttals

Will the Real “Demon-Possessed” Prophet Please Stand Up?

The following is our partial response to the tirade authored by the belligerent Christian missionary Sam Shamoun, to be found here. This article will clearly establish Prophet Muhammad(P) as the true Prophet, insha’Allah. In the forthcoming papers, we will provide a detailed critique of the shoddy polemics of the missionary, together with a detailed examination of his false prophet Paul.

Magic Effect On The Prophet

Although we will address this polemic in detail in the subsequent papers, let us make one thing clear: Having magic worked upon a person does not make that person “demon-possessed”. There is no doubt that Christian missionaries like Sam Shamoun can only insult and malign Islam because they do not have a valid argument against it. But it is important for all Muslims reading this article to refrain from “returning fire” and insult the religion of Christianity, or making insulting caricatures of any of the characters in the Bible, despite the fact, that there are several stories in the Bible, which people can make hilarious parodies about. This is very important. And this is exactly what Answering Islam wants Muslims to do, so they can say, “There, look! See I told you, that’s how Muslims are!”.

Of course, there are several atheist websites which completely mocks Jesus(P) and create gross caricatures about him, but we will not link to them. Instead, we will respond with sound irrefutable arguments and dismantle the missionary’s deception, God willing.

The type of attacks the missionary has levelled against the Prophet(P) is not new. Rather, we read in history, that smutty Christians the likes of Shamoun have a long and horrific track record of accusing innocent people of being demon-possessed. One of the most blatant examples was the infamous Salem Witch Trials, in which dozens of innocent people were accused of being witches and demon-possessed and then executed by pious Christians. The Puritans who conducted these inquisitions concocted their own personal criteria on who was a “witch” or “demon-possessed”, and then made it the law.

This neo-puritan Sam Shamoun, does exactly the same thing with Prophet Muhammad(P). Nevertheless, Sam Shamoun is not fooling anyone, as many of his fellow Christians who have left his faith, have made a parody in which they expose this type of ignorant behaviour, in which Shamoun is engaged in.

There is not a single shred of evidence which would indicate that if a person has magic worked on him, he is “demon-possessed”, as Shamoun fantasizes. For the Muslim, the story of magic only increases his faith in Islam, because this shows how the forces of evil tried so desperately to attack the Prophet(P), yet, Prophet Muhammad(P) had unwavering faith, and by the help of God, they were defeated and sent into retreat, humiliated. Shamoun simply took this story and made his own disgusting caricature, based on meaningless unproven criteria such as the Bible. We will at a later time, address each and every one of his arguments point by point.

As you will soon see if we take the missionary?s phoney criteria, and apply it to the Jesus of the Bible, you will see that Jesus Christ was 1000 times more demon-possessed and evil than anyone, and the missionary will be forced to admit that his lord and saviour, was actually a “demon”. So do Jesus a favour, and refrain from such insults, which can easily be turned around against him.

Jesus Was Demon-Possessed

Let us ask a question: if you were walking home one day, and out of nowhere, Satan appeared to you, and said, “Come here and follow me, I want to take you somewhere”, would you go? Any true believer in God will immediately rebuke Satan right then and there, and shout NEVER! GO TO HELL SATAN! STAY AWAY FROM ME! Perhaps, they may even pick up a baseball bat and start swinging till the evil spirit runs away. Or run for their lives in the opposite direction.

But not the Jesus of the Bible. Shockingly, the Bible teaches in Mathew 4:5-8 that the devil appeared to Jesus, and asked him to go (mountain-climbing) with him, and instead of striking out against Satan right then and there, Jesus actually accepted Satan’s invitation, and together, Satan and Jesus went mountain climbing. Here are the verses in question, or better put, Christianity’s Satanic verses, Matthew ch. 4 vs. 8:

4:5

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,

4:6

and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”

4:7

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

4:8

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;

The Bible does not say that there was any kind of fight or resistance on the part of Jesus when Satan appeared to him and invited him to follow him, therefore, we will have to assume that Jesus went willingly. Therefore, we see from this outrageous story in the Bible, that Jesus was clearly “demon-possessed”, so much to the point, that he took Satan as a comrade (wali) and a travelling partner. In addition to that, it is clear, that Jesus was NOT sinless. Answering the call of Satan, is a sin. This is simply an irreconcilable contradiction. This story is much worse according to Shamoun’s standards than simply having magic worked on a person, and then later God defeating those agents. Please keep in mind, that Muslims firmly believe in Jesus(P), but we do not believe in the man-made stories about Jesus(P) that we read in the New Testament.

It gets worse as Jesus was allegedly also suicidal. Jesus openly admits that he committed suicide on the cross in John 10:17-18:

10:17

For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.

10:18

No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”

A psychological analysis reveals that Jesus harboured suicidal tendencies. He saw the moral injustice and strife of the world he lived in, and felt that if he killed himself, he would benefit the world. Perhaps, he suffered from depression. Rather than jumping off a cliff, or slashing his wrists, or leaping in front a heard of roman chariots, he devised an elaborate plan of crucifixion, one which would be an appeal to gain the sympathy of others. and finally, in the end, Jesus committed suicide.

Will the Real “Demon-Possessed Prophet” Please Stand Up?

Let us move away from these “Salem Witch trial”-type inquisitions, in which Shamoun creates artificial criteria solely based upon his personal whims and blind Biblical indoctrination. Despite his 50+ pages of irrelevant and incoherent ranting, the missionary has not proved a thing. Instead, his article is a laughably desperate attempt to export his own personal prejudices to his readers. Although, you will find that the matter is quite simple.

We would like to raise the question, why would we indulge in such personal opinions, and baseless, subjective evidence when, OBJECTIVE VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE EXISTS? If such evidence did exist for Christianity, we are sure we would have seen it by now. But, let us assure you, that no such evidence exists for the Christian faith, and Shamoun’s 50+ page sham monster paper is proof of that. And that is a direct challenge.

Yes, we said objectively verifiable evidence. Therefore, the question begs, does such evidence exist for Islam? The answer is YES. And it will be clear, and undeniable.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, lets move on to the objective clear and concise evidence. But first, let’s remove these meaningless and dubious labels like “demon-possessed” and replace it with something more meaningful and less insidious, like “false prophet”. As it has been demonstrated in the following article, Christianity rests upon the truth claim of an alleged “prophet” who came after Jesus, Paul.

Let us now examine the religion of Paul and the religion of Prophet Muhammad(P) and we will see if these religions have the foresight of addressing the problems of today’s society, or do they lead to destruction. Before we begin, we would encourage everyone to read and understand the following article.

Our society is literally being eaten alive by these terrible vices of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin etc. There is no need to go into detail at all of the destructive nature of these drugs, and the terrible toll it has taken on our youth and society. That is a given. We believe both Muslims and Christians, agree that these drugs, are the vices of Satan, and lead to destruction. Therefore, we need to ask: What do these two religions say about using drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy. etc?

As we have seen from the article and Ahmed-Slick debate, Paul’s religion (Christianity) allows for drug abuse such as cocaine, marijuana and heroin. There is no condemnation of these drugs at all.

Yet Prophet Muhammad(P)‘s Islam, unlike Paul’s Christianity, has completely forbidden all illicit forms of drug abuse. How can a false religion, or as the missionary puts it, a “demon-possessed” religion, condemn one of the evilest and luring poisons of Satan, his pride and joy, all the while God’s supposedly-true religion, Christianity, allows it?

That is the most asinine, lame-brained and monstrous statement anyone can make!

Therefore, the matter is crystal clear according to the evidence, as to who is the false prophet. That false prophet is none other than Paul. And the true Prophet is Muhammad.

There is no need to go further, but let us bring up a few more points. As we have seen from the debate and the article, Paul’s Christianity allows women and men to wear whatever they want, it is completely based upon the individual’s subjective taste. Prophet Muhammad(P)‘s Islam, of course, has a clear dress code which aids in preventing lewdness.

Paul’s Christianity allows men and woman to engage in all kinds of sexual behaviours except intercourse, Prophet Muhammad(P)‘s Islam forbids all sexual or non-sexual contact till marriage.

Here is thus the lifestyle which is promoted by Paul’s Christianity:

Men and woman walking around in tight fitted, skimpy outfits exposing much of their parts like that of Britney Spears, her style of dancing is also completely allowed, each one engaged in flirting and indiscreetly seducing each other (there is no condemnation in the Bible for any of this), and not only that, but engaging in several if not all sexual acts except for sexual intercourse, engaging in “mashing”, and all the free cocaine, heroin and marijuana that they desire. Please keep in mind, all of this behaviour as mentioned above, completely falls within the guidelines of Biblical moral conduct. No wonder we have a screwed up society.

Islam clearly forbids this destructive lifestyle. The reason why we used the word promotes instead of allows, is because, it is the nature for the average human being seeks the path of least resistance, although not all. If two ways are presented before the average human, he is going to pick the apparently easier path. Therefore, the average Christian would like to live within the guidelines of Biblical morality, and not create any “extra work” for themselves.

Christianity as compared to Islam appears to some much more attractive, due to the moral “freedom” which it offers. In many Muslim-Christian marriages, oftentimes the children chose to become part of Paul’s Christianity because they desperately desire to be on the cheerleading team at school, engage in dating, experiment with different types of sexual contact, drinking, drugs, wearing “Britney Spears”-type of dressing, nude or erotic dancing, all of which is well within the guidelines of Paul’s Christianity. Prophet Muhammad’s(P) Islam, on the other hand, crashes the party and sends everyone home.

It is said that many of these children at that age are not mature enough to see that they are being lured by the false apostle Paul, may Allah save us from this wickedness. This is because the “freedom”, which Paul’s Christianity offers, is a major marketing tool for his religion. You know the saying, “there is always free cheese in the mousetrap”.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have spared Sam Shamoun’s prophet from derogatory terms such as “demon-possessed”. The truth has no need for such antics.

In addition to that, we want to extend this invitation to leave Paul’s religion and come to the truth of Islam.

Accept the truth of Islam, before it is too late. Come to Islam!

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Will the Real “Demon-Possessed” Prophet Please Stand Up?," in Bismika Allahuma, September 20, 2005, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/muhammad/demon-possessed-prophet/
Categories
Qur'anic Commentary The Qur'an

When the Evangelist Becomes a Shaikh, the Angels Become Worshippers of Adam

When the Evangelist becomes a Shaikh, the angels become polytheists, worshipping Adam instead of Allah. When the Evangelist becomes a Shaikh, the Nasikh becomes Mansukh, the Mutlaq becomes Muqayyad and the ‘Aammbecomes Makhsus, and vice-versa. Not that it is not hilarious to read for Evangelists-turned-Shaikhs. It is at the discovery of the level of horrific confusion and plain errors contained in the “fatawa” of the many Evangelists/Shaikhs who sprung up in recent years that intensifies one’s amazement and bafflement, especially noting the level of publicity the writings of the new Shaikhs receive in the western media.

Answering Islam, a neo-conservative website, propagates articles of the nature described here that discusses specific, knowledge-based Islamic topics, without using a knowledge-based approach. By appealing to their readers’ emotions rather than the pursuit of truth and serious scientific research, the Neo-Cons/Neo-Shaikhs seek to deflect attention away from discussing the core foundation of their religion in comparison to the Islamic Faith to discussing specific aspects of the Islamic Law. However, if one does not believe in the tree itself, i.e., Islam and its creed, then discussing the attributes of the tree’s branches, leaves and fruit becomes irrelevant. Nonetheless, callers to Islam, who are required to convey the Islamic Message in its entirety to mankind, should consider criticism of the Islamic Law and Islam’s concepts as an opportunity to explain both the core tenets of their religion and the specifics of its Law. This is a type of Jihad of profound significance that uses the tools of written and spoken words to clarify Islam to mankind and inform them of its magnificent creed.

“One or Two Adams?”

This is the title of an article on the topic of Sujud (prostration) written by Wail Taghlibi and posted by Answering Islam on their website. Before we discuss the major points of interest in Taghlibi’s article, we should first explain the topic under discussion in his article to satisfy the requirement of scientific research in a knowledge-based atmosphere.

Linguistic Definition of Sujud

In Ahkamu al-Qur’an, Imam Ibn al-Arabi1 said that linguistically, both Sujud and Ruku’ pertain to in’hinaa, meaning “lowering [of the head, or both the head and back]”. Imam Ibn al-`Arabi added that every ruku’ (bowing) is a sujud (prostration) and every sujud is a ruku’, saying that Ruku’ pertains more to bowing (in’hinaa), while Sujud pertains more to bending (Meel). Ibn al-Arabi added that both Sujud and Ruku’ are used to describe each other, even though each one of them may exclusively describe a certain position [example: in the Islamic Prayer, Ruku’ pertains to bowing while Sujud pertains to prostrating on the ground].

Another book of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) titled, Ghidhaa al-Albab fi Sharh Mandhumat al-Adaab2 also stated that sujud has several meanings, such as bending, making In’hinaa, humbleness, modesty and greeting. The same book quotes the linguist Abu Yusuf, Ya’qub ibn Ishaq ibn as-Sikkat (died 244/858), as saying that it is said that one has made Sujud if one [at least] lowered (or nodded) his head or went to the extent of placing the face on the ground (prostrates).

Conclusion: both Ruku’ and Sujud carry meanings of lowering or nodding the head lightly, bowing down, bending both the head and back to the extent of placing the hands, knees, feet and face on the ground in prostration, humbleness, modesty, greeting, and so forth. The context of the sentence in which Sujud or Ruku’ appears defines which meaning mentioned here is desired.

For instance, Allah said in the Qur’an, which translated means:

    “O, you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful.”[22:77]

In this context, Ruku’ pertains to, while standing, bending the head and back parallel to the ground while placing the hands on the knees, while Sujud pertains to placing the face, hands, knees and feet on the ground. In this context, Ruku’ and Sujud describe different pillars of the Islamic Prayer.

Ruku` was also mentioned in the context of sujud in this Ayah (Qur’?nic verse):

“And Dawud [David] guessed that We have tried him and he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down in Ruku` and turned [to All?h] in repentance.” [38:24]

The great Muslim Scholar, Imam Ahmad Ibn Taimiyyah, stated[3] that in this Ayah, Prophet Dawud, peace be upon him, made Sujud. Sujud was mentioned in the context of Ruku’ in the Ayah:

    “And (remember)when it was said to them (Children of Israel): “Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, ‘(O, All?h) forgive our sins’ and enter the gate Sujjadan (making Sujud)'”[7:161]

Ibn Taimiyyah said that several scholars of Tafsir (interpretation of the Qur’an) stated that the Children of Israel were ordered to enter the vicinity of the Masjid (Temple) while making Ruku`, i.e., bowing down, since entering while prostrating on the ground is not possible.[4]

Pertaining to the Islamic Prayer, “Sujud”, is generally in reference to the act of prostration where one places the face, hands, knees and feet on the ground, as scholars al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him. “Ruku'”, if used in the context of prayer, is generally in reference to the position where while standing, one bends the back and head parallel to the ground while placing the hands on the knees as if holding to them, extending the hands and bending the elbows to the outside with the feet apart from each other as wide apart as one’s shoulders are.[5]

Hatred vs Scientific Research to Support Criticism of Islam: “One Adam or Two?”

It is astounding as to how Wail Taghlibi and his sponsors imagine they can circumvent the advance of Islam’s plain creed by writing this type of article that joins evident error and utter confusion to the inability to understand Islamic concepts.

Wail Taghlibi wrote:

    The Qur’an tells that God created Adam, then he commanded the Angels to bow down before Adam?(Sad 38:71-72 Pickthall). This command is confirmed in other verses: (Al-Baqara 2:34; Al-Aaraf 7:11; Al-Hijr 15:28-29; Al-Isra’ 17:61; Al-Kahf 18:50; Ta-ha 20:116).

The Sujud (prostration) performed by the angles to Adam is an aspect of the Ghaib, or matters of the Unseen, that Muslims believe in and do not dispute. In his article, Wail also correctly described the conversation that went between All?h and Iblis (Shaitan [Satan]), ?The angels, except Satan, obeyed God’s command?God asked Iblis (Satan): ??What hindereth thee from falling prostrate before that which I have created with both My hands?…Iblis (Satan) answered: ??I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire, whilst him Thou didst create of clay’ (Sad 38:76; cf. Al-Hijr 15:33).

Wail added that:

    Iblis’ disobedience to God’s command can never be justified, yet it raises the question of what was really meant by ‘falling down prostrate to Adam’.

To directly answer Taghlibi’s question, we hereby testify that the answer is “really” found in the Qur’anic verses that he quoted: Allah “really” ordered the angels to make Sujud to Adam, and the angels “really” made Sujud to Adam. To assert this fact, the Qur’an did not mention the word ‘Ruku(bowing down)' while describing Allah's order to the angels, but always the word, 'Sujud'. Sujud, in this context, means to fully prostrate on the ground as indicated by Allah's statement to the angels, {Fa (so) Qau (fall down) Lahu (to him [Adam]) Sajidin (Prostrate)} [15:29].

Wail Taghlibi continues, by saying:

    The study of Adam’s relationship to God and His angels raises a bewildering question with regards to worship…Another fact to consider when seeking to understand the phrase, ‘falling prostrate to Adam’ is the role of ‘falling prostrate’ in the context of worship. The phrase is overwhelmingly used in the Qur’an in reference to worship to God?This is obvious in the following verses: ‘O ye who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord, and do good, that haply ye may prosper’ (Al-Hajj 22:77; cf. 22:18)?(Fussilat 41:37), and ?(An-Najm 53:62).’..These verses clearly demonstrate that to ‘fall prostrate’ is to God alone? One may find it difficult to see how these verses could be consistent with the previous references that call angels to ‘fall prostrate to Adam’.

Wail then expounded on his “fatwa” by writing this:

    To worship anyone other than God is described in the Qur’an as Shirk. Shirk, from the perspective of Qur’an, is the most grievous sin?If God really did command his angels to ‘fall prostate to Adam’, this would mean that they were commanded to commit Shirk, which He forbade and imposed the most severe punishment on those who commit that sin! God is far above contradicting himself.

We shall deal with this allegation in the subsequent passages.

Where Does the Qur’an Say that Allah Ordered the Angels to Worship Adam?

When one involves oneself in a type of knowledge that is far superior to one’s intellect, one falls into the absurd idea that All?h ordered the angels to worship Adam. There are various ways to scientifically analyze Wail’s claim that All?h Himself ordered the angels to commit Shirk by making Sujud to Adam, even though All?h made Shirk the most grievous sin. Yet, we should start with the most direct method of scientific analysis of Wail’s statement by asking this question: Where does the Qur’?n say that All?h ordered the angles to perform an act of worship to Adam?

In his article/fatwa, Wail mentioned Allah’s order to the angels to prostrate in Sujud to Adam and commented by saying:

…this would mean that they were commanded to commit Shirk.

However, the first question that one should ask Wail is the most fundamental: Where is the Qur’anic verse stating that the angels’ Sujud to Adam was an act of Shirk? To further confuse his readers, Wail mentioned several Qur’anic ayat (verses) that ordain on Muslims various acts of worship, including prostrating to Allah in sujud, but failed to mention a single Qur’anic verse stating that in Islam, every type of Sujud is an act of worship.

To explain, Wail Taghlibi rightfully stated that Shirk means to worship others besides All?h, and he quotes the following verse:

“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with All?h in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” [4:48]

However, Wail made every Sujud an act of worship as is clear from his ‘decision’ that All?h’s order to the angels to make Sujud to Adam is the Shirk that He forbade for creation. Wail also said, “These verses clearly demonstrate that to ‘fall prostrate’ is to God alone”, in reference to the several Qur’anic Verses he mentioned about dedicating ?acts of worship’ to All?h Alone, including Sujud. Thus, it seems clear that to Wail, “acts of worship”, and, ‘Sujud’, are somehow synonyms. However, the verses that Wail mentioned did not state that every Sujud is an act of worship, but mentioned Sujud in the context of worship, and indeed, all acts of worship are only directed at Allah Alone; both the angels and mankind are prohibited from making this type of Sujud to other than Allah, as Imam Ibn Taimiyyah stated[6]. Then again, Wail used the word, ?Sujud’, then the word, ‘context’, thus indicating that ‘Sujud’ alone is not sufficient to explain the meaning desired behind using it in a sentence without a ?context’ to define it. Yet, he decided that the Sujud of the angels to Adam was in the context of worship, without bringing a ‘context’ to establish that the Sujud under discussion was “really” an act of worship. To get out of this utter confusion, one needs to acquire knowledge on how the mind of an Evangelist “really” works.

These are two distinctly different topics that Wail has combined, two different concepts he has made one and the same: the concept of dedicating all acts of worship to Allah, Alone without partners, which is the Tauheed (Monotheism) that is the foundation of Islam, and the act that is called Sujud, making every act of Sujud an act of worship.

To explain, the Qur’an never stated that the angels were directing an act of worship to Adam; it is Wail who made up this conclusion on his own without a shred of evidence to support his stance. He then tried to cover his error by first saying that, the phrase ?Sujud’ is ?overwhelmingly’ used in the Qur’an in reference to worship to God. Then, he stated that Muslim Scholars, meaning, the scholars of Islam who know what Islam is about and are qualified to explain the meaning contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah, “‘simply explain this phrase as meaning ‘greeting and exaltation.'” Amazingly, Wail then dismissed the explanation given by Muslim Scholars on their own Qur’an and acted as if they are bound by his explanation on it, even though he is neither a Muslim nor a scholar on Islam.

Is It “Exclusively” or “Overwhelmingly”?

If the Qur’an “overwhelmingly” mentioned Sujud in the context of worship, then it is logical to state that rarely, the Qur’an would mention Sujud in a context other than worship. Therefore, why would Wail dismiss the explanation given by the scholars of Islam that the angels’ Sujud to Adam was in a context other than worship if the scholars did not deviate from the fact that “overwhelmingly”, the Qur’an mentioned the Sujud in the context of worship? It is clear that Wail believes that the term, “Sujud”, was mentioned “exclusively” in the context of worship in the Qur’an. Otherwise, why would he write his article if he only meant “overwhelmingly” instead of “exclusively”?

Types of Sujud in the Qur’an

Unlike the method that Wail used, here is scientific research on the types or ‘various contexts’ of Sujud mentioned in the Qur’an and the evidence establishing each type from the Qur’?n and Hadith (Prophetic Tradition). We start by narrating one of the major foundations of Islam that is of great relevance to the topic of this article: the Prophet’s Hadith, “Actions are tied to the intentions behind them.” This Hadith is found in the authentic Hadith collections of Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim.

There are several types — or contexts — of Sujud mentioned in the Qur’an and Prophetic Tradition distinguished from each other by their linguistic implication and the intention behind performing each type.

First: Sujud As An Act of Worship

Sujud, in the context of worship, is only dedicated to Allah, Alone without partners. This type of Sujud is of two categories classified either under Shirk (Polytheism) or Tauhid (Islamic Monotheism), as follows.

Surat an-Naml, chapter 27 in the Qur’an, narrated the story of Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon), peace be upon him, with the Hudhud (hoopoe). The Hudhud said this to Prophet Sulaiman,

I found a woman ruling over them (people of Saba`), she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people prostrating (Yasjudun’, verb for, ‘Sujud’) to the sun instead of All?h, and Shait?n (Satan) has made their deeds fair seeming to them, and has barred them from (Allah’s) way, so they have no guidance; So they do not worship (prostrate themselves before) All?h, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, Laa ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne!

Even the bird knew that the Sujud of the people of Sabato the sun was in the context of worship. The bird also affirmed the Islamic <em>Tauhid</em> of dedicating all aspects of worship to All?h, Alone without partners. However, this is not our only proof. The Qur'an said after a few sentences and in direct reference to the Sujud of the Saba people to the sun:

“And that which she used to worship besides All?h has prevented her [from Islam], for she was of a disbelieving people.” [27:20-43]

Therefore, it is the Qur’an that defined the Sujud of the Queen of Saba` and her people to the sun as an act of worship, in this case, Shirk.

With regards to the second category of Sujud in the context of worship, among the Qur’anic verses that Wail mentioned is Allah’s statement:

“O, you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful. And strive hard in All?h’s Cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity). He has chosen you (to convey Islamic Monotheism to mankind), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship: it is the religion of your father Ibrahim (Abraham) (Islamic Monotheism). It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Qur’an), that the Messenger (Muhammad) may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind! So perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), give Zakat and hold fast to Allah [i.e. have confidence and trust in Allah].” [22:77-8]

These two Qur’anic verses, which as Imam Ibn Taimiyyah stated, ordained all types of good and rebuked all types of evil, list various acts, such as Ruku(bowing down), Sujud (prostrating) and doing good, all in the context of worship and as parts of the Islamic Monotheism. Evidence: Allah said in verse 77, {"and worship your Lord"}, thus indicating its intended context. In addition, there are two key factors that Wail ignored in these two Qur'anic Verses that clearly explain the meaning of Ruku and Sujud intended in them. Firstly, Verse 77 mentioned the Ruku` and Sujud that are pillars of the Islamic Prayer (Salat), which Verse 78 mentioned in plain terms, {So perform As-Salat}. Hence, the falsehood of the comparison between the Sujud in verse 77 to the Sujud of the angels to Adam is clear: the angels did not make Sujud to Adam in the context of prayer or while praying to him, not even Wail made this wild assumption.

To continue, Verses 77-8 mentioned three pillars of the Islamic Prayer: Ruku, Sujud and sincerity to Allah. The Ruku and Sujud were mentioned as pillars of the Islamic Prayer in specific Prophetic Statements as collected by Imam an-Nasaii and others; Verse 39:11 ordained sincerity to Allah in the worship,

“Say (O, Muhammad): ?Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah (Alone) by obeying Him and doing religious deeds sincerely for His sake only.”

Verse 78 clearly indicated that the context of the Ruku` and Sujud mentioned in Verse 77 is their being parts of the Islamic Prayer:

{So perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), give Zakat}

Verse 77 legislated doing good, including being charitable; Verse 78 implied that the pillar referred to in ordaining doing good in Verse 77 is the Zakat which, just like the Salat, is one of five pillars of Islam. Therefore, these sentences wherein the word ‘Sujud’ appeared indicated the context of it, that is, worshipping All?h in sincerity. ‘Sujud’, by itself does not mean an act of worship; even Wail understood this by saying that there is a ‘context’ in which ‘Sujud’ is mentioned. If defining the implication of Sujud requires a context, then the context decides which meaning is derived for Sujud, not the rhetorical babbling of un-enlightened Evangelists.

To expand on this topic, we should assert that the verses that Wail mentioned are not suitable to be compared in context to the Sujud of the angels to Adam.

Firstly, Wail mentioned this verse:

See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Daw?bb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to All?h [22:18].

The context of this Verse is the obedience to Allah’s Qadar (Divine Preordainments and Predestination), which is another meaning for Sujud, not prostrating to All?h by placing the face on the ground. Proof: the sun, the moon, the mountains, the trees and the animals do not prostrate in the manner many of mankind and the Jinn and all of the angels willingly prostrate. These things praise Allah in a way that we do not comprehend,

The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving [17:44]

and show complete obedience to Allah’s appointed destiny and His created laws that govern every aspect of the existence. However, these things, including the animals, do not worship All?h, as Imam Ibn Taimiyyah rightfully stated. Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said, ?How can every type of Sujud be disallowed (meaning an act of worship), when the animals, which do not worship All?h, used to make Sujud to Allah’s Prophet, peace be upon him???? Imam Ibn Taimiyyah is referring here to a Hadith wherein a camel is reported to have made Sujud to the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the presence of the Prophet’s companions.[7]

But, Wail did not mention this verse:

And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons [13: 15].

Unlike verse 22:18, this Verse includes those who do not believe in Islam or the Qur’an, including Wail himself. Even Wail would not explain this Verse as being in the context of worship, because his fellow Evangelists would protest by saying that they never prostrated even once to Allah. This Verse explains the meaning of the Sujud mentioned in it by saying that it is done either willingly, by many of mankind, or unwillingly, by the non-believers in Allah and all created things and animals. This Verse contained reference in it to the type of Sujud that is an act of worship and to the type of Sujud that is done involuntarily. Those who do not believe in Allah or Islam and would never willingly prostrate to Allah, unwillingly fulfill the destiny that Allah ordained for them, and their shadows prostrate to All?h without their consent: do they not see that their shadow always falls to the ground? Many among mankind willingly prostrate to Allah, and in their case, their Sujud is in the context of worship.

Conclusion: Contrary to what Wail insinuated, Sujud is not mentioned in the Qur’an only in the context of worship. In the examples given here, the Qur’an states that everything, including those who do not believe in Islam or Allah, prostrate to Allah in some manner, even if involuntarily. Therefore, Muslim Scholars are perfectly correct to explain the Sujud of the angels to Adam in the context of greeting and honoring Adam, since ‘Sujud’ has different meanings and various contexts. Allah willing, the reader will soon discover our most significant evidence yet to substantiate these facts.

Secondly, Wail also mentioned these two verses:

And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to All?h Who created them, if you (really) worship Him [41:37]

and

So fall you down in prostration to Allah and worship Him (Alone) [53:62]

These very verses that Wail used to support his Fatwa that the angels prostrated to Adam in the context of worship explain, and in the clearest terms for anyone who has eyes and can read, that the Sujud ordained in them is in the context of worship of Allah, a context that is made separate of the word ?Sujud’ so as to define its meaning and intended implication. Hence, we again ask, where is the Verse that states that the Sujud of the angels to Adam was an act of worship or Shirk that All?h prohibited?

Second, Sujud As A Matter of Shari’ah (Islamic Law)

There is another type of Sujud that is a matter of Shari’ah (Islamic Law). To explain this type, we should say that the Qur’an did not only state that the angels were ordered to make Sujud to Adam, but also mentioned the reason behind this Divine Commandment. Allah said,

“So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them. Except Iblis (Satan), he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. (All?h) said: ?O Ibl?s (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted???? [Ibl?s (Satan)] said: “I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” [38:73-6].

All?h mentioned His creating Adam with His Hands as the reason for His commanding the angels and Satan to prostrate before Adam. In comparison, Adam’s offspring are created by All?h saying, “Be”, and they come to existence. The topic of discussion in these Verses was the origin of creation, i.e., how All?h created some of His creation, not the worship of Adam, his privileges or subsequent sin. This is why Satan responded by saying, “I am better than him”, then said, “You created me from fire and him, You created from clay.” The Islamic tradition teaches that for a period of time before Adam was created, Satan was with the angels, even though he was from the Jinn (the devils are disbelieving Jinn):

“So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Ibl?s (Satan) ? he refused to be among the prostrators.” [15:30-1]

If the topic of discussion were on who deserved to receive a Sujud on account of their privileges, Satan would have said, “I was in the company of the angels, who always worshipped You (All?h); Adam did not worship You at all before this.”

The Neos Hid This Qur’?nic Verse From Their Readers – What Happened to the Word ‘Karramta’?

Satan protested on two accounts, as follows. Firstly, Satan rejected All?h’s Commandment to make Sujud to Adam because he believed that the origin of his creation, fire, is ?better’ than the clay from which Adam was created. Secondly, and to further solidify this meaning, we hereby uncover the Qur’?nic Verse that Wail Taghlibi hid from his readers, the Ayah wherein All?h said,

“[Ibl?s (Satan)] said: ?See this one (Adam) whom You have Karramta (honored) above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely, seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!??? [17:62].

Thus, and contrary to what Wail decided in his “fatwa”, it is not Muslim commentators who stated that the prostrating of the angels to Adam was an act of Ikram (honoring) of Adam, it is the Qur’?n itself that did so in the plainest terms. This is the Ayah that Wail and his neo-sponsors hid from their readers! Wail mentioned the verse before this one (17:61), but made no mention to the very next Verse (62) which contains the word, ‘honored’. The reason behind this action on his part is obvious: this Ayah refutes the entire article that Wail wrote without having knowledge or even attempting serious research.

Satan mentioned the purpose behind All?h ordering him and the angels to make Sujud to Adam, that is, All?h’s “Ikram (honoring)” of Adam above the angels and the devils; the Qur’?n stated that the reason behind Adam’s “Ikram” is that All?h created him with His Hands. Hence, to honor Adam, the angels made Sujud to Adam in direct worship (obedience) to All?h Who created him with His Own Hands and Who does what He will. The question remains as to why Wail Taghlibi did not mention this Verse? And where is the Ayah that says that Satan protested the order to make Sujud to Adam on account of his rejection to perform an act of worship to Adam? Even the devil did not think of this one!

As stated, Islamic traditions teach that Iblis, the forefather of the Jinn, was with the angels and All?h put him to the test of obedience by ordering him and the angels to prostrate to Adam, soon after All?h created Adam with His Own Hands. Instead of acting like the angels by obeying All?h and honoring what He has created with His Own Hands, Satan refused and was thrown out of All?h’s Mercy for eternity. He was arrogant and the father of evil, refuting All?h’s Commandment by ?informing’ Him of which of His creation is better than others, fully knowing that All?h is the Creator, the All-Knower.

Biblical Verses That Wail Hid From His Readers

Wail hid several “types of” verses from his readers, including those from his own Bible, as follows.

Genesis 37 states this:

    3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…
    4. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him…
    5. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more…
    9. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
    10. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

Wail could have used these verses to conclude that the “bowing down” mentioned in them was in the context of worship. Then he may conclude that not only Joseph, but also Jacob, his wife and eleven children committed Shirk, since the Bible states this:

    Psalms 95:
    6. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
    7. For he is our God.

and,

    Exodus 20:
    1. And God spake all these words, saying,
    2. I am the Lord thy God…
    5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.

Wail may also find further proof that the Bible promotes Shirk in the fact that several other Biblical verses mentioned bowing down that was performed to other than God, such as,

    Genesis 27
    22. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
    23. …so he blessed him.
    24. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
    25. And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.
    26…and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said…
    28. Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
    29. Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee.

and

    Genesis 49
    8. Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.

Thus, “Prophet” Isaac drank wine, while “Prophet” Jacob lied in a shameless manner to receive a blessing that was not intended for him; Isaac did not have a spare blessing to give to Esau who was cheated out of the only blessing Isaac could afford giving.[8]

What Happened to the Biblical Story of Prophets Jacob and Joseph?

The Qur’?n mentioned another instance wherein some of All?h’s righteous slaves made Sujud to some of All?h’s righteous slaves. All?h said in the Qur’?n:

“And he (Prophet Yusuf [Joseph]) raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: ?O my father (Prophet Ya`qub [Jacob])! This is the interpretation of my dream aforetime! My Lord has made it come true! He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the Bedouin-life, after Shait?n (Satan) had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He wills. Truly, He! Only He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” [12:100]

These great Prophets of All?h did not perform acts of worship to each other, as Wail insinuates in his “fatwa”. Prophet Yusuf said, while affirming Tauh?d:

“And I have followed the religion of my fathers, ? Ibr?h?m (Abraham), Ish?q (Isaac) and Ya?q?b (Jacob), and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to All?h.” [12:38]

And when death came to Prophet Ya`qub, peace be upon him, he said this to his sons:

“What will you worship after me???? They said, “We shall worship your Il?h (God ? All?h) the Il?h (God) of your fathers, Ibr?h?m (Abraham), Ism?’?l (Ishmael), Ish?q (Isaac), One Il?h (God),and to Him we submit (in Isl?m)” [2:133].

This is pure Monotheism untainted by the whims and desires of present-day Evangelists, who wish that the Qur’?n would contain contradictions similar to the horrific contradictions that their ?holy books’ contain. All what they were able to bring is an alien idea never contemplated in the Qur’?n or the Prophetic Tradition or preached by any Muslim Scholar.

Surat Yusuf clearly described the reason why Prophet Ya’qub, his wife and eleven children made Sujud to Prophet Yusuf, as follows: first, it was the habit of those who were before Islam to honor their leaders by prostrating before them.

    Genesis 43
    26. And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
    27. And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
    28. And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

and

    2 Samuel 1
    1. Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
    2. It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.

Second, this Sujud that Prophet Yusuf received was the direct interpretation of a vision that he saw before his brothers plotted to kill him:

“(Remember) when Y?suf (Joseph) said to his father: ‘O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon ? I saw them prostrating themselves to me.’ He (the father) said: ‘O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they should arrange a plot against you. Verily, Shait?n (Satan) is to man an open enemy! Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (and other things) and perfect His Favor on you and on the offspring of Ya’q?b (Jacob), as He perfected it on your fathers, Ibr?h?m (Abraham) and Ish?q (Isaac) aforetime! Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise.'” [12:4-6].

Prophet Yusuf saw in a dream that eleven stars and the sun and the moon prostrated before him. His father informed him that his dream meant that All?h had chosen him, meaning, to be a prophet and a king, and to teach him knowledge in the interpretation of dreams. Years after Yusuf told his father about his dream, All?h made it come true: his parents and eleven siblings prostrated before him, because he was the king. Proof: All?h said that after they prostrated before him, Prophet Yusuf said,

“My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams ? the (Only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wal? (Protector, Helper, God, Lord) in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous.” [12:101].

Therefore, Prophet Yusuf praised All?h for making him a king; his family prostrated before him because he was the king. Where did the Qur’?n or even the Torah say that when Prophet Ya`qub prostrated before his son, it was an act of worship? Where did the Qur’?n say that every Sujud is an act of worship? What Muslim Scholar preaches making Sujud as an act of worship to other than All?h if, as Wail dreamed, All?h ordered the angels to make Sujud as an act of worship to Adam?

The type of Sujud that All?h ordered the angels to perform before Adam, as well as the Sujud that Prophet Ya`qub made to Prophet Yusuf, is a matter of Law (Ahkam, or Shar?’?h), not a matter of worship. When Islam came, many of the laws of previous nations were abrogated, among them the Sujud that is to honor kings and leaders. Ever since Islam disallowed it, making any type of Sujud to other than All?h regardless of the intention behind it, even if it were to honor kings and leaders as was the tradition before Islam, became prohibited for Muslims. However, we should state that the Angels are not required to follow Islamic Law. For example, the angels do not fast during Ramadhan; the angels do not eat let alone fast from eating. In addition, we should state that prostrating to other creations as a way of honoring or greeting them is disallowed in Islam for those who came after this ruling was revealed, not for those who came before it and certainly not for the angels.

As evidence that making Sujud as a matter of tradition was popular during the Prophet’s time, al-Bukhari reported that when the Prophet, peace be upon him, sent a messenger to Hercules, the Roman Emperor, Hercules had a lengthy discussion with his advisors about Prophet Muhammad and afterwards, the priests prostrated before Hercules. This occurred in the presence of the Prophet’s companion who carried the Prophet’s letter to Hercules. The Prophet’s companion did not interpret this as an act of worship by the Christian advisors and priests to their Christian king, but as a matter of tradition and habit.

There is an authentic Hadith that is directly related to this type of Sujud. When Muadh Ibn Jabal, the Prophet's companion, came back from the Sham Area (Syria) to Madinah, he prostrated before the Prophet, peace be upon him, who asked him, "What is this, O, Muadh?” Mu`adh said, “I visited the Sham Area and witnessed them prostrate before their priests and patriarchs. I wished to myself that we did the same for you.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Do not do it. However, if I were to order anyone to prostrate before anyone else besides All?h, I would have ordered the wife to prostrate before her husband.”[9] The topic of this Hadith is, “Making Sujud, as a matter of Islamic Law, To Other than All?h”.

This specific topic was brought to the Prophet’s attention, the same Prophet who received the Qur’?n from All?h wherein is mentioned the Sujud of the angels to Adam. Even if the Qur’?n had not elaborated on this topic ? yet we proved that it did in the clearest terms – the Prophet himself had elaborated on it. He did not say to Mu`adh, “Do not do this, because Sujud is an act of worship and directing any act of worship at other than All?h is Shirk.” He did not say, “It is alright to do it, because the angels worshipped Adam as the Qur’?n stated.” He, peace be upon him, merely stated that this type of Sujud was prohibited in Isl?m and that if he were to allow it, he would have ordered the wife to prostrate to her husband. It is not possible that the Prophet, who upheld Islamic Monotheism in its most clear and pure form, would say to his companion, “If I were to order anyone to worship anyone else besides All?h, I would have ordered the wife to worship her husband in Sujud,” because this would contradict the essence of Tauheed which the companions embraced in defiance of Shirk itself. While commenting on this Hadith, Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said, “How can it be concluded that prostrating to something indicates worship of it, when the Prophet said?” and he mentioned the Hadith above, saying afterwards, “It is known that the Prophet did not say, ‘If I were to order anyone to worship anyone else?'”

We should add that Muadh ibn Jab?l stated that the Sujud he witnessed was the practice of Christians during that era, and indeed, the Christians still practice this Sujud in the present time as they bow down to their kings or queens, and even bow down to kiss the hands of their popes and patriarchs. In yet another proof that this Sujud was a matter of tradition, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported in another narration that Muadh Ibn Jabal said to the Prophet, “I thought that you have more right to be honored [than the priests and patriarchs].”

In addition, the type of Sujud that the Prophet said he would have ordered the wife to perform to her husband, was explained by the Prophet himself in that it was due the husband’s great right on his wife.[10] In another narration[11] the Prophet, peace be upon him, further explained this Hadith by saying, ?Because of what All?h favored (or, honored) him with above her.??? In this last narration, the Prophet used the word, ?Fadh-dhala???, which describes a type of honor that All?h bestows on whomever He will. All?h said in the Qur’?n:

“And indeed We have honored (karramna) the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Tayyib?t (lawful good things), and have preferred them (Fadh-dhal-nahum) above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.” [17:70]

Thus, two things are clear: the context of this Hadith is Sujud as a matter of tradition, and “Karramna”, from the same root word as “Karramta”, is another term that Wail mysteriously ignored mentioning in his article/fatwa.

Third, Sujud in Yet Another Context in the Qur’?n

All?h said, when translated means:

“So the earthquake seized them (people of Prophet Salih), and they lay (dead), prostrate (Jathimeen) in their homes.” [7:78];

“And As-Saihah (torment ? awful cry) overtook the wrongdoers, so they lay (dead), prostrate (Jathimeen) in their homes. As if they had never lived there. No doubt! Verily, Tham?d disbelieved in their Lord. So away with Tham?d!” [11:67-8]

And you will see each nation Jathiyah (humbled to their knees; kneeling), each nation will be called to its Record (of deeds) [45:28].

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said in his explanation on Sahih al-Bukhari, that, ‘Jathin’, pertains to sitting on the knees, or kneeling (a type of Sujud). Muslims are anxious: it remains to be seen as to how Wail Taghlibi and the entire community of Evangelists/Shaikhs would explain these Verses and in which context they would kindly place them.

Conclusion: Depending on the intention behind performing it, Sujud is either an act of worship, and in Islam, all acts of worship are strictly and exclusively directed at All?h. As Imam Ibn Taimiyyah rightfully stated, both the angels and mankind are prohibited from making this type of Sujud to other than All?h. Or, Sujud is a matter of habit and tradition to honor kings and leaders, and as such, pertains to the Islamic Law which has prohibited it. In addition, if it were Prophet Joseph who made Sujud to his parents and if it were mankind whom All?h ordered to make Sujud to the angels, then this Sujud would still be allowed for them since it is not meant as an act of worship but as a way of greeting and honoring those who deserve to be honored. Or Sujud is done involuntarily as it is clear from All?h’s statement:

“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Daw?bb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to All?h. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified (they do not worship All?h). And whomsoever All?h disgraces, none can honor him. Verily, All?h does what He wills.” [22:18]

Or, Sujud is in the context of All?h’s punishment to disbelieving nations as is clear from the Qur’?nic verses describing the fate of `Ad and Thamud who were destroyed and left laying prostrate on their foreheads. And on the Day of Judgment, every nation shall fall to their knees to the Lord, prostrating before His Majesty and Irresistible Power. There is also the voluntary Sujud as an act of worship that mankind will be asked to perform on the Day of Resurrection; those who did not do it voluntarily and sincerely in this life will not be able to perform it voluntarily on the Day of Judgment:

“(Remember, or mention) the Day when the Shin (of All?h) shall be laid bare (on the Day of Resurrection) and they shall be called to prostrate themselves (to All?h), but they (hypocrites) shall not be able to do so. Their eyes will be cast down and ignominy will cover them; they used to be called to prostrate themselves (offer prayers), while they were healthy and good (in the life of the world, but they did not).” [68:42-3]

What Happened to the Law of Stoning the Adulterer?

Islam abrogated many of the laws legislated for earlier believing nations in addition to some of the laws legislated in the early era of Islam. The Bible also abrogated parts of the Jewish law. Matthew 19:8-9 states:

“Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.???

Yet, Answering Islam dares to post an article by (an alleged) “former Muslim”, Farooq Ibrahim, entitled The Problem of Abrogation in the Quran. It appears that these Neos not only do not read the Qur’?n even though they “generously” explain it to Muslims, but also do not read their own Bible. Farooq Ibrahim claims that he used to be a Muslim until, among other things, he was “confused” on why All?h would abrogate some of His Law. To answer that entire article, which was written by the yet another ‘confused’ author, we post a single question to Christians: what happened to the “eternal” Law of Circumcision[12] , prohibiting eating the flesh of swine[13], and the law of stoning the adulterer[14] and the other ancient laws that are found in the Bible, the Literal Word of God as Christians claim, which the Christians did away with?

Christians falsely claim that Jesus is lord and eternal, as Wail stated, “In fact, from eternity, he was equal with God.” Rhetorically, it must have been Jesus who issued these commandments in the Old Testament and later on abrogated them in the New Testament. The reality is that these laws were corrupted by the hands of Paul, the true founder of Christianity, and the many anonymous writers who authored the New Testament.

The Christians have two choices: either God abrogated some of the Law He revealed to ancient Prophets or there was no abrogation, and thus, the Christians are sinners on two accounts: for disobeying the Lord’s ‘Literal Word’ by drinking wine, eating pork and not punishing the adulterer by stoning, and for changing and corrupting God’s Law as found in the Old Testament by abrogating it on their own in the New Testament.3

Privileges of the Prophets; Relevance of This Topic to the Angels’ Sujud to Adam

In his article on Sujud, Wail Taghlibi listed the privileges that All?h bestowed on Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Mus? (Moses) and Is? al-Masih (Jesus), saying:

The privileges given to these prophets qualify them more than Adam to receive the prostration from angels as ?greeting and exaltation’, if we should accept this as a possible meaning. Since there is no indication that such a phrase was used to address any of these prophets, the interpretation offered by Muslim commentators to the phrase of ?falling down in prostration to Adam’ seems unconvincing.

First, we hereby testify that Wail’s acceptance ? or lack of it – of the explanation given to this ?Islamic’ concept by ?Muslim Scholars’ has never been of any concern to Muslims. Wail, who does not believe in All?h, the Qur’?n, Muhammad, or Islam, invented a concept that was never propagated by the Qur’?n or the Prophetic Tradition or contemplated by any Muslim scholar.

Second, and in contradiction to the assertion that Wail made, we mentioned the story of Prophet Yusuf and the fact that his parents and eleven brothers prostrated to him as a way of greeting and exaltation. Yes, Prophets Yusuf and Ya`qub were not specifically mentioned in Wail’s statement, “?these prophets”. Yet, the fact remains that Prophet Yusuf received a Sujud that was preordained in the Qur’?n itself and this is further proof that Wail erred in his “fatwa”.

Third, we should ask, what relevance do the privileges of the honorable Prophets Wail mentioned have to the topic under discussion? All?h did not say in the Qur’?n that He ordered the angels to prostrate to Adam because Adam’s privileges were better and more exalted than the privileges given to the other Prophets.

Fourth, the Prophets whom Wail mentioned were tremendously honored by All?h, Who gave each of them miracles exclusive to them and frequently praised them in the Qur’?n. In contrast, the Qur’?n did not mention any miracle that Prophet Adam was favored with, and therefore, the Christians will have to be ?generous’ with their father and allow him to keep this privilege. Amazingly, Wail strives hard to deprive Adam of any virtue so as to support the Christian dogma of doom stating that Adam’s sin stained all of humanity and chained them, unjustly preventing them from having a good relation with God without having Jesus crucified for their sin.

These mentioned Prophets also received a part of the honor that All?h bestowed on their honorable ancestor, Adam, the father of all of mankind, when the angels prostrated before him. Thus, Wail’s statement, “?we may wonder why God would exclusively honor Adam by this privilege. The question becomes why would God not honor other prophets like Ibrahim, Musa, and Issa Al-Massih (Jesus Christ) in the same way?”, is entirely irrelevant because the answer is that this honor was given to he who was created by All?h’s Own Hands. Thus, we should ask Wail, who else among the Prophets and all of mankind was created by All?h’s Own Hands so that he too receives the honor designated to he, Adam, who was created by All?h’s Own Hands?

Fifth, Adam dwelled in Paradise, as the Qur’?n and even the Bible testify. Therefore, why did not Wail protest this privilege too, since some of the Prophets he mentioned are at a higher degree of honor and exaltation than that of Adam and deserve to dwell in Paradise as well?

Sixth, Islam teaches this about All?h:

“He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned.” [21:23]

Seventh, the privilege of receiving the angels’ Sujud that All?h gave Adam is not because Adam was a Prophet who received revelation from All?h, or because he was better than all other Prophets, or on account of what Adam did or did not do in his faith: there is not a single Qur’?nic Verse that mention any of these ideas. This privilege, as Wail concurs, is exclusively based on what All?h Himself did: He created Adam with Both His Hands. Wail said:

Paul describes the origin of first Adam as ‘of dust of the earth’ (1 Corinthians 15:47); thus referring the readers back to the beginning. ?In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth?and God said, let there be?and there was’ (Genesis 1:3, 6-7). God brought all things into being, by his word, (Psalms 33:6, 9; 145:5; Hebrews 11:3). But for Adam it is explicitly stated to be different. God created Adam in a different manner. ?The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being’ (Genesis 2:7). That was a special favor that God exclusively conferred to Adam, but not to the rest of creatures. He did not come to existence by the simple command of God, but rather by receiving the breath of God, that gave him life.

Amazingly, Wail finds it “bewildering” that Adam, not the rest of mankind, would receive the honor of being prostrated to by the angels, even though he was endowed with this favor for being created by All?h’s Own Hands, i.e., the very reason for ordering the angels and Satan to prostrate to Adam, i.e., the very special favor that Wail agreed was given to Adam and none else among creation. Why did not Wail protest this exclusive favor that God gave only to Adam, i.e., being the only living creation created by All?h’s Own Hands, when other Prophets had more privileges and were better qualified to receive the honor of being created in this manner than Adam?

One Adam, Two Adams, Three Adams, And So Forth

Eighth, when Adam received the prostration from the angels, he had not yet committed a sin. However, Wail made a comparison between the sinful Adam and the sinless second Adam, saying, “After this review of the characteristics of the first Adam, and those of the last Adam, Jesus Christ, a brief comparison between them would demonstrate who deserves to receive prostration from angels.” Comparing Adam who sinned later on in his life with the rather fictitious, eternal, spiritual, sinless, second Adam is just another fantasy that has no relevance to the topic under discussion, which is concentrated on he who was created by All?h’s Own Hands. This is especially the case since according to the false Christian dogmas, Jesus was begotten, not made.

What Happened to the Original Sin?

For some reason, Wail evaded mentioning the Christian dogma of “Original Sin”. However, he kept babbling about Adam’s sin and how he lost his relationship with God because of it, saying:

Briefly, Adam was in good relation with God; but because of his disobedience he lost that relation. On the other hand, the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, was sent by God from heaven. And he fully obeyed God; therefore he was able to restore man to a good relation with God.

Wail also said:

The result of Adam’s disobedience was not restricted to Adam himself. It entailed curse upon the earth?Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12).

Thus, Wail means, mankind inherited Adam’s sin, but Wail skillfully evaded direct mentioning of this Christian dogma by name.

Wail Quotes Paul, the True Founder of Christianity

Wail deviated to a topic that is entirely irrelevant to the topic under discussion by saying,

Adam is frequently mentioned in the Bible. In fact, the Bible speaks about two Adams?In the 15th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians which Paul wrote c. 55 AD, he advocated the reality of resurrection. And in order to support his position he spoke about the first man Adam and the Last Adam:

“The first Adam became a living being, the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven” (1 Corinthians.15:45-47).

Wail then ended his article by saying:

Conclusion: Dear reader, you have two options: Either you are satisfied only with what the Qur’an says about the first Adam, or you believe what the Bible says about the Last Adam. If you choose the Adam of dust, and continue your walk in the path of disobedience like him, you will end up with eternal punishment?But if you believe what the Bible says about the Last Adam, who came from heaven and fully obeyed God, you will be saved from your sins, and have eternal life. Moreover you will have also fellowship with him now and forever.

Note the horrific, false news that Wail brought the Children of Adam: Adam ended up with eternal punishment, “If you choose the Adam of dust, and continue your walk in the path of disobedience like him, you will end up with eternal punishment.”

Ninth, if Jesus is lord, as Christians claim, and if Sujud is an act of worship, as Wail claims, then why did not the disciples worship the second, sinless, eternal Adam by making Sujud to him, especially since Wail wrote this, “Therefore he is worthy that every knee should bow before him, not out of respect and exaltation, but rather in the sense of worship due to God himself. In fact, from eternity, he was equal with God”?

The “Good News” of Prophet Muhammad (21:107)

Tenth, All?h clearly stated that Adam made errors:

“Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray” [20:121].

Yet, All?h stated that Adam repented from his sin and that He forgave him:

“Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful” [2:37]

and

“Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance” [20:122]

The “Words” mentioned in verse 2:37 were reported in another part of the Qur’?n:

“They (Adam and Eve, peace be upon them) said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers’. [7:23]

Adam became free of his sin when All?h accepted his repentance, and thus, neither he nor his wife or offspring were burdened with his sin. All?h said:

“Or is he (who turned away from Islam) not informed with what is in the Pages (Scripture) of M?s? (Moses). And of Ibr?h?m (Abraham) who fulfilled (or conveyed) all that (All?h ordered him to do or convey). That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins)of another. And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad). And that his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense.” [53:36-40]

In Islam, everyone is born sinless. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Muhammad, the Messenger of All?h, the Bearer of Good News, said:

“Every child is born on al-Fitrah (the pure Islamic Nature) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian (fire-worshipper), as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated???? Then, he recited, “The religion of pure Islamic Faith (Hanifa [to worship none but All?h]), The pure All?h’s Islamic nature with which He (All?h) has created mankind. Let There be no change in All?h’s religion (i.e. to join none in All?h’s worship). That is the straight religion; but most of men know not [30:30]”.

Delivering Mankind From the Injustices of Tyrannical Religions to the Justice of Islam

This is tremendous, good news from Allah, the Creator of all that exists. Mankind is no longer bound by the invented doctrine of doom, where everyone is born with a sin they did not commit, where everyone must seek salvation from the original sin that they did not commit through the crucifixion of a man who did not commit their sin or the original sin. Mankind should seek salvation from these doctrines and free themselves from the chains unjustly placed on them by false religions, to the freedom of Islam where one only worships the One and Only Lord and Creator of everything, where one is only responsible for his or her own errors and collects the rewards for his or her own righteousness.

The Christian concept of the original sin is firmly rejected in Islam, which teaches the good news that one is only responsible for one’s own actions and errors. It is unjust that one should carry the burden of an error committed by someone else, inheriting this burden from one generation to the next generation. It is more unjust that God should love the world so much that, as Christians claim, He would have His own [falsely claimed] son crucified for the sins of Christians who commit every type of sin God forbade in every Divine Book He revealed.

Christians Should Respect Adam, the Father of Humanity

Adam was the first Muwa`hh?d (Monotheist) among mankind, the first righteous man to have ever lived. He observed and taught Tauh?d to his children. He was a Prophet to whom All?h spoke and revealed specifics of Tauh?d and Monotheistic worship. His offspring remained on Tauh?d until the time of Prophet Noah, when they started worshipping the idols. Thus, Noah was the first Messenger, as al-Bukhar? and Musl?m reported from All?h’s Prophet, in the sense that he was the first Prophet to be sent to a disbelieving people. The Christians should respect Adam and refrain from demeaning him because of a sin he committed, repented from and became sinless. Adam is the father of mankind whom All?h honored by giving him knowledge and faith:

“And He taught Adam all the names [of everything].” [2:31].

Adam is the father of mankind who taught them to have faith in the Creator of all that exists. Adam was the representative of all of mankind when he received the honor of being prostrated to by the angels because All?h created him with His Own Hands. This is the topic, not a comparison between the privileges of the Prophets as compared to the privileges of Adam or how many original Adams one can come up with.
Wail’s Bewilderment is of His Own Creation

Muslims reject trinity because trinity was never mentioned as a part of the valid creed either in the Old Testament or in the Qur’?n. Jesus never professed trinity; trinity was never mentioned by name in the New Testament. Trinity, the Original Sin, the second Adam, God’s claimed begotten, yet, eternal son, and the Holy Ghost being God are all alien ideologies never professed to by Jesus himself or by any other Prophet who came before or after him. The Old Testament never mentioned these dogmas, and Biblical Prophets never preached them. And not only Muslims reject these dogmas. The Jews do not only reject trinity, but also disbelieve in Jesus, accuse his honorable mother of horrible sins and are still awaiting the first coming of the Messiah, more than two thousand years after the Messiah came.

The Christians profess trinity as the entire world knows and therefore, Muslims did not unjustly claim that Christians call to trinity. In contrast, Wail and his neo-supporters invented an alien concept to Islam not found in the Qur’?n, the Prophetic Tradition or the statements of any Muslim Scholar. They invented an understanding that is never preached by Muslims, then decided that Muslim scholars did not convince them about the proper interpretation of the Qur’?n, even though what Muslim scholars say as explanation for the Sujud of the angels to Adam is found explicitly in a Qur’anic verse that Wail hid from his readers. The question is, to what lows are haters of Islam willing to sink to in their feverish yet vain attempts to defeat Islam’s superior creed? If they wish to try and derail the progress of Islam, and they will never succeed, they will fair better if they confronted the Islamic creed with their creed, so that Truth is made apparent and Falsehood is destroyed. Mankind already accepts Islam as their religion at a faster rate than Christianity, making many Christians worried. Yet, instead of confronting Islamic Tauh?d with the Christian Trinity, some Christians resort to defaming Islam and corrupting the Islamic Texts in such a shameful manner demonstrated by Wail and his supporters. If one does not believe in Islam’s creed, one should not waste time discussing Islamic Law.

Wail’s “?bewildering question, of what is meant by God’s command to angels to ?fall down prostrate to Adam'” did not consume him because, as he claims, “?neither Muslim commentators nor the Qur’an itself have succeeded in offering a plausible answer.” His bewilderment is of his own making. He did not read the Qur’?n with care so as to understand its Message in pursuit of Truth. To the contrary, Wail first filled his heart with hatred of a religion he cannot even begin to understand, then hastily read Qur’?nic verses to find mistakes in them. This article has clearly shown him to be a fake Shaikh who did not contemplate what he wrote before posting it. If Islam is a false religion as Christians claim, then why do they spend so much time and effort trying to defeat it? The full responsibility now lies with Answering Islam to remove Wail’s article from their website, especially that they now know that Wail hid the fact that the Qur’?n specifically described the angels’ prostration to Adam by saying that it was a way of honoring him, {?Ara-aitaka hadha al-ladhi karramta `alai???} [17:62]. From his name, Wail Taghlibi seems to be an Arab Christian, and thus we ask him to first recite this verse to his sponsors, interpret its meaning for them, and then explain to them why he did not mention it at all in his article.

This is only a reminder and peace be unto those who follow the true guidance that the Creator of all that exists sent down to His Prophets, peace be upon all of them.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "When the Evangelist Becomes a Shaikh, the Angels Become Worshippers of Adam," in Bismika Allahuma, October 14, 2005, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/quran/when-the-evangelist-becomes-a-shaikh-the-angels-become-worshippers-of-adam/

[3] al-Fatawa, Vol. 23, p. 145

[4] al-Fatawa, Vol. 21, p. 269

[5] As reported in a Hadith, or Prophetic Tradition, collected in Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi [249]. For a detailed description of the Islamic Prayer, refer to the English translation of Zad-ul Ma`ad, by Imam Ibn al-Qayy?m, Vol. 2.

[6] al-Fatawa

[7] Sahih at-Targheeb wa-t-Tarheeb (1936)

[8] We will revisit these false accounts attributed to Allah’s Honorable Prophets in our book, The Prophet of Mercy, which is in response to Craig Winn’s The Prophet of Doom.

[9] This is an authentic Hadith (Prophetic Statement) collected in Sahih Ibn Majah.

[10] Sahih at-Targheeb (1936)].

[11] As reported in Sahih at-Targheeb (1935)

[12] Genesis 17: 12-13, “For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised. And my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant” and Luke 2:21, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise, he was named Jesus”; yet, in Galatians 5:2-6 one reads this, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

[13] Leviticus 11:1, 7, “And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them?And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you”; yet Christians did away with this Divine Law in 1 Timothy 4:1-5, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

[14] John 8:4-5, 7 as follows: “They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you,let him first cast a stone at her.”

  1. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn al-Arabi, born in 468 AH (i.e., after the Prophet’s Hijrah, or Migration from Makkah to Madinah)/1075 CE and died in 543 AH/1148 C.E. []
  2. By Abu al-Aun, Muhammad ibn Ahmad as-Saffarini, born in 1114 AH/1702 CE and died in 1188 AH/1774 C.E. []
  3. I should make mention that the matter of abrogation is explained in detail in my translation of Izhar-ul-`Haqq, by Shaikh Rahmatullah ibn Khalil ar-Rahman al-Kayranawy al-Hindi. []
Categories
Jesus

The Qur’anic Etymologies of ”Nazarene” and ”Gospel” and Their Historical Implications

Journal of the Society for Qur’anic Studies, Number 1, Volume 1, 2001

The Qur’an and the New Testament agree on a number of issues regarding Jesus Christ. Both books, for instance, stress that Jesus, who is called ” ‘Isa” in the Qur’an, was conceived miraculously by his mother Mary. He had no father. This is what the Qur’an says about the miraculous birth of ‘Isa:

When the angels said: “O Maryam! Allah gives you good news with a word from Him, whose name is al‑Masih, ‘Isa the son of Maryam, illustrious in this world and the hereafter and of those who are brought near [to Allah]” (3.45)

“And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and [he shall be] one of the righteous.” (3.46)

“She said: “My Lord! How can I have a child when no man has touched me?” He said: “It is so [because] Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it: “Be”, and it is (3.47). And He shall teach him the Book and Wisdom and the Tawrat [Torah] and the Injil.” (3.48)

The New Testament states the following in the Gospel of Matthew1:

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.”

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, sayin: “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew, 1:18-21)

Both books also give details about miracles performed by ‘Isa though, again, not without differences. For instance, the New Testament makes no mention of ‘Isa speaking while still an infant in the cradle or his creation of birds out of clay:

“When All?h said: “O ‘Isa, son of Maryam! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, that I have supported you with the Ruh al-Qudus [Spirit of al-Qudus], [and made you] speak to the people in the cradle and when of old age; and that I taught you the Book and Wisdom and the Tawrat and the Injil; and that you create out of clay the figure of a bird by My permission, then you breath into it and it becomes a bird by My permission; and heal he who was born blind and the leprous by My permission; and that you raise the dead by My permission; and that I withheld the Children of Isra’il [Israel] from you when you came to them with clear proofs, but those who disbelieved among them said: ‘This is nothing but clear magic’.” (5.110)

On the other hand, the New Testament refers to miracles that are not mentioned in the Qur’an, such as that of ‘Isa turning water into wine:

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him: “They have no wine”. Jesus saith unto her: “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come”. His mother saith unto the servants: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”

“And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them: “Fill the waterpots with water”. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them: “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.”

“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was (but the servants which drew the water knew), the governor of the feast called the bridegroom. And saith unto him: “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (John, 2:1-10).

Given the fact that all forms of alcohol are proscribed in the Qur’an, the latter rejects implicitly the occurrence of this supposed miracle.

While there are obvious similarities between the picture of ‘Isa in the Qur’an and the Bible, the differences between both accounts are in fact substantial and by far more significant than the details they share. One such fundamental difference is that the Qur’anic ‘Isa who received revelation from All?h was human, whereas Jesus of the New Testament had a divine nature and origin and is referred to as “the son of God”.

Not surprisingly, Western historians and theologians have both shown great interest in Jesus of the New Testament. However, very little time and efforts have been invested in studying the Qur’anic ‘Isa. One obvious reason for this is the widely held belief that the Qur’an is nothing other than a freely edited version of the Bible, a view that implies that the Qur’an has no historical value. So, although historians have had a hard time trying to relate the Biblical Jesus to history proper, they never thought of seeking help from the neglected Qur’an.

The present study is an attempt to remedy this situation. We will examine particular so far unnoticed or ignored differences between the story of ‘Isa in the Qur’an and its equivalent in the New Testament. The first concerns the etymology of the word “Nazarene”. The ultimate aim is to unveil very important historical implications of this difference between the Qur’anic story of ‘Isa and its Biblical counterpart. We will also study the etymology of the word “Gospel” which is less complicated than that of “Nazarene”. Finally, we will mention the historical event which the Gospels misrepresent as the “last supper”.

1. The Etymology of “Nazarene”

In the Greek text of the New Testament,’Isa is called (Nazorios) or (Nazarenos), both of which are translated into English as “Nazarene”. Only the first form of the Greek epithet of ‘Isa is used in the Gospel of John (18:5, 18:7, 19:9) and in Acts (2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9), and it seems preferred in Matthew (2:23, 24:71) and Luke (18:37) as well. However, Mark consistently uses the second form of ‘Isa’s appellation, (Mark, 1:24, 14:67, 16:6),2 which makes appearances also in Luke (4:34, 24:19). The first epithet is also used once in Acts (24:5) to refer to the Christians when Tertullus the orator accuses Paul of being “a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes”.

According to the writer of the Gospel of Matthew, ‘Isa’s epithet, the Nazarene, is derived from the name of the town where he was brought up, or (Nazareth):

“And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene’.” (Matthew, 2:23)

Indeed, while and are sometimes translated as “Nazarene”, at other times they are rendered “of Nazareth”.

The Matthean etymology of Nazarene has been accepted by some scholars (e.g. Pellett, 1962: 525; Davies & Allison, 1988: 281), but a linguistic difficulty with this etymology has been pointed out. Some researchers have indicated that while deriving from is not problematic, the same is not true of . In its entry for “Nazarene”, Encyclopedia Britannica states that the exact meaning of this latter title is “not known”. However, it has been claimed that, though difficult, it is not impossible for to have come from (e.g. Moore, 1920: 428; Davies & Allison, 1988: 281). Cullmann has also pointed out that the spelling of the name of the home town of ‘Isa varies in the written tradition so it is not really possible to rule out the derivation of from . He does, however, find it still unexplainable how “in Greek the unusual form maintained its position so consistently alongside the simpler form which was, after all, available.” (Cullmann, 1962: 523)

There are other convincing reasons to reject the claim that ‘Isa was known by a title that meant “of Nazareth” which is how Matthew understood the word Nazarene. Nazareth is first mentioned in the New Testament and there is no older independent record that mentions that particular town. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud3, the Midrashim4 or Josephus5. The earliest mention of Nazareth outside the New Testament is from Julius Africanus (170-240 CE) which was cited by the bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea (d. ca. 340 CE). It is generally accepted that this absence of Nazareth from ancient historical records is due to the fact that it was a small, insignificant town (e.g. Pellett, 1962: 524; Moore, 1920: 429). The population of Nazareth is estimated from archaeological excavations to have been between 50-2000 at the time of ‘Isa (Theissen & Mertz, 1998: 165). This sounds quite possible. But then the obvious argument here is that if Nazareth was such an insignificant town then what sense would it have made to relate ‘Isa to it? After all, no person is introduced by relating him to a place that is equally unknown!

It is not only that ‘Isa could not have been related to an insignificant town such as Nazareth. The more fundamental problem lies in the very concept that ‘?s? could have been given a title after a city at all, even if it was a big and major city. Davies and Allison (1988: 281) have indicated that it was common custom among Jews to distinguish individuals according to the place of their origin. But then ‘?s? was by no means an ordinary person for this to apply to him. ‘?s? could not have been called after the city in which he was brought up or where he became known, because he acquired from the time of his infancy two unique titles after his unique, miraculous birth. It was inevitable that ‘?s? was called something that reminded people of his unique birth. This is indeed what the Qur’an tells us happened.

Accordingly to the Qur’an, the angels told Mary that her son would be known as “al-Masih” (the Messiah), “‘Isa” and “Ibn Maryam” (the son of Mary):

“When the angels said: “O Maryam! Allah gives you good news with a word from Him, whose name is al-Masih, ‘Isa the son of Maryam, illustrious in this world and the hereafter and of those who are brought near [to Allah].” (3.45)

In most of its occurrences in the Qur’an, “al-Masih” is mentioned in conjunction with ‘Isa’s second title, “the son of Maryam”. We will concentrate here on the title of “the son of Maryam” which occurs in the Qur’an as twice as al-Masih. While the latter is an equally important title, which is why it was used alongside “Ibn Maryam”, it is outside the scope of this study.

While naming him “‘Isa” and titling him “the son of Mary” and “al-Masih”, the Qur’an never refers to this Prophet with a title that corresponds to “Nazarene”, as the New Testament does, or relates him to a particular city.

‘Isa became known as “the son of Mary” from the time of his birth because he was conceived without a father. The nature of ‘?s? ?s birth would have made it inevitable that people used the title of “the son of Mary” when referring to him. The fact that ‘?s? had such very distinguished titles since his early days meant that there was no need at any later stage of his life to coin an epithet for him. Even when the news about his miracles started to spread there would have been no reason to give him a new title as his old titles already referred to the greatest miracle in his life. It would have been even more pointless to replace the unique title of “the son of Mary” with a general appellation that merely related ‘?s? to a certain place. Any person from that city could have been named after it, but only ‘?s? could have been given a title derived from the fact that he was conceived without a father. Furthermore, it just does not make any sense to suggest that ‘?s?’s followers in particular could have replaced the meaningful and distinguished title of “the son of Mary” with an unimpressive, inexpressive, blank and impartial title which merely related ‘?s? to a city, not to mention an insignificant one. The New Testament’s suggestion that ‘?s?’s title was “of Nazareth” is absurd.

But how can one explain the absence of ‘?s?’s historical title, “the son of Mary”, that the Qur’an reveals, from the New Testament? Well, it is not totally absent from the New Testament for it figures in a distorted form. The true title of “the son of Mary” is the origin of the false title of “the son of man” in the New Testament. But why this alteration? Indeed, what sense would it make to call someone “the son of man” when each and every man is a son of man? This title was intended to serve a more sophisticated purpose than simply referring to ‘?s?. Those who coined the term “the son of man” aimed at emphasizing what they perceived as the dual nature of ‘?s? as the son of man and the son of God. With “the son of man”, the inventors of this title implicitly stressed the second appellation that people gave to ‘?s?, “the son of God”. “The son of Mary” is really a unique epithet that referred and refers to ‘?s? only, but the inventors of “the son of man” were after something that refers to “the son of God” rather than to ‘?s?.

The combination of the New Testament?s claim that ‘?s? was known with the title “Nazarene” and the Matthean etymology of this word has yet another insurmountable problem. We have already mentioned that Acts 24:5, as well as later writings, use the plural word “Nazarenes” to refer to the followers of ‘?s?. Now, even if we assume for the sake of argument that there was some sense in calling ‘?s? a Nazarene, having lived in Nazareth, it would certainly not make any sense at all to extend this title to his followers who would have come from various places. Needless to say, the followers of a Nazarene, in the Matthean sense of this word, do not become Nazarenes themselves! Cullmann for one has noted that if Nazarene meant someone from Nazareth, as Matthew has it, then “it would certainly be unusual if [the Christians] were referred to as ‘people from Nazareth'” (Cullmann, 1962: 523). So, accepting the Matthean etymology of the word Nazarene as a title of ‘?s? is not really of much prudence as suggested by Davies and Allison (1988: 281).

In deriving Nazarene from Nazareth, the writer of the Gospel of Matthew cites a prophecy in the Old Testament:

“And he [Joseph] arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither, notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets. He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew, 2:21-23)

The Gospel writer has, in fact, been less than a reliable historian for the very simple reason that the prophecy that he cites occurs nowhere in the Old Testament! This false information undermines the credibility of the given etymology. Even neglecting the above problems with deriving Nazarene from Nazareth, this derivation still stands accused of having no foundation. There is really no reason to accept that Nazarene was derived from Nazareth rather than from a number of other possible origins (see, for instance, the possibilities compiled by Davies and Allison, 1988).

But there is another equally significant conclusion to draw from Matthew?s citation of a non-existent Biblical passage. Randel Helms (1989) has shown that the writers of the Gospels spared no effort in correlating Biblical passages with events in the life of ‘?s? to stress that ‘?s? was the fulfillment of those Biblical prophecies. But this attitude was so uncompromising that the history of ‘?s? was itself written in the Gospels to portray ‘?s? as the manifestation of those ancient Biblical sayings and prophecies. This suggests that in the case under discussion the reverse has happened. That is, as the title “Nazarene” was already in circulation, it was the correspondent Biblical passage that the Gospel writer needed to invent; and he did just that.

It is an acknowledged fact today that there is no evidence whatsoever linking the title “Nazarene” to the name of the town of Nazareth. There is also a very strong argument against such a derivation. Interestingly, the Qur’an has already implied some 14 centuries ago that deriving “Nazarene” from “Nazareth” is wrong as it gave a totally different etymology for “Nazarene”. Additionally, the Qur’an is absolutely clear that “Nazarene” was not a title of ‘?s? himself but of his followers. Even those researchers who thought of relating the word Nazarene to other than Nazareth worked on the wrong assumption that Nazarene was the title of ‘?s?; it never was (see also the discussion in ?10.5 in Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli (1999)). ‘?s? was also known only as “the son of Mary” and “al-Masih”.

The Qur’anic words that correspond to “Nazarene” and “Nazarenes” are Nasrani and Nasara, respectively. Both singular and plural forms of this word were not coined from or introduced into Arabic by the Qur’an at the time of its revelation. These words were already used to refer to the Christians. They did not mean anything else in Arabic. This fact is also reflected in the unique way in which these singular and plural forms of the same word relate to each other. Therefore, the words Nasrani and Nasara which the Arabs were already using when the Qur’an was revealed would have been, or developed from, older non-Arabic words. Had the name Nasrani/Nasara been used for the Christians in the Qur’an without any clarification, it would have been very difficult to trace back its origin and meaning. Fortunately, there are two sets of ayat6, each set consisting of two ayat, when combined together the meaning of the word Nasrani/Nasara becomes absolutely clear. This is explained below.

The word Nasara is mentioned in several Qur’anic ayat. Two of these ayat refer to the followers of ‘?s? with the phrase “those who have said ‘We are Nasara'”:

“And from those who have said “We are Nasara” We took their covenant, but they forgot a part of what they were reminded of, therefore We caused among them enmity and hatred to the Day of Resurrection; and All?h will inform them of what they were doing.” (5.14)

“Certainly you will find that the most vehement of people in hostility to those who believed [to be] the Jews and the polytheists. And you will certainly find that the nearest of them in affection to those who believed [to be] those who have said: “We are Nasara”, for there are among them priests and monks and for they do not behave arrogantly.” (5.82)

Defining the Christians in terms of their declaration of being Nazarenes stems in fact from a specific event which involved ‘?s? and his disciples and which the Qur’an relates in the following ayat:

“But when ‘?s? sensed disbelief on their part, he said: “Who are my Ansar [supporters] on the way to All?h?” The disciples said: “We are the Ansar of All?h. We believe in All?h and [you] bear witness that we are Muslims.” (3.52)

“O you who believe! Be Ansar [supporters] of All?h, as ‘?s?, the son of Maryam, said to the disciples: “Who are my Ansar on the way to All?h?” The disciples said: “We are the Ansar of All?h”. And a party of the Children of Isra’il believed and another party disbelieved; so We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became the uppermost.” (61.14)

It is thus obvious that the equivalent of Nasara in the Arabic of the Qur’an7 is Ansar. The verb of “Ansar” is nasara which means “supported, aided, helped, sided with…etc”. So, “Ansar” means “supporters”. The above two ayat reveal the religious context and the specific meaning of the word “Ansar” when used to refer to the Christians. The term Ansar occurs in the context of calling the Christians the Ansar of ‘?s? on the way to All?h which means ultimately the supporters of All?h to Whom ‘?s? was calling people.

Similar use of the verb nasara occurs in several ayat in the Qur’an when referring to the believers in Prophet Muhammad. For instance, in the following two ayat the first states that by emigrating from their cities to follow Prophet Muhammad who himself had fled persecution, the believers “supported All?h and His Messenger”. Here also, the support given to the Prophet is considered support to All?h Himself, meaning support to the cause of All?h. The second aya encourages the believers to “support All?h”, so that All?h may support them:

“[Some part of the alms is due] to the poor who have migrated, who have been driven out of their homes and their belongings, seeking favor from All?h and [His] pleasure, and supporting All?h and His Messenger: these are the truthful.” (59.8)

“O you who believe! If you support All?h He supports you and plant your feet firmly.” (47.7)

It is obvious, therefore, that the term Nasara was developed from an original word, presumably Aramaic, that meant Ansar in Arabic and which would also have been used in conjunction with a name of All?h to mean supporters of All?h. By the time of the Qur’an the Arabic speaking population of the Arabian Peninsula were using the words Nasrani/Nasara as a name for the Christians. But they were totally unaware of what they really meant as neither of these words were from the Arabic of the time and because their historical background was unknown. The Qur’an revealed to the Arabs a secret that neither they nor their ancestors had any knowledge of. However, this was not a secret to only the Arabs, but also to all those Christians and Jews who had lost contact with the Injil, the Book that All?h revealed to ‘?s? and in which He named the Christians “Nazarenes” or “supporters (of All?h)”. This ignorance is attested to by the Gospel of Matthew itself which gives a false etymology of the word Nazarene. The writers of the other Gospels implicitly accept the derivation of Nazarene from Nazareth, as do the Christians in general who also accept the New Testament?s claim that Nazarene was ‘?s?’s title.

In the event described in ayat 3.52 and 61.14, ‘?s? reminded his disciples of the name/description that All?h had already given to his followers in the Injil. Therefore, when asking them who were “[his] Ansar on the way to All?h”, the disciples replied to ‘?s? that they were the “Ansar of All?h”.

It is notable that All?h describes all the followers of ‘?s?, not only those who were contemporary to him, as “those who have said ‘We are Nasara'” (5.14, 5.82). This is in fact a reference to the original event mentioned in ayat 3.52 and 61.14, indicating that any person who declares himself/herself as a Nazarene implies by this claim that he/she has taken the same oath taken by the disciples when they declared themselves before ‘?s? as “Ansar of All?h”.

It should be noted here that some writers have felt it necessary to suggest a religious meaning for the word Nazarene and not (only) relate it to Nazareth. Moore has cited a number of such suggested etymologies. For instance, he cites an old comment on Matthew 2:23 which states that “Jesus was called Nazaraeus not only because his home was in Nazareth, but because he was the Saviour, ‘Servator’, from nasar, ‘servare’, (Moore, 1920: 430). We have already shown, however, that “Nazarene” wasn?t actually ‘?s?’s but his followers’ title.

Now, how does one explain the erroneous etymology of Nazarene suggested in Matthew? It is certainly intertwined with the misconception of Nazarene as a title of ‘?s?. The writer of that particular Gospel, like the writers of the other books of the New Testament, authored his book decades after the time of ‘?s?. By then, the word “Nazarenes” was already a name of the followers of ‘?s?. But by that time many details of the religion of ‘?s? had already been lost due to the fact that the Injil was no longer accessible to most people. The historical background of the name of ‘?s?’s followers, Nazarene, was one piece of information that had become unavailable to most people, including the writer of Matthew. However, Matthew reckoned that the similarity between the term Nazarene and the name of the town of Nazareth was too close to be fortuitous. So, he simply surmised that Nazarene must have originated from Nazareth, the name of the town where ‘?s? is supposed to have lived.

We now know that Nazarene was never derived from Nazareth. We also know that the similarity between Nazarene and Nazareth was not a mere coincidence, something that the writers of the Gospels have also noted. This leaves us with the very appealing conclusion that it is in fact Nazareth the town which acquired its name from the word “Nazarenes” and not the other way around as suggested in the New Testament. If that little town was indeed insignificant, as commonly accepted by scholars, then it could very easily have acquired the name “Nazareth” being the town “of the Nazarenes”. This means that the town could have been mentioned in older sources under its old name. There is no evidence to support the suggestion of some researchers that the silence of ancient writings on Nazareth indicates that this town was only later established.

2. The Etymology of “Gospel”

It might surprise some that the four Gospels of the New Testament should get the etymology of the word Nazarene totally wrong in this way. It should be remembered, however, that there is so much misunderstanding and confusion in the Gospels. Ironically enough, there is widespread ignorance concerning the full meaning of the word “Gospel” itself! The Qur’an , however, does explain to us the meaning of this word also.

The English word “Gospel”, which means “good news”, is known to be a translation of the Greek (Euaggelion: pronounced Euangelion). Yet scholars have struggled to find a convincing etymology for this word in the context of Christian thought. The Qur’an , on the other hand, leads us to the answer to this question by telling us that All?h revealed to ‘?s? a Book called “Injil”:

“And We sent after them in their footsteps ‘?s? , the son of Maryam, verifying what was before him of the Tawrat and We gave him the Injil in which was guidance and light, and verifying what was before it of Tawrat and a guidance and an admonition for the All?h-fearing.” (5.46)

It is clear that “Injil” is the same Greek word, and thus means “good news”. The following aya explains why the Book of ‘Isa was “good news”:

“And when ‘?s?, the son of Maryam, said: “O children of Isra’il! I am the Messenger of All?h to you, confirming that which is before me of the Tawrat and bringing the good news of a Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad”; but when he came to them with clear proofs they said: “This is clear magic.” (61.6)

This aya reveals that the Book of ‘?s? acquired its name from the fact that it brought the “good news” about the forthcoming commission of Prophet Muhammad. The name “Ahmad” in the above aya is one of the names of Prophet Muhammad; both names Ahmad and Muhammad have the same meaning of “the most praised one”.

Bringing the “good news” about Prophet Muhammad and confirming the divine origin of the Tawrat were the main goals of the mission of ‘?s?. The former was so central in ‘?s?’s mission that All?h named the Book that He revealed to ‘?s? after it. A Book whose name effectively meant “the good news about Prophet Muhammad” must have contained lots of details about him. This is indeed mentioned in the Qur’an :

“Those who follow the unlettered Messenger-Prophet whom they find written down in the Tawrat and the Injil, [who] enjoins them good and forbids them evil, makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which are upon them. So, those who believe in him, honor him and support him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, are the successful.” (7.157)

“Muhammad is the Messenger of All?h, and those with him are firm against the disbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you see them bowing down, falling prostrate, seeking favor from All?h and [His] pleasure; their marks are in their faces as a result of prostration; this is their similitude in the Tawrat and their similitude in the Injil: like a seed that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers; so that He enrages the disbelievers on account of them. All?h has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness and a great reward.” (48.29)

It is worth noting that there is nothing in the four Gospels themselves that objects to understanding the word “Gospel” in those books as meaning a “book”. In King James? version of the New Testament, the word “Gospel” occurs five times in the Gospel of Matthew (4:23, 9:35, 11:5, 24:14, 26:13), six times in Mark (1:1, 1:14, 1:15, 13:10, 14:9, 16:15), and four times in Luke (4:18, 7:22, 9:6, 20:1). Odd it may seem, this word doesn?t occur at all in John! What concerns us here, however, is the fact that the fifteen occurrences of this word in the Gospels make it difficult to understand “Gospel” as a “concept” of some sort and suggest instead that the “Gospel” is a “thing”. Moreover, the fact that the “Gospel” is described twelve times as something that is “preached”, by ‘?s? ” himself (e.g. Matthew, 4:23, 9:35) or his disciples (e.g. Mark, 16:15; Luke, 9:6), strongly suggests that the word was seen by the authors of the four Gospels as referring to a “book”. In the remaining three occurrences of the word “Gospel” in the Gospels of the New Testament, Mark describes it as something that should be “believed” (Mark, 1:15) and “published among all nations” (Mark, 13.10), and mentions it in the very first sentence of his book: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark, 1:1).

The eighty occurrences of “Gospel” in the remaining books of the New Testament are more confused. The majority of cases, however, are in line with the use of the word in the three Gospels, with most occurrences describing it as something that can be “preached”. Other occurrences of the word “Gospel” include a reference in the book of Acts to “the word of the gospel” that the gentiles should “hear” and “believe” (Acts, 15:7).

It is obvious, therefore, that the word “Gospel” was at some point conceived as meaning or referring to a “book” and that it was later misused. In fact, the word “Gospels” has been used to refer to the first four “books” of the New Testament. In other words, the uses of the word “Gospel” in the Gospels themselves and the rest of the New Testament are in line with the Qur’an ic revelation that the term Injil, i.e. the “Gospel” in English, was actually the name of a book. That was the Book that All?h revealed to His Prophet ‘?s?.

3. “The Last Supper” or “A Table Spread with Food From Heaven”?

The terms “Nazarene” and “Gospel” are not isolated cases of the authors of the Gospels, like their peers who wrote the Old Testament, mixing true and false historical information. There are many other similar instances. One particularly interesting example of how the authors of the Gospels misrepresented the history of ‘?s? is that of the so-called “last supper”.

The four Gospels differ substantially in their detailed accounts of the event of the “last supper”. Contradiction between the Gospels, however, is not our concern here. We will confine ourselves, therefore, to their descriptions of how that supper was organized:

“Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him: “Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?” And he said: “Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him: “The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples””. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.” (Matthew, 26:17-19)

“And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him: “Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?” And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them: “Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water, follow him. And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house: ?The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?? And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared; there make ready for us”. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them; and they made ready the passover.” (Mark, 14:12-16)

“Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying: “Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat”. And they said unto him: “Where wilt thou that we prepare?”. And he said unto them: “Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house: ?The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples??. And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready”. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.” (Luke, 22:7-13)

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” (John, 13:1-2)

This is another instance of the typical contradiction between Gospels. While Mark and Luke provide very similar descriptions of the event, Matthew and John come up with totally different accounts that contain nothing about the miracle mentioned by Mark and Luke.

The truth about this event was revealed by Allah in the Qur’an in the following ayat:

“When the disciples said: “O ‘Isa son of Maryam! Is your Lord able to send down to us a table spread with food from heaven?” He said: “Be fearful of All?h if you are believers.” (5.112)

“They said: “We wish to eat thereof and to satisfy our hearts and to know that you have indeed spoken the truth to us and that we may be of the witnesses to it” (5.113). `Isa the son of Maryam said: “O All?h, our Lord! Send down to us a table spread with food from heaven that should be a feast for the first of us and for the last and a sign from You, and give us sustenance, and You are the best of the Providers of sustenance.” (5.114)

“All?h said: “I will send it down to you, so whoever shall disbelieve afterwards from among you, surely I will punish him with a torment that I will not punish with anyone among the peoples.” (5.115)

Making a feast to descend from heaven, in response to a request from his disciples, is another miracle of ‘?s? that the New Testament never mentions. This is the real event behind the story of the “last supper” in the New Testament.

4. Conclusion

Unlike the Old and New Testaments of the Bible which are full of wrong, inaccurate and contradictory information, the Qur’an shows amazing accuracy and consistency. Two particularly interesting instances that illustrate this fact and which we have studied in this paper are the etymology of each of the words “Nazarene” and “Gospel” and their historical implications. The relevant information in the New Testament lacks accuracy and consistency, let alone being convincing. It is also impossible to reconcile that information with known historical facts. One result of all of this is distorting important aspects of the history of Prophet ‘?s?.

The Qur’an, on the other hand, offers an accurate etymology for each of the words “Nazarene” and “Gospel”. This Qur’anic information sheds the light on historical facts about Prophet ‘?s? that cannot be discovered from another source. This information and its historical implications are consistent with the rest of the Qur’an and well in line with established historical facts. We also saw how the event of the “last supper” in the Gospels is in fact a distorted version of a rather different event.

One significant fact about the different nature of the Bible and the Qur’an is that the more the Bible is studied the more its flaws become apparent, whereas the more the Qur’an is examined the more is seen of its infallibility. No better ending for this article than the following Qur’anic aya that stresses the above fact:

“Do they not ponder on the Qur’an? And if it were from anyone other than All?h they would have found in it much contradiction.” (4.82)

References

Cullmann, O. (1962). Nazarene. In: The Interpreter?s Dictionary of the Bible: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, K-Q, New York: Abingdon Press, 523-524.

Davies, W. D. & Allison, D. C. (1988). A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospels According to Saint Matthew, vol. 1: Introduction and Commentary to Matthew, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Limited.

Fatoohi, L. & Al-Dargazelli, S. (1999). History Testifies to the Infallibility of the Qur’an: Early History of the Children of Israel, Malaysia, A. S. Noordeen

Moore, G. F. (1920). “Nazarene and Nazareth”. In: F. J. Foakes Jackson & K. Lake (eds.), The Beginnings of Christianity, Part I, vol. 1: Prolegomena I; the Acts of the Apostles, London: Macmillan & co., 426-432.

Pellett, D. C. (1962). “Nazareth”. In: The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, K-Q, New York: Abingdon Press, 524-526.

Theissen, G. & Mertz, A. (1998). The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide, translated from German by John Bowden, London: SCM Press.

Helms, R. (1989). Gospel Fictions, New York: Prometheus Books.

  1. We use in this article the King James Version of the New Testament. []
  2. The first form is used in Mark (10:47). []
  3. The Talmud (3rd-6th century CE) is the written record of both the Mishnah, which is the earliest rabbinical codification and record of the oral Bible dating to about 200 CE, and the Gemara which consists of records of discussions on the Mishnah. []
  4. The Midrashim (singular: Midrash) are rabbinical commentaries on the Biblical text dating from about 300 CE. []
  5. The Jewish historian Joseph ben Matthias, better known with his Roman name Flavius Josephus (37-110 CE). []
  6. The Qur’an calls its verses “ayat”. The singular of ayat is “aya”. []
  7. At the time of the revelation of the Qur’an there were a number of different Arabic dialects in the Arabian Peninsula. []
Categories
Christianity Paul of Tarsus

Paul of Tarsus: The Clear-Cut Hypocrite

We read the following teachings of the so-called “apostle” from Tarsus, Paul, written in his epistles as follows:

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” (Romans 12:18-19)

Another teaching which Paul had written is:

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col 3:13)

A summary of the above recorded statements by Paul:

  • Be at peace with all men.
  • Never take your own revenge, beloved!
  • Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

We admit that these are all beautiful teachings. The question now, however, is did Paul himself put these very same teachings of his into effect? As it so happens, we beg to differ!

Paul’s Hypocrisy Revealed

We read in Acts that:

And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” And Barnabas was desirous of taking John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. (Acts 15:36-40)

It is clear that Paul and Barnabas had had a sharp disagreement and later parted company because of that same disagreement. So Paul was not following what he had preached, namely to “…be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18).

We also observe that Paul had not forgiven John (called Mark) for having abandoned him and Barnabas at Pamphylia (Acts 15:38) and opposed Barnabas’ plan to take John with him. Apparently Paul had amnesia with regard to his teaching, “forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col. 3:13). So why did not Paul forgive John for abandoning him earlier?

Further, regarding revenge, this snake taught that “Never take your own revenge, beloved!” (Romans 12:19) but yet Paul himself took his revenge against John (called Mark) by refusing to take him in the journey. So again we ask, why did Paul seek his revenge against John when he had clearly forbidden this? He is no doubt a clear-cut hypocrite, through and through!

On a related sidenote, this snake also has used Jesus’(P) name in his teachings when in reality it is not originally from Jesus(P), but from his own concoction. For example, in 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul taught that the resurrected Christ had appeared to over five hundred breathren at one time but this episode is not available in the Gospels. Another proof is in Acts 20:35, whereby Paul cites, “remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive”. This citation is certainly not from Jesus(P) because nowhere in the Gospels is this quote to be found and attributed to Jesus(P). This same snake has also urged all the Jews amongst the Gentiles to forsake Moses(P), he told them not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs (Acts 21:21), this goes against what Jesus(P) himself taught. But sadly, the Christian missionaries and Christians in general have taken this hypocrite as their “apostle” and they generally behave like him as well.

Conclusions

It is very clear from the above exposition that Paul was a hypocrite, and hence, how could the Christian missionaries expect Muslims to accept this snake as a legitimate “follower” of the Messiah Jesus(P), the son of Mary? Paul clearly told others to make peace but he himself did not practice what he had preached when he had a sharp disagreement with Barnabas and they parted company (Acts 15). This totally contradicts what he had earlier taught, namely “be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18) and “forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col. 3:13)

He had also taken his revenge upon John (called Mark) because John had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work, as recorded in Acts 15, even though he told the Romans, “Never take your own revenge, beloved!” (Romans 12:19). It seem that it was Barnabas who was more religious than Paul because he did not take his revenge upon John.

Which leads us to the question:

    If Paul himself has failed to follow what he had taught, would he indeed follow what Jesus(P) had taught?

And only God knows best.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Paul of Tarsus: The Clear-Cut Hypocrite," in Bismika Allahuma, October 7, 2005, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/christianity/paul-of-tarsus-the-clear-cut-hypocrite/
Categories
Sources of the Bible The Bible

Paul’s Dependency on Talmudic Writings: Evidence of New Testament Borrowing

While Christians would prefer to allude to the notion that Paul, the self-acclaimed “apostle” of Jesus, was “inspired” when he wrote his epistles, the evidences we have researched states otherwise. We have seen how Paul had cited a verse from the “apocryphal books of Elijah” but claimed that he was citing from the book of Isaiah. Apparantly this citing of quotations from apocryphal or Rabbinic writings was not alien to Paul, for in the epistles of Paul, there are abundant signs that he was extremely familiar with Rabbanic material and constantly refers to them. This is not surprising since Paul himself had admitted to familiarity with Jewish traditions under the tutelage of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).

Paul’s Dependency on the Talmudic Writings: The Evidence

In 2 Timothy 3:8, we see that Paul traditionally names two of the Egyptian magicians who withstood Moses as Jannes and Jambres, respectively. He compares the both of them with his enemies, as the following verse records:

“Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these men oppose the truth, corrupt thinkers as they are and counterfeits so far as faith is concerned.”

The names of these two Egyptian magicians are nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. The Midrash Rabbah on Exodus, however, makes mention of these two names as “Yochani” and “Mamre” respectively, and states:

Amru Yochani uMamre L’Moshe: “teben atah makhnis L’efrayim?” Amar Lahem “L’matah yarqa yarqa sh’qol.”

Yochani and Mamre said to Moshe “Would you carry straw to Afraim?” He [Moses] said to them: “carry herbs to herb-town.”1

The names of these Egyptian magicians also appears in Midrash Tanchuma (Parshat Ki Tisa) 19:19 as a Commentary on Exodus 32:

Forty thousand people had assembled to leave Egypt with the Israelites, and among them were two Egyptians named Jannes and Jambres, who had performed magical feats for Pharaoh.2

Thus it is clear that these magicians’ names came from the Rabbinic traditions and had no doubt influenced Paul considerably to include these names in his epistle.

Paul also adopted the current Jewish chronologies in Acts 13:20-21. He alludes to the notion that the Adam of Genesis 1 is the ideal or spiritual, the Adam of Gen 2 the concrete and sinful Adam (1 Corinthians 15:47, also found in Philo, De Opif. Mund i.32). The conception of the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) , of the giving of the Law at Sinai by Angels (Galatians 3:19), of Satan as the god of this world and the prince of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and of the celestial and infernal hierarchies (Ephesians 1:21, 3:10; 4:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:15) are all recurrent in Talmudic writings.

When Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:10 that a women ought to have a veil on her head because of the angel, as stated in the following:

“The woman, therefore, ought to have a token of authority on her head, because of the angels”

he demonstrates a very high familiarity with the Talmudic writings, as he is apparently referring to the Rabbinic interpretation of Genesis 6:2 as follows:

Binei Elohim. B’nei ha-sarim v’ha-shoftim. Davar acher: b’nei ha-Elohim, hem ha-sarim ha-holkhim bishlichuto shel maqom, af hem hayu mitarvim bahem; kal elohim shebamiqra l’shon marut, v’zeh yokhiach: V’atah tiyeh lo lelohim, r’eh n’tatikha elohim.

THE SONS OF GOD. The sons of princes and rulers. Another explanation of B’nei Elohim is that these were princely angels who came as messengers of God, and they intermingled with the daughters of men. Wherever the word “elohim” appears in the scriptures, it signifies authority, thus the following passages: “And you shall be his master (elohim)” [Exodus 4:16] and “see, I have made you a master (elohim).” [Exodus 7:1]3

Paul obviously believed this Rabbinic tradition which states that angels have mingled with the daughters of men to have included this in his epistle. The Targum, as quoted in the epistle of Jude (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6), clearly ascribe the Fall to the angels to their guilty love for earthly women.

The Jewish mind – a notion which is found over and over again in the Talmud, and which is still prevalent among Oriental Jews, is that they never let their women to be unveiled in the public lest the shedin, or evil spirits, should injure them or others. A headdress called khalbi is worn as a religious duty by Jewish women.

The reason why Solomon’s bed was guarded by sixty valiant men with drawn swords was because of fear in the night. (Cant iii 7, 8). This is alluded to the following story in Pesachim 112b:

“Lo yetse Y’chidi bifnei; lo b’leilei r’vi’iyot, v’lo b’leilei shabatot, mifnei she-Agrat bat Machalat, hi ushmoneh esreh ribo shel malakhei chabalah yotsin , v’kal echad v’echad yesh lo r’shut l’chaber bifnei atsmo.”

“Do not go out at night. Not on Wednesday night or on Sabbath night, because Igrath (Agrat) the daughter of Mahalath (Machalat) along with 180,000 destroying angels are out, each with permission to cause destruction independently.”4

They are called ruchin, shedin, lilin, tiharim.

Again, in Romans 4:5-12, Paul evidently accepts the tradition, also referred to by St. Stephen, that Abraham had been uncircumcised idolater when he first obeyed the call of God, and that he then received a promise – unknown to the text of the scripture – that he should be the heir of the world. (Romans 4:13, cf. Joshua 24:15). In Romans 9:9, whereby it states:

“For this is the message of the promise, ‘At about this time next year, I will come, and Sarah will have a son'”

it has been supposed, from the form of his quotation, that he is alluding to the Rabbinic notion that Isaac was created in the womb by a fiat of God. In Galatians 4:29, whereby it says

“But just as then the one born in a fleshly way persecuted the one born in accord with the Spirit, so too at present”

this is in accordance to the Haggadah tradition that Ishmael had not only laughed, but also jeered, insulted, and mistreated Isaac. Thus we find the following in Sanhedrin 89b:

“Rabbi Levi aamar: achar d’varaiv shel Yishma’el l’Yitschaq. Aamar lo Yishma’el l’Yitschaq: ‘Ani gadol mimkha b’mitsot, she-atah malta ben sh’monat yamim, v’ani ben sh’lash esreh shanah.’ Aamar lo: ‘Uvever echad atah m’ghareh bi? Im omer li ha-Qadosh, baruch Hu, z’vach atsmkha l’fanay, ani zovech.’ Miyad v’ha-Elohim nisah et Avraham.”

Rabbi Levi said: These are the words of Ishmael to Isaac. Ishmael said to Isaac: “I am greater than you in commandments, for you were circumcised at eight days old, and I when I was thirteen years old.” He [Isaac] said to him: “You tease me over one organ? If the Holy One, blessed be He, says to me ‘sacrifice yourself to me,’ I will sacrifice myself.” Immediately God tested Abraham.5

In 2 Corinthians 11:14, whereby we read that:

“…and no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light”

Paul adhered to the notion that the angel who wrestled with Jacob was Satan assuming the semblance of an Angel of Light. There is a remarkable resemblance to the smitten rock in the wilderness, which in 1 Corinthians 10:4 is called

“…a spiritual following rock.”

To the Rabbis the rock, from which water flowed, was round and like a swarm of bees, and rolled itself up and went with them in their journeys. When the Tabernacle was pitched, the rock came and settled in its vestibule. Then Israel sang the following:

“Spring up, O well; sing ye to it!” (Numbers 21:17)

and it sprang up. Paul’s instant addition of the words:

“[…]which rock was Christ”

has Haggadistic elements which, in the national consciousness, had got mingled up with the great story of the wanderings in the Wilderness. Seven such current national traditions are alluded to in St. Stephen’s speech.

Conclusions

The Rabbinic teachings as recorded in the Talmudic writings was influential for Paul, and it is with these traditions in his mind that he had based his epistles on. Some of these stories have no basis in the Tanakh or the Old Testament, but only in the Talmud of the Jews. This clearly shows that Paul’s claim of being an “apostle” of Jesus and was divinely “inspired” in his writings can certainly be cast into reasonable doubt. The evidences as shown above clearly shows that Paul had resorted to heavy borrowing from the Jewish traditions as recorded in the Talmudic writings.

  1. English-Hebrew of Shemot Rabbah (Midrash Rabbah on Exodus), 7:12 []
  2. Midrash Tanchuma’s Commentary on Exodus 32, Samuel A. Berman (trans.), Midrash Tanhuma-Yelammedenu (KTAV Publishing, 1996), p. 598 []
  3. Rashi’s Commentary on B’reshit (Genesis), 6:2 []
  4. Pesahim 112b, Babylonian Talmud []
  5. Sanhedrin 89b, Babylonian Talmud []