Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jesus according to Quran

Sahih International
"O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs."

Abridged Ibn Katheer:

Prohibiting the People of the Book From Going to Extremes in Religion


Allah forbids the People of the Scriptures from going to extremes in religion, which is a common trait of theirs, especially among the Christians. The Christians exaggerated over `Isa until they elevated him above the grade that Allah gave him. They elevated him from the rank of prophethood to being a god, whom they worshipped just as they worshipped Allah. They exaggerated even more in the case of those who they claim were his followers, claiming that they were inspired, thus following every word they uttered whether true or false, be it guidance or misguidance, truth or lies. This is why Allah said,

﴿اتَّخَذُواْ أَحْبَـرَهُمْ وَرُهْبَـنَهُمْ أَرْبَاباً مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ﴾
(They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah.) 

 Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَا تُطْرُونِي كَمَا أَطْرَتِ النَّصَارَىِ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ. فَإِنَّمَا أَنَا عَبْدٌفَقُولُوا: عَبْدُاللهِ وَرَسُولُه»
(Do not unduly praise me like the Christians exaggerated over `Isa, son of Maryam. Verily, I am only a servant, so say, `Allah's servant and His Messenger.')
This is the wording of Al-Bukhari.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said that a man once said, "O Muhammad! You are our master and the son of our master, our most righteous person and the son of our most righteous person...'' The Messenger of Allah said,

«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ عَلَيْكُمْ بِقَوْلِكُمْ، وَلَا يَسْتَهْوِيَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ،أَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِاللهِ، عَبْدُاللهِ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَاللهِ مَا أُحِبُّ أَنْ تَرْفَعُونِي فَوْقَ مَنْزِلَتِي الَّتِي أَنْزَلَنِي اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»
(O people! Say what you have to say, but do not allow Shaytan to trick you. I am Muhammad bin `Abdullah, Allah's servant and Messenger. By Allah! I do not like that you elevate me above the rank that Allah has granted me.)

Allah's statement,
﴿وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ﴾
(nor say of Allah except the truth.) means, do not lie and claim that Allah has a wife or a son, Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. Allah is glorified, praised, and honored in His might, grandure and greatness, and there is no deity worthy of worship nor Lord but Him. Allah said;
﴿إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَـهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ﴾
(Al-Masih `Isa, son of Maryam, was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit from ﴿created by﴾ Him;) `Isa is only one of Allah's servants and one of His creatures. Allah said to him, `Be', and he was, and He sent him as a Messenger. `Isa was a word from Allah that He bestowed on Maryam, meaning He created him with the word `Be' that He sent with Jibril to Maryam. Jibril blew the life of `Isa into Maryam by Allah's leave, and `Isa came to existence as a result. This incident was in place of the normal conception between man and woman that results in children.

This is why `Isa was a word and a Ruh (spirit) created by Allah, as he had no father to conceive him. Rather, he came to existence through the word that Allah uttered, `Be,' and he was, through the life that Allah sent with Jibril. Allah said,

﴿مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ﴾
(Al-Masih ﴿`Isa﴾, son of Maryam, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother ﴿Maryam﴾ was a Siddiqah. They both ate food.)

And Allah said,

﴿إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴾
(Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be! ـ and he was.)

﴿وَالَّتِى أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهَا مِن رُّوحِنَا وَجَعَلْنَـهَا وَابْنَهَآ ءَايَةً لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾
(And she who guarded her chastity, We breathed into her (garment) and We made her and her son ﴿`Isa﴾ a sign for all that exits.) (21:91)

﴿وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَةَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِى أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا﴾
(And Maryam, the daughter of `Imran who guarded her chastity,) and Allah said concerning the Messiah,

﴿إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ﴾
(He ﴿`Isa﴾ was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him.)

`Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said that the Ayah,

﴿وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَـهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ﴾
(And His Word, which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit from ﴿created by﴾ Him;) means, He said,

(Be) and he was. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ahmad bin Sinan Al-Wasiti said that he heard Shadh bin Yahya saying about Allah's statement,

﴿وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَـهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ﴾
(and His Word, which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit from ﴿created by﴾ Him;) "`Isa was not the word. Rather, `Isa came to existence because of the word.'' Al-Bukhari recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Prophet said,

«مَنْ شَهِدَ أَنْ لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُاللهِ وَرَسُولُهُ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ، وَأَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ، وَالنَّارَ حَقٌّ، أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنَ الْعَمَل»
(If anyone testifies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and that `Isa is Allah's servant and Messenger and His Word which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true and Hell is true, then Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he performed.) In another narration, the Prophet said,

«مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ الثَّمَانِيَّةِ يَدْخُلُ مِنْ أَيِّهَا شَاء»
(...through any of the eight doors of Paradise he wishes.) Muslim also recorded it. 

Therefore, `Ruh from Allah', in the Ayah and the Hadith is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَّا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً مِّنْهُ﴾
(And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all from Him.) meaning, from His creation. `from Him' does not mean that it is a part of Him, as the Christians claim, may Allah's continued curses be upon them. Saying that something is from Allah, such as the spirit of Allah, the she-camel of Allah or the House of Allah, is meant to honor such items. Allah said,

﴿هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ﴾
(This is the she-camel of Allah...) and,

﴿وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ﴾
(and sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it.) An authentic Hadith states,

«فَأَدْخُلُ عَلَى رَبِّي فِي دَارِه»
(I will enter on my Lord in His Home) All these examples are meant to honor such items when they are attributed to Allah in this manner. Allah said,

﴿فَـَامِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ﴾
(so believe in Allah and His Messengers.) believe that Allah is One and Alone and that He does not have a son or wife. Know and be certain that `Isa is the servant and Messenger of Allah. Allah said after that,

﴿وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ ثَلَـثَةٌ﴾
(Say not: "Three!") do not elevate `Isa and his mother to be gods with Allah. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. In Surat Al-Ma'idah (chapter 5), Allah said,

﴿لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَـلِثُ ثَلَـثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ﴾
(Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three.'' But there is none who has the right to be worshipped but One God.) Allah said by the end of the same Surah,

﴿وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَءَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِى﴾
(And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me''') and in its beginning,

﴿لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَآلُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ﴾
(Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam.) The Christians, may Allah curse them, have no limit to their disbelief because of their ignorance, so their deviant statements and their misguidance grows. Some of them believe that `Isa is Allah, some believe that he is one in a trinity and some believe that he is the son of Allah. Their beliefs and creeds are numerous and contradict each other, prompting some people to say that if ten Christians meet, they would end up with eleven sects!

 Sa`id bin Batriq, the Patriarch of Alexandria and a famous Christian scholar, mentioned in the year four hundred after the Hijrah, that a Christian Council convened during the reign of Constantine, who built the city that bears his name. In this Council, the Christians came up with what they called the Great Trust, which in reality is the Great Treachery. There were more than two thousand patriarchs in this Council, and they were in such disarray that they divided into many sects, where some sects had twenty, fifty or a hundred members, etc.! When the king saw that there were more than three hundred Patriarchs who had the same idea, he agreed with them and adopted their creed. Constantine who was a deviant philosopher -- gave his support to this sect for which, as an honor, churches were built and doctrines were taught to young children, who were baptized on this creed, and books were written about it. Meanwhile, the king oppressed all other sects. Another Council produced the sect known as the Jacobites, while the Nestorians were formed in a third Council. These three sects agreed that `Isa was divine, but disputed regarding the manner in which `Isa's divinity was related to his humanity; were they in unity or did Allah incarnate in `Isa! All three of these sects accuse each other of heresy and, we believe that all three of them are disbelievers. Allah said,
﴿انتَهُواْ خَيْراً لَّكُمْ﴾
(Cease! (it is) better for you.) meaning, it will be better for you,
﴿إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ سُبْحَـنَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ﴾
(For Allah is (the only) One God, hallowed be He above having a son.) and He is holier than such claim,
﴿وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلاً ﴾
(To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs,) for all are creatures, property and servants under His control and disposal, and He is the Disposer of the affairs. Therefore, how can He have a wife or a son among them,
﴿بَدِيعُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ﴾
(He is the originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children.) 


The word: : Kalimatuh used in this verse tells us that Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) is the 'word' of Allah. Commentators have given different meanings of this expression:

1. Imam al-Ghazzali has said that two factors operate in the birth of a child: One is the sperm, the other is the saying of the word or 'be' by Almighty Allah after which the child comes to exist. Since the first factor is out of question in the case of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S), therefore, it was by attribution to the second factor that he was called (the word of Allah). It means that he came into existence solely through the word: (be) without the mediacy of material means. In this case, the statement which follows immediately, that is, would mean that Almighty Allah delivered this word to Maryam (A.S) as a result of which the birth of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) came to be.

2. Some have said that the expression: (the word of Allah) has been used in the sense of: (the glad tiding of Allah) and it refers to Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S). It will be recalled that the glad tiding of the coming of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) given to Maryam (A.S) by Almighty Allah through the angels carries the expression: Kalimah or word: (When the angels said, "O Maryam, Allah gives you the good news of a word ... 3:45).

3. Some have said that kalimah (word) has been used here in the sense of 'ayah or sign, as it has appeared elsewhere in the same sense: 'She (Maryam) testified to the word of her Lord as true.' (66:12)

Let us now consider the statement: (... and a spirit from Him.) in this verse. Worth attention here are two aspects of our probe. Firstly, why has Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) been referred to as ruh or spirit? Secondly, since by saying 'from Him' the spirit has been attributed to Almighty Allah what, then, would be the sense of such an attribution?

In this connection, several exegetical stances of commentators have been reported. Their gist is being given below:

1. Some of them explain it on the basis of lexical usage. They say that, according to the rule of 'urf or recognized customary practice, the word 'ruh' or 'spirit' is used in the sense of 'essence' to enhance the effect of pristine purity in something. Since the birth of Sayyidna Isa (A.S) was totally unrelated to the mediation of any father and he was the outcome of nothing but the will of Allah, in His supreme majesty, and a result of the word: (Kun: be), therefore, he Was blessed with the most perfect degree of purity. This is the reason why he was called 'a spirit' or 'essence' as admitted by recognized practice. As for the attribution to Allah, it is there to hold him in esteem. This is like attributing Masajid (mosques) to Allah in order to enhance the respect in which they are held. Hence, the expression: Masajidullah or the Mosques of Allah. Or, the Holy Ka'bah, by attributing it to Allah, is called: Baytullah or the House of Allah. Or, by attributing someone religiously observing and worshipfully obedient to Allah, he is called: 'Abd Allah' or the servant or slave of Allah. Thus, it is in accord with this formulation that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him has been referred to in Surah Bani Isra'il in the wordings: (carried His servant) (17:1) where the attribution to Allah reflects honour given to him.

2. Some commentators have said that the purpose behind the coming of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) was that he should infuse spiritual life into the dead hearts of people and make them alive once again (familiar as born-again Christians in the West). Since he was the cause of spiritual life very much like the spirit is the cause of physical life, therefore, it was in this light that he was called a spirit. In fact, this word has been used for the Holy Qur'an as well: (and thus We have revealed to you a spirit of Our Command - 42:52) because the Holy Qur'an too blesses people with spiritual life.

3. Some others have said that ruh (spirit) is also used in the sense of secret. Since Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) was, because of his unusual birth, a sign and secret of Allah, therefore, he was called: Ruhullah (the spirit of Allah).

4. Some say that the adjunct is understood here since the statement was to be read as: (the possessor of a spirit from Him). However, since all rational beings are equal as the possessors of a spirit, the distinction of Sayyidna Isa (A.S) was made manifest when Almighty Allah turned his attribution towards Himself.

5. According to yet another exegetical view, the word: Ruh has been used in the sense of nafkh or the blowing of breath. Sayyidna Jibra'il (A.S) had, as commanded by Allah, blown his breath on the collar of Sayyidah Maryam (A.S) and that became the conception. Since only a blow of breath had caused the birth of Savyidna 'Isa (A.S) as a miracle, therefore, he was called: Ruhullah or the spirit of Allah. Another verse of the Holy Qur'an: (then, We blew Our spirit in her - 21:91) points out in this direction.

In addition to these, several other probabilities have also been suggested. However, none of these come to mean that Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) is a part of Allah or a divine person on the basis of which it could be suggested that this very spirit we are talking about has manifested itself in the human form, of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S).

A Telling Repartee

'Allamah Al-Alusi, the author of the famous Tafsir Ruh al-Ma'ani has reported an episode from the court of Caliph Harun al-Rashid where a Christian physician entered into a debate against the scholar 'All ibn al-Husayn al-Waqidi challenging him that his Book (the Qur'an) has a particular word which indicates that Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) is a part of Allah. And as a proof, he read out the verse (171) which carries the words: (a spirit from Him). 'Allamah al-Waqidi came up with a rejoinder and recited another verse (45:13) of the Qur'an: (The meaning of the verse is that everything that there is in the heavens and the earth is from the same Allah where the word - minhu: from Him - serves to attribute everything to Allah) and said: (ruhim-minhu: a spirit from Him) means, as you think, that Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) is a part of Allah, then, the verse I have just recited would mean that every thing in the heavens and the earth is also a part of Allah?' Thus, silenced, the Christian physician chose to become a Muslim.


The Qur'an and the Doctrine of Trinity

Reflected in the statement of the Qur'an: (And do not say "Three") is the state of the major sects among Christians in which they were divided at the time of the revelation of the.Qur'an. The doctrine of Trinity they adhered to was base on three separate principles. One sect maintained that Masih is God and it is God Himself who has appeared in the world in the form of Masih. The second sect believed that Masih is the son of God while the third sect claimed unity in trinity - the father, the son and Mary. Even this group was split in two. The second group said that the Holy Spirit (Ruhul-Quds) and not Sayyidah Maryam (Mary) was the third person (hypostasis). So, these people acknowledged Sayyidna Masih (A.S) as the third of the three. Therefore, all the three sects have been addressed, separately and jointly in the Holy Qur'an whereby the Christians have been clearly told that there is just one truth and that truth is that Masih (A.S) is a human being born to Maryam (A.S), and a true Messenger of God. Whatever is said beyond that is all false and ineffectual - whether it be loaded with the excess of under-estimation, as believed by the Jews, viz., God forbid, he was an imposter and fabricator: or, be a case of the excess of over-estimation as believed by the Christians, viz., God forbid, he is God or the son of God or the third of the three.

In many of its verses, the Holy Qur'an has, on the one hand, pointed out to the strayings of the Christians and Jews while, on the other, it has focused brightly on the exalted station of Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) in the sight of Almighty Allah so that the true path of moderation could emerge clearly from out of the mazes of excess and deficiency.

Those interested in detailed information about various aspects of Christian beliefs vis-a-vis the veracity of Islam may wish to study the world-famous book, Izharul-Haqq by Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranawi. This original work in Arabic has been translated and published by Darul-Uloom, Karachi, Pakistan in three volumes with detailed annotations. [An English translation of this work has been recently completed by Maulana Muhammd Wali Raazi, son of Hadrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi Rahmatullahi 'Alayh: Allah have mercy upon him and is presently under the process of publication under the auspices of the translator himself.]

Towards the end of the verse, it was declared: (To him belongs what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is enough to trust in.). The drive of the meaning is: When everything has been created by Him, when everything falls under the domain of His mastery and when everyone is a servant ofAllah, who and how could anyone become His partner or associate or son? The fact is that Almighty Allah is the dispenser of all our needs and the sole caretaker of everyone's wants - He is universally and perennially sufficient, all by Himself. He needs nobody. How, then, could He need to have a partner or son?

To sum up, we can say that no created being has the ability or qualification to become His partner, nor does His most sacred Being have the room or need for it. This much is enough to tell us that suggesting a partner to God or ascribing a son to Him can be accomplished by none but the one who is deprived of faith and reason both.

Excess in Faith

Let us now go back to the opening statement of the verse: . In this verse, the People of the Book have been asked not to indulge in excess in matters relating to their Faith. Lexically, the Qur'anic word: : al-Ghuluww means to cross the limits or transgress. In Ahkam al-Qur'an, Imam al-Jassas says:

Excess in Faith is crossing the limit set therein.

The People of the Book, that is, the Jews and the Christians were both made addressees of this injunction because excess in Faith is the common factor between them. Both groups have fallen victims to nothing but excess in matters of Faith. The Christians committed excess in believing and honouring Sayyidna 'Isa (A.S) when they went on to the extreme of taking him to be God or son of God or the third God. As for Jews, they committed excess in disbelieving and rejecting him - not simply that they did not accept him even as a prophet, they were audacious enough to, God forbid, impute a false accusation to his revered mother, Sayyidah Maryam (A.S) and to cast a slur against her parentage.

Since the disasterous deviation of Jews and Christians in matters of Faith was a common scene of the time, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him especially instructed his community to be very careful about it. According to a report from Sayyidna 'Umar Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him appearing in the Musnad of Ahmad, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him said:

Do not exaggerate in my praise as was done by Christians in the case of 'Isa son of Maryam (A.S). Beware, I am only a servant. So, call me a servant of Allah and His messenger. (This narration has also been reported by al-Bukhari and Ibn al-Madini rating it as sound and authentically reported)

In brief, the sense of what he said is: I am one with everyone in being a servant of Allah and a human being. The highest rank I have is that I am a Messenger of Allah. Raising it higher to the limit that you go about taking me as partner in the attributes of Almighty Allah is excess and I do not want you to fall into this excess like the Christians. This excess in Faith practiced by the Jews and Christians did not remain limited to prophets only. Once used to it, they extended this attitude of theirs to the apostles, followers and deputies of the prophets. They had already assigned Godhood to their prophet, now they invested the followers of the prophet with immunity from sin. While doing so, they did not even take the trouble of investigating and making sure if such followers were genuine followers of the prophet and who correctly and firmly adhered to his teachings, or they were no more than hereditary religious scholars and guides. This resulted in the emergence of a leadership which was astray in itself and could do nothing but keep adding to the strayings of others. So, they ruined their Faith by practicing it erroneously from within. The Holy Qur'an has described this very condition of these people in the verse: (that is, these people took their religious leaders as objects of worship, other than Allah). It means that they had already been excessive in making their prophet a God, then, they started worshipping later-day religious leaders in the name of following the prophet!

The lesson to be learnt is that excess in Faith is a dangerous attitude which has destroyed the Faiths of earlier religious communities all in the fair name of Faith. So serious were the implications that our noble master devised perfect defences to keep his community safe against this terrible epidemic.

It appears in Hadith that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him asked Sayyidna'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him on the occasion of Hajj that he should go and collect pebbles which he could use to throw at the Jamarat. He returned with average-sized pebbles and presented them to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him who liked them very much and said twice: (like these, like these) which means that one should do his or her ramy at Jamarat using average-sized pebbles litfe these. Then, he said:

It is your duty to avoid excess in Faith for communities before you were destroyed because of being excessive in their Faith.

The Ideal Solution

The Shari'ah of Islam has wisely shielded Muslims from falling into the trap of excess. The middle course in between the two extremes it has suggested is: Learn the Book of Allah (Kitabullah) from the Men of Allah (Rijalullah) and recognize the Men of Allah from the Book of Allah. In other words, one should first recognize those who are engaged in learning and communicating the true knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunnah through the all too well-known teachings of these twin sources of Islamic Faith. Once this is settled, no intricate problem relating to Qur'an and Sunnah will ever bother you - if you give precedence to their explanation above your own opinion, and follow them.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ten Reasons Why We Must Reject the Gospel of John.

John Rejected
Ask a Trinitarian for evidence of the divinity of Jesus and they will undoubtedly direct you to Gospel of John. In a previous article we saw how any such evidence put forward from this Gospel is ambiguous at best and often taken out of context or misinterpreted. Remove the Gospel of John from the New Testament equation and there is very little left in the Trinitarian’s armoury to appeal to for evidence of the divinity of Jesus. If you take away this Gospel, any Biblical foundation for the Trinity, ambiguous or otherwise, comes crashing down. So from a Trinitarian’s perspective the stakes for the Gospel of John are very high. This article is going to show that the Gospel of John is not a reliable historical account of the life and teachings of Jesus:

1. Lack of early evidence.
Dating the Gospel of John is no easy task. For a time, particularly in the early part of the 20th century, scholars believed that John was written in the mid-second century. The discovery and publication in the 1930s of a papyrus fragment known as P52 changed everything:
P52 is a small scrap about the size of a credit card and represents the earliest physical evidence that exists for the Gospel of John. Initial dating of P52 placed it at around 125 CE. This initial dating has played a large part in dating the original writing of John to 80 – 95 CE. The theory is that for the Gospel of John to have been copied and made its way to Egypt, where P52 was found, a date no later than the first decade of the 2nd century must be presumed for the original writing of the Gospel. However, recent re-examinations of P52 suggest that this date is too early [1], by approximately 80-100 years. This would place the fragment well in the 3rd century, nearly 200 years after Jesus.
All of the dates discussed so far have been obtained by comparing the handwriting of P52 to datable scripts, a technique known as palaeographic dating. As you can imagine, paleography is not the most effective method for dating texts as this type of dating method gives a relative, not absolute, date. Thus, P52 cannot be used as the sole basis for settling the question of when the Gospel was originally written. We can look into the citations from the gospels, as found in the writings of the earliest Fathers of the Church, to establish a lower limit of when the Gospel was originally written.
Based on this, the Gospel does not emerge clearly in the historical record until the end of the 2nd century. Justin Martyr (100 – 165 CE) was an early Christian apologist and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos, a theology that is also found in John’s Gospel. In the 2nd century Justin Martyr advocated a logos Christology without citing John’s Gospel explicitly. Such an omission by Justin would seem strange if the Gospel of John had already been written and was in circulation. Neither was John’s Gospel known to the bishop Polycarp. The letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, generally thought to be from around 135 CE, never quotes from John, and never even alludes to it. Yet other New Testament writings are quoted abundantly in his letter. According to church history, Polycarp studied under the disciple John and yet doesn’t once quote the Gospel of John in his writings, even though he quotes the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. This is incredible, the one person whose Gospel he should have written about and he didn’t. There’s really no explicit attestation for John until the bishop Irenaeus, late in the 2nd century.
In conclusion, the manuscript and historical evidence for the Gospel of John taken together points us to a late 2nd century date for when the Gospel was first written. This would mean that it’s impossible that a disciple of Jesus was the author as the disciples of Jesus would have long since passed away. Rather it is the work of a much later writer, and for this reason we must reject it.

2. The fabricated story of the adulteress.
John 8:2-11 is the story of a woman that is about to be stoned on the accusation of adultery. In these verses Jesus, when questioned about her punishment, utters the famous words “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”:
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This story is unique to John, it is absent from the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. It turns out that it is a later addition as the earliest New Testament manuscripts do not contain it. In fact the story does not even exist in any manuscripts before the 5th century, and the vast majority of those prior to the 8th century lack the story [2]. Here is a footnote regarding the story from the New International Version of the Bible:
The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.
Christians may claim that these verses have no theological implications, and therefore it doesn’t matter that they are a fabrication. However this is not the case, because these verses are one of the few places in the New Testament that suggest Jesus sought to end the Mosaic laws dealing with crime and punishment. Given this strong evidence of tampering in John’s Gospel, we must reject it as the pure word of God and take it for what it is: the corrupted word of man.
For more information on fabrications in the New Testament, see this article here.

3. Very different to Synoptic Gospels.
Of the four New Testament Gospels, the Gospel of John is in a class by itself. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and similar wording, hence scholars classify these gospels as Synoptic, meaning “giving an account of the events from the same point of view or under the same general aspect” because they have a large degree of overlap. They stand in contrast to John, whose content is comparatively distinct – in fact over 90% of its material cannot be found in the Synoptics. Here are some examples:
i. The spear piercing the side of Jesus.
“Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” [John 19:34]
Scholars generally believe today that the spear thrust that pierced Jesus, a story found only in John’s Gospel, is not historical. It is an embellishment introduced by John for his own theological reasons, possibly to make sure that everyone would know that Jesus died on the cross. Take away the spear thrust and there is nothing in the Gospels that would have resulted in the death of Jesus. Crucifixion doesn’t actually kill a person by itself, what kills a person is the shock and exhaustion resulting from prolonged hanging on the cross, sometimes a few days. According to the Gospel records Jesus was only on the cross for a few hours.
ii. The guards prostrating to Jesus.
The Synoptics paint the picture of Jesus that is reluctant to be crucified. For example they all mention Jesus begging God to be saved from death when he is in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke even has Jesus sweating drops of blood just before his arrest. All of this is in stark contrast to John, who portrays Jesus as willingly handing himself over to the authorities:
So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
[John 18:3-6]
Remarkably in John’s portrayal of the Garden of Gethsemane there is no mention of any of these incidents from the Synoptics. John seems to be concerned with magnifying the power of Jesus: from the outset Jesus is in charge, just his voice is enough to cause the soldiers to retreat and fall prostrate on the ground.
It is strange to think that the authors of the Synoptics would not have been aware of incidents such as the spear piercing the side of Jesus and the soldiers prostrating to him in the Garden of Gethsemane, had they really taken place. It is even more inconceivable that they would have intentionally omitted such remarkable accounts from the Synoptics. One must therefore conclude that such stories are later embellishments by whoever authored John.

4. Contradicts other Gospels.
The various Gospel accounts of the resurrection are so different that it’s hard to know what to focus on, but the visit of Mary Magdalene to the tomb of Jesus is central. Here is Matthew’s account of the tomb visit:
“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it” [Matthew 28:1-2]
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you” [Matthew 28:5-7]
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. [Matthew 28:8-9]
So, in Matthew’s account Mary Magdalene is presented as having seen an angel at the tomb and heard the angel announce the resurrection of Jesus. After which she actually encountered Jesus as she was running away from the tomb in order to inform the disciples about what had happened.
Now here is John’s account of the tomb visit:
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon, Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him” [John 20:1-2]
In John’s Gospel, however, Mary Magdalene is presented as having found the tomb empty, after which she ran to the disciples and told them that the body of Jesus had been stolen.
The problem is obvious: if Mary Magdalene met Jesus at the tomb, as Matthew says, then why does she report that the body had been stolen according to John?
Since it’s important to have a firm grasp of the chronological sequence of events as described in Matthew and John, I have summarised the key information in a diagram (please click on picture to enlarge):
Why is it that when it comes to a relatively trivial matter like Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, all four Gospels corroborate one another (“On a donkey and a colt” [Matthew 21:5-7], “on a colt” [Mark 11:7]; [Luke 19:35], “on a young donkey” [John 12:14]); but the bedrock of the Christian faith, the resurrection, contains contradictions?
Some Christians may argue that these differences in the Gospel accounts are the expected result of reports from a variety of witnesses, but all testifying to the same essential fact—Jesus was raised from the dead. Sometimes the analogy of an automobile accident is suggested. When eyewitnesses report what they saw each reflects a particular perspective, and there are always differences as to details, but the essential facts related to the accident are clear. Such an analogy fails in the case of the Gospels, as Christians make the claim that these are inspired writers. If the author of John’s Gospel can’t even get the basic details right about the most important aspect of the life of Jesus, his resurrection according to the New Testament, then it casts serious doubt on the author being an inspired eyewitness of the life of Jesus.
For more information on this contradiction, see this article here.

5. Rejected as a historical account by conservative Christian scholarship.
According to Mark, Matthew and Luke, the Last Supper appears to have been the Passover meal. On the other hand, John’s Gospel seems to tell us that Jesus died before the Passover meal. It’s necessary to quote Mark at some length to show that, for him, the Last Supper was the Passover:
And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me” [Mark 14:12-18]
These verses certainly give the impression that the meal being eaten is the Passover meal. The disciples ask where the Passover meal is to be eaten; they go there; they prepare; later Jesus arrives; and they do indeed eat a meal. Luke is even more explicit that Jesus fully expected to eat the Passover meal:
So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it” [Luke 22:8]
Now, John also indicates that Jesus had a last meal with his disciples. But, oddly, we’re told his final meal took place before the festival of Passover:
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress…” [John 13:1-2]
John also says that, as the Last Supper was getting started, Jesus sent Judas Iscariot away:
Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. [John 13:27-30]
This indicates that the group did not yet have what they needed for the Passover feast, which would mean the feast was yet to come. Further evidence for this is provided by John 18:28, where Jesus’ accusers were delivering him to Pilate:
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover.
Finally, John explicitly states that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover:
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” [John 19:14-15]
Remember that in the other Gospels, Jesus actually eats the Passover with his disciples before his arrest. John’s timing of the story is different. Why did John alter the story? We find a clue in John’s writings when he refers to Jesus as the “Lamb of God”:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” [John 1:29]
It’s crucial to note that John is the only Gospel that identifies Jesus as the “Lamb of God”. John’s Gospel thus portrays Jesus as the Passover lamb, slaughtered on the day of preparation of Passover, whose shed blood somehow brings salvation, just as the blood of the Passover lamb brought salvation to the children of Israel so many centuries before. For John, Jesus was the Lamb of God – he died at the same time, in the same place (Jerusalem), and at the hands of the same people (the Jewish priests) as the Passover lambs. In other words, John has told a story that is not historically accurate, but is, in his judgement, theologically true.
Thus we can see that the Gospel of John is not writing about the historical Jesus. John alters the day of the Crucifixion to portray Jesus as the Passover lamb, he alters the story to make a theological point. This is one of the many reasons why New Testament scholars conclude that the Gospel of John is not historically accurate. In fact if you read the works of New Testament scholars you will notice that they hardly ever cite the Gospel of John in their research on the historical Jesus. It’s not just liberal scholars saying this  – even conservative, Bible-believing Christian scholars no longer believe that Jesus actually said the words attributed to him in John. Sadly, most Christians are unaware of the findings of their own scholars.
Here I will cite some top New Testament scholars and their assessment of this problem of John. These academics are not particularly ‘liberal’ and they are representative of the broad consensus of biblical scholarship:
i. British biblical scholar and Anglican priest Christopher Tuckett, in his book “Christology and the New Testament”, has this to say:
“In terms simply of historical reliability or ‘authenticity’, it seems impossible to maintain that both John and the synoptics [Mark, Matthew and Luke] can be presenting us with equally ‘authentic’ accounts of Jesus‘ own life. By ‘authentic’ accounts I mean here historically accurate representations of what Jesus himself actually said and did. The theological ‘authenticity’ of John’s account is quite another matter. The differences between the two are too deep seated and wide ranging for such a position to be sustainable. If there is a choice, it is almost certainly to be made in favour of the synoptic picture, at least in broadly general terms. The picture John then presents us with is a view of the Jesus tradition which has been heavily coloured and influenced by John and his own situation.” [3]
ii. Evangelical scholar Professor Richard Bauckham in his recent book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony” argues that the fourth Gospel stems from an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus, namely, the disciple John. At the same time, however, Bauckham also acknowledges the differences between the fourth gospel and the Synoptics and argues that John is a more reflective and a highly interpreted account of the life and ministry of Jesus. He concludes:
“All scholars, whatever their views of the redactional work of the Synoptic Evangelists and of the historical reliability of the Gospel of John, agree that the latter presents a much more thoroughly and extensively interpreted version of the story of Jesus.” [4]
iii. Here in a debate the evangelical apologist and New Testament scholar Mike Licona concedes that John is not a historical account of Jesus:

6. The disciple John is said to be illiterate and uneducated.
The Book of Acts has this to say about some of the disciples, including John:
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13]
Note how the New Testament describes some of the disciples, including John, as “unschooled” and “ordinary”. That is the New International Version (NIV), other versions of the Bible are far less flattering:
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned (agrammatos) and ignorant (idiōtēs) men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. [KJV]
If we look to the original Greek, we will see that the actual meaning is far worse (the following is taken from Strong’s Bible Dictionary):
Agrammatos – illiterate, without learning.
Idiōtēs – an unlearned, illiterate, man as opposed to the learned and educated: one who is unskilled in any art.
These Greek words are where we derive the English words ‘agrammatism’ (meaning “the inability to form sentences by virtue of a brain disorder”) and ‘idiot’ (meaning “a foolish or senseless person“).
Please note that it is not the intention of the author of this article to offend the reader. If the disciples of Jesus really were unschooled and ordinary, to take the more respectful rendering of the Greek, then this is nothing to be ashamed of. Very few people at the time of Jesus could read and write, with the typical literacy rate of first century Palestine being about 3%, according to Professor of Jewish studies Catherine Hezser who did the most thorough examination of literacy in Palestine. This was even still the case all the way into the 9th century at the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). But to make the claim that this same disciple is the author of the Gospel of John, a text that is written in highly eloquent Greek and tackles complex theological issues such as the nature of the Logos, is unreasonable. It is clear that the Gospel was not written by the disciple John, who would be incapable of doing so, but rather a later unknown author who was highly skilled in Greek philosophy, rhetoric and literature.

7. Multiple authorship.
The single authorship of the John’s Gospel is highly doubtful. Firstly, there is a questionable switch between John chapters 20 and 21. Chapter 20 seems to come to an abrupt halt, as the author declares his reasoning for the composition of the Gospel. Notice the statement that not all of the miracles which Jesus performed are recorded:
“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” [John 20:30-31]
These last verses of chapter 20 seem to wrap up the Gospel in an abrupt, yet reasonable manner. Oddly, the very next chapter contains an account of yet another miracle:
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. [John 21:4-6]
So, the addition of chapter 21 seems to come at an odd time. Perhaps the original author did not finish the Gospel of John? The single authorship of the John’s Gospel is also questionable when we analyse the use of language in chapter 21. Toward the end of chapter 21, two verses seem to close the Gospel once again:
“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” [John 21:24-25]
Compare those two closing verses with the closing verses 30-31 of the previous chapter – the Gospel effectively has two endings, which are both very similar. This makes it seem that one of them is redundant.
Finally, note the use of the third person narrative in verse 24 below:
“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.”
This leads the reader to believe that the author himself did not write this particular statement. Further confusion comes when the use of the word “we” comes into play, which indicates that the author is no longer one person. Perhaps a community of believers finished the book for John. Scholars have added the language and word choice to their argument that chapter 21 of the Gospel of John came from an outside source. The problem is that the identity of these multiple authors, and the date when they added to the Gospel, is unknown.

8. Jesus is portrayed as a Greek.
The figure of Jesus presented in John is different, and indeed irreconcilable, with that presented in the Synoptic Gospels: in the Synoptic Gospel accounts Jesus is a recognisably Jewish figure. Yet the figure of Jesus presented in John seems to have ‘lost’ his Jewishness. For example when addressing the Jews he speaks of the Mosaic Law as “your Law” and “their Law” as though it wasn’t his on numerous occasions:
“In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.” [John 8:17]
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’” [John 10:34]
But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ [John 15:25]
His style of preaching is also different: whereas in the Synoptic Gospels he preaches in narrative parables and in short compact sayings, in John the method is with long discourses – Jesus has effectively become a Greek. If the Gospel of John were read in isolation then one would never guess that the parable was a common teaching method of his (John 15:1-8 being a rare example of a parable). It’s interesting to note that none of the parables in the other Gospels are found in John; they are omitted.

9. Third person narrative.
None of the Gospel authors make the claim of being firsthand eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus. However if the Gospel of John is to be considered an eyewitness account, then one would expect it to be written from a first person perspective. Yet the author employs a third person narrative throughout the Gospel, indicating that it was not them who experienced the events they are writing about, but rather is relating events they heard from someone else.
Another important point is that John the Evangelist has been named consistently in the writings of early church fathers to be the person referred to as the one whom “Jesus loves”. This phrase is used six times throughout the Gospel of John. What we find is that the Gospel of John refers to this disciple who “Jesus loves” in the third person so the author obviously can’t be John:
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. [John 13:23]
Christians may argue that this was just the style of ancient literature and therefore it was perfectly normal for people to write about themselves in the third person. But this is not the case, as the author of the Gospel of Luke (dated by scholars to have been written in the same time frame as John) writes in the first person narrative:
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” [Luke 1:1-4]
Moreover the author of the Epistles of John, claimed by Christians to be the same author of the Gospel of John, also writes in the first person:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” [1 John 1]
Clearly, the Gospel of John was not written by a firsthand witness of Jesus, but rather a later author who had no connection with the events it narrates, hence the detached third person narrative – much like that of a history book – employed throughout the Gospel.

10. It has Gnostic tendencies.
The Gospel of Thomas is a well-preserved early Christian, non-canonical sayings-gospel which many scholars believe provides insight into the oral gospel traditions. It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945, in one of a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. One of the key things that set this Gospel part from the canonical Gospels is that it does not mention the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
This is obviously disturbing for mainstream Christianity as without these stories the very foundation for Paulian Christianity comes crashing down. Hence Christians are inclined towards attempting to discredit Thomas by writing it off as a later Gnostic text, a group they say is heretical. Now you may be wondering what the Gospel of Thomas has to with the subject of this article, the Gospel of John. The answer is that it reveals a double standard, as the very reasons that Christians use to reject the Gospel of Thomas also apply to the Gospel of John:
i. The claim that the Gospel of Thomas is a heretical Gnostic text.
Arguably the best known and most influential passage dealing with Christology in the New Testament is the Prologue of the Gospel of John, 1:1-18. The first eighteen verses of John are typically called the “Prologue” because they are clearly set apart from the rest of the Gospel. The first thing to note is that we are not dealing with a prose narrative here, but with something that looks like a poem. The passage is written in a highly poetic style that’s not found in the rest of the Gospel of John. These verses also contain key concepts not found in the rest of the Gospel, such as Jesus being “the Word” made flesh. Jesus is called the “logos” twice in the prologue and never anywhere else in the Gospel of John (or even the entire New Testament for that matter). These are some of the reasons why scholars widely believe that the author of the John’s Gospel appended these verses as a Prologue, possibly after the rest of the book was written.
The reason why it’s important to highlight this is that the ideas contained in the prologue to John are Gnostic in nature, the very thing that Christians use to reject the Gospel of Thomas. It’s quite telling that the early Gnostics assigned profound significance to the Gospel of John – especially to the prologue. An historic eye-witness who reported on this was the early Church Father Irenaeus. In his book “Against Heresies” Irenaeus quotes from a lengthy Gnostic commentary on the prologue of John [5]. According to this source the Gnostics believed the opening verses explicitly mentioned the names of several primeval entities or “Aions” which emanated forth in succession from the Father. These Aions have the following names in Greek and they are important figures in Gnostic myth: Monogenes (also called Arche), and Aletheia, Logos, Zoe, Anthropos and Charis. These are common names in Gnostic myth as reported by Irenaeus. It just so happens that these very names are also mentioned in the opening verses of John:
In John 1:1–18 the following Aions are revealed by name: (as translated from the ancient Greek text of John):
a) the “Beginning” or Arche, in which was
b) the Word (Logos), in which was
c) Life (Zoe), which was the “light” of
d) Man (Anthropon), which also signified and included
e) the Church (Ecclesia), and also
f) Grace (Charis), and
g) Truth (Aletheia)
Arche was also known as the Only-begotten Son (Monogenes), being the first and only-begotten Son of
h) the unknown Father (Jn. 1:18, 17:25).
Stated simply, the theology in John is anything but “orthodox”; the unorthodox themes in John indicate that, in its original form, the Gospel of John may well have been the earliest of the Gnostic Gospels. The case can actually be made that John has a dual theology. There is one part of John that echoes the Jewish tradition, and then there is another part that really resembles some form of Gnosticism, possibly adopted from a popular Mandaean Gnostic dualism.
ii. The claim that the Gospel of Thomas is a much later text.
The argument here is that the Gospel of Thomas is a much later writing which came after the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Scholars differ on when the Gospel of Thomas was written. The early camp dates the manuscripts to the second half of the 1st century, making it contemporary to the canonical Gospels, and the late camp dates Thomas to sometime after 100 CE, generally in the mid-2nd century. Even if we assume this later dating, it still makes it earlier than John’s Gospel, which as we covered in a previous section is dated to the late 2nd century. So the reality is that the Gospel of Thomas has a textual history that is on par with, or in some cases superior than, the canonical Gospels.
In summary, if Christians want to insist on rejecting the Gospel of Thomas by writing it off as a later Gnostic work, then they have to be consistent and reject the Gospel of John for the exact same reason as it too has Gnostic tendencies.

All the evidence that can be examined about the Gospel of John points to the same conclusion: it cannot be taken as a reliable historical account of Jesus. Since the Gospel of John is the bedrock for Trinitarians, often their go to book of the Bible in trying to find support for the divinity of Jesus, this represents yet another damning blow to the doctrine of the Trinity. Readers are encouraged to learn about the true historical Jesus, who can only be found in the pure, undistorted words of the Qur’an, God’s last and final revelation to mankind:
1 – The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel, Brent Nongbri, Harvard Theological Review, 2005.
2 – Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th ed. (2005), p. 320.
3 – Christopher Tuckett, Christology and the New Testament, chapter 9: ‘The Gospel of John’, pp.151-152.
4 – Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, p. 410.
5 – Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.8.5; J. Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, p. 328.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Abu Dawud (2126) hadeeth !

(704)Chapter: A Man That Marries A Woman And Finds Her Pregnant
A man from the Ansar called Basrah said:
I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (ﷺ) said: She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her (according to the version of al-Hasan). The version of Ibn AbusSari has: You people, flog her, or said: inflict hard punishment on her. 

عَنْ رَجُلٍ، مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ - قَالَ ابْنُ أَبِي السَّرِيِّ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلَمْ يَقُلْ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ ثُمَّ اتَّفَقُوا - يُقَالُ لَهُ بَصْرَةُ قَالَ تَزَوَّجْتُ امْرَأَةً بِكْرًا فِي سِتْرِهَا فَدَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهَا فَإِذَا هِيَ حُبْلَى فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ لَهَا الصَّدَاقُ بِمَا اسْتَحْلَلْتَ مِنْ فَرْجِهَا وَالْوَلَدُ عَبْدٌ لَكَ فَإِذَا وَلَدَتْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ الْحَسَنُ ‏"‏ فَاجْلِدْهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ابْنُ أَبِي السَّرِيِّ ‏"‏ فَاجْلِدُوهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ أَوْ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَحُدُّوهَا ‏"‏ ‏.
GradeDa'if  (Al-Albani)  ضعيف   (الألباني) حكم     :
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 2131
In-book reference : Book 12, Hadith 86
English translation : Book 11, Hadith 2126
The hadeeth is unauthentic

Da`if -weak hadeeth:

A hadith which fails to reach the status of Hasan is Da`if. Usually, the weakness is one of discontinuity in the isnad, in which case the hadith could be Mursal, Mu`allaq, Mudallas, Munqati` or Mu`dal, according to the precise nature of the discontinuity, or one of a reporter having a disparaged character, such as due to his telling lies, excessive mistakes, opposition to the narration of more reliable sources, involvement in innovation, or ambiguity surrounding his person.
The smaller the number and importance of defects, the less severe the weakness. The more the defects in number and severity, the closer the hadith will be to being Maudu` (fabricated).76
Some ahadith, according to the variation in the nature of the weakness associated with its reporters, rank at the bottom of the Hasan grade or at the top of the Da`if grade. Reporters such as `Abdullah b. Lahi'ah (a famous judge from Egypt), `Abd al-Rahman b. Zaid b. Aslam, Abu Bakr b. Abi Maryam al-Himsi, Faraj b. Fadalah, and Rishdin b. Sa'd attract such types of varying ranks as they are neither extremely good preservers nor totally abandoned by the traditionists.


More on Islamic concepts of mutual respect and understanding between wives & husbands:

The Divine code of living takes human nature into consideration, as well as the natural abilities given to both man and woman to enable them to discharge the duties assigned to each of them. It maintains justice in the distribution of duties, giving to each of them only the type of duties to which they are suited.
Needless to say, both man and woman are the creation of God, who does not wish to do injustice to anyone He has created. Indeed, He gives each of His creatures the abilities and talents that befit the duties assigned to them.

Comparative Religion: Take care of your wife
Women In Islam : WomenInIslam.ws