Muslims and Jesus

There is an article going around my social feeds right now that is very troubling. The article, which can be found here, is titled:

Muslims Love Jesus, Too: 6 Things You Didn’t Know about Jesus in Islam.

I did know the things listed in the article. However, this article really is a lie. It’s a sinful lie. The reason this bold claim is brandished over the article is because intentions and implications matter. This article is attempting to create a harmony between two contrary religions that cannot be had, by trying to find a common ground that does not exist, and it’s offensive to both of the religions in view. 

The most misleading word in the title being the word “too”. That word, you know, the one with two O’s, is inclusive in its definition. “Too” can be replaced with “along with Christians.” The purpose of the article is to establish a harmony and community between Christians and Muslims that neither religion wants and can afford. Anyone who is faithful to one of these respective religions, and genuinely understands what these worldviews teach would be highly offended by the underlying agenda of this article and the lack of details present in order to promulgate it. 

Muslims do love a Jesus, but it’s the kind Paul describes in 2nd Corinthians as a Jesus “of another kind” and the only way to believe in this false Jesus is to be deceived “As Eve was by the serpent.” Muslims love a Jesus, but not “too”, because the one they love is not the same one that Christians believe in. It’s not the same one that historically lived. It’s not the same one the Old Testament prophesied of. It’s not the same one the Bible reveals. It’s not the same one that is currently reigning over the universe. It’s an idol; it’s a false Jesus. 

The first thing said about the Jesus of Islam is: 

1) Jesus, Mary, and the angel Gabriel are all in the Quran (as are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and a bunch of other Bible characters).

This is true. How is it meaningful at all? Jesus shows up in one of Richard Dawkins’ books too! Simply naming characters means nothing. What is said about them is what’s important. 

2) Muslims believe that Jesus (called “Isa” in Arabic) was a prophet of God, was born to a virgin (Mary), and will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”), also known as the Antichrist. All of which may sound pretty familiar to many Christians.

This is true. First of all, Jesus being a prophet from God and born of a virgin is a simple historical fact that requires a deep rebellion toward honest academia to deny. However, when this virgin born prophet returns, what is Jesus returning as? According to Scriptures, Jesus is returning as God Himself. This is why He has power and authority to return and judge and conquer. 

Revelation 22: 12-13

Behold I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 

The Biblical Jesus is coming back yes. But He is coming back as God. He is coming back to judge the living and the dead. He is coming back as a Person who has always existed, who will always exit, who is the one and only God of the universe. 

And that description to a Muslim is called “Shirk”. Shirk is the worst sin a person can commit. Shirk is to associate anyone or anything with Allah. Claiming Jesus is God therefore is the worst sin a person can commit. According to Islamic theology, it is worse to be a Christian than an Atheist. Shirk is the only unforgivable sin. Allah is allowed, in Islamic theology, to save non-muslims if he so pleases. However, if one dies as a “Mushrik” (dying while being guilty of Shirk), you cannot be saved. Sheikh Yasir Qahdi said this: 

Shirk involves believing in a partner along with Allah. Such a “partner” could be a partner in Lordship, or in worship, or in attributes. In other words, the essence of shirk involves giving Allah’s rights to other than He. Therefore, to claim that a certain object or deity has the power to bless one with one’s needs is shirk. Likewise, to prostrate or make du’a to other than Allah is also shirk. 

Surah 31:13

Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: “Do not join in worship [others] with Allah. For false worship is indeed the  highest wrong-doing.”

Now, it needs to be made known that some Muslims respect the Christian claim to monotheism, and thus wouldn’t consider our worship of Jesus as shirk, since we are not claiming Jesus to be a partner of Allah, but Allah Himself. Thus, some Muslims won’t say shirk. However, given the Quranic testimony (which is ignorant about the Trinity), it should be considered shirk. 

In the context of people who have rejected the faith and are far off, Surah 4: 171 says:

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.

The people of the book or the people of the Scripture either refers to Jews or Christians or both in the Qu’ran. In this case, we know it’s Christians because it recognizes Jesus as the Messiah. And here Christians are told to not say “three”, and that they add excess when they do. Now, some English translations will even insert the word “Trinity” for three. However, any true Islamic scholar will note immediately that’s incorrect. Islam has a word for Trinity and it is not found in the text above. It should be the word “Three”. More on this verse will be said later. Thus, clearly, the Qu’ran denies what Christians say about the Jesus that is returning, and even consider it the highest wrong-doing. Even granting the Muslims that don’t think our view of Jesus is shirk their position, they would still say Jesus is not God, and that’s certainly not a minor difference. So although both religions teach a kind of “return of Christ”, one of them is committing a horrible, blasphemous sin according to other. Where is the possibility of unity there? 

3) Mary (called “Maryam” in Arabic) has an entire chapter in the Quran named for her — the only chapter in the Quran named for a female figure. In fact, Mary is the only woman to be mentioned by name in the entire Quran.

This is mostly an appeal to Catholicism unbeknownst to the author. However, although the Qu’ran does mention Mary, what else does the Qu’ran say about “Christians” and Mary? 

Surah 5:116

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

The author of the Qu’ran believed that Christians would be condemned for, not only worshiping Jesus as God, but it even claims we worship Mary as one too. What a gross misunderstanding of the popular faith surrounding the author of the Qu’ran. Yes, the Qu’ran mentions Mary, and it also misrepresents our Christian beliefs about her. Not even Roman Catholicism, which has certainly turned Mary into an idol and gives inappropriate, idolatrous veneration to her could never be represented as making her a deity with Jesus. This is blatant ignorance of Christian and Catholic beliefs about Mary. Thus, it’s not an issue of unity that the Qu’ran respects Mary. 

Secondly, notice the other misunderstanding in that text. The Qu’ran simply does not understand the already developed doctrine of the Trinity. It is claiming here that Christians have misrepresented Jesus because we worship Him as a “deity besides Allah”. The Qu’ran clearly thinks Christians are polytheists who worship three separate gods, of whom Mary is one of them. We do not, never have, and never will worship Jesus as a separate deity of Allah, we worship Him as Allah. Jesus is not another God; He is God. 

This clear misunderstanding is further demonstrated earlier in the Quran in Surah 4: 171 which we have viewed already.

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.

While the author of the article tries to bring the two religions together, it misses this clear Quranic command to not be a “Christian” (while completely misrepresenting Christianity). According to this passage, what does it mean to commit “excess” in religion by speaking falsehoods about God? The first excess/lie is to believe Jesus was anything more than a prophet. and believing that Jesus was God in the flesh, far more than a mere prophet, is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. The next way  to avoid falsehood and rightfully believe Allah and his messenger Jesus according to this text is to never say “three”. This is clearly an attempt to address the Trinity. Thus, Islam has no room for harmony with Christianity because we add “excess” and “untruths” to religion by believing Jesus is God and by saying “three” (committing shirk). 
However, what is the author’s understanding of what we mean by three? “Indeed Allah is but one God”. We agree with that! Yet, the author of the Qu’ran parallels “don’t say three” to the juxtaposed monotheistic claim above (Tawhid). That means the Qu’ran doesn’t teach that Christians are monotheists, even though we always have been. Thus, the Qu’ran identifies (wrongly) the Trinity as three separate gods within a polytheistic ideology, when the Christians have always been faithful to the biblical teaching of three distinct Persons which consist of the one Being of YHWY. Further examination of the Qu’ran not only identifies Christians as polytheists who worship three gods, but they also get those three titles wrong. They don’t take the members of the Trinity we claim to worship, but they accuse us of believing in a father, mother, son relationship. The Qu’ran teaches that Christians believe Allah, Jesus, and Mary are all gods, and Jesus is the Son of God by virtue of Allah’s relationship (sexually) with Mary (Exalted is He above having a son). 

For another text to demonstrate the Quranic misunderstandings about Christians and Mary, turn your attention to Surah 5:75

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They both had to eat their daily food! See how Allah makes his signs clear to them; yet see in what ways [the Covenant Children of Israel] are deluded from the truth. 

Because Muslims begin with the presupposition that God cannot become man, they see any aspect of Jesus’ humanity as a proof against His deity. Thus, to the Muslim, since God doesn’t get hungry, and therefore doesn’t need to eat, Jesus can’t be God because Jesus ate food. Notice here that Mary is described as one who eats food too. Why would this be added in? We know why it is said of Jesus, it wants to disprove His deity. Thus why is it also said of Mary? Why must we need to be reminded that Mary needed to eay food like a human? This suggests that the author of the Quran not only needed to disprove Jesus’ deity, but Mary’s too! All this being said, it is not good that the Qu’ran mentions Mary because when the Qu’ran does it misrepresents her and Christians alike in a very offensive and false way. 

Note: speaking of Mary, the Qu’ran identifies her as the sister of Aaron (Surah 19:28), making Mary very, very old, nearly 1400 years old!

4) Just as with all the other prophets, including Mohammed, Muslims recite, “Peace be upon him” every time we refer to Jesus.

Everyone pays reverence and respect to their idols. 

5) Muslims believe that Jesus performed miracles: The Quran discusses several of Jesus’s miracles, including giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, raising the dead, and breathing life into clay birds.

One of those miracles is not biblical nor historical. It only historically shows up prior to the Qu’ran in a Gnostic gospel. However, here is the key issue: how was Jesus able to perform miracles? Christians believe Paul and Peter performed miracles. Moses performed miracles, Ezekiel did. Many men did. However, we believe the miracles of Jesus were done on His own power because He is the Maker and Creator of every living thing. The other men were given power from God to do these things, and Muslims lump Jesus into that latter category. 

6) The story of Jesus’s birth as told in the Quran is also the story of his first miracle, when he spoke as an infant in the cradle and declared himself to be a prophet of God. Here’s the story.

Attributing a miracle to Jesus is not respectful or encouraging if its a lie. What the Qu’ran records there didn’t happen. That’s blasphemy. 
To conclude, Muslims believe that at the end of the age, Christians will die and go to hell to endure conscious torment endlessly, and because of Shirk, it will be far worse than many others with us there. And while we burn, some Muslims will be in Paradise worshiping the creator side by side with Jesus, who is joining his fellow men in worshiping Allah. 
Christians believe that at the end of the age, Muslims will die and go to hell to endure the wrath of God consciously without end. While they pay for their sins, Christians will be in heaven, but we will not be side by side with Jesus worshiping God. We will be at the feet of Jesus worshiping Him as God (Rev. 5: 6-14). While Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified and did not rise from the dead (Surah 4: 157), we will worship Him as a resurrected King (Rev. 1:17-18). We will worship Him as the Creator of all things (Col. 1:15-20). We will worship Him as the name above all names, we will bow at His feet and confess Him as Lord (Phil. 2:5-11). We will worship the Jesus who has authority over every part of the entire created order (Matt. 28:18). We will worship Him as God in flesh (John 1:1-16).
And everything above that Christians confess and believe about Jesus is total blasphemy and lies from an Islamic perspective. 
Our Jesus’s are not the same. 
So no, Muslims do not love Jesus too. Islam in fact hates Him so much that it lies and twists who He is and what He has done and turns Him into an idol. They need to do what all genuine Christians have already done: repent of their sins, and turn and embrace Christ as Lord, as Savior, and as God. All three of which they currently deny.  

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