Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Prophethood
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Salam Alaikum Ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of Islamic focus. I'm your host, Ahmed Hassan Hosni, and today's topic will be the nature of Jesus. We are in the seventh we are presenting today the seventh episode on profit within Islam. Our host is Dr. Jamal Badawi welcome Dr. Kumar Salam Alaikum alaikum I wonder if you could give us a short summary of last episode introduced.
The last program was the beginning of our discussion of the topic, Jesus peace be upon him in the Quran. With the view of trying to explain what does the Quran say about him and his mission and his nature.
four basic points were emphasized last time. First was the extent of mention of Jesus or things about Jesus peace be upon him in the Quran. And we said out of the 114 chapters in the Quran, there are 11 chapters that has something or the other to say about Jesus sometimes more details sometimes brief way in a brief way.
Particularly there were two chapters which has more details about the story of Jesus in the Quran, and chapter three, verses 34 and on. And also in chapter 19, which take is titled from the mother of Jesus chapter called marry.
The second main point was the question about the lineage of Jesus and he said that according to the Quran, he belongs to the Israelite prophets. And in one specific verse in the Quran, it shows that he comes from the lineage of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, the same way like Moses and Mohammed, have been of the lineage of the same patchak. We also discussed along the along the same line,
his mother's marry her the circumstances of her birth, her early childhoods and her devotion.
The third basic point was the birth of Jesus peace be upon him and we said, the Quran is clear that this was a virgin verse, we described how the Quran explained the coming of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost as interpreted in English, which means the Archangel Gabrielle and Islamic terminology, to get the news to marry, how she was accused after giving birth to Jesus, and how he, as an infant, defended his mother. The fourth and final point was a question that you raised last time as to why
or who is the father of Jesus if we know his mother, but who is his father and some people making an erroneous conclusion that this is a proof that his father must be God and he said that
according to the Quran, we quoted the verse that says that the likeness of Jesus in the sight of God is like Adam, He created him from clay. And he said to him be, and it was, and we have shown that God created Adam, without a father or mother, and doesn't make him divine Eve was created from men side doesn't make her divine. So this completed the various aspects of miraculous creation of Allah of God, which takes different types of forms. That was about where we stopped last time. Great. So maybe the logical
question to come after that introduction would be, since the Quran admits to the miraculous birth of Jesus, and the virgin birth?
Wouldn't you say that that is unique? Or what would be your answer for somebody who comes to say, well, this must be something unique about him? Or why didn't it happen to somebody else? If it happened only to Jesus then there must be something very special about it sure is unique. No question. It is unique. And every prophets American is also unique. See, all the miracles given to the prophets are similar, but not identical. And in that sense, each and every miracle in itself is unique. Okay, let me just explain a little bit on this. The,
in various stories that you find in the Quran venture, there are some similarities also with what exists in the Bible. There were miracles given to Prophet Abraham when people put him in the fire, and he came out alive without any hurt. Well, that's unique didn't happen to any other prophets. That doesn't make him divine. For example, because it's different
miracle of Prophet Muhammad, Allah which I said before, that this is a perpetual miracle in our hands and this is a hot topic we can discuss later on. It is unique, and that again, does not make him Prophet Muhammad divine.
Are supernatural, the birth of Christ, this be upon him is also unique in that sense. The point to remember here is that,
as I said, the miracles of various prophets are similar but not unique. Because each Prophet was given a miracle which is more suited to the kind of circumstances when he was sent to clarify, in the days of Prophet Moses, peace be upon him. The Pharaohs were very skillful in magic work. So when Moses came as the coroner, it's God ordered him to throw his cane, and it became a huge snake that swallowed all this trivial magic deeds that the magicians did. And that's why they immediately saw this as a sign from God, that this person cannot be a magician. He's really a prophet. So that was suited to the circumstances of his time, as indicated on the case of Prophet Mohammed being the last
prophet, his miracle was not a mere metaphysical miracle that took place in the sight of some people, others cannot, has tested but rather it was a miracle that we still have in our hands. By the same token, at the time of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him, as historians would agree that people forgot the spirit of the law.
People were too much bent on ritualism and formalism. And it was actually also there were some argument that people there, at that time denied the existence of the world of spirit. Son used to say that the spirit or the soul of anything is in its blood,
somewhere very much influenced by the Greek philosophy of the cause effect or causative relationship. And they concluded that God is the first cause. It was needed at this time that God would show them that he is above what human philosophers interpret as cause effect relationship. God is beyond even this limited human method of understanding the opposite view, myopic view.
Not only this, given the circumstances of the people, at the time of the mission of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, they needed to be reminded of the spirit of the law, and the word of the Spirit,
which was very suitable to have this type of miraculous verse to remind them that the spiritual world does exist, it has this crucial importance, the emphasis on charity and love.
I would like to conclude this simply by indicating also that when you talk about miracles given to the prophets, we're not talking about something that's self generated, but rather, something that is a gift, a divine gift to give it to the prophet to support him in his message, a prophet or messenger, whether he is Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, or Abraham peace be upon them, is not basically American worker. It is a medium through whom God manifests his power and science to mankind. That's right.
So what about
somebody who could come to and say, the Quran? In talking about Jesus, the first to him some times by the term kalama, which means world? And they tell you well, that's how we refer to him in the Bible as well. So how is it that we are different if he is the word of God, according to the Quran, exactly the same way as it is in the Bible? Why are we different? In fact, if you recall, I quoted this verses last time, even from the Quran, when we talk about the news coming to Mary that God will give you a good news of a word from him, his name would be Christ or Messiah, the Son of Mary, I caught that last time. But I'm glad that you raised this issue, because it seems that there's a
problem here of interpreting the words, or the meaning of term or the term word itself.
I think there's a big and essential difference between the theological understanding among Christian theologians and what the Quranic usage really refers to.
And the theological interpretation in amongst Christian scholars, is that the word here is related to some kind of attributes of God. In fact, they refer to john, the gospel of john, the first verse, that the Word was with God and the Word was God. And according to many biblical scholars, this seems to be an influence of Greek philosophy, the platonic philosophy,
which considered the words as the divine intelligence. So in that sense, the word was regarded as one aspect of God, it's divine, it's divinity itself.
Whereas the Quranic understanding of it is, has nothing to do with this philosophy or the logos, as they called it in Greek philosophy, nothing to do with it.
In the Quranic usage,
the word or the term word means command from God or sign of God.
Let me quote one verse and perhaps that would explain it.
In 16, Chapter 16, verse 40, it says,
That we that God, have willed, We bought, say, B. And it is, which means that the word be symbolizing the will of God, the command of God is a word of God. And all of us has been created by the word of God. Be in that sense, then we can say, according to the Quran, the same term was used for Jesus for you, for me, for all creatures of God, and for every human, all of us are words of God, because we are created by the command or Word of God in the Quranic usage of the term. Indeed,
I'd like to add that, in the Quran, there are at least 12 places where words of God is used in the plural, which shows again, that it was never used or meant and not unique, or exclusively, that only Jesus is the Word in the theological sense that all of us, once again, because we are created by the command of God, exactly. Another word that seems to create some ambiguity is the word or the term spirit or Holy Spirit. Again, a lot of people say, Well, if the Quran talks about Jesus in those terms, referring to him as That's right, then the word Holy Spirit must have the same meaning and we must have some kind of
misunderstanding. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think it goes back again, to the influence of Greek philosophy, particularly the platonic ideas on the writers, particularly of the first gospel, the gospel of john, were there lots of mentioned about this.
And again, in platonic philosophy, this is a reference perhaps to divinity also, because, you know, the whole idea of
God or God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is based very closely on this same Greek philosophy, that spirit of God or Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, is a component in godhood for Godhead. Whereas if you really refer to the Quran, there are two
different kinds of expression of the the word spirit. The the equivalent Arabic word for
the English word spirit is Lu, Roy, r. o h. And in reference to Jesus in particular, we find that the Quran mentioned about Jesus that he was wrong one minute, that is a spirit proceeding from God. This is one expression, and there's also expression of Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost. And each of them has different type of meaning. Let's take first the spirit from God. What does the Quran mean when it says that Jesus is a spirit proceeding from God? Is it the exclusive in the exclusive sense or does it apply to other people as well? The answer is that it applies to all because the word rule appears in the Quran, in meanings that relate to the context of the verse. For example, in 4262, the
word spirit is used to refer to Revelation. Okay, Veliko hyena, Elijah Muhammad Imran and that's the revelation is regarded as a spirit from God, that's the holy books.
And in 5822, for example, it's used in a sense of support from God. Well, I get the home Bureau, the support of God is a spirit from him, strength,
it is used also as a secret of life or the source of our spirituality. And this is what is referred to in the Quran. In the in respect to Jesus peace be upon him as well as to other human beings as well.
That was mentioned, for example, in chapter four, verse 170.
But it was also mentioned, like I said, in general sense to refer to all human beings that all of us have something of the Spirit of God in us to document it. In 32 nine,
it says, but he that's God fashioned it fashioned the human being into proportion. And notice this, breathe into it, of his spirit. That refers to the creation of human beings spirit, which means that every human being derives his spirituality derives his instinctive, natural feeling of relationship or rapport with his creator from that spirit of God breathed into him at the time of creating Adam and Eve.
The other term that's used, Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, actually is used in the current affair specifically to Archangel Gabrielle
is called Rochelle goddess which means Holy Spirit, roughly, or Rochelle Ameen, which means the honest spirit. And I mentioned it as the engine who brought revelation to previous prophets in the past, including Prophet Mohammed just for reference in the sake of time. I refer you to chapter two verses, verse 87.
Chapter five, verse 116. And chapter 19, called Miriam, verse 16. In all of this, the term goddess actually refers to things specifically to Gabrielle. And according to Islam, Gabrielle or all other.
Angels are creatures of a lot. They're not part of the world, they are all servants of God just as the prophets were.
Great. Now what about somebody who comes to you and says,
You are negating the
divine nature of Jesus, when the Quran itself has only denied the father ship of God and the sonship of Jesus, that relationship was the one that the Koran emphasizes very much, but it didn't touch very much upon the idea of deification of Jesus spirit. What do you have to say about that? You see, some sunlight, especially non Muslims don't have that depth of understanding of the current they just got one verse and they do not really relate other verses that relate to the rest of the same subject.
In fact, what the Quran negates is old forms of deification, in whatever form it takes, whether it's in the mainstream of Christianity, as we know today, are the groups that were regarded as heretics even at one point or the other in the church history. And let me document that directly. For example, in chapter five, verses 116 to 120, it says, and behold, God will say that it will say in the Day of Judgment, or Jesus, the son of Mary, did you ever tell people take me or worship Me and my mother as Gods instead of God himself?
He said, that he will say in the Day of Judgment, or answer, Glory be to You, that is Glory be to God. It is not my place to say what I have no right to say. And then the verse continues, and it says more conclusively, on the tongue of Jesus. I never told them anything, except what you commanded me to say. That is, worship gods, my Lord, and your Lord.
That's one aspect of negation.
Take the people who said that Jesus is God Himself. And the Quran says about this in the same chapter. That's chapter five verses 72 and 73. Certainly, they disbelieved who say God is Christ, the son of Mary, but said, Christ, are children of Israel, worship God, My Lord, and your Lord. He's quoted specifically, my Lord and your Lord.
God will forbid the garden, to anyone who associates anything else with God,
His abode, or his home will be the fire for the wrongdoers, there will be no helpers. And then the West continues to deny or negate, and other aspects sophisticated as it may appears, also about
the essence of Jesus are attributing any divinity to him. It says, certainly, they disbelieve who say, God is the third in three, that is intimacy. So the Quran is aware of God is aware also of the existence of Trinity, which any, any form of change Exactly. God is the third of three, four, there is no god except God alone. If they do not stop saying what they say painful tournament will afflict those of them who disbelieve, do they not turn toward God and seek His forgiveness. God is so forgiving, merciful. Christ, the son of Mary was only a messenger, that his messenger of God, messengers have passed away before him. And finally, you might recall in our series on Islamic
monotheism, that the idea even of God sending his son to take away The sins of humanity is also negated in the Quran. In chapter 112, one of the shortest and most important chapters in the Quran, it says, say He is Allah or God, the one and only or the unique.
God on whom all depends, and it says, he gets not, nor was he begun, and there is none like unto him, so the idea also of only begotten Son is negated. So all forms of deification are very clearly and very conclusively negated. In the Quran. It says, Jesus never actually said that to people, then facetiously somebody may come and say, but why then is the Quran referring to when God speaks about creation? And by the way, that's exactly the same as the Old Testament. It says alakina or nanosilica come we have created so what about this we Why didn't God say I? Like somebody wants to ask me that question. Say the Quran proves Trinity because that says we and then Arabic We refers to
general flora, which means at least three. Yeah, so then you've got the proof of tenancy in the crown which is a very, very superficial you know, way of putting it
Because it is well known that in many languages, Arabic and English included, and like you said also not destiny, you find the same terminology. The term we is used by way of majestic a language. That's when a king speaks. For example, when the Queen speaks for the queen, we the king of Decree the fallen. That's what went on in various languages, that this is a majestic language. And of course, if when God speaks, is entitled to use this majestic language also, in fact, there have been some scholars also who studied how many times the word Lord, for example, appears in the Gospels and how the idea again of using Lords in a religious sense, to refer to God has been something that
really came up much later on in Christianity, but among Christian theologians,
so that takes care of this question of using of we the Quran is replete with many conclusive evidence about the absolute, not only oneness but oneness and uniqueness or a lot that there is no persons in Godhead and about Christ, the Quran is replete, also, clarifying that he was a messenger of God, prophet of God and a servant of God. And that's what actually he said, even in the New Testament. Then we come to the bottom line, Dr. Jamal, is there any way that a Muslim can reconcile himself
truthfully, was the ideas of Son of God or Lord, as they are spelled out or explained in biblical literature? And I'm referring to the New Testament, in fairness
Judeo Christian Brothers.
I cannot answer that unless I get first of what the Bible says even uses how the term Lord or Son of God is used in the Bible, and that perhaps would be the most conclusive evidence not from a Muslim point of view. But from the Bible. It says, Take the word, Lord, for example. I think everybody knows that the term Lord does not necessarily means divine. In England, there are so many Lords but nobody said there are so many gods in England because people has the title Lord, Lord and His master. And apparently this was the exact meaning what that people meant when they addressed Jesus in the New Testament, for example, when he was referred to as as Lord,
the second term, Son of God.
Let's remember also that Jesus referred to him as the Son of Man. Okay, but even if you stick to the term Son of God, and find out how it was used in the biblical sense, we will find that there is ample evidence from the Old Testament, that son of God was used in a sense of a person who's close to God, because he's good, but never in a sense of definitive evidence. Take the Book of Exodus in chapter four verses 22 and 23.
Israel was called as Son of God, actually the first born son of God, but nobody said that Israel means he is demonic. Okay. Another evidence in in the book of
the Psalms of David, chapter two, verse seven, David was referred to as the Son of God. In the first Chronicle, Chapter 22, verse 10, Solomon, Prophet Solomon, is also referred to as Son of God.
Not only this, we find that Israel, in Arabic as it refers to in chapter nine, verse 30, in the Quran, and refers to also in the Old Testament,
Israel, who lived about 450 years before Christ was regarded as Son of God because of his crucial role in rewriting the the law, the Torah collecting, collecting the robots, 1000 years after Moses during the Babylonian
exile, because of his role, people also called him, Son of God. So in evidence that appears from the Old Testament itself shows that son of God was used in that metaphoric sense not necessarily in terms of exclusive OR divine since even the New Testament itself uses that in a very similar way, like the Old Testament. For example, in Matthew and Matthew five, nine, that's chapter five, verse nine, it says,
quoting Jesus, peace be upon him. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God, and heaven. And we find similar quotations in Matthew 545, and 23. Nine. In fact, in the Old Testament, at times, even sons of God like in the book of Job is used in the plural sense. So it's very obvious that when Jesus peace be upon him use the term fathers to refer to God or son to refer to himself Son of God. He only meant it in the metaphoric sense in the same way that all human beings are really unique about. Exactly not in the sense of that that was developed later on that the only begotten Son that all human beings are children of God because they depend on on him, that
God is the father of all because he loves and cares for all of them. Can we come up with
Read that by looking at Jesus himself and see has he personally denied his divinity?
We find that this of course I the verses I quoted from the Quran are very obvious. That's why
it was very clear that he absolutely and conclusively, then I thought, actually he rebuked those who have developed this philosophical idea after, after he was gone. But again, in fairness, we have to refer to the Gospels itself. And again, we'll give chapter and verse so that everybody can check it on his own. For example, the famous study of temptation, when the Satan came to properties and try to tempt him, as it appears in Matthew, chapter four, in the first 11 verses. Now, the question is that, how could Satan tempt god, it's inconceivable a person who has been subjected to temptation is a human being. And that's what Jesus spoke of himself as a human being, also, in many occasions, and
I just to give one example of that, and
what Jesus says that Jesus was set to have gone in the wildness or to the mountains to pray. Okay. Now, what does it mean that Jesus is praying, he's praying to someone who is greater than he is, he's praying to his God to his Lord. And again, according to the definition of Trinity, this doesn't fit because the old persons and Trinity are the same. Nobody prays to himself, if Jesus was garden, the garden can run, but he did not pray to himself. So he's a human that's in. In Matthew, for example, Chapter 24, verse 36, Jesus denied any knowledge of the unseen, the knowledge of the hour, for example. And again, the knowledge of the unseen is definitely one of the divine attributes, if
somebody doesn't know the future, then because not because he's a human being. pious as he may be messenger as you may be, but he's not God, that's definitely an issue altogether. Also, we find in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10, verse 18, when somebody ran after him and said, Good Master, and Jesus replied, and I quote him here, Why call you me? Good, there is not good, but one that is God. So he denied it. Of course, it doesn't mean that Jesus is not good, far from that. But he is good. But what he really meant is that goodness, in the absolute sense, is a divine attribute. And I'm not a human being. So why you call me good in that absolute sense.
Also, even outside of the three synoptic gospels, that is in the Gospel of john, for example. And when you get away from the more authentic, relatively more authentic gospels, we find that, for example, in john 1428.
Jesus admits and he says, My father is greater than I was, this is a massive and very clear evidence, if we take it in the straightforward meaning rather than, you know, going around with any kind of any philosophical or theological constitutes is very clear from the on the own words of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him that he never really meant, that is divine, and that he even denied and he clarified in clear terms directly and indirectly, that he is simply a human being and a messenger of God. And that's exactly what the Quran 600 years later, just has confirmed. Thank you very much, Dr. Jamal was most interesting. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us
today. We hope that you will be with us next time when we will be discussing the mission and the end of the mission of Jesus Christ. And till then, please if you have any questions regarding the program, the questions that arise in the program or any questions regarding Islam, please don't hesitate to write them at the post office box 116 darkness Nova Scotia. Thank you This Mohammed Hosni being you farewell Salaam Alaikum wa