Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Muhammad-Khalifa, Feb 29, 2004.
No, because the Christian God is said to have raised Jesus from the dead, but the Qur'an denies this
Denial, is not proof...
Oh, and a warm welcome to IO Friend...look forward to your thoughts.
F2M, does monotheism mean that you only believe in one God or that only one God exists?
My whole life I had assumed the second definition and was flabbergasted to learn that here at IO many didn't agree with this interpretation and adopt the first definition.
Which leads to the question, how many all-powerful and omniscient Creators can there be?
I bet he tells you there is no God but Allah, and Mohhamad is his prophet.
I would tell you there is no God but "Allah" (one of many names), and Mohhamad is "a" prophet.
But the question isn't about prophets, its about God(s). I'm curious to see how F2M interprets this.
Please cite relevant passage.
Hi F2F as I understand it people of Islamic faith believe that we Christians and also Jews are "people of the book". That our Bible though corrupted is a revelation of God. If that is so, though our faith may in your terms, be in error, doesn't it mean that we believe in the same God?
Christians and Muslims Seem to Worship Different Gods
Hi there,Q1, Thanks for your warm welcome. Salam 'Aleikhum!
In my referring to the resurrection, I was giving a quick off-the-cuff answer to a potentially complex question (not knowing whether anyone is still monitoring this board). Now that I see that a couple of folks are here, I will answer with my more typical long-winded style.
The answer can be given from 2 perspectives, that of the worshiper and that of God.
When you regard the ACT and EVENT of worship, I think you are not actually saying anything about God as He really is, but about a worshipers' mental state; their imagined representation of the deity, inner narrative about Him etc.
So, from this worshiper perspective, it quite obvious that many monotheists are worshiping differently. Hence, Muslims and Christians do not "WORSHIP" the same God because what is in their minds God is so different.
Now consider the question and answer from God’s point of view. The first point to make is that this is a bit presumptuous! So, perhaps the truest answer to the question is that ‘God knows what is the truth of the matter,’ He being the source of truth, And therefore, God may reveal the answer to this question, and any others, those who seek Him and ask for it.
For those who do not ask Him as the One Teacher for answers, and who are willing to fantasize or reason about God’s mind, or listen to other teachers on the topic:
I sense that most such people will not find it difficult to imagine that God regards His many worshipers and thinks: ‘Despite their many differences in beliefs, in vocabulary and doctrines about Me, they are all worshiping Me in their own ways.’
And so, among people sharing that particular image about God, the question can be answered in the affirmative.
I believe it is also possible that different spiritual entities are channeling assorted images of 'God' into the minds of to respective persons. If this is the case, then I would say that people are worshiping different gods, by virtue of being guided by different spiritual sources.
Next comes another angle to throw in. A number of bible scholars have pointed out that the ACTUAL or correct biblical position DIFFERS from the commonly held view that the bible is monotheistic; in truth the biblical stance is better described as henotheism. In plain terms that means there are many gods, but one Who is supreme and worthy of worship in the cult of Yahweh.
IN the Sinai revelation it is He who should be worshipped and the others forsaken. This does not deny the other deities’ existence, but rejects worship of them. (See my comment above about different spiritual sources.)
Next, in the Bible one also discovers an interplay of multiple names for God, some of which seem to be attributes of one deity, while others are arguably incompatible and mutually exclusive, representing assorted deities.
Thus, the discovery of the true name of God (ha shem), in contrast to varying opinions and vocabularies about His Name, is really the nub of the issue in our topic. And this points the way to the correct answer. In my own faith, this is somewhat an esoteric matter, revealed inwardly and personally by God (see book of Revelation), and not stated openly.
Next point: In very early pre-counciliar Christianity, one could ask the same question we are discussing, and apply it this way: Do orthodox Jews and the recent converts to the Jesus sect worship the same God?
The issue comes to a climax beginning in John 8.58 (Jesus asserts ‘Before Abraham, I AM’ implying He is not speaking as a mortal man here). This is followed by the string of ‘I AM’ assertions in John 10 and continuing more or less to chap 19. ‘I Am’ alludes to the self-presentation of Yahweh in Exodus. The gospel of John seems to depict Jesus as being ‘One’ with God, the TRUE ‘I AM’ deity. This perhaps implies something contrary about the validity of Yahweh.
In Matthew 26:63ff, Jesus’ self-professed claims to be God’s Son and Right-Hand-Man are statements regarded by the Jewish high priest as blasphemy and necessitating Jesus’ execution. So, clearly the orthodox Jews, compared to converts who are accepting this high Christology, are not worshiping the same God. At least not in their minds.
In sum, I would say that the most important thing to know is that God-- in whatever cultural expression He is worshiped-- is always Just, Good, Merciful and responsive to everyone who really wants the truth and isn't putting on a worship-show to impress. This we find by experience.
Hi there Netti,
Glad to oblige. A few of the many bible texts are these:
(Act 2:24) whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
(Act 2:32) God raised up this Jesus, of which we all are witnesses.
(Act 4:10) be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in this name does this man stand before you whole.
(Act 10:40) but God raised Him up the third day and showed Him openly,
(Act 13:30) But God raised Him from the dead,
(Act 13:37) But He whom God raised again saw no corruption.
AS for Qur'anic denial of this, I am relying on Sheikh Ahmed Deedat whose writings are found at Jamaat.net
Re: Christians and Muslims Seem to Worship Different Gods
Ah, the Elephant and the 11 blind men trying to describe the elephant...
So, if we "blind men" got together and explained our unique perspectives of what/who God is, would we all come away with a clearer overall picture of "God"?
I searched the cite and found Chapter 14, which deals with Resurrection: "JESUS NOT RESURRECTED " The only scripture cited in that chapter is the Bible. Here's the link: CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCI-FICTION --- By Ahmed Deedat
Where is the Qur'anic denial ?
I agree with you that the Qur'an does not flat-out reject the resurrection in so many words. However, the usual basis for questioning events is 4.157, which casts doubt on Jesus' crucifixion and death. Wikipedia has a good discussion of the range of interpreatations of Jesus' death or lack thereof, and ascension. Read 'Islamic View of Jesus' Death'
'That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them [or it appeared so unto them], and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not: Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise."
Most Muslims accept Jesus' Ascension (as also Muhammad of course) but this would be different from the crucifixtion / resurrection.
Here's discussion Qur'anic text (muslim.org/islam) which sounds like it points the other way -- Jesus did die!
In the commentary it's interesting to see the thought-process on how this text can be interpreted to make it say what what the cleric wants it to.
Almighty God has particularly mentioned Jesus’ death in the Quran. When the Jews succeeded in their plans to have Jesus sentenced to crucifixion, he prayed to God to be delivered from this fate, and was answered by Him thus :
"O Jesus, I will cause you to die, and exalt you to My presence, and clear you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the day of Judgment." (3:54)
Here God made with Jesus four promises:
"Cause you to die" (tawaffa), i.e., Jesus would not be killed by the Jews, but would die a natural death.
"Exalt you in My presence" (raf‘a), i.e., he would not be crucified, which the Jews sought to do to prove him accursed, but rather he would receive Divine nearness. In fact, raf‘a is the opposite of wad‘a, the latter meaning disgrace and the former meaning honouring.
"Clear you of those who disbelieve" (tathir), i.e., he would be cleared of the Jews’ allegations against him, as he was by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
"Make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the day of Judgement", i.e. his followers would forever have the upper hand over his rejectors.
The above verse proves that Jesus has died, for raf‘a (exaltation to God’s presence) is attained only after death when all the material veils have been removed.
The Bible also says Jesus died:Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last."
I thought you found your material at jamaat.net. (Your post #329 reads: "As for Qur'anic denial of this, I am relying on Sheikh Ahmed Deedat whose writings are found at Jamaat.net.") I don't see how the muslim.org/islam passage you cited sheds any light on the Resurrection, which you say is denied in the Qur'an.
Btw, for your interest, here are 3 translations from Chapter 19::YUSUFALI: "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!
PICKTHAL: Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!
SHAKIR: And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.
I don't get much of a sense for the time frame as far as when that day would be. But on the face of it, I think it is fair to say that so far there seems to be no contradiction. Jesus' resurrection is recognized in the Qur'an.
Thanks for digging out another text. I see your reasoning.
I think the problem of exegesis lies in 4.157 with the, 'but they killed him not... crucified him not." Taken literally this implies the Qur'an does not accept Jesus' resurrection, as in the NT, because it does not accept that he died on the cross. The death and resurrection go together.
But the answer is not so clear when 3.54 is considered, because it says Jesus will die and be exalted, so that Christians will dominate the world.
All in all, I will revise my original statement about Qur'an denial of Jesus' resurrection and say that this denial is only one of several interpretations put forth by the scholars.
I think 4.157 probably recounts an older account that was in circulation since the 1st or 2nd century. I vaguely recall some gnostic texts similarly claiming Jesus wasn't really crucified. There was a tale of the laughing Jesus who pulled off a deception. I can't cite any source.
Let's look at it in context. This verse immediately follows the one you evidently believe denies Jesus' resurrection:
YUSUFALI: Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself...
PICKTHAL: But Allah took him up unto Himself...
SHAKIR: Nay! Allah took him up to Himself...
To me this means Jesus did not die (in any final sense) because he was resurrected by Allah's action. There appears to be very little ambiguity here. I believe you can reasonably conclude that the Koran affirms Jesus' resurrection, and does not deny it.
Regarding the passage of a spirit from this world into the next...
I understand there's a verse in the Qur'an (which unfortunately I can't cite and don't have time to track down) describing what occurs at the moment of death. As I recall it, the gist is that righteous souls will leave their bodies at death and meet Allah 'unobstructed.'
This is not unique to Islam of course -- Jesus alludes to a similar idea in Lk 16.22 (Lazarus goes to Abraham's bosom). And similar accounts are told by some near-death experiencers.
So, for me, this is more likely to be what is referred to in 4.158 as the disposition of Jesus, at least in this surah. So, this doesn't really affirm the resurrection.
A second possibility is that 4.158 is saying Jesus ascended to God, body and soul, without first dying, as Mohammed did.
Resurrection is something different from either event. The body dies and after a period of death, the spirit returns.
There are probably better reasons for rejecting the thesis that Jews, Muslims and Christians believe in the same God, but this one variation concerning what happened in the 'Passion' just came to mind first, as a one of several.
First of all it's unclear why you link the resurrection to the Passion. Secondly, I'm not sure why you'd suggest that Jesus' Resurrection necessarily reflects on G-d's nature, let alone in a way that matters. How does it help us recognize the Father's love and how does it help us incorporate Divine Guidance te it into our living? Or does it? Where is Jesus' resurrection described as a redemptive action that was essential to the divine plan? The reason I ask: we don't actually know G-d. We only discover His will for us through revelation and by resonating with the Spirit. In fact, all three Abrahamic traditions concur that G-d is unknowable. The qualities we ascribe to Him are qualities of His relationship with us, aren't they?
Further, even if we were to agree that the Judaic, Christian and Muslim views of Jesus' resurrection differ, this would not necessarily imply differential views of G-d's character.
You might want to to argue that differences on Jesus' Resurrection would make a difference as far as ideas on redemption, but there is no scriptural evidence that I'm aware of to that effect. As I understand it, all three strands of the Abrahamic traditions suggest that G-d's children discover their true vocation through a relationship with Him (via revelation and the indwelling spirit). Based on what Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have in common in this respect, you might conclude that G-d has made a point of communicating His constancy and mercy, and that His care has been shown in making the Holy Spirit available. If you did, we'd probably agree on something. In fact, these divine qualities seem to be the crux of the revelations that were made available through the the ages.
These divine qualities are also at the core of the covenantal relationship and religious duties that are clarified in those revelations. The relationship and the duties are effectuated with an understanding of The Plan. I don't see how Jesus' resurrection would be linked to any of these core religious concepts or to an appreciation of what's expected of us.
In logic, a false argument is one where the conclusion does not follow from the premises. I think you might be barking up the wrong tree, brother.
Greetings y'all and As-Salamu Aleikhum !
Thanks you Netti for your thought provoking questions, each of which deserves a lengthy exposition and has been the subject of much reflection throughout the centuries.
I will tackle a few points in separate posts, as time permit permits...
you wrote: "First of all it's unclear why you link the resurrection to the Passion."
Answer; I did so because the Passion includes Jesus' death, and as I understand some exegesis of the Qur'an (which I wrote about elsewhere at this forum) there that verse, which I'm sure you know, which questions whether Jesus actually died. If he didn't die, then he wasn't resurrected.
Again you continue: "Secondly, I'm not sure why you'd suggest that Jesus' Resurrection necessarily reflects on G-d's nature, let alone in a way that matters."
My understanding of the Resurrection of Jesus is that this was done as a vindication of Jesus' teaching and as a 'statement' from God, that 'what Jesus teaches is true.' (And some of the teaching concerns God's nature and character).
The main reason Jesus' teaching matters so much is that there were other teachers who claimed to teach about God's nature and other important matters (such as righteousness and salvation), in ways subtly or radically different from Jesus'. So, God sent Jesus to 'clarify' and to correct the message.
Another question: "How does it [the Resurrection] help us recognize the Father's love..."
Ans. In my understanding, the Resurrection is universal. Some people are raised in honor, others in shame. So, at least in my case, I don't see a doctrine about the love of God in the Resurrection. In my understanding, the discovery of the Father's love is a personal experience (which anyone might enjoy, at His pleasure) not really connected with the Resurrection.
Again: "... and how does it help us incorporate Divine Guidance te it into our living? Or does it?"
Ans. I refer you to my 2nd answer above. The Resurrection is the supreme sign proving that Jesus taught the special Guidance or the 'way of Life' which leads a seeker to knowing God and discovering the Kingdom of God.
More later... must do a few chores. Peace!
You seem to be saying that the issue is credibility rather than anything substantive regarding God's nature and character. With this, you are merely making my case that the resurrection has no relevance to G-d's redemptive action in the world.
I disagree with this view. The Prophets were not particularly concerned with G-d's nature and character. In fact, the Bible describes G-d as unknowable.
My sense is that Jesus corrected our understanding of G-d's nature and character. Rather, they were concerned with G-d's intentions as far as a relationship with Him. Consider for example the OT comments on stinking sacrifices. This and other such correctives actually had little to do with any intrinsic properties that define G-d's nature and character). Jesus acted very much like the OT prophets as far as emphasis. For example, when Jesus says "I am the way," this encourages us to energize grace through an attitude of faith and love. Jesus was concerned with the relationship.
Jesus has been described as the only begotten son. Why would his resurrection following the crucifixion be anything but a singular event?
Again, the way you are presenting it, this is just a credibility issue. Again, you are merely making my case that Jesus resurrection has no relevance to G-d's redemptive action in the world.
Also, I fail to see how Jesus resurrection is relevant to the Kingdom, if the Kingdom is understood as a quality of experience. According to John 3:5-7. spiritual baptism is a condition for entering the Kingdom. Are you equating resurrection with baptism?
In your efforts to make the point that Islam offers characterizations of G-d that are different from the Gospel, you seem to be rewriting the Biblical tradition and revising the meaning of mainstream Christian concepts. Very ambitious.
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