Yesterday, i was required to write a few chapel reports on three chapters in the bible. One of them was about the birth of Jesus Christ from a Christian's point of view. I've learned quite a lot about Christianity for the past 3 months. Now here's what WE think or believe in.
Christ in Islam
by: Ahmed Deedat
Chapter Two : Jesus in the Quran
The Christian does not know that the true spirit of charity which the Muslim displays, always, towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of his faith - the Holy Quran. He does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Jesus, in his own language, without saying Eesa, alaihi assalam ("Jesus, peace be upon him")
The Christian does not know that in the Holy Quran Jesus is mentioned twenty five times. For example:
"We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (The Holy Quran 2:87)
"O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary..." (3:45)
"...Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of god..." (4:171)
"...And in their foot steps we sent Jesus the son of Mary..." (5:46)
"And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous." (6:85)
Jesus - His Titles
Though Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty-five places in the Holy Quran, he is also addressed with respect as: Ibn Maryam, meaning "The son of Mary"; and as the Maseeh (in Hebrew it is the Messiah), which is translated as "Christ". He is also known as Abdullah, "The servant of Allah"; and as Rasul u Allah, the messenger of Allah.
He is spoken of as "The Word of God", as "The Spirit of God", as a "Sign of God", and numerous other epithets of honor spread over fifteen different chapters. The Holy Quran honors this mighty messenger of God, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years in doing the same. There is not a single disparaging remark in the entire Quran to which even the most jaundiced among the Christians can take exception.
Eesa Latinised to "Jesus"
The Holy Quran refers to Jesus as Eesa, and this name is used more times than any other title, because this was his "Christian" name. Actually, his proper name was Eesa (Arabic), or Esau (Hebrew); classical Yeheshua, which the Christian nations of the West latinized as Jesus. Neither the "J" nor the second "s" in the name Jesus is to be found in the original tongue - they are not found in the Semitic languages.
The word is very simply "E S A U" a very common Jewish name, used more than sixty times in the very first booklet alone of the Bible, in the part called "Genesis". There was at least one "Jesus" sitting on the "bench" at the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. Josephus the Jewish historian mentions some twenty five Jesus' in his "Book of Antiquities". The New Testament speaks of "Bar-Jesus" a magician and a sorcerer, a false prophet (Acts 13:6); and also "Jesus-Justus" a Christian missionary, a contemporary of Paul (Colossians 4:11). These are distinct from Jesus the son of Mary. Transforming "Esau" to (J)esu(s) - Jesus - makes it unique. This unique (?) name has gone out of currency among the Jews and the Christians from the 2nd century after Christ. Among the Jews, because it came to be a name of ill - repute, the name of one who blasphemed in Jewry; and among the Christians because it came to be the proper name of their God. The Muslim will not hesitate to name his son Eesa because it is an honored name, the name of a righteous servant of the Lord.
Chapter Three : Mother And Son
The birth of Jesus Christ is described in two places of the Quran - chapter 3 and chapter 19. Reading from the beginning of his birth, we come across the story of Mary, and the esteemed position which she occupies in the House of Islam, before the actual annunciation of the birth of Jesus is given:
"'Behold'! the angels said: 'O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of all nations" (3:42)
"Chosen thee above the women of all nations." Such an honor is not to be found given to Mary even in the Christian Bible! The verse continues:
"O Mary! Worship thy Lord devoutly: prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." (3:43)
What is the source of this beautiful and sublime recitation which, in its original Arabic, moves men to ecstasy and tears? verse 44 below explains:
"This is part of the tidings, of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Muhammad!) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point)." (3:44)
The story is that the maternal grandmother of Jesus, Hannah, had hitherto been barren. She poured out her heart to God: If only God will grant her a child, she would surely dedicate such a child for the service of God in the temple.
God granted her prayer and Mary was born. Hannah was disappointed. She was yearning for a son, but instead she delivered a daughter; and in no way is the female like the male, for what she had in mind. What was she to do? She had made a vow to God. She waited for Mary to be big enough to fend for herself.
When the time came, Hannah took her darling daughter to the temple, to hand over for temple services. Every priest wanted to be the god-father of this child. They cast lots with arrows for her - like the tossing of the coin - head or tail?
eventually she fell to the lot of Zakariya, but not without a dispute.
The Source of His Message
This was the story. But where did Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, get this knowledge from? He was an Ummi, Arabic for "unlettered". He did not low how to read or write. He is made by God Almighty to answer this very question in the verse above, by saying that it was all by divine inspiration. "No!", says the controversialist. "This is Muhammed's own concoction. He copied his revelations from the Jews and Christians. He plagiarized it. He forged it."
Knowing full-well, and believing as we do, that the whole Quran is the veritable Word of God, we will nevertheless agree, for the sake of argument, with the enemies of Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, for a moment, that he wrote it. We can now expect some cooperation from the unbelievers.
Ask him: "Have you any qualms in agreeing that Muhammed was an Arab?" Only an ignorant will hesitate to agree. In that case there is no sense in pursuing any discussion. Cut short the talk. Close the book!
With the man of reason, we proceed. "That this Arab, in the first instance, was addressing other Arabs. He was not talking to Indian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, or Nigerian Muslims. He was addressing his own people, the Arabs. Whether they agreed with him or not, he told them in the most sublime form, words that were seared into the hearts and minds of his listeners that Mary the mother of Jesus, a Jewess, was chosen above the women of all nations. Not his own mother, nor his wife nor his daughter, nor any other Arab woman, but a Jewess! Can one explain this? Because to everyone his own mother or wife, or daughters would come before other women.
Why would the prophet of Islam honor a woman from his opposition! and a Jewess at that! belonging to a race which had been looking down upon his people for three thousand years? Just as they still look down upon their Arab brethren today."
Sarah and Hagar
The Jews learn, from the Bible, that their father, Abraham, had two wives Sarah and Hagar. They say that they are the children of Abraham through Sarah his legitimate wife; that their Arab brethren have descended through Hagar, a "bondwoman", and that as such, the Arabs are an inferior breed.
Will anyone please explain the anomaly as to why Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, if he is the author, chose this Jewess for such high honor? The answer is simple, he had no choice he had no right to speak of his own desire. "It is no less than an inspiration sent down to him." (53:4)
The Chapter of Maryam
There is a Chapter in the Holy Quran, named Surat u Maryam "Chapter Mary", named in honor of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him; again, such an honor is not to be found given to Mary in the Christian Bible. Out of the 66 books of the Protestants and 73 of the Roman Catholics, not one is named after Mary or her son. You will find books named after Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul and two score more obscure names, but not a single one is that of Mary!
If Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, was the author of the Holy Quran, then he would not have failed to include in it with Mary, the mother of Jesus, his own mother Aamina, his dear wife Khadija, or his beloved daughter Fatima. But No! No! This can never be. The Quran is not his handiwork!.