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Truly & Falsely Christianity

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According to the Quran, Christians are accused of believing that:

 

1) there are three gods

2) calling Jesus either god or the 'son of god' implies either a sexual relation of the 'father' with another (e.g. Mary), or that Jesus was not a proper human being

3) Mary is also treated as a god

 

Now, if you look at traditional Orthodox or Catholic Christianity, you can see how Muslims might accuse us of believing these things. However, what Muslims do not realise is that there really was a group of Christians who literally did believe all the above (with the exception of the 'divine' sexual relations; this has never appeared in Christianity as far as I know).

 

For belief in three gods:

Wikipedia, Tritheism: Historical uses of the term in Christianity

 

Those who are usually meant by the name were a section of the Monophysites, who had great influence in the second half of the sixth century, but have left no traces save a few scanty notices in John of Ephesus, Photius, Leontius etc. ... The principal writer was John Philoponus, the great Aristotelian commentator; … [others] declared his views to be altogether unchristian. These two bishops and a deprived bishop named Theonas proceeded to consecrate bishops for their sect, which they established in Corinth and Athens, Rome, Northern Africa and the Western Patriarchate, while in the east agents travelled through Syria and Cilicia, Isauria and Cappadocia, converting whole districts and ordaining priests and deacons in cities villages and monasteries.

(For his belief in three gods, John Philoponus was first condemned officially in 567AD, three years before Muhammad was born, and many times afterwards!)

 

This is, in effect, also the group "which makes the fanciful claim that the Virgin is of another substance than we [humans]" (Wikipedia, Eutychianism). If Mary was not a proper human, then neither was her son, Jesus. (This is why Christians talk a lot about Mary, she was clearly a full human like we are, and therefore so was her son!)

 

 

So as can be seen, the Quranic condemnations are actually officially shared by the mainstream churches; both Muhammad and the churches were against all such teachings. There are in the Quran both positive and negative verses regarding Christians. Muhammad was in favour of the mainstream churches (e.g. Negus, Companions of the cave: see my topic on "I Never Thought I'd Post Here ..."). Indeed, in that topic a Muslim stated:

 

if you mean that he (Jesus) had the same human nature as the messengers - and indeed, the rest of humanity - then of course he did.

 

That makes you officially a Muslim. …

 

I was struck by how strange this sounded. Mainstream Christianity always has acknowledged and openly taught that Jesus had a human nature exactly like our own – not similar, but exactly like our own – because he was born of a human mother. What struck me was how Muslims think that mainstream Christianity denies the full humanity of Jesus. We don't, but Tritheists around at the time of Muhammad did. We follow St Paul who firmly taught the full humanity of Jesus by saying about the Word of Allah which was bestowed on Mary, "taking the very nature of a servant [slave], being made in human likeness" (New Testament, Philippians 2:7).

 

I have been reading much, and thought I would share the above as evidence that Muhammad was in fact in favour of the mainstream churches (e.g. letting them worship in his Masjid), whilst being together against the sect of Tritheism. Christians share the same terminology as the tritheists, but are very different from them.

 

Richard

Edited by EasternQibla

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This post is quite moot considering the fact that Orthodox Christianity does teach that Jesus (pbuh) is God, the Son of God and a Lord - all refuted in the Qur'an. You can behind

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As I said at the end of my post, "Christians share the same terminology as the tritheists, but are very different from them". Elsewhere, you reminded me of this verse:

 

And the Jews and the Christians say: "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.'' Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins'' Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the return (of all). (5:18)

 

Here we see that the term 'children/sons of Allah' means someone who is not human. Mainstream Christians have never made such an absurd claim for our people. Therefore this passage (amongst others) of the Quran is not to be recited against the mainstream churches. It also implies that the term 'son of God' implies that someone is less than fully human. The mainstream churches always have fervently defended the full humanity of Jesus Christ. Such verses of the Quran are therefore actually against those who took Christian terminology and denied the humanity of Christ.

 

Richard

PS Regarding calling Jesus 'Lord': in the Quran 3:40 Zachariah said "O my lord" (rabb), but it is addressed to Gabriel, according to Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn 'Abbās ("(He said: My Lord) Zachariah said to Gabriel: O master!..."). It is therefore not wrong to address certain people as Rabb, Lord.

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Here we see that the term 'children/sons of Allah' means someone who is not human.

 

No, it does not. The Jews and Christians didn't believe that they were not human.

 

The mainstream churches always have fervently defended the full humanity of Jesus Christ. Such verses of the Quran are therefore actually against those who took Christian terminology and denied the humanity of Christ.

 

...and mainstream churches also teach that Jesus (pbuh) is fully divine - which is refuted in the Qur'an. Like I said, your point is moot.

 

PS Regarding calling Jesus 'Lord': in the Quran 3:40 Zachariah said "O my lord" (rabb), but it is addressed to Gabriel, according to Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn 'Abbās ("(He said: My Lord) Zachariah said to Gabriel: O master!..."). It is therefore not wrong to address certain people as Rabb, Lord.

 

But praying to, bowing to, worshipping Jesus (pbuh) is not allowed. Again you are just arguing for a moot point. It is quite clear that Christian theology holds Jesus (pbuh) to be more than a mere master. Mainstream Christianity believes that Jesus (pbuh) is an object of worship. There is no denying that. There is also no reconciling that with what is said in the Qur'an.

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However, what I really would like to hear from Muslims here is how certain pieces of pro-Christian evidence can be interpreted as being wrong. I have mentioned about the Companions of the Cave having the same Christianity as the official Roman/Byzantine Empire when they woke up. Also the Najran Christians would have perfectly understood the references in sura 3:39,45 (revealed especially for their meeting with Muhammad) to Christ being the Word; the Quran never tries to give them a different interpretation.

The Najran Christians even worshipped in the Masjid.

 

These points I raised much earlier (see link in my first post), and have yet to be addressed. So you can see how I am thinking: the Quran and Muhammad treated mainstream churches radically differently.

 

A new example is the fact that Muhammad also prayed inside a Christian Church:

 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir on sura 17 Al-Isra "An Interesting Story"

 

In his book Dala'il An-Nubuwwah, Al-Hafiz Abu Nu`aym Al-Isbahani recorded via Muhammad bin `Umar Al-Waqidi who said: Malik bin Abi Ar-Rijjal told me from `Amr bin `Abdullah that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said:

… I said: `He [Muhammad] claims that he went out of our land, the land of Al-Haram, in one night, and came to your sanctuary in Jerusalem, then came back to us the same night, before morning came.' The Patriarch of Jerusalem was there, standing next to Caesar. The Patriarch of Jerusalem said: `I know that night.' Caesar looked at him and said, `How do you know about this' He said, `I never used to sleep at night until I closed the doors of the sanctuary. On that night I closed all the doors except for one, which I could not manage to close. I asked my workers and others who were with me to help me deal with it, but we could not move it. It was like trying to move a mountain. So I called the carpenters, and they looked at it and said: The lintel and some part of the structure has fallen onto it. We cannot move it until morning, when we will be able to see what the problem is. So I went back and left those two doors open. The next morning I went back, and saw that the stone at the corner of the sanctuary had a hole in it, and there were traces of an animal having been tethered there. I said to my companions: This door has not been closed last night except for a Prophet, who prayed last night in our sanctuary.'''

And he mentioned the rest of the Hadith. In his book At-Tanwir fi Mawlid As-Siraj Al-Munir, Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Khattab `Umar bin Dihyah mentioned the Hadith of the Isra' narrated from Anas, and spoke well about it, then he said: "The reports of the Hadith of the Isra' reach the level of Mutawatir. They were narrated from `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Dharr, Malik bin Sa`sa`ah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa`id, Ibn `Abbas, Shaddad bin Aws, Ubayy bin Ka`b, `Abdur-Rahman bin Qarat, Abu Habbah Al-Ansari, Abu Layla Al-Ansari, `Abdullah bin `Amr, Jabir, Hudhayfah, Buraydah, Abu Ayyub, Abu Umamah, Samurah bin Jundub, Abu Al-Hamra', Suhayb Ar-Rumi, Umm Hani', and `A'ishah and `Asma', the daughters of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with them all.

 

During his night journey, Muhammad therefore prayed in a Christian church (almost certainly the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, bring the Patriarch's church, where Jesus was buried and rose up). Therefore Muhammad must have been in agreement with the faith practised in that church. Or what am I misunderstanding?

 

Richard

 

PS. This hadith also seems to say that Muhammad's ascension into heaven did not occur at the place in the Dome of the Rock, but in the Holy Sepulchre. Controversial, but it is what the hadith seems to imply ... I'm just the messenger telling you about this hadith, don't shoot me down!!

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However, what I really would like to hear from Muslims here is how certain pieces of pro-Christian evidence can be interpreted as being wrong. I have mentioned about the Companions of the Cave having the same Christianity as the official Roman/Byzantine Empire when they woke up. Also the Najran Christians would have perfectly understood the references in sura 3:39,45 (revealed especially for their meeting with Muhammad) to Christ being the Word; the Quran never tries to give them a different interpretation.

The Najran Christians even worshipped in the Masjid.

 

What is the context behind the story of the Companions of the Cave? The Quraish asked the Prophet (pbuh) about them. The Quraish did so because they had been instructed by the Jewish Rabbis in Medina to ask this question to test the Prophet's (pbuh) prophethood. There is no evidence that the Companions of the Cave were Byzantines, or shared their faith.

 

The Qur'an does give a different interpretation. The Qur'an explains that Jesus (pbuh) is not Divine, not the Son of God nor is he a Lord.

 

It is quite obvious the Najran Christians didn't understand:

 

(59. Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be!'' and he was.) (60. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.) (61. Then whoever disputes with you concerning him after the knowledge that has come to you, say: "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then we pray and we invoke Allah's curse upon the liars.'')´

(62. Verily, this is the true narrative, and there is no god except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) (63. And if they turn away, then surely, Allah is All-Aware of those who do mischief.) (64. Say: "O people of the Scripture: Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah the same, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.'' Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims.'')

(From Surah 3)

 

The Christians of Najran were allowed to pray in the Masjid out of courtesy, not because they had correct beliefs. Obviously they did not.

 

These points I raised much earlier (see link in my first post), and have yet to be addressed. So you can see how I am thinking: the Quran and Muhammad treated mainstream churches radically differently.

 

I don't see any evidence of that.

 

During his night journey, Muhammad therefore prayed in a Christian church (almost certainly the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, bring the Patriarch's church, where Jesus was buried and rose up). Therefore Muhammad must have been in agreement with the faith practised in that church. Or what am I misunderstanding?

 

Because Muhammad (pbuh) praying in a Church does not necessarily validate the Church's beliefs. In the past, the Temple of Solomon (pbuh) was filled with idols, yet it remained holy and even real believers continued praying there. The fact that they prayed there does not necessarily mean that they agreed with the idols. Okay, I am not completly sure about this but I will give an example that I am completly sure of.

 

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prayed in the Sacred Masjid, the Kabah, although the Masjid was under the control of Pagans and there were idols inside the Masjid and around it! If you we were to use your reasoning, he must have been in agreement with their faith also. Obviously he prayed there because the Masjid is holy.

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Let's ignore everything else for now. What you wrote below totally stumped me.

 

What is the context behind the story of the Companions of the Cave? The Quraish asked the Prophet (pbuh) about them. The Quraish did so because they had been instructed by the Jewish Rabbis in Medina to ask this question to test the Prophet's (pbuh) prophethood. There is no evidence that the Companions of the Cave were Byzantines, or shared their faith.

 

I referred to this (following the link above) in

http://www.gawaher.c...20#entry1246954

-but I guess it is hard to track everyone's posts! :)

In that post I quoted from a post from Muslim, here it is in more detail:

 

The Companions of the Cave – Part II

...

The Awakening of the companions of the cave:

After 300 years, a new king who believed in Christianity took charge and he made all the people believe in it too.

...

The seller thought that the young man had found a treasure and he said to the young man: “Either you tell me the place of the treasure, so that we can share it or I will tell the police”. The young man said: “Which treasure?” The seller replied: “This currency goes back to 300 years ago”. The young man was surprised because he though he has just run away from Decius yesterday. People started to gather around him laughing and they thought he was crazy. I am imagine that he told them,: “Please stop gathering people around me so that the guards of Decius do not find me”. In the middle of the people’s laughter, the young man said: “Truthfully, we are Christian believers”. The gathering said: “We are all like you, and even the king believes in god too”. The young man could not believe it. One of the men of wisdom asked the young man about his name and the names of his friends. When the man of wisdom heard the names, he knew then that these were the seven young men who disappeared, and whose names were written on the Inscribed Tablet.

 

People informed the king about him, and went to the cave to see his friends.

Imagine the whole town going to the cave now telling the seven young men, “We are all believers now, and you are the ones who directed us to the right path”. Imagine their invoking to Allah “ O The Generous, O The Ultimate Trustee”. Imagine the moment when they found out the truth saying, “How did the dream come true? O Allah you have fulfilled our dream”.

...

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetamrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles/articles3270.html"]Source[/url]

Decius was the ancient Roman Emperor.

 

"There is no evidence that the Companions of the Cave were Byzantines, or shared their faith.": actually, they are the only ones mentioned ...

 

Have you really never heard that the Companions of the Cave were Christians, and woke up during the Christian Byzantine Empire?

 

Richard

Edited by EasternQibla

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"There is no evidence that the Companions of the Cave were Byzantines, or shared their faith.": actually, they are the only ones mentioned ...

 

Have you really never heard that the Companions of the Cave were Christians, and woke up during the Christian Byzantine Empire?

 

The fact Christians tell a story really doesn't carry any weight.

 

"Koch (op. cit.) has examined the growth of this story and the spread of the legendof miraculously long sleep. Aristotle (Phys., IV, xi) refers to a similar tale about sleepers at Sardes; there are many more examples from various countries (Koch, pp. 24-40, quotes German, British, Slav, Indian, Jewish, Chinese, and Arabianversions). "

 

From Catholic Encyclopedia regarding the seven sleepers

 

The point is such stories are common. The Jews instructed the Quraish to ask the Prophet (pbuh) about this, so it is very likely they were Jewish.

 

But for the sake of arguement, let's say they woke up in the Byzantine era. That still does not proove anything about their beliefs. If they were from the Byzantine era, it does not say anything about their beliefs.

 

Lastly and most importantly, the Qur'an denies the Trinity, Jesus (pbuh) being Divine, the Son of God and a Lord. Trying to use the people of the cave as an arguement is extremely weak.

 

(17. Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam. Say: "Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam, his mother, and all those who are on the earth together'' And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is able to do all things.)

 

(72. Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the Messiah ﴿`Isa﴾, son of Maryam.'' But the Messiah said: "O Children of israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.'' Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.)

 

Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the third of three.'' And there is no god but One God (Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them.) (74. Will they not repent to Allah and ask His forgiveness For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (75. The Messiah ﴿`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 used to eat food. Look how We make the Ayat clear to them; yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).)

 

116. And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah''' He will say: "Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.'')

 

117. "Never did I say to them ought except what You (Allah) did command me to say: `Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' And I was a witness over them while I dwelled amongst them, but when You took me ﴿up﴾, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.'') (118. "If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.'')

 

(From Surah 5)

 

 

(57. And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.) (58. And say: "Are our gods better or is he'' They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.) (59. He was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example for the Children of israel.) (60. And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth.) (61. And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour. Therefore have no doubt concerning it. And follow Me! This is the straight path.) (62. And let not Shaytan hinder you. Verily, he (Shaytan) to you is a plain enemy.) (63. And when `Isa came with clear proofs, he said: "I have come to you with Al-Hikmah, and in order to make clear to you some of that in which you differ. Therefore have Taqwa of Allah and obey me.'') (64. "Verily, Allah! He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is the straight path.'') (65. But the sects from among themselves differed. So woe to those who do wrong from the torment of a painful Day!)

 

From Surah 43

 

It does not get clearer than this. Do the math. 1) Jesus is not Allah 2) Jesus (pbuh) is no more than a Messenger and a servant. In other words, Jesus (pbuh) is fully human but not Divine at all. Notice the Quran refutes the various positions the Christians had. But you will not find support for the Trinity (as Orthodoxy describes), that's why you have to resort to arguements about the people of the Cave, the Christians of Najran etc. Look at what Jesus (pbuh) says to God on the Day of Judgement. Does this sound like the Jesus (pbuh) who will come with his (emphasis on his) Angels, judges people because he has been given the right to judgement and all of the things that are talked about in the NT.

 

The fact is Orthodox Christianity believes that Jesus (pbuh) is God. There is no getting around this. There is also no getting around the fact that Jesus (pbuh) being God, the Trinity, tritheism, all of these false beliefs are refuted in the Qur'an. Arguements like "those verses are against people who believed that Jesus (pbuh) was not human at all, only divine" are pathetic. Starting to talk about the people of the cave is just a distraction.

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