Page 122 - Islam In Focus

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a solemn Covenant. (They have incurred divine displeasure); in that they broke their
Covenant; that they rejected the Signs of God; that they slew the Messengers in
defiance of right; that they said:’ Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve God’ s
Word; we need no more)’ ; nay God has set the seal in their hearts for their blasphemy,
and little is it they believe; that they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a
grave false charge; that they said (in boast the dersion): ‘We killed Christ Jesus the
son of Mary, the apostle of God.’ But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it
was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no
(certain) knowledge except only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him
not. Nay, God raised him up to Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise (4:153-
158; cf:3:52-59)
Islam rejects the doctrine of the Crucifixion of Jesus by the enemies of God and also
the foundations of that doctrine. This rejection is based on the authority of God
Himself as revealed in the Qur’ an, and on a deeper rejection of blood sacrifice and
vicarious atonement for sins. Islam teaches that the First Sin of Adam was forgiven
after he himself had made the atonement; that every sinner, if not forgiven by God,
will himself be accountable for his sins; and that no one can make atonement for the
sins of another. This makes no room for the entertainment of the doctrine of Blood
Sacrifice or atonement on another person’ s behalf. However, some of the early
Christian sects did not believe that Jesus was killed on the Cross. The Bacilidans
believed that someone else was crucified in his place. The Docetae held that Jesus
never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent body, and that his
cricifixion was apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about 138 A.D.) denied
that Jesus was born, and merely said that he appeared in human form. The Gospel of
Saint Barnabas – of which there is an English translation in the State Library of
Vienna and an Arabic version in the Arab world-supports the theory of substitution on
the Cross
As regards the end of Jesus, the Muslim is quite at ease as he is with regard to his
beginning. The Muslim believes that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified, but God
raised him up to Himself in honor and grace. The mind of the Muslim is clear as far as
the whole matter is concerned. The Qur’ an has settled the disputes for him once and
for all. The belief that Jesus was crucified raises a number of unavoidable inquiries.
Some of these may be presented here
1. Does the crucifixion of Jesus as conceived by the Christian churches befit the
Justice, the Mercy, the Power, and the Wisdom of God?
2. Is it just on God’ s part, or anybody’ s part for that matter, to make someone repent
for the sins or wrongs of others, the sins to which the repenter is no party?
3. Is it consistent with God’ s Mercy and Wisdom to believe that Jesus was humiliated
and murdered the way he is said to have been?
4. Is it a fulfillment of God’ s promise ( to defend His allies and protect His beloved
ones) that Jesus was so deserted that he became an easy prey to God’ s enemies? Is
this to be taken as a way of fulfilling one’ s obligations or as a precedence in honoring
one’ s word?
5. Is it justifiable and proper to believe that God, the Most Forgiving, was unable to
forgive Adam and his children for the Original Sin, and that He held them in suspense
or bewilderment until Jesus came to make the atonement with his own blood?