Page 124 - Islam In Focus

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14. Was God the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving and the Most High unable to
forgive men’ s sins except by inflicting this cruel and most humiliating alleged
crucifixion on one who was not only innocent but also dedicated to His service and
cause in a most remarkable way? Is this the application of God’ s mercy and
forgiveness or the reflection of His justice and love?
A study of the surrounding circumstances of the time, the behavior of the mundane
authorities, the public reactions, the concept of God, the status of man, the purpose of
religion and the life – a study of these can provoke interesting thoughts similar to the
ones I have mentioned. Until a satisfactory explanation of such inquiries is found, the
believer cannot be at ease, nor can he enjoy any true peace of mind. So it may be
advisable for all parties concerned to make a serious study of the matter and embark
on a deeper course of investigation
However, as far as the Muslims are concerned, such inquiries never arise, and such
perplexities are irrelevant, for Islam stands firm in maintaining that Jesus was not
crucified or killed, but was honored and raised to God Himself. It is reported in
Christian Literature that Jesus appeared, after crucifixion, to some disciples. His
appearance is quite probable and conflicts in no way with the Islamic beliefs. If it was
true that he appeared, the Muslim would believe that this appearance was not after
death on the Cross but after the asylum; which he had taken by the order of God as a
step in God’ s plan to save him and counteract the vicious conspiracy of the enemies.
Instead of being crucified and humiliated as had been planned by the enemy, he was
more exalted in rank and more honored as had been counter-planned by God
The greatness of Jesus and the distinction of his role do not, according to the
Muslims, emanate from the Christian belief that he was cold-bloodedly crucified
because of his teachings and to atone for man’ s sins. If this popular belief is valid, one
might be tempted to say that the sacrifice of Jesus for atonement was in vain because
sin has not been eliminated. Or one may even say that there are thousands of great
heroes, like Jesus, who died in promotion of their causes, worthy and otherwise.
These can be found everywhere, among the Germans, the Allies, the Communists, the
officials of the United Nations Organization, the religious warriors, the freedom
fighters, etc. So if this violent death is going to deify the dead, humanity must have
countless gods and deities, and it would be arbitrary on anybody’ s part to confine
such deity to Jesus alone, disregarding the other heroes who died in similar situations
Again, the Muslim does not face such a paradox. He believes that the greatness of
Jesus arises from the fact that he was chosen by God and honored with His word; that
he was entrusted with the revelations of God and commissioned to teach His message;
that he was a prophet of character and personality; that he was sincere inwardly and
outwardly; that he fought hypocrisy and blasphemy; that he was distinguished in the
beginning at the time of his birth and in the end at the time of his ascension; and that
he was a Sign to the people and a mercy from God. Peace be on him and his fellow
The nature of this survey does not permit us to deal thoroughly with the statements of
the Qur’ an on Jesus and his mission. What has been given here is only the
fundamental part. For further study and investigation the reader may be referred to the