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Jesus vs. Isa Part 1

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Maryam and IsaDuring a recent in depth study of the koran led by an Arabic speaking teacher, I was stunned to find that it confirms critical Christian claims regarding Jesus.   It affirms the virgin birth and Jesus/Isa as the son of God, the death and resurrection of Jesus/Isa, (part1) and miracles and other characteristics that make Jesus/Isa unique-and indeed equal to god and superior to Mohammad (part 2)!   

1) Virgin birth of Jesus/Isa—Son of god   (Note:  Muslims claim their Isa is the Christian Jesus).
In the Christian version an angel told Mary she was pregnant and she went with Joseph to Bethlehem where she gave birth.  This was ‘god’ in human form-born and growing as a human.  Mary was revered and the birth celebrated.
In Islam things are somewhat altered:
*K 3.59  Lo! the likeness of Isa/Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is.

Is Jesus/Isa like Adam, a totally new and unique creation?  Adam may have been created from dust (possibly as an adult-who would have cared for him?) and told to ‘be’ but text tells us the creation of the next unique individual,  Jesus/Isa was different again...

Maryam was supposedly the daughter of Imran (k3.35-36) and sister to Moses and Aaron (k19.28) –who lived at least 1200 years earlier according to the Biblical chronology.  Islamic text confuses genealogies, people, places, events and timelines...

While a virgin, she became pregnant via allah/Gabriel as allah’s ruh (‘spirit’)—
First Mary withdrew in seclusion from her family  (K 19.16 ) and ...
Isa with Angels
Ascension of Isa in old Turkish painting

*K 19.17........“We sent to her our Ruh (Gabriel?) and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.”
*K 19.18 She said:  “Verily I seek refuge with the most gracious from you, if you do fear allah.”

Clearly this ‘man’ (allah/allah’s ruh or soul-Gabriel?) frightened Maryam who possibly feared rape!  She was told she would have a son.

*K 19.20 –She said : “ How shall I have a son when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?”  

K 19.22 says Maryam conceived and withdrew to a far place, alone.  Also K 3.47 and although allah could simply say ‘be’ we get detail of how allah created Isa.


*K 21.91 And she who guarded her chastity [Virgin Maryam (Mary)], We breathed into (the sleeves of) her (shirt or garment) [through Our Rûh ¬ Jibrael (Gabriel)], and We made her and her son ['Isa (Jesus)] a sign for Al-'Alamin (the mankind and jinns).  

(NOTE: everything in brackets is added by the translator in the free to the west Saudi version–Gabriel?  Sleeves? )  See another translation-


*K 21.91 And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.  (USC version)

Allah has no son
As Mumin Salih (How can He have a son when He has no wife?  Tuesday, 27 November 2007  this site) and my Arabic teacher pointed out, both are mistranslations of the Arabic particularly with regard to the words ‘chastity’ and ‘breathed into’ and should be written “Maryam guarded her sexual organ (Vulva, vagina) until we blew into her!! ..
Likewise *K66.12 which repeats the tale is best translated as “and Maryam, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her sexual organ.  And we blew into her organ”...( ‘nafakhna feehy’)

Why did anything need to be ‘blown’ into Mary?  Why did a ‘man’ need to be sent?  Did Mary consent or was she forced?  What is this ruh—allah,  allah’s soul?   Supposedly the angel Gabriel is allah’s soul/ruh??(K 2.87)...

*K 19:23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!"

Hardly the words of a woman happy to be chosen by allah!

Regardless of the detail we know that Isa was not created as others were—Adam from clay, Mohammad (and ALL the other Isa and Muhammad‘prophets’ and people) from normal sexual reproduction.   Nor is this the mere ‘breath’ of life given to all.  Clearly Isa/Jesus is the offspring of god.   I don’t believe the Christian god and the Muslim one are the same but I do think the koran writers copied the tale of Jesus and didn’t realise its significance till later.  This necessitated all sorts of weak attempts to hide what Islamic text really implies - Jesus is the son of god.   His conception is utterly unique even in the Islamic text (mum +allah).  Either allah himself pretending to be a man, or his soul/ruh or the angel Gabriel(?) bearing allah’s seed or ruh or WHATEVER impregnated Maryam!

 
Abul Kasem has written several articles (Allah’s Soul impregnates Mary- allah plays with his souls part 2 of 2 Nov 3 08  this site)  exposing the confusion re souls, holy spirit, Gabriel, allah.   Obviously Islam borrowed these terms but failed to understand their meaning.   He notes the support from the text and commentators eg Ibn Kathir for the Christian claim that Jesus is the son of god and notes the possibility that Jesus is allah’s soul!   
As for lines like this:
K.6: 101. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything.

The same logic could be used about Mary, a mere human – how could she have a son when she had no husband? But such logic is missed.

 
Are we to believe the great creator couldn’t simply say ‘be’ as some other references in the Koran claim he could?  Why would the great creator need a wife?  Why go through this unique creation of Jesus/Isa-unless there was something special about Jesus?

The koran states allah does not beget a son walad: *K18:4; 19.35; 2:116; 17:111; 23:91; 9:30; 4:171 (‘have’); ‘son’ ibn *K 9:30.  However, it attributes the birth of Jesus directly to divine action, implying that Allah did, in fact, bring a son into the world!!

2) Jesus/Isa’s DEATH AND RESURRECTION-he is with god/allah, Mohammad is not.

Jesus/Isa foretold his own death and resurrection:

*K 19.33 Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!


*K 3.55 And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to make you sleep and raise you to Myself and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so l will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.
And two translations of  k 5.117:

Mocking Christianity
Mocking Christians and Christianity
*K 5.117 PICKTHAL: .....I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things.
SHAKIR: .....I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wert the watcher over them, and Thou art witness of all things.   (source)

The text in *K3.55 is more accurately, literally translated as    “Behold! Allah said: O Jesus! I will cause thee to die and raise thee to Myself and clear thee..”   
In *K5.117 it becomes ‘you caused me to die.’  The translation ‘you took me up’ is a patent attempt at ignoring the real meaning of the Arabic terminology.

The normal Arabic word ‘he died’ is twaffa. It is used 25 times in the Qur’an: 2:234, 240; 3:193; 4:15,97; 6:60, 61; 7:37, 126; 8:50; 10:46, 104; 12:101; 13:40; 16:28, 32, 70; 22:5; 32:15; 39:39-42; 40:67, 77; 47:27 and translated as …died/die.  In the case of Jesus/Isa, it is said to mean “make you sleep”or “take or gather thee” or “terminate the period of your stay” in various translations of  3.55  or “take you to myself”  in 5:117.
Why should the same word have a different meaning only in relation to Jesus?  Are ‘translators’ trying to hide the fact that even the Koran says Jesus DIED and was then risen or taken to paradise!
It seems (the Spanish apologist) Ibn Hazm 1064, came up with the ‘new’ interpretations of the text that ignored the meaning of twaffa, probably when he realised the implications!  Many Muslim koran commentators allowed for a real death and resurrection of Jesus as a legitimate interpretation of the koranic text:  eg  al-Tabari(d.923), al-Razi (d.1210), al-Qurtubi (d.1272), al-Baydawi (d.128Jesus is a slave of allah6) and Sayyid Qutb (d.1966)[ Joseph L. Cumming “Did Jesus Die on the Cross? The History of Reflection on the End of His Earthly Life in Sunni Tafsir Literature” (Unpublished paper) Yale University, May 2001]. (thanks B.)
Some text suggests that Jesus/Isa’s ‘death’ was just a trick played on the Jews:

*K 4.157 -158 And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.... Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

 

And while it is true that the Jews did NOT kill Jesus (many groups supported him), he was killed by the Romans who used crucifixion, it is also true that he was indeed killed or crucified.  Even Koran 2.87 states that when a messenger came “Some you disbelieved and some you killed.” (also 2.91, 3.21, 3.112, 3.181 – killed prophets!)
But Jesus’s death is not a matter of belief but of fact.  Several non-Christian writers attest to his existence and to the fact that he was put to death by Pontius Pilate- eg writings by Tacitus (historian of ancient Rome 55-120AD), Thallus (a secular historian writing around 52 AD), the Jewish historian Josephus (~93 AD), the Babylonian Talmud (crucifixion of Jesus the Nazarene), Mara Bar-Serapion (a Syrian), Suetonius....plus Christian manuscripts.  Some previous scholars  doubted the existence of Pontius Pilate but a stone commemorating Pilate, a prefect of the Roman controlled province of Judea 26-36 AD was discovered in 1961 during excavation of a theatre built by Herod (reference)
There have been a few bronze coins found that were struck from 29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate (http://www.bible-history.com/empires/pilate.html -also has references to Jesus’s crucifixion).  There was no mistaken identity  (Jesus was well known) or mere swooning or escaping as the Romans were professional executioners who knew what they were doing.   Many were executed  -Jesus was just one of many.  Also, Roman soldiers received the punishment of any escaped prisoners so they were keen to do their job!

Others, including Mohammad must wait till judgement day to be resurrected but the koran and hadith imply that Jesus is already in paradise waiting to return to earth!

Anti Pope Rally in TurkeySome reading this will say that Islam does revere Jesus but this is wrong.  Isa is a Muslim, a slave of allah who preached ‘worship allah’ and that those who die fighting for allah will reach paradise, and he will bear witness against Christians and return to kill all Christians- eg

* ***Bukhari   Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts.

Obviously the true Jesus was not allah’s slave as Islam did not exist.  The Christian Jesus called god his father, not his master as appropriate for a slave.  There is no mention of Islam or Muslims who follow allah until many hundreds of years later!  The ethics and behaviour of Christianity’s Jesus is in stark contrast to that of Mohammad and allah.   The koran cannot quote Jesus as it didn’t exist till well after the 7th century (no 7th century korans) so anything attributed to Isa and being passed off as Jesus is either plagiarised or lies!!  Jesus’s name in Arabic by Christians is given as Yasuu’ and does NOT translate to Isa.

But, Muslims have transferred into their own text, evident when read in the Arabic, support for the fundamental, central  claims of Christianity, claims that Islam tries to deny.  If Muslims critically read their text in Arabic, thought and questioned, then the truth would leap out—Jesus was the son of god and he died and was resurrected!   Such a death and resurrection have meaning in Christianity but no meaning in Islam.

Whether due to the ‘copying’ of those who composed the koran or due to divine intervention to reveal some truth is hard to say - but the FACT is that an impartial reading of  the koran reveals these central Christian claims.  It is a fact that a non-religious person like myself finds astonishing.

It also became apparent that, while the koran distorts Jesus, it also contains astonishing statements that clearly show that Jesus/Isa is superior to Mohammad.  So one can only wonder why Muslims revere Mohammad so much!

 
References:
ALIMCDRom – quran, hadiths, etc

The noble Koran:   English translations of the meanings and commentary.   Endowment for allah’s sake from the custodian of the two holy mosques king Abdullah ibn’abd al-aziz al Saud  (ie Saudi freebie)



Most text available HERE (for hadiths) and HERE  (for Koran)  Note verse numbers, phrasing can vary between translations.  Many 'English' versions are very 'sanitised' or 'mistranslated.'  Verses are missing.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2009 02:18  

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History - Violent Jihad

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