The Quran presents criteria to distinguish the true God from false gods.
Is He then Who creates like him who does not create? Do you not then mind?... And those whom they call on besides Allah have not created anything while they are themselves created; Dead (are they), not living, and they know not when they shall be raised. S. 16:17, 20-21 Shakir
And they have taken besides Him gods, who do not create anything while they are themselves created, and they control not for themselves any harm or profit, and they control not death nor life, nor raising (the dead) to life. S. 25:3 Shakir
These preceding passages state that:
Which implies that:
It is no secrect that the Holy Bible states that the Lord Jesus created the cosmos and was called upon in worship by the first Christians:
"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him." John 1:3, 10
"In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, 'Ananias!' 'Yes, Lord,' he answered. The Lord told him, 'Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.' 'Lord,' Ananias answered, 'I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.' But the Lord said to Ananias, 'Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.' Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit'... All those who heard him were astonished and asked, 'Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?'" Acts 9:10-17, 21
"To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ-their Lord and ours:" 1 Corinthians 1:2
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For BY HIM all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created BY HIM and FOR HIM. He is before all things, and IN HIM all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Colossians 1:15-18
"but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven... And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, 'Let all God's angels worship him'... But about the Son he says... 'In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.'" Hebrews 1:2-3, 6, 8a, 10-12
According to the same Holy Bible, the Lord Jesus is alive forever and ever, having conquered death and ushering in glorious immortality:
"So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 2 Timothy 1:8-10
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.'" Revelation 1:17-18
"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again." Revelation 2:8
By conquering death, Christ demonstrated that he is truly the source of life for all:
"In him was life, and that life was the light of men." John 1:4
"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it... I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD and those who hear will live... Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear HIS VOICE and come out-those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." John 5:21, 25, 28-29
"Jesus said to her, 'I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?' 'Yes, Lord,' she told him, 'I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.'" John 11:25-27
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" John 14:6
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21
"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:3-4
The Lord Jesus fits the criteria given in the Quran which demonstrates true Deity (i.e., the Creator, the Source of Life, and ever-Living). Christians are therefore justified in worshiping him as their sovereign Lord.
Now the Muslim will definitely object to our appeal to the Holy Bible on the grounds that it doesn't accurately reflect the life and teachings of the historical Jesus, and as such it cannot be used to prove that Jesus and his original followers truly believed that Christ was God.
It is not the object of this present paper to provide the evidence which establishes the historical veracity of the NT documents, or to demonstrate that the first followers of Christ confessed their belief in the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus, or in his death and resurrection. For that we simply defer our readers to the following articles and links:
What we would like to do here is to show that even according to the testimony of the Quran, the Lord Jesus perfectly fulfills the criteria of being Deity.
and he shall be a prophet to the people of Israel (saying), that I have come to you, with a sign from God, namely, that I will CREATE for you out of clay (annee AKHLUQU lakum mina ALTTEENI) as though it were the form of a bird, and I will blow thereon and it shall become a bird by God's permission; and I will heal the blind from birth, and lepers; and I will bring the dead to life by God's permission; and I will tell you what you eat and what ye store up in your houses. Verily, in that is a sign for you if ye be believers. S. 3:49 Palmer
When God shall say, O Jesus son of Mary, remember my favour towards thee, and towards thy mother; when I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, that thou shouldest speak unto men in the cradle, and when thou wast grown up; and when I taught thee the scripture, and wisdom, and the law, and the gospel; and when thou didst CREATE of clay (wa-ith TAKHLUQU mina ALTTEENI) as it were the figure of a bird, by my permission, and didst breathe thereon, and it became a bird by my permission; and thou didst heal one blind from his birth, and the leper, by my permission; and when thou didst bring forth the dead [from their graves], by my permission; and when I with-held the children of Israel from [killing] thee, when thou hadst come unto them with evident [miracles], and such of them as believed not, said, this is nothing but manifest sorcery. S. 5:110 Sale
These two passages demonstrate that Christ has the breath of life and can create in exactly the same way God creates:
HE it is Who created you from clay (Huwa allathee KHALAQAKUM min TEENIN) and then HE decreed a term. And there is another term fixed with HIM. Yet you doubt. S. 6:2 Y. Ali
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man from clay (innee KHALIQUN basharan min TEENIN): When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." S. 38:71-72 Y. Ali
Note the connection between God breathing his Spirit into man with Christ being strengthened with the Holy Spirit, breathing life into clay birds and resurrecting the dead. And also notice that Christ created a living bird from clay just as God created man from clay. These passages therefore teach that Christ had the same life-giving Spirit of God!
The Quran says by way of mocking the gods of the people:
"O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): verily! Those on whom you call besides Allah cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought." S. 22:73
Even though Jesus didn't create a fly, he did create a bird and breathed life into it just as Allah did to Adam!
In fact, according to one Salafi Muslim site the word for create (khalaqa) refers to creating something from nothing, an act which only God can perform:
Imam al-Bukhari reported in his Saheeh from Abu Sa`eed (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: "There is no created being but Allah created it." In Arabic, the word "khalaqa" means to make out of nothing, which is something that ONLY ALLAH CAN DO; it is impossible for anyone except Allah to do this. It also carries the meaning of decreeing or foreordaining. [**]
See Fath al-Bari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, 13/390. (439: Evidence that only Allah is the Creator of life; bold and capital emphasis ours)
But this very same word is applied to Christ which means, at least according to the above position, that Jesus must be God! Note how this works out logically:
The Quran also implies that Christ is alive in heaven:
And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me 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 I will decide between you concerning that in which you differed. S. 3:55 Shakir
That they said (in boast), "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, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise; - S. 4:157-158 Y. Ali
Orthodox Islam has generally understood these passages to mean that Christ was taken alive into heaven, into the very presence of God himself.
Moreover, specific Islamic narrations teach that Jesus will be an intercessor for his people:
... "Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) but if there is any good (done) He doubles it." (4.40) The Prophet added, "Then THE PROPHETS and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, 'Now remains My Intercession. He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life. ..." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)
Ibn Kathir wrote in reference to Sura 3:45 that:
<Held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.> meaning, he will be a leader and honored by Allah in this life, because of the Law that Allah will reveal to him, sending down the Scripture to him, along with the other bounties that Allah will grant him with. `Isa will be honored in the Hereafter and will intercede with Allah, by His leave, on behalf of some people, just as is the case with his brethren the mighty Messengers of Allah, peace be upon them all. (Source)
The next text supports the interpretation that Jesus may intercede:
And We did not send before you any apostle but We revealed to him that there is no god but Me, therefore serve Me. And they say: The Beneficent God has taken to Himself a son. Glory be to Him. Nay! they are honored servants. They do not precede Him in speech and (only) according to His commandment do they act. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves and for fear of Him they tremble. And whoever of them should say: Surely I am a god besides Him, such a one do We recompense with hell; thus do, We recompense the unjust. S. 21:25-29 Shakir
This reference says that at least some of those honored servants who were wrongly worshiped as gods or considered children of God will indeed intercede. And since according to the Quran Jesus is an honored servant who was wrongly worshiped as God and as the Son of God this therefore means that he may well be one of those interceding.
But this directly conflicts with the following text:
And those whom they invoke besides God HAVE NO POWER OF INTERCESSION;- only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him). If thou ask them, who created them, they will certainly say, God: How then are they deluded away (from the Truth)? (God has knowledge) of the (Prophet's) cry, "O my Lord! Truly these are people who will not believe!" S. 43:86-88
No intercessor will they have from those whom they made equal with Allah (partners i.e. their socalled associate gods), and they will (themselves) reject and deny their partners. S. 30:13 Hilali-Khan
The above references claim that those invoked by the unbelievers have no power to intercede. Jesus happens to be one of those very beings that so-called unbelieving Christians invoked and continue to invoke in their prayers. Thus, either Jesus can intercede which means that the Quran is wrong; or he cannot intercede which means that the Islamic tradition is wrong.
In light of the aforementioned citations, we are left with the conclusion that:
Therefore, the Quran clearly shows that the Lord Jesus fits the description of God, fulfilling the very criteria which demonstrates that Christ is indeed very God of very God.
Yet, it is at this precise point that we have a contradiction within the Quran itself. There is no denying that the Quran rejects the Deity of Jesus (cf. 4:171; 5:17, 70-75; 9:30). But, as we just saw, the Quran attributes titles, qualities and functions to Christ which shows that he is indeed God. Other titles given to Christ which affirm his essential Deity include the Word of God and a Spirit from God (cf. 3:39, 45; 4:171).
A Muslim may say that Jesus was given the ability to create and give life by God, just as the passages themselves state. He didn't have this ability within himself. This response doesn't solve the contradiction, but only pushes it a step further.
Why would God grant Jesus the abilities and characteristics of Deity? Why is God permitting Jesus to perfectly fit the description and fulfill the criteria which places one within the category of God?
Second, the expression "by God's permission" doesn't necessarily mean that Christ was given abilities he did not already have. The statements can be understood in light of the biblical teaching that Christ did nothing on his own initiative, but did everything in perfect union with his Father's will. (cf. John 5:16-30)
In other words, the Quranic expression simply implies that Christ only exercised his divine prerogatives in accordance with the decree of God, never acting on his own behest or initiative. It need not deny that Christ always had these divine attributes and characteristics. This becomes all the more likely when we recall that the Quran describes Christ as God's Word and a Spirit proceeding from God, titles which point to Christ's divinity and pre-existence.
Contradictions in the Qur'an
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