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الثلاثاء، 7 مايو، 2013

Comparing Jesus & Muhammad


Comparing Jesus & Muhammad

"The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you."

[Bible - John 14:26]




Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "A messenger will come after me, named Ahmad."

[Holy Quran 61:6]




The chief priests and Levites asked John the Baptist, "If you are not the Christ (Messiah), and not Elijah - are you THAT Prophet?"

[Bible - John 1:20]




When the chief priests and Levites asked John the Baptist who he was, they asked him in a very strange way. First they questioned him as to whether or not he was the anticipated "Messiah" [Christ in Koine Greek]. He was not the "Messiah" that had hoped for. Next they asked if he was the prophet Elijah and again he tells them, "No." Now comes the really strange part. Finally, they asked him if he is "That Prophet?"


Are you Christ? - [No]
Are you Elijah? - [No]
Are you THAT Prophet? - [No]

What did they mean by "That Prophet?" We of course, know who the "Christ" is. After all, Christians should know that "Christ" is merely a shortened form of the Koine Greek word "christos," intended to mean the Hebrew word "Messiah."

The Jews of two thousand years ago were definitely looking for the Messiah, who it was foretold in their books, would come and lead them to victory over their oppressors and thus gain for them mastery over this world. They were much oppressed under Roman domination and even their own Jewish kings were seen as nothing more than puppets or agents for the disbelievers. Certainly, they would have been most happy to see someone come on the scene who would defeat their Roman masters and slave drivers.

Then the priests and Levites asked John the Baptist if he might be the prophet Elijah, returning back after hundreds of years being away. There was the notion amongst them that Elijah would come back. But again, John the Baptist is denying he is Elijah.

Then, who is he? They wonder at this man living out in the desert and forsaking wealth and luxury and fasting, avoiding the material attractions of life.

Again, they ask John the Baptist who he is. "Are you THAT Prophet?" And one more time he denies being "THAT Prophet," but then he does tell them about someone who will come after him soon, whom he claims he is not worthy to even unlace his shoes.

However, this does not answer the question, "Who were they expecting besides the Messiah?" Could it be they were looking for someone like Muhammad? (Could be)

Who is THAT Prophet? -

Keep reading and learn who "That Prophet" is and what other proofs can be discovered within the Holy texts to support this idea.



For centuries Muslims have believed Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, was "THAT Prophet" mentioned in these words of the Gospel of John. The Quran states one of the important features of Jesus' mission was to give the "bashir" or 'glad tidings' of the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. During his short missionary career that lasted not more than three years, and which was overshadowed by the hostile attitude of his own people, Jesus gave them the good news of Ahmad, (one of the forms of "Muhammad") the last messenger of God, who would perfect the divine teaching both in theory and in practice. The Quran mentions that, Jesus says:

"O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah {Almighty God} (sent) to you, confirming the Law (Torah or Old Testament) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad."


[Holy Quran 61:6]



The Quran gives the name as Ahmad, one of several ways to say Muhammad's name. Just as we have in English the name Joseph, and often use a shorter form such as "Joe" or the familiar form, "Joey," and other names like "Jonathan" which becomes "John"; "Jack" or "Johnny", so in the same way we find Arabic has similar forms for a name. Muhammad, Ahmad and Hamad are a few of the names originating from the root word, "hamd" (meaning 'praise) in Arabic, and can be understood as "The one who praises (God)"; "the praised one"; "praising"; etc.


Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his translation of the meanings of the Quran to English, he states, "Ahmad or Muhammad, the Praised One is a translation of the Koine Greek word Periclytos. In the present gospel of John 14:16, 15:26 and 16:7, the Greek word Paracletos is translated in the NIV as Comforter. Paracletos can mean an Advocate, or "one called to the help of another", "a kind friend." Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was known from birth as one who brought comfort and reconciliation to family, friends and strangers alike, especially in bringing together the ties of kinship and brotherly love.

Another nick name of the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, mentioned in the Bible (or at least what is left of it in the English language) is "The Spirit of Truth." As-Saddiq means exactly that and it is was another name given to Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, by those who knew his proclivity for honesty and integrity.

The New Testament Gospel according to John, Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, promises them the Paracletos will come four times (John 14:16; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). Naturally, Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, did not return in their lifetime nor did any other prophet for that matter, so later thinkers came up with the notion that it was not Jesus "in person" but rather, Jesus coming back in "spirit form." This led some Christians to assert, this was to be the Holy Spirit, who would descend upon the disciples on the Day of the Pentecost (Acts 2), to witness Christ and lead them into the whole truth and to be with the believers forever, and they would not die (John 3:16), but have everlasting life. Also, some added verses later (see footnotes to Revised Standard Version of the Bible) to the very last chapter of Mark (16), wherein, they have the Spirit coming upon them in such a way they imagined themselves going to be able to speak with new languages; pick up snakes, lay hands on the sick to cure them and even drink poison and nothing would hurt them. [Luke 23:17-18]

Another point is, the Paracletos, comforter or the Spirit of truth, was going to dwell with us from now on. Certainly anyone could see Muhammad's influence and his message of worshipping only One God without any partners has prevailed long after his earthly life.

More and More about him



Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was an illiterate but wise and well-respected man who was born in Makkah in the year 570 C.E., at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. His first years were marked by the deaths of his parents. Since his father died before his birth, his uncle, Abu Talib, from the respected tribe of Quraysh, raised him. As Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. His reputation and personal qualities also led to his marriage, at the age of twenty-five, to Khadijah, a widow whom he had assisted in business. Thenceforth, he became an important and trusted citizen of Makkah. Historians describe him as calm and meditative.

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) never felt fully content to be part of a society whose values he considered to be devoid of true religious significance. It became his habit to retreat from time to time to the cave of Hira', to meditate near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the "Mountain of Light", near Makkah.


At the age of 40, while engaged in one such meditative retreat, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Qur'an, the faithful recording of the entire revelation of God. The first revelation read:


"Recite: In the name of your Lord Who created man from a clot (of blood). Recite: Your Lord is Most Noble, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know."


[Holy Quran 96:1-5]



It was this reality that he gradually and steadily came to learn and believe, until he fully realized that it is the truth.


His first convert was Khadijah, whose support and companionship provided necessary reassurance and strength. He also won the support of some of his relatives and friends. Three basic themes of the early message were the majesty of the one, unique God, the futility of idol worship, the threat of judgment, and the necessity of faith, compassion and morality in human affairs. All these themes represented an attack on the crass materialism and idolatry prevalent in Makkah at the time. So when he began to proclaim the message to others the Makkans rejected him. He and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 C.E., God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijrah (migration), in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah, some 260 miles to the north, marked the beginning of a new era and thus the beginning of the Muslim calendar. During his suffering, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) drew comfort from the knowledge revealed to him about other prophets, such as Abraham, Joseph, and Moses, each of whom had also been persecuted and tested.


After several years and some significant battles, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. By the time the Prophet died, at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia had accepted Islam, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread as far west as Spain and as far east as China. It was clear that the message was not limited to Arabs; it was for the whole of humanity.




The Prophet's sayings (Hadith), are revelation. The number of sayings collected by his followers and scholars is close to 10,000 in total. Some typical examples of his sayings are as follows:


"To pursue knowledge is obligatory on every believing (man and woman)."
[Ibn Majah]



"Removing a harmful thing from the road is charity." [Bukhari, Muslim] "Those who do not show tenderness and love cannot expect to have tenderness shown to them."
[Bukhari]



"Adore Allah (God) as though you see Him; even if you do not see Him, He nonetheless sees you."
[Bukhari, Muslim]



Although Muhammad is deeply loved, revered and emulated by Muslims as God's final messenger, he is not an object of worship.


According to the Bible, God said to Moses, on whom be peace: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18). The prophet described in the above verse must have the following three characteristics: 1. He will be like Moses. 2. He will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites. 3. God will put His words in the mouth of the prophet and he will declare what God commanded him. Let us see which prophet God was speaking of. 1. The prophet like Moses Some people feel that this prophecy refers to the prophet Jesus, on whom be peace. But, although Jesus (peace be upon him and all of God’s prophets and messengers) was truly a prophet of God, he is not the prophet spoken of here. He was born miraculously, and finally God raised him up miraculously. On the other hand, Muhammad is more like Moses; both were born in a natural way and both died natural deaths.

2. From among the Ishmaelites Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis, chapter 21). Ishmael became the grandfather of the Arab nation. And Isaac became the grandfather of Jewish nation. The prophet spoken of was to come not from among the Jews themselves, but from among their brothers, the Ishmaelites. Muhammad a descendant of Ishmael, is indeed that prophet. 3. God will put his words in his mouth ‘Neither the content of the revelation, nor its form, were of Muhammad’s devising. Both were given by the angel, and Muhammad’s task was only to repeat what he heard.’ (Word Religions from Ancient history to the Present, by Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 472). God sent the angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad the exact words that he should repeat to the people. The words are therefore not his own; they did not come from his own thoughts, but were put into his mouth by the angel. These are written down in the Qur’an word for word, exactly as they came from God. Now that we know that prophet we must listen to him, for, according to the Bible, God says: ‘I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him’ (Good News Bible, Deut. 18:19). Jesus (on whom be peace) In the Glorious Qur'an The Qur’an tells us many wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Qur’an love Jesus, honor him and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace. The Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God's leave and that he raised the dead by God's leave. What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates His power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, without a woman. And finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, without a man. What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God's leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said: ‘I can do nothing of my own authority' (5:30). The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God's authority. What did Jesus teach? The Qur'an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God – that we must shun every false god and worship only the One True God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of the One True God, the God of Abraham. These Qur'anic teachings can be compared with the Bible (Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as ‘Servant of God’. The Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but God rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. God will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Qur'an teaches about him. Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from God, and a spirit from Him. He is honored in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to God. Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. This can be compared with the Gospel According John where Jesus says to the Israelites: ‘You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God’ (John 8:40).

 
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