Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jesus: The Christ and Christology In Islam.

The Quran speaks in a special way that connects a period before the creation, after the creation, destruction and the endless life. It also relates the role and relation of God, Angels, Jinns and Humans, both in between these creatures and with them to the creator.

Specialists in the study of Islam acknowledge that Christology had a real historical role that plays— in Islam, not in Christianity. It was founded on the base of derailed Jews from the teachings Moses and later of Christians from the teachings of Jesus.

Muslims never pay attention to the question of whether Islam has been influenced by History, Judaism, Christianity, or their sects in any way, because itself clarify, what is it and how it revealed to them. The Qur'an reveals the truth about past and future, discloses hidden things, similarly disclosed the truth of the history of mankind, true nature of prophetic mission, God's Message and their role in a straight line which includes Christ and his miraculous work. The exception is that Jesus was the Messiah to the sons of Israel, the last one of a series of Prophets among them.
"Jesus was no more than a mortal whom we favored and made an example to the Israelites." (Sura 43:59)
The Qur'an speaks about Christ in 14 suras (90 different verses). More attention is given to Abraham and Moses than to Jesus. Four of the 14 suras are from the Meccan period, a period during which Muhammad had to cope with much resistance to his message from the Gentiles in Mecca. This resistance was focused on his message about the resurrection. The other 10 suras which speak about Jesus date back to the Medinan period, the period during which there was increased tension with and hostility toward Jews and to a lesser extent toward Christians.

Two things attract the attention in what is written about Jesus in the Qur'an. The first is that the Life of Christ is linked to miraculous events. His birth is a miraculous event; the virgin Mary gives birth Jesus. Mary and her son "are a sign to the world and blessing from God to the Israelis"-(Sura 19:21). Not only the beginning of his life, but also the end of his life on earth is surrounded by mystery. He leaves the world in a mysterious way. And during his life he performs miracles, in his childhood as well as in his youth after awarded the prophetic mission. 

The second thing that draws attention to what is written in the Qur'an about Jesus is the strong emphasis on Jesus as no more than a human being, called by God to be a messenger, bringing the Holy Scripture (Injil ie. Gospel) to his people banu Israel. He is the son of Mary, not the Son of God. The concentration on the unity (tawhid) of God leads to an impassioned protest against what is seen as a deification of a human prophet by the followers of Jesus. It is considered a grave sin to shift attention from the message to the messenger, to put the person of the prophet on a level with God, to give a partner to the one supreme and Transcendent God.

The Qur'anic Jesus could be called a second Adam, but not in the same sense as in the New Testament (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22). In the Qur'an, Jesus is compared to Adam, because like Adam, Jesus was born through the creative Word of God (Sura 3:42-52; 19:16-36). 
The angels said to Mary: "God bids you rejoice in a Word from him. He is Messiah, shall be named Jesus, the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and the world next and he shall be favoured by God. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life." "Lord," she said, "how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?" He replied: "Such is the will of Allah. He creates whom he will. When he decrees a thing he need only to say "Be" and it is. -(Sura 3:45-47)
Jesus is like Adam in the sight of God. He created him of dust and then said to him "Be" and he was. -(3:59)
The birth of Jesus is here related to the creative Word of God. In Sura 4:171 the divine Spirit is mentioned in relation to Jesus' birth. The birth of Jesus is seen as a sign [aya} of God's power. The word aya applied to the wonders of nature as attesting to God's existence, power, and bounty. The prophets are also seen as a sign of God. The punishment of unbelievers (Sura 15:75) and the deliverance of believers (29:24) are ayat ie. signs, of the intervening power of God in history. Lastly, the verses of the Qur'an are also called ayat [signs]. Human life is surrounded by signs of God's power and majesty in nature, in history, in the lives of the prophets, and in the Holy Scriptures they bring to the world.

Not only Jesus' birth is seen as a sign, but also the miracles he performs are considered to be ayat. One of the miracles told in the Qur'an is also found in the Gospel of Thomas (Michaelis 1956:99-100). It is the story about the child Jesus giving life to birds made of clay (Sura 3:49; 5:110).

Many words used in this story are also used in the creation story of Adam (Sura 3:42-52; 19:16-36; 32:9). Sura 3:49: Jesus makes; Sura 6:2: God makes; (Arabic: khalaqa). Sura 3:48: Jesus makes from clay; Sura 6:2: God makes from clay; (Arabic: mina Min). Sura 3:49: Jesus breathes into it; Sura 32:9: God breathes into it; (Arabic: nafakha). The Arabic imperative kun (Be) used in the creation story (Sura 3:47) is also used in this story (kun fa-ya kun). There is a very clear parallelism between the creation story and the story about the miracle performed by the child Jesus. Another miracle mentioned in Sura 5:110  is "restoring the dead to life." that will be happened in the Day of Standing when Jesus Questioned of his duties  in his earthly life as the message about the resurrection of the dead.  
God will say: "Jesus, Son of Mary, remember the favour I have bestowed on you and on your mother: how I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, so that you preached to people in your cradle and in the prime of your manhood; how I instructed you in the Scriptures and in Wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel; how by my leave you fashioned from clay the likeness of a bird; how, by my leave, you healed the blind man and the leper and, by my leave, restored the dead to life."
Quranic message about the resurrection met unbelief, scorn, and ridicule. To the unbelief and mockery, Qur'an responded by pointing to the creation, the creative power of God. The one who is able to create human beings is also able to restore the dead to life.

Jesus' life and work, as described in the Qur'an, are in a special way linked to the life-creating and life-renewing power of God. God's Word created Jesus, Jesus gave life to birds of clay, Jesus raised people from death. Yet, the Qur'an emphasizes that Jesus does not have a special position among all the prophets sent by God to different nations. Adam was created in a similar way to Jesus. And the miracles performed by Jesus could only be performed "by my leave" (Sura 5:110). Jesus does not have special power. Power is given him in certain cases, as it is given to other messengers, in order to reduce the resistance against the message preached by God's messengers.
Say: "We believe in God and that which is revealed to us; in what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes; to Moses and Jesus and the other prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction amongst any of them and to God we have surrendered ourselves." (Sura 2:136; also 43:59 and 3:84)
The Qur'an does not tell much about the message and the teachings of Jesus. He brought to his people the same message that was brought by Muhammad and other prophets to their people. It is the message about the one supreme, transcendent God, whose power and goodness require obedience and gratitude. This God is a God of justice, rewarding the obedient and punishing the evildoers. God has taught Jesus "the Torah and the Gospel" (Sura 3:48). In his teaching Jesus is called to confirm the Torah and to bring to his people the gospel "wherein is guidance and light" (5:46). 

Jesus also points to the future, to the coming of a new prophet, whose name is Ahmad (Ahmed means "He, Who Praises" and Muhammad means "The Praised One"). 
"And of Jesus, who said to the Israelites: I am sent forth to you by God to confirm the Torah already revealed and to give news of a messenger that will come after me whose name is Ahmad' " (61:6).
Jesus faces the same kind of opposition as other prophets, who are accused of being liars (Sura 35:4, 25), of being possessed by jinn (23:70), and of performing magic (5:110). The hostility of Jews finds expression in the  plan to kill Jesus. The only passage where we can read about "the crucifixion" is Sura 4:150"163. This passage dates from the time of very strained relations with the Jews in Medina. In those ayat attention is focused on the disobedience of Jews in the past in the time of Moses, their breaking of the covenant, the breaking of the Sabbath" laws, the killing of prophets, and the "the uttering of a monstrous falsehood against Mary" (Sura 4:156). Hearing all these, the Jews of Medina have also declared: 
"We have put to death the Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of God" (4:157). 
In response to this claim, God reveals the truth about Jesus to Muhammad: 
They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did [Arabic: shubbiha lahum]. Those that disagreed about him were in doubt concerning his death, for what they knew about it was sheer conjecture; they were not sure that they had slain him. God lifted him up to His presence; He is Mighty and Wise. (Sura 4:157, 158)
These Quranic Verses translated by Paret as: 
But (in reality) they neither killed (nor) crucified him. Rather (a different one) appeared, like him (so that they confused him with Jesus and killed him). And those who are divided about him are (really) in doubt about him. They have no knowledge of him and pursue speculations. And they have not killed him with certainty. No, God took him up to himself (into heaven). God is powerful and wise.'-Rudi Paret (1963) 
There are three questions arises from these verses.The first is, why the Jews of Madina made this kind of boastful statement regarding Jesus' death?."  We have no evidence that the Jews emphasized their part in the crucifixion. So the Scholars of these days means that Muhammad [?] speak about Jews in this way, may be to find allies among the Christians in a time of tensions with the Jews.

The second one is how the Arabic words shubbiha lahum should be translated. The quoted translation (Dawood 1979) translates: "they though they did." Paret's (1963) translation is "a different one appeared, like him." Masson translates: "The Jews have not killed him, neither crucified him, but it seemed so to them (they themselves are in doubt about this issue)."-Masson (1958:330)

The Arabic root shbh is not often used in the Qur'an. It can mean "making equal or similar" or "being doubtful, uncertain, obscure." -Parets (1963) translation is based on the idea that another person was crucified instead of Jesus. Another person was made equal or similar to Jesus. This interpretation of the crucifixion was well-known in Gnostic circles (docetism). 

The background of the rejection of the crucifixion is the thought that almighty God cannot allow one of His messengers a shameful death, condemned and death on the cross with some culprits. The Jews, those thought that they had crucified Jesus, but they erroneously thought so. It seemed so to them. The reality, however, was that God would not allow it to happen. 

This third is, how these verses relates to other verses of the Qur'an, where we read about the death of Jesus?. for example,-
"I was blessed on the day I (Jesus) was born and blessed I shall be on the day of my death" (Sura 19:33; 3:55; 5:117).
Zaehner (1958), Parrinder (1965), and others are of the opinion that, according to the Qur'an, Jesus died on the cross. Jews did not do it, but God caused Jesus to die on the cross, and after his death on the cross Jesus was raised up high to God. This explanation can't be accepted, in the light of the Qur'an. A messengers of God, who when threatened and harassed by the Jews were rescued by God's power. Why should an almighty God cause the death of one of his messengers? Would that not be a defeat in the eyes of those who opposed the messenger?

Maulana Muhammad Ali (1938:197), an interpreter, states that Jesus was on the cross but did not die on the cross. The Ahmadiyya translation of Sura 4:157-158 is "they killed him not nor did they cause his death on the cross." [Jesus died a natural death, according to the Ahmadiyya explanation, at an advanced aged, after having worked and preached for many years in the East [in India].

The generally accepted view regarding Quranic verses of the crucifixion did not happen. Jesus was rescued by an intervening act of God. What people intended to do did not happen because of this divine intervention. 
"They plotted, but God plotted too. And of plotters God is the best" (Sura 8:30). 
Jesus was taken into heaven, from where he will return to the earth to complete his mission as a messenger of God, before kiyamah, the appointed time for destruction. And when he shall completed his work, shall die a natural death. In this way, Ahmadiyya relates verses 4:157-158 to the other verses of the Qur'an which speak about the death of Jesus. This eschatological view in regard to Jesus is based on an obscure verse in the Qur'an which says, 
"Jesus is a portent of the "Hour of Doom". Have no doubt about its coming" (Sura 43:61).
This view has found expression in some of the creedal statements of the Islamic community, like Fiqh Akbar II, where it is said in article 29:

The report of the ascension is a reality, and whosoever rejects it is an erring schismatic. The appearance of the Anti-Christ, Yadjuj and Madjuj [Gog-Magog], the rising of the sun from the place where it sets, the descent of Isa [Jesus] from Heaven, as well as the other "Eschatological Signs" according to the description thereof in authentic Tradition, are a reality that will take place. (Wensinck 1965:197) There are many traditions related to the role Jesus will play when he returns to earth in the last day (Stieglecker 1962:745).

al Tabari (10th century) quotes in his commentary on Sura 4:157-158. Their interpretation is the generally accepted interpretation that the crucifixion did not happen, because of God's rescuing intervention. So, Zaehner (1958:214), Commented Muslim interpreters "are rejecting the very words of the Qur'an; they rightly describe themselves as "Ahi al Sunna," the People of Tradition, and not as "Ahi al Kitab," the People of the Book."

Many different names and titles are given to Jesus in the Qur'an. He is called "Son of Mary", Messiah, "Word of God", "Spirit of God", one of the blessed One, those brought near (to God), Rasul (Messenger), Nabi (Prophet), 'Abd (servant), and one worthy regarding this world and the world to come. And the title Messiah have a special meaning in the Qur'an, this title we found both in the "Old Testament" and in the "New Testament". that he was the last prophet to the Jews as he brought mercy of God to them through Gospel.

Jesus was the Word [kalima] of God, not Son of God, because he was created by the Word of God. In Islamic theology, God doesn't need to say anything as He is so Holy. But the Holy Spirits ie. the angels nearest to God and the Scriber's of the "Mother Book", able to understand that and stored in the Mighty Book in its original form from which it can be sent to this material world; the Word of God can become flesh;  can be interpreted by the messengers in His 0wn languages, writing and forming a book of God. 

The Qur'an—not incarnation, but what Wolfson (1976) has called "inlibration."The important theological discussions in the history of Islam have not been on the role of Muhammad, but on the Qur'an, on the question of whetherthe Qur'an is the created and uncreated Word of God,Spirit from God. The birth of Jesus is related to the Spirit of God: 
"... and of the woman (Mary) who kept her chastity. We breathed into her of Our Spirit and made her and her son a sign to all men". -(Sura 21:91; 66:12). In a similar way the Qur'an speaks about the creation of Adam. -(15:29;38:72). 
Other verses speak about Jesus' being strengthened by God with the holy Spirit (Sura 2:87, 253; 5:110). In these verses, the holy Spirit is Gabriel who directly related to the miracles performed by Jesus. The holy Spirit is not connected with the message preached by Jesus. Suras 16:102 and 26:193 relate the holy Spirit to the message preached by Muhammad and contained in the Qur'an.
Say: "The Holy Spirit brought it [the Qur'an] down from your Lord in truth to reassure the faithful and to give guidance and good news to those that surrender themselves to God" -(Sura 16:102).
Followers of Jesus at the period of Muhammad are criticized in the Qur'an for different reasons. One point of criticism is the disunity among Christians and between Christians and Jews. Having received the same message from God, they should be one; they should accept each other's prophets.
The Jews say the Christians are misguided and the Christians say it is the Jews who are misguided. Yet they both read the Scriptures. -(Sura 2:113)
Your religion is but one religion, and I am your only Lord. Therefore serve Me. They [Jews and Christians] have divided themselves into schisms, but to Us they shall all return. -(21:93)
Christians have also gone astray by deifying their prophet, by saying things about Jesus that cannot be true. 
Unbelievers are those that say: "God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary." For the Messiah himself said: "Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord" -(5:72).
Qur'an informed us that the Arabian Christians during the prophet Muhammad were not only worshipped Jesus, but also his mother [Both of their Paintings embedded in a wall of Kaba, which destroyed by the deep Jafrany colour after Muslims victory over Mecca]. At the day of Judgement when the prophet and the people Questioned on their deeds, Qur'an says Jesus shall be asked as- 
Then God will say: "Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to humankind: Worship me and my mother as gods beside God?" "Glory to You," He will answer, "how could I say that to which I have no right? If I had ever said so, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my mind, but I cannot tell what is in Yours. You alone know what is hidden. I spoke to them of nothing except what You bade me. I said: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." -(Sura 5:116)
Apparently this perception based on what the Christians belief was during the prophet Muhammad. And after this verse, Muhammad protested against the deification of Mary and her son [It reminds us of Nestorian objections against calling Mary theotokos].

Qur'an explicitly rejects the trinity of God- the Father, Mary- the Mother, and Jesus- the Son. (When the Qur'an uses the words "Son of God," [The Arabic walad means of son in a physical sense.]

The question Muhammad struggled with in Medina was the question of how Christians could have wrong ideas about God and his prophet Jesus after having received the divine revelation in their Holy Scripture, the Injil, brought to them by their prophet. Or, to phrase the question in another way, why were Christians (and Jews) not willing to accept Muhammad as a prophet for the Arabs, bringing to the Arabs in their language the same message which had been brought already by the prophets of the Jews to the Jews and by Christ to the Christians? The Qur'an answers these questions by stating that-
"some of the Jews have already heard the Word of God and knowingly have perverted it" -(Sura 2:75; 5:41; Arabic: harrafa, to pervert). 
In regard to Christians, it is said that they have forgotten a part or hidden part of the Scriptures (5:15). These and other verses have become the foundation for the "Doctrine of Tahrif", the corruption of Sacred Scriptures. This doctrine states that the message of their prophets became corrupted in the hands of followers of Moses and Jesus. On the other hand, it is believed that the the Qur'an is uncorrupted, pure Word of God, identical with the Umm al-Kitab, the mother of the book, the original copy of the Book of Allah in heaven. The Qur'an corrects the misconceptions of Jews and Christians contained in their Scriptures.

The disappointing experiences with Jews and Christians in the Medinan period were one of the reasons why Muhammad started to pay more attention to Abraham, who was neither a Jew nor a Christian -(Sura 3:65-68; 2:140), a man of pure faith, a God-seeker (hanif), a Muslim, one who has submitted himself totally to God. (2:135; 4:125). 

Muhammad is described in Qur'an as the friend of God -(4:125), as in Isaiah 41:8,9 and James 2:23; as the father of those who believe--(Sura 22:78), as also in Romans 4:9-16 and Galatians 3:29. There is a certain analogy between the way in which Paul and Muhammad go back to Abraham in their encounter with Jews -(van Leeuwen 1964:230-231).

Among some scholars there is the tendency to interpret Qur'anic sayings about Jesus from a Christian perspective. Emphasis is put on the virgin birth, on the miracles performed by Jesus, on the way the Qur'an speaks about Jesus as "Word of God" and "Spirit from God," on the ascension after the crucifixion which did or did not happen, on the rejection of misconceptions of the Trinity, and of Jesus as "Son of God," misconceptions also rejected by Christian orthodoxy. One of these scholars, Zaehner, writes:
"So far as his Christology is concerned Muhammad, in the Qur'an, nowhere denies and sometimes affirms specifically Christian beliefs Traditional Muslim orthodoxy started to deny explicitly specific Christian doctrines." -Zaehner (1958:216),
It is a question of whether Zaehner's statement is right or not. The Qur'an speaks about Jesus in a context totally different from the context in which the present Bible speaks about Jesus. That becomes clear when attention is paid to "the history of salvation" in the Qur'an and to the Qur'anic concept of revelation.

Monotonous, with only minor variations, the same drama was played again and again on the stage of history.-(Paret 1957:90-91). There were in Muhammad's life three periods or moments of crisis. The first was when he became dissatisfied with the religious and moral situation of his people in Mecca. He had heard about other people worshipping one God, having prophets and holy writings. He had gained some knowledge about Jews and Christians. He was aware of other dissatisfied people like himself, the Hanifa, God-seekers, who tried to find new ways in religious life. The main question Muhammad struggled with was the question of why his people did not worship the one supreme God, why no prophet had been sent to the Arab people to bring God's message to them.

In his search for new directions, for a new faith, Muhammad did not become a hanif. If he would have gone in that direction, he would not have played a role in the religious history of Mankind. Neither did he become a Christian. Christianity was a foreign religion in Arabia, not really part of the Arab world. His religious crisis was resolved when he aware within himself that he was called by God to bring the Arabs the message of God in their own language. He was to be for the Arabs what other prophets, like Moses and Jesus, had been to their people—a Warner, a Prophet. He saw the role of other prophets in the light for the role he was called to play among the Arabs. This role was to proclaim the message of the goodness and the unity of God, the creator and sustainer of heaven and earth, the God of justice, who would call people to account on the day of judgement. This message was,the same that all other prophets had proclaimed to their people. That is why, when he started to preach, he could advise people who were in doubt about his message to ask Jews and Christians. As Quran Says- 
"If you doubt what We have revealed to you, ask those who have read the Scriptures before you. The truth has come to you from your Lord: therefore do not doubt it" (Sura 10:94).
The second period of crisis came when his message was not accepted. There was a growing opposition and resistance to his message, especially because of the emphasis on the day of resurrection and the day of judgement. Again, Qur'an uses the past was in the service of the present. The past was used to help and to strengthen Muhammad in his struggle and to give a warning the opponents. Muhammad was pointed to the prophets before him, who also had experienced opposition from their people, but with the help of God they had gained the victory, and their opponents had been punished for their misdeeds. At the past in the light of actual History, It was interpreted to him that was going to be happened from the perspective that actually happened in the past. So, his experience was the same that other prophets experienced before him. History repeated itself again and again—
"Again and again the same act performed on the stage of history.-(Paret 1957).
One God—one message—different nations with different languages—different prophets preaching the same message in different languages—these prophets have the same experiences. Jesus is part of this history of salvation (Sura 3:56), a history told to strengthen Muhammad's claim to be the prophet for the Arabs. In this history, Jesus plays a role like the other prophets: proclaiming the one message of God, he affirms the message of previous prophets and points to the prophet who will come after him.

The third religious crisis occurred in Medina, when Muhammad discovered that neither Jews nor Christians could accept him as a prophet for the Arabs. Not the resistance of Arabs, but the resistance of Jews and Christians was now his problem. The resistance of those to whom the divine revelation had been given was very much difficult for him to understand. Qur'an explained this resistance as a resistance against the core of the prophetic message, the unity of God. This message on the unity of God, proclaimed by Jesus, had been abandoned by Christians. At the end of his mission, he was clarified once again how and why Christians had gone astray, leaving the path shown to them by their prophet, Jesus:

The Jews say Ezra is the Son of God, while the Christians say the Messiah is the Son of God. Such are their assertions, by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are! They worship their rabbis and their monks, and the Messiah, the son of Mary, as gods beside God; though they were ordered to serve one God only. There is no God but Him. Exalted be He above those whom they deify beside Him. -(Sura 9:29-30)

The history of God's dealings with the nations is a history of prophets. One of these prophets is Jesus, the prophet before Muhammad, the seal of he prophets. His role and his message are not different from the role and the message of the other prophets. In what is regarded as the oldest sura by most scholars, we read:


Recite, in the name of the Lord who created,
created man from clots of blood.
Recite! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One,
who by the pen taught man what he did not know.- (Sura 96:1-5)

God is the Creator and God is the one "who taught man by the pen what he did not know." The revelation of God comes to humankind in God's Work, God's Creation, and in God's Word, God's written Word. The message proclaimed by prophets is written down in Sacred Scriptures. The "special" revelation is the one message in written form. And the prophets are the instruments chosen by God to bring this revelation to their nations. 

In the Qur'an only five books are mentioned, the Suhuf of Abraham, the Torah brought by Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) of David, the Injil (Gospel) brought by Jesus, and the Qur'an brought by Muhammad. According to Muslim theologians, there have been many more sacred writings containing the message of God. All were Suhuf but the four are books, and of these four, only the Qur'an contains the divine message in an uncorrupted form as it's the last and preserved process includes a system of full memorized by a Group of people known Hafez, on the other hand, preserved process gradually technolozized in the course of time.

The transcendence and sovereignty of God are emphasized in the Qur'an. God and God's creatures cannot meet on the same level. The distance, the gap between Creator and creature, is unbridgeable. Yet, that does not mean that there is no relation. There is a relation established by God in his revelation. The revelation is not a coming of God into the world.

Absolute transcendence forbids as unheard of that Allah would himself come into the world to teach the people. As He is so Holy He need not to Instruct any. The scribers among the holy angels near to God understand the wills and instruction and order and they write them to the book of Life [Mother Book] in its original form, ie. not in word but as signals in wave form, nothing but a combination of various frequency. And from that mother book, [maybe the root of the Lote Tree in the unbridgeable abyss [border of the eternal and created world which is in the end part of the 4th Heaven (Universe), we lived in the 7th, ie in the bottom one of the array of flat shaped 7 Universes. Jinns- the spirited creature that made of fire could move upto the 3rd Universe before Quran sent down to the sky of 4th heaven, but for the protection of the Ayat, the then barred to confined to the end of our univers throwing fire ball to them if they ever try to cross the limit], unbridgeable abyss remains connected with the Mother book] the instructed signals in the wave form transmitted from unseen world to the material world through Lote Tree. The angels those resting on the leaves of that tree, receives the divine message and instruction to perform those in the right moment as they instructed. Thus we find here a combination of concepts: 

Jesus plays a unique role in the History of salvation of the Jews. He was the last one among the series of prophets to the sons of Israel, But he special things related to him ie. his birth, miracles, crucifixion-ascension etc makes him unique and Messiah to them.

He is one of the many prophets, "a man with a mission from God and therefore entitled to honour" (Yusuf Ali 1968:234). Therefore, it is difficult to accept the view of Zaehner and others that the Christology he finds in Islam- "Muhammad nowhere denies and sometimes affirms specifically Christian beliefs."

What does the message of the Qur'an in respect to Christ mean for the Muslim-Christian encounter, in witness and dialogue? The emphasis on the deity of Christ in certain Christian groups in the period of Muhammad led Qur'an to conclude that Christians giving partners to God, that Christians are not true and pure monotheists.

The way in which Christians in later centuries witnessed to Muslims often reinforced Qur'anic views about Christians worshiping a second God. They emphasised more on Christ as God than on God in Christ. The encounter with Muslims challenges the church to reflect again on the relation between God and Christ Have the final words been spoken at Nicaea and Chalcedon?

Among the Muslims who try to come to a better understanding of the tenets of the Christian faith are struck by the fact that there are among present-day Christians so many different views in regard to Christ. Does not this affirm the Qur'anic statements that the People of the Book are a disunited people?

It has to be acknowledged that the Islamic views of Jesus full of respect and honour, all Muslim speak about Jesus in a respectful way as their prophet and their Guiding Book teaches. Even in the  mystical circles, Jesus is seen as a perfect human being, who in his life attained a very close relation with God. Christians never tried in a similar way to come to a respectful understanding of what Muhammad showed and teaches. 

Many Muslims have been (are) deeply offended by the negative way, in which the Christian Scholars, in the past and at present, tried to depict Muhammad, the seal of the prophets, the Messiah for Mankind, adding a lots of false with the fact in all their spoken and written form of the source of knowledge.

Kenneth Cragg (1979:31) has more than once spoken about "the Christian potential of the Qur'an." There is a danger that Christian ideas or concepts are projected into the Qur'an when the Qur'an uses words like "Messiah," "Word of God," and "Spirit of God" in relation to Jesus. These words are used in a context that differ than that of biblile. Both context never carry the same meaning In dealing with Jesus' "crucifixion" in the Qur'an,"

Cragg emphasizes that the Qur'an acknowledges that there is the intention and will to crucify the preacher/healer Jesus, and that there is on Jesus' side the readiness and preparedness to go the way of suffering. Important aspects of the gospel find a resonance in the Qur'an. Here is, according to Cragg, a starting point for a dialogue in depth on the impact of sin in human life and on the meaning of suffering.

The Qur'an speaks about Jesus, the prophet, the healer. The Qur'an does not tell much about the life of Jesus. Snaring the gospel is telling the story of Jesus' life. His life is the gospel, the good news. Not only what he did or said was (is) significant, but also significant was the way he was present among his contemporaries, as one who embodied God's affirming, unconditional love toward his creatures. This love was not merely taught, but manifested in a life of vulnerable availability to the neighbor, poor and rich, friend and enemy, sinner and victim. In embodying this divine love, Jesus was more than a prophet. 

The cross is not an isolated event, as in the Qur'an, but the supreme disclosure of this sacrificial, unconditional, divine love. In the resurrection, this way of life of Jesus, a way of life in which there is no place for vengeance and hate, was affirmed as the true way of life, intended by God for human beings created in his image. 

In going this way, disciples of Christ will come to a deeper understanding of Christ and a greater empathy for their Muslim neighbor.

The End.
Not Yet Verified.

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