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Showing posts from May, 2012

Proof #1: Jesus' own testimony on the Judgement Day

This short dialogue takes place between God and Jesus on the Judgment Day when he is asked if he gave his followers the belief of his own and his mother's divinity. He responds in the negative and begs complete ignorance on what happened after his death. 
    “And I said nothing to them except that which Thou didst command me ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them as long as I remained among them, but since Thou didst cause me to die, Thou hast been the Watcher over them; and Thou art Witness over all things. (5:118) 

Argument 1: This verse talks of two different and distinct phases of Jesus’ existence in relation to his people: one in which he was among them and the other when he was no longer among them. The boundary between these two phases is defined by the Arabic word Tawaffi. His absence from among his people is preceded by the state of Tawaffi. The question is whether Jesus is present among his people or is he absent from his people? If he is…

Proof #2: God's promise to Jesus

O Jesus Indeed I will cause thee to die and exalt thee to Myself, and will clear thee of the charges of those who disbelieve, and will place those who follow thee above those who deny thee, until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me shall be your return, and I will judge between you concerning that wherein you differ (3:56) more translations

This is an important verse in this debate, quoted by both sides of the argument. Tawaffi has already been discussed inProof 1. It clearly means Death. The other word of significance here is Rafa, which literally means 'to raise'. Rafioka Illayya, means 'raise thee to Myself'. The beginning of this verse mention two acts of God, one in which He shall cause Jesus to die (Mutawaffika), and the other where he shall raise Jesus to Himself (Rafioka Illayya). Whatever may be the meaning of Rafioka Illayya, one thing is certain that it comes after Mutawaffika. Jesus will die before he is raised.

Could this mean that Jesus has been physically…

Proof #3: Jesus fate no different to earlier prophets

The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely, Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. (5:76)
This verse makes the following assertions:
    Jesus was a messenger; messengers before him have passed away.     Jesus and his mother used to eat food i.e. they don’t anymore.
In this verse taken from the chapter Al-Maidah both statements independently assert Jesus’ death.
Argument 1
The first part of this verse is a classic syllogistic construct. So before proceeding, a word or two about Syllogism may be appropriate. It is a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions (premises): a common or middle term is present in the two premises but not in the conclusion, which need not be expressed but is assumed deductible from the premises. For example if it is said: All swans are white; Henry is a swan. Syllogism dictates that Henry is white. This is very much a reaso…

Proof #4: Prophets before Muhammad have all died

And Muhammad is but a messenger. Verily all Messengers have passed away before him. If then he dies or is slain, will you turn back on your heels? (3:145)
Two points are being made here with reference to the Holy Prophet saw:
1. Since prophets before him have all died, so also will this prophet die, and his death would not be indicative of a defect in his prophet hood. 2. If it were necessary for prophets to live forever then show us a single instance from among earlier prophets who is still alive.
If Jesus as, who came some six hundred years before the Holy Prophet saw, was still alive then neither of these arguments would hold.
The construct used here is similar to that used in 5:76 (discussed earlier). It opens with the statement that prophets before Muhammad saw have all died. For ‘death’ the Arabic expression khalat has been used, which means to pass away. Some argue that in addition to death, khalat could also mean just about any manner of departing including bodily ascending to the …

Proof #5: Prophets need to eat to live

And We did not give them bodies that ate no food, nor were they to live for ever. (21:9) 
This verse makes the following statements about prophets:
They cannot survive without food. They do not live for ever.
It is mentioned in 5:76 that Jesus used to eat food. Since he does not eat anymore, so according to this verse, his corporeal existence must have terminated, i.e. he has died.
It further states that Prophets do not live for ever. “Live for ever” should not be taken too literally as the concept of eternity is abstract and unfathomable. An argument of this nature that limits itself only to negation of eternity carries very little meaning. Come eternity, no one will be around to check if anyone still survives. One way to understand this is to ask the question if a million year lifespan would run afoul of this verse? Or would a thousand? Clearly both would. The fact is that any lifespan that could be classed as unnatural or aberrational in its extent is disallowed here. If Jesus is sti…

Proof #6: Indignities of old age

And there are some of you who are caused to die prematurely, and there are others who are driven to the worst part of life with the result that they knew nothing after having had knowledge (22:6)
In this verse Allah divides people into two groups in relation to how long they live:
-The first group covers the majority of mankind: those who die before they reach old age. They die prematurely in the sense that by design they could have lived longer had they not suffered some illness, accident or harm.
-In the second group, people reach the natural limits of their life and progressively lose command over their faculties as they waste from a state of life towards a state of death. In this verse Allah calls it the “worst” part of life, where it is reduced to a loathsome, wretched existence. Mentally they start regressing and become more and more like a child. Further deterioration causes them to forget their life experience. Higher order mental activity in the cerebrum slows and brain functi…

Proof #7: On unnatural lifespans

We granted not everlasting life to any human being before thee. If then thou shouldst die, shall they live here for ever? Every soul shall taste of death; (21:35-36) 
In simple idiomatic terms this verse declares that no one before the Holy Prophetsaw was granted a life span longer than common human experience such that he or she still lives. Those who were born before the Holy Prophet and can reasonably be expected to have died, have all died. The word everlasting does not mean eternal, since eternity cannot be squeezed “before” any event in time. Once a limit is put on the arrow of time, in this case, the birth of the Holy Prophet, eternity stands breached since it cannot exist in bounded space. No one could have existed, or not existed for that matter, in eternity, before the Holy Prophet. What follows lays bare the intent of the verse. It builds a conclusion on the opening statement and puts the question: “If then you should die”. Here if then can only mean that the Holy Prophet wi…

Proof #8: It's curtains for earlier prophets

Those are a people that have passed away; for them is what they earned, and for you shall be what you earn; and you shall not be questioned as to what they did. (2:135) 
The preceding verses mention a number of prophets. This verse declares the prophets of the bygone days all dead. For them is what they earned, meaning their accounts are closed and their actions have come to an end. There is a finality and closure as far as their actions are concerned, so also there is a separation between us and them. This verse is in fact a corollary of Holy Prophet Muhammad saw being the Khataman Nabiyeen, the Seal of the Prophets. Earlier
Prophets have no unfinished business left and hence there is no need to keep any of them unnaturally alive in the recesses of the heavens. In other words, it is not their problem anymore. The task of spreading the message of God is in the safe and capable hands of the Holy Prophet of Islam, may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him. All spiritual blessings and r…

Proof #9: Synopsis of Jesus' life

‘And peace was on me the day I was born, and peace there will be on me the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up to life again.’’ (19:34) 
Here Jesus refers to three principal events of his existence: the day of his birth, the day of his death and his resurrection on the Day of Judgement. One would expect that in addition to these three events his purported ascent and the subsequent descent in the Latter days would be important enough to merit a mention, yet we find them conspicuously absent. If real, these
momentous and unprecedented events with enormous consequences for himself and the rest of the humanity would be quite at par with his birth, death and resurrection  yet Allah makes no mention of it here or anywhere else in the Holy Quran. On the contrary, numerous verses assert his death as having already occurred, some directly and others indirectly, while not a single verse speaks of his corporeal ascent to the heavens, his future descent nor his continued survival. On…

Proof #10: Life limited to the terrestrial

But Satan caused them both to slip by means of it and drove them out of the state in which they were. And We said: ‘Go forth; some of you are enemies of others, and for you there is an abode in the earth and a provision for a time.’ (2:37)
This verse clearly fixes earth as the place of life-long abode for man. As long as he lives, man's corporeal existence is to remain confined to the terrestrial world. Once a person dies, his astral body or the soul departs and joins the dead in the celestial world, leaving behind the physical body to decay, disintegrate and become fodder for the lesser creatures—‘dust to dust’, in other words. Man is born in the mundane, lives in the mundane and is going to die in the mundane. It is like a prison with death being the only possible avenue of escape. This verse rejects the idea of Jesus or, for that matter, anybody else going up to the heavens alive. Holy Prophet saw in his special vision known as the Mairaj, saw him in the Second Heavens accompani…

Proof #11: Unstoppable Ageing

And him whom We grant long life—We revert him to a weak state in creation. Will they not then understand? (36:69) 
This verse describes the process of ageing as an unstoppable natural phenomenon from which no man is exempt. Jesus would be subject to its sanction just like anyone else. Once having reached physical maturity and prime, he would have steadily aged and grown weaker over the years before becoming an old man. Not long after that he would have met his death. There is nothing remarkable in that. His fate could be no different to any other human being. However, if we are to believe that he is still alive as he incredibly steps into the third millennium of his life, then according to the verdict of this verse, his physical and mental faculties would be in a state of such advanced decrepitude that his existence would be utterly meaningless. That is the only form of life which this verse would allow him: a life that is indistinguishable from death itself.

Proof #12: The inevitable decline

The example of life on earth is like that of water that We cause to descend from heaven. Then with it mingles the vegetation of the earth of which both the people and the cattle partake. It continues to be so until the earth blossoms forth in full bloom and ripens into loveliness—then while those who possess it deem themselves supreme over it, there suddenly descends Our decree at night or during the day. Then We render it a field that is mown down as if it had not existed the day before. Thus do we expound our Signs for a people who reflect. (10:25)

Another expression of the same universal law that covers all life. Like vegetation, life blossoms to a full bloom and then withers away and dies. Is Jesus exempt from the certainty of this universal law?

Proof #13: The conjecture

And their saying, 'We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;' whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no definite knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this conjecture into a certainty; On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. (4:158-159)The emphasis is upon their failure to murder Jesus by any means. The reader is reminded that the very beginning of the verse refers to the Jewish boast that they had succeeded in murdering Jesus.

This Jewish claim is firmly rejected by the Holy Quran. That is why by the end of verse, the conclusive declaration is that whatever may have happened they certainly failed to kill him. This implies that it is not the act of crucifixion which is denied. What is denied is death by crucifixion.
Walakin Shubbiha Lahum: th…

Proof #14: The fallacy

And there is none among the People of the Book but will believe in it before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection he (Jesus) shall be a witness against them (4:160)

This verse contains three implied references, two of which are hanging and therefore controversial. Depending on where they are turned this verse gives different meaning, of which some make sense and others less so.
Understanding #1
And there is none among the People of the Book but will believe in him (Jesus) before his (Jesus) death; …
Many scholars who believe in Jesus to be still alive base their claim on this understanding. By pointing both references bihi and mauti-him to Jesus, they contend that each and every one of the People of the Book will believe in Jesus at some indeterminate time in future, and this will happen before Jesus’ own death. The logic goes that since not all Jews have yet believed in Jesus, therefore this verse mandates Jesus to be still alive. They say this event will occur after Jesus descends …

Proof #15: Aging—a fact of life

It is Allah Who created you in a state of weakness, and after weakness gave strength; then after strength, caused weakness and old age. He creates what He pleases. He is the All-knowing, the All-Powerful. (30:55)

It is hard to believe that any one would wish for Jesus to still be alive and cursed with over 2000 years of aging. A normal lifespan becomes painful after only 90 or so years, 2000 years of age would be an impossible existence. The Holy Quran terms aging an incontrovertible principle applicable on all life forms, including Jesus. Age eventually brings with it a loss of physical and mental powers. It is unstoppable and irreversible. If something is alive, it ages. Born in a state of weakness, man begins to gains strength until reaching a physical and mental peak, then decline sets in progressively diminishing one's faculties, until in advanced old age existence becomes a sort of living death with ones dignity entirely compromised. Mercifully, most people die before reachin…

Proof #16: Inescapable death

Then We fashioned the sperm into a clot; then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump; then We fashioned bones out of thisshapeless lump; then We clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed it into another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators. (23:15)
Then after that you must surely die. (23:16)
Here, the process of creation is described as it goes through its various stages in the womb. Once a complete human specimen is delivered, it begins its inevitable journey to its death. Jesus would have gone through the very same process and would have met his eventual and timely death in due course.
While Quran presents an overwhelming evidence of Jesus' natural death, yet there are many who remain insistent on his continued life. It is a difficult position to defend, which goes against nature as well as the Word of God. But the defenders of the indefensible are usually of the unyielding kind. When beaten on all fronts, at some point they take refuge in the last of all…