Jesus Christ implored his followers to pray for sinners, forgive and love enemies, and pray for unbelievers. Islamic doctrine (Sunnah) in the Quran, with it’s intentionally inexplicit doctrine of abrogations, teaches that God does not love “unbelievers,” and that Jesus were merely a “prophet,” who was never Crucified despite volumes of reputable historical accounts. Muslims are fond of stating, “Allahu’akbar” during prayer, speech, and communications; it translates as “Allah is greater.” According to the Quran, Allah does not have the “greater,” or “greatest” love for human beings. The Qur’an says Allah does not love the “disbeliever.” (Surah 2:276) Shockingly, Allah has such disdain for disbelievers and sinners that Muslims are commanded not to pray for disbelievers after death (Surah 9:84).
I pray for non-Christians, even those hostile to Christians and myself. Clearly, Allah does not command the same for Muslims. The love of Jesus Christ is truly the greatest, as God did not just say he was love or commanded us to love, he demonstrated love through the Crucifixion. “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—But God demonstrated his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8) In the Quran, Surah 29:46 command Muslims not to argue with the “People of the Book,” (Christians and Jews) and to say “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” Yet, Muslims to me have said the Bible is corrupted, and they do not believe Jesus Christ died for our sins, was Crucified and Resurrected.
If Muslims are commanded to reveal to us that their God and Our God, Jesus Christ are one – why do Muslims then accuse Jesus of not being God? The Bible concisely describes the nature of God as a trinity (Matthew 28:18-20), entered creation as the Son (John I:1-14), was Crucified for all our transgressions (Mark 10:32-34), and Rose to conquer Death and bring eternal life for all who believe in Him (Luke 24). So Muslims according to Surah 29:46 cannot say they believe in the Bible and that Allah and Jesus Christ are one God. A Muslim must reject the Bible, as it contradicts the central nature of Islamic teaching in the Quran. Yet in Surah 3:3-4, Allah implies that he has “revealed to you the Book with Truth, verifying that which has come before it.” God in the Quran confirms he sent the Gospel as a guide to Muslims.
Yet Muslims incessantly remind me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been “corrupted.” Muslims refer us to Surah 18:27 where it is written; “O Prophet! Recite what has been revealed to you from the Book of your Rabb: no one is authorized to change His Words. You shall find no refuge besides him.” Muslims suggest to me that this verse implies ‘no one can change the Quran’ as it is a revelation sealed from God. That is not what Surah 18:27 says, the verse says no one can change Gods words. Muslims love to accuse the Apostle Paul of corrupting interpretations and compilations of the Gospel. If the Gospel was corrupted, why did Christians still possess the Gospel during the lifetime of Muhammad? Clearly these verses in the Quran were the design of a false “prophet” with political and military aspirations.
Surah 5:47 states: “And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.” How can good Christians judge if the Gospel has been corrupted as stated in the Quran? Is the Quran paradoxical in nature, and so ambiguous to the interpretations of Jesus Christ? Surah 5:68 continues the enigma; “O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer.” If the Gospel is corrupted, why would Allah in the Quran command us to validate our faith by “truly observing the Torah and Gospel?” Every Christian can validate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ!
When Muhammad the “prophet,” so-called, was in doubt over his revelatory experiences, Allah commanded him “So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.” Here Allah encourages Muhammad to consult Christians who know the Gospel, because Christian scriptures are the ‘Truth.” Muhammad can only validate his “revelations,” from Allah by corroborating with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to see if his “scriptures” match up! The polemic for all Muslims is that Christians do, or do not possess the true Word of God. That is the dilemma of all Muslims. If Christians have the correct uncorrupted Word of God, which contradicts Islam, then Islam is a corrupted and paradoxic faith.
In conclusion, Muslims view the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Christianity as “corrupted” and fallible because the Christianity, and Crucifixion of Jesus has shaped Western Civilization. The crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity. Everything a Christian believes in and hopes for revolves around Jesus’ Crucifixion on the cross for disbelievers and lost souls of the unworthy. Jesus’ Crucifixion is divine validation that Jesus did not die for any crimes, but in place of the unworthy, and wicked needing redemption and justification before a just God’s who’s mercy and grace is unending. Islam, in contrast, refutes Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection. Muslims believe that God rescued Jesus from the schemes of disbelievers and raised Christ to heaven. The general Islamic view is that someone else was crucified in Jesus’ place, “in his likeness.” The idea that Jesus did not die on the cross stems from the Quran in S. 4:157-158: “And because of their (the Jews) saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger- they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.”
The Islamic polemic of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection rests on the fact that: Allah deceived an entire people of faith into thinking that their savior was Crucified. Muslims would have us believe the largest religion in the world, Christianity, is the result of a the direct action of Allah, who consciously and deliberately deceived the world into believing the resurrection of Christ. No serious modern historian doubts that Jesus was a historical figure and that he was crucified, whatever he may think of the faith in the resurrection. (Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’an, p. 116). If, according to Muslims who remind me, “Jesus was just a prophet” then why would a “Prophet” consistently remind his followers of his impending death and betrayal? Matthew 17:22-23 says “And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.’ And they were deeply grieved.” Consider also Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22; John 12:32-33. Jesus stressed this over and over!
It seems most incongruent with Islamic doctrine regarding the character of Allah to maintain that Allah would have either needed or chosen to resort to mass deception in order to spare the life of Isa (Jesus). Ominously for Christians, strongly associated with fitna is “shirk,” the associating of partners with Allah. Believing Jesus to be the Son of God is, for Muslims, one of the worst forms of shirk, and is therefore punishable by death. “And fight them until there is no fitna and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.” (Qur’an 8:39) In one of the authorized hadiths, Muhammad himself said: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah” (Sahih Muslim 30).
The claim of many Muslims that Christ was never crucified, and that early Christians were mistaken or were myth-makers, goes against all the historical and substantiated evidence. To suppose that the disciples knew Jesus did not die on the cross and then boldly proclaimed that it happened is simply absurd. The Quran presents a general lack of interest in presenting the “historical Jesus” and its pervasive treatment of Jesus functions primarily as an argumentative prop for elevating Muhammad, along with his political and social aspirations. It is sobering to hold God, the divine creator and sustainer of all the universe and beyond, allowed multitudes of faithful to believe their savior was Crucified out of an act of unconditional love, when he was not. That is not the God we worship.