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Islam’s View of Jesus (2)
Victor M. Eskew
The position that Islam holds on Jesus is that He was a human prophet of God in days gone by. He is just one on a long list of the prophets of the past. Muslims want others to believe that they hold Jesus in high esteem. However, the Christ of Islam and the Christ of Christianity are radically different.
First, Islam denies the deity of Jesus. Their teaching about this begins with Allah. They believe that there is only one being who is God. They also teach that Allah does not beget. “He begat none, nor was he begotten. None is equal to him” (Surah 112).
The Qur’an boldly denies that Jesus is the Son of God. In fact, this title is very offensive to them. In his book, Christ or the Qur’an?, Evertt L. Huffard writes: “The term Son of God is offensive to the Muslims because they cannot conceive of God having sexual relationship with Mary or that God was ever married…The passages that disturb the Muslims are those that refer to Jesus as being begotten of God, such as John 3:16…” (p. 78). Let’s listen to what the Qur’an has to say about the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. “They do blaspheme who say: ‘God is Christ the son of Mary” (Surah 5:72). And again: “Those who say: ‘The Lord of mercy has begotten a son,’ preach monstrous falsehood…that they should ascribe a son to the merciful, when it does not become him to begat one!” (Surah 19:88). Surah 5:116-117 records a conversation between Allah and Jesus. In this conversation, Allah asks Jesus if he has told individuals to worship Him and His mother as gods. “And behold! Allah will say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory to thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, though I know not what is in thine…Never said I to them aught except what thou didst command me to say, to wit, Worship Allah – my Lord and your Lord.”
Second, Islam denies that Jesus is eternal. An eternal being has no beginning and no end. Islam teaches that Jesus was created by Allah and that He is just a mortal man. Surah 43:59 states: “Jesus was no more than a mortal man whom [Allah] favored and made an example to the Israelites.”
Third, Islam denies that Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. This is set forth in Surah 4:157-159. “That they say, We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah; but they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no knowledge, but only a conjecture to follow, for a surety they killed him not.” Notice the words, “only a likeness was shown to them.” In the book, Islam for Dummies, the Malcolm Clark explains these words. “Muslims say that someone else was substituted for Jesus on the cross, and Jesus himself was taken up into heaven where he is still living today” (p. 267). Some say that the substitute was Judas. Others say that Satan was placed on the cross as his punishment for his opposition to Allah. To do this would have taken a miracle. “Can you imagine the skills that it must have taken in the appearance of the crowd and the crucifixion to make it appear as though it was Christ crucified? Could the Roman soldiers, Mary and the other women, and the mob be deceived?” (Christ or the Qur’an?, p. 70).
If Jesus were never crucified, He never shed His blood for the sins of the world. If His blood was not shed, then all men are dead in their sins, lost, and bound for an eternity in hell. The Hebrew penman was clear on this point: “…and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
Fourth, Islam denies that Jesus is the Savior of mankind. In Islam, no Savior is needed. Salvation is dependent upon the manner in which one lives his life. “God does not need to sacrifice Himself to atone for the sins of mankind because He can forgive anything He wants, anytime He wants” (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam, 2nd ed., Yahiya Emerick, p. 225). In The Dark Side of Islam, Sproul and Saleer describe the salvation process of Islam in more detail.
“In Islam, the basis is a weighing on the scale of justice: if a person’s good deeds outweigh his bad deeds, then he goes to paradise. And if the scale is unbal-anced in the other direction, he goes to hell. This assumes some standard that God uses to discern whether they’re going to the one place or the other, and all that is required to satisfy the justice of God is that the scales not be weighed more in the direction of sin than in the direction of virtue.
“However, if someone’s good outweighs his evil, God, who is supposedly a
just God, does not seem to sense any obligation to punish the evil. In that case
God simply forgives the evil. In this scheme God seems to be somewhat arbitrary,
not entirely just” (p. 58-59).
There are other things that Islam denies about the Christ that could be discussed. They do not believe that He is the mediator between God and men (See I Tim. 2:5). Too, they do not believe that He will be the Judge of all men at the Judgment (See Acts 17:31).
Islam’s view of Jesus is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Bible. The Word of God says Jesus was divine (John 1:1); Islam says that He was just a man. The Bible affirms that Jesus is the Son of God (Heb. 1:5); Islam denies that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. Christianity declares that Jesus is the Savior of mankind (Luke 2:11); Islam tells us that man can save himself if his good deeds outweigh his sins. Either Christianity is right or Islam is right. There is no middle ground. Let’s close by remembering what Jesus Himself said: “…for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).