Arabic al-Baitu ‘l-Muqaddas البيت المقدس, “the Holy House,” or Baitu ‘l-Maqdis بيت المقدس, “the House of the Sanctuary”; Aurashalim اورشليم; Iliya ايلياء, i.e. Aelia Capitolina.
In the Qur’an Jerusalem is never mentioned by name, and in the Traditions and other Muslim works, it si always called al-Baitu ‘l-Muqaddas, “the Holy House,” as referring to the Temple of Jerusalem, or Iliya. The allusion to it in the Qur’an, are as follows:-
Surah ii. 55 (where God, after giving the manna and quails, is represented as saying to the children of Israel): “Enter the city and eat therefrom as plentifully as ye wish.” Al-Baizawi the commentator says this city was the Baitu ‘l-Maqdis (Jerusalem), or Ariha (Jericho).
Surah ii. 261: “Like his who passed by a city when it was desolate, and as he walked over its roofs, said, How will God revive this after its destruction?” Commentators way Elias or al-Khizr visited the city of Jeruslaem after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar.
Surah xxx. opens with a reference to the Persians conquering Syria and taking Jerusalem.
In Surah xvii. 1, Muhammad is represented as having taken his flight from Makkah to Jerusalem. “Celebrated be the praises of Him who by night took his servant from the Masjidu ‘l-Haram (the Sacred Mosque), the precinct of which we have blessed.”
And in Surah l., 40, one of the signs of the approach of the last day will be: “The crier (to prayer) shall cry from the near place” (i.e. a place from which all men shall hear). Husain says this “near place” is the Temple at Jerusalem.
A curious account of Jerusalem and its temple, the Masjids ‘l-Aqsa, or Distant Mosque (so called because it is a distant object of pilgrimage), has been written by Jalalu ‘d-din as-Suyuti, one of the commentators on the Qur’an, known as the Jalalan. It was written in the year A.H. 848, A.D. 1444, and the special object of the book appears to be to exalt the merits of Jerusalem as a place of prayer and pilgrimage. [For an account of the Temple, see MASJIDU ‘L-AQSA.] He says Jerusalem is specially honored as being the scene of the repentance of David and Solomon. The place where God sent His angel to Solomon, announced glad tidings to Zacharias and John, showed David a plan of the Temple, and put all the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air in subjection to him. It was at Jerusalem that the prophets sacrificed; that Jesus was born and spoke in the cradle; and it was at Jerusalem that Jesus ascended to heaven; and it will be there that He will again descend. Gog and Magog shall subdue every place on the earth but Jerusalem, and it will be there that God Almighty will destroy them. It is in the holy land of Jerusalem that Adam and Abraham, and Isaac and Mary are buried. And in the last days there will be a general flight to Jerusalem, and the Ark and the Shechinah will be again restored to the Temple. There will al mankind be gathered at the Resurrection for judgement, and God will enter, surrounded by His angels, into the Holy Temple, when He comes to judge the earth. (See Reynold’s Translation, p. 16.)
The peculiar reference paid to the Sacred Rock (as-Sakhrah) seems to be one of the many instances of afterthought and addition to Islam since the time of Muhammad. Mu’awiyah seems to have encouraged it in order to direct the affections and fanaticism of his subjects into a new channel, and to withdraw their exclusive attention from Makkah and al-Madinah, where the rival family of ‘Ali resided.
In the same book there is a desultory account of the taking of Jerusalem by the Khalifah ‘Umar.
After the conclusion of the battle of Yarmuk (Hieromax), the whole army of the Muslims marched into the territory of Palestine and Jordan. Then they closely besieged the city. The conquest was attended with difficulty until the arrival of the Khalifah ‘Umar with four thousand horses. He came upon the holy place on the eastern side, and then encircled the city. They fought for a long time, until at last the inhabitants sent a party to the wall with a flag of truce, asking for a parley. The Patriarch (Sophronius) then demanded the safe conduct of a messenger to ‘Umar. The envoy came without hindrance and requested ‘Umar to make peace and accept tribute.
Jalaludin gives a copy of the treaty which the Muslims compelled the people of Jerusalem to sign. It reads as follows:-
“In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate! This is the writing from the Christians of the Holy City to ‘Umar ibn al- Khattab, the Commander of the Faithful. When you came down upon as, we asked of you a capitulation for ourselves and our possessions, and our children, and the people of our religion; and we have stipulated with you, that we shall not be polluted by interruption in our places of worship, or whatever chapels, or churches, or cells, or monasteries of monks, may be therein who may have the impress of Muslims (by long residence), and that we will not prohibit the Muslims from entering them, by night or by day; and that we will open the gates wide to passengers and to travelers; and if any Muslim passing by shall take up his lodging with us three nights, we shall give him food, and not entertain in our churches a spy, nor conceal him unknown to the Muslims; and not teach our children the Qur’an; and not publically exhibit the Associating or Christian religion, and not beg any one to embrace it and not hinder anyone of our relations from entering the Muslim religion, if he will, and that we should honor the Muslims and make much of them, and place them in our assemblies, if anyone of them will, and give them the chief seats, and not imitate them in our dress, neither in girdles, nor in the turban, nor the slipper, nor the parting of the hair, and never write in their language, nor call ourselves by their surnames; and that we should never ride upon great saddles, nor suspend our swords by belts, and never accept arms (the bow, sword, and club), nor carry them with us; and that we should never engrave upon our signet rings in the Arabic language; and that we should not sell vine, and that we should shave the front of our heads, and tie up our dress, wherever we may be, and not wear wide girdles at our waist; and that we should never publically exhibit the cross upon our churches, nor expose our crosses, nor ever inscribe them in the path of the Muslims, nor in their market places, and never strike our bells the (quick) stroke, nor raise our voices over the dead, nor publically expose the lights, or anything else, in the roads and markets of the Muslims, and never receive any slave who has drawn upon himself familiarity with Muslims, and never look upon them in their houses.”
We learn moreover, from the same authority, as follows: –
“When ‘Umar ratified the treaty, he added thereto,- ‘And that we will not strike anyone of the Muslims. We stipulate this with you for ourselves and the people of our religion; and we accept these terms of capitulation: and if we subsequently violate a point of that which we have stipulated, upon our lives be it, and let there be no faith with us and may it be allowed you to do to us whatever is lawful against rebellious and revolting subjects.'” (Hist. of Jerusalem, by Jalau ‘d-din, Reynold’s Translation.)
There were withing the city 12,000 Greeks and 50,000 natives, and the Khalifah ‘Umar insisted that all the Greeks depart within three days, and that the natives should pay tribute. Five dinars were imposed upon the rich, four upon the middle classes, and three upon the lower classes; very old and very young persons paid nothing.
When ‘Umar entered the Holy City, his first object was to find the Sacred Rock (as-Sakhrah), the site of the Masjidu ‘l-Aqsa, to which Muhammad said he was carried on Buraq on the night of Mi’raj [MIRAJ.], and he therefore requested the Patriarch to direct him to the spot. They first went to the Church of the Resurrection and the Patriarch said, “This is the Mosque of David.” But ‘Umar said, “Thou hast spoken falsely , for the Apostle of God (Muhammad) described the place to me, and it was not like this. They then went to the church on Zion, and the Patriarch said, “This is the Mosque of David.” But ‘Umar said, “Thou hast spoken falsely.” And in this manner the Patriarch took ‘Umar to every church in the city. At last they came to a gate, which is now called Babu ‘l-Muhammad or the gate of Muhammad, and clearing away the filth on the steps, they came to a narrow passage and the Khalifah, creeping on his knees, came to the central sewer. Here, standing up ‘Umar looked at the rock (as-Sakhrah), and then exclaimed, “By Him in whose hand is my life, this is the palce which the Apostle of God (upon whom be peace and blessing) described to us.” ‘Umar then ordered a mosque to be built thereon. And ‘Abdu ‘l-Malik ibn Marwan built the mosque of the Baitu ‘l-Muquddas (now known as the Mosque of ‘Umar). He spent upon it the produce of seven years’ tax upon Egypt. He began it in A.H. 69 and finished it in A.H. 72.
Some authority quoted by Jalul ‘d-din says the Holy City did not cease to be in the hands of the Muslims from its surrender to ‘Umar until the year A.H. 491, when it was taken by the Franks, who killed therein a vast number of Muslims in the space of seven days. In the Masjidu ‘l-Aqsa alone, they killed 70,000, and they took from as-Sakhrah the vessels of gold and silver and the wealth which was preserved in the strong boxes. “But.” he adds, “salahu ‘d-din (Saladin) was raised up for the complete deliverance of the Holy City; for he was the most renowned of Lions, and the very brightness of Fire.”
(For a further account of the taking of the city by Saladin, see Reynold’s translation of Jalalu ‘d-din’s History of the Temple of Jerusalem, p. 1999.)
A brief outline of the History of Jerusalem from the Time of Christ
33. The crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ at Jerusalem.
43. St. Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion to Christianity.
69. Taken by Titus.
136. The Emperor Hadrian bestows on the city the name of Aelia Capitolina
(This name is used by Jalalu ‘d-din in his book, A.D. 1444.)
386. Jerusalem under Christian rule, the Martyrion and the Church of the Resurrection built.
614. The city invested and taken by the Persians under Chosroes II. (See Qur’an Surah xxx.)
621. The era of the flight of Muhammad.
628. The Emperor Heraclius enters Jerusalem in triumph.
687. The Patriarch Sophronius surrenders the Holy City to the Khalifah ‘Umar. Liberty of worship secured to the Christians in churches which already existed, but they are prohibited the erection of new churches. A mosque built on the reputed site of Jacob’s vision, now known as the mosque of ‘Umar. Said to be on the site of the temple called by Muslims Masjidu ‘l-Aqsa, the Remote Mosque, or as-Sakhrah, the rock.
800. Ambassadors sent by the Emperor Charlemagne to distribute alms in the Holy City. The Khalifah Harun ar Rashid sends back as a present to the Emperor the keys of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre.
820. Held for a time by the rebel chief Tamum Abu Harab.
969. Falls into the hands of the Fatimate Khalifah Mu’izz. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre burnt.
1035. The pilgrimage of Robert of Normandy.
1054. The pilgrimage of Lietbert of Cambray.
1065. The pilgrimage of the German bishops.
1077. Jerusalem pillaged by the army of Malik Shah.
1084. The Turkoman chief Urtek becomes ruler of the Holy City. The Christians suffer.
1098. The city retaken by the Fatimate Khalifah.
1099. 40,000 Crusaders appear before its walls. The city taken by the Crusaders. 10,000 Muslims slain. Godfrey of Bouillin made King. (For eighty years the city remained in the hands of the Christians.)
1187. Retaken by Saladin (Salahu ‘d-din), the Muslim general.
1219. Ceded to the Christians by virtue of a treaty with the Emperor Frederick II.
1289. Taken by the Muslims.
1243. Again ceded to the Christians.
1244. The Christians defeated at Gaza, and Jerusalem occupied by the Muslims.
1277. Nominally annexed to the kingdom of Sicily.
1517. Becomes part of the Empire of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I.
1542. Sultan Sulaiman I. builds the present walls.
1832. Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha of Egypt takes the city.
1840. Restored to the Sultan of Turkey [AS-SAKHRAH, MASJIDU ‘L-AQSA.]
JESUS CHRIST Arabic ‘Isa ‘l-Masih عيسى المسيح. In the Qur’an, the Lord Jesus Christ is spoken of under the following names and title:-
(1) ‘Isa عيسى, “Jesus.” Al-Baizawi says it is the same as the Hebrew Ishu’, ايشوع, and derived from al-‘ayus, “white mingle with red,” without however, explaining this derivation.
(2) ‘Isa ibn Mayam عيسى بن مريم”Jesus the son of Mary,” from whom He was born by the power of God.
(3) Al-Masih المسيح, “the Messiah.” Surah iii. 40: “His name shall be Messiah Jesus.” Al-Kamalan, the commentators, say he is called al-Masih either because he was both blessed and anointed by the angel Gabriel, or because whomsoever Jesus touched was healed.
(4) Kalimatu’llah كلمة الله, “the Word of God.” Surah iv. 160: “His word.” Husain says by this expression is meant he who was born at the express fiat of god. (Surah xix. 36: “He says only to it BE and it is.”)
(5) Qaulu ‘l-Haqq قول الحق. “The Word of Truth.” Surah xix. 35. Some commentators take the expression qaulu ‘l-haqq as referring to the statement made being “the word of truth,” whilst others take it as referring to Christ Himself. “The Word of Truth.”
(6) Ruhun min Allah روح من الله, “A Spirit from God.” Surah iv. 169: “A Spirit for Him.” Al-Baizawi says it is a spirit which proceedeth from God. The title Ruhu ‘llah is the special Kalimah for Jesus Christ. [PROPHETS.]
(7) Rasulu ‘llah رسول الله, “The Messenger of God.” Surah iv. 169. It is the same title as Muhammad assumed for himself, i.e. the Prophet, the Apostle, or Messenger of God.
(8) ‘Abdu ‘llah عبد الله, “The Servant of God.” Surah xix. 31: “Verily, I am the servant of God.”
(9) Nabiyu’llah انبي الله, “The Prophet of God.” Surah xix 31: “He hath made me a Prophet.”
(10) Wajihun fi ‘d-bunya wa ‘l-akhirah وجية في الدنا والاخرة, “Illustrious in this world and in the next,” namely, as al-Baizawi explains it, “in this world as a Prophet, in the next as an intercessor.” Surah iii. 40.
In order to present the somewhat incoherent narrative of the Qur’an as a systematic form, we shall arrange its history of the Lord Jesus into (1) The Annunciation of the Virgin, (2) The Birth of Jesus, (3) His Miracles, (4) His Mission, (5) His Crucifixion, (6) His Divinity and Sinlessness, (7) The Trinity, (8) His Second Coming (as taught in the Traditions), (9) His Exaltation in Heaven. From a perusal of these selections it will be seen that Muhammad taught that Jesus was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary, who was the sister of Aaron and the daughter of ‘Imran, near the trunk of a palm tree. That the Jews charged the Virgin with being unchaste; but the babe, speaking in his cradle, vindicated his mother’s honor. That Jesus performed miracles, giving life to a clay figure of a bird, healing the blind, curing the leper, quickening the dead, and bringing down a table from heaven “as a festival and a sign.” That he (Jesus) was specially commissioned as the Apostle or Prophet of God to confirm the Law and to reveal the Gospel. That he proclaimed his mission with many manifest signs, being strengthened by the Holy Spirit. That he foretold the advent of another Prophet, whose name should be Ahmad. That the Jews intended to crucify him, but God deceived them, for they did not crucify Jesus, but only his likeness. That he is now in one of the stages of celestial bliss. That after he left this earth his disciples disputed amongst themselves, some calling him a God, and making him one of a Trinity of the “Father, the Mother, and the son.” That he will come again at the last day, and will slay Antichrist, kill all the swine, break the Cross, remove the poll-tax from the infidels. That he will reign as a just king for forty-five years, marry, and have children, and die and be buried near Muhammad at al-Madinah, between the graves of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.
I. – The Annunciation of the Virgin.
Surah iii. 37-42: “And remember when the angels said, ‘O Mary! Verily hath God chosen thee, and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of the worlds! O Mary! Be devout towards thy Lord, and prostrate thyself and bow down with those who bow.’ This is one of the announcements of things unseen by thee: To thee, O Muhammad! do we reveal it; for thou wast not with them when they cast lots with reeds which of them should rear Mary: nor wast thou with them when they disputed about it. Remember when the angel said, “O mary! Verily God annnounceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God; and he shall speak to mean alike when in the cradle and when grown up; and he shall be one of the just.’ She said, ‘How, O my Lord? Shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?’ He said, ‘Thus: God will create what He will; when He decreeth a thing He only saith, “Be,” and it is.’ And He will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel.”
Surah xix. 16-21: “And make mention in the Book, of Mary, when she went apart from her family, eastward, and took a veil to shroud herself from them: and We sent Our spirit to her, and he took before her the form of a perfect man. She said: ‘I fly for refuge from thee to the God of Mercy! If thou fearest Him, begone from me.’ He said: ‘I am only a messenger of they Lord, that I may bestow on thee a holy son.’ She said: ‘How shall I have a son, when man hath never touched me? And I am not unchaste.’ He said: ‘So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said: “Easy is this with me; and we will make him a sign to mankind and a mercy from us. For it is a thing decreed.”‘”
[In the earlier part of Surah iii. the Virgin Mary is spoken of as the daughter of ‘Imran. Commentators say that ‘Imran died before Mary was born. In the traditions it is stated “that the only two persons born into the world who have not been touched by the Devil are Mary and her son Jesus.” Thus teaching not only the Immaculate Conception of Mary, but also of her mother. “When she went eastward”; Husain says, she went out of her house in an eastward direction, in order to perform her ablutions, when Gabriel appeared to her.]
II. – The Birth of Jesus.
Surah xix. 22-34: “And she conceived him, and retired with him to a far-off place. And the throes came upon her by the trunk of a palm. She said: ‘Oh, would that I had died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!’ And one cried to her from below her: ‘Grieve not thou, thy Lord hath provided a streamlet at they feet: – And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee; it will drop fresh ripe dates upon thee. Eat then and drink, and be of cheerful eye; and shouldst thou see a man, say, – Verily, I have vowed abstinence to the God of mercy. – To no one will I speak this day.’ Then came she with the babe to her people, bearing him. They siad, ‘O May! Now hast thou done a strange thing! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of wickedness, not unchaste thy mother.’ And she made a sign to them, pointing towards the babe. They said, ‘How shall we speak with him who is in the cradle, an infant?’ It said, ‘Verily, I am the servant of God: He hath given me the Book, and He hath made me a prophet; and He hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined me prayer and almsgiving so long as I shall live; and to be dutiful to her that bare me: and he hath not made me proud, deprave. And the peace of God was on me the day I was born, and will be the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised to life.”
Surah xxiii. 52: “And we appointed the Son and his Mother for a sign; and we prepared an abode in a lofty spot, quiet and watered with springs.”
[Professor Wahl understand this last verse to refer to Paradise, but the Muslim commentators all refer it to the place of abode; and al-Baizawi and Hussain say it was either in Jerusalem, or Damascus, or Ramleh! Hussain says Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The expression “O sister of Aaron,” as applied to the Virgin Mary, suggests an anachronism of some consequence, but the commentators get over the difficulty. The Kamalar say it is a figurative expression implying that she was pure and righteous like a sister of Aaron. But al-Baizawi says it means that she was of the tribe of Aaron. European authors suggest that there was a confusion between Miriam the Virgin and Miriam the sister of Moses. Al-Baizawi says: “The palm to which she fled , that she might lean on it in her travail, was a withered trunk, without any head or verdure; and this happened in the winter season, notwithstanding which, it miraculously supplied her with fruits for her refreshment, as is mentioned immediately.” Mr. Sale says: “It has been observed, that the Mohammedan account of the delivery of the Virgin Mary very much resemble that of Latona, as described by the poets, not only in this circumstance of their laying hold on a palm-tree (though some say Latona embraced an olive-tree, or an olive and a palm, or else two laurels), but also in that of their infants speaking; which Apollo is fabled to have done in the womb.” (See Homer, Hymn. in Apoll. ; Callimach, Hymn. in Delum..)
III. – The Miracles of Jesus
Surah iii. 43-46: “And He will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel. ‘Now have I come,’ he will say, ‘to you with a sign from your Lord: Out of clay will I make for you, as it were, the figure of a bird: and I will breathe into it, and it shall become, by God’s leave, a bird. And I will heal the blind, and the leper; and by God’s leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a sign for you, if ye are believers.’ And when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, He said, ‘Who my helpers with God?’ The apostles said, We will be God’s helpers! We believe in God, and bear thou witness that we are Muslims. O our Lord! We believe in what thou hast sent down, and we follow the apostle; write us up, then, with those who bear witness to him.'”
[The commentators al-Jalalan say Jesus made for his disciples a bat, for it is the most perfect of birds in make, and it flew while they looked at it; but when it had gone out of their sight, it fell down dead. That he cured in one day fifty thousand persons, and that he raised Lazarus (‘Azar) from the dead; also Shem, the son of Noah, who had been dead 4,000 years, but he died immediately; also the son of an old woman, and the daughter of a tax-collector.]
Surah v. 112-115: “Remember when the Apostles said: ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down a furnished table to us out of Heaven?’ He said: ‘Fear God if ye be believers.’ They said: ‘We desire to eat therefrom, and to have our hearts assured; and to know that thou hast indeed spoken truth to us, and to be witnesses thereof.’ Jesus, Son of Mary, said: ‘O God our Lord! Send down a table to us out of Heaven, that it may become a recurring festival to us, to the first of us and to the last of us, and a sign from thee; and do thou nourish us, for thou art the best of nourishers.’ And God said: ‘Verily, I will cause it to descend unto you; but whoever among you after that shall disbelieve, I will surely chastise him with a chastisement wherewith I will not chastise any other creature.
[Mr. Sale, in his commentary on this miracle, says (quoting from al-Baizawi):- “This miracle is thus related by the commentators. Jesus having, at the request of his followers, asked it of God, a red table immediately descended in their sight, between two clouds, and was set before them. Where-upon he rose up, and having made the ablution, prayed, and then took off the cloth which covered the table, saying, ‘In the name of God, the best provider of food!’ What the provision were, with which this table was furnished, is a matter wherein the expositors are not agreed. One will have them to be nine cakes of bread and nine fishes; another, bread and flesh; another, all sort of food, except flesh; another, all sort of food except bread and flesh; another, all except bread and fish; another, one fish, which had the taste of all manner of food; and another, fruits of paradise; but the most received tradition is, that when the table was uncovered, there appeared a fish ready dressed, without scales or prickly fins, dropping with fat, having salt place at its head, and vinegar at its tail, and round it all sorts of herbs, except leeks, and five loaves of bread, on one of which there were olive; on the second, honey; on the third, butter; on the fourth, cheese; and on the fifth, dried flesh. They add, that Jesus, at the request of the apostles, showed them another miracle, by restoring the fish to life, and causing its scales and fins to return to it; at which the standers-by, being affrighted, he caused it to become as it was before: that one thousand three hundred men and women, all afflicted with bodily infirmities or poverty, ate of these provisions, and were satisfied, the fish remaining whole as it was at first; that then the table flew up to heaven in the sight of all; and everyone who had partaken of this food were delivered from their infirmities and misfortunes; and that it continued to descent for forty days together, at dinner-time, and stood on the ground till the sun declined, and was then taken up into the clouds. Some of the Mohammedan writers are of opinion that this table did not really descend, but that it was only a parable; but most think the words of the Koran are plain to the contrary. A further tradition is, that several men were changed into swine for disbelieving this miracle, and attributing it to magic art; or, as others pretend, for stealing some of the victuals from off it.”]
IV. – The Mission of Jesus.
Surah lvii. 26, 27: “And of old sent we Noah and Abraham, and on their seed conferred the gift of prophecy, and the Book; and some of them we guided aright; but many were evil doers. Then we caused our apostles to follow in their footsteps; and we caused Jesus the son of Mary to follow them; and we gave him the Evangel and we put into the hearts of those who followed him kindness and compassion; but as to the monastic life, they invented it themselves. The desire only of pleasing God did we prescribe to them, and this they observed not as it ought to have been observed; but to such of them as believed gave we their reward, though many of them were perverse.”
Surah v. 50, 51: “And in the footsteps of the prophets caused we Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow, confirming the law which was before him; and we gave him the Evangel with its guidance and light, confirmatory of the preceding Law: a guidance and warning to those who fear God:- And that the people of the Evangel may judge according to what God hath sent down therein. And whose will not judge by what God hath sent down – such are the perverse.”
Surah ii. 81: “Moreover, to Moses gave we ‘the Book,’ and we raised up apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit. So oft then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as imposters, and slay others?”
Surah ii. 254: “Some of the apostles we have endowed more highly than others: Those to whom God hath spoken. He hath raised to the loftiest grade, and to Jesus, son of Mary we gave manifest signs, and we strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. And if God had pleased, they who came after them would not have wrangled, after the clear signs had reached them. But into disputes they fell; some of them believed, and some were infidels; yet if God had pleased, they would not have thus wrangled; but God doth what he will.”
Surah lxi. 6: “And remember when Jesus the son of Mary said, ‘O children of Israel! Of a truth I am God’s apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me, and to announce an apostle that shall come after me whose name shall be Ahmad! But when he (Ahmad) presented himself with clear proofs of his mission, they said, ‘This is manifest sorcery!”
Surah vi. 85: “And Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias: all were just persons.”
Surah iv. 157: ” And there shall not be one of the people of the Book but shall believe in him (Jesus) before his death, and in the day of judgment he shall be a witness against them.”
Surah iii. 44: “And I have come to attest the law which was before me; and to allow you part of that which had been forbidden you; and I come to you with a sign from your Lord; Fear God, then, and obey me; of a truth God is my Lord, and your Lord: Therefore worship Him. This is a right way.”
V. – The Crucifixion of Jesus.
Surah iii. 47-50: “And the Jews plotted, and God plotted; But of those who plot is God the best. Remember when God said, ‘O Jesus! Verily I will cause thee to die, and will take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those who believe not; and I will place those who follow thee above those who believe not, until the Day of Resurrection. Then, to me it your return, and wherein ye differ will I decide between you. And as to those who believe not, I will chastise them with a terrible chastisement in this word and in the next; and none shall they have to help them.’ But as to those who believe, and do the things that are right, He will pay them their recompense. God loveth not the doers of evil.”
Surah iv. 155, 156: “And for their unbelief [are the Jews cursed] – and for their having spoken against Mary a grievous calumny. – And for their saying ‘Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, an Apostle of God.’ Yet they slew him not, and they crucified him not, but they had only his likeness. And they who differed about him were in doubt concerning him: No sure knowledge had they about him, but followed only an opinion, and they really did not slay him,but God took him up to Himself. And God is Mighty, Wise!”
[Sale, in his notes on the Qur’an, says “The person crucified some will have to be a spy that was sent to entrap him; others that it was one Titian, who by direction of Judas entered in at a sindow of the house where Jesus was, to kill him; and others that it was Judas himself, who agreed with the rulers of the Jews to betray him for thirty pieces of silver, and led those who were sent to take him. They add that Jesus after his crucifixion in effigy was sent down again to the earth to comfort his mother and disciples and acquaint them how the Jews were deceived, and was then taken up a second time into heaven. It is supposed by several that this story was an original invention of Mohammed’s; but they are certainly mistaken: for several sectaries held the same opinion long before his time. The Basilidians, in the beginning of Christianity, denied that Christ himself suffered, but [asserted] that Simon the Cirenean was crucified in his place. The Corinthians before them, and the Carpocratians next (to name no more of those who affirmed Jesus to have been a mere man), did believe the same thing, that it was not himself, but one of his followers, very like him, that was crucified. Photius tells us that he read a book entitled The Journey of the Apostles, relating the acts of Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas, and Paul; and among other things contained therein this was one, that Christ was not crucified, but another in his stead, and that therefore he laughed at his crucifiers, or those who thought they had crucified him.” The “Cross of Christ” is the missing link in the Muslim’s creed, for we have in Islam the great anomaly of a religion which rejects the doctrine of a sacrifice for sin, whilst its great central feast is a Feast of Sacrifice. It is related by the Muslim historian al-Waqidi, that Muhammad had such repugnance to the sign of the cross that he destroyed everything brought to his house with that figure upon it.]
Divinity and the Sonship of Christ, and His Sinlessness.
Surah xix. 35, 36: “That is Jesus, the son of Mary, the word of truth (Qaulu ‘l-Haqq), whereon ye do dispute! God could not take to Himself a son! Celebrated be His praise! When He decrees a matter He only say to it ‘BE,’ and it is; and verily God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him: this is the right way. But the sects have differed among themselves.”
Surah iii. 51, 52: “These signs, and this wise warning do we rehearse to thee. Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God. He created Him of dust: He then said to him, ‘Be,’ – and he was.”
Surah xliii. 57-65: “And when the Son of Mary was set forth as an instance of divine power, lo! Thy people cried out for joy thereat: And they said, “Are our god or is he the better?’ They put this forth to thee only in the spirit of dispute. Yea. They are a contentious people. Jesus is no more than a servant whom we favored, and proposed as an instance of divine power to the children of Israel; and if we pleased, we could from yourselves bring forth Angels to succeed you on earth; and he shall be a sign of the last hour; doubt not then of it, and follow ye me: this is the right way; and let not Satan turn you aside from it, for he is your manifest foe. And when Jesus came with manifest proofs, he said, ‘Now am I come to you with wisdom; and a part of those things about which ye are at variance I will clear up to you; fear ye God, therefore, and obey me. Verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; wherefore, worship ye him: this is a right way.’ But the different parties fell into disputes among themselves; but woe to those who thus transgressed, because of the punishment of an afflictive day!”
Surah ix. 30: “The Jews say Ezra is the Son of God; and the Christians say that the Messiah is the Son of God; that is what they say with their mouths imitating the sayings of those who misbelieve before – God fight them! – How they lie!”
Surah iii. 72, 73: “And some truly are there among them who torture the Scriptures with they tongues, in order that ye may suppose it to be from the Scripture, yet it is not from the Scripture. And they say, ‘This is from God’; yet it is not from God; and they utter s lie against God, and they know they do so. It beseemeth not a man, that God should give his the Scriptures and the Wisdom, and the gift of prophecy, and that then he should say to his followers, ‘Be ye worshipers of me, as well as of God’; but rather, ‘Be ye perfect in things pertaining to God, since ye know the Scriptures, and have studied deep.'”
Surah v. 19: “Infidels now are they who say, ‘Verily God is Messiah Ibn Maryam (son of Mary)! SAY: And who could aught obtain from God, if he chose to destroy the Messiah Ibn Maryam, and his mother, and all who are on the earth together?'”
There is a remarkable Hadis related by Anas, which inadvertently proves that, whilst Muhammad admitted his own sinfulness, as well as that of other prophets, he could not charge our Lord with sin. It is as follows: “The Prophet of God said, ‘In the Day of Resurrection Muslims will not be able to move, and they will be greatly distressed, and will say, “Would to God that we had asked Him to create someone to intercede for use, that we might be taken from this place, and be delivered from tribulation and sorrow?” Then these men will go to Adam, and will say,”Thou art the father of all men. God created thee with His hand, and made thee a dweller in Paradise, and ordered His angels to prostrate themselves before thee, and taught thee the names of all things. Ask grace for us we pray thee!” And Adam will say, “I am not of that degree of eminence you suppose, for I committed a sin in earing of the grain which was forbidden. Go to Noah, the Prophet, he was the first who was sent by God to the unbelievers on the face of the earth.” Then they will go to Noah and ask for intercession, and he will say, “I am not of that degree which ye suppose.” And he will remember the sin which he committed in asking the Lord for the deliverance of his son (Hud), not knowing whether it was a right request or not; and he well say, “Go to Abraham, who is the Friend of God.” Then they will go to Abraham, and he will say, “I am not of that degree which ye suppose.” And he will remember the three occasions upon which he told lies in the world; and he well say, “Go to Moses, who is the servant to whom God gave His law, and whom He allowed to converse with Him.” And they will go to Moses, and Moses will say, “I am not of that degree which ye suppose.” And he will remember the sin which he committed in slaying a man, and he will say, “Go to Jesus, He is the servant of God, the Apostle of God, the Spirit of God, and the Word of God.” Then they will go to Jesus, and He will say, “Go to Muhammad who is a servant, whose sins God has forgiven both first and last.” Then the Muslims will come to me, and I will ask permission to go into God’s presence and intercede for them.'” (Mishkat, book xxiii. ch. xii.)
[In dealing with Muslims the Christian missionary must not treat their system as though the teachings of Islam were precisely those of the modern Socinians (we speak of the modern Socinians, for both the Socini, uncle and nephew, admitted the miraculous conception of Christ, and said he ought to be worshiped.) Islam admits of the miraculous conception of Christ, and that He is the “Word” which God “conveyed into Mary”; and whilst the other five great prophets are but “the chosen,” “the preacher,” “the friend,” “the converser with,” and “the messenger of” God, Jesus is admitted to be the “Spirit of God.” he is the greatest miracle worker of all the prophets; and whilst Muhammad is dead and buried, and saw corruption, all Muslim divines admit that Jesus “saw no corruption,” and still lives with a human body in Paradise.
Moreover, it is said in the Hadis that the Haqiqatu’l-Muhammadiyah or the Nur-i-Muhammad, “the essence, or light of Muhammad,” was created before all things which were made by God. They pre-existence of the divine “Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us” is not, therefore an idea foreign to the Muslim mind.]
VII. – The Trinity.
Surah v. 76-69: “They misbelieve who say, ‘Verily, God is the Messiah, the son of Mary’; but the Messiah said, ‘O children of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord; verily, he who associates aught with God, God hath forbidden him Paradise, and his resort is the Fire, and the unjust shall have none to help them. They misbelieve who say, ‘Verily God is the third of three, for there is no God but one; and if they do not desist from what they say, there shall touch those who misbelieve amongst them grievous woe. Will they not turn again towards God and ask pardon of Him? For God is forgiving and merciful.’ The Messiah, the son of Mary, is only a prophet! Prophets before him have passed away; and his mother was a confessor; they used both to eat food. See how we explain to them the signs, yet see how they turn aside!”
Surah iv. 169: “O ye people of the Book! Overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God, speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and His Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. Believe, therefore, in God and His apostles, and say not, ‘Three’: (i.e. there is a Trinity) – Forbear – it will be better for you. God is only one God! Far be it from His glory that He should have a son! His, whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is in the Earth! And God is a sufficient Guardian.”
Surah v. 116, 117: “And when God shall say – ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary: hast thou said unto mankind – “Take me and my mother as two Gods, besides God?”‘ He shall say – ‘Glory be unto Thee! It is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily thou wouldest have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knowest things unseen! I spake not to them aught but that which thou didst bid me – “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord”, and I was a witness against them so long as I was amongst them: but when Thou didst take me away to Thyself Thou wert the watcher over them, for Thou art witness over all.'”
[From the text of the Qur’an it appears that Muhammad thought the Holy Trinity of the Christians consisted of the Father, the Son, and the Virgin; and historians tell us that there existed in Arabia a sect called the Collyridians, who considered they Virgin Mary a divine person, and offered in worship to her a cake called Collyria; it, is, therefore, not improbable that Muhammad obtained his perverted notion of the Holy Trinity from the existence of this sect. From the expression “they both ate food,” we must conclude that Muhammad had but a sensuous idea of the Trinity in Unity, and had never been instructed in the orthodox faith with reference to his dogma.
Al-Baizawi (A.H. 685), in his commentary on Surah iv. 169, says: “Say not there are Three,” that is, “Do not say there are three Gods,” namely Allah and al-Masih and Maryam; or “Do not say God is Three,” meaning that there are Three Aqanim اقانيمor Essences
– Ab (Father), Ibn (Son), and Ruhu’l-Quds (Holy Spirit) and interpreting it thus: Ab the Zat or Essence; Ibn, the ‘Ilm or Knowledge; and Ruhu ‘l-Qud, the Hayat or Life of God.
Husain (A.H. 900) quotes al-Baizawi, and offers no opinion of his own.
The Jalalan (A.H. 911) say “Three” means Allah and ‘Isa and his Mother.
The word generally used by Muslim writers for the Trinity is at-Taslis التثليث[TRINITY.]
VIII. – The Second Coming of Jesus.
The Qur’an has no definite teaching on the subject, but the Traditions have. See Mishkaru ‘l-Masabih, book xxiii. ch. vi.)
Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet said, “I swear by God, it is near, when Jesus, son of Mary, will descend from the heavens, upon your people, a just king, and he will break the cross, and will kill the swine, and will remove the poll-tax from the enfranchised; and there will be great wealth in his time, so much that nobody will accept of it; and in that time, one prostration in prayer will be better than the world and everything in it.”
And Abu Hurairah said, “If ye doubt about this coming to pass, then read this verse (Surah iv. 157), and there shall not be one of those who have received the Scriptures who shall not believe in Him (Jesus) before His death.”
Abu Hurairah again relates that the Prophet said, “I swear by God, Jesus son of Mary will come down, a just king; he will kill the swine, and break the cross, and remove the poll-tax from the enfranchised; and camels will not be rode in his time on account of the immensity of wealth, and man’s being in want of nothing; and verily enmity, hatred and malice will go from man; and verily, Jesus will call people to wealth, and nobody will take it.”
Jabir relates that the Prophet said: “A section of my people will always fight for the true religion, and will be victorious, unto the resurrection. Then Jesus, son of May will come down; and the prince of my people will say to him, ‘Come in front, and say prayers for us.’ And he will say to him, “I shall not act as Imam, because some of you are princes over others.’ And Jesus will say this from respect for my people.”
‘Abdu’llah ibn ‘Amr relates that the Prophet said: “Jesus will come down to the earth and will marry and have children, and will stay on the earth forty-five years, and then die, and be buried in my place of burial; and I and Jesus shall rise up from one place, between Abu-Bakr and ‘Umar.” [HUJRAH.]
IX. His Exaltation in Heaven.
There is some difference of opinion as to where Jesus Christ now is. All Muslim divines agree that “he saw no corruption,” but they differ as to the exact stage of celestial bliss in which he resides in the body. According to a tradition by Qatadah (Mishkat, book xxiv. ch. vii.), Muhammad said, on the night of the Mi’raj or celestial journey, he saw John and Jesus in the second heaven. The Jalalan agree with this tradition. But in the commentary known as the Jami’u ‘l-Bayan (vol. i. 656) it is said he is in the third region of bliss; whilst some say he is in the fourth.
X. – The Disciples of Jesus
The disciples of Jesus are called in the Qur’an al-Hawariyun, a word which seems to be derived from an Ethiopic root, signifying “to send,” but which al-Baizawi says means “white ones,” and that it was given to the disciples of Jesus either because they were holy and sincere men or because they wore white clothes. It is noticeable that not one of the twelve apostles is mentioned by name in the Qur’an. In the story told of disciples visiting the city (or Antioch), three disciples are mentioned, and commentators say they were John, Jude, and Simon. [See Surah xxxvi. 13, 19 – HABIB THE CARPENTER.] John the Baptist and his father Zacharias are mentioned. (Surahs xix. 7, xxi. 90.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam