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    The Crucifixion and the Quran

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    Peace be with you all,

    For some time I have been perplexed by the verse in the Qur'an stating Jesus was not crucified but it was only "made to appear" to be so. I read Ibn Kathir's commentary on the verse and he suggests that another disciple of Jesus was made to look like him, and that this disciple took the place of Jesus on the cross, although there is no source that reveals where Ibn Kathir got this notion from. Is there anything in Islamic tradition that serves to elucidate what happened to Jesus in this verse?

    Pax et bonum

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    It is just that. Nothing to be perplexed about. Jesus was never crucified. Whatever the 'means' Allah employed to make His plan happen is by Hill Will.

    The main difference (imo) between Christianity and Islam is the original sin and Jesus dying at the cross to absolve his followers from hell. Whereas Islam does not believe in the original sin, and that every human is by himself accountable for his deeds.


    "And they said we have killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him. On the contrary, God raised him unto himself. God is almighty and wise."
    Quran surah 4 (An-Nisa النساء) ayah 157-158[22]


    ......God raised him unto Himself...


    It's hard, if not impossible to believe if you are of a Roman Catholic derivative faith. It just cannot fit. It tears into the fabric of the Christian faith to have Jesus not dying at the cross.



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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Peace be with you,

    Quote Originally Posted by greenhill View Post
    It is just that. Nothing to be perplexed about. Jesus was never crucified. Whatever the 'means' Allah employed to make His plan happen is by Hill Will.


    I can understand your perspective, you believe the Quran is the word of God and therefore believe as a matter of faith that Jesus was not crucified. I respect your fidelity to what you believe to be true, however I do not share your belief in the Quran, rather I am approaching it as an outsider with the knowledge that Jesus was crucified. We have a lot of evidence that points to this fact, and nothing that casts doubt on it, to the point that even scholars who disagree with many points of Christianity admit that the crucifixion is beyond dispute (cf EP Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus), even the Quran admits that at least the semblance of a crucifixion occurred, and in this matter it agrees with a group collectively known as the Gnostics. They predate Christianity but soon took Christ as part of their pantheon of divine manifestations, and being that they rejected matter as evil, they believed him to be pure spirit without body. Consequently, the crucifixion could not have been a real crucifixion, but only an illusion. That the Qur'an seems to confirm their view is rather perplexing! So I am interested in understanding exactly what it is that Muslims believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenhill View Post

    The main difference (imo) between Christianity and Islam is the original sin and Jesus dying at the cross to absolve his followers from hell. Whereas Islam does not believe in the original sin, and that every human is by himself accountable for his deeds.
    Original sin refers to the fact that we are born into a state we were not intended for. We were created in communion with God but this was ruptured by the first man's sin. Consequently mankind was separated from that intimate union with God, and all those born of the first man share in this deprived state. The real difference between us is that Muslims believe salvation can be obtained through works, so long as one's good deeds outweigh their bad ones. We believe rather that it is impossible for man to appease God by works, and that only an act of God could remedy our situation. That remedy was Christ's sacrificial act which being the work of a Divine person bearing human nature was solely capable of redeeming us and make available an even greater unity than Adam experienced.

    This of course is all theological, and I don't mind discussing this topic but the main issue at hand is a historical event, namely the crucifixion.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenhill View Post

    It's hard, if not impossible to believe if you are of a Roman Catholic derivative faith. It just cannot fit. It tears into the fabric of the Christian faith to have Jesus not dying at the cross.
    [/COLOR]
    It may also be impossible for you to believe that Jesus was crucified, for if the Quran is wrong about this, what else can it be wrong of?

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    I am not wanting to debate but I'm curious what Islam says happened to the person "crucified" in Jesus's place...did the person get raised back alive? or did they stay dead...

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    The real difference between us is that Muslims believe salvation can be obtained through works, so long as one's good deeds outweigh their bad ones. We believe rather that it is impossible for man to appease God by works, and that only an act of God could remedy our situation.
    That is why Allah is the Most Forgiving and Most Merciful. Sincere repentance and remembrance of Him helps to absolve minor sins.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    It may also be impossible for you to believe that Jesus was crucified, for if the Quran is wrong about this, what else can it be wrong of?
    As you said, the Gnostic (that predate Christianity) believed the same as what is propagated by the Quran, and along comes a belief formed at a later date that contradicts the earlier belief (and the words of the Qur'an) and has somehow becomes the 'new reality' when actually is false.


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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    And peace be upon you as well, Sojurn. I wanted to quote the ayat 4:157 you reference in context:

    —No! God has sealed them in their disbelief, so they believe only a little and because they disbelieved and uttered a terrible slander against Mary, and said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him— God raised him up to Himself. God is almighty and wise. There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in [Jesus] before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.

    Haleem, M. A. S. Abdel (2005-05-12). The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics) (p. 65). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

    I can relate to your assessment of Ibn Kathir's commentary that the likeness of Jesus (as) was put on another person (Judas?) being based on unclear evidence. I have not seen a hadith where this explanation for the ayat is offered by Prophet Muhammad (saaws). I have read 'The Gospel of Barnabas' and this particular story is conveyed in detail. I do not accept this book as an unadulterated source of knowledge, but neither do I reject it as entirely fabricated. However, it is doubtful that Ibn Kathir would have had access to the Gospel of Barnabas as the reference for his assessment.

    This passage is addressed to the Jews and it negates several of their beliefs about Mary and Jesus (peace be upon them both). The slander against Mary is such that I refuse to even repeat it for I believe the Qur'an when it says that Mary conceived miraculously as a virgin and that she was a chaste woman. The slander follows to Jesus (as) as her son who was not the 'son (as was supposed) of Joseph' per Luke 3:23, but rather he has the likeness of Adam when God said 'Be!' and he was. The passage negates their claim to have killed Jesus (as) and thereby dishonored him. The passage leaves the means and methodology unclear, but makes it clear that Jesus was not killed or crucified in the same manner that other ayah make it clear that he was neither God nor the Son of God. The part about Jesus' (as) ascension is actually similar to the Bible making reference to a miraculous event that does not seem to be appreciated by most who read it. I see a distinct similarity to Prophet Muhammad's (saaws) night journey to Jerusalem and ascension from there to receive instructions for the Islamic prayer. This relates to another Islamic belief that Jesus (as) will return during the last day to rule as the title 'Messiah' implies this role that has as of yet not been actualized.

    We agree on the birth and ascension of Jesus, but we disagree on his essential nature and on Calvary. If it is as the Qur'an claimed that Jesus was neither God nor the Son of God and that he did not die on the cross, then what is left as the central truth of Christianity?
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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    We really do not know. Even the attempts by the greatest scholars are simply giving their opinion.

    Reading the ayyat carefully:

    "And they said we have killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him. On the contrary, God raised him unto himself. God is almighty and wise."
    We can not say with certainty and proof that anyone was crucified. Although we can be reasonably certain The witnesses did believe somebody was crucified.

    All we know and need to know is Isa(as) was not crucified.
    The Crucifixion and the Quran




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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Peace be with you,

    Quote Originally Posted by greenhill View Post

    As you said, the Gnostic (that predate Christianity) believed the same as what is propagated by the Quran, and along comes a belief formed at a later date that contradicts the earlier belief (and the words of the Qur'an) and has somehow becomes the 'new reality' when actually is false.
    Let me address this one point so as to avoid any confusion. When I said that Gnosticism predates Christianity, I meant that it predates Jesus himself. Some of it's followers incorporated Christian elements into their teachings and then began proposing that they possessed the true teachings of Jesus, teachings which explicitly contradicted what Jesus was known to have taught.

    They believed for example that the God of the Old Testament (i.e. the God of Abraham, Moses, David, etc) was actually a different god from the God of the New Testament. In fact, they believed the Old Testament God was an evil deity because he created matter, which in their worldview imprisoned the soul and was therefore evil. They believed in a cosmic battle between the Evil God who created the world, and the Good God ("The Father") who is attempting to liberate people spiritually, and the solution the Gnostics proposed was contained in the name of their movement, "Gnosis", or knowledge (specifically the so called secret knowledge they claimed to possess) was necessary for liberation. Jesus was seen as one of many manifestations of God, almost akin to a Hindu avatar, with the specific exception that he did not bear flesh and was pure spirit, and consequently why his crucifixion was an illusion.

    Now it's rather interesting to note that the big emphasis among many early Christian writers was that Jesus possessed flesh and that his suffering was real. Here is one example from Saint Ignatius of Antioch (c 110 AD), who was the third leader after St Peter the Apostle in Antioch, one of the earliest Christian communities, and himself a disciple of St John the Apostle. He was gloriously martyred in Rome by being fed to beasts (his iconography depicts him being mauled by lions) but prior to his martyrdom, he wrote several letters to the existing Christian communities of his time, and in these letters he often attacked the errors of Gnostic teaching. I point this out because it has some relevance to the discussion at hand:

    "Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly born, and ate and drank. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; He was truly crucified, and [truly] died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father will so raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus, apart from whom we do not possess the true life.

    "But if, as some that are without God, that is, the unbelieving, say, that He only seemed to suffer (they themselves only seeming to exist), then why am I in bonds? Why do I long to be exposed to the wild beasts? Do I therefore die in vain? Am I not then guilty of falsehood against [the cross of] the Lord?

    "Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan], which produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies. For these men are not the planting of the Father. For if they were, they would appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible. By it He calls you through His passion, as being His members. The head, therefore, cannot be born by itself, without its members; God, who is [the Saviour] Himself, having promised their union.

    Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, sections 9-11, c 110 AD
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0106.htm


    I hope it is becoming ever more clear why the Quran supporting the Gnostic concept of an illusory crucifixion is as perplexing as it is problematic. Though once again, it is unclear to me as to how the verse in question is actually interpreted, and I would like to have a proper Islamic understanding of it (that is, I don't want to approach the verse with an preconceived notion, and want to understand it as Muhammad and his followers would have understood it.)


    Peace be with you all

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    When I said that Gnosticism predates Christianity, I meant that it predates Jesus himself.
    Sorry, my bad!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    why the Quran supporting the Gnostic concept of an illusory crucifixion is as perplexing as it is problematic.
    .... in which case, I think any similarities between the Gnostic concept and the Qur'an may be purely coincidental.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    it is unclear to me as to how the verse in question is actually interpreted, and I would like to have a proper Islamic understanding of it (that is, I don't want to approach the verse with an preconceived notion, and want to understand it as Muhammad and his followers would have understood it.)
    I hope I can be considered to be amongst the prophet Muhammad s a w and his followers and I understood it as being Jesus was never put to the cross. No preconceived notion here. That is the proper islamic understanding. As far as I know, there is no other versions of Jesus being put to the cross in any islamic documentation.



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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    I wonder about what the explanations for this verse say on the substitution theory on Jesus (as) for the crucifixion. There is no confirmed report on what happened, and I have not seen any explanations which stem from the Holy Prophet (saw) on this. Doesn't this mean that there is no exact story on what exactly occurred? In one case Judas is mentioned, and in another Tatianos (don't even know who this is) is mentioned. These are conflicting reports which make no sense from what I have read. Where exactly do these originate from?

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    I missed this earlier...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    The real difference between us is that Muslims believe salvation can be obtained through works, so long as one's good deeds outweigh their bad ones.
    It is hard work, but very possible. Allah is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful. We can repent, seek forgiveness. Avoid temptations, be charitable, protect the weak etc. It is only of two things, submit or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    We believe rather that it is impossible for man to appease God by works, and that only an act of God could remedy our situation.
    This is the easy way out. It is easier to believe it is impossible to appease God for our failings. You do not believe in a Merciful God? Allah knows we will make mistakes. But we will have to learn from the mistake and ask for forgiveness and still worship Him. It is your effort in up keeping the faith that will speak for you on the day of reckoning. The cold sweat you suffered from fighting the temptations to the deadly sins/vices (figuratively speaking).

    This life is a test. It is up to us to find the path.

    We said, "Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Qur'an (2:38)

    When Adam as was sent to earth, these were the words spoken. The message is there. The parting message from Allah to Adam as. Where does these words appear? Here in the Qur'an. Stating that here is the guidance that comes to you (me) from Him. Do we not see?



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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsontide06 View Post
    I am not wanting to debate but I'm curious what Islam says happened to the person "crucified" in Jesus's place...did the person get raised back alive? or did they stay dead...


    Don't think I have come across anything about the 'substitute' but Allah is Most Wise. If it was a person in Jesus' like, then may he be given a martyr's death.

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by greenhill View Post
    Originally Posted by Sojourn
    The real difference between us is that Muslims believe salvation can be obtained through works, so long as one's good deeds outweigh their bad ones.
    It is hard work, but very possible. Allah is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful. We can repent, seek forgiveness. Avoid temptations, be charitable, protect the weak etc. It is only of two things, submit or not.
    Salaam to every one....

    Thanks for starting this thread Sojourn.... in addition to what Brother Greenhill has mentioned that it is not only good works on the basis of which Muslims can claim Paradise, rather it is only and only Mercy of Allah (swt) through which we would enter the abode of peace .....This is what Islam teaches us and the Prophet (saw) in one of the traditions have mentioned that even he himself cannot enter paradise would it not be for the Mercy of Allah (swt)....



    Narrated by Abu Huraira Allah's Apostle said, "The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the (Hell) Fire)." They said, "Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise)." (Sahih Bukhari)

    The Quran in Chapter 6 Verse 12 gives us a message that it is Only the Grace and Mercy of Allah (swt) through which subsists His entire creation and it would not have been possible for them to exist had it not been there....

    (06:12) Say "Unto whom belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth?" Say: "Unto God, who has willed upon Himself the law of gracy and mercy."

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Peace be with you,

    I'm at work right now but I'm eager to address this erroneous view which two posters have endorsed, namely salvation by faith alone, and essentially one can do what they want and make it to heaven if they just believe. This is an erroneous theological opinion, and I repeat again it is wrong. As I said I would like to address the misconception but I have been already labeled a missionary, and so my addressing the issue may be interpreted as my attempt to convert you. I'll probably just send you both a private message regarding this unless a mod gives me the green light

    Pax et bonum

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    As I said I would like to address the misconception but I have been already labeled a missionary, and so my addressing the issue may be interpreted as my attempt to convert you. I'll probably just send you both a private message regarding this unless a mod gives me the green light
    I explained in my private message that it was particular actions that were interpreted as missionary activity rather than those posts where you are clarifying something about Christianity. Please avoid sending anyone private messages on this subject - you should respond on the public forum and if it is not allowed there, then in general, taking it to private message would also not be allowed.
    The Crucifixion and the Quran




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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    the following video was made by Christians and uploaded by a Muslim, it claims that Jesus pbuh never died on the cross and presents evidences to back up its claim:

    contains background music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJj_vyDBMUk

    Scimi
    The Crucifixion and the Quran


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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
    I'm eager to address this erroneous view which two posters have endorsed, namely salvation by faith alone, and essentially one can do what they want and make it to heaven if they just believe.
    I don't see how these questions are related to the "The Crucifixion and the Quran", nor do I see how they can be clarification of Islamic beliefs.

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmad H View Post
    I wonder about what the explanations for this verse say on the substitution theory on Jesus (as) for the crucifixion.
    I don't believe there is any hadith that indicates a substitution being made for Jesus. The commentary, "Towards Understanding the Qur'an" by Mawdudi states, "We are not in a position now to find out how and why such a confusion arose. As no authentic source of information is available to us, it would be inappropriate to conjecture and speculate about the cause of the misapprehension which led the Jews to believe that they had crucified Jesus, the son of Mary, whereas he had already passed far beyond their grasp."

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Peace be with you,

    Quote Originally Posted by MustafaMc View Post
    I don't see how these questions are related to the "The Crucifixion and the Quran", nor do I see how they can be clarification of Islamic beliefs.
    Just so that I'm on the same page here, is it against the rules or would it cause a post removal to address a misconception a poster may have on a non-Islamic topic?

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    Re: The Crucifixion and the Quran

    Quote Originally Posted by MustafaMc View Post
    I don't believe there is any hadith that indicates a substitution being made for Jesus. The commentary, "Towards Understanding the Qur'an" by Mawdudi states, "We are not in a position now to find out how and why such a confusion arose. As no authentic source of information is available to us, it would be inappropriate to conjecture and speculate about the cause of the misapprehension which led the Jews to believe that they had crucified Jesus, the son of Mary, whereas he had already passed far beyond their grasp."
    It's a very cryptic verse and does not bring any clarity to what really happened. A Muslim once suggested to me that perhaps Jesus was crucified but did not die. I suppose in the end for whatever reason this verse was left vague, and not even the Muslim scholars have knowledge of it but only conjecture.

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