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Added 3.10.16 (Original convo 4.30.15)

If Jesus was not crucified as we have been led to believe (as Christians), and it was someone else on the cross in his place . . . why would Allah want to deceive us? It is one thing to say that Allah wanted to deceive the Jews who had sent Jesus to Pilate, but that's not really being truthful, because there are 2.2 billion Christians in the world in this year (think of how many there must have been from 33 A.D. till now) who all believe that Jesus was crucified and resurrected from his death.

 

I'll get to the resurrection part in the next paragraph, but my primary response to that is to point out that crucifixion of who onlookers presumed to be Jesus does not justify deification. In fact, death is a clear indication of someone not being God. Secondly, I'll just mention that Jesus ascending without having dies makes a lot more sense from the Islamic perspective given that we firmly believe he will return in the future and live out the rest of this life until death (thus only dying once, as is usual). Indeed, it's expected that prophets--humans afterall--will die and it's also not unusual that they would be persecuted or even killed by their rejectors; so whoever may have been confused by the crucifixion, then whatever conclusions it led them to should not have included Jesus being God. Allah says, "And We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit. If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He intends." There's more that can be said, but the crucifixion event is neither a clear basis nor an excuse for the range of doctrines and teachings about and attributed to Jesus, on him be peace. That said, the worst are those who invent or lead in the proliferation of unfounded beliefs. Many of those 2.2 billion simply don't know better, which is one of the reaons many of them are doubtful, leave, convert to other faiths, etc., including many like myself who revert to Islam in the face of stronger evidence. To point, and I only say this with respect to the seriousness of the topic, it should go without saying that the truth does not increase or decrease in validity based on demographics.

 

Jesus' followers believed this happened. And they spread this message to others. So that is saying that this entire false religion was started by Allah's deception.

 

By this, you are referring not just to the crucifixion but also the resurrection. What exactly Jesus's followers saw, believed, or spread regarding the crucifixion is unclear to me and I don't see any reason to attribute the story of the resurrection to them at all. You, I think, are using the Biblical gospels as your bases. The Ingeel is what we, as Muslims, believe in as the Message via Jesus, which would be his own speech as a revelation from Allah. The New Testament, from my perspective, is predominantly sayings and even when Jesus is referenced the statements still appear more like what we call ahadith (sayings, in this case by a prophet). In order to accept a saying we analyze the isnad (chain of narrators; i.e., This person said this person said the Prophet, peace on him said, "X, Y, Z."). In Islam, we call the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace on him, ahadith. We know about the lives of those narrators, in depth, and various ones are considered more or less reliable, etc. There is a whole lot more to that and many other parts of validation, but there are several categories like sound, good, weak, fabricated, false, etc. At the point a saying is designated weak, it can be used for general wisdom or to encourage good but it cannot be relied upon and it never, ever can be used to legislate or to define Islam. I am very far from being a muhadith (scholar of ahadith) but it seems to me based on what I do know regarding this issue the New Testament may not even be considered as religious ahadith at all because not only is little known about the narrators, but the chain of narration is totally lost while they are not even in the language spoken by Jesus (Aramaic) (with the exception of one fragment, to the best of my knowledge). Even the text we have is translations of fragments in numerous languages (more on the Biblical authenticity here). To put it simply, by the standards applied to sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace on him, the Bible would not be considerred with any reliablity at all. That, however, does not mean the Bible should be wholesale rejected. Rather, whatever cannot be clearly confirmed or denied should be left alone.

 

When I said (in our past conversation) his followers did not corrupt Jesus's message, that does not mean the modern Bible available now is their intact writings. The trinity verses, for example, had been pulled from many modern Bibles due to their being fabrications (The New Catholic Encyclopedia states the doctrine was developed over the coruse of 300 years after Jesus's assention), yet one version put it back in by popular demand! People cling to beliefs that please them.

 

There are also many annotated Bibles that include notes on when a verse was added or which ones are especially dubious. And those are from Christian scholars. One of the verses Christian scholars point out as a late addition, for example, is the one where Jesus supposedly refers to the wine being his blood. That reminds me of your raising the ayaat were Allah says, "And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. 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. And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." That is from Suratul-Ma'idah, the chapter of The Table Spread, which clarifies the real event of the table of food Allah sent down to Jesus and his followers. Confirm here does not mean that al-Qur'an relates what the modern Bible says. Rather, al-Qur'an confirms the real stories and the original, true revelations so that those in doubt or confusion can come to the truth.

 

All this is not to say, however, that there aren't signs left still in the Bible which Jews and Christians might spot and reflect upon to revise their ideas and interpretations. For example, you will find verses in teh New Testement descibing Jesus washing for prayer, bowing, prostrating, etc., just as Muslims do now. As well, you mentioned the verses still left in the modern Bible that seem to point to the Prophet Muhammad, peace on him, but that does not vindicate the entire anthology that is the modern Bible.

 

I'm always baffled by Christian explanations of Jeremiah 8:8, which says, "How can you say, 'We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,' when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?" Similarly, Allah says, "They change the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them." This is why I bolded above not just that al-Qur'an confirms or (straightens out the record) of what came before it but that Jesus straightened out the message to the Jews since they had strayed and warped the Torah or, at the very least at that point, veered from it's intent and application. Imagine a book that's supposed to be written by Moses includes the story of the death of Moses. Huh? I could go on and on. In any case, part of what this gets down to is not about Allah deceiving people. Rather it is about why is there evil in the world. The angles actually asked Allah that when he was creating Adam. He either informed them about what humans would do or they had seen what jinn had done before. He said that He knows what they known not. Now, every Night of Decree, a special night in Ramadaan, Allah sends the angels down to witness humans who have overcome evil and who have persevered in overcoming their desires to submit to Allah in sincere worship in the middle of the night. And indeed, how can we give charity if everyone were millionaires? We are in a test designed by al-Hakeem, the All-Wise. Subhan Allah, walhamdulillaah, wallllahu akbar.. . .