CHAPTER 5 : QURANIC AND BIBLICAL
MEETING THE REVEREND
One day, I was visiting the "Bible House" in Johannesburg,
South Africa. Whilst browsing through the stacks of Bibles and religious books, I picked
up an Indonesian Bible and had just taken in hand a Greek/English New Testament - a large,
expensive volume. I had not realised that I was being observed by the supervisor of the
Bible House. Casually, he walked up to me. Perhaps my bread and my Muslim headgear were an
attraction and a challenge? He enquired about my interest in that costly volume. I
explained that as a student of comparative religion, I had need for such a book. He
invited me to have tea with him in his office. It was very kind of him and I accepted.
Over the cup of tea, I explained to him the Muslim belief in Jesus.
I explained to him the very high position that Jesus (pbuh) occupied in the House of
Islam. He seemed sceptical about what I said. I was amazed at his seeming ignorance,
because only retired Reverend gentlemen can become Supervisors of BIBLE HOUSES in South
Africa. I began reciting from verse 42 of Sura 3 -first in Arabic then in English.
BEHOLD! THE ANGELS SAID: "O MARY! ALLAH HATH CHOSEN THEE...
I wanted the Reverend to listen, not only to the meaning of the Quran, but also to the
music of its cadences when the original Arabic was recited. Rev.Dunkers (for that was his
name) sat back and listened with rapt attention to Allah's Kalaam (God's Word). When I
reached the end of verse 49, the Reverend commented that the Quranic message was like that
of his own Bible. He said, he saw no difference between what he believed as a Christian,
and what I had read to him. I said: "that was true". If he had come across these
verses in the English language alone without their Arabic equivalent, side by side, he
would not have been able to guess in a hundred years that he was reading the Holy Quran.
If he were a Protestant he would have thought that he was reading the Roman Catholic
Version, if he had not seen one, or the Jehovah's Witness Version or the Greek Orthodox
Version, or the hundred and one other versions that he might not have seen; but he would
never have quessed that he was reading the Holy Quran The Christian would be reading here,
in the Quran, everything he wanted to hear about Jesus, but in a most noble, elevated and
sublime language. He could not help being moved by it. In these eight terse verses from 42
to 49 we are told:
- That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virtuous woman, and honoured above the women of
- That all that was being said was God's own Revelation to Muhummed
- That Jesus was a "Word" from God.
- That he was the Christ that the Jews were waiting for.
- That God will empower this Jesus to perform miracles even in infancy
- That Jesus was born miraculously, without any male intervention.
- That God will vouchsafe him Revelation.
- That he will give life to the dead by God's permission, and that he will heal those born
blind and the lepers by God's permission, etc.etc.
CHALK AND CHEESE
The most fervent Christian cannot take exception to a single
statement or word here. But the difference between the Biblical and the Quranic narratives
is that between "chalk and cheese"!
"To me they are identical, what is the difference?" the
Reverend asked. I know that in their essentials both the stories agree in their details,
but when we scrutinise them closely we will discover that the difference between them is
Now compare the miraculous conception as announced in verse 47 of
the Holy Quran with what the Holy Bible says:
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this wise: When as his mother Mary was
espoused to Joseph, BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, (as husband and wife) she was found with
child OF THE HOLY GHOST."
The eminent Billy Graham from the United States of America
dramatised this verse in front of 40,000 people in King Park, Durban - with his index
finger sticking out and swinging his outstretched arm from right to left, he said,
"And the Holy Ghost came and impregnated Mary!" On the other hand St.Luke tells
us the very same thing but less crudely.He says that when the annunciation was made, Mary
was perturbed. Her natural reaction was -
"...How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" -meaning sexually.
The Quranic narrative is:
SHE SAID: "O MY LORD! HOW SHALL I HAVE A SON WHEN NO MAN HATH TOUCHED ME?"
Holy Quran 3:47
In essence there is no difference between these two statements "seeing I know not
a man" and "when no man hath touched me". Both the quotations have an
identical meaning. It is simply a choice of different words meaning the same thing. But
the respective replies to Mary's plea in the two Books (the Quran and the Bible) are
THE BIBLICAL VERSION
Says the Bible:
And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall COME UPON THEE,
and the power of the Highest shall OVERSHADOW THEE"
Can't you see that you are giving the atheist, the sceptic, the agnostic a stick to
beat you with? They may well ask- "How did the Holy Ghost come upon Mary?"
"How did the Highest over shadow her? We know that literally it does not mean that:
that it was an immaculate conception, but the language used here, is distasteful-gutter
language-you agree!? Now contrast this with the language of the Quran.
THE QURANIC VERSION
HE SAID:(the angel says in reply) "EVEN SO: ALLAH CREATETH WHAT HE WILLETH: WHEN
HE HATH DECREED A PLAN, HE BUT SAITH TO IT, 'BE', AND IT IS!"
|Holy Quran 3:47
This is the Muslim concept of the birth of Jesus. For God to create
a Jesus, without a human father, He merely has to will it. If He wants to create a million
Jesus' without fathers or mothers, He merely has to will them into existence. He does not
have to take seeds and transfer them, like men or animals - by contact or artificial
insemination. He wills everything into being by His word of command "BE" and
There is nothing new in what I am telling you, I reminded the
Reverend. It is in the very first Book of your Holy Bible - Genesis 1:3 "And God said
..." What did He SAY? He SAID - "BE" and "IT WAS!" He did not
have to articulate the words. This is our way of understanding the word 'BE'-that He
willed everything into being.
CHOICE FOR HIS DAUGHTER
"Between these two versions of the birth of Jesus (pbuh) - the
Quranic version and the Biblical version - which would you prefer to give your
daughter?" I asked the supervisor of the Bible House. He bowed his head down in
humility and admitted - "THE QURANIC VERSION." How can "a forgery" or
"an imitation" (as it is alleged of the Quran) be better than the genuine, the
original (as it is claimed for the Bible)? It can never be, unless this Revelation to
Muhummed (pbuh) is what it, itself, claims to be viz. the pure and holy Word of God! There
are a hundred different tests that the unprejudiced seeker after truth can apply to the
Holy Quran and it will qualify with flying colours to being a Message from on High.
Does the miraculous birth of Jesus make him a God or a
"begotten" son of God? No! Says the Holy Quran:
THE SIMILITUDE OF JESUS BEFORE GOD IS THAT OF ADAM; HE CREATED HIM FROM DUST, THEN SAID
TO HIM: 'BE':AND HE WAS.
|HOLY QURAN 3:59
"After a description of the high position which Jesus occupies as a Prophet, (In
the preceding verses) we have a repudiation of the dogma that he was God, or the son of
God, or anything more than man. If it is said that he was born without a human father,
Adam was also so born. Indeed Adam was born without either a human father or mother. As
far as our physical bodies are concerned they are mere dust.
In God's sight Jesus was as dust just as Adam was or humanity is.
The greatness of Jesus arose from the divine command "Be". for after that he was
- more than dust - a great spititual leader and teacher."
||A.Yusuf Ali's note 398 to verse 59 above.
The logic of it is that, if being born without a male parent entitles Jesus to being
equated with God, then, Adam would have a greater right to such honour, and this no
Christian would readily concede. Thus, the Muslim is made to repudiate the Christian
Further, if the Christian splits hairs by arguing that Adam was
"created from the dust of the ground, whereas Jesus was immaculately
"begotten"in the womb of Mary, then let us remind him that, even according to
his own false standards. there is yet another person greater than Jesus, in his own Bible.
Who is this superman?
"FOR THIS MELCHISEDEC, KING OF SALEM, PRIEST OF THE MOST HIGH GOD...."
"Without father, without mother, without descent, having NEITHER BEGINNING of days,
NOR END of life..."
Here is a candidate for Divinity itself, for only God Almighty could
possess these qualities. Adam had a beginning (in the garden), Jesus had a beginning (in
the stable); Adam had an end and, claim the Christians, so had Jesus "and he gave up
the ghost". But where is Melchisedec? Perhaps he is hibernating somewhere like Rip
And what is this "Hebrews"? It is the name of one of the
Books of the Holy Bible, authored by the gallent St.Paul,the self appointed thirteenth
apostle of Christ. Jesus had twelve apostles, but one of them (Judas) had the Devil in
him. So the vacancy had to be filled, because of the "twelve thrones in heaven which
had to be occupied by his disciples to judge the children of Israel (Luke 22:30).
Saul was a renegade Jew, and the Christians changed his name to
"Paul", probably because "Saul" sounds Jewish. This Paul made such a
fine mess of the teachings of Jesus (pbuh) that he earned for himself the second- most
-coveted position of "The Most Influential Men of History" in the monumental
work of Michael H.Hart. "The 100" or "The Top Hundred" or the
"Greatest Hundred in History". Paul outclasses even Jesus because, according to
Michael Hart, Paul was the real founder of present-day Christianity. The honour of
creating Christianity had to be shared between Paul and Jesus, and Paul won because he
wrote more Books of the Bible than any other single author, whereas Jesus did not wirte a
Paul needed no inspiration to write his hyperboles here and in the
rest of his Epistles. Did not Hitler's Minister of Propaganda - Goebbels - say "The
bigger the lie the more likely it is to be believed"? But the amazing thing about
this exaggeration is that no Christian seems to have read it. Every learned man to whom I
have shown this verse to, seemed to be seeing it for the first time. They appear
dumbfounded, as described by the fitting words of Jesus:
"...seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they
The Holy Quran also contains a verse which fittingly describes this well cultivated
DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND, THEY WILL NOT RETURN (TO THE PATH).
Holy Quran 2:18
THE SONS OF GOD
The Muslim takes strong exception to the Christian dogma that
"Jesus is the only begotten son, begotten not made". This is what the Christian
is made to repeat from childhood in his catechism. I have asked learned - Christians,
again and again as to what they are really trying to emphasise, when they say
"BEGOTTEN NOT MADE".
They know that according to their own God-given (?!) records, God
has sons by the tons:
"....Adam, which was the SON OF GOD."
"That the SONS OF GOD saw the daughters of men that they were fair..."
"And when the SONS OF GOD came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children
"...Israel is MY SON, even my firstborn:"
"...for I (God) and a FATHER to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn."
"...the Lord hath said unto me, (David) Thou art MY SON: this day have I BEGOTTEN
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD."
Can't you see that in the language of the Jew, every righteous person, every Tom, Dick
and Harry who followed the Will and Plan of God, was a SON OF GOD. It was a metaphorical
descriptive term, commonly used among the Jews. The Christian agrees with this reasoning,
but goes on to say - "but Jesus was not like that". Adam was made by God. Every
living thing was made by God; He is the Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer of all.
Metaphorically speaking therefore God is the Father of all. But Jesus was the
"BEGOTTEN" son of God, not a CREATED son of God?
BEGOTTEN MEANS "SIRED"
In my forty years of practical experience in talking to learned
Christians, not a single one has opened his mouth to hazard an explanation of the phrase -
"begotten not made". It had to be an American who dared to explain. He said,
"It means, sired by God." "What?" I exploded. "SIRED- by
God?" - "NO, no," he said, "I am only trying to explain the meaning, I
do not believe that God really sired a son."
The sensible Christian says that the words do not literally mean
what they say. Then why do you say it? Why are you creating unnecessary conflict between
the 1,200,000,000 Christians and a thousand million Muslim of the world in making
REASON FOR OBJECTION
The Muslim takes exception to the word "begotten", because
begetting is an animal act, belonging to the lower animal functions of sex. How can we
attribute such a lowly capacity to God? Metaphorically we are all the children of God -
the good and the bad - and Jesus (pbuh) would be closer to being the son of God than any
one of us, because he would be more faithful to God than any one of us, because he would
be more faithful to God than any one of us can ever be. From that point of view he is
preeminently the son of God.
Although this pernicious word "begotten" has now
unceremoniously been thrown out of the "MOST ACCURATE" version of the Bible -
the R.S.V. its ghost still lingers on in the Christian mind, both black and white. Through
its insidious brainwashing the white man is made to feel superior to his black Christian
brother of the same Church and Denomination. And in turn, the Black man is given a
permanent inferiority complex through this dogma.
The human mind can't help reasoning that since the "begotten
son" of an African will look like an African, and that of a Chinaman as a Chinese,
and that of an Indian like an Indian: so the begotten son of God aught naturally to look
like God. Billions of beautiful pictures and replicas of this "ONLY BEGOTTEN
SON"(?) of God are put in peoples hands. He looks like a European with blonde hair,
blue eyes and handsome features - like the one I saw in the "King of Kings" or
"The Day of Triumph" or "Jesus of Nazareth" Remember jeffrey Hunter?
The "SAVIOUR" of the Christian is more like a German than a jew with his polly
nose. So naturally, if the son is a White man, the father would also be a White man
(God?). Hence the darker skinned races of the earth subconsciously have the feeling of
inferiority ingrained in their souls as God's STEP-CHILDREN. No amount to face-creams,
skin-lighteners and hair-straighteners will erase the inferiority.
GOD IS SPIRIT
God is neither Black nor White. He is a spiritual Being, beyond the
imagination of the mind of man. Break the mental shackles of a Caucasian - (white)
man-god, and you have broken the shackles of a permanent inferiority. But intellectual
bondages are harder to shatter: the slave himself fights to retain them.
Christ in Islam by Ahmed Deedat