11 August, 2012

Jesus: The Prophet we all love

 Jesus: The Prophet we all love


Some may ask why Muslims have such great reverence for the Qur'an. The answer is obvious to everyone who may have dedicated some time to reading through its chapters. For example, Christians who have read the Qur'an and went through the story of Jesus are impressed by the fact that Muslims share with Christians the love and respect of Jesus who contributed to the righteousness of humanity.

To be a Muslim, it is obligatory to believe in prophets and messengers sent by Almighty God to guide the humanity. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) are all messengers highly respected, loved and honored by Muslims for their mission. These messengers and their followers submitted their will to God. In Arabic, the word Islam means submission, and therefore to be a Muslim means one who submits to God.

The Qur'an values the role of Jesus in guiding humanity. Jesus is mentioned 25 times compared to Muhammad who is only mentioned four times. The Qur'an also mentions the story of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus and dedicates an entire chapter describing her life. No other woman in history is mentioned by name in the Qur'an except the mother of Jesus. These facts signify that Almighty God wants Christians to know that this book is sent to all humanity.

It is worth noting that Christianity and Judaism are terms that did not exist at the time of Moses and Jesus. Neither Moses nor Jesus called themselves by the name given to them by their followers. Muslims believe that Jesus was sent to the Jews after they went astray to guide them back to worship the one True God, the Creator. If you search the word God in Hebrew and Aramaic you will find it pronounced as "Elah." Jesus' language, Aramaic, is a lost language and for many, it is disturbing not to know what Jesus precisely said to his followers. This remains an obstacle to those seeking to reach the truth.

All prophets and messengers submitted their will to God and they never claimed a divinity. The problem humanity faces is associating a created entity with the Creator in regards of worship and deeds. God will never forgive such a thing as He said in the Qur'an: "Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed."

(Qur'an: 4:48)

The Qur'an explains the position of Jesus to God. God says " The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: Be: and he was." (Qur'an: 3:59)

In Christianity, no one claims that Adam is son of God, even though he did not have a father or mother. This is why the Qur'an emphasizes the creation of Adam and compares it to the creation of Jesus. As a matter of fact, Adam is mentioned twenty five times in the Qur'an. God is telling us by numbers that Adam and Jesus are equal in creation.

To follow the path of the prophets, a scientific approach is needed. The primary factor that determines such an approach is a form of citation generally accepted in the academic field. Humanity will reach righteousness by searching the remaining books revealed by God. Muslims believe that the only remaining authentic book is the Qur'an. Academic scholars consider the Qur'an to be a record of the words revealed by the Almighty God and spoken by Muhammad (peace be upon him). No one claims to have a book or books that contain literal words of God except the people who recite the Qur'an. All academic books use citation to reference claims being made, and the Qur'an has citation that goes back 1432 years. Qur'an we read today is cited by either verbal memorization of several generations who kept the Arabic language alive for centuries in the Middle East, or in written documents. For example, the Othman manuscript of the Qur'an preserved in Tashkent, the Topkapi manuscript of the Qur'an exhibited in Istanbul, and the Yemeni parchments of the Qur'an found in 1972.

The book of final revelation to humanity still stands the test of time. Anyone wanting to search the truth should read the Qur'an and compare the available sources that claim to contain the words of God. Having an authentic book recited for more than 1,432 years is by no comparison a "One Occurrence Experience". The first step to walk toward the road of the Prophets is to say there is only One God and Muhammad is His Messenger and Slave, and Jesus is His Messenger and Slave as well.

— Tariq Qais Alsugair is the member of the Advisory Council of Alkhobar Islamic Center

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