4 years ago
X: You may give me some satisfying answers regarding the issue of the original sin and how Islam and Christianity look at it. Of course, this issue is viewed differently in both religions.
Z: I do not like the word ‘differently’ since I basically agree that we share the core of faith but what appears to be difference needs to be discussed in detail. Basically, you can find that some creeds are wrong because they incoherent not because they differ with something else. You will be driven by your thinking and true understanding to discover the incoherence in them. Let me explain this point to you as follows: You say that God is Love, right? How can God be Love while He issues His judgment to punish all people and destroy them till the coming of Jesus? This was the first question presented by an old priest to his seniors who replied that Adam committed a major sin and so his progeny were to be punished, though the fact that God is Love. The priest replied that God’s justice supercedes His mercy but there is no justice here since He is punishing someone for a sin he has never committed. The man added that destroying the generation that came after Adam till the time of Jesus means destroying a lot of pious Prophets including Moses, Jacob, Joseph, and Zechariah. In addition, this goes in contradiction with the saying of Jesus himself in Matthew 16: 27:
X: The Qur'an gives us clear cut text in this regard:
Z: So the whole point is that people in the past used to accept certain dogmas and beliefs that later proved to be in need of reconsidering and reviewing. The basic of man’s relation to God is love and logic. Yet, people introduced many other notions that forged this original relation and made it far from its original true essence. What we need is to bring this belief back to its clear and clean origin.
X: Do you know that Allah preordained for Adam to leave Paradise after experiencing the whole issue of eating from the forbidden tree. Almighty Allah created man and knows what type of inclinations are there inside him. He wanted to teach Adam a lesson that is whoever disobeys Allah will be punished and when he repents, he will be always welcome to the fold of forgiveness. Almighty Allah says:
Therefore, Adam learnt a lesson.
Z: Reading through the Gospel, I can find no connection between Jesus mission on earth and Adam’s sin. I believe that Jesus came to help man be better and overcome the materialism that decayed his heart and spirituality. I also believe that the Gospel flows from the same Divine source of the Qur'an in terms that they both call for sticking to goodness and morality. Both books guarantee safety from punishment by having a pure heart and good work.
X: It is strange to believe that Allah, with His overwhelming mercy, cannot forgive Adam who turns to Him in repentance. The Qur'an tells us that Almighty Allah created Adam and appointed him a vicegerent on earth:
Therefore, Adam’s sin was preordained and Allah accepted his repentance and decreed to accept repentance from his progeny as well. Almighty Allah says:
In this way, Allah taught Adam how to show repentance and his sin was really minor.
Z: What people commit at this present age is very grave and greater of course than that sin of Adam. Do each one of us need a Messiah to get his sin forgiven. This unreasonable notion of original sin has led so many Western Christians to leave Christianity. I really wish that we purify Christianity from such fake beliefs.
X: As I mentioned before, Islam has been very fortunate in terms of preserving its book from alteration or corruption. As for Christianity, the case is totally different since the sayings of Jesus had been recorded many centuries after his demise. But Quran was recorded by direct writing at the time of `Uthman ibn Affan”. However, Qur'an has been recorded in the hearts of the early Muslims since its revelation in the time of Mohamed. Therefore, the Qur'an has been transmitted through an unbroken chain and we have many copies of the Qur'an dating back to 23 A.H. where Arabs knew paper and how to use it. As for the Gospels, the oldest copy of it was written four centuries after the ascension of Jesus. Though written about the same person, each Gospel is written according the version of its author. One important thing is that they are not written in the same language that was spoken by Jesus himself. However, some newly discovered Gospels, as Thomas and Judas, dated to the second century.
Z: Yes, Gospels were never the revelation of Allah. They are by no means like the Qur'an, yet we revere them and respect them as Holy. However, if we find contradictions between them, we try to understand their global meanings only.
X: I find much solace and comfort when I read some parts of the Gospels that tell us about Jesus mysticism and his piety and struggle against deceit and materialism. But I am angry of the translation of the Gospels which changes its original meanings. As an example is the translation that described the scene of Jesus Crucifixion and record his loud cry as follows: Eloi, Eloi, Lema sabachtani, (according to English Copies of the Bible), Eloi, Eloi, Lema asabtani (according to German copies of the Bible). As noted, both cries used a different slang than that of Jesus. It is near to the Arabic-Hebrew slang that was used by the residents of southern areas of Palestine in these times. Eloi or Elhij in Arabic-Hebrew means my God, as stated. "Lema" means also
"Why" in Arabic-Hebrew as stated in the written translations. But "sabachtanic" according to English copy, does not mean forsaken me as badly translated, but it means pigmented me. Sabcha (or sabgcha) means a pigment. "Asabtani" according to the German copies, also doesn’t mean also forsaken me, but it means hurt me or shock me. So, there is a doubt concerning the man on the Cross because he used different language than Jesus, he is blaming God to be pigmented, as revealed in the Quran or Judas Gospel, to be the similitude of Jesus. Finally, as he is crying loudly in a completely different manner than that of Jesus, it means he is another pigmented man. So, this scene is evidence to the fuzziness of Jesus Crucifixion. Someone claim that this sentence is a part of some Psalms. Those are liars since it is not found there. And can you imagine a crying man may sing a song?
Z: I found too confusing parts since they are in no way consistent with straight logic. Read in Mark 16: 19: “he was received up into the heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
” How a man may sit beside an unimaginable God. Such claim deletes God's Mighty and Greatness and converts God into a normal father sitting next to his poor son. You can also find many discrepancies in the Gospel like the lineage of Jesus which contains 42 fathers after David- who is number 35- according to Luke. In Matthew, David is number 14 and the lineage contains 27 fathers after him till Jesus who is number 41. The mission of Jesus extended for one year according to Mark and Luke while John says it has extended for two years. Such discrepancies raise so many questions regarding the authenticity of the text.
X. We shall admit that Islam came to complete the mission of Jesus and explain any obscurity that might have arisen in the minds of people after Jesus. We say that when you read the Gospel we felt that it has something in common with the Qur'an but still it has been subjected to alteration and corruption. This leads me to say that though different and having a lot of discrepancies, the Gospels are still having some elements of being holy. Surely; after reading the Gospel, I felt that the message of Islam is a continuation of Christianity and Muhammad was not something new. We Muslims were commanded to believe in the Gospel that was revealed to Jesus and believe in the One true God. Almighty Allah says:
Z: Yes, Islam and Christianity are both the messages of Allah and we should never set difference between Divine messages. You can read this in Deuteronomy 33: “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints.” Such a verse takes about the three Abrahamic faiths. God talked to Moses in Sinai and sent down revelation to Jesus in Seir and Muhammad received revelation at the mount Paran in Makkah. The point here is that faith is one unit and cannot be divided into parts. When you believe in one messenger, you need to believe in the rest. I myself find that the Prophet of Islam is an excellent example to be followed.
X: Yes, this is exactly what the Qur'an tells us to do as it says:
Jesus was also an excellent example to be followed.
Z: True, but he stayed only for two years and his mission was clear that is to purify the hearts and the souls from the overwhelming materialism. It is because of this that I believe his life was almost spiritual not practical one. It has much to do with the life of monks but Muhammad was different indeed.
X: Both of them were the messengers of Allah and each one of them played a role in building monotheism and inculcating it in the hearts. They helped humanity get rid of its weakness. We should never set difference between them, since Allah says:
At that juncture they had to stop as the train stopped and there was much noise that prevented them from continuing.