Posted from Saj’s Nexus
This has to be one of the most popular and oldest topics in Christian-Muslim debate. The divinity of Christ Jesus (pbuh), is Jesus (pbuh) God according to the Bible? Throughout history Muslims and Christians have endlessly been arguing this subject matter. I’m sure if one searches these titles on YouTube he/she can find plenty of debates to watch, the most admired ones (by the Muslim community) are probably including the late Ahmed Deedat. It is a great topic one has to agree, dealing with the very nature of God and His ability of becoming a man. What should we believe God can and cannot do? Can He do everything? The two most popular religions of the world are in disagreement here, both having Jesus (pbuh) in common but with such conflicting views. As a result of reading many works and watching so many debates and lectures on this topic, I have decided to give it a go myself. Now I’m sure most of you reading this article will have at least a basic understanding of the concept of God in Christianity and Islam, and know who stands on which side of the debate. However if you have no such knowledge then read no more! For now: leave this article and please do a simple study of God on both religions. Only then is it suitable to come back to this article, otherwise it would most probably be a waste of your time.
I have touched on this issue of Jesus’ (pbuh) divinity in some other articles I have posted on this blog, but I feel I now need to deal with this topic completely. I am not a scholar, professor or sheikh etc by any means, but I am a person who is fascinated by religion and theology, and I have been for most of my teenage and adult life. So you could say I am some how qualified to write concerning such a scholarly topic. And because I am a Muslim I will be defending the Islamic view of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and monotheism, but I also believe in playing fair (being unbiased towards the subject matter).
Is Jesus (pbuh) divine in his own words?
The question: ‘was or is Christ Jesus (pbuh) God?’ leads to another question: did he ever clearly claim to be God? And of course as many of us know, there is nothing in the Bible as such. This is the book which is supposed to contain four accounts of Jesus’ (pbuh) life story, yet no where can we find Jesus (pbuh) ever directly claiming to be God. If this is the case then surely the answer is no, Jesus’ (pbuh) was not divine.
Let us look at this in more detail, let us use logic. If the Lord all Mighty had come down to earth as a man, as Jesus Christ (pbuh) then wouldn’t He want the people to know? Wouldn’t He make it plain such as ‘I am your Lord; I have come down to earth so worship me’? This is a very basic argument but effective. Why leave the whole world in such confusion? If Jesus (pbuh) was God according to Christianity, then there should be some direct unambiguous statement in the Bible, made by him while he walked this earth confirming that. This is only logical. For example if you did not know Adam’s name was Adam because he never told you, how can you be sure what his name was? It’s so simple and basic.
There is a passage in the Christian Bible which comes close to claiming the divinity of Christ (pbuh). In the book of Revelation, where Jesus is supposed to have said “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”. This verse seems convincing at first but when one should looked into the matter with more detail (who wrote this book, when was it written etc?), the problem is very clear. The book of Revelation was a dream of a man named John, now if this John was the same John who wrote the ‘Gospel according to John’ or ‘Gospel of John’, I’m not sure. But nevertheless the book was a dream of someone called John as many Christian scholars claim. The very idea that it was a dream written down weakens the statement (Revelation 1:8). A dream could mean anything, how reliable is a dream? Did this man John really have the dream, or did he make the whole thing up? No one can be one hundred percent sure. Also, we do not take events that take place within dreams and attribute them to reality as proof, this clearly doesn’t work. Everyone knows this.
The book of revelation was written many years later after Jesus (pbuh) as a result of a dream, around 70 – 95 C.E (some scholars vary on the time). If such a direct and clear statement was uttered by Christ (pbuh) in actual reality while he was on earth, then there would probably be no disagreement to whether Jesus (pbuh) claimed divinity or not in the Bible.
God becoming a man on earth
As many Christians would proudly boast that God all Mighty can do anything, even become a man. In this part, I am examining what it means for God to become a man, His very own creation.
First of all, it seems appropriate to refer to a particular verse from the holy Qur’an (regarding the matter of being a God-man as some Christians may say): “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth”. The verse points out that Jesus (pbuh) and his blessed mother both eat food. Some may question so what if they eat food? Everyone has food. And that is exactly the point that Christ Jesus (pbuh) needed to eat daily to survive. As the creation of God: human beings, we constantly need to feed ourselves so that we have the strength and ability to live and do things. The Lord all Mighty is not needy like this. God does not need to feed Himself however Jesus (pbuh) had to, showing that he was a mere mortal, a creation or the all Mighty. If you eat, don’t you need to let it back out after a while? And the verse ends with mentioning how easy the signs are yet they (Christians) reject the truth. This explanation being from the Qur’an the Christian will not accept, and no matter how many reasons shown from the Qur’an, they would not be enough. So what is there to be done? We need to examine this issue in light of the Bible itself, which is the only way to convince a Christian. So that is what I have done in the following parts of this section. It only makes sense to do so.
It is obvious that we need to examine the personality and attitude of Jesus Christ (pbuh) according to the Bible, his nature and his attributes. And when we do so it is very noticeable that Jesus (pbuh) of the Bible presents himself as a modest servant of God who has no power without God. He presents himself as a simple human being and gives himself no divine attributes whatsoever. For example he completely humbles himself in such places in the New Testament: Jesus (pbuh) was called a good master but he refuses to be called as such and says there is none so good but the only Lord. In another passage of the Bible he says: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me”. Also Jesus (pbuh) claims all his power is given to him by his Creator. One more example out of the many I feel I should point out here, before resurrecting Lazarus Jesus (pbuh) absolutely humbled himself by calling to the Creator aloud. Ponder carefully over what he said here according the Gospel of John: “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth”. Are these the sayings of God? Is the all Mighty not good? Is His power given to Him? Simple basic logic suggests that these are not the sayings of God but of a mere human being, a prophet of God.
Even in Christ’s (pbuh) day to day thinking, actions and doings do we see no sign of a divine being but a simple human. Here are some instants from the Bible to show this: Jesus (pbuh) had no knowledge of the hereafter. He felt thirsty, and he cried in another instant. He was tempted by the devil. It is very clear these are not the attributes of God, they are attributes a human being. Can anyone imagine a thirsty or weepy or ignorant God? Can anyone believe God was being tempted by the devil? Everything we find in the Bible regarding Jesus (pbuh) clearly show that he was only a limited being, whereas God all Mighty is unlimited. You cannot have an unlimited and limited being at the same time. As the famous Muslim debater Shabir Ally puts it: “you cannot have a square-circle”, you are either limited or unlimited.
Even the supposed crucifixion of Christ (pbuh) creates problems with believing in his divinity. I have never heard a Christian claim that God got crucified. We all know God cannot die, yet it is believed that Jesus (pbuh) died on the cross while being God at the same time. Jesus (pbuh) the second person of the trinity (the son) according to Christendom died, not the father (the first person of the trinity) neither the Holy Ghost. But the Christian belief is that God is one person in three or three in one (something to this effect), and that these three persons are co-existing and co-eternal. So if one felt something the others would know and feel as well, if one dies then the others would die too, same for the Crucifixion right? If this isn’t the case then it means the trinity is made up three different Gods who are independent of one another. And this idea the Christian will not accept, but you can’t have both ways.
Defending the belief of a God-man
Nevertheless Christians haven’t given up in the argument, they still present their reasons to why Jesus (pbuh) would be God. The explanations they provide are as always based on Biblical passages. Passages which they seem to think are convincing, and purely their own interpretations. When closely examined and scrutinised one would realise that such passages or verses are completely uncertain and ambiguous open to many interpretations. As I wrote earlier in this writing that wouldn’t the all Mighty make it clear and plain if He came down to earth as a Man? The following are some of the most common arguments given from the Bible as proof of the divinity of Christ (pbuh).
In the Bible Jesus (pbuh) had claimed that he was in existence before his miraculous birth, so therefore somehow concluding that he must be divine. But this is nothing special when the same concept is also in the Old Testament regarding Jeremiah, “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”. There are other verses when read out of contexts are misinterpreted against what they mean when read in context. Such as: “I and my Father are one” and “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. And finally one more: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. This verse wasn’t even uttered by Jesus (pbuh), in the red letter Bible this verse appears as black. Also notice how none of these passages are actually direct or unequivocal.
There is no direct statement, verse or passage in the Bible regarding Christ’s (pbuh) divinity. What would be most appropriate is a claim from the lips of Jesus Christ (pbuh) that ‘I am your Lord, worship me’, we don’t even have this in that Bible. What I myself at least see are ambiguous and vague passages provided by my fellow Christian with particular interpretations out the many that they can have. If God became a man in the Bible, then we need complete solid undeniable, indisputable proof, which no Christian scholar has been able to provide.
The Muslim understanding of Jesus Christ (pbuh) is that of any other prophet of the all Mighty in Islam. As some may not be aware Muslims believe in the miraculous birth of Christ and the many Miracles he performed (all by permission of God) during the course of his life. But these miracles do not imply that Jesus (pbuh) was God, it is very easy for the Creator of all things to will such miracles to take place, “Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is”. The first human Adam (pbuh) was created without no mother and father, a greater miracle to Christ’s (pbuh) birth. Where Christians and Muslims differ regarding Christ (pbuh) is the Trinity, Crucifixion and Divinity.
It can be said that there is no solid evidence to base a belief of the divinity Christ (pbuh). The Bible when studied, observed and scrutinised has nothing intellectually convincing to offer to prove such an idea. Rather we have at best very vague, indirect and ambiguous passages which Christians claim to be convincing proof. One must have solid incontestable evidence for giving such an attribute to Jesus (pbuh) or to God. We cannot base our beliefs on assumption. Also a Christian must consider verses which outright deny the divinity of Jesus (pbuh), such as: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your father, which is in heaven”.
In a debate we expect proofs, solid evidences. But when it comes to this particular topic (Jesus’ Divinity) we hear the most loosely convincing arguments from the Christian side. Arguments implying that we believe decades later a person’s dream is actual proof of what we are questioning in reality. We hear arguments that imply us to believe that vague ambiguous statement are actually somehow solid proof. No real evidence has ever been shown. The famous late Ahmed Deedat used to challenge Christian scholars so strongly, he used to promise to embrace Christianity if someone could show him anywhere in the Bible where Jesus Christ (pbuh) directly claimed divinity. No one ever came forth with a single convincing verse. Of course some may disagree with Deedat’s tactics here, that this is not the way to debate. But it shows how one sided debates regarding this topic have become. Some may say that it is just a matter of believing when all else fails however, belief should be base on evidences and proofs right? I conclude with this: if Jesus (pbuh) was divine then most certainly he would have directly claimed so, but we find nothing of the kind in the entire Bible. There is no solid evidence; in fact there are passages which deny the idea. So the divinity of Jesus Christ (pbuh) can never be proven from the Bible, and if the Bible cannot prove this then nothing else can or ever will. It would be more natural to believe the Jesus (pbuh) was only a prophet of the all Mighty, on which both the holy Qur’an and the Bible agree.
 Revelation 1:8
 Qur’an 5:75
 Matthew 19:16-17, Mark 10:17-18, Luke 18:18-19
 John 5:30
 Matthew 28:18
 John 11:41-43
 Mark 13:32
 John 19:28
 John 11:35
 Mark 1:13
 John 8:58
 Jeremiah 1:4-5
 John 10:30
 John 14:6
 John 1:1
 Qur’an 2:117
 Matthew 23:9
I have come across many arguments against Islam, but none so absurd as ‘the taqiyyah argument’.
By what I have noticed, the argument is mostly put forward by Christians. What is claimed by this argument is that: Islam allows Muslims to deceive and lie to non-Muslims if it helps the religion, and apparently this is a principle called ‘taqiyyah’. A popular video on YouTube (titled: Three Things about Islam) mentions this argument as if it is a fact and a true teaching of Islam, but fails to provide a single shred of valid evidence (evidence from the Qur’an and the authentic teachings and sayings of the Prophet (pbuh). It is such a pathetic claim against Islam that the maker of the video stooped so low to provided a source of evidence (for this claim) to be Wikipedia. This site describes taqiyyah to be “a practice in Shia Islam whereby adherents may conceal their faith when they feel that they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion”, this definition is not the same definition given in the video (Three Things about Islam). Most non-Muslims who look for ways to ridicule and challenge Islam and the last and final Prophet (pbuh), stumble across this video and believe they have struck gold. The argument seems to be convincing to the western non-Muslim, maybe because it contains an Arabic word (Taqiyyah). This then probably leads to the deluded understanding that going around shouting: “taqiyyah, taqiyyah!” to the Muslim will shut him or her up. Rather the Muslim will most likely be confused and baffled to why a non-Muslim is suddenly so surprised to see a cap (‘taqiyah’ or ‘tagiya’ can also mean to be a short rounded cap/headgear worn by Muslim men).
The word ‘taqiyyah’ is the in the Qur’an but it does not mean to promote lying for Islamic gain. The word is found in the holy Qur’an meaning: God fearing, righteousness and uprightness etc. The word can also refer to a person who fears Allah or guards him/herself from evil. No where in the complete Qur’an does it mention to lie or to deceive non-Muslims for the benefit of the Religion.
Generally lying is prohibited in Islam as the Qur’an says, “Nay! if he desist not, We would certainly smite his forehead, a lying, sinful forehead” . But in some specific situations, Islam does permit lying. For example, the Qur’an mentions that Allah pardons those who utter disbelief under compulsion. And Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also permitted that Muslims can lie in three particular circumstances: 1) when in war/battle, 2) to bring peace between two disputing people and 3) to bring peace between a quarrelling/fighting husband and wife (a detailed explanation of these three points is written by Sami Zaatari):
Humaid b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Auf reported that his mother Umm Kulthumdaughter of ‘Uqba b. Abu Mu’ait, and she was one amongst the first emigrants who pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him), as saying that she heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he conveys good”. Ibn Shihab said he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them).
So brothers and sisters, you can see for yourself. Lying is permitted in certain situations but in general: prohibited. Even if it is for the benefit of Islam, lying is still prohibited (haram).
Most religions promote truthfulness and make out the importance of speaking only the truth. However, Christianity teaches something dreadfully different. Christians who use the taqiyyah argument seem to fail to realise, that the claim they are making against Islam is actually in the Bible taught by Paul (not in the Qur’an). Paul teaches: that it does not matter how Christ is preached, whether through lies or truth, it makes no difference to him . Isn’t this lying and deceiving for the benefit of the religion?
Islam is a religion of peace, and peace stands side by side with truthfulness. Without truth, peace has no meaning. And to say that Islam promotes lying and deceiving to help the religion is absolutely wrong. There is no truth to such a statement whatsoever. There maybe some Muslim scholars who do lie and mislead or misinform non-Muslims and Muslims alike for their own benefit or their own perverted beliefs. Those who do this are not practicing Islam. They are falsifiers and they will have the Creator to answer to. Islam is a complete religion; Allah says in the Qur’an: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”. God has already perfected Islam as a religion/a way of life for mankind, so where is the need to lie for the religion? Those who deceive for the benefit of Islam are clearly doing wrong and committing a great sin.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”
 Qur’an 19:13, 18 & 63
 Qur’an 96:15-16
 Qur’an 16:106
 Sahih Muslim book 32: 6303
 Bible Romans 3:1-8, Philippians 1:15-18
 Qur’an 5:3
 Qur’an 2:256
There are a number Christians today who use certain Qur’anic verses to prove to Muslims that Jesus (pbuh) is divine within the Qur’an. Very daft and outlandish indeed. This article is a response to such an allegation against the holy Qur’an made by Christian missionaries.
The fundamental belief
The first and primary quality a Muslim is taught is the unique oneness of God. Every Muslim in the world is in agreement that Allah (God) is unique and that nothing in the heavens and the earth could ever be compared to Allah, the creator of every thing and every being. There is a whole chapter in the Qur’an which is dedicated to explain the uniqueness of God in Islam. This chapter is called: ‘The Purity of Faith’ 112th chapter of the Qur’an. Also the Chapter is so short and easy to memorise that pretty much every Muslim on the face of the Earth have it known off by heart. The chapter is only four verses long and goes as such:
“Say: He is Allah (God) the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.”
Any Muslim who has this chapter memorised can easily refute the claim made by Christians: that Jesus (pbuh) is God according to the Qur’an, especially by using the last verse of the chapter: “And there is none like unto Him”. This verse declares that there is nobody/nothing like God in existence, or in other words: mankind kind cannot even imagine what God looks like. God is not like humans or animals, with arms and legs, the need eat and survive…etc. There is nothing like God in the Earth or Heavens above. This is what the Qur’an is telling the reader, so why then would the Qur’an claim that Jesus (pbuh) is God and contradict itself? Because we all have a rough idea how Jesus (pbuh) appeared like. He was a human being; and human beings depend on God (God is self governing and independent, unique).
Qur’an 112 also states that Allah/God does not have any parents or grand-parents; neither does He have any sons or daughters (“He begetteth not, nor is He begotten”). And everyone knows Jesus (pbuh) had a mother (Christians and Muslims alike): the Virgin Mary. As the Qur’an clearly states: “Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.”. This verse immediately eliminates any idea of the Qur’an claiming Jesus (pbuh) of being divine.
And if chapter 112 isn’t enough to disprove the allegation, there is a verse in the Qur’an which deals directly with the issue: “They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.”. This verse completely denies the divinity of Jesus (pbuh). What more proof does the Muslim need to provide? There is an additional verse where it is stated that Jesus (pbuh) and his mother both had food to eat indicating that they were both human, not divine (“And He (Allah) it is that feedeth but is not fed”): “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!”.
There are mainly two types of arguments Christians use to try and prove their allegation: the Qur’an claiming Jesus (pbuh) to be divine, 1) Using some names of the 99 names of Allah (God) and matching them with Biblical attributes (supposedly) relating to Jesus (pbuh). 2) Using verses from the Qur’an describing God’s al-mighty power and uniqueness and matching them which Biblical verses (supposedly) describing or mentioning about Jesus (pbuh).
The 99 names of Allah (God) are names or attributes of God almighty found in the Qur’an. For example: “That (is so). And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him: for Allah is One that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again).”. The attribute used here for God (end of the verse) is: ‘One that blots out sins and forgives’ translated into Arabic: ‘Al-Afuww’.
A number of Christians will take some names/attributes from the 99 names of Allah and match them with the same/similar attributes given to Jesus (pbuh) in the Bible. For example: ‘Al-Haqq’ meaning ‘the Truth’ is one of the 99 names/attributes of God in Islam. Christian missionaries will reply to this by showing that Jesus (pbuh) also supposedly claimed to be ‘the truth’: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”. Therefore claiming: Jesus (pbuh) must be God because he “supposedly” uses the same attribute for himself in the Bible as Allah uses for Himself in the Qur’an. To the Muslim this is of course ridiculous. We are told in the Qur’an to take no one as a God but Allah. We read in the Qur’an: “They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.”. This verse rules out any possibility of ‘Jesus (pbuh) being divine’ a doctrine in Islam. The 99 names of Allah are only meant to be attributed to Allah alone.
The other manner Christians use to prove divinity of Jesus (pbuh) from the Qur’an is: by matching verses from the Qur’an (which describe Allah’s oneness and power) with verses which are the same or similar in the Bible (relating to Jesus (pbuh). For example: the Qur’an states: “He (Allah) is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Hidden: and He has full knowledge of all things.”. Christians boast that this verse of the Qur’an is referring to Jesus (pbuh) because it is similar to a verse in the Bible: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he (Jesus) laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.”. Again, this is of course absurd. Using the Bible to commentate on the Qur’an is totally uncalled for. Even if we look at the context of Qur’an 57:3 (or any other verses of the Qur’an which talk about Allah), we would realise the verse is only describing/talking about Allah alone, not Jesus (pbuh). The Qur’an makes clear difference between Allah (God) and Jesus (pbuh) in 5:75 and 5:72.
One must realise that the Qur’an does not need comments from the Bible. The Qur’an can speak for itself. Also the Qur’an does not confirm that the Bible is accurate in what it teaches. So if there are any divine attributes given to Jesus (pbuh) in the Bible, then that is completely against the teachings of the Qur’an (Qur’an 5:72) and not a problem for the Muslim.
Jesus (pbuh) was one of the mightiest messengers of God in Islam. Muslims believe in his miraculous birth (which only took place by permission of God), and the miracles/signs he performed only by God’s help. But these qualities do not make Jesus (pbuh) God. The Qur’an clearly denies such an idea of Jesus (pbuh) being divine (Qur’an 5:75, 5:72). So it is foolish and ignorant to point out verses in the Qur’an which clearly talk about God alone and claim they are attributed to Jesus (pbuh). The Qur’an can speak for itself and does a very beautiful job at it. One should see what the Qur’an has to say about itself by examining it as a whole and in context. The Bible is not approved of by the Qur’an, so using the Bible to commentate on the Qur’an is just as ridiculous as having soup with a fork.
In Islam, anyone who claims divinity must match the four criteria given in surah Ikhlas. Surah Ikhlas is one of the shortest chapters in the Qur’an, yet the chapter sums up in no more than four short verses the supreme oneness of God. Surah Ikhlas could be also called the touchstone of theology in Islam, meaning: it can be used as a standard of judging for anyone who claims divinity.
 Qur’an 3:45
 Qur’an 5:72
 Qur’an 6:14
 Qur’an 5:75
 Qur’an 22:60
 Qur’an 6:62, 22:6, 23:116, 24:25
 Bible John 14:6
 Qur’an 5:72
 Qur’an 57:3
 Revelation 1:17
 Qur’an 112