What did Jesus really say?

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  • What did Jesus really say?

  • What Did Jesus Really Say ? - Preface


    "Verily! the likeness of Jesus with Allah(God) is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord (O Muhammad), so be not you of those who waver. And whosoever disputes with you concerning him, after the knowledge which has come unto you, say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) and (solemnly) invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie. Verily! This is the true narrative. There is no god save Allah, and verily! Allah is the Mighty, the Wise. And if they turn away, then Verily! Allah is Aware of the corrupters. Say: O People of the Scripture. Come to a word that is just between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partners unto Him, and that we shall not take each other for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him) (literally: "we are Muslims")."

    The Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):59-64.

    "I have read in Moslem (sic) writings such deep and tender expressions of respect and reverence for Jesus that for the time I almost forgot, I was not reading the words of a Christian writer. How different, it is sad to say, has been the way in which Christians have spoken and written of Muhammad Let us put it down to it's true cause, ignorance"

    Reverend R. Maxwell King

    "The lies which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only"

    Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History, Thomas Carlyle, p. 57

    "The use of false evidence to attack Islam was all but universal…"

    Islam and the West, Norman Daniel, p. 267

    In the name of God(Allah), most compassionate, most merciful. I give all thanks to God(Allah) for His bounties and knowledge and that He has guided me to Islam. I also ask Allah Almighty that He bestow his peace and blessings upon Muhammad and grant him the highest rewards and exalted stations in Heaven. Further, I ask Allah Almighty that He grant His peace and blessings upon all of His prophets from the beginning of time, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus, as well as all of the countless others, peace be upon them all, may their names be held in the highest honor for all time.

    I feel that this book is best described as my own humble attempt at the compilation and collection of the life long works of many famous and knowledgeable scholars and writers. My contribution to this book has probably been restricted to the collection of these works in one publication. So, as they say, I hereby give credit where credit is due. Among these authors are such luminaries as Shaik Rahmat-Allah ibn Khaleel al-Rahman al-Hindi, Shaik Shams al-Deen ibn Kayyem Al-Jawziah, Shaik Taqiuddin ibn Taymiyyah, Mr. Muhammad `Ata ur-Rahim, Shaik Ahmed Deedat, Mr. Akbarally Meherally, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Muhammad Ali Alkhuli, Mrs. Ulaft Aziz-us-Samad, Dr. Ahmad Dawood Al-Mizjaji, and Mr. M. A. Yusseff to name a few. To these individuals I dedicate this book. But first and foremost I dedicate this book to Allah Almighty and then to my mother who always taught me to have tolerance and an open mind, and to my father, who taught me to continually seek out knowledge as long as I may live.

    Muslims are encouraged to study and gain knowledge and to base their worship upon a combination of knowledge and faith, and not faith alone. A companion of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by the name of Abu-Darda once narrated: I heard the messenger of Allah (pbuh) say:

    "If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah/God will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham (kinds of currency), leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion." (narrated by Abu Dawood).

    Muslims are also encouraged to study other religions and to compare them to Islam. They are commanded to never be among those who accept Islam on blind faith or in conformance to the current trend in their society. Rather, they are commanded to make up their own minds and to enter into Islam with their eyes wide open, after they have thoroughly tested it's validity as the command of God.

    "There is no compulsion in religion. Guidance is henceforth distinct from misguidance"

    The noble Qur'an, Al-Bakarah(2):256.

    It was because of the above reasons that, upon my arrival in the United States in 1992, I decided to spend my spare time researching Christianity. I did this in order to verify the affirmations of the noble Qur'an with regard to mankind's distortion of the Gospels and the Old Testament. If the Qur'an did indeed prove to have fabricated lies against the Bible then I would know that it was not the word of God. I therefore set about purchasing many different versions of the Bible such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), the King James Version (KJV or Authorized version), and so forth. I also purchased many Christian Biblical references as well as some Islamic references. Armed with this cache of information I set about my task and as the Bible puts it

    "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good."

    1 Thessalonians 5:21.

    Before, during, and after all of this I was continually being approached to "accept Jesus and be saved." At the same time, others were asking me various questions about Islam. Although these attempts to obtain my conversion were well intended and sincerely appreciated, still, their arguments were found wanting in that they were based in the most part upon a very serious lack of knowledge of even the most basic beliefs of Islam or at other times upon allegations which upon later joint study were found to be incorrect.

    Among these misconceptions is the popular Western belief that Islam is an "Arab" religion, and it's adherents are all "Mideasterners." This, however, is far from the truth. The Bible has collected for us the stories of many prophets of God throughout the ages, and while these prophets may differ from one-another in many aspects, there is one characteristic that remains common to all of them, namely, they too were all "Mideasterners."

    Muslims believe in all of the prophets of the Bible. If we were to study the stories of the prophets of the Bible we would find that they all came from the general area of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and the surrounding regions. Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, also came from this locale. He was born in the Arabian peninsula and that is where the message of Islam first came into the world. However, just as the religion of Moses was not an "Arab" religion simply because it came from Egypt, and just as Christianity was not an "Arab" religion simply because it came from Palestine, so too Islam is not an Arab religion but the final message of God to all humanity. In fact, Arabs make up less than 20% of the estimated 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today.

    In the Qur'an, we are told that the Gospel of Jesus (pbuh) underwent a series of major alterations after his departure until six hundred years later the changes to this gospel had become so severe as to necessitate God's intervention. This is when the final message of God for all time, the message of Islam was sent down upon Muhammad (pbuh). This book attempts to study this claim in as much detail as humanly possible within my limited abilities in order to test the truthfulness of this assertion.

    Allah (God) Almighty commands us in the noble Qur'an:

    "Verily, God commands you to render your trusts back to those unto whom they are due; And when you judge between humanity, that you judge with justice: Verily, how excellent is the advice which He gives you! Verily, God is All-Hearing, All-Seeing."

    The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):58.

    In what follows I do not presume to claim that I am an unbiased witness. However, I have attempted to do my best to be as fair and just as the weakness of my humanity shall allow and to remember in all that I shall say in this matter the above command of Allah, the Just.

    The more one learns about Islam and Christianity, the more they begin to see the tremendous degree of similarity between the two religions. Both believe in a Omniscient, Omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth. The Christians call Him God, the Muslims call Him Allah. Both believe in a long succession of prophets named in both the Bible as well as the Qur'an. These prophets include Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and many others. Both believe in Heaven and Hell as well as a final judgment of God. Both religions believe that Jesus was the Messiah/Christ. Both religions believe in the miraculous birth of Jesus (pbuh) without a human father. Both religions believe in the many miracles of Jesus. However, for all their similarities, the differences between them are substantial. When I first began my research into these issues, I had attempted to locate a comprehensive reference which dealt with such issues as the "Trinity," the "incarnation," the "atonement," and the "original sin." I was, however, surprised to find none. The information is out there, however, it is distributed throughout countless books, booklets, pamphlets and the like. Some of these references were written by Muslims, others by Christians.

    On the Christian side, I had found that Christian references are split into two basic groups which could probably be classified as "motivational" and "scholarly" texts. The "motivational" texts dealt mostly with the teaching of the established doctrines of Christianity and the instillation with the reader of a basic faith in these doctrines. These texts are the ones found in the possession of the majority of regular church goers.

    The second category of Christian references, the "scholarly" references, go to the next level of Biblical study. They usually deal with the intricate details of the Bible and the Christian faith, going beyond faith and inspiration alone in order to include a broader study of the Bible and other ancient Christian documents. These books are written mostly by those who have chosen to dedicate their entire existence to the detailed study of these documents in order to extract from them their most precious hidden secrets and the intricate details of the occurrences to be found therein. These references deal with such issues as when these books were written, who wrote them, why they did so, what was the political social and economic situation of the world in which they lived, how they dealt with all of these factors and how they were influenced by them. The authors of these references, and the references themselves, are usually found in Western institutions of higher learning such as the religion departments of many Western universities.

    At first I had expected my research to involve a slow and painful search through a sparse number of obscure ancient Christian documents. This did not prove to be the case. Once I began to look for the truth I was practically overwhelmed by a veritable avalanche of detailed Christian studies all leading to the same conclusion: That mankind has taken great liberties with the text of the Bible over the ages. They have freely changed words which they felt inappropriate to their established beliefs, adding verses which were not found in the original text in order to validate a given doctrine, and freely removing verses when they felt the need to do so. These Christian scholars have documented for us may of the details of these revisions to the text of the Bible. They show us how this trend did not end with the coming of Muhammad (pbuh) and the message of Islam in the seventh century, however, these adaptations, corrections, and modifications continued for many centuries after the death of Muhammad almost up to our present day. As we shall see later on in this book, only one single example of this tendency is the example of the most ancient copy of the Bible available to Christendom today, specifically, the "Codex Sinaiticus" (of the fourth century AD). This document alone has been shown by Christian scholars to have undergone over 14,800 "corrections" over the ages by at least nine different Christian "correctors." Given that our modern Bibles have been distilled from such source documents as these, is it not befitting that we study the history of such preservation techniques of the Bible in order to arrive at the original unmodified word of Jesus (pbuh)?

    During my research, it slowly became apparent to me that the more eminent the Christian author was, the more painfully aware this author would be of the fact that our modern Bibles are the end result of countless unending revisions to the original text over the ages. Since many of these scholars were conservatives in the finest ancient tradition, therefore, they had usually tried their best to forgive those who had changed the Biblical text and to excuse their actions. However, having to continually make excuses for those who changed the word of God and to only think the best of these people and their motives can eventually tax the patience of even the most forgiving conservative and drive him to frustration. As we shall see in chapter 2.1, this was indeed the case with one of history's most eminent conservative Christian scholars, Dr. Lobegott Tischendorf.

    In the beginning I had striven to collect this information into a series of articles which were published on a very limited scale inside the university I was studying in at the time. After having completed these articles I decided to collect them into one handy reference with the core information having being collected from external sources but having been reorganized into what I believe to be a more intuitive and useful order. In some cases, I have found myself unable to improve upon the wording and layout of other authors, so I have shamelessly copied their words almost verbatim. However, I believe that such straight copying has been confined to less than 5% of the content of this book and has, by Allah's will, been clearly marked as appropriate. Once again, credit where credit is due.

    Many hundreds of books have been published by Christian scholars on the topic of the various contradictions which have resulted in the Bible as an end result of centuries of continuous revision and correction. It has been my experience, however, that most of these books have gone one of two different extremes, specifically, they either try to:

    1. Reconcile all discrepancies through abstraction and elaborate additional details not found in the Biblical text, and occasionally, when they are presented with two conflicting versions of one story in the Bible they simply choose the version they personally prefer and claim the other verses were a scribal error, or
    2. They claim that Jesus (pbuh) was no more than a legend and a myth, and that the Bible, the apostles, and even Jesus himself were only figments of someone's imagination.

    This book, however, goes a different route, that of Islam and the noble Qur'an. In this book it is demonstrated that Jesus (pbuh) was indeed a true prophet of God but that his message was lost by those who came after him for various reasons. This book then goes on to strip away all of the layers of shrouding which mankind has placed about the original message of Jesus (pbuh) until all that is left is the original unchanged words of Jesus. However, in order to arrive at this original message of Jesus it shall be necessary for us to be willing to place the words of Jesus (pbuh) above those of all of mankind without exception. If we are willing to do only this, then and only then shall we have truly opened our hearts and minds to him and accepted his message.

    "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."

    John 14:23

    I do not deceive myself. This book will never be the definitive answer to all questions. However, I hope that this book will at least get people interested enough that they may go out, read the Bible and the Qur'an carefully, and seek knowledge for themselves. If I manage to accomplish this then I have done my job. There are many other things I would like to say but I must keep the size of this book under some semblance of control. I have therefore spent most of my efforts speaking about comparative religion between Islam and Christianity in order to prove the truthfulness of the affirmations of the Qur'an and that it was indeed sent by the same God who sent Jesus (pbuh). If I could add one more chapter I would probably speak in a little more detail about the Dead Sea Scrolls since this has proven to be a truly intriguing endeavor. However, that task shall have to be left for another day (by the will of Allah).

    I would also like to point out that the referencing system employed in this book still needs some serious work in order to bring it in line with more accepted modern norms. However, that too will have to be left to another day. In any case, I believe that it's current form is adequate for a first version, and by Allah's will, this issue will be dealt with in the future.

    I would like to make a couple of matters clear from the outset so that there will be no misunderstanding as to my beliefs and/or intentions:

    1) Muslims do not hate Christians nor harbor ill will against them. This is a common misconception in the West about Muslims. Muslims are told in the Qur'an:

    "..and nearest among them (mankind) in love to the believers (Muslims) will you find those who say 'we are Christians': because among these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant"

    The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):82.

    "The people of the book" (Jews are Christians) are also singled out by God in the Qur'an to receive the following treatment:

    "And argue not with the people of the book unless it be in [a way] which is better [than mere arguing], except with such of them that do wrong, and say [to them]: 'We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted (literally: 'We are Muslims')"

    The noble Qur'an, Al-Ankaboot(29):46.

    Muslims simply wish for Christians the exact same thing that Christians wish for Muslims: That we all be guided to the truth of God and His ultimate reward.

    By now it should be obvious that Islam is not, as the stereotype would have one believe, an underground terrorist group dedicated to the total destruction of civilized life as we know it. Because of all of the above, I have striven to avoid in this book all statements which might be misunderstood to be hateful, inflammatory, or disrespectful. However, the fundamental goals of this book make it necessary to exhibit many contradictory statements in the New and Old Testaments in order to prove the Qur'an's claim: that mankind took great liberties with God's scriptures after the departure of their prophets and have changed His original message to them. Muslims are told that these tampering fingers have left many contradictions for those who would simply look for them. The Bible itself gives us the deciding criteria:

    "For many bare false witness against him (Jesus), but their witness agreed not together."

    Mark 14:56.

    For this reason, I have attempted to keep my own comments to a minimum and allow the Bible to speak for itself as often as possible (see for example the table in chapter 2.2). Those people who have made up their minds beforehand that they will hate me for this and will not see the contradictions and the tampering fingerprints no matter how much evidence is presented are kindly asked to stop reading now. This book is not for them. Those readers who are willing to keep an open mind are invited to accompany us in our quest for the truth of God.

    2) Some readers may misinterpret some of my statements to be disrespectful of God Almighty, His prophets, His scriptures, or the original apostles of Jesus. This too is unintentional. Any one of these matters is considered a sin of the highest order in Islam. The goal of this book is only to present the proof of that which Christian scholars the world over are now beginning to recognize as historical fact: That the alleged authors of the Bible are not the true authors, and as a result of this, they have written therein matters regarding God/Allah, His prophets, and their apostles that were not inspired by either God nor his prophets. All claims made in this book should be understood to be against these "hidden" authors and not God, His prophets, His original scriptures, or the original disciples.

    3) As mentioned above, I am not a scholar of religion, an "evangelist," nor have I any official diplomas in religious studies. I wrote this book in my spare time while pursuing graduate degrees in the field of Engineering within the United States. My own feeble contribution in no way compares to those of Islam's more learned and knowledgeable scholars. However, I saw a void which in my opinion had yet to be filled, so I have done my best to fill it. There are many more comprehensive and detailed studies of this topic written in the Arabic language (e.g. "Al-Jawab Assahih"). However, until such a time as more of these great works can be translated into English, I hope that this book will serve as a temporary substitute.

    4) When I speak about "Islam" in this book, I refer to the "Islam" taught by Muhammad (pbuh) and practiced by his followers, as preserved for us within the writings of hundreds of Islamic scholars and handed down to us through an unbroken chain of authenticated narrators in the many books of the "Shareea," "Seerah," and "Hadeeth." This is the Islam which has been preserved in the Arabian peninsula (the home country of Muhammad pbuh) to this day. This Islam, the Islam of Muhammad (pbuh), does not attempt to promote specific humans, or groups thereof, to higher levels of divine authority and power than others, such as is preached by the leaders of the newly established so-called "Nation of Islam" group in the United States whose followers are told by Louis Farakhan, Elijah Poole, and W. D. Fard, that "Islam" preaches the superiority of a certain race or color and other such innovations. True Islam also does not follow the beliefs of the leaders of the "Shiite" groups of some Eastern countries (such as Iran) which also attribute to specific human beings boundless supernatural powers and the ability to hand out passes to heaven and so forth.

    5) How to read this book:

    As mentioned previously, this book has been written with the goal of being a little more comprehensive than most other such English publication which I have come across during my research. I have also done my utmost to ensure that it is as easy to read as possible. What I mean by this is not that I feel at all superior to these great scholars, only that the English publications I have thus far come across did not convey the overall picture of Islam, Christianity, and the relationship between them which I wished to see in one English reference. The inevitable result of making a book comprehensive is that it also becomes large. For this reason, an attempt has been made to divide this book into many sub-topics with each sub-topic spanning only a few pages, and thus, the book becomes easy to read a piece at a time. I strongly encourage the reader to read this book in the order in which it was written. This is because the chapters will complement each other more completely if they are read in their written order. However, an attempt has also been made to make the chapters independent of one another for those readers who wish to jump directly to a specific topic of interest to them. For such readers a chart has been supplied to help them select the most relevant topic to them by asking the reader a few simple questions. Start at the top of the chart and work your way down by answering the questions and following the resultant directions.

    I would like to thank all of those who helped me to publish this book, including Shaik Ahmed Deedat, brother John Siedlidz, brother Ammar Amonette, brother Idris Palmer, brother Ali Al-Tamimi, brother Ismael Mujahid, brother Dawood Madan, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, brother Abdullah Firdous Abdulrazzak, brother Saad Al-Qasabi, brother Abdulaziz Al-Suhaibani, brother Mansor Matbouli, brother Abdulrahman Al-Ali, brother Sherif Muhammad, brother Reza Scholten, brother Farid Adlouni, Dr. Bassem Khafagi, brother Kamil Mufti, brother Nader Salah, brother Khalifa (you know who you are), and brother Ibraheem Pastuszak, who all contributed in one way or another in the completion of this book, either with suggestions on modifications or corrections, in countless hours proof-reading it, or in various other aspects such as generally helping out with their comments and suggestions whenever possible. For all of the countless others who have assisted in this project but who I have forgotten to mention here, I ask your forgiveness for my weak memory, your efforts are very deeply appreciated. I would also like to thank all of the above authors for their efforts which have made these matters clear for us. May Allah Almighty guide us all unto his whole truth. Amen.

    Misha'al ibn Abdullah

    May 1996

    Last modified: Fri Nov 15 18:22:44 EST 1996
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