Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Quora Answer: Why Does the Qur’anic Rejection of Jesus’ (a.s.) Death on the Cross not Refute Islam for Muslims
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following was my answer on Quora: Why Does the Qur’anic Rejection of Jesus’ (a.s.) Death on the Cross not Refute Islam for Muslims?
Question: Was Why does the Qur’anic rejection of Jesus’ (a.s.) death on the Cross not refute Islam for Muslims? In modern scholarship, the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion are considered to be two historically certain facts about Jesus (a.s.). Islamic texts categorically deny the idea of crucifixion or death attributed to Jesus (a.s.) by the New Testament.
Answer: In modern scholarship, there are still people who dispute the existence of Jesus (a.s.). The Qur’an Affirms his existence, his miraculous birth and his baptism by John the Baptist (a.s.). It rejects his dying on the cross and resurrection. The Qur’an Treats the question of Christ’s (a.s.) crucifixion in a single verse where it affirms that the Jews did not kill Christ (a.s.) but, rather, that this was Made to seem to happen to them.
That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”; - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was Made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. ― (Surah an-Nisa’:157)
In the same verse, it talks about his being raised to heaven. The Qur’an is silent beyond this, leaving two possible conclusions: that another person in the likeness of Jesus (a.s.) was crucified or that the crucifixion never took place, but was Made to seem so.
Regarding the person who supposedly took the place of Jesus (a.s.) on the Cross, Imam ar-Razi (r.a.), in his commentary, provided five accounts about this person Made to look like Jesus (a.s.) for them. The first is that “They took a man and killed him and crucified him and dressed him like Christ (a.s.) for the people.” Another account named “Titayus”, one of the companions of Judas. The third account is that they assigned a man to guard Jesus (a.s.) and God Cast his resemblance upon that guard, and they killed him while he said “I am not Jesus.” The fourth account, and the one most quoted in Arabia is that when the Jews planned to take him, Jesus (a.s.) had ten of his companions with him. He said to them, “Who wishes to purchase Heaven by having my resemblance Cast upon him?”
One of them, the youngest, said, “I do.” So God Cast Jesus’ (a.s.) image upon him and he was brought out and killed.
And the final account was of a man from among the companions of Jesus (a.s.), who was a hypocrite, so God “Cast Jesus’ (a.s.) resemblance upon him and he was killed and crucified.”
Imam ar-Razi (r.a.) wrote that, “these accounts are contradictory and confused, and God Knows best the truth of the matter.”
Muslims take the Qur’an to be Kalamullah, the Words of God. And that is important since if there is any incontrovertible fact that contradicts the Qur’an, the entire basis of the religion will be called into question. If there is certain proof that Jesus (a.s.) was crucified, that would destroy the credibility of the Qur’an and demolish the foundations of Islam. But so far, there has been none.