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January 3rd, 2010

George Sale and the story of Jesus in Islam

Submitted by Bashir.


George Sale was the first person to translate the Quran into english. I recently read his translation and was intrigued in terms of the story of Jesus. In my honest opinion muslims always believed that Jesus would physically return to this planet. The way he left was a gray area in Islamic thought. As we all know, some muslims thought that Allah caused Jesus to die before he left, whereas the majority believed that he was ascended whilst still alive. The reason that the majority of the muslims believed that Jesus must have left physically was because of the traditions that explained a physical return.

This is how George Sale translated 4:157

“and have said, Verily we have slain Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of GOD; yet they slew him not, neither crucified him, but he was represented by one in his likeness; and verily they who disagreed concerning him were in a doubt as to this matter, and had no sure knowledge thereof, but followed only an uncertain opinion. They did not really kill him; but GOD took him up unto himself: and GOD is mighty and wise. And there shall not be one of those who have received the scriptures, who shall not believe in him, before his death; and on the day of resurrection he shall be a witness against them.1 Because of the iniquity of those who Judaize, we have forbid-“

Some of this translation by George Sale has extra words which help the reader understand the verse. Obviously, Mr. Sale got the impression from this verse that muslims believed that Jesus wasn’t crucified, but instead, there was a person who was crucified in his place, pointing towards the substitution theory.

This is how George Sale translated 3:55

“When GOD said, O Jesus, verily I will cause thee to die, and I will take thee up unto me, and I will deliver thee from the unbelievers; and I will place those who follow thee above the unbelievers, until the day of resurrection: then unto me shall ye return, and I will judge between you of that concerning which ye disagree.”

Obviously, Mr. Sale’s translation exposes the position of Islam and the status of Jesus. The way that Jesus left this planet was a gray area. Muslims explained the best way possible. There were some muslims who thought that Jesus died when he left, nonetheless, Jesus’ return was to be physical, not spiritual.

Ibn Abbas who is the father of Tafsir, he wrote:

((And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing) saving (thee of those who disbelieve) in you (and am setting those who follow you) follow your Religion (above those who disbelieve) with strong argument and triumph (until the Day of Resurrection) then I shall make you to die after descent; it is also said this means: I shall make your heart die to the love of the life of this world. (Then unto Me ye will (all) return) after death, (and I shall judge between you as to that wherein) in religion (ye used to differ) to argue.

36 Responses to “George Sale and the story of Jesus in Islam”

  1. January 3rd, 2010 at 7:33 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    1. An interesting point is that George Sale translated inni mutawaffi-ka as “I will cause you to die” (3:55). Now look at all those translations of Muslims who believe that Jesus is alive in heaven, and almost all of them translate it in words such as “I will take you”, “I am gathering you”.

    They don’t translate it as “die” because they don’t agree with the view of those tafsirs which say that Jesus first died and then was raised to life and taken up to heaven, and they don’t agree with the view of those tafsirs which say that in this verse the sequence of “die” and “take you up to Me” should be reversed (and that “die” refers to dying after his return). They have rejected both these interpretations, because one involves believing that Jesus was raised from the dead in the Christian sense and the other involves changing the order of words in the Quran.

    So they resort to changing the meaning from “die” to “take you” etc. Hazrat Mirza sahib took it to mean “die” (as per those earlier commentators), but interpreted “raising” as spiritual.

    Strange, isn’t it? Other Muslims can reject earlier commentaries without anyone objecting, but if Ahmadis do it then objections are raised.

    The fact is (and it is clear from George Sale’s footnotes) that the tafsirs gave various permutations and combinations of what might be meant by “die” and “raise you”. Hazrat Mirza sahib has selected from the same and given one particular combination.

    2. George Sale also writes that it is wrong to think that the Prophet Muhammad invented the story that someone else was substituted for Jesus on the cross because several early Christian sects (whom he lists) already held this view. Muslims copied this story from Christian sects, says Sale. (See his footnote under the previous verse “the Jews planned, and Allah also planned; p. 42 of original edition).

    3. Regarding the supposed comment of Ibn Abbas, it would be interesting to know what he said in Arabic. It is incorrect to say that Ibn Abbas “wrote”. He did not leave any writing. In the passage quoted here, the initial part is from Pickthall’s translation.


  2. 1. I did not see a footnote in the online version that I quoted from.

    http://arthursclassicnovels.com/arthurs/koran/amervers-koran-sale.htm#iii

    2. I don’t have access to Ibn Abbas’ original writings. I had no idea what Ibn Abbas wrote on the matter of Jesus, until I looked it up, if Ibn Abbas had translated mutawafikka as “died”, in that case, I’m sure all ahmadis would be using that as their #1 argument.

    3. Muslims used hadith as their vantage point in terms of Jesus. This is the point that you are missing. The hadith depicted the return of Jesus as physical, MUSLIMS KNEW THIS. Muslims used this as there vantage point. There was a time in islamic thought where traditions had higher esteem.

    4. Sale’s translation exposes the gray area in islamic thought. NO muslims ever thought that Jesus would return spiritually. Not Bukhari and not Maliki. Sale shows the nuetral researcher that there exists a contradiction here. This contradiction has existed since the inception of Islam. Why did Allah need to tell HMGA that Jesus was dead, when this was an alternate theory in Islamic thought? In other words this was not a new idea, this idea had minor circulation. This was an irrelevant brain exercise, muslims didnt bother themselves with the details of how Jesus left, when Jesus would return everything would be cleared up. To dwell on this “gray area” was useless—this is my impression.

    5. Ahmadiyya literature avoids the fact that all muslims agreed on a physical return.

    6. mutafikka has an alternate meaning, that is what the muslims employed in the tafsir’s, especially the first one in the history of Islam, i.e. Ibn Abbas.


  3. January 3rd, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    New year (in fact, new decade), but still old issues! (Even Hazrat Mirza sahib said to his Jamaat near the end of his life: the issue of Jesus’ death is old now!)

    1. For the full version of Sale’s work, with detailed footnotes, please visit this library link. You can view the images of all the pages.

    2. You write: if Ibn Abbas had translated mutawafikka as “died”, in that case, I’m sure all ahmadis would be using that as their #1 argument.

    Actually Ibn Abbas did say, directly, that mutawaffi-ka means mumitu-ka (i.e. I will cause you to die). Bukhari recorded it in his Sahih. And yes, all Ahmadis have used it as a key argument (although not as #1).

    3. Well, Hazrat Mirza sahib placed Quran above Hadith, and other Muslims have increasingly followed that since.

    4. Allah needed to tell Hazrat Mirza sahib this because the Muslims were suffering all over the world at the hands of Christian missionaries who presented Jesus as the saviour even according to Muslims’ own conceptions.

    This issue is not a grey area anymore.

    5. At Holy Prophet’s death, when some Muslims could not accept it and thought that he would return, Hazrat Abu  Bakr presented 3:144 to them (“…messengers have passed away before him…”) to show that each and every prophet died. This is when someone should have countered with the precedent of Jesus, but no one put it forward.

    6. Mutawaffi-ka has been taken to mean “die” even in many of those tafsirs who hold that Jesus is alive in heaven! Some say that he died for a few hours and then came to life again, others that “die” here refers to his death after his return. Nonetheless, they did take it to mean “I will cause you to die”.

    But, as I said in my last post, it is in our modern times that Muslim translators (who believe that he is alive) no longer say that mutawaffi-ka means “to die”. That is curious!


  4. Sale: 4:157…but he was represented by one in his likeness…

    Sawar: 4:157…They, in fact, murdered someone else by mistake…

    Hilali-Khan: 4:157… but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man),…

    HK Saheeh: 4:157… but [another] was made to resemble him to them…

    Qaribullah: 4:157… but to them, he (the crucified) had been given the look (of Prophet Jesus)…

    If the above translations are not just mere conjectures, then by implication someone else bore the burden for Jesus by losing his life for him and that too under Divine guidance. If so, then there is a contradiction in Quran because:

    35:18. And no soul that bears (its own) burden (of responsibility) can bear the burden of another. [Nooruddin]

    Whereas, there are no contradictions in Quran:

    4:82. Why do they not ponder over the Qur’ân? Had it been from anyone other than Allâh, they would surely have found a good deal of inconsistency therein. [Nooruddin]

    Obviously, then shouldn’t such translated ideas are to be rejected as extra-Quranic? It is this kind of preconceived ideas that justify physical return of Jesus.

    This link about Jesus deserves a read: “A Misconception Cleared in the Holy Quran [Regarding Jesus Christ’s Death]” by Dr M.A. Aziz (Trinidad)


    Note by Zahid Aziz: Please see also this newspaper article from Saudi Arabia by a religious scholar who writes that belief in Jesus having died, and not returning, is also a valid Islamic interpretation.


  5. You guys totally miss the point, i can’t say that I am shocked.

    I have the best vantage point in terms of Esa, that is because I dont care, I dont care if he died or if he was physically raised. I can sleep at night, it doesnt matter what happened. I just read the relevant data and produced the results. Of course the results are at a variance with ahmadiyya thought process.

    My research shows the truth. Islam had a major contradiction in it, that is: how did Esa leave this planet!!! Then, to compound the problem further, his return is not in the Quran at all. Allah decided to not share that info with us, in all of his infinite wisdom he left out the return of Jesus–good job!!

    There is not one hadith that explains in terms of what happened to Jesus whilst on the cross. Probably, because muslims didnt care, they only knew that he would return in magnificent fashion. Muhammad (Saw) physically ascended first, then the story of Esa came from Allah.

    One thing is fact, jesus didnt die whilst on the cross. Muslims have always believed that Jesus’ likeness was cast upon someone else. HMGA was unable to locate the SMOKING GUN in terms of when this tainted ideology injected itself into Islam.

    HMGA also didnt read the tafseer by ibn abbas, probably because it wasnt available in india.


  6. >>You guys totally miss the point, i can’t say that I am shocked.

    Maybe. But what’s the point?

    >>Of course the results are at a variance with ahmadiyya thought process.

    No surprises here as you will not find mythologies on this site.

    >>how did Esa leave this planet!!!

    Of course, he never left. “Astronomical truth, as accepted at present, leaves no room for a geographical Heaven” [Hints to Study of the Quran, by Khwaja Kamaluddin, Islamic Review and Muslim India, Vol . XVIII, No. 3 & 4, March – April 1930, pg 93, The Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England]

    >>his return is not in the Quran at all.

    That’s what this site is screaming at top of its lungs. Anyone one listening? But how will you explain this:
    77:11. And when the Messengers shall be made to appear (in the guise of one person) at the appointed time. (It is after that the Resurrection shall take place). [Nooruddin]

    >>they [i.e. muslims] only knew that he [Jesus] would return in magnificent fashion.

    Of course, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed did magnificently spawn an intellectual movement e.g. Nooruddin, Muhammad Ali, Kamal uddin, Lord Headley, Basharat Ahmad, Abdul Haq Vidyarti, Saddruddin, just to name a few. Ignoring it is like ignoring the Sun.

    >>Muhammad (Saw) physically ascended first,

    Ascend physically to where? I repeat: “Astronomical truth, as accepted at present, leaves no room for a geographical Heaven”

    >>Muslims have always believed that Jesus’ likeness was cast upon someone else.

    Mythologies are not unique to followers of any religion. No movie goer wants his hero killed while the bad guys still lurk around. He has to live on for a different plot. The Jedi master or the Wizard of Lord of the Rings has to physically return. Else, the whole movie will be a flop.  Someone must be making money and reaping power off this saga. Look at Vatican and their riches in history and even now. Not a bad plot at all. They even sold it to the Muslims. Now that is astonishing.
     


  7. Ahmadiyya scholars must show as to when and where muslims fell off of the right path. THIS IS THE POINT. My second point is that all muslims, 100% believed that jesus would physically re-appear in magnificent fashion. HMGA failed to mention this important fact.

    ^^^Of course, he never left. “Astronomical truth, as accepted at present, leaves no room for a geographical Heaven” [Hints to Study of the Quran, by Khwaja Kamaluddin, Islamic Review and Muslim India, Vol . XVIII, No. 3 & 4, March – April 1930, pg 93, The Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England]

    I dont know if there is a geo-heaven or not, I am just stating the muslim belief circa the time of Ibn Abbas. Humans actually believed that people could ascend and descend as allah wished. Muhammad was thought to have done so before the story of jesus appeared in the Quran.

    77:11 is some kind of indirect statement about messengers at there appointed times. Since you dont belive HMGA to be Rasul, that doesnt apply.

    In islam muslims always believed that allah had the power to do all things, even ascension and descension. In the 20th century science has tried to prove these as silly fables.

    Who knows where heaven is? Maybe heaven is a paralel universe or something. Maybe there is a wormhole that leads there. We dont know all of the laws in terms of gravity and physics. We thought we knew it all when Newton came along, then Einstein came along.

    I THINK THE AHMADIS (q&l) have the burden of proof in showing where the muslims went wrong in terms of the acsension/decsension of jesus. Where is the smoking gun. How can you prove that Muhammad believed that Jesus was to spiritually re-appear.

    The verse that ZA mentioned does not have the word ALL, that is an insinuation. Messengers have died (or been murdered) before Muhammad, not ALL.


  8. January 5th, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    1. Bashir says: ” My second point is that all muslims, 100% believed that jesus would physically re-appear in magnificent fashion.”

    I gave a link above to an article by a well-known Saudi religious writer, writing in a newspaper in Saudi Arabia that the belief in Jesus having died and not returning can be allowed as a valid interpretation which a Muslim can choose to hold. He could not possibly write this in such a newspaper unless he had seen strong arguments for this interpretation. If 100% of Muslims had ever believed that Jesus would re-appear, then an orthodox Muslim like this writer could not possibly write in a Saudi newpaper that it is also allowable to believe that Jesus has died.

    2. When the Prophet Muhammad “ascended”, he reported meeting many prophets such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus there. So the place he went to is where all these prophets are residing. If Jesus is in the physical heaven, so are all these prophets, and none of them died but all got lifted up to heaven!

    3. “How can you prove that Muhammad believed that Jesus was to spiritually re-appear.” — because the Quran says that the likes of prophets will appear among Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad himself likened some of his companions to certain prophets.

    4. As to the verse 3:144, it is putting the argument that Prophet Muhammad must necessarily die because prophets have to die. If even one previous prophet was alive, it could not be argued that Prophet Muhammad must die. My point was that no companion, on hearing Abu Bakr read this, raised this objection that he need not die because Jesus was still alive.

    Also note that the verse 5:75, addressing Christians, has absolutely identical wording about Jesus: he was only a messenger, messengers before him had passed away. If 3:144 was meant to prove the death of the Prophet Muhammad, then 5:75 which addresses Christians tells them that Jesus passed away like prophets before him.


  9. 1. I should have written before the 20th century. It’s a fact what 100% of muslims believed in terms of the physical re-appearance of Jesus, this is all pre-sir syed. Obviously, 20th century thought has tried to streamline the islamic belief of Jesus.

    1.a. I find it amazing that 33% of the worlds population (which is christian) also believe that jesus will physically descend.

    2. Why were there other prophets in heaven with Jesus, I dont know!! Maybe some secret exists therin that allah chose to not let us in on. Allah works in mysterious ways.

    2.a. Once again, Jesus’ departure is not an issue, his arrival is what ahmadis need to focus on. In my opinion, this is how muslims thought.

    3. The Quran doesnt speak of Jesus’ re-appearance, THERE IS NO DIRECT STATEMENT. We use the tradition for that. Tradition meant alot in Islam, ever heard of the penalty for adultery? I can prove that Muhammad believed that jesus would physicially re-appear based on the hadith from bukhari to malik muwatta.

    3.a. Also, all the mujadids who were guided by allah held this belief as well. WITHOUT A DOUBT!–that actually means something. Ahmadis are basically saying that all the mujadids were wrong in terms of the return of jesus.

    4. 3:144 was meant to relieve the muslims in case Muhammad had been martyred. It was given to Islam to show that messengers can be killed. The word ALL is not there at all. Allah hadnt even revealed 4:157 at that time. The crucificiton story hadnt even been cleared.

    4.a. Hazrat Abu Bakr referred to this verse when Muhammad passed away. There is no way that anyone would have objected that Jesus is still alive. Why would someone have argued that at a time when their messenger has just died? I hadnt read the minutes of this meeting. Maybe there was more discussions that arose? Nonetheless, i serioulsy doubt that this was an occassion for bringing out the technicalities of what Abu Bakr uttered.

    4.b. Maybe Jesus did die before he left the planet. It’s a maybe. It doesnt change his impending physical return. THATS MY POINT. To dwell on this is irrelevant. Islamic thought has flaws… why expose them?

    5. Chapter 5:75 was given to muslims in an argument that jesus and mary are not gods, they were human. Every part of their life was human. Once again, this was not an oppurtunity to show the holes in allahs arguments.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY, Mujadids who were guided by Allah used their best judgement to describe what might have happened. We cant call them stupid….


  10. >> I can prove that Muhammad believed that jesus would physically re-appear based on the hadith from bukhari to malik muwatta.
     
    Just imagine for a moment that the door bell rings and there is a guy standing and introduces himself as the promised Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I will call the cops.
     


  11. It might seem silly nowadays to think that a man will physically descend in the “end days” to save us all. But, there was a time when humans believed in such silly tales.

    ^ that is my overall point. I only presented the muslim belief. HMGA indirectly argued that the early muslims believed Jesus to be dead and they knew that he would spiritually return. I need more proof, the proof that has presented by HMGA is insufficient. It’s a nice story I must add, It’s a nice try to revitalize Islam. Unfortunately, 100 years later, muslims aint buying it.

    Whats more unfortunate is that the AAIIL believes that this reform movement was derailed just 6 years after the death of HMGA.

    The rest is history…..


  12. What is the unfortunate part: the belief by AAIIL that the movement was derailed or that the movement was indeed derailed?


  13. January 6th, 2010 at 9:25 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    To me Bashir writes:

    “1. …Obviously, 20th century thought has tried to streamline the islamic belief of Jesus…”

    But in a later post he writes:

    “It’s a nice try to revitalize Islam. Unfortunately, 100 years later, muslims aint buying it.”

    This is contradictory. First he says that other Muslims (i.e. those who believe Jesus is dead and those who, like the Saudi writer, say that Muslims can justifiably hold this belief) are trying to “streamline” this belief, and then he says that “Muslims aint buying it”!

    2. When he can’t answer a point (various prophets being seen by Holy Prophet in miraj), he says it’s a secret, and Allah works in mysterious ways!

    Are we allowed to give the same reply to him, that Allah works in mysterious ways and this was why Muslims entertained a belief about Jesus which was contrary to the Holy Quran? Of course we are not allowed to say that because he applies one standard to himself and a different standard to others!

    3. “I can prove that Muhammad believed that jesus would physically re-appear …”

    Well, far greater scholars of Islam than Bashir or me haven’t been able to prove this, which is why none of them argues this issue any more. Perhaps you could let the anti-Ahmadiyya groups assess your arguments and see if they will consider them strong enough to use against us!

    3a. We have answered this point several times. There are hundreds of issues in Islam which don’t concern the reform mission of a Mujaddid. It is ridiculous to imagine that the whole of  the vast scope of Islam, containing fine points which only emerge when circumstances so require, would be taught to any mujaddid. (But it could of course be that Allah works in mysterious ways and this is why He doesn’t tell mujaddids everything!)

    4. The verse 3:144 is broader than just referring to a possible martyrdom. It says: “dies or is killed”.

    Read the following two reports in Bukhari: (1) and (2) about Abu Bakr reciting this at the death of the Holy Prophet when Umar created a great fuss that the Holy Prophet would return. The 2nd report says:

    “By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this Verse before till Abu Bakr recited it and all the people received it from him, and I heard everybody reciting it (then). ”

    Bashir says: “Why would someone have argued that at a time when their messenger has just died?” People led by Umar were arguing that the Prophet Muhammad would return. They were silenced by this verse. If this verse meant that “some”, but not all, prophets died, then Umar and the people would have used it in favour of their own view! They would have said that this verse proves that not all prophets died, so the Holy Prophet has not died.

    Why did Abu Bakr say: “Allah will never cause you to die twice”? Because people were saying that he will return.

    5. Why should the Quran say to Christians in verse 5:75 that Jesus is only a messenger, “some” messengers before him have died? Is the Quran here saying to Christians: Jesus was only a messenger, some messengers before him died (and some not), so either Jesus died or he did not die! This would be a plainly absurd statement.

    Are we aiming here on this forum to set a record for the world’s longest debate?


  14. If Jesus is reading this post (from where ever), my recommendation to him is to delay his return for at least another century, because any dramatic appearance by a middle eastern guy will get headlines very fast and possibly land him in Gitmo on a tax payer funded special flight.


  15. 1. My piont for writing that Allah works in mysterious ways is because everything is not explainable. There are gray area in religion that are hard to understand. Obviously, there isnt one tradition that explains as to what happened to Jesus on the cross.

    2. I dont know why other prophets were there in heaven,—i have no idea. Maybe there is some secret rule that allah has for prophets…I dont know. I knot that humans havent perfected their understanding of physics.

    3. I know that HMGA used every possible argument that is out there to try to prove that Jesus is dead. I have written over and over that it is something that Allah chose to leave as a vague area in islamic thought. To expose this vague area is not good for the muslims in general.

    4. It’s a fact, muslims in general aint buying the ahmadi belief system. There are roughly 1.5 billion muslims who like their religion very much. They dont want ahmadiyyat. Thats not my opinion, THATS A FACT.

    5. When I cant answer a point and I honestly dont know an answer, I SAY I DONT KNOW. I do know that these statements by Abu Bakr, umar and the miraaj by the HP dont prove that Jesus is dead. This whole topic is irrelevant.

    5.a. I have asked all ahmadis to prove as to why it is that all muslims believed in a physcial return of jesus, EVEN NOW! Even Bukhari, Maliki and all the top scholars.

    6. Islam has mnay contradictions in it, to dwell on this is a futile exercise.

    7. In terms of the mujadids, I have argued before and I will continue to argue that is very odd that in the ahmadi opinion, Allah didnt give the basic foundation of understanding of the Quran to these mujadids. They all believed in MANSUKH, how is it possible that allah didnt clear this? This is first grade stuff here, this is the foundation of learning Islam.

    8. Calling allah working in mysterious ways in terms of not giving basic knowledge to mujadids is a farce. All you did was take one sentence from my writings and make fun of it. Thats cool, you can do that, it doesnt bother me at all. I expect resistance from ahmadis who try to argue for their religion.

    9. I think the AAIIL should take a step back and look at what its founder created, i.e. the qadianis.

    9.a. The aaiil believes that a seed of HMGA willfully re-defined Quranic verses to fit his vain desires, then that person succeeded in tricking over 1 million people. Who would have ever predicted that? If you say that muslims would be like the christians, I wouldnt be surprised. That argument might work. I guess allah does work in mysterious ways. ….


  16. ZA: I understand your points. I respect them very much. I am just pointing at the muslim position. I am just highlighting their beliefs circa ibn abbas.

    My research shows that it is very hard to believe the ahmadi position in terms of jesus, thats all.


  17. Credit goes to Mirza Ghulam Ahmed for calling  a mortal a mortal?

    My opinion about discussion so far on this thread is a verse from Iqbal:

    Parwaz hay donaun key aik he fiza mein
    Both fly the same skies
    Karghiz ka jahan aur hay, shaheen ka jahan aur
    (but) Vulture lives in a different (intellectual) space, Eagle in a different


  18.  “It’s a fact, muslims in general aint buying the ahmadi belief system. There are roughly 1.5 billion muslims who like their religion very much. They dont want ahmadiyyat. Thats not my opinion, THATS A FACT. ”

    Has the AAIIL ever denied the fact that the majority of the Muslims are not Ahmadis.  Although u have to admit that the majority of the Muslims do not know what the “ahmadi beleif system” actually is.  Also increasingly more and more Muslims are now beginning to agree with the some of the Ahmadi views.  In my opinion it is because The Muslim world is far from happy now a days…and some are begining to realise the problem with their belief system which is the root cause of the rut they are in.  The may not want ahmadiyyat as they know it, but they are desperate for direction to lift them out of their misery.  As I said on some issues they are turning to the Ahmadi view points (the same view point they used to vehemently criticise) but are not intellectually honest enough to admit as such openly. 

    Also it is a fact that the majority of the humans “aint buying”  the Muslim belief system.

    “5.a. I have asked all ahmadis to prove as to why it is that all muslims believed in a physcial return of jesus, EVEN NOW! Even Bukhari, Maliki and all the top scholars. ”

    You need to replace the word “all” in your question with “most”.  And also, it would be nice to know the point you are trying to make here (is it that a belief held by a majority must necessarily be true?). 

    “3. I know that HMGA used every possible argument that is out there to try to prove that Jesus is dead. I have written over and over that it is something that Allah chose to leave as a vague area in islamic thought. To expose this vague area is not good for the muslims in general. ”

    You say all Muslims believe in physical return of Jesus, then you say it is a vague area.  This is oxymoronic.  

    ” Islam has many contradictions in it, to dwell on this is a futile exercise.”

    Either you must define Islam here or replace “Islam” with “Muslim understanding of Islam”.  Also do you know of any understanding of Islam that does not have contradictions?  What contradictions do you find in AAIIL or HMGA understanding of Islam?

    “9. I think the AAIIL should take a step back and look at what its founder created, i.e. the qadianis.”

    I on a personal level just did and discovered that the founder did not create the qadianis.

    “9.a. The aaiil believes that a seed of HMGA willfully re-defined Quranic verses to fit his vain desires, then that person succeeded in tricking over 1 million people. Who would have ever predicted that? If you say that muslims would be like the christians, I wouldnt be surprised. That argument might work. I guess allah does work in mysterious ways. ….”

    Actually HMGA predicted the split in the Jammat on account of vain desires.  And the argument that Muslims would be like Christians actually shows that God does not work in mysterious ways.  In fact he works in exactly the ways that he lays down in his prophecies.


  19. I think Bashir is being open and frank about how he feels. This reminds me of what Hazrat Mirza sahib used to say to his followers. To paraphrase him: Do not, out of respect for me, suppress the doubts that arise in your hearts about what I say; express to me any doubt that is in your mind so that I can answer it, rather than letting it lurk and fester inside you.


  20. I think we (Lahori Ahmadis) have bent over backwards to let Bashir, or anyone for that matter (even rabid opponents), the space to freely express/vent their views, feelings and doubts.

    It takes a lot of valuable time and energy to read through, respond and to maintain this environment. I want to thank those who post and especially the  moderator of this blog.


  21. ZA and all others that blog here:

    I really appreciate the oppurtunity to voice my opinion. The AAIIL has been very courteous with me the last couple of years. My journey through Islam has played out for everyone to see, I started with studying ahmadiyyat from a nuetral perspective, then I moved over to Islam. I have learned Islam with the help of this blog and I really want to say thank you for your hospitality.

    I must stress that my research shows that Muslims always believed that Jesus would physically descend in the end times. I think they all knew this because of the hadith that existed at the time (circa ibn abbas). They didnt need the Quran to tell them that, they already knew. The hadith that point to the return of Jesus are not chronologically dated, which makes it very hard to understand the context. In my opinion these hadith that speak of the return of jesus had to have come from the 7th to 10th year whilst in medina.

    Anyhow, the muslim vantage point is stated as above. Allah didnt tell them about the return of Jesus, Muhammad did that. This belief was embedded into the DNA of every muslim. After Muhammad passed away, Muslims now had to explain the Quranic verses on the matter, they explained the verses with the insinuation of a physical return. Thats how they commentated that the physical likeness of Jesus was cast on another man, and Jesus must have been physically RAFA to Allah.

    These are my research results!


  22. HMGA wrote somewhere: After 3 (or 4) generations, Muslims will be tired of looking at sky in wait of Jesus. Then they will give up their wrong belief in Jesus physical return.

    I think, today’s teenagers are the 3rd generation after HMGA. And within this 21 century, Muslim majority will give up believe in Jesus physical return.


  23. @Bashir – “These are my research results!”

    Well we have again come to the same point that we inevitably do in this issue.  As Bashir’s research shows, Muslims have ascribed a meaning to Quranic verses to validate Hadith.  Ahmadis on the other hand go by the principle that it should be the other way round; that is the meaning of the Hadith should be interpreted as such as to be in conformity with the Quran.  This is quite logical and has been extensively discussed already on this blog.  Point is, to me at least, that the Ahmadi position on death of Jesus is based on a consistent and logical approach to interpreting the Quran and Hadith (not to mention other logical evidence such as the problem of breach of the finality of Muhammad’s (pbuh) prophethood etc.)  The historical position of the Muslim majority cannot overide the outcome of a logical and consistent approach to religion.


  24. I am finally beginning to realize as to how HMGA developed his theories in terms of Islam. Firstly, he developed the principle that the Quran is above the hadith, everything else followed. I think he first laid this foundation in BA (1880)–maybe ZA can clarify.

    In reading the Quran I get the impression that obeying Allah and the Messenger are one in the same things. In other words, muslims were ordered to obey Allah and the messenger equally. If the messenger said something, his words carried just as much value as the words of ALLAH, this was probably so because of the fact that Muhammad’s speech was inspired by Allah, everytime Muhammad said something–allah was involved.

    Here is some verses that prove this idea of mine (from m. ali’s Quran) :

    3:132 And obey Allah and the Messenger that you be shown mercy.

    3:32 Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger; but if they turn back, Allah surely loves not the disbelievers.

    4:59 O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is best and more suitable to (achieve) the end.

    5:92 And obey Allah and obey the Messenger and be cautious. But if you turn back then know that the duty of Our Messenger is only a clear deliverance of the message.

    8:1 They ask thee about voluntary gifts. Say: Voluntary gifts are for Allah and the Messenger. So keep your duty to Allah and set aright your differences, and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers.

    8:20 O you who believe, obey Allah and His Messenger and turn not away from Him while you hear.

    8:46 And obey Allah and His Messenger and dispute not one with another, lest you get weak-hearted and your power depart; and be steadfast. Surely Allah is with the steadfast.

    There are many other examples of Allah ordering the muslims to obey Muhammad. I sincereley believe that there was a time where hadith meant alot more then it does today


  25. @Bashir

    Really now we are running in a circle.  The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) words were not, as you very well know, preserved in a way that the authenticity of the same can be vouched for in the manner that the Quran’s authenticity has been preserved.  Allah has promised to protect the Quran; but no such promise exists to protect the Hadith.  As such, the precedence of Quran over Hadith (WHERE THERE IS A CONTRADICTION) is not exactly rocket science.  Please, please, go back and re-read the previous discussion on this topic.


  26. Usman:

    I am beginning to realize that the words of the HP (saw) meant a lot to the early muslims. The HP told the muslims to pray towards Jerusalem, muslims did that, later when Allah changed that, the muslims didnt argue, the muslims followed allah and Muhammad (saw). In that order….

    I think hadith fills in the gaps, the Quran lacks in terms of the return of jesus, the hadith fills in that gap admirably. The Quran gives one sentence on prophethood, the hadith fills in the gap, if there was any left.

    I remember reading Burton’s book on Mansukh, Burton stressed that sometimes the Quran mansukhed the Sunnah and vice versa.

    Everything is really starting to make sense now…

    I think the Quran is perfect, but as muslims we desperatley need the hadith to help us understand the Quran. More importantly the sahih hadith, not Kanzulummul, or other hadith books that arent legit.


  27. @Bashir:
    “I think hadith fills in the gaps, the Quran lacks in terms of the return of jesus, the hadith fills in that gap admirably.”

    Go to following link and read HQ verses starting on pdf page 75.
    The title: Those 30 verses from HQ that prove death of Missiah son of Mary.
    http://aaiil.org/urdu/articles/ruhislam/1954/ruhislam195411.pdf


  28. Bashir:  There is no gap in the Quran regarding the return of Jesus.  The Quran states (according to Ahmadi and some highly regarded non-Ahmadi scholars) that Jesus has died.  End of story.  To say that there is gap just to support a literal interpretation of Hadith is a circular, self-contradictory argument.  Of course if you are convinced that Quran supports the physical ascension of Jesus, then you can say  (supposing that physical ascension must be followed by a return) that Quran has left the story incomplete and the Hadith complete it. 


  29. @ rashid, thanks for the link, I have read the info that you posted. I will re-read it in case I missed something, THANKS my brother.

    @ usman: Its not as simple as you are stating it. Ibn Abbas even defined mutawafiika as DEATH (not in his tafseer though), but, he believed that Jesus had ascended. I dont think that HMGA read the tafseer of Ibn Abbas, I have never seen HMGA or M. ali or HMBMA refer to this tafseer AT ALL.

    The topic of this thread was suppose to prove that Islam has a contradiction theirin, the contradiction is in terms of the death of jesus. George Sale indirectly proved that this contradiciton exists through his research/commentary.

    Muslims relied on hadith to clarify as to what happened to Jesus. Now remember, there is not one mutawatir hadith that explains as to what happened to Jesus on the cross. But there are a plethera of hadith that speak of a physical return. This was the thought process of the early muslims, including ibn abbas.

    With all of this info, and many many prayers to Allah for guidance–the conclusions that the majority of the muslims circa ibn abbas came to was that Jesus’ likeness was cast on another person, and mutawafikka must have an alternate meaning. I am sure that even Imam Bukhari believed in a physical return.


  30. “I dont think that HMGA read the tafseer of Ibn Abbas, I have never seen HMGA or M. ali or HMBMA refer to this tafseer AT ALL. ”

    Could you please find some Muslims writers or scholars who refer to this tafsir?


  31. ZA: you have a valid argument, I cant remember any muslim scholars referring to this tafseer either.

    The point is that in terms of Jesus, HMGA should have checked all of the tafseers that were available. Maybe the tafseer of Ibn Abbas was not available in India.

    If Ibn Abbas defined mutawfikka as DEATH as reported by Bukhari then why is that in his tafseer he wrote that jesus ascended..

    Ibn Abbas wrote:

    (And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger) Allah destroyed their man Tatianos. (They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them) Allah made Tatianos look like Jesus and so they killed him instead of him; (and lo! those who disagree concerning it) concerning his killing (are in doubt thereof) in doubt about his killing; (they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture) not even conjecture; (they slew him not for certain) i.e. certainly they did not kill him,

    1. Who is this tatianos?
    2. maybe Jesus died after he escaped the house the the jews seiged. Maybe Bukhari, maliki, ibn abbas and many others believed that Jesus died shortly after his likeness was placed on another man….

    3. None of these people thought that Jesus travelled to India and died there, next to Nassirrudin!!!

    4. HMGA should have written that these people who thought that Jesus died, they thought that Jesus died in Palestine, NOT INDIA! And that death was caused by Allah himself.


  32. @Bashir

    Well any matter can be made simple or complicated depending upon how much spin you put on it. 

    “The topic of this thread was suppose to prove that Islam has a contradiction theirin, the contradiction is in terms of the death of jesus. George Sale indirectly proved that this contradiciton exists through his research/commentary.”

    No one really needs to prove that there is a “contradiction” / ambiguity / confusion in the Muslim thought process regarding the death and return of Jesus.  This is quite apparent.  My point is very simple: that if you interpret the Quran and Hadith in a logical and consistent manner as taught by HMGA, this ambiguity actually turns into clarity, and in doing so not only removes some inherent contradictions surrounding the return of Jesus but also deals a death blow to Christianity.


  33. Can you justify your terminology (and I think you have used it before) that: “Ibn Abbas wrote“?


  34. ZA: you are insinuating that some muslims willfully mis-transcribed ibn abbas’ tafseer, I CANT AGREE WITH THAT. You are giving the argument that ibn abbas didnt write the tafseer that has his name on it.

    1. I am not sure as to who discovered this tafseer of Ibn Abbas, the year, the finder, the library, etc etc etc….

    2. I have asked before as to who has the original sahih bukhari, and what company was publishing this book from the time of bukhari to the 19th century.

    3. We dont even have an original Quran (there are some, but we cant even touch them). We dont even know as to what company was publishing these from Uthman to Bukhari.

    4. Mauwiyya and yazid and the ummayyd dynasty were very irreligious people, in my opinion they didnt care about Islam, I think they were muslim just for political reasons. Anyhow, is it safe in insinuate that they tampered with religious texts?


  35. It is a separate point whether the contents of the book can be attributed to Ibn Abbas. My point was: Can it be said that Ibn Abbas “wrote” this book? He can only be said to have “written” this book if he composed the manuscript. If other people compiled his various sayings about the Quran, in the way in which the sayings of the Holy Prophet were collected by others, then even if they are totally accurate we cannot say that he wrote them. We don’t say that the book of Tafsir in Sahih Bukhari is a commentary on the Quran written by the Holy Prophet.

    If Hazrat Mirza sahib did not mention this tafsir of Ibn Abbas why didn’t his opponents put it forward and say: this is what the most authentic tafsir says.


  36. If you remember I had that book by Lawson‏, which was about the crucifiction, I think he wrote that some other people had actually written this tafseer that is ascribed to ibn abbas. I will have to find my notes to see exactly what he wrote.

    Nonetheless, Lawson dated this tafseer as the first in Islam.

    Even if ibn abbas didnt write this tafseer, it still proves what muslims thought in the first century of Islam.

    Just because bukhari defined mutawafikka as death does that mean that he believed that jesus ISNT ALIVE IN HEAVEN?

    I have no idea why the opponents didnt produce this tafseer of ibn abbas as evidence. Maybe it wasnt available in India. This is a new age of research, in that age books were very hard to come by, and you had to rich to buy them.

    In Shah Wali-ullah’s persian koran how did he define mutawafikka? What about 4:157, what about 33;40 and 4:69.

    The ahmadis (q&L) have a responsibility to investigate.


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