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Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and MattersSee Title Page and List of Contents

See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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July 30th, 2012

Issue 64

Issue 64 [@1:10:10]: Abdullah Al-Araby – Director, The Pen vs. The Sword Publications – “Islam has to be known as more than a religion. The idea that Islam is spiritual religion like for instance Christianity is completely incorrect.”

Rebuttal 64: Al-Araby is right on the money when he states that “The idea that Islam is spiritual religion like for instance Christianity is completely incorrect.” Factually what he is telling us is that Islam is unlike the Pauline Christianity. How true and one cannot agree with him more. Al-Araby’s statement begets getting to know Christian basis of its spirituality a bit more closely.

Pauline Christian story is a very brief one: Adam committed a sin which committed his whole race to eternal perdition, but God the Father loved man so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son to redeem it. If we denude all the Christian sermons of spirituality, of every speaker in Christian history and every book written in the Christian world of those trappings, there will remain about two lines only to sum up Al-Araby’s whole religion. He may himself realize that such a story may be pleasing to infant ears, but yet incapable of inspiring any intelligent listener.

Official Christianity has been found to emanate from the cult of Mithraism, and not from the religion of Jesus. Paying attention to Christian doctrine would be an insult to intelligence. The Christians themselves have realized that the Church story of Christianity, from beginning to end, was only a faithful reproduction of the stories of several pagan gods; that the original narrative of Jesus was purposely lost sight of by the Early Church Fathers, who portrayed the Lord of Christianity purely from the pagan point of view; that they depicted him as the last of the generation of Pagan Christs – Nimrod/Baal, Heru Sa Aset and Bast – twins born of Aset i.e. Isis, Mithras, Horus, Attis, Dionysus the son of Zeus, Osiris(Egypt)/Adonis(Syria)/Tammuz(Babylon), Hercules, Perseus, Helios, Bacchus, Apollo, Jupiter, Hermes, Orpheus, Sol Invictus – (The “Unconquered Sun”), barring a few, of whom were reported to have been born of a Virgin on Christmas night that they all came, in their respective periods of history, to redeem the condemned human race by their blood, and willingly went to the Cross or were killed on the Friday afternoon immediately preceding Easter Sunday. It has also been established that all these pagan gods were buried and remained for two days in the grave; they rose again on the Easter Sunday morning and ascended to heaven afterwards, with a promise of a second coming in the latter days; and that the pagans used to participate in meals on Sunday in commemoration of their crucified god, believing that they ate his blood and flesh.

An excerpt from “The Myth and Ritual of Attis” by Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941), in his book The Golden Bough – pub. 1922, describes the pagan Easter of Attis in Phyrgia – But when night had fallen, the sorrow of the worshippers was turned to joy. For suddenly a light shone in the darkness: the tomb was opened: the god had risen from the dead; and as the priest touched the lips of the weeping mourners with balm, he softly whispered in their ears the glad tidings of salvation. The resurrection of the god was hailed by his disciples as a promise that they too would issue triumphant from the corruption of the grave. On the morrow, the twenty-fifth day of March, which was reckoned the vernal equinox, the divine resurrection was celebrated with a wild outburst of glee. At Rome, and probably elsewhere, the celebration took the form of a carnival. It was the Festival of Joy (Hilaria).

As if one Easter of Attis is not enough, we have the another from a Goddess as well:

April was called Ostermonath—the month of the Ost-end wind (wind from the east). Easter is therefore the April feast, which lasted eight days. Our Easter Sunday must be between March 21st and April 25th. It is regulated by the paschal moon, or first full moon between the vernal equinox and fourteen days afterwards. (Teutonic, ostara; Anglo-Saxon, eastre.)
Easter. The Saxon goddess of the east, whose festival was held in the spring.
[E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898]

It has also come to light that, thousands of years before the birth of Jesus, the Egyptians used to worship the Cross on Easter Sunday as a sign of the new Lord, and ate eggs and hot-cross buns, like the Catholics of to-day, at the season when their Lord, they believed, used to give new life to the earth. These are the beliefs of the Church.

Easter or Pasch eggs, are symbolical of creation, or the re-creation of spring. The practice of presenting eggs to our friends at Easter is Magian or Persian, and bears allusion to the mundane egg, for which Ormuzd and Ahriman were to contend till the consummation of all things. It prevailed not only with the Persians, but also among the Jews, Egyptians, and Hindus. Christians adopted the custom to symbolise the resurrection, and they colour the eggs red in allusion to the blood of their redemption. There is a tradition, also, that the world was “hatched” or created at Easter-tide – “Bless, Lord, we beseech thee, this Thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to Thy faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to Thee, on account of the resurrection of our Lord.”—Pope Paul V: Ritual. [E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898]

Besides Easter and Christmas, the pagans celebrated all the festivals which are now observed by the Romish Church. Most of the pagan gods, it is proved, had twelve disciples, and they were destroyed by one of their number. The various names given to Jesus were also the names of those pagan gods. To their great discomfiture, churchgoers have discovered that the cathedrals of the Roman Church are only a replica of buildings consecrated to the worship of Apollo, the Sun-god. The Holy water, the vestry, the position of the altar facing east, the choirs, the acolytes, the monks and the nuns with tonsures in commemoration of the Sun’s disc all come from the same Church of Apollo. It has also been established that Sunday was not God’s day but the Roman Dies Solis, the day reserved for the worship of the Sun-god. It was to serve his political ends that Constantine placed Jesus on the altar of Apollo, in the fourth century, while retaining every other vestige of pagan worship, and incorporating it into the Church of Jesus, if nothing else, the Sun is prominently displayed on east side of Arch of Constantine and his coins show Sun-god till 324 AD, while he converted in 312 AD. Last of all, and not the least, it has been found that Jesus was not born on the 25th..It was the birthday of the Sun as popularly of December, but believed in pagan circles. Churchgoers have now found out that they have for centuries been not worshipping Jesus, but the Sun; and the respectable orthodox Christian now thinks himself justified if he spends his Sundays in golf, baseball, or any other sport instead of attending Divine worship. Can a man with any sense of self-respect go to receive Holy Communion on Ash Wednesday or any Sunday if he feels that all the rites of the Sacrament are the same as those observed by the pagans in commemoration of their respective deities who were wrongly believed to have given their lives to save humanity?

1. Literally, “a military oath” taken by the Roman soldiers not to desert their standard, turn their back on the enemy, or abandon their general. We also, in the sacrament of baptism, take a military oath “to fight manfully under the banner of Christ.” The early Christians used the word to signify “a sacred mystery,” and hence its application to the Baptism and Eucharist, and in the Roman Catholic Church to marriage, confirmation, etc.
2. The five sacraments are Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction. (See Thirty-nine Articles, Article xxxv.)
3. The seven sacraments are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction.
4. The two sacraments of the Protestant Church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
[E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898]

Even the very word Church has pagan roots – Church comes from the Anglo-Saxon root word “circe,” and stems from the Greek name of the goddess “Circe,” the daughter of “Helios,” the Roman Sun-god adopted from Greek mythology. Linked to this goddess in Celtic pagan worship is the name “Kirce.” From her name comes the word “kirch” which pertained to the building dedicated to pagan Celtic worship and rituals. The Greek word “kuriakon” was used for the building or “house of Kurios (Lord).”

The modern apologists in Christianity try to rearrange history so as to appeal to human intelligence e.g.

**”We know of an ablution in the ritual of Eleusis; the laurel-wreath oration of Demosthenes speaks of purificatory ablutions in the mystery of Sabazius; the cult of Attis had its taurobolium, and the mystery of Isis knew a sanctifying baptismal bath, as did the mysteries of Dionysus and of Mithras. Upon mature consideration modern scholarship has rejected the ideas that such rites exerted an influence on the baptismal doctrine of the New Testament,” [Hugo Rahner, The Christian Mystery and the Pagan Mysteries, section 3, in The Mysteries; Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, edited by Joseph Campbell]

Whereas, Tertullian, the second century Christian author and theologian from Carthage, admits the Christian baptism same as in pre-Christian pagans:

**”[Non-Christians] ascribe to their idols the imbuing of waters with the self-same efficacy [of purification]. … For washing is the channel through which they are initiated into some sacred rites–of some notorious Isis or Mithras…Moreover, by carrying water around, and sprinkling it, they everywhere expiate country-seats, houses, temples, and whole cities: at all events, at the Apollinarian and Eleusinian games they are baptized; and they presume that the effect of their doing that is their regeneration and the remission of the penalties due to their perjuries….Among the ancients, again, whoever had defiled himself with murder, was wont to go in quest of purifying waters.” – i.e. Washing away sin! [Tertullian, On Baptism, Ch 5.]

Mysteriously, Mysteries in Christianity are no different than the pagans mysteries. Why?

**It was the common belief in Athens that whoever had been taught the Mysteries [at Eleusis] would, when he died, be deemed worthy of divine glory. Hence all were eager for initiation. [Scholiast on Aristophanes The Frogs, 158]

** It looks as if those also who established rites of initiation [into the mysteries] for us were no fools, but that there is a hidden meaning in their teaching when it says that whoever arrives uninitiated in Hades will lie in mud, but the purified and initiated when he arrives there will dwell with gods. [Plato, ‘Phaedo, 69 c]

**”The keys of hell and the guarantee of salvation [of Osiris followers]were in the hands of the goddess, and the initiation ceremony itself a kind of voluntary death and salvation through divine grace.” [Apuleius, Metamorphosis, Book 11, 21]

**”It is very hard not to see extensive and basic similarities between these [mystery] religions and the Christian Religion. But somehow Christian scholars have managed not to see it, and this, one must suspect, for dogmatic reasons….” Richard Reitzenstein and Wilhelm Bousset were two scholars who did manage to grasp the relevance of these ancient faiths for the study of early Christianity. Their conclusion was a simple and seemingly inevitable one: Once it reached Hellenistic soil, the story of Jesus attracted to itself a number of mythic motifs that were common to the syncretic religious mood of the era. Indeed, as people familiar with the other Mystery Religions came to embrace the Christian savior, it would have been practically impossible for them not to have clothed him in all the accoutrements of his fellow Kyrioi.” [Robert Price, Deconstructing Jesus, Chapter 3, 2000]

Justin Martyr, the early second century Christian apologist, was forced to admit that the so-called Christian rites had existed among the pagans centuries before Jesus. Justin was asked by the then Emperor of Rome to explain why he should embrace Christianity and give up his ancestors’ faith if the various articles of his own faith in the Mithraic Dispensation were the same as those in the new cult called after the name of Christ. Mithra, the Emperor thought, was the origin of Christ. Justin could not deny the fact.

**”When we say that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.” [Justin Martyr, First Apology, 21]

His explanation, however, is very interesting, as we read in his Apologia. He said that centuries before, Satan went to the higher regions in heaven and overheard angels rejoicing over the appearance of Jesus Christ in the days to come. Satan thus came to be acquainted with all the features of the story of the coming Christ, and he, being the arch-enemy of truth, tried, therefore, to confound it with falsehood. He visited numerous countries, from Persia to England, and all those that surrounded the birthplace of Jesus, and introduced cults each of which had the same story of its god as is now told of Jesus by the Church. Justin Martyr had to invent the reason behind the prevailing customs, rituals and beliefs of the pagans of the time by attributing it to the “advance planning” by the Devil:

**”The devils, accordingly, when they heard these prophetic words, said that Bacchus was the son of Jupiter, and …having been torn in pieces, he ascended into heaven.” [Justin Martyr, First Apology, 54]

**“And the devils, indeed, having heard this washing published by the prophet, instigated those who enter their temples, and are about to approach them with libations and burnt-offerings, also to sprinkle themselves; and they cause them [the pagans] also to wash themselves entirely, as they depart [from the sacrifice], before they enter into the shrines in which their images are set.” [Justin Martyr, First Apology, Ch 62]

Though the ingenious story of Justin could not convince the Emperor, it nevertheless explained the difficulties attaching to the new faith to its followers, and was accepted as the truth by Constantine for purely political reasons.

The simple religion of Jesus, which was no other than the religion of Moses with certain minor modifications, became completely Romanized to suit the tastes of the Gentiles. If these facts have now come to light and are fully established, the desertion of the Church by its former votaries in the West is but a natural sequence. Formal Christianity has collapsed. Its days are numbered. Its adherents have become divided into innumerable new sects Spiritualism, New Thought, Christian Science, and the like – each of whom has all but denied the teachings of the Church and has adopted beliefs which, generally speaking, are of Islamic origin.

Al-Araby must be aware of this pagan story. The Church asserts that the Mystery Cult in different forms of Paganism was a deception and that, the Lord of Christianity came to destroy it and uproot the falsehood from the world for ever. We Muslims do admit that Jesus, as a true Messenger of God, did come to destroy falsehood. He preached against it when he laid emphasis on obedience to the laws of God. His teachings were diametrically opposed to the pagan religion of the Sacrament, which dispensed with the Law and promised absolution from punishment for disobedience thereto of all who believed and participated in the Sacred Feasts. In fact, the chief feature of Paganism was participation in the Sacred Feasts, e.g.:

**”There was usually the meal of mystic foods – grains of all sorts at Eleusis, bread and water in the cult of Mithra, wine (Dionysus), milk and honey (Attis), raw bull’s flesh in the Orphic Dionysus-Zagreus cult.” [Paganism, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI]

**”The lectisternium [i.e. sacred meal] of Ceres will be on the next Ides, for the gods have couches; and that they may be able to lie on softer cushions, the pillows are shaken up when they have been pressed down.” [3d century AD, Against the Heathen , Book 7.32]

**”he was intercepted and killed,” and his murderers, “chopped his members up into pieces and…devoured them.” An event which his worshipers celebrate in “recurring sacred rites celebrated every two years,” in which, “They tear a live bull with their teeth, representing the cruel banquet [at which the God was eaten.]” [Firmicus Maternus, The Error of the Pagan Religions, Ch 6.2.] Firmicus Maternus was a Latin writer during reign of Constantine.

But Jesus demanded the fulfilment of the Law. The teachings of Jesus thus stood poles apart from Paganism, which summed up the religions of the Gentiles (non-Israeli people). Jesus really came to demolish it, but the coming generation of his followers, with the author of the Pauline literature at their head, who decidedly was not St. Paul but some Greek Father in the Church, succumbed to the wishes of the Gentiles, who hated the religion of the Law and its observance. Epicurean (happiness based upon materialism, e.g. involving an appreciation of fine food and drink) as many of the Gentiles were in all their ways, they could not abide by the strict laws of the Mosaic Dispensation, as Jesus exhorted his followers to do. They believed in a cult that cleansed them of all sin by simple belief. They followed a persuasion which gave them, as it were, a blank cheque on any bank of evil and indecency, while saving their skin from the punishment which would otherwise be incurred. They preferred to place all responsibility on the shoulders of another. Pagan ingenuity had grasped the situation and found the solution of the problem in the cult of mystery under which various virgins gave birth to gods who died on Good Fridays to relieve people from the burden of sin. Mithra, Apollo, Baal, Adonis, Horus, Osiris, Bacchus, Quetzacoatl, were the various incarnations of those virgin-born sun-gods. We read of Bacchus that sages approached Jupiter and solicited him to ward off the destruction that must fall on humanity in order to punish them for their sins. Jupiter promised to do so. He descended to the earth in a cloud which enveloped a virgin, who at once became pregnant of a god-child. The god-child was born on the 25th of December and received the name of Bacchus. Virgin birth was the pervasive theme of the day. Any discussion about religion could not proceed without a virgin birth:

**virgin birth from head of Zeus (aka Jupiter): “The devils…craftily feigned that Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter not by sexual union.” [Justin Martyr, First Apology, 64]

**virgin birth of Attis: “a daughter of the river Sangarius, they say, took of the fruit and laid it in her bosom, when it at once disappeared, but she was with child. A boy was born, and exposed, but was tended by a he-goat.” [Pausanias, Description of Greece 7.17.9-11]. Pausanias was 2nd century Greek traveler and geographer.

**virgin births of pagan Gods: “We [Christians] are not the only persons who have recourse to miraculous narratives of this kind [– of virgin birth of Jesus].” [Origen, Against Celsus 1, 37]. Origen was 2nd century Christian Alexandrian theologian.

Justin Martyr admits to the fact of virgin births before Christ whose virgin birth stands as the core doctrine of Christianity:

**virgin birth of Jesus: “He [– Jesus] was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you believe of Perseus”– son of Danae who was impregnated by Zeus [Justin Martyr, First Apology, 22]

When the new god, Bacchus, grew older he proclaimed that he had come to deliver humanity and redeem it from punishment through his blood. It was Bacchus [aka Dionysus], and not Jesus, who for the first time said that he was “the Alpha and the Omega of the world” and would give his life to regenerate the human race, of which he also said that he was the Redeemer and Deliverer. He died on Friday and rose again on Easter Sunday and ascended to heaven. There is only one point of difference between the pagan gods and Christ. While the other redeemers of humanity willingly went to suffer death for mankind, since they had come to earth for this very purpose, Jesus Christ wished to evade the cup which he had to drink. He did not want to be crucified and would have been absent from the scene at Calvary if he could have done so. But he was in the clutches of implacable foes and was forced to drink the cup to the dregs. He came to the Cross with a heart full of sorrow. As the Bible says : “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me. And he went a little farther and fell on his face, and prayed, saying. O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matthew 26:38-39). The italics [emphasis added] in the above show rather a forced consent than a willing one – a heart compelled to resign itself to fate, when no alternative is left, rather than a heart that welcomes the work which the Father has given him to finish. This alone is sufficient to falsify the supposed scheme of God to save the human race. As a matter of fact, no sooner had Jesus descended alive from the Cross and recovered than he left Judea for good.

Jesus Christ by “disappearing” at the very beginnings of his ministry when he was only thirty-three year of age could not have left behind the full spiritual and moral structure of a religion. No wonder, the burden was left on his followers to “fill in the blanks” of code, ethics and rituals to make a religion. Yes, they did it with their pagan beliefs and practices. They not only resurrected Jesus, but erected a new pagan creed not much different from the prevailing ones in the geography and cultures. Pagan mind attracts pagan beliefs, and mix that with strategic needs of Constantine, Christianity came to being. Soon thereafter, the altar priesthood transmuted into state power of papacy and full hierarchical superstructure of a religion with all its its trappings of supernaturals, brain washing under the threat of ostracizing and witch burnings got hold of not only the souls but also the bodies of its adherents. It was this symbiotic relationship of Chruch and State, that the next frontier of colonization and enslavement of the world went unchecked despite its amorality. Christianity persists in the midst of the masses not for its its truth, but the inherent needs of human mind that will lull into anything in the name of easy salvation from the unknown of the future which exists beyond horizon of life. Christianity is sold as an insurance without a policy behind it.

It is true that all the pagan deities were creatures of imagination, while Jesus was a real personality. But all we know of any man depends on the character which is his; otherwise all people, for practical purposes, are imaginary beings. It is a man’s character which gives him individuality. Millions and trillions of people come and go in each generation. They pass unnoticed, and no one remembers them after they have gone. They are taken as denizens of an imaginary world. But if they possess some distinctive character they are treated by the generations to come as actual men. Even persons created by the poetical imagination to personify the types of character have come to be regarded almost as real characters and receive more attention from us than do those who have actually existed. Ulysses, Macbeth, and Shylock, for instance, have become in a sense historic and have a greater claim to our notice than tens of thousands of Dicks, Toms, and Harrys of every time and clime. Character, then, is the factor which confers immortality on mortal men. As Jesus had been to, some extent clothed in the garb of mythology, his historical existence has been denied by many learned savants in the West. If we strip him of the garments filched from the pagan cupboard, he cannot claim to be an historical character. The same may be said of the Jesus of the Gospels, which are admittedly not genuine in origin. Muslims, however, are bound to accept him as a real entity because the Holy Qur’an speaks of him as a prophet; otherwise we see no reason why a Muslim should believe in his existence at all. Under these circumstances, we are bound to divest him of all pagan disguise and give him the character accorded to him by the Muslim scriptures. With any critical read, one cannot understand why we should revere Jesus as he is represented by the Church, when all that is told of him has been rightly traced to mythology.

The best that can be said of the matter is that the theory of Redemption, as taught by official Christianity, was very much to the taste of pagans, who would prefer to see their god carrying their sins and relieving them of the bother of being righteous. It is true that every man is an easygoing person. He wishes to be free from hardship and tries to get as much enjoyment out of life as possible without doing anything; while righteousness is uphill work. Man would not attempt it, as the Holy Qur’an says, if he could get the same result by going downhill (90:11). All dirty things are easily come by. It is not strange, therefore, if pagan ingenuity devised a scheme of redemption that helped a man to save his skin and dodge the hardship of righteousness. But God’s ways are unchangeable, and He has proposed a different method by which we are to achieve success and happiness in this life. It is not a soft bed for us to lie on, but a thorny path for us to tread, if we are to reach the goal. Every one of us must bear his own cross while no one bears the burden that is another’s. It is hard living that brings prosperity. This truth was revealed to us in the following mighty words of the Qur’an : “That no bearer of a burden shall bear the burden of another. And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for. And that his striving shall soon be seen. Then shall he be rewarded with the fullest reward” (53 . 3841). Again the Book says : “Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray; nor can the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another” (17:15).

This statement is in accordance with the laws of Nature and strikes at the very root of the doctrine of Atonement which finds no parallel in the whole working of the Universe. This life of ours is admittedly of brief duration. If God has, been pleased to send hardships and trials as necessary concomitants to happiness and success, how could He allow happiness to be acquired by mere belief in salvation by the Blood of Christ, or by participation in the Sacrament?

When Al-Araby states, “Islam has to be known as more than a religion,” he must realize that his Christianity is not even a religion, but merely paganism in the garb of a religion. Next time if Al-Araby tries to lay exclusive claim to spirituality by uttering:

**“one God, in heaven, whose Son, born of a virgin, came to earth as a man, was baptized, performed miracles, established a holy meal for his followers, died, rose again on the third day for the salvation of mankind, remember the Pagan origin of each of these myths and rituals.”

All we will say to Al-Araby above is that his Christianity is nothing but a new car with old parts borrowed from pagan spirituality of the yore. We have heard it all before – Dionysus was identified with the lamb, and called King of Kings, Only Begotten Son, Savior, Redeemer, Sin bearer, Anointed One, the Alpha and Omega.

John Crossan brings to light the bigotry of the experts like Al-Araby:

**“Augustus came from a miraculous conception by the divine and human conjunction of [the God] Apollo and [his mother] Atia. How does the historian respond to that story? Are there any who take it literally?… That divergence raises an ethical problem for me. Either all such divine conceptions, from Alexander to Augusts and from the Christ to the Buddha, should be accepted literally and miraculously or all of them should be accepted metaphorically and theologically. It is not morally acceptable to say…our story is truth but yours is myth; ours is history but yours is a lie. It is even less morally acceptable to say that indirectly and covertly by manufacturing defensive or protective strategies that apply only to one’s own story.” [John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity, 1998, pg 28 – 29.]

Al-Araby will claim all the merit-less spirituality in the universe for his Christianity while denying it to others, Islam in particular, on the sole pretext – our story is truth but yours is myth; ours is history but yours is a lie.

As to what makes Islam an all encompassing religion, will be addressed by subsequent issues in this section of the documentary where it is trying to malign Islam, but all in vain.

The body of above narrative is excerpted and adapted from – Islam and Christianity, by Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, p. 1-10.
All the **indented quotes are taken from various sections of – Pagan Origins of Christ Myth
Pauline Christianity – Wikipedia
Mithraic mysteries – Wikipedia
Dying-and-rising deity – Wikipedia
The Saviour-God and the Virgin-Mother – Pagan & Christian Creeds, Their Origin and Meanings – Edward Carpenter
The Mystery of the Pagan Origin of Christmas (Jesus was not born on December 25th, but a whole bunch of pagan Gods were) – Unexplained Mysteries of the World
How to be a “True Christian” – The Zephyr
The Myth and Ritual of Attis – Sir James Geroge Frazer
The Golden Bough – A Study in Magic and Religion – Sir James George Frazer
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – E. Cobham Brewer
Easter Egg – Encyclopaedia Britannica
Easter Eggs – Dictionary of Phrase and Fable E. Cobham Brewer
Hot Cross Buns – Earth Witchery
Jesus Reincarnation Index – Near Death Experience
Jesus Christ in comparative mythology – Wikipedia
‘Jesus’ may be the name of a Pagan God –
Some Pagan Items adopted by Christians – Seiyaku
Bassae – Wikipedia
Oracular Procedure – Wikipedia
Vestal Virgin – Wikipedia
Tonsure – Seiyaku
How the Godman is Made and Remade – From Apollo to Jesus Christ – Super-synthesis – Jesus Never Existed
Sun-Day Worship Terms – Assembly of True Israel
Sol Invictus – Wikipedia
Origins of our day name – Seiyaku
Solar deity – Wikipedia
Arch of Constantine – Wikipedia
Coins of Constantine – Wikipedia
Sacrament – Dictionary of Phrase and Fable E. Cobham Brewer
Tertullian – Wikipedia
Syncretism – Wikipedia
Kurios (Kyrios) – Wikipedia
Justin Martyr – Wikipedia
First Apology of Justin Martyr – Wikipedia
Solar Myths and Christian Festivals – Pagan & Christian Creeds, Their Origin and Meanings – Edward Carpenter
Lectisternium – Wikipedia
Julius Firmicus Maternus – Wikipedia
Gentiles – Wikipedia
Epicureanism – Wikipedia
Minerva – Wikipedia
Perseus – Wikipedia
Pausania (geographer) – Wikipedia
Origen – Wikipedia
Contra Celsum – Wikipedia
Dionysus – Wikipedia
John Dominic Crossan – Wikipedia

One Response to “Issue 64”

  1. The above is a retrograde view of how Islam of Jesus devolved into Christianity as a pagan religion that happened soon after he survived crucifixion. Quran gives a historically and morally congruent discourse of what happened thereafter:

    4:157. and for their [-Jews and Gentiles] saying: We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, and they did not kill him, nor did they cause his death on the cross,

    [Footnote] The words used here do not negative that Jesus was nailed to the cross; they negative his having expired on the cross as a result of being nailed to it. That Jesus died a natural death is plainly stated in 5:117. The Gospels contain clear testimony showing that Jesus Christ escaped death on the cross. For example, Jesus remained on the cross for a few hours only (Mark 15:25, John 19:14) but death by crucifixion was always slow. When the side of Jesus was pierced, blood rushed out and this was a certain sign of life (John 19:34). Jesus was not buried but was given into the charge of a wealthy disciple of his, who lavished care on him and put him in a spacious tomb hewn in the side of a rock (Mark 15:46). When the tomb was seen on the third day, the stone was found to have been removed from its mouth (Mark 16:4), which would not have been the case if there had been a supernatural rising. Jesus Christ prayed the whole night before his arrest to be saved from the accursed death on the cross, and he also asked his disciples to pray for him. He seems to have even received a promise from God to be saved, and it was to this promise that he referred when he cried out on the cross: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” The statements made in the Quran corroborate the testimony found in the Gospels. Jesus did not die on the cross, nor was he killed as were the two thieves who were crucified with him, but to people he appeared as if he were dead.

    but he was made to appear to them as such.

    [Footnote] These words may bear two interpretations: he was made to be like it to them or the matter was made dubious to them. The story that someone else was made to resemble Jesus is not borne out by the words of the Quran, which could only mean, if an object were mentioned, that Jesus was made to resemble someone, not that someone was made to resemble Jesus.

    And certainly those who differ concerning it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge about it, but only follow a conjecture, and they did not kill him for certain;

    4:158. rather, Allah exalted him in His presence [— which cannot be physical because God is not bound by space, dimension or location].

    [Footnote] For “exaltation” see 3:55 footnote 2. Being exalted in the Divine presence was opposed to being killed on the cross. Deuteronomy 21:23 explains this, for there we have, he who is hanged is accursed of God. If Jesus had died on the cross he would have been accursed; hence the statement made here — he was not killed on the cross and accursed but he was exalted in the Divine presence.

    And Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.

    4:159. And there is none of the People of the Book but will believe in this before his death; and on the day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.

    [Footnote] Both Jews and Christians necessarily believe in the death of Jesus on the cross, while according to the Quran they have really no sure knowledge of it. The belief of the Jews is that since Jesus died on the cross he was accursed of God, and hence he cannot be a prophet. Following quite a different line of argument, Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross and was accursed, but that unless Jesus were accursed he could not take away the sins of those that believe in him. Hence the belief of both Jews and Christians is that Jesus died on the cross, and the meaning of the verse is clear, i.e., every Jew and Christian, despite having no sure knowledge at all, must believe before his death that Jesus died on the cross.

    If Jesus, survived crucifixion, then where did he disappear? Did he leave Middle East? Did his mother leave with him? Why is there no grave of Mary in the Middle East? Quran gives the following answer:

    23:50. And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and We gave them refuge on a lofty ground having meadows and springs.

    [Footnote] This description of the land applies exactly to the valley of Kashmir, and part of the lost ten tribes of Israel is traced to Kashmir, where a large number of places bear the names of places in Palestine. There is also a tomb known as the tomb of Nabi (i.e., the prophet), or ‘Isa (i.e., Jesus), or a man by the name of Yuz Asaf, in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. The fact that the chapter deals with the final triumph of prophets and their deliverance from the hands of their enemies also gives us a clue to the mystery attending the circumstances of the disappearance of Jesus after the event of the Cross; for, as shown in 4:157 footnote, Jesus did not die on the cross. This verse indicates that, being delivered from the hands of his enemies, he was given shelter at some other place which, from its description here and other evidence, seems to be Kashmir. Traditions about Yuz Asaf lead us to identify him with Jesus, and to conclude that Jesus went to Kashmir after the event of the crucifixion, and that he preached, lived, died and was buried there. (Editor’s Note: Since this footnote was written, much research has been published supporting this theory. For details, Khwaja Nazir Ahmad’s work, Jesus in Heaven on Earth, first published in 1952, as well as a number of later publications, some of them by Western authors, should be consulted.)

    Naturally, the refuge and exile happens at the time when the physical survival of a Prophet and his mission is at risk. In case of Jesus such a tipping point came when he was put on cross and survived. Thereafter, it was natural for him to seek refuge for himself and his family, which is no different than that of Prophet Muhammad. In context of Prophets, there is no point of being given a refuge when there is no threat to one’s life before prophethood because there is no Message yet nor its corresponding opposition.
    We read above – 4:159. And there is none of the People of the Book but will believe in this before his death; and on the day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. Quran further expounds the testimony of Jesus, essentially history validating Christianity as a pagan religion, that emerged after his departure from Palestine:

    5:116. And when Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah?

    [Footnote] From this description of Mary being taken for a god by Christians, some critics of the Quran conclude that it has mistakenly considered the Trinity to consist of the three persons — God, Jesus and Mary. However, the doctrine of the Trinity is not mentioned here, while the divinity of Mary is not mentioned where the Quran speaks of the Trinity. See 4:171 footnote 3 and 5:73 footnote 1. As to Mary being taken for a god, the catechism of the Roman Church includes the following doctrines: “That she is truly the mother of God, and the second Eve, by whose means we have received blessing and life; that she is the mother of Pity and very specially our advocate; that her images are of the utmost utility” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 17, p. 813).

    He will say: Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to (say). If I had said it, You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Your mind. Surely You are the great Knower of the unseen.

    5:117. I said to them nothing but what You commanded me: Serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord; and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when You caused me to die You were the Watcher over them. And You are Witness of all things.

    [Footnote] This verse is a conclusive proof that Jesus died a natural death, and is not now alive in heaven. Here Jesus says that so long as he was among his followers he was a witness of their condition, and he did not find them holding the belief in his divinity. The logical conclusion of this statement is that the false doctrine of his divinity was introduced into the Christian faith after his death, after “You caused me to die”; see further 3:55 footnote 1. A saying of the Holy Prophet is recorded in which the Holy Prophet speaks concerning himself in the very words which are here put into the mouth of Jesus. He said that he would be shown on the day of Resurrection some of his followers who had gone against his teachings, and “I would say what the righteous servant said: I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when You caused me to die, You were the Watcher over them” (Bukhari, 60:8).

    5:118. If You punish them, surely they are Your servants; and if You protect them, surely You are the Mighty, the Wise.

    [Footnote] The words taghfir la-hum (protect them or forgive them) refer to their final protection which will be granted to the Christian nations through acceptance of Islam. If the forgiveness of sins was meant, the Divine attributes referred to would have been those speaking of forgiveness and mercy, as the Forgiving, the Merciful. Instead of that the attributes referred to are the Mighty, the Wise, which generally indicate that some great purpose would be achieved and a transformation would be brought about.

    5:119. Allah will say: This is a day when their truth will profit the truthful ones. For them are Gardens in which rivers flow, abiding therein forever. Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Allah. That is the mighty achievement.

    5:120. Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and whatever is in them; and He is Powerful over all things.

    Reading Quranic view of how Christianity evolved coupled with modern research proving its pagan origins to the extent that Jesus and history will be testifying about corruption of his message and misuse of his name, is almost akin to how Quran foretold preservation of body of Pharaoh:

    10:92. But this day We shall save you [-Pharaoh] in your body that you may be a sign to those after you. And surely most of the people are heedless of Our signs.

    [Footnote] That the body was really cast ashore, though the Bible does not mentionit, is clear from the fact that the body of Rameses II, who is regarded as the Pharaoh of Moses, has been discovered as preserved among the mummies in Egypt. This is another instance of the insufficiency of the Bible narrative and of the truth of the Quranic statement where it supplements the Bible. The discovery now made could not have been known to the Holy Prophet; it was not known to any person in the world till very recently.

    Who could have imagined at the time of Prophet Muhammad that Pharaoh’s body will be preserved for people to see and pagan origins of Christianity will be proven beyond doubt by the historical and archeological records. Prophecies of Quran came out true, both in letter and spirit.
    Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
    All verses and corresponding footnotes above are from the translation and commentary of Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.