Ancient Prophets for a Modern World - The True Story of Jesus (P)

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Ancient Prophets for a Modern World - The True Story of Jesus (P)

Author: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei
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Ancient Prophets for a Modern World - The True Story of Jesus (P)

Ancient Prophets for a Modern World - The True Story of Jesus (P)

Author:
Publisher: www.ihic.org.au
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

Ancient Prophets for a Modern World - The True Story of Jesus (P)

www.ihic.org.au

www.alhassanain.org/english

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Mary; the Mother of Jesus not the Mother of God! 9

The Virtues of Mary in Islam 10

1. One of the Four Best Ladies 10

2. Her Name 10

3. The First Female Divinely Chosen 10

4. Virgin Mother 10

5. Pure 11

7. The Devout Female 11

8. Fostered by the Almighty Through Prophet Zachariah 11

Her Titles 11

Her Biography 11

The Miraculous Virgin Conception 14

Mary in the Furnace of Trials 15

A Talking New Born 15

The Miraculous Virgin Conception in Judo-Christian Tradition 16

Science & the Miraculous Virgin Conception 16

The Immaculate Conception 17

The Date and the Place of the Birth of Jesus 17

The Date of Jesus’ Birth 17

Jesus; the Messenger of Allah 19

1. Jesus’ Appellations in the Quran 19

1. Son of Mary 19

2. Al-Maseeh (The Messiah) 19

3. The Messenger of Allah 20

4. The ‘Word’ of Allah 21

5. A ‘Spirit’ from Allah 21

6. Supported by ‘the Holy Spirit’ 22

The Scripture of Prophet Jesus 23

Dating the Gospels 23

The Language of the Gospels 24

Titles of the Gospels 24

Divergence of the Gospels 24

Original Gospel 24

The Miracles of Prophet Jesus 25

1. Speaking in the crib 26

2. Creating a living bird 27

3. Bringing the dead to life 27

4. Healing the terminally ill and those born blind 27

5. Disclosing secrets 28

6. A table spread with food from heaven 28

7. Prophecy of the coming of Ahmad (s.a.w.w) 28

The Miracles of Jesus in the Gospels 28

The Mission of Prophet Jesus 30

1. Monotheism 31

2. Acknowledging the Torah 31

3. Removing some of the forbidden acts 32

4. Follow me, not worship me 33

5. Resolving religious disputes 34

Glad Tidings of the Advent of Ahmad 35

The Prophet of Islam in the Present Gospels 36

Criteria of Acceptance 37

Imam Redha (a.s) V’s Jatheliq 37

The Glad Tidings of the Coming of Ahmad 37

The word ‘Paraclete’ 38

Supporting Points from the Johannine Literature 39

1. Regarding the coming of Paraklytos: 39

2. Identification of Paraklytos: 39

2/3: He is the spirit of truth. (14:17) 39

3. His role in relation to the Disciples: 40

Jesus’ Disciples 40

Disciples in the Quran 40

Crucifixion or Crucifiction?! 42

The Holy Quran and the Crucifixion 43

Does the Quran Contradict Itself? 43

Crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels 44

Narrations of other Gospels 45

Independent Sources 45

Is Jesus God?! Let Us Reason Together 47

Monotheism; the common word 47

The Historical Background of Trinity 48

Trinitarian Christians Verses Unitarians 48

Trinity on the Scale of Rationality 49

The Trinity Violates the Law of Contradiction 50

Fallacious Examples for Trinity 50

Did Jesus Ever Claim to Be God?! 50

Deity of Jesus on the scale of the Bible 51

1. David; a begotten son of God 52

2. Israel; the begotten son of God 52

3. Adam was the son of God 52

Jesus did not have the attributes of God 52

1. God is Omniscient 52

2. God is Omnipotent 53

Deity of Jesus on the scale of the holy Quran 53

Everlasting Division 54

Jesus Will Return with Imam Mahdi (p.b.u.t) 55

The Return of Jesus in Islam 55

1. Jesus is still alive 55

2. The People of the Book believe in Jesus before his death 55

3. The followers of Jesus will be superior over disbelievers 56

4. Prophetic narrations confirm the descent of Jesus 57

The Return of Jesus and the Seal of Prophet-hood 57

‘Christians’ 57

The Characteristics of the ‘Nasara’ 58

Introduction

Of all the major religions in the world, Islam is the only non-Christian faith thatrecognises Jesus (peacebe upon him). Within the pages of the Quran is a distinct Islamic portrayal of Jesus. Three of itsSurahs (Chapters);Aale-Imran (Family ofImran ), al-Ma’edah (The Table SpreadWith Food) andMaryam (Mary) are so named because of their references to Prophet Jesus. There is only one woman whose name is specifically mentioned in the Quran and that is ‘Mary’; the mother of Jesus.

According to a census some 75% of adults in Australia, Canada and the United States of America are Christians. Thus, it is really essential for Muslims living in these countries to have a clear understanding of today’s Christianity and how and why it was perverted away from the true teachings of Prophet Jesus.

The story of the birth of Jesus is so eloquently and passionately described in Chapter Nineteen (Surah Maryam ) of the holy Quran that it brings one to tears. There are approximately ninetyAyaat spread across fifteenSurahs of the Quran which refer to Prophet Jesus.

The second source of Islamic teaching isHadith . It may be seen that there are numerousAhadith from the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.w ) reflecting and narrating the teachings and the words of wisdom of Prophet Jesus.

Both Muslims and Christians believe in the advent of Jesus on the Last Day. This doctrine is one of the major issues that relate this ancient great prophet to our modern world.

Nonetheless, in spite of the general similarities between these two religions, there are ample differences between Islam and Christianity regarding the personality of Prophet Jesus (peacebe upon him). However, it is worthy of note that from before the time of the revelation of the holy Quran until today, there have also been ongoing debates among differing Christian sects, as with the Jews, about the personality of Jesus and his mother.

The Omniscient and All-Knowing Allah, through transmission of the holy Quran received verbatim by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w ), revealed this previously-obscure information to mankind. InSurah 3 Ayah 44 the Almighty states to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w ): “This is a part of the news of the unseen whichWe reveal to you. You were not with them.” [3:44] This statement was to remind the people during the time of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w ), just as for we who live today, that none of them had witnessed the life of Jesus, and thus for them all it was an unseen story. It is Allah AloneWho is ever present, The Possessor of both authority and knowledge whereby the actual story may be narrated.

“Then surely,We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.” [7:7] Thus, Almighty Allah in concluding the story of Prophet Jesus states: “Verily, this is the true narrative (about the story of Jesus), and there is no deity but Allah.” [3:62]

For this reason, the objective of this paper is in relating the narration of the true version of the life of Jesus (a.s ) as described by the holy Quran. However, to enhance the understanding of my dear readers, I shall also refer to some main Christian perspectives with which to compare to the Islamic view of Jesus.

Due to the significant role of Lady Mary (peace be upon her), the story of Prophet Jesus begins in the Quran with the record of the life of his mother, Mary, and so also shall this paper.

Mary; the Mother of Jesus not the Mother of God!

Of the twenty-five texts in the Quran where Jesus is mentioned, in sixteen of them he is called ‘the son ofMaryam (Mary)’, whereas only one text in theGospels, has referred to Jesus as ‘son of Mary’ (Mark 6:3).Quranically the appellation ‘son of Mary’ is added to the name of Jesus to denote the humanity of Jesus on the one hand, and to acknowledge his miraculous birth without a father, on the other. The biblical text in Mark, however, reports that it was scathingly used by those who rejected hisprophethood .

Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, however, pay a special homage and veneration to Mary. They refer to Mary as ‘the Mother of God’ (Theotokos ). They not only believe that she is themediatrix (a female mediator) of all graces, but they also believe in Mariolatry, a term used since the Reformation to mean the worship of Mary. Thus, recitation of the rosary has been among the most popular expressions of Marian devotion.

The internetencyclopaedia of Encarta explains the history of the divinity of Mary as follows:

“As early as the 2nd century, Christians venerated Mary by calling her Mother of God, a title that primarily stresses the divinity of Jesus. During the controversies of the 4th century concerning the divine and human natures of Jesus, the Greek titletheotókos (Mother of God) came to be used for Mary in devotional and theological writing. Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople (present-dayİstanbul ), contested this usage, insisting that Mary was mother of Christ, not of God. In 431, the Council of Ephesus condemnedNestorianism and solemnly affirmed that Mary is to be calledtheotókos , a title that has been used since that time in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.”

It is nearly impossible to find a Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Church wherein it is not filled with carved or molten images and/or statues of Jesus and Mary. Most of these images and statues are placed in the prominent places of the Prayer Halls of the churches for veneration and worship. The majority of the congregation will kneel, worship, venerate and pray before these images as an inherited tradition. They refer to Jesus as their God and to the Virgin Mary as the ‘Mother of God’! Many devoted Catholics also have statues of Mary in their homes for her veneration.

The Protestants, however, who separated from the Church of Rome in the 16th century, do not believe in the divinity of Mary.

Almighty Allah in denying the divinity of Jesus and his mother narrates some of the human aspects of their lives, such that “They both used to eat food” [5:75] while God does not eat.

Almighty Allah, also, in a rhetorical question narrates the renunciation of such titles from Prophet Jesus himself. “And when Allah will (on the Day ofJudgement ) say: O Jesus; son of Mary! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah? He will say: Glorybe to you! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing,You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is inYours ; truly, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden. Never did I say to them aught except whatYou did command me to say: Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but whenYou took me up, You were the Watcher over them; and You are a Witness to all things.” [5:116-117]

As indicated in the aboveAyaat , Prophet Jesus begins his answer firstly with the glorification of God as an expression of monotheism and then affirms that never would he countenance such sacrilege - stating that he spoke only that which Allah had commanded; that he, while living with his community would ensure that they did not worship other than the Almighty God. Moreover, even the present Bible quotes from Jesus in his response to the devil: “It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.” [Luke 4:8]

However, some four centuries after his ascension, deviation occurred among his followers.

In general, the Jews and the Christians have all confused the position of the holy Mary in their own peculiar ways. The Jews accused her of committing illegal sexual intercourse. The holy Quran with reference to their horrible accusation states: “And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Mary a grave false charge.” [4:156]Whilst among the Christians, the Catholics have exalted her, calling her The Mother of God! They have also pronounced worship of her as an article of faith.

However, she holds no special status for the Protestants other than being the mother of Jesus.

The Virtues of Mary in Islam

1. One of the Four Best Ladies

Of all ladies of the world, Mary is one of the four mosthonourable . It is narrated from the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.w ): “Verily, Allah has chosen from among women four ladies:Asiyah the daughter ofMezahim , the wife of Pharaoh;Maryram the mother of Jesus;Khadijah the daughter ofKhowaylid , and Fatima (s.a ) the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w ) who is the mosthonourable of them all.”

2. Her Name

Maryam (Mary in English) is the only female name mentioned in the entire Quran. Her name is repeated sixteen times in the Quran and Chapter nineteen of the Quran is named after her. Mary is a Hebrew name (Miriam) which literally means a female worshipper and devotee.

3. The First Female Divinely Chosen

Holy Mary’s spiritual status, although she was not a prophetess, was actually higher than some of the prophets such as her guardian ProphetZachariyah insomuch as she had been chosen by Almighty Allah for an immaculate task, in the same way in which He had chosen His messengers.

4. Virgin Mother

Mary was also uniquely chosen over all the women of the world for the miraculous birth of her holy son whilst still a virgin, never having been touched by any man. It is with reference to this virtue that the Almighty God states, “O Mary!Verily Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of mankind.” [3:42] Mary is the only lady in history who, without human male intervention in any form, became pregnant with Jesus.

5. Pure

Mary was also the first ‘Batool ’ meaning pure from menstruating. God had made her pure from menstruating so that she could devote her entire time to the service of the temple. Among Christian sects, most of the Protestants do not believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary.

6. The First Sinless Female (Ma’soomeh )

Almighty Allah had purified her from any sin inasmuch as Prophets were purified and hence, she was the first impeccable or immaculate female in human history.

7. The Devout Female

As we shall learn from her biography, Mary`s mother had made a vow before her birth to dedicate her to the service of the temple and hence she was namedMaryam . She herself fulfilled the vow throughout her entire life being the person she was. According to a Prophetic tradition, Jesus resurrected his mother and asked if she would like to live on earth again. Holy Mary replied, “Yes but only if I may offer prayers during the cold nights of winter and fast the long days of summer.”

8. Fostered by the AlmightyThrough Prophet Zachariah

According to the holy Quran, Almighty God made Mary grow in a goodly manner under the care of Prophet Zachariah. [3:37]Her sustenance had also been provided from heaven as witnessed on many an occasion by Prophet Zachariah. “Every time he (Zachariah) entered her praying place to visit her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: O Mary! From where have you got this? She said, this is from Allah, verily Allah provides sustenance towhom He wills, without limit.” [3:37]

9. Al-Mohadatheh (A female spoken to by Angels)

The Holy Quran clearly states that the angels would descend and communicate with the Virgin Mary. Thus, on more than one occasion quoting from the angels addressing her we read in the Quran, “When the angels said O Mary…”[ 3:42,45]

10.Mostajabatul Da’wah (a female whose prayers are granted)

Her Titles

Mary is also referred to in the Quran as the Sign of Allah (23:50],Siddiqeh (a very truth telling female) [66:12, 5:75],Qaniteh (an obedient lady to Allah) [66:12],Mohsineh (a chaste woman) [66:12],Mohadatheh (spoken to by Angels) [3:42],Ma’soomeh (divinely protected and immaculate from sin) [3:42].

Her Biography

According to Islamic traditions Hannah (Anna) andAshyaa ’ (Elizabeth) were two sisters. The first marriedImran who was one of the outstanding figures among the Israelites. Some traditions suggest that he was even a prophet or a saint. Her sisterAshyah was married to Prophet Zachariah. Hannah was barren and for several years after her marriage, did not fall pregnant. One day, while sitting under a tree, she observed a bird on the top of the tree feeding her chicks. The scene brought her to tears and maternal love brought pain to her heart. Simultaneously, from the depth of her soul she invoked Almighty God to grant her a child. Her sincere invocation was accepted and soon after she fell pregnant withMaryam . At the same time Almighty God revealed to her husbandImran that there would be a blessed boy in his family who would heal the terminally ill and would revive the dead by the permission of God. He will also be a Messenger of God to the Israelites.

In fact, the inspiration was referring to their grandson, Jesus, but onceImran shared the inspiration with his wife she assumed that she was pregnant with a baby boy. Thus, as a gesture of thanksgiving she made a vow to free her baby for the cause of God and to be the servant of God in His House.“When the wife ofImran said, O my Lord! I have vowed toYou what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work), so accept this from me. VerilyYou are the All-Hearer the All-Knower.” [3:35]

The service of the temple was a masculine task and therefore when the baby born was a girl, she was baffled as to what she should do. She had already made a vow to free her baby for the service of the temple and at the same time no girl would be accepted by the temple authorities for any type of service. Nevertheless, she called her baby girlMaryam (a devout female) and prayed to God to keep her and her offspring aloof from Satan the Outcast.

Maryam’s father had died prior to her birth and therefore once she was old enough her mother took her to the temple and offered her as a gift to be the servant of the House of God. She also requested that one of the Rabbis or the Saints should look after her upbringing. Her beauty and innocence provoked competition amongst the Rabbis as to who should be her guardian. Finally, they agreed that they would cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be given the position of thecarer of Mary. By the will of God it sohappened that Zachariah won the lot and he became the custodian ofMaryam . In fact, he was the most suitable person to look after the Virgin Mary for not only was he a Prophet but he was also her uncle.

Prophet Zachariah enjoyed a special high respect in the temple and henceMaryam’s devotion to the temple by his request was accepted by other authorities. “So her Lord accepted her with goodly acceptance. He (Allah) made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zachariah.” [3:37]

Thus,Maryam grew up in the temple indulged in the worshipping of God and engulfed in her devotion.Maryam was only nine years of age when she was fasting throughout the days and praying throughout the nights. She soon became renowned for her devotion, chastity and piety more so than all the men and women of her time.

During this period of her life her sustenance was provided from heaven. The holy Quran with reference tothis blessing states : “Every time he (Zachariah) entered herMehrab (Worshipping room) to visit her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: O Mary! From where have you got this? She said: This is from Allah. Verily, Allah provides sustenance towhom He wills without limit.” [3:37]

Her devotion elevated her to such a height that soon she was in the presence of angels. In the holy Quran we read, “And when the angels said O Mary. Verily Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary! Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with those (angels) who bow down.” [3:42-43]

The Miraculous Virgin Conception

One day as she was praying in her isolated place of worship, suddenly angels appeared addressing her; “O Mary! Verily Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name shall be the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary held inhonour in this world and in the hereafter and will be one of those near to Allah. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.” [3:45-46]

The term ‘Word’ in the above ayah refers to the miraculous birth of Jesus by the divine command of “Be” as will be quoted from the Quran.

Nonetheless, the amazing news of having a baby whilst a virgin and having never been touched by any man was overwhelming. She invoked the Almighty and said, “O my Lord!How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?!” [3:47] Allah revealed to her, “So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only ‘Be’ and it is.” [ibid] The Almighty then revealed to her that her son would be a Messenger of Allah to the Israelites and he will be empowered with the miracles of healing those born blind and the lepers and bringing the dead back to life. At the time of this inspiration, Mary would have assumed that the glad tiding would be a far prophecy and she would be the mother of a Messenger of God after her possible marriage.

Time went by and thefulfilment of the promised glad tiding arrived. As a normal practice she had withdrawn into seclusion from her family to a place facingEast for worship where she had also placed a screen to hide herself from people for her private devotion. In absolute privacy and seclusion, whilst immersed in an ocean of adoration, the Almighty sent His angel to Mary thus informing of her conception of Jesus.

“ThenWe sent to her OurRuh (angel), and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.” Upon seeing the strange man at her private place, the resemblance of chastity and modesty felt overwhelming. She immediately said to him, “Verily I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.” The strange man (the angel) responded “I am only a messenger from your Lord to gift you a righteous son.” Mary then felt at ease, however, she immediately developed another fear as to how she could have a child whilst she was not married. Thus she said to the angel, “How can I have a son when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?” Mary at that stage was thinking of the natural way of conceiving which could be either legitimate or illegitimate. She knew that she would not fall into either of the two categories and at the same time no one had ever heard of a girl conceiving without being touched by a man. The angel of God calmed her down with his response, he said, “So (it will be), your Lord said ‘That is easy for Me and We wish to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter already decreed (by Allah).’” [19:17-21]

Mary was convinced that this was another miraculous intervention of the Almighty. The same God who had made her barren mother pregnant and has been feeding her with heavenly fruits has now decreed to miraculously make her conceive a baby boy who would be a Messenger of God. Mary had previously experienced communication of the angels with her and thus had no doubt of this divine communication.

Mary in the Furnace of Trials

Soon after the incident, Mary felt that she was pregnant and withdrew to a far off place away from people where she could be alone with her child. While she was away, the term prior to birth was completed. “The pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm.” Mary was alone in the wilderness with no relatives or midwives around her, nor yet any food or water. She said to herself, “Would that I had died before this and had been forgotten and out of sight.” The anxiety of what was to follow this most unusual of births on the one hand, and the pains oflabour on the other, overwhelmed her.

At the threshold of her trial, divine Mercy showered upon her. Suddenly, she heard a voice cry unto her from beneath her saying, “Grieve you not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you.” The heavenly voice also asked her to look at the dried tree above her how it has turned into a fruit bearing date palm. The voice continued, “And shake the trunk of the date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and be happy.”

As with regard to the social consequences of her childbirth the voice said that she did not need to talk rather that her child will defend himself. “If you see any human being say (motion), verily I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious so I shall not speak to any human being on this day.” [19:23-26]

On seeing this beautiful child, foretold and gifted by the Almighty, Mary was pleased that she had become the mother of a Messenger of God. However, at the same time she was worried about the reaction of her people. "Who will believe me that no man has touched me?" thought this most virtuous of women. "How can I explain this to the Rabbis of the temple and even Zachariah and his wife? I have been, all my life known as the most chaste and modest lady. What if people accuse me of being unchaste?" Mary whispered to herself.

A Talking New Born

Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes and finally returned to her people. Upon her arrival people were stunned to see her with an infant. Those who knew about her chastity and modesty were struck with awe and others who were jealous of her began to sneer. They said, “O Mary, indeed you have brought a strange thing.” It was customary among the Jews that when they wanted to praise the virtues of a person they would refer to them as the brother/sister of Aaron, therefore they addressed Mary, “O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor was your mother an unchaste woman!” Accusations and questions were thrown at her from all directions. She quietly pointed to her baby, meaning that the infant would explain himself. People were all the more outraged and assumed that she was mocking them, thus, with contempt they questioned, “How can we talk to one who is a child in the crib?” To everyone`s amazement the infant began to speak. He said, “Verily, I am a slave of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet. And He has made me blessedwheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. And dutiful to my mother and made me not arrogant, unblessed. And peacebe upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive. Such is Jesus son of Mary. It is a statement of truth about which they dispute.” [19:27-33]

The Miraculous Virgin Conception in Judo-Christian Tradition

The Jews have denied, entirely, the miraculous virgin conception of Prophet Jesus. They have, even further, accused the Virgin Mary (peacebe upon her) withunchastity .

Christians hold various stands with regard to this miracle. Disbelief in the virgin-birth has been referred to by many early Christian writers such as Origen as ‘madness and blasphemy’, and ‘heresy’ by St. Augustine. Modern liberal Christian theologians, however, have generally rejected the virgin conception and classify it as a religious myth. They argue that St. Paul has never mentioned the virgin birth anywhere in his writings. Also the genealogy of Jesus according to Matthew, it is stated that he is of the seed of David (Matthew 1) and this is confirmed by St. Paul in Romans 1. Though in both Matthew (1) and Luke (3) it is shown that he is from the line of David, but through Joseph, not Mary. Among the Gospels only Matthew and Luke dealt with the story of the virgin birth, though with some differences. Some theologians argue that the original text of the third Gospel (Luke) began with our present third chapter, the first two chapters being a later addition. The same is suggested for the first chapter of Matthew. Most Catholics, however, still believe in the doctrine of the virgin conception of Jesus.

Once again, thanksbe to the Almighty Allah that in His Glorious Quran He revealed the true story of the miraculous birth of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) with no obscurity.

Science & the Miraculous Virgin Conception

The concept of the miraculous virgin-birth of Prophet Jesus is an article of faith for the Muslims. Faithful people acknowledge the fact that the laws of nature are created by the Almighty and are subjugated to His Might. Thus, miracles occur in nature by the Will of Allah. The creation of Jesus without a father is easier to comprehend than the creation of Adam from soil. Thus, the holy Quran states: “Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” and he was.” [3:59]

Nonetheless, modern embryology has proven this so-called ancient fable to be a possible fact. The term for the virgin birth is referred to in biology as ‘parthenogenesis’. Parthenogenesis is the production of new individuals from virgin females by means of ova which have the power of developing without the intervention of the male element. It is the production, without fertilization. This type of production occurs naturally in some insects and reptiles. Until the new discovery in April 2004 embryologists used to believe that it does not naturally occur in mammals. On 22 April 2004 ABC broadcasted news of the world’s first mammalian virgin birth. A team of Japanese and Korean scientists announced that their laboratory mouse, reproduced without the aid of a father. The detailed news was also printed in the 22 April 2004 issue of the renowned scientific journal of Nature. The Australian embryologist, Professor Patrick Tam, who co-wrote a commentary in the same issue of the journal said: “I was amazed because this hasn’t been possible before.”

The Immaculate Conception

The Roman Catholic Church has proclaimed a dogma called ‘Immaculate Conception’ since the 19th century. According to this dogma Mary was conceived without original sin. They further teach that Mary was also freed from actual sin by a special grace of God. Catholics confirm their dogma with a couple of IsraeliteAhadith narrated inBukhari and Muslim. According to theseAhadith Abu-Hurayrah allegedly narrated from the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w ): “No children of Adam are born but Satan has touched them save Mary and her son!” The finger print of Satan is so obvious in theseAhadith . The implication of the above forgedHadith is that all the Messengers of God including Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w ) as well as any other human being are all born sinful except Prophet Jesus and his mother.

This narration is in absolute contradiction of variousAyaat of the Quran as well as that of common sense. It is also obviously the cultivation of the Christian dogma of Original Sin. I refuted the dogma of ‘Original Sin’ in the story of Prophet Adam.

The Date and the Place of the Birth of Jesus

According to the Gospel of Luke, Mary and Joseph left Galilee for Bethlehem to register for tax. “While they were in Bethlehem her days were completed to give birth, and she bore her first-born son, whom she wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” [2:7]

A ‘Manger’ is a trough or a container usually in a barn or stable from which cattle or horses feed. Although Luke is not explicit as to whether or not they were accommodated in a stable, for two reasons this is the most likely. Firstly, Luke indicates that there was no room for them in the inn and secondly the baby is placed in a trough. Therefore, according to Luke Jesus is believed to be born in a stable beside the cattle!

The Quran, as is its usual style, does not mention any details of the place and the date of the birth of Prophet Jesus. The place of thelabour , however, according to the Quran was under a dried date-palm tree that miraculously became a fruit-bearing tree for Mary. Thus, the birth of Jesus must have been in an outdoor place somewhere away from the town, out of sight of her people. The holy Quran mentions no human companion with Mary at the time of her delivery.

The Date of Jesus’ Birth

The Gospels date the birth of Jesus somewhat 10 years apart. Matthew in his second chapter states that Jesus was born when Herod (the King of Judea) was still alive, no later than 3 or 4 BC. Luke, on the other hand, in his second chapter states that Jesus was born whenQuirinius was the governor of Syria, which did not take place until at least ten years after Herod’s death. Christians in justification of the above contradiction suggest thatQuirinius was appointed twice as a governor. Unfortunately, history does not support this suggestion. Thus, historically there is no evidence that so far 2004 years have passed since the birth of Prophet Jesus.

Was Jesus Born on 25 December?

Most Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 25 December of every year except the Armenian Christians who celebrate it on 6 January. Unfortunately, neither of the above celebrations have biblical proof.

According to Luke at the time of the birth of Jesus, the shepherds tended their flocks in the fields at night. “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields.” [Luke2:8] December in Bethlehem is in the middle of a freezing, cold and rainy winter and no shepherds would have kept their flock outdoors. Keeping the flocks in the field would be more possible sometime in August or September. The holy Quran also confirms that the birth of Jesus could not be in the winter season, due to the fact that Mary gave birth outdoors under a date-palm. According to a Tradition narrated from ImamRedha (a.s ) Prophet Jesus was born on 25 ofThol-Qa’dah which will be on 26 June. The month of June in Bethlehem is the middle of the summer season and hence the above date in theHadith of ImamRedha (a.s ) is in accordance with the Quran and the Biblical record.

In the northern hemisphere the last days of December are the longest nights of the year, the most suitable time for parties. The celebration of the birth of Jesus on 25 December and the New Year five nights afterward would give the best opportunities for the Christians to get caught up in parties, drinking, driving and an increase of the death toll. At best, Christmas is mainly a period of celebrations and a family time. This, it must be acknowledged, has made Christmas more of a holiday than a holy day!