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How Allah Stumped Muhammad and His Followers

The Quran expressly testifies that Jesus is the Word of Allah, who proceeded from him as a Spirit and was sent down into Mary, obviously for the express purpose of becoming a flesh and blood human being:

When the angels said, ‘Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him (Kalimatin minhu) whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. S. 3:45 Artery

People of the Book! do not go to excess in your deen. Say nothing but the truth about Allah. The Messiah, ´Isa son of Maryam, was only the Messenger of Allah and His Word (Kalimatuhu), which He cast into Maryam, and a Spirit from Him (Ruhun minhu). So have iman in Allah and His Messengers. Do not say, ´Three.´ It is better that you stop. Allah is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Him. Allah suffices as a Guardian. S. 4:171 (Aisha Bewley https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/4/st6.htm; bold and italicized emphasis mine)

This is why Muslim tradition calls Jesus the Word of Allah (Kalimatullah) and the Spirit of Allah (Ruhullah):

“… They will go to ‘Isa and say, ‘O ‘Isa! You are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He cast to Maryam and a spirit from Him. You spoke to people while in the cradle. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?’ ‘Isa will say, ‘My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again,’ AND HE DID NOT MENTION A SIN. ‘O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.’ (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-BukhariChapter 68. Book of Tafsir; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

It is narrated on the authority of Ubadah b. Samit that the messenger of Allah observed: HE WHO SAID: “There is no god but Allah, He is One and there is no associate with Him, that Muhammad is his servant and His messenger, that Christ is servant and the son of His slave-girl and he (Christ) HIS WORD which He communicated to Mary and is HIS SPIRIT, that Paradise is a fact and Hell is a fact,” Allah would make him (he who affirms these truths enter Paradise through any one of its eight doors which he would like. (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0043)

And here are some Islamic fairytales about Jesus where he is expressly called the Spirit of Allah:

“Jesus continued his mission, aided by divine miracles. Some Qur’anic commentators said that Jesus brought four people back from the dead: a friend of his named Al-‘Azam, an old woman’s son, and a woman’s only daughter. These three had died during his lifetime. When the Jews saw this they said: ‘You only resurrect those who have died recently; perhaps they only fainted.’ They asked him to bring back to life Sam the [sic] Ibn Noah.

“When he asked them to show him his grave, the people accompanied him there. Jesus invoked Allah the Exalted to bring him back to life and behold, Sam the [sic] Ibn Noah came out from the grave gray-haired. Jesus asked: ‘How did you get gray hair, when there was no aging in your time?’ He answered: ‘O, Spirit of Allah, I thought that the Day of Resurrection had come; from the fear of that day my hair turned gray.’” (Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir, translated by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Geme’ah, Office of the Grand Imam, Sheikh Al-Ahzar, edited by Aelfwine Acelas Mischler [El-Nour For Publishing and Distribution and Translation Est.; 38 Al-Madina Al-Monawara St., Toryl Al-Gadida], pp. 347-348; bold emphasis mine)

And:

“Jesus suddenly prostrated and his disciples with him. They sensed a fragrance which they had never smelled before. Jesus said: ‘The one who is the most devout and most righteous may uncover the table, that we might eat of it to thank Allah for it.’ They said: ‘O Spirit of Allah you are the most deserving.’

“Jesus stood up, then performed ablution and prayed before uncovering the table, and behold, there was a roasted fish. The disciples said: ‘O Spirit of Allah, is that the food of this world or of Paradise? Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Did not Allah forbid you to ask questions?’ It is the divine power of Allah the Almighty Who said: “Be,” and it was. It is a sign from Almighty Allah warning of great punishment for unbelieving mortals of the world. This is the kernel of the matter.’

“It is said that thousands of people partook of it, and yet they never exhausted it. A further miracle was that the blind and lepers were cured.

“The Day of the Table became one of the holy days for the disciples and followers of Jesus. Later on, the disciples and followers forgot the real essence of the miracles, and so they worshiped Jesus as a god.” (Ibid., p. 351; bold emphasis mine)

Finally:

“While they were on their way, suddenly they came to a huge lion in the middle of the road; and they were alarmed. But Jesus said to them, ‘Put me before him.’ When they sat him in front of the lion, he took hold of the lion’s ear and said, ‘What made you sit here?’

“The lion said, ‘O Spirit of God, I am waiting for an ox to come to me so that I can eat it.’

“‘The ox might belong to poor people,’ said Jesus. ‘Go to such-and-such place, where you will find a camel. Eat it and leave the ox to its owners.’ So the lion went off in the direction of the mountain.” (Muhammad ibn ‘abd Allah al-Kisa’i, Tales of the Prophets (Qisas al-anbiya’), translated by Wheeler M. Thackson Jr. [Great Books of the Islamic World, Inc., 1997], 86. Jesus son of Mary, p. 330; bold emphasis mine)

It is obvious that Jesus is called the Spirit of Allah precisely because of the Quran’s teaching that Christ already existed as a Spirit alongside Allah when he was then sent forth from Allah’s own presence into Mary in order to become a man.

Here’s where the problem lay for Muslims. According to the Islamic expositors, these verses that describe Jesus as Allah’s Word and Spirit are among the unclear, ambiguous passages that no one knows their precise meanings besides Allah:

It is He who has sent down to you (Muhammad) the book (this Qur’an). In it are Verses absolutely clear, they are the basis of the book; and others are not entirely clear. As for those in whose hearts there is deviation (from the truth), they follow what is unclear thereof, seeking mischief, and seeking for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: “We believe in it, all from our Lord.” None will heed except the people of understanding. S. 3:7 (Abdul Hye https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/3/st75.htm)

It is He who has sent down to you the Book. Some of its verses are precise in meaning they are the foundation of the Book and others obscure. Those whose hearts are swerving with disbelief, follow the obscure desiring sedition and desiring its interpretation, but no one knows its interpretation except Allah. Those who are wellgrounded in knowledge say: ‘We believe in it, it is all from our Lord. And none remember except those who are possessed of minds. (Hasan al-Fatih Qaribullah https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/3/st16.htm)

Note, for instance, what renowned Muslim scholar and historian al-Tabari wrote:

OPINION: Some of them said: This verse referred to the Christian delegation from Najran, which came to the Messenger of God to debate with him over what they debated and argue with him, saying, “Do you not claim that Jesus is the Spirit of God and His Word?”1 They interpreted [these words] in a manner consistent with their statement of disbelief.

An account of those who said that:

Al-Muthanna – Ibn Ishaq – Ibn Abi Ja’far – his father – al-Rabi’: “They were resolute-meaning the Christian delegation from Najran that came to the Messenger of God-and they argued with the Prophet, saying, ‘Do you not claim that [Jesus] is the Word of God and a Spirit from Him?’ [The Prophet said] replied, ‘BUT, OF COURSE!’ They said, ‘This is sufficient for us!’ Then God (Mighty and Majesty is He) sent down, But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue that which is ambiguous of it, seeking (to cause) dissension. Then God (Majestic is His praise) sent down the verse [beginning with] Truly the likeness of Jesus with respect to God is as the likeness of Adam (Q. 3:59).”2

1 Jesus is described as His Word and a Spirit from Him in Q. 4:171.

2 According to Suyuti, this mursal hadith from al-Rabi’ is found elsewhere only in the Qur’anic commentary of Ibn Abi Hatim; al-Durr al-manthur, 2:10. (Tabari: Selections from The Comprehensive Exposition of the Interpretation of the Verses of the Qur’an, translated by Scott C. Lucas [The Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute For Islamic Thought and The Islamic Texts Society, 2017], Volume 1, p. 229; capital emphasis mine)

And here’s what another leading Muslim expositor and scholar stated in respect to this verse:

(they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof) meaning, they refer to the Mutashabih, because they are able to alter its meanings to conform with their false interpretation since the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings. As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people. This is why Allah said…

(seeking Al-Fitnah) meaning, they seek to misguide their following by pretending to prove their innovation by relying on the Qur’an — the Mutashabih of it — but, this is proof against and not for them. For instance, Christians might claim that (`Isa is divine because) the Qur’an states that he is Ruhullah and His Word, which He gave to Mary, all the while ignoring Allah’s statements…

(He (`Isa) was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him.) (43:59), and…

(Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” and he was.) (3:59).

There are other Ayat that clearly assert that `Isa is but one of Allah’s creatures and that he is the servant and Messenger of Allah, among other Messengers. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/3/7; bold emphasis mine)

What this shows is that no Muslim can ever explain what it means for Jesus to be the Word and Spirit of Allah, since no one, not even Muhammad, can ever know the interpretation of these titles seeing that they are a part of those obscure and unclear passages whose exact meanings are known only to Allah.

Seeing that the Quran fails to explain what these titles mean, with Muhammadans being forbidden by their deity to interpret their meanings, their interpretation is therefore left up to God’s Word, the Holy Bible. After all, the Muslims are expressly commanded to ask the Jews and Christians if they are in doubt about anything concerning biblical figures and/or stories:

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall

And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses. S. 17:101 Pickthall

And We sent not before you (O Muhammad) but men to whom We inspired, so ask the people of the Reminder [Scriptures – the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel)] if you do not know. S. 21:7 Hilali-Khan

With that said, here’s how God’s Word explains these titles:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came as a witness in order to testify concerning the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not this Light, but was sent in order to testify concerning the Light. The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’ We have all received from His fullness grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John 1:1-18

“So it is written, ‘The first man Adam was made a living soul.’ The last Adam was made a life-giving spirit. However, that which is spiritual is not first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man was the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

The reason why Jesus is called the Word of God and a life-giving Spirit is that he is the Father’s perfect Revelation and Agent of creation that brought all created things into existence and who gives life to all creatures.

In other words, he is the Word because he perfectly reveals what God is like since he himself is God by nature. He is Spirit because, being God, he has eternally existed as an immaterial, incorporeal, bodiless Being who came down from heaven for the express purpose of becoming flesh, e.g. human, in order to redeem fallen creation from the power of Satan, sin, and death by offering his soul on the cross as an atoning sacrifice:

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.’” John 1:29

“I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and am known by My own. Even as the Father knows Me, so I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must also bring them, and they will hear My voice. There will be one flock and one shepherd. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I received this command from My Father.” John 10:14-18

“This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:50-51

“Now, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which you have received, and in which you stand. Through it you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: how Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and was seen by Cephas, and then by the twelve. Then He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain to this present time, though some have passed away. Then He was seen by James and then by all the apostles. Last of all, He was seen by me also, as by one born at the wrong time. For I am the least of the apostles and am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am`. And His grace toward me was not in vain. I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-10

“that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them, and has entrusted to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us. We implore you in Christ’s stead: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

Ironically, the Quran actually agrees with God’s inspired Word that Jesus is the Life-giver since it testifies that Christ creates and gives life to the dead in the same way that God does:

And [he will be] a messenger to the Children of Israel, “Truly I have brought you a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay the shape of a bird. Then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird by God’s Leave. And I will heal the blind and the leper and give life to the dead by God’s Leave. And I will inform you about what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Truly in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. (The Study Quran https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/3/st70.htm)

When He shall say: O Jesus! Son of Mary! call to mind my favour upon thee and upon thy mother, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, that thou shouldest speak to men alike in the cradle, and when grown up; – And when I taught thee the Scripture, and Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel: and thou didst create of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by my leave, and didst breathe into it, and by my leave it became a bird; and thou didst heal the blind and the leper, by my leave; and when, by my leave, thou didst bring forth the dead; and when I withheld the children of Israel from thee, when thou hadst come to them with clear tokens: and such of them as believed not said, “This is nought but plain sorcery;” S. 5:110 Rodwell

We thus have Allah stumping Muhammad-in fact, embarrassing him-by having him affirm specific titles of Christ that clearly point to Jesus’ eternal prehuman existence, which Christians employed against him to prove that Christ is God in the flesh. Allah then had Muhammad come up with the rather pathetic excuse that such verses, which plainly testify to Jesus’ divinity, are unclear whose interpretation is known only to Allah.

One wonders why did Allah even bother “sending down” such ambiguous, vague, incoherent, unintelligible texts when he supposedly knew that they would be used against Muhammad to embarrass him and to expose contradictions within his so called revelation?

After all, the Muslim deity is supposed to be omniscient, and an omniscient being would know better than to “reveal” passages that would be used to expose both himself and his supposed prophet. Therefore, why not just send down the clear texts whose meanings are apparent to everyone and save Muhammad from such humiliation?

Be that as it may, one thing remains certain. NO Muslim can tell us what the titles “the Word of Allah” and “the Spirit of Allah” actually mean in regards to Christ since their own prophet expressly taught that no one knows their interpretation except Allah.

So much for the Quran being the revelation of God and for Jesus being nothing more than a human messenger.

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