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Is Jesus greater than Muhammad?

Many are unaware that the Qur’an mentions Jesus in several of its Surahs. For example, Surah 3:45 says “(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah).”

The Qur’an mentions Muhammad as too. For example Surah 38:1-2 says, “The revelation of the Scripture is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise. Lo! We have revealed the Scripture unto thee (Muhammad) with truth; so worship Allah, making religion pure for Him (only).”

The Supremacy of Jesus

The Qur’an is complementary toward Jesus, but how do the Surahs about Jesus compare with similar Surahs about Muhammad? Do the Surahs about Jesus indicate his supremacy over Muhammad? Let’s compare a few Surahs about Jesus and Muhammad.

Jesus is Born of a virgin but Muhammad is mortal

  • Jesus: She [Mary] said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. Surah 19:20-21
  • Muhammad: Say (unto them O Muhammad): I am only a mortal like you. Surah 41:6

Jesus could speak from birth

  • Jesus: Then she brought him (Jesus) to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. Then she pointed to him [Jesus]. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? He [Jesus] spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet, And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive, And (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest. Surah 19:27-32
  • Jesus: When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; Surah 5:110

Jesus heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, resuscitates the dead, and creates

  • Jesus: … and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic; Surah 5:110

Jesus is faultless and righteous but Muhammad must be forgiven

  • Jesus: And remember when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah). He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his manhood, and he is of the righteous. Surah 3:45-46
  • Jesus: She [Mary] said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art Allah-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son [Jesus]. Surah 19:18-19
  • Muhammad: Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. Surah 40:55
  • Muhammad: So know (O Muhammad) that there is no Allah save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest. Surah 47:19
  • Muhammad: “Lo! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory, That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favor unto thee, and may guide thee on a right path. Surah 48:1-2

Those who follow Jesus are above those who disbelieve

  • Jesus: (And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. As for those who disbelieve I shall chastise them with a heavy chastisement in the world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers. And as for those who believe and do good works, He will pay them their wages in full. Allah loveth not wrong-doers. This (which) We recite unto thee is a revelation and a wise reminder. Surah 3:55-58

Even the Titles for Jesus in the Qur’an Seem to Indicate his Supremacy

The Messiah (Al-Masih): Jesus is given this title eleven times in the Qur’an. Surahs 3:45, 4:157, 4:171, 4:172, 5:17, 5:72, 5:75; 9:30, 9:31

The Word of God (Kalimatullah): Jesus is also called “His Word” in Surah 4:171, meaning the Word of God. In Surah 3:45 we also read that the angels said to Mary “Allah giveth thee glad tidings of “a word from Him”, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary”. More than once in the Qur’an, therefore, Jesus is called God’s Word.

A Spirit From God (Ruhullah): Jesus is called a “spirit from Him” Surah 4:171 and 58:22. Very significantly Yusuf Ali, commenting on this latter verse in his translation of the Qur’an states that here the “phrase used is stronger” than that for the Holy Spirit (Ruhul Quds). He implies that the Spirit from God is greater than the Holy Spirit and says that it is “the divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature and attributes of God”.

Jesus is Supreme and the Only Way to God

Jesus is unique. The Bible was written over a period of 1400 years and yet the single thread that runs from Genesis to Revelation is Jesus, the savior of the world. Only in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus can man be saved. The Bible records these words of Jesus in John 14:6 : “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Acts 4:12 adds “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” It is undeniable that all people experience sin. Only Christianity recognizes that man is depraved and in need of a savior. Only Christianity recognizes the savior that God sent to save people from the condemnation due them because of sin.

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Is Allah’s Forgiveness Free or Based on Your Works Alone?

Allah is a maximally great and holy God. Allah is perfect and righteous. He does not tolerate evil and he judges rightly by punishing those who do evil and think evil thoughts. Have you disobeyed Allah? Have you lived up to Allah’s expectations? Is Allah’s forgiveness based on the adequacy of your works or does he offer forgiveness as a free gift?

Allah Judges Sinners Based on their Works

  • “That is because Allah never changeth the grace He hath bestowed on any people until they first change that which is in their hearts, and (that is) because Allah is Hearer, Knower.” Surah 8:53;
  • “But lo! many are led astray by their own lusts through ignorance. Lo! thy Lord, He is Best Aware of the transgressors. Forsake the outwardness of sin and the inwardness thereof. Lo! those who garner sin will be awarded that which they have earned.” Surah 6:119-120
  • “They were mightier than these in power and (in the) traces (which they left behind them) in the earth. Yet Allah seized them for their sins, and they had no protector from Allah.” Surah 40:21

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that Allah’s forgiveness is based on your good works alone. Consider these passages from the Qur’an.

  • Do they not know that Allah makes ample the means of subsistence to whom He pleases, and He straitens; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe? Say: O my servants! Who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful. And return to your Lord time after time and submit to Him before there comes to you the punishment, then you shall not be helped. And follow the best that has been revealed to you from your Lord before there comes to you the punishment all of a sudden while you do not even perceive… Surah 39:53-55
  • Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans – whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right – surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. And (remember, O Children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil). Surah 2:63-63
  • And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. Surah 9:71

All have sinned both outwardly and inwardly. None of us are perfect. Shall any then escape the right judgment of Allah when he is punished for his sin? If you respond that Allah forgives those who believe in him, how can that be? Does Allah commit an evil act by rewarding those who have sinned? On what basis will Allah be a righteous judge if he rewards sinners? The Qur’an clearly states that we will not be wronged in judgment. It says we will all receive what we deserve.

  • “And Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth and that every soul may be rewarded for what it has earned and they shall not be wronged.” Surah 45:22

So then, what reward will you receive from Allah? Since sin is punished and all have sinned, will not all who believe in Allah be punished?

A More Excellent Way

There is a righteous judge who does not commit evil by judging wrongly. He forgives sinners not on the basis of their evil acts but on the basis of a substitutionary sacrifice. This righteous judge will punish all people who do not receive the free gift, the substitutionary sacrifice, being offered to them. This free gift is a righteousness that is credited to us by the sacrifice of a perfectly obedient life given in the person and work of Jesus. For even the Qur’an says:

  • She [Mary] said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art Allah-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son [Jesus]. Surah 19:18-19

The free gift of eternal reward is exceedingly good news. It is available to all and could be summed up in this way:

  • God is maximally holy
  • We have all sinned against God
  • Sinners cannot be in the presence of a maximally holy God
  • God sent Jesus to die as a once and for all perfect sacrificial offering for us.
  • In his death Jesus took our sin on himself and credited to us his righteousness
  • If we receive the free gift of Jesus, then we receive an eternal reward not based on our righteousness, but based on the righteous of Jesus
  • Having therefore received the righteousness of Jesus, we respond with praise and sacrificial living

Consider these passages from the Bible on the radical nature of God’s forgiveness through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus for those who receive him.

  • But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Romans 9:6:16
  • And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:33–34
  • Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:12–15
  • And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:4-12

Will you receive the free gift of forgiveness that God has offered in Jesus?

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Does Allah Really Love You?

I love those who love Allah because they are made in God’s image. I love the zeal and passion they show in following what they believe. I wish that some of my Christian friends would exhibit this same sort of zeal and passion for following God! Because of the love and respect I have for my Muslim friends, I hope they will tolerate my frank and honest discussion as well as this additional question.

Does Allah really love you?

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I could only find two Surahs that mention Allah’s love for his people:

  • “Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”. Surah 3:31
  • “Never stand in it; certainly a masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it; in it are men who love that they should be purified; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. Surah 9:108

These passages say that Allah loves his people but they seem to be conditional. In Surah 3:31 it appears Allah will love you only if you love him. In Surah 9:108 it appears that Allah will love you if you purify yourself. Is that how you understand them? Is Allah’s love conditional?

Love is the greatest of all ethics. I would have expected Allah, if he is a maximally great God, to exhibit the greatest of all ethics in a maximally great way, but I just don’t see that in him. Am I missing something here?

A Truly Loving God

I performed the very same search using the Bible as well. In contrast I found 29 passages that mention God’s love for us. Among the passages that tell of God’s love are these:

  • “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”.
    1 John 4:7-11
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Romans 8:38-39
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
  • “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions”. Psalm 51:1
  • “Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever”. Psalm 136:2
  • “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word”.
    2 Thessalonians 16-17

God Did for Us What We Could Not Do for Ourselves

The God of Christianity is a maximally holy God. He cannot be in the presence of sin, but he saw that we could not rescue ourselves from sin, so in his mercy he provided a way of rescue for us. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. (2 Corinthians 5:21) We were bound to the law of sin and death because we could not live up to God’s standard, but God willingly sacrificed his one and only son “so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:5). That is how a maximally great God shows love in a maximally great way!

I know my Muslim friends are now thinking that I believe in three Gods. May it never be! There is one God. All Christians believe that there is one God who is revealed to us in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one God is eternally one in essence and eternally distinct in three persons. This allows God to express all the range emotions that we feel in a maximally great way – even before the creation of the universe. That is something that the lonely Allah could not do before creation (I mean no disrespect in saying that – it just seems to follow from what I know about Allah – please correct me if I’m wrong). The idea of a triune God, a God who is three in one, is hard for us to comprehend but perhaps we can apprehend who he is. We have to remember that we are finite beings and God is an infinite God. Actually we are finite “becomings” because we are not yet what God intends us to be. God is the only one who has eternal being. God has condescended to reveal himself to us – even to the point of becoming one of us to suffer in our place. He saw our suffering and chose to suffer with us. That is a maximally great love!

God has given us a free gift as so well described in Romans 5:6-10. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” So then, we are justified by faith just as Abraham was. For Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Galatians 3:6). “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith”. (Galatians 3:7-9 & Genesis 12:3)

God is offering you the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. Will you put your faith in Christ and receive him as your savior?

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