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islamcan.peperonity.net

+chrisT in isLam+

Chapter One: Christian Muslim Responses
Debate on TV
At the end of the debate - "Christianity and Islam" - which appeared on the SABC-TV program "Cross Questions" on Sunday 5th June 1983, the Chairman, Mr. Bill Chalmers commented: "I think it can be said from this discussion that there is, at present, somewhat more accommodation on the Islamic side for the founder of Christianity than there is on the Christian side for the founder of Islam. What the significance of that is, we leave it to you, the viewer, to determine, but I do think you will agree that it is a good thing that we are talking together."
"Bill" as he is popularly addressed, without any formalities, on all his programs, by all his panelists, is extremely charming and stupendous in his humility. He is a picture of what the Holy Qur’ân portrays of a good Christian:
"...And nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say: 'We are Christians': because among these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world. And they are not arrogant." (The Holy Qur’ân 5:82)
Jesus - His Status
Were the Muslims on the panel trying to placate the viewers out policy, deceit or diplomacy? Nothing of the kind! They were only articulating what God Almighty had commanded them to say in the Holy Qur’ân. As Muslims, they had no choice. They had said in so many words: "We Muslims believe, that Jesus was one of the mightiest messengers of God that he was the Christ, that he was born miraculously without any male intervention (which many modern-day Christians do not believe today), that he gave life to the dead by God's permission and that he healed those born blind and the lepers by god's permission. In fact, no Muslim is a Muslim if he or she does not believe in Jesus!"
Pleasant Surprise
Over 90% of the people who witnessed this debate must have been pleasantly, but skeptically, surprised. They might have not believed their ears. They must have surmised that the Muslims were playing to the gallery - that they were trying to curry favor with their fellow Christian countrymen; that if the Muslims would say a few good words about Jesus, then in reciprocation the Christians might say a few good words about Muhammed (may the peace and the blessings of God be upon all His righteous servants, Moses, Jesus, Muhammed...etc.); that I scratch your back and you scratch my back - which would be a sham or hypocrisy.
Hate Cultivated
We cannot blame the Christians for their skepticism. They have been so learned for centuries. They were trained to think the worst of the man Muhammed, (salla Allah u alihi wa sallam), and his religion. How aptly did Thomas Carlyle say about his Christian brethren over a hundred and fifty years ago: "The lies which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammed) are disgraceful to ourselves only." We Muslims are partly responsible for this. We have not done anything substantial to remove the cobwebs.
Ocean of Christianity
South Africa is an ocean of Christianity. If Libya boasts the highest percentage of Muslims on the continent of Africa, then the Republic of South Africa would also be entitled to boast the highest percentage of Christians. In this ocean of Christianity the R.S.A. - the Muslims are barely 2% of the total population. We are a vote less minority - numerically, we count for nothing; politically, we count for nothing; and economically, one white man, as Oppenheimer, could buy out the whole lot of us, lock, stock and barrel.
So if we had feigned to appease, we might be excused. But no! We must proclaim our Master's Will; we must declare the Truth, whether we liked it or not. In the words of Jesus: "Seek ye the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).

Chapter Two: Jesus in the Qur’ân
Christians Unaware
The Christian does not know that the true spirit of charity which the Muslim displays, always, towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of his faith - the Holy Qur’ân. He does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Jesus, in his own language, without saying Eesa, alaihi assalam ("Jesus, peace be upon him")
The Christian does not know that in the Holy Qur’ân Jesus is mentioned twenty five times. For example:
"We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (The Holy Qur’ân 2:87)
"O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary..." (3:45)
"...Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of god..." (4:171)
"...And in their foot steps we sent Jesus the son of Mary..." (5:46)
"And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous." (6:85)
Jesus - His Titles
Though Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty-five places in the Holy Qur’ân, he is also addressed with respect as: Ibn Maryam, meaning "The son of Mary"; and as the Maseeh (in Hebrew it is the Messiah), which is translated as "Christ". He is also known as Abdullah, "The servant of Allah"; and as Rasul u Allah, the messenger of Allah.
He is spoken of as "The Word of God", as "The Spirit of God", as a "Sign of God", and numerous other epithets of honor spread over fifteen different chapters. The Holy Quran honors this mighty messenger of God, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years in doing the same. There is not a single disparaging remark in the entire Quran to which even the most jaundiced among the Christians can take exception.
Eesa Latinised to "Jesus"
The Holy Qur’ân refers to Jesus as Eesa, and this name is used more times than any other title, because this was his "Christian" name. Actually, his proper name was Eesa (Arabic), or Esau (Hebrew); classical Yeheshua, which the Christian nations of the West latinised as Jesus. Neither the "J" nor the second "s" in the name Jesus is to be found in the original tongue - they are not found in the Semitic languages.
The word is very simply "E S A U" a very common Jewish name, used more than sixty times in the very first booklet alone of the Bible, in the part called "Genesis". There was at least one "Jesus" sitting on the "bench" at the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. Josephus the Jewish historian mentions some twenty five Jesus' in his "Book of Antiquities". The New Testament speaks of "Bar-Jesus" a magician and a sorcerer, a false prophet (Acts 13:6); and also "Jesus-Justus" a Christian missionary, a contemporary of Paul (Colossians 4:11). These are distinct from Jesus the son of Mary. Transforming "Esau" to (J)esu(s) - Jesus - makes it unique. This unique (?) name has gone out of currency among the Jews and the Christians from the 2nd century after Christ. Among the Jews, because it came to be a name of ill - repute, the name of one who blasphemed in Jewry; and among the Christians because it came to be the proper name of their God. The Muslim will not hesitate to name his son Eesa because it is an honored name, the name of a righteous servant of the Lord.

Chapter Three: Mother And Son

Mary Honored
The birth of Jesus Christ is described in two places of the Qur’ân - chapter 3 and chapter 19. Reading from the beginning of his birth, we come across the story of Mary, and the esteemed position which she occupies in the House of Islam, before the actual annunciation of the birth of Jesus is given:
"'Behold'! the angels said: 'O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of all nations" (3:42)
"Chosen thee above the women of all nations." Such an honor is not to be found given to Mary even in the Christian Bible! The verse continues:
"O Mary! Worship thy Lord devoutly: prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." (3:43)
Divine Revelation
What is the source of this beautiful and sublime recitation which, in its original Arabic, moves men to ecstasy and tears? Verse 44 below explains:
"This is part of the tidings, of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Muhammad!) by inspiration: Thou wasn’t not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: nor wasn’t thou with them when they disputed (the point)." (3:44)
Mary's Birth
The story is that the maternal grandmother of Jesus, Hannah, had hitherto been barren. She poured out her heart to God: If only God will grant her a child, she would surely dedicate such a child for the service of God in the temple.
God granted her prayer and Mary was born. Hannah was disappointed. She was yearning for a son, but instead she delivered a daughter; and in no way is the female like the male, for what she had in mind. What was she to do? She had made a vow to God. She waited for Mary to be big enough to fend for herself.
When the time came, Hannah took her darling daughter to the temple, to hand over for temple services. Every priest wanted to be the god-father of this child. They cast lots with arrows for her - like the tossing of the coin - head or tail? 
Eventually she fell to the lot of Zakariya, but not without a dispute.
The Source of His Message
This was the story. But where did Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, get this knowledge from? He was an Ummi, Arabic for "unlettered". He did not low how to read or write. He is made by God Almighty to answer this very question in the verse above, by saying that it was all by divine inspiration. "No!", says the controversialist. "This is Mohammed’s own concoction. He copied his revelations from the Jews and Christians. He plagiarized it. He forged it."
Knowing full-well, and believing as we do, that the whole Qur’ân is the veritable Word of God, we will nevertheless agree, for the sake of argument, with the enemies of Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, for a moment, that he wrote it. We can now expect some cooperation from the unbelievers.
Ask him: "Have you any qualms in agreeing that Muhammed was an Arab?" Only an ignorant will hesitate to agree. In that case there is no sense in pursuing any discussion. Cut short the talk. Close the book!
With the man of reason, we proceed. "That this Arab, in the first instance, was addressing other Arabs. He was not talking to Indian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, or Nigerian Muslims. He was addressing his own people, the Arabs. Whether they agreed with him or not, he told them in the most sublime form, words that were seared into the hearts and minds of his listeners that Mary the mother of Jesus, a Jewess, was chosen above the women of all nations. Not his own mother, nor his wife nor his daughter, nor any other Arab woman, but a Jewess! Can one explain this? Because to everyone his own mother or wife, or daughters would come before other women.
Why would the prophet of Islam honor a woman from his opposition! and a Jewess at that! belonging to a race which had been looking down upon his people for three thousand years? Just as they still look down upon their Arab brethren today."
Sarah and Hagar
The Jews learn, from the Bible, that their father, ...
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