There are many claims that people make about things they dislike. The motivation behind these claims are almost always the desire to disprove something that one is uncomfortable with. It is this uncomfortable nature and dislike that leads one to unintentionally and in some cases intentionally mislead their audience in an attempt to sway people to their side. Perhaps it is to win applause and admiration from their followers. Maybe it is the desire to maintain the right to brag of a well fought victory, Allah (God) knows. What ever the motivation the truth is we end up harming ourselves and our audience when our intention is to disprove and win instead of learn and share.
Emotion and pride often play into this motivation as well and there are times that the idea of loosing for some becomes so unbearable that the approach is to devote time on subjective study to prove others wrong by any means necessary. Be it selective reading, out of context quotes and the oh so common all around lies by omission the result is the same; a narrow minded subjective view of snippets of information.
To better understand the point we can examine a claim I received in a message on Facebook. The statement begins with, “The Author of the Qur’an admitted Jesus is God without realizing it!”
There are a number of points to address the “Without realizing it claim” and In shaa’Allah, God willing, we will examine each one in the coming weeks.
The author of the Qur’an admitted Jesus has the power to CREATE, even breathing the breath of life into His creations (Qur’an [3:49], [5:110]). We know from the Bible that ONLY God has the power to create. Jesus is the ETERNAL WORD and CREATOR (John 1:1-3); Jesus is GOD.
To a subjective audience it sounds straight forward enough but if we look to the Qur’an we can verify the validity of the claim that Islam teaches Jesus is God and has the power of creation.
To start off we Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the Verbatim word of Allah (God). This means it is not inspired and preserved in the words of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Nor is it the paraphrased words of eye witness’s but it is the Literal Words of God.
One other very important point that we need to mention before we dive into the “halal meat” of the claim is that as Muslims we agree 100% that only Allah (God) has the ability to create.
Now if we examine the first ayat (verse, sign, proof, etc.) mentioned we will notice an extremely overlooked but repeated point that does not support the claim that Islam teaches Jesus has the power to create life.
And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.
Surat ‘Āli `Imrān (Family of Imran) [3:49]
Remember the claim is that Islam supports the idea that Jesus peace be upon him performed a miracle by creating life and that since only God creates life then Jesus must be God. Also remember that the claim is used in an attempt to say that the Qur’an supports the Christian doctrines and understanding of who Jesus is and it may seem to exist in the verse mentioned except that one very important statement is mentioned, repeated and for some reason overlooked. “By permission of Allah!” It is a very clear statement that is repeated for emphasis as a reminder to Muslims and the People of the Book, Christians and Jews that Allah is not like His creation and that everyone and everything we know is part of that creation. It also tells us that we should not forget that events occur only by the permission of Allah and not by our own doing.
We could remove the portion of the verse, “By permission of Allah!” to be able to support the claim that Jesus created life by breathing into the clay bird, healed the blind, the leper and raised the dead but then we would be lying and committing a very sinful act. We would be changing the words and meanings of the literal words of Allah (God).
That’s one verse down and some might feel confident that this alone is enough to not proceed further but for the sake of honesty and complete transparency we will address the second piece of evidence from Surat Al-Mā’idah (The Table Spread).
(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). “O ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus [The Holy Spirit Jibrael, Angel Gabriel] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’ “
Surat Al-Mā’idah (The Table Spread) [5:110]
With similar references to Prophet Isa (Jesus) peace be upon him we see the same repeated statement where Allah reminds us with, “My Permission.”
We can of course take things a little further and ask the same question of Prophet Musa (Moses) peace be upon him and the miracles he performed we most assuredly will get the response that Musa turned his staff to a snake not because he was God but because he was able to do so by the permission of God.
“And throw your stick!” But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and looked not back. (It was said): “O Musa (Moses)! Draw near, and fear not. Verily, you are of those who are secure.
Surat Al-Qaşaş (The Stories) [28:31]
Musa was able to split the sea not because he was God but because he was able to do so by the permission of God.
Then We inspired Musa (Moses) (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain.
Surat Ash-Shu`arā’ (The Poets) [26:63]
Christians have their own view as to who Isa (Jesus) is peace be upon him and that is their right but as we can clearly see according to Islam and the Qur’an miracles are by the permission of Allah alone. Whether it is parting the sea, transforming creation or creating life from nothing and if Allah has chosen me, you or any other part of His creation to perform a miracle it all comes down to the same. It is by His permission and not by any power of our own.
Translations of the meaning of the Qur’an provided by Mushin Khan