Archive for the 'Islamic view of Jesus' Category

The Father of Jesus

Posted by Pelgrim on 16th December 2008

Indubitaly no man is born fatherless;
Only one Jesus exists in the world.

- Shabestari

The Sufis believe that Jesus was born of Mary through the breath of the Holy Spirit, and had no physical father.
The Qoran describes the Divine animation of man as a breathing of God’s Spirit unto the human frame, using the the same expression for the generation of Jesus as for the creation of Adam, that is, by a blowing of the Divine Breath, respectively, into the womb of Mary and into the clay of Adam’s body - a breath which is none other than the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

What the Sufis understand by a reference to the concept of ‘Father’ with respect to Jesus, such as when the Gospel quotes Jesus as saying, “I go to the Father” (John 16:16), is that the saints are the spiritual children of the Divine, so that Jesus as a saint, can be regarded as just such a ’spiritual offspring’.

As Rumi puts it,

My boy,
All the saints are sons of God:
Whether here or there, present or absent,
Always aware, vigilant and awake.

Shaikh Shabestari provides a lyrical rendering of this concept in his Golshan-e raz:

First the suckling infant,
Bound to a cradle, is sustained on milk,
Then, when mature, becomes a wayfarer;
If a man, he travels with his father.

The elements of nature for you
Resemble an earthborn mother,
You, a son whose father
Is a patriarch from on high.

So Jesus proclaimed upon ascension:
“I go to my Father (Abba) above.”
You too, favorite of your father,
Set forth for your Father!

Your fellow-travelers went on;
you too pass on!
If you wish to be a bird in flight,
Leave the world’s carcass to vultures.

In his commentary on the Golshan-e ráz, Shaikh Làhiji explains the concepts of the Holy Spirit (ruh al-qodos) and the ‘Spirit of God’ (ruho’lláh), which appear in another part of Shabestari’s work, verse by verse in the following manner:

Within the inner court of holy Oneness
Lies the soul’s monastery.
Perch of the Simorgh of Subsistence.

(The commentator, Làhiji): That is to say, the inner court of sanctum of holy Oneness (wahdat) of the Divine Essence, which transcends and is hallowed from all blemish of multiplicity (katharat), is the soul’s monastery (dair-e jan), and the temple (ma’bad) of the Christians, that is to say, the community of the prophet Jesus. Hence, the holy monastery of Divine Unity is the house of worship for the soul, the human spirit (ruh-e ensani), the origin of which is the World of Supra-Formal Entities (‘alam-e tajarrod). This sanctum of Divine Oneness is the soul’s temple and the roost of the Simorgh of true Subsistence (baqa) because the wellspring and reality of Subsistence is Divine Oneness, unblemished and consecrated from all contrariness and disparity generated through mortal annihilation (fana).
By realisation of this station (maqam), Jesus was graced with life and immortality. Since pure freedom from the bondage of custom, convention, blind imitation, and habit, which Christianity (tarsa’i) exemplifies, was manifested by Jesus, the poet further comments:
From the Spirit of God sprang this attainment,
Brought forth by the Holy Spirit.

The ‘attainment’ here implied is that of dispassion, detachment and emancipation from the bondage of multiplicity and habit, all of which Christianity represents, and consequent at-one-ment with the spiritual level and monastery of the Divine Essence in its sacred Oneness. Such labour was manifested by Jesus (as the ‘Spirit of God’). No previous prophet, however graced with the virtues of perfection, ever quite attained his degree.

Nurbakhsh, Dr. Javad. Jesus in the Eyes of the Sufis.Terry Graham, et al. Trans.
London: Khaniqahi-Nimatullahi Publications, 1983.

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I bear witness that Jesus, the son of Mary, is the spirit/Ruh

Posted by Pelgrim on 3rd October 2008

The letter of Muhammad to Negus, king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

Al-Baihaqi, on the authority of Ibn Ishaq, gave the following narration of the Prophet’s letter sent to Negus:
“This letter is sent from Muhammad, the Prophet to Negus Al-Ashama, the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Peace be upon him who follows true guidance and believes in Allâh and His Messenger. I bear witness that there is no god but Allâh Alone with no associate, He has taken neither a wife nor a son, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I call you unto the fold of Islam; if you embrace Islam, you will find safety,

“Say [O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)]: ‘O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allâh, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allâh.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ ” [The Holy Quran, 3:64]

Should you reject this invitation, then you will be held responsible for all the evils of the Christians of your people.”

Prof Dr. Hamidullah (1909 - 2002), a reliable verifier, has adduced a version of the above letter disclosed only a short time ago and identical to Ibn Al-Qaiyim’s narration. Dr. Hameedullah exerted painstaking effort and used all means of modern technology to verify the text of the letter, which reads as follows:
“In the Name of Allâh,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. From Muhammad the Messenger of Allâh to Negus, king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Salutations, I entertain Allâh’s praise, there is no god but He, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Source of peace, the Giver of peace, the Guardian of faith, the Preserver of safety.

I bear witness that Jesus, the son of Mary, is the spirit (ruh) of Allâh and His Word which He cast into Mary, the virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus. Allâh created him from His spirit (ruh) and His breathing as He created Adam by His Hand. I call you to Allâh Alone with no associate and to His obedience and to follow me and to believe in that which came to me, for I am the Messenger of Allâh. I invite you and your men to Allâh, the Glorious, the All-Mighty. I hereby bear witness that I have communicated my message and advice. I invite you to listen and accept my advice. Peace be upon him who follows true guidance.”


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Unprecedented Muslim call for peace with Christians

Posted by Pelgrim on 11th October 2007

Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:21am EDT

By Peter GraffLONDON (Reuters) - More than 130 Muslim scholars from around the globe called on Thursday for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity, saying “the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake”.

In an unprecedented letter to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders, 138 Muslim scholars said finding common ground between the world’s biggest faiths was not simply a matter for polite dialogue between religious leaders.

“If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants,” the scholars wrote.

“Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake,” they wrote, adding that Islam and Christianity already agreed that love of God and neighbor were the two most important commandments of their faiths.

more Reuters …..

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Christ in Islam

Posted by Pelgrim on 27th April 2006

[London, John Murray]


WHEN Mohammad established Islam in Arabia he insisted that he was not proclaiming a new religion, for he believed that all the prophets who preceded him had brought the same message. Fromtime to time God had sent prophets and had revealed His will in sacred books; but men were rebellious, and so it was necessary for Him periodically to send a new prophet to lead them back to the truth. Mohammad had no sense of any gradual development in the knowledge of God, for he held that a knowledge of the true religion had been given to man from the beginning. The reason why God needed to send prophets with fresh revelations was because men had fallen away from the truth and required to be called back to it. Thus men like Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and himself had all the same task set before them, and none of them was essentially different from any other. God might authorise one to abrogate certain practices which had been commanded by a predecessor, but in essential matters they were all engaged in the same task, which was to proclaim the unity of God and summon men to worship Him alone

This being Mohammad’s belief, it naturally follows that he was unable to accept what Christians taught regarding the person of Jesus. To him Jesus was no more than a prophet, even though He is accorded a dignity which is given to no other. The Koran speaks of the Virgin Birth; calls Jesus God’s Word and a spirit from Him; declares that He is “eminent in this world and the next, and one of those who approach God’s presence;” and attributes wonderful miracles to Him. But Mohammad could not admit that He was anything more than other men. He understood the doctrine of His Sonship in a carnal sense, and therefore he very naturally denied it vigorously. As an example of the Muslim rejection of this doctrine, one might quote the argument of Abu `Othman `Amr Ibn Bahr al Jahiz, who lived in the ninth century of our era. He said that if God is a Father, He must also be a grandfather and an uncle; and insisted that the birth of Jesus was not so unique as that of Adam and Eve, for they had neither father nor mother.

The purpose of this volume is to present an account of Jesus as He appears in the works of Muslim writers. I have collected the relevant passages from the Koran, of which I give my own translation,

Book can be found here

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