Posts tagged ‘Easter’

April 22nd, 2011

Good Friday: Did Jesus Die? Islam Dilemma

Today is Good Friday. This is the day those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ commemorate his suffering and death. Our salvation would be in vain had Jesus not died and resurrected. Do you know most Muslims believe Jesus was never crucified or died? Only a small minority most Muslims consider heretics believes Jesus died a natural death in Kashmir many years after he supposedly escaped the crucifixion. The majority believes a Jesus look-alike was crucified while the real Jesus ascended to heaven. They believe he will return at the end of the world. All these Muslims draw their conclusions about Jesus’ supposed fate from the Qur’an. The travel to Kashmir is not in the Qur’an or the Hadith. Majority of Muslims who denies the death of Jesus claims since Jesus was a prophet of Allah, Allah wouldn’t have left him to die such a horrible death.

One thing Muslims would not say or are just ignorant of; Allah was silent about Jesus’ death the first 12 years of Islam. It was only after Prophet Muhammad’s arrival in Medina when Allah supposedly started objecting to the death of Jesus Christ. It was not like Christians in Arabia did not celebrate Easter. The issue surrounding the death of Jesus Christ was not an issue in Islam. In fact Allah—the all-knowing—was silent in Mecca over the fate of Jesus.

Verses from the Qur’an revealed in Mecca show ALL prophets who had preceded Muhammad died. Muslims consider Jesus as one of these prophets. Sura Al-Anbiya, chapter 21 of the Qur’an, verses 7 and 8, “And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men, whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not? We gave them not bodies that would not eat food, nor were they immortals.” And then verse 34 of the same chapter, “We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal!”

Since majority of Muslims believes that Jesus has not died yet, does that mean Jesus as Muslims understand him is immortal? These verses certainly show all prophets before Prophet Muhammad died because all of them were mortal. Muslims who argue a prophet of Allah shouldn’t be subjected to suffer need to read about circumstances that led Prophet Muhammad’s death. I hope they have answers to the three years he suffered as a result of the poisoned lamb he ate. The Hadith has the whole story. The two facts—Muhammad’s suffering and death and all prophets’ mortality—simply confound Muslims contention about the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Have fun engaging your Muslim friends this Easter.

April 4th, 2010

Another Empty Grave for Jesus?

Christians are commemorating the passion of Jesus Christ. After all, without it culminating into his death and followed by resurrection three days later, our redemption would have been impossible. While our focus is on this momentous occasion, it is imperative that we do not forget to engage those who have different beliefs surrounding this Easter season.

Muslims believe that Jesus Christ was never crucified or died because Allah would not let his prophets suffer even though the Qur’an mentions at least three times how some of Allah’s messengers were slain. If one asks Muslims to provide the names of those slain, they wouldn’t. The Hadith also shows how Prophet Muhammad died an agonizing death, which spanned four years. (I discussed Muhammad’s death and also how Jesus Christ couldn’t be the same Jesus, Isa, Muslims refer to in an earlier post.)

They believe that Jesus is yet to die. The Hadith has references to how he is coming back to be married, have children, die and be buried according to Islamic customs. Muslims tell me to forget about the empty tomb in Jerusalem that Christians claim Jesus Christ vacated more than 2000 years ago. There is an empty grave next to Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, and it has been empty for about 1380 years and it does not belong to an Arab Muslim. Sunan Al-Tirmidhi states “Jesus, son of Mary, will be buried along with him [Muhammad]. …a place for a grave had remained in the house [a building that houses Muhammad’s tomb].”

Samuel Zwemer, the pioneer of Christian missionary work to the Arab world wrote, “The place of his [Jesus] future grave is already marked out between the graves of Omar, the caliph, and Fatuma, Mohammed’s daughter.” (Samuel Zwemer, Moslem World 1907 (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2003), 66.) Why it took the all-knowing Allah 600 years to refute the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a question we should ask Muslims. Also, why Allah took his time and did not consider the highly publicized death and resurrection of Jesus Christ a problem at least through the first 12 years since the advent of Islam, and only turned in opposition when Muhammad moved to Medina, is another issue we should take up with Muslims.