God as presented in Islam
Originally published in The Daily Bulletin
The purpose of my Dec. column was to show from the clear statements by God and Jesus how it goes against the majesty and omnipotence of God that He could be or ever was a weak human being who was humiliated, disgraced and spat on by his enemies, and then condemned by a worldly court as a criminal, savagely whipped and then nailed to a cross to die an accursed death — all for the purpose of relieving people of their sins. The Jewish and Islamic belief is that God has always been fully capable of forgiving sins, and the means to achieve this always starts with repentance on the part of the sinner, not the requirement of a human sacrifice on the part of God.
Many people who responded to my Dec. column felt offended that I would raise such questions, and I apologize if my views offended them. That was never my intent. I simply asked some straight-forward questions and raised some points that I still consider valid. I only quoted verses from the Bible because I know Christians do not consider the Quran to be from God, but I was at least hoping that those who responded would address the verses and questions raised and provide academic-level answers.
But, since the publication of my Dec. column, only a handful of Christians have come forward to offer their perspectives. None of them addressed the key quotation in Numbers 23:19 where God states He is not a man, nor a son of man (a prophet). Jesus, on the other hand, calls himself “son of man” more than 80 times, so logically, if Jesus is a son of man and God isn’t, it proves by both their statements that Jesus is not God. Again, other writers in the New Testament may say otherwise, but I will take the direct word of God and his messiah, Jesus.
The main issues in my Dec. column were the pure Oneness of God and how people can attain forgiveness of sins. There is no point in expecting Christians to give up their doctrine of Trinity or their beliefs about Jesus-as-God and/or the literal Son of God, because to do so means losing their salvation and their guarantee of entering heaven. That’s a promise of the Next Life based primarily in the fear of Hell, not the love of God. Instead, I will present some facts and verses from the Holy Quran which shows how to attain the love of God and the means to forgiveness for sins.
The various forms of the word for God’s Attribute of Forgiveness total 189 times in the Holy Quran. The various forms of the word for God’s Attribute of Mercy (which is really just another way to describe God’s Forgiveness) total 232, for a grand total of 421 times the Quran refers to some aspect of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness. There is also a famous saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) where he relates that God’s Mercy is divided into 100 portions. One of those portions is allotted for every living thing here on earth. The other 99 portions of God’s Mercy will be awarded on the Day of Judgment. God will be the Master on that Day, able to forgive sins as He sees fit, rather than be forced like a judge to punish people according to an unbending law.
God is always seeking the opportunity to forgive us of our sins, once we truly repent and want God in our lives instead of Satan. There’s even a sentence in Arabic that Muslims recite as protection against Satan or whenever the temptation to sin confronts us. We say: “I seek refuge with God from Satan the rejected.”
And lastly, for anyone wishing to understand the true nature of God, I present the five verses of the 112th chapter of the Holy Quran (you can read it in English with detailed commentary here)
Chapter 112 – Al-Ikhlas
1. In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
2. Say, “He is Allah [God], the One!
3. “Allah, the Independent and Besought of all.
4. “He begets not, nor is He begotten;
5. “And there is none like unto Him.”
In Islam (as in Judaism) there is only the One God. He has no parts, persons, or offspring that make up His Being. He is the Creator not a part of the creation. God says He is one (Deut. 6:4) and Jesus says God is one (Mark 12:29). Other writers in the New Testament may say otherwise, but I will take the direct word of God and his messiah, Jesus. God Bless us all.