[peace be upon him]
The Common Ancestor of Muslims, Jews and Christians:
“Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered (to God), and he was not of the idolaters. Lo! those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Mohammad) and those who believe (with him); and God is the Protecting Friend of the believers.”[Qur’an;3:67-68]
“..I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”[Paul; Acts;24:14-15]
“For there stood by me this night an angel, belonging to the God whose I am and whom I serve,”[Acts;27:23]
Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim, peace be upon him) is estimated to have lived in early 2nd Millennia B.C (around 1800 BC) at
( Ur Mesopotamia) . He is the common ancestor and spiritual leader of Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, also revered by people of other faiths. He discovered the existence of One God through his intellect, thought process and with grace of God. Allah says: “So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth that he might (with understanding) have certitude. When the night covered him over he (Abraham) saw a star: he said: "this is my Lord!" But when it set he said: "I love not those that set." When he saw the moon rising in splendor He said: "This is my Lord!" but when the moon set he said: "Unless my Lord guide me I shall surely be among those who go astray." When he saw the sun rising in splendor he said: "This is my Lord! this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set he said: "O my people! I am (now) free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah. "For me I have set my face firmly and truly toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."(Qur’an;6:75-79);“And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.”(Genesis:15:6). Once he was appointed the Messenger of Allah, he was blessed with special favours. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) invited the people to Islam (submission to one God):" When his people started arguing with him, he told them: "Will you argue with me about Allah, whereas He Himself has guided me? I do not fear those whom you take for gods besides Him, none can harm me unless my Lord so wills, the knowledge of my Lord encompasses everything, why don't you get admonition?(Qur’an;6:80). Allah says: "It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong that are (truly) in security for they are on (right) guidance. That was the reasoning about Us which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.”(Qur’an;6:82-83).
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was successful in the trial, he was childless, he was granted sons at old age, Ishmael, from his second wife Hager, and later Isaac (Ishaq) from his first wife Sara. According to an Islamic tradition he left Ishmael at Makka while he was older enough. The other tradition narrates that he had to leave the infant Isma’il and his mother at a far off place in desert (Makka). They miraculously survived due to water of spring (Zamzam). Abraham's faith was so great that later he went to obey God's command to sacrifice his only son (Ishmael), however at the last minute; God permitted him to substitute a ram. Muslim tradition identifies the son to be sacrificed as Ishmael (Biblical traditions claim, Isaac). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) again came to Makka to rebuilt the first house of Allah, Ka’ba with Isma’il as a sign of God's covenant with them and established the rituals of pilgrimage (Hajj). Allah says: “And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower.”(Qur’an;2:127).
Who was offered for Sacrifice?
A controversy has raged between the followers of the Bible and the adherents of Islam as to which of the sons of Abraham, Ishmael or Isaac was offered as a sacrifice. It is important to note that, a peculiar sanctity was attached to the first-born both of man and of cattle among people right since the time of Adam, it was especially of great importance among the Israelites. God claimed that the first-born males of man and of animals should be consecrated to him, the one as a priest (Exodus;,24), representing the family to which he belonged, and the other to be offered up in sacrifice (Geyour only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the Iraq , and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."(Genesis;22:2). If at anytime, an offspring of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) can be described as "thine only son: it could only be Ishmael, because for more than thirteen years, he was the only son and seed of Abraham. God Almighty acknowledges Ishmael as the "son and seed" of Abraham in no less than twelve places in the Book of Genesis alone. At no time was Isaac the only son and seed of Abraham. The false pen of the scribe was in the hand of the Hebrews who edited the Books of Moses, as the prophet Jeremiah lament: “How do ye say, We are wise, and the law (the Torah) of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribe is in vain.”(Jeremiah;8:8). When the Hebrews are found to convert an Israelite into an Ishmaelite when no motives are involved, then how much easier for them to change the word "you only son Ishmael" to : your only son Isaac!" 4:4). The laws concerning this redemption of the first-born of man are recorded in Exodus;13:12-15; 22:29; 34:20; Numbers;3:45; 8:17; 18:16 and Leviticus;12:2,4. Even the first-fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the first-born of man and animals. Ishmael, without any doubt was first born son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). The Bible is quite clear in designating the offering: “He said, "Take your son,
Covenant and Iniquitous Decedents:
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is the original monotheist in the known history, purifier of God's house, builder of the Ka’ba, and a Muslim (having surrendered to the will of God), who preached against idolatry and sin. The scripture of revelations to Abraham is mentioned in Qur’an;53:36-37 & 87:18-19, which is now extinct, though ‘Testament of Abraham’ had been popular among Christians. He destroyed the idols and survived attempt by the king to burn him alive. After successful trials he was rewarded by God for his faith and given a position of spiritual leadership of the mankind, to be passed down to his descendants, excluding the wrong doers (Qur’an;2:124). Allah says: “Do they, perchance, envy other people for what God has granted them out of His bounty? But then, We did grant revelation and wisdom unto the House of Abraham (aal Ibraahem- Descendants), and We did bestow on them a mighty dominion:”(Qur’an;). The descendants obviously include the progeny of Ishmael and Isaac (peace be upon them). The claim of the children of land of Mori'ah as “Chosen People of God” by virtue of their decent from Abraham, who was made “a leader of mankind” by God, was totally negated. God makes it clear that the exalted status of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was not something that would automatically confer a comparable status on this physical descendants, and definitely not on the sinners among them. God also took solemn pledge from the Children of Israel and those call themselves as Christians, but they broke it. Allah says: ““Remember Allah's favor to you and the covenant by which He bound you to Himself when you said: "We hear and we obey." Have fear of God; surely God knows the secrets of your hearts.”(Qur’an;5:7); “God accepted a covenant from the Children of Israel and appointed twelve chieftains from among them and said: "I am with you; if you establish Prayers (Salah) pay Alms (Zakah), believe in My Messengers, support them and give a generous loan to Allah (spend in charity), I will wipe out from you your evils and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; However, if any one of you, after this, violates this covenant, he will indeed go astray from the Right Way. Even after that, they broke their covenant; as a result, We laid on them Our curse and hardened their hearts. They tempered with words out of their context and neglected much of what they were enjoined. You will always find most of them deceitful except for a few of them. Yet forgive them and overlook their misdeeds. Allah loves those who are kind to others.”(Qur’an;5:12-13). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) settled at Israel , he died at very old age and was buried in Palestine , near Hebron .
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was the true faithful, Allah says: “And who, unless he be weak of mind, would want to abandon Abraham's creed, seeing that We have indeed raised him high in this world, and that, verily, in the life to come he shall be among the righteous? When his Sustainer said to him, "Surrender thyself unto Me!"-he answered, "I have surrendered myself unto [Thee,] the Sustainer of all the worlds." And this very thing did Abraham bequeath unto his children, and [so did] Jacob: when he said: "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you this way of life (Deen), therefore, die not unless you have surrendered yourself un to Him. “Nay, but you [yourselves, O children of Jerusalem ,] bear witness that when death was approaching Jacob, he said unto his sons: "Whom will you worship after I am gone?" They answered: "We will worship thy God, the God of thy forefathers Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, the One God; and unto Him w1ll we surrender ourselves.”(Qur’an;2:130-133).
The Biblical Account:
The narrative of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is given in the book of Genesis, chapter 12 to 36. The childless septuagenarian receives promises. He gets a son, Ishmael, by Hagar, given to him as his wife by his wife Sara: “And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the Israel , and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.”(Genesis:16:3). Out of jealously Sara forces her to leave with young son Ishmael in to wilderness, where angel appears to tell her: “Arise, lift up the lad (Ishmael), and hold him in thy hand. For I will make him a great nation.”(Genesis:). (According to a Muslim traditions, infant Ishmael along with his mother Hagar was left in the wilderness at Makka, an uninhabited place at that time, who subsequently become the ancestor of Arabs. Muhammad, peace be upon him, the last Prophet, belongs to the progeny of Ishmael.)
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is awarded with a covenant from God that his "seed" will inherit the land and become a numerous nation: “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, all the land of land of Canaan Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.”(Genesis;17:7-10); “And God said, Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Genesis;17:19-22).
At the age of 100 years, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) gets a son Isaac, by Sarah, who is to be the heir of the promise. Yet Abraham is ready to obey God's command to sacrifice Isaac, a test of his faith, which he is not required to consummate in the end because God substitutes a ram. [Muslim traditions and internal evidence from Bible about age of child and timings support that it was Ishmael not Isaac]. At Sarah's death, he purchases the near cave of Machpelah , together with the adjoining ground, as a family burying place. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) dies at the age of 175 and buried in the Hebron (Genesis;25:9). This place is venerated today in cave of Machpelah , at the Haram al-Khalil ( Hebron Holy Place of the Friend), under the mosque. Abraham is pictured in Bible with various characteristics: a righteous man, with wholehearted commitment to God; a man of peace (in settling a boundary dispute with his nephew Lot), compassionate (he argues and bargains with God to spare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah), and hospitable (he welcomes three visiting angels); a quick-acting warrior as he rescued Lot and his family from a raiding party, however on his return from this expedition, Abraham is honored by Melchizedek, a personality with unique characteristics, portrayed by Bible, even superior to Adam and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him): “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of , that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever. See how great he is! Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of the spoils.”(Hebrews;7:1-4); “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”(Genesis;14:18-20). “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”(Psalms;110:4). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is also depicted as giving wrong statement to save his own skin: “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister. And Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”(Geneses;20:2). The incidence of Abraham passing off Sarah as his sister and letting her be picked by the Egyptian pharaoh for his harem, but she miraculously returns unmolested due to her piety and prayers accepted by God, with Hagar given as gift, has also been Narrated by Abu Hurairah in Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith 3.420 & 4.578. Overall Abraham appears as both a man of great spiritual depth and strength and a person with common human weaknesses and needs.
Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him):
According to Islamic traditions, Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him), the first born son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was left in wilderness (now known as Makka), as an infant along with his mother Hagar. Abraham invoked Almighty Allah: “0 our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House (the Ka’ba at Mecca); in order, 0 our Lord, that they may offer prayers perfectly , so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (0 Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. 0’ our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah.”(Qur’an;14:37-38). The biblical narrative is some what different, but it mentions: “And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was eighty-six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.”(Genesis;-16), “And the angel of the LORD said unto her (Hager), I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.”(Genesis;16:10-11). “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”(Genesis;), “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” (Genesis;), “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”(Genesis;).
appears (Genesis;10:1-32) to have been inhabited by a variety of tribes of different lineage, Ishmaelites, Arabians, Idumeans, Horites, and Edomites; but at length becoming amalgamated, they came to be known by the general designation of Arabs. The modern nation of Arabs is predominantly Ishmaelite (decedents of Ishmael or Isma’il), their language Arabic, is the most developed and the richest of all the Semitic languages, and is of great value to the student of Hebrew. Isma’il was also a messenger of God (Qur’an;). He willingly offered himself to be sacrificed in obedience to the command of Allah to his father Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), who was asked to offer the sacrifice of his ‘only son’ as mentioned at Genesis;22:2. Isaac was 13 years younger to Ishmael, hence he can not be called as only son of Abraham. Allah accepted the gesture of Abraham and substituted ram instead (Qur’an;37:102-107). Ishmael helped his father Abraham in building the Ka’ba (Qur’an;2:127). He called the people around ( land of Arabia Arabia) to prayer and charity. Isma’il became the ancestor of Arabs. Allah says: “We blessed him (Abraham) and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.”(Qur’an;37:1130). Once the progeny of Abraham through his second son Isaac deviated from the faith of Abraham, after two and half millennium, God shifted the honor of “Leadership of Mankind” to the decedents of Ishmael by appointing Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His last messenger (610 C.E).
Prophet Isaac (peace be upon him):
Prophet Isaac (Ishaq, peace be upon him) the second son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was born from his first wife Sarah at the old age, as special blessings from God. He was father of Esau and Prophet Jacob (Yaqub, peace be upon him), who is also known as
. Twelve Hebrew tribes, descended from the twelve sons of Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him), and they became to be known as the Israelites. Prophet Jacob had settled at Israel ( Hebron ) where his father Prophet Isaac and before him Prophet Abraham lived. For almost next fifteen hundred years God kept on sending messengers in the progeny of Jacob ( Palestine ), Jesus (peace be upon him) being the last. As mentioned above the Biblical traditions attribute the offer of sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, where as Islamic traditions ascribe it to Ishmael. Israel
Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him):
Jacob (called Ya'aqov in Hebrew and Ya'qub in Arabic, also called
) was a great messenger of Allah, Hebrew patriarch who was the grandson of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), the son of Isaac and Rebekah. He is the traditional ancestor of the people of Israel . Allah says: “And we gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation, and We granted him his reward in this life; and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the Righteous.”(Qura’n;29:27). Stories about Jacob in the Bible commence at Genesis;25:19. Jacob was the younger twin brother of Esau, who was the ancestor of Israel and the Edomites. It is narrated in Bible that Jacob, by means of an elaborate double deception, managed to obtain his older brother's birthright from their father Isaac. Jacob then fled his brother's wrath, during journey Jacob received a special revelation from God; God promised Jacob lands and numerous offspring that would prove to be the blessing of the entire Earth. Jacob named the place where he received his vision Beth-el ("House of God"). Then is the story of his love with cousin Rachel and substitution of her elder sister Leah, for Rachel by their father Laban at the wedding ceremony. Thus he was compelled to serve Laban for another seven years to get his beloved Rachel as his wife. Jacob then set out with his wives and children to return to Edom . On the way Jacob wrestled with a mysterious stranger, a divine being, who changed Jacob's name to Palestine , Bible narrates: “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel : for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, said he, I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”(Genesis;32:24-30) [Jacob wrestling with God and prevailing, is inconceivable!] Israel
The story continues in Bible, Jacob then met his brother Esau, reconciled and settled in
Canaan. Jacob had 13 children, 10 of whom were founders of tribes of . Leah bore him his only daughter, Dinah, and six sons--Reuben, Simeon, Levi (who did not found a tribe, but was the ancestor of the Levites), Judah (from whom a tribe and the Davidic monarchy were descended), Issachar, and Zebulun. Leah's maidservant, Zilpah, bore him Gad and Asher, and Rachel's maidservant, Bilhah, bore him Dan and Naphtali. [The children born through maidservants of wives of Jacob are not dealt with contempt in line with the prevalent custom, where as in case of Ishmael, born from Hager, the prejudice and dichotomy of Israelites is too palpable.] Rachel's sons were Benjamin and Joseph (who did not found a tribe, but whose sons founded the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim). The story of Jacob's later years more properly belongs to the story of Joseph, who became a virtual ruler of Israel under the King. Late in his life, a famine prompted Jacob and his sons to migrate to Egypt , where he was reunited with his son Joseph, who had disappeared some years before, due to mischief of his jealous brothers. According to Bible, Jacob ( Egypt ) died in Israel at the age of 147 years and was buried in Egypt Canaan at . The stories about Jacob's birth and his acquisition of the birthright (Genesis 25:19-34; 27) provide a thinly veiled apology for the relation between Hebron (Esau) and Edom in Davidic times. Israel , the older nation, was made subject to Edom by David (2 Samuel;8:8). The stories of Jacob assume and emphasize that all things occur by divine design. The divine objective is of overriding significance; it is God's will that Esau ( Israel ) shall live in the desert and be subject to Edom . Qur’an addresses his decedents as ‘Children of Israel’. Like Abraham, Jacob also advised his progeny to be obedient to God: “And this was the Legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "O my sons! God hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the state of submission (to God).”(Qura’n;2:132). Israel
Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him):
Prophet Joseph (Yusuf), peace be upon him, was the favorite son of Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him). In the early age Joseph was cast into slavery due to jealousy of his brothers. The Hebrews version of narrative of Joseph is given at in Bible (Genesis;Chapters:37-50). Qur’an mentions about his story at Chapter 12, named as ‘Yousaf’ (Joseph). According to Qur’an: “There is a lesson in these stories of former people for the men of understanding. This story of Joseph revealed in the Qur’an is not an invented tale, but a confirmation of previous scriptures - a detailed exposition of all things, and is a guidance and blessing for the people who believe.”(Qura’n;12:111).The Qur’anic story is similar to but not identical with the Biblical story however the atmosphere is widely different. The Biblical story is like a folk tale in which morality has no place. Its tendency is to exalt the clever and financially minded Hebrew against the Egyptians, and to explain certain ethnic and tribal peculiarities in later Israeli history. Joseph is shown as buying up all the cattle and the land of the poor Egyptians for the state under the stress of famine conditions, and making the Israelites “rulers” over Pharaoh’s cattle [Historically it is proved that they were Hyksos Kings, of Semites origin and not Egyptian Pharaohs: Qur’an rightly mentions them as king, and in case of Moses Pharaohs.] The Qur’anic story on the other hand is less a narrative than a highly spiritual sermon of allegory explaining the seeming contradictions in life, the enduring nature of virtues in a world full of flux and change, and the marvelous working of God’s eternal purposes in His Plan unfolded on the wide canvas of history.
Allah says: “Verily in Joseph and his brethren are Signs (or Symbols) for Seekers (after Truth).”(Qura’n;12:7), “When Joseph attained his full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.”(Qura’n;). Joseph was a handsome man, the wife of his master, (Egyptian high official-Aziz) tried to seduce him but being a chosen servant of God, he remained steadfast, and did not give in to evil temptations. Despite his innocence he had to spend years in jail, till taken out honorably. Through God gifted ability of interpretation of dreams, prophesies, prophetic wisdom, honesty, chastity and good management abilities he became trusted adviser of Hyksos King of
: “Thus did we give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of Our mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.”(Qura’n;). He saved the people from starvation during the famine with good management. Joseph adhered to the faith of his ancestors and preached to his people as a prophet. He forgave his brothers and used his acquired position in Egypt to save them and his father from famine. He is quoted as an example of generosity, mercy, patience, chastity, compassion, and faith in God's control over events in life. Some Israelites settled in Egypt during this period. The Hyksos kings belonged to the Arab race, but had migrated from Egypt and Palestine to Syria in or about 2000 B.C. and taken possession of the country. Being aliens, they were not hostile to the Israelis. Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him) and his sons went down into Egypt (Genesis;45:17-25). This immigration took place probably about 350 years before period of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) (may be, around 1650 B.C). The Israelis prospered until the Hyksos Kings were deposed in Egypt (1570 BC), thereafter once their influence in the court diminished, Israelites were persecuted as aliens and forced into slavery. It was Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), who delivered his people from Egyptian slavery in 13th Century B.C to be later reunited with other Hebrew tribes with whom they retained a sense of kinship. Egypt
PROPHET MOSES (PBUH)
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is among the most prominent great prophets of Allah, He says: “Also mention In the Book (the story of) Moses: for He was specially chosen, and He was a Messenger (and) a prophet.”(Qur’an;). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) who lived around 13th century B.C. played an important role to keep the torch of Monotheism (tawhid) alight after Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). He was named Moshe or Moses, being "Saved from the water" (Exodus;), as his mother had to put him in water to save his life from being killed by soldiers of Pharaoh, who oppressed and persecuted the Israelites. The lives of Israelites were made bitter with hard bondage, and "all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor" (Exodus;-14). Allah says: “Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our Signs and authority manifest”(Qur’an;). Prophet Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) had a dual mission: Firstly for Pharaoh and his Court, which failed because of their rebelliousness, Secondly to the Israelites, for whom the Law was received on
Mount Sinai, but they repeatedly rebelled against Allah. “And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the criterion (between right and wrong) there was a chance for you to be guided aright.”(Qur’an;). Qur’an, directly referrers to Moses at least seventy two times. Nine miracles were awarded to him by Allah: “And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses.”(Qur’an;17:101). In both cases there were miracles ("Clear Signs") and other proofs which showed that they came at Allah's command and were inspired by His authority.
Narrative in Qur’an:
The Qur’an records that Moses, in infancy having been placed in a basket in the
Nile, to save his life, because the male children of Israelites were killed on the orders of Egyptian Pharaoh (Qur’an;). He was picked up by wife of Pharaoh, she adopts him, hence he is brought up in the house of Pharaoh, while his mother was employed to suckle the child (Qur’an;28:9, 28:7, 13);“When He reached full age, and was firmly established (in life), we bestowed on Him wisdom and knowledge: for Thus do we reward those who do good.”(Qur’an;28:14);“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.”(Acts;). One day he unintentionally killed an Egyptian who was involved in a scuffle with an Israeli. He repented, and was forgiven by God (Qur’an;28:16) He had to escape to Median to save himself. In the wilderness he helped two women to water their flock. Later their old father offered one of his daughters for marriage, if Moses serve him for 8 or ten years, which he accepted. (Qur’an;28:27,28). Upon completion of stipulated period of service, while traveling with his family in the wilderness, Moses saw bushfire, (Qur’an;28:29) where God spoke to him (Qur’an;27:28, ) and chose him as His messenger (Qur’an;, ). God granted him miracles like staff turning to serpent (Qur’an;, 31:28) and shining hand (Qur’an;, 28:32). Moses was asked to go to Pharaoh, the people of iniquity (Qur’an;26:10,11) who had transgressed the bounds (Qur’an;76:17,) and ask him if he wish to be purified (Qur’an;79:18). Moses was afraid and hesitant (Qur’an;), God assured him that He was with him (Qur’an;). Moses accepted the assignment with request for assistance from his brother Aaron (Qur’an;, ,28:34), which was granted (Qur’an;,42, 28:35). God asked them: “So go ye both to him (Pharaoh) and say, 'Verily we are Messengers sent by Thy Lord: send forth, therefore, the Children of with us, and afflict them not: with a Sign, indeed, have we come from Thy Lord! and peace to all who follow guidance! 'Verily it has been revealed to us that the penalty (awaits) those who reject and turn away.'"(Qur’an;20:47-48). They went to Pharaoh and invited him to the way of Lord (Qur’an;,50, , 40: 41,43). Pharaoh demanded token (miracle), (Qur’an;7:106) Moses showed him the miracle of staff turning to serpent and shining hand (Qur’an;7:107) but Pharaoh argued, he denied the Miracles, calling them sorcery (Qur’an;10:76,17:101,27:13), he also called Moses as mad man (Qur’an;26:27). In a public gathering Moses encountered with the court magicians, their tricks failed miserably in front of the miracles performed by Moses (Qur’an;, 59,26:38,39, 7:115-119, 20:66, 26:45). The magicians believed in Moses despite threats by Pharaoh (Qur’an;7:120-121, 20:70). Even after repeated calamities like spread of plagues, famine, floods, locusts, vermin, frogs, blood, Pharaoh did not let the Israelites go. (Qur’an;7:103,130, 133). They deserved to be destroyed, Allah says: “We sent an inspiration to Moses: "Travel by night with My servants, and strike a dry path for them through the sea, without fear of being overtaken (by Pharaoh) and without (any other) fear." (Qur’an;20:77). Finally God miraculously created passage through the sea for the Israelites, but when Pharaoh followed them, the sea closed (Qur’an;20:78) destroying Pharaoh's and his army (Qur’an;,7:136). Pharaoh believed in the God of Moses when he saw death, but it was too late (Qur’an;10:90). His body was preserved as a sign, (Qur’an;10:92, 69:12) which was discovered intact during last century and is lying in museum. [This motivated Dr.Maurice Bucaille, a French medical doctor, to study Qur’an and then writing his famous book: ‘The Bible, The Qur’an and Science’]. Israel
The Israelites after having lived under slavery for long were influenced by the paganism, Allah says: “We took the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea. They came upon a people devoted entirely to some idols which they had. They said: "O Moses! Fashion for us a god like unto the gods they have." He said: "Surely ye are a people without knowledge.”(Qur’an;7:138). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) spent forty days on the mountain in the worship of Lord, before leaving he said to his brother Aaron: “take my place among the people. Do right, and follow not the way of mischief makers.”(Qur’an;7:142). But the Israelites started worship of calf during this period (Qur’an;51:2), though Aaron opposed it (Bible blames Aaron as well) but they did not listen : “Aaron had already, before This said to them: "O My people! ye are being tested In this: for Verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey My command." They had said: "We will not abandon This cult, but we will devote ourselves to it until Moses returns to us." (Qur’an;20:90-91). “When Moses came back to His people, angry and grieved, He said: "Evil it is that ye have done In My place In My absence: did ye make haste to bring on the Judgment of your Lord?" And he cast down the tablets, and he seized his brother by the (the hair of) head, dragging him toward him.
Aaron said: "Son of My mother! The people did indeed reckon me As naught, and went near to slaying me! make not the enemies rejoice over My misfortune, nor count Thou me amongst the people of sin." Moses prayed: "O My Lord! Forgive me and My brother! Admit us to Thy mercy! For Thou art the Most Merciful of those who Show mercy!" (Qur’an;7:150-151). It is mentioned that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) put down the Tablets, it is not told that the Tablets were broken: “When Mosses’ anger calmed down he took up the Holy Tablets in whose writing there was guidance and mercy for those that fear their Lord” (Qur’an;7:154). This verse indicates that the Tablets were intact. They contained Allah's Message. There is a touch of disrespect (if not blasphemy) in supposing that Allah's Messenger broke the Tablets in his incontinent rage, as is stated in the Old Testament: "Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and brake them beneath the Mount." (Exodus;32:19). On this point and also on the point that Aaron (in the Old Testament story) ordered the gold to be brought, made a molten calf, fashioned it with a graving tool, and built an altar before the calf (Exdodus;32:2-5, Psalms;106:19).
The Qur’anic version differs from that of the Old Testament. The Qur’an does not accuse Aaron of having actually participated in making or worshipping the golden calf; his guilt consisted in having remained passive in the face of his, people's idolatry for fear of causing a split among them (Qur’an;20:92-94). It is un-believable that Aaron, who was appointed by Allah to assist Moses as Allah's Messenger, could descend so low as to seduce the people into idolatry, whatever his human weaknesses might be. Moses was but human remembering the charge he had given to Aaron (Qur’an;7:142) he had a just grievance at the turn events had taken. But he did not wreak his vengeance on the Tablets of Allah's law by breaking them. He laid hands on his brother, and his brother at once explained. Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) fulfilled his duty as messenger of God, Allah says: “We gave Moses the Holy Book (Torah) and the criterion of right and wrong so that you might be rightly guided. Remember when Moses returned with the Divine Book he said to his people: "O my people! You have indeed grievously wronged yourselves by taking the calf for worship; so turn in repentance to your Creator and slay the culprits among you; that will be best for you in His sight." He accepted your repentance; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur’an;2:53-54).
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) desired to see God: “When Moses came to the place appointed by us, and His Lord addressed him, He said: "O My Lord! Show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee." Allah said: "By no means canst Thou see me (direct); but look upon the mount; if it abide In its place, then shalt Thou see
" when His Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it As dust and Moses fell down In a swoon. When He recovered His senses He said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn In repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (Allah) said: "O Moses! I have chosen Thee above (other) men, by the mission I (have given thee) and the words I (have spoken to thee): take then the (revelation) which I give thee, and be of those who give thanks.” (Qur’an;7:143-144). The Israelites also insisted to see God: “And remember ye said: "O Moses! we shall never believe In Thee until we see Allah manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting Even As ye looked on.” (Qur’an;); “And Moses chose seventy of His people for Our place of meeting: when They were seized with violent quaking, He prayed: "O My Lord! if it had been Thy will Thou couldst have destroyed, long before, both them and Me: wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? This is no more than Thy trial: by it Thou causest whom Thou wilt to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thou wilt into the right path. Thou art Our Protector: so forgive us and give us Thy mercy; for Thou art the best of those who forgive.” (Qur’an;7:155); “Then we raised you up after you had been as dead: so that you might have cause to be grateful.” (Qur’an;). me.
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) lead the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai. They received Manna and Salwa, the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness (Exodus;-35, Qur’an;) and water for each tribe (Qur’an;2:60). The Israelites got fed up with Manna-Salwa and demanded the fresh vegetables (Qur’an;2:61) Moses asked; 'Would you exchange the better for the worse? If that's what you want go back to some city; there you will find what you have asked for. Moses, continued to lead his people and urged them to conquer the promised land (Qur’an;,23). The spies informed about the strong people there, but the God fearing among them urged to attack from front for victory and put trust upon Allah, but Israelites refused to proceed against the strong opponents : “They said: "O Moses! While they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and Thy Lord, and Fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch). He (Moses) said: "O My Lord! I have power only over Myself and My brother: so separate us from This rebellious people!" Allah said: "Therefore will the land be out of their reach for forty years: In distraction will They wander through the land: but sorrow Thou not over these rebellious people.” (Qur’an;5:24-26). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) died until they reached the edge of
Canaan, however as directed by God, Moses, before his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with authority over the people as his successor (De31:23).
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) has the great honour and privilege, God revealed Torah to him: “..to Moses Allah spoke direct” (Qur’an;14:164) , hence he is also referred as (Kaleem Allah). Almighty God told Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) about coming of Muhammad (peace be upon him): "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not harken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him" (Deuteronomy;18:18,19). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have many common aspects. With the spread of Islam, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) became admired figure throughout the Muslim world. Today, some thirty three centuries after he lived, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is honored by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, and is even respected by many agnostics.
How much Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was revered by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is evident from a Tradition, Narrated by Abu Hurairah: “Two persons, a Muslim and a Jew, quarreled. The Muslim said, "By Him Who gave Muhammad superiority over all the people!" The Jew said, "By Him Who gave Moses superiority over all the people!" At that the Muslim raised his hand and slapped the Jew on the face. The Jew went to the Prophet and informed him of what had happened between him and the Muslim. The Prophet sent for the Muslim and asked him about it. The Muslim informed him of the event. The Prophet said, "Do not give me superiority over Moses, for on the Day of Resurrection all the people will fall unconscious and I will be one of them, but I will be the first to gain consciousness, and will see Moses standing and holding the side of the Throne (of Allah). I will not know whether (Moses) has also fallen unconscious and got up before me, or Allah has exempted him from that stroke."(Sahih, Al-Bukhari Hadith:3.594).
In general, there are three major achievements attributed to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). First, it is quite clear that the monotheism (Islam-submission to One God) preached by Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), would have diminished had it not been for Moses, and he unquestionably played the crucial role in its preservation and transmission. Second, the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), which are often referred to as the “Five Books of Moses”, and which constitute the Jewish Torah attributed to Moses (the original scriptures are believed to be divinely revealed).
These books include the Mosaic Code, the set of laws which in principle governed the conduct of the Israelites in biblical times, and which include the Ten Commandments. The Torah as a whole and the Ten Commandments in particular have had the enormous influence on the three Abrahamic faiths. However, most biblical scholars agree that the books as available at present were apparently written by several authors, and the great bulk of the material was not put into writing until considerably after Moses’ death. Third, he is credited with being the political figure who led the Jews in the Exodus from
. He could not lead them to enter the holy land ( Egypt ) because the people of Jerusalem lacked in courage and faith, Moses remonstrated with them. The rebellious Israelites after having spent forty years in he wilderness crossed the Jordan opposite what is now Israel , but by that time Prophet Moses, Aaron (peace be upon them) and the whole of the elder generation had died. If Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had not taken them out of Jericho , they would have continued to suffer the humiliation of slavery. The idea of one true God, which Moses believed in and preached so passionately, has eventually spread through a large part of the world. In this, of course, lies his greatest importance, since Christianity and Islam, the two largest religions in the world, are both rooted to Abrahamic monotheism. Egypt
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is the central figure, not only of the Pentateuch (Five books of Torah) but of the Old Testament. The Hebrews version of narrative of Moses mentioned in Bible is generally identical; mostly it is in the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy with some distortions. He is the central figure because he stands at the source that became the norm for the whole religion of
. This central importance however has not served to keep a clear picture of his person and work. Rather it has been obscured in history. There seems to be a paradox under his name, authority and personal achievements, which placed the whole later development of the religious institutions of Israel , the law and the cult; but from strictly historical point of view, it appears that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is not the author of the Pentateuch as available now. The originals seem to be lost in the long checkered history of Israelites. He is called the ‘Servant of God’ not simply in the sense being a loyal adorer of Yahweh, but above all because he was chosen instrument of God, the realization of His design for salvation. Numbers;12:6-8 underscores the more direct link that God wished to create with Moses and which is not seen in other personages who might have the same title: “My servant Moses, throughout my house he bears my trust, face to face I speak to him (Number;12:7,8). In this too lies the distinction between Moses and the other prophets through whom the word of God comes. Because of his constant intercession on behalf of the people Moses is also listed in the category of priests (Psalms;99:6-8, 106:23, Jermiah;15:1). Finally as legislator he appears above all in the post–exilic books with evident reference to the Pentateuch. Israel
In the New Testament Moses is seen in the light of Christ. He prefigured Christ, but because of the debates that arose with the Jews who claimed Moses as the intangible and insuperable of foundation of their existence, Christ is compared with Moses very often to underline the differences between them, which in turn lead to a re-evaluation of this importance. Moses is considered as inferior to the Christ, Hebrewes;3:2-6 underscores the differences between them; “Moses too , was faithful in all God’s household, but Jesus is more worth of honour than he…”. [Muslims do not make any distinction among the prophets, Qur’an;2:136] The Christian realities then have their counterpart in the Old Testament traditions on Moses and the Exodus, but they achieve their effective realization on the level of God’s free self-giving and divine life: law and grace (John;1:17), “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,”(John;3:14), the manna and the Eucharist (John;6:32), Exodus through the water and baptism (1Corinthians;10:2), the Old and New Testament (Hebrews;8:8-10). This correspondence is considered by Christian theologians to attest the unity of God’s design throughout history.
Hebrews after Prophet Moses (peace be upon him):
The next generation after Prophet Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) was ruled by Prophet Joshua (peace be upon him), who crossed the
and settled the tribes in Jordan . Having thus subdued the Canaanites, Prophet Joshua (peace be upon him) divided the land among the 12 tribes. His rule lasted for 25 years, after which there was a period of 320 years when the Israelites had a checkered history. They were not united among themselves, and suffered many reverses at the hands of the Midianites, Amalekites and other tribes of Palestine . They frequently lapsed into idolatry and deserted the worship of the true God. From time to time a leader appeared among them who assumed dictatorial powers. These dictators are called Judges in the English translation of the Old Testament. Acting under a sort of theocratic commission from God, the Judges pointed out their backsliding, re-united them under His banner, and restored, from time to time and place to place, the power of Palestine . Though many such leaders are mentioned, the Book of Judges focuses attention upon only few that are singled out as especially significant: Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, and Samson. The last of their line was Prophet Samuel (peace be upon him), who marks the transition towards the line of Kings on the one hand and of the later Prophets on the other. He may be dated approximately about the 11th century B.C. During the period of Samuel, Saul, and David (the 11th-10th century B.C), the Israelites were still threatened by various local enemies. The Israelites became truly united under Saul, as a political entity and established in the Promised Land with him as the first Israelite king (11th Century B.C). (Also narrate in Qur’an;2:246-251). Saul defended Israel against numerous enemies, especially the Philistines. Israel
PROPHET DAVID (PBUH) & THEREAFTER
Prophet David (Dawud, peace be upon him) succeeded King Saul after his death. He reigned for about forty years (1000 to 962 BC), he established a
over, all the united kingdom , with Israel as its capital. The Jews and Christians consider him a king, despite clear indications of him being a king, messenger of God and Muslim [Muslim: who will do all My (God’s) will] in the Bible: “.. the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart; and the LORD has appointed him to be prince over his people ..(1Sameul;);“..he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, `I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.”(Acts;);“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”(1Samuel;). David communicated with God (2 Samuel;2:1) and God to him (1Chronicles;28:3). The last words of David were: “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.”(2Samuel;23:2). Jerusalem
According to the Islamic traditions he was a prophet (Qur’an;6:84,) and a king, who was given scripture: “..unto David We gave the Psalms.”(Qur’an;). God made him a vicegerent in the earth: “We said: "O’ Dawud! We have made you a vicegerent in the earth, so rule among the people with justice and do not follow your own desires lest they mislead you from the Way of Allah. As for those who go astray from the Way of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment because of forgetting the Day of Reckoning.”(Qur’an;38:26); “We strengthened his kingdom and gave him wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision.”(Qur’an;38:20); Allah says: “And We verily gave knowledge unto David and Solomon, and they said: Praise be to Allah, Who hath preferred us above many of His believing slaves!”(Qur’an;27:15). Prophet David (peace be upon him), was a worthy and successful king, who, against great odds, founded the Judean dynasty and carved out an empire from the border of
to the Egypt . He was the shepherd, warrior, king, wise man, prophet and poet. Euphrates River
He was tested, (details not mentioned) repented and forgiven by God, the incidence is allegorically narrated in Qur’an, Allah says: “Have you heard the story of the two litigants who made an entry into his private chamber through climbing over the wall? When They entered the presence of David, and He was terrified of them, They said: "Fear not: we are two disputants, one of whom has wronged the other: decide Now between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, but guide us to the Even Path. "This man is My brother: He has Nine and ninety ewes, and I have (but) one: yet He says, 'commit Her to My care,' and is (moreover) harsh to me In speech."(David) said: "He has undoubtedly wronged Thee In demanding Thy (single) ewe to be added to His (flock of) ewes: truly many are the partners (in business) who wrong Each other: not so do those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and How few are they?"...and David gathered that We had tried him: He asked forgiveness of His Lord, fell down, bowing (in prostration), and turned (to Allah In repentance).So we forgave Him This (lapse): He enjoyed, indeed, a near approach to us, and a beautiful place of (final) return.”(Qur’an;38:21-25).
Prophet David (peace be upon him) was
's first successful king. He united all of the Israelite tribes, became the effective ruler over all of them, and was the founder of an enduring dynasty. Thus, he succeeded where King Saul had failed and attained a unique place in Israel 's history and tradition. He established the city of Israel as the centre both of Jerusalem 's political power and of its worship. David as a youth killed the giant Goliath with three pebbles and a slingshot: “So they routed them by Allah's leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He wills. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.”(Qur’an;2:251). Used as a paradigm as his story shows the faith, determination, and God's blessing are more important than size and strength: “And assuredly We gave David grace from Us, (saying): O ye hills and birds, echo his psalms of praise! And We made the iron supple unto him”(Qur’an;34:10). Israel
The Biblical account of the era of Prophet David (peace be upon him) is covered in the First and Second Book of Samuel. The Book of I Kings, chapter 1, to chapter 2, verse 11 cover the last years of David and Solomon's succession to the throne. The biblical account is distorted, tarnishing the image of David, as normally done by the Israelites with the messengers. A shameful story is ascribed to David whereby he commits adultery (2 Samuel;11:4) with Bathsheba, the wife of David's Hittite general, Uriah and then wickedly caused the death of her husband (2 Samuel;11:6-25). She bore Prophet and King Solomon. David is also accused of shamelessly dancing naked: “How glorious was the king of
(David) to day, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovers himself”(2 Samuel;). Israel
's religious tradition the royal line, or ‘House of David’ became a primary symbol of the bond between God and the nation; the king was the mediator between the deity and his people. The English word messiah is derived from hameshiach ("the anointed one"), the title of the kings of the line of David. Thus, in later times of disaster, Israel began to wait for a messiah, a new mediator of the power of God that would redeem the people and its land. By designating Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as the son of David (peace be upon him), Christianity adhere to the conviction that this hope had been fulfilled. David lived in the memory of his people in a double way: as the great founder of their political power and as the symbol of a central facet of their religious faith. He was succeeded by his son Solomon who was also an obedient servant and prophet of God. Israel
Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him):
Prophet & Great King: Prophet Solomon (Suleiman, peace be upon him), was heir to his father Prophet David (peace be upon him) as prophet (Qur’an;6:84) and king, he had been endowed with the speech of birds (Qur’an;27:16). The biblical traditions project him as a king, who ruled the
of Israelites from 961 to 922 B.C. His name ‘Solomon’ is derived from Hebrew word; ‘Shalom’ means ‘peace’. Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) was put on trial, then he turned to God in repentance, and prayed for forgiveness and grant of unique kingdom unmatched in history (Qur’an;38:34). Allah granted his wish. Allah says: “We bestowed knowledge (spiritual insight) on David and Solomon. They both said: "Praise be to Allah Who has exalted us above many of His believing servants."(Qur’an;27:15). He is also traditionally regarded as the greatest king of united kingdom , renowned for his wisdom, and builder of the Israel in First Temple (Al-Aqsa Mosque, highly revered by Muslims as the 2nd holiest site after Ka’ba at Makka). Jerusalem
He maintained his dominions with military strength and established Israelite colonies outside his kingdom's borders. He inherited both his father's kingdom and his spiritual insight and prophetic office. Legend makes much of a romance between the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, for his granting her "all that she desired, whatever she asked"(1Kings;) has been interpreted to include an offspring. No one in the history has been blessed with the Kingdom like his. God had given him command even over the special creatures like jinns, the animal world, winds and molten copper.(Qur’an;34:12-13).
was destined to be an important centre because of its strategic location for trade by land and sea. Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) fulfilled the commercial destiny of Palestine and brought it to its greatest heights. The nature of his empire was predominantly commercial; it served him and friendly rulers to increase trade by land and sea. The joint merchant-marine expeditions of Solomon and the Phoenician king Hiram of Tyre, sailed practically to the ends of the known world. The demand for fortresses and garrison cities throughout his homeland and empire made it necessary for Solomon to embark on a vast building program; the prosperity of the nation made such a program possible. He was especially lavish with his capital, Palestine , where he erected a city wall, a construction called the Millo, the royal palace, and the famous Jerusalem . First Temple
The construction of the
was started during the reign of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him), and completed in 957 BC. He also employed jinns in this construction. After building the House of Worship of God, as fulfillment of desire of his father David, Solomon said: “..I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel”(1Kings;), “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of First Temple , and spread forth his hands toward heaven;” (1Kings;), he prayed: "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of thy servant and to his supplication, O LORD my God, hearkening to the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prays before thee this day; that thy eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which thou hast said, `My name shall be there,' that thou mayest hearken to the prayer which thy servant offers toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant and of thy people Israel , when they pray toward this place; yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place; and when thou hearest, forgive.”(1Kings;8:27-30). Solomon's Temple which was to assume an importance far beyond what its dimensions might suggest, for its site became the only central shrine for Judaism, early Christianity and sacred to Islam being the first Qibla (prayer direction) and starting point for the mystic night journey (maira’j) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to heavens. Israel
Wisdom and Justice: Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) also became famous as a sage. Allah says: “at that time We gave Suleiman insight to arrive at the right decision, although We had given wisdom and knowledge to both of them (David and Solomon)...” (Qur’an;21:79). There are numerous traditions which highlight his sense of wisdom and justice. Solomon was deemed wiser than all the sages of
and the Egypt Middle East even wiser than some ancient paragons of wisdom. Solomon was also famed as a poet who composed 1,005 songs. The Biblical ‘Song of Solomon’ is attributed to him: “The song of songs, which is Solomon's.”(Song of Solomon;1:1). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon,: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is Muhammad-im (altogether lovely, im is added for respect in Hebrew). This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of ."(Song of Solomon; ). [In Hebrew:"Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammad-im Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem "]. Jerusalem.
Distorted Biblical Account: The Bible narrate the reign of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) especially in 1 Kings 1-11 and 2 Chronicles 1-9. The biblical account of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) has inherent distortions, which tarnish the image of this great prophet and king, as normally done by the Israelites with their messengers. A shameful story is ascribed to Solomon whereby he is blamed to have committed idolatry by worshiping other gods. Consequently the dismemberment of the united monarchy was to be brought about by God: “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ash'toreth the goddess of the Sido'nians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done."(1 Kings;11:4-7); And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.” (1 Kings;11:9-11). Solomon is cleared of any evil acts by Qur’an: “And follow that which the devils falsely related against the
. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic and that which was revealed to the two angels in kingdom of Solomon , Harut and Marut…”(Qur’an;2:102). He was an obedient servant of God, he prayed: “My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous servants.”(Qura’n;27:19). Babylon
Hebrews after Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him):
The kingdom got divided after the death of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him). Two independent Jewish kingdoms were established in
after 930 BC, the ten northern tribes constituting the Palestine were known as Israelites to distinguish them from Jews in the southern Kingdom of Israel . The northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 BC, which led to the partial dispersion of the 10 northern tribes and their gradual assimilation by other peoples. (Legends thus refer to them as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel). Thereafter, the name Israelite referred to those who were still distinctively Jewish, namely, descendants of the Kingdom of Judah . Allah sent many prophets for their guidance, some are mentioned by name like; Elisha, (9th Century B.C), Elijah,(9th Century B.C), Isaiah, (8th Century B.C), Jonah, (flourished around 785 B.C at Kingdom of Judah ), Jeremiah,(7-6th Century B.C), Job (Book of Job written around 6-4th Century B.C), Elias, Ezekiel, (6th Century B.C) and Daniel (6th Century B.C). Nineveh
The history of the Israelites from 721 BC time forward is predominantly the history of the tribe of
(hence called Jews). The southern Judah thrived until 587-586 BC, when it was overrun by the Babylonians, who destroyed the Kingdom of Judah and carried off many of the inhabitants into exile, it was beginning of ‘Diaspora’(Greek “dispersion”). [ The dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian Exile (586 BC), or the aggregate of Jews outside First Temple or present-day Palestine is called ‘Diaspora’. Hebrew Galut (“Exile”) The term also carries religious, philosophical, political, and eschatological connotations, inasmuch as the Jews perceive a special relationship between the Israel and themselves. Interpretations of this relationship range from the messianic hope of traditional Judaism for the eventual “ingathering of the exiles” to the view of Reform Judaism that the dispersal of the Jews was providentially arranged by God to foster monotheism throughout the world. land of Israel
During the Babylonian exile, the Jewish though , specially the oral traditions were influence by Zoroastrianism, the prevalent faith of Babylonian. Historically, Diaspora Jews outnumbered the Jews in
even before the destruction of Palestine in 70 C.E. Thereafter, the chief centers of Judaism shifted from country to country (e.g., Jerusalem , Babylonia, Persia , Spain , France , Germany , Poland , and the Russia ), and Jewish communities gradually adopted distinctive languages, rituals, and cultures, some submerging themselves in non-Jewish environments more completely than others. While some lived in peace, others became victims of violent anti-Semitism. While the vast majority of Jews have supported Zionism [An organized movement of world Jewry that arose in U.S. Europe in the late 19th century with the aim of reconstituting a Jewish state in . Modern Zionism is concerned with the development and support of the state of Israel.], some Orthodox Jews go so far as to oppose the modern State of Israel on the grounds that it is a godless and secular state defying God's will to send his messiah at the time he has preordained. Palestine
When the Persians conquered Babylonia in 538 BC, Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, where they soon set to work to replace the magnificent
that the Babylonians had destroyed. The 2nd Temple of Jerusalem was completed from 520-515 B.C. Ezra (Uzair, peace be upon him) returned to Temple in 458 B.C to reform the society according to Mosaic law. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 440 B.C. Ezra has been called the father of Judaism; i.e., the specific form the Jewish religion took after the Babylonian Exile. It was he who restored and codified the Torah after it had been lost during the Babylonian Exile, and "edited" it in more or less the form which it has today; and thus "he promoted the establishment of an exclusive, legalistic type of religion that became dominant in later Judaism". So important was he in the eyes of his people that later tradition regarded him as no less than a second Moses. Jerusalem
The 7th century C.E Jewish tribes in
Arabia, even revered him by calling him son of God (Qur’an;). In 331 BC, Greek culture was introduced into the Middle East with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Ptolemy I (367-283 B.C), a general in Alexander the Great's army who succeeded him as ruler of , established an Egyptian dynasty of Macedonian kings (323-30 B.C). Egypt was ruled by the Ptolemaic kings of Palestine throughout the 2nd century B.C. In 198 B.C Egypt fell to the Seleucids (a Hellenistic dynasty founded by Seleucus I after the death of Alexander the Great. It ruled much of Palestine Asia Minor from 312 to 64 B.C.). Maccabean were a family of Jewish patriots of the second and first centuries B.C., who were active in the liberation of Judea from Syrian rule. The Maccabean revolt (165-142 B.C); ended as a successful war for Judean political independence from . The Jews were ruled by the high priests like Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C), Alexandra (76-67 B.C), Aristobulus II (67-63 B.C) and Hyrcanus (63-40 B.C) Pompey, conquered Syria for Palestine in 63 B.C. [Pompey (106-48. B.C.) was a Roman general and political leader, with Caesar and Crassus he formed a ruling triumvirate (60-50 B.C) but was later defeated by Caesar and murdered in Rome .] Pompey, also seeing in Hyrcanus a means of controlling Egypt Judaea, restored him to the high priesthood and some semblance of civil authority. Herod was appointed king of Judaea (37-4 BC) by Romans. Hyrcanus was allowed by Herod to return to ; six years later, he had him executed. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the last messenger for the Israelites was born in 5 B.C. Herod Antipas became the ruler of Jerusalem Judea and tetrarch in Galilee (4 B.C.- 40 C.E).
Prophet Zechariah & John The Baptist (PBUT):
In Hebrew Zechariah; means ‘Jehovah (God) is renowned or remembered’. In Bible this has been mentioned as the name of twenty-nine Israelites, which include king, prophets, priests and others. ‘Zechariah’ the book of the Bible is attributed to the Hebrew prophet of the sixth century B.C. Prophet Zechariah (peace be upon him) was an illustrious Prophet of the Israelites (Qur’an;6:83-87) in 1st century C.E, he is mentioned as high priest in Bible (Luke;1:5, 12-17). His life narrative here is mostly based on Bible. His wife Elizabeth, was of the daughters (descendant) of Aaron (Luke;1:5), considered a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Zechariah was also the patron of Mary. He kept the torch of Mosaic Law burning. Prophet Zechariah (peace be upon him), was issueless and old, he prayed to God for the successor for the priesthood of the house of Jacob (Qur’an;, 19:5-6). Allah accepted his prayers and gave him tidings of a son who was named as Yahya (John) by God (Qur’an;19:7).
He was given token of speechlessness for three days. (Qur’an;, Luke;1:64). Yahya (John) was born six months before Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Lu1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Lu; Numbers;6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of
lying between Judah and the Jerusalem Dead Sea (Mthew;3:1-12). At length he came forth into public life, and great huge numbers from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (M thew;3:3; Isaiah;40:3; Malachi;3:1). In accordance with his father's prayer John (Yahya), and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) for whom he prepared the way, renewed the Message of God, which had been corrupted by the Israelites.
The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Jewish sects Sadducees (who denied the resurrection and the existence of angels) and Pharisees (extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the law of Moses, noted for their self-righteousness and pride) as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke;3:8)."As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. He cautioned the publicans against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of
, and the people from all parts flocked on the banks of Palestine Jordan river where he baptized thousands unto repentance.
The fame of John reached the ears of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) in
(Mathew;3:5), and he came from Nazareth Galilee to to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfill all righteousness"(Mathew;). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod Antipas, the provincial ruler under the Roman Empire (4 B.C to 40 C.E), whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke;3:19). He was shut up in a fortress near the Jordan Dead Sea, where he was beheaded after Herod's stepdaughter, Salome, demanded his head as a reward for dancing for the king's guests. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Mathew;14:3-12). Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John;). Even in his young life, he was granted: ‘Wisdom’ by Allah, for he boldly denounced sin; ‘Gentle pity and love’ for all Allah's creatures, for he moved among the humble and lowly, and despised "soft raiment"; and ‘Purity of life’, for he renounced the world and lived in the wilderness. His grave still exist in Umayyah Mosque in . Syria
Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary (peace be upon him), the last in the series of messengers for the children of
was miraculously born without father to the Virgin Mary in 5 B.C.E. The mission of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is summed up in Qur’an, Allah says: “And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those (earlier prophets), confirming the truth of what ever there still remained of the Torah; and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein there was guidance and a light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God conscious.”(Qur’an;). Israel
Gospel and Qur’an are unanimous on the apostolic mission of Jesus (peace be upon him): "Ye men of
, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."(Acts;). Allah says: “The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how we make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!”(Qur’an;5:75);“He was no more than a servant: We granted Our favor to him (miracles, wonders and signs) and We made him an example to the Children of Israel.” (Qur’an;43:59). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself said: “I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel .”(Mathew;). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) strictly forbade preaching to Gentiles: “These twelve (disciples) Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(Mathew;10:5-6). Israel
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew;5:17-20). [Pharisees; was a Jewish sect, extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the Law of Moses]. After Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), Paul, the self appointed 13th disciple of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), deviated from the prophetic mission and teaching of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) by systematically canceling the Law of Moses, by declaring: “But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”(Romans; 7:6). The message of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was altered, he was declared as son of God, part of divine, one of three in the doctrine of Trinity. The word Trinity does not exist in Bible, the only verse in the whole of Bible which, is interpreted by the supporters of Trinity is: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one."(The first Epistle of John;5:7,8). (in some volumes this verse is changed as : “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree”. In the foot not of this verse in ‘New International Version Bible’ it is written; ‘not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteen century. Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.'s in a footnote to this verse opine: "It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted. "The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged.
The terms ‘Father’ and ‘son of God’ have been abhorrently misused to support the doctrine of Trinity and divinity of Jesus Christ. The Hebrews believed that God is One, and had neither wife nor children in any literal sense. The God has been addressed as Father because he is the Creator: “Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?”(Deuteronomy;32:6);“Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?”(Malachi;). Like the Father, He has a concern and care for His creatures: “As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear him.” (Psalms;103:13). Consequently it is obvious that the expression “son of God” frequently used in Bible (both in Old & New Testaments) merely meant to them “Servant of God”; one who, because of his faithful service, was close and dear to God, as a son is to a father, as used for Prophet Jacob, David & Solomon in the Bible. (2 Samuel 8:13-14, Psalms;2:7,89:26-27: Job;1:6, Psalms 2:7, Luke;3:38, 4:41, 9:22, Hosea;1:10, Jeremiah;31:9, Job;2:1,38:4-7, Genesis;6:2, Deuteronomy;14:1, Exodus;4:22-23). The Christians who came from Greek and Roman background, later misused this term. In their heritage, “son of God” signified an incarnation of a ‘god’ or someone born of a physical union between male and female gods. When the Church cast aside its Hebrew foundations, it adopted the pagan concept of “son of God”, which was entirely different from the Hebrew usage. Consequently, the use of the term “son of God” should not be understood in the pagan sense of a literal offspring of God, but from the Semitic symbolic sense of a “servant of God” or near to God, In the Gospels, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is recorded as saying: “Blessed are the peace-makers; they will be called sons of God.”(Mathew;5:9), “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”(Romans;8:14). According to the Bible of King James Version of 1611 : “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only ‘begotten’ Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”(John;). The word ‘begotten’ used here (John;3:16) has been expunged in the Bible- Revised Standard Version, being wrongly added because word ‘begotten’ does not exist in the original Greek script. In the Gospels Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is reported to have repeatedly called himself “Son of man”(Mathew;9:6, Luke;). At eighty five places “Son of man” has been mentioned in New Testament. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) even rejected being called “Son of God”: “And demons also came out of many, crying, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.”(Luke;). God says: “Further to warn those who say "God has begotten a son." They have no knowledge, nor do their forefathers. Dreadful is the word that comes from their mouths. They speak nothing but a lie.”(Qur’an;18:4-5). Even according to the Christian scriptures Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unambiguous statement in the entire Bible where Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself says, "I am God" or where he says, "worship me". Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) preached supremacy, obedience and worship of God: (John;, , , Mathew;,-17, Luke;); “..Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”(Mathew;, Luke;4:8).
The Jews often persecuted their prophets: “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.” (2 Chronicles; 36:16 also Mathew;). They often imprisoned them (1Kings; , Jeremiah; 32:2,37, 15-16), put them to death (1Kings;,, Mathew;-37) and repeatedly left without, on account of sin(1Sameul;3:1, Amos;-12). Instead of following to the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the Jews rejected and humiliated him. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) continued preaching and performed numerous miracles, particularly the raising of Lazarus in Bethany (John;11:1-44).
During final days, he disputed with the chief priest. The scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees (Jewish sects) questioned about his authority, tribute to Caesar, and the resurrection. Meanwhile, in
, the Jewish priests and scribes were apprehensive that the activities of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) would turn the Romans against them and the Jewish people. Hence they conspired with Judas Iscariot, one of disciples of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), to arrest and kill him by stealth, “for they feared the people”(John;-53);“Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.”(Luke;22:3-5). A crowd led by Judas Iscariot was sent by the religious authorities to arrest him in Jerusalem Gethsemane.
The supreme council of the Jews, the Sanhedrin condemned Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) to death for false accusation of blasphemy in 30 C.E. Pontius Pilate (the Roman governor of
Judea who ordered Christ's crucifixion) sent Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) for judgment to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee (4 BC–AD 39).
The alleged crucifixion and resurrection of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) is a mystery, with divergent views with in the disciples and the followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) was neither killed nor was he crucified, as alleged by most of the Christians and the Jews, but that he was Alive. Ahmed Deedat, the renowned authority on Bible, in his book ‘Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction’ has deliberated on this aspect through references and internal evidence from Bible. Jesus was reluctant to die! since he had worked out a strategy of defence to repel the Jews, because he wanted to remain Alive! (Matthew 26:37-38). He beseeched God for help: With strong crying and tears for God Almighty to keep him Alive!( Luke Matthew 26: 37-39). God "Heard" his prayers: Which means that God accepted his prayers to keep him Alive! (Hebrews;5:7). An angel of God came to strengthen him: In the hope and belief that God will save him Alive!(Luk;).
Jesus was supposed to be on the cross for only three hours: According to the system in vogue, no man could die by crucifixion in such a short time which means that even if he was fastened to the cross — he was Alive. The Jews doubted his death: They suspected that he had escaped death on the cross — that he was Alive!(Matthew;27:62-64). Jesus ate food again and again in his post ‘crucifixion’ appearances: Food is only necessary if he was Alive! (Luke;24:30), the spirit is not in need of food. Jesus had himself foretold that his miracle will be the miracle of Jonah: “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him (Jesus), "Teacher, we wish to see a sign (miracle) from you. But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign (miracle) of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man (Jesus) be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”(Mathew;38-40).
According to the ‘Book of Jonah’, Jonah was Alive, when we expected him to be ‘Dead’; similarly when we expect Jesus to be DEAD, he should be Alive. Hence the internal evidence from Bible conforms to the Qur’anic narrative. Allah says: “And (then Children of Israel) plotted and planned and Allah too planned and the best of planners is Allah.(Qur’an;). “That they said (in boast) "We killed Jesus Christ the son of Mary the Messenger of God"; but they killed him not nor crucified him but so it was made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge but only conjecture to follow for of a surety they killed him not. Nay Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power Wise. (Qur’an;4:157,158).
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is the only messenger of God who has been raised to the level of divinity by most of his followers. The real message, which he preached, has been distorted and corrupted, the authenticity of the four Gospels (claimed to contain his teachings) remains questionable even among many Christians.
Lot of mysteries and controversies exists about his life, preaching and departure. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was prophet for the Israelites and not gentiles. The new doctrines of Original Sin and Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost, three, part of One God) were evolved much later and the Law of Moses was cancelled to make the new faith acceptable to the pagans of Greco-Roman world, a separate subject of detailed study.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said; “I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”(John;); “Thy will be done”.(Mathew; ,26:42). Hence Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is a Muslim because by definition the; ‘Muslim is a person who submits his will to God’. Muslims worship the same one God, worshiped by Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), they are required to offer obligatory prayers (salah), keep fast (saum) and spend on charity (zakah) practice humility which was also practiced and preached by Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him)(Mathew;17:21, 23:23-24, 26:36, 1 Peter;4:8). Muslims are circumcised as was Jesus (Luke;-24), they greet in the same manner as Jesus (peace be upon him) greeted in Hebrew; ‘Sholam alay kum’(Luke;24:36), the Islamic greeting in Arabic is also same: “Assalaamu alai kum” both meaning ‘Peace be on you’. Muslims also do not eat pork nor indulge in intoxicants. Attire and appearance of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) with a beard is same as of faithful Muslims.
Mary (Allah be pleased with her), the mother of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is highly respected by Muslims. Allah accords her highest status among women: “AND LO! The angels said: "O Mary! Behold, God has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the world.”(Qura’n;); “We made her and her son a sign for the whole world.”(Qura’n;21:91). While she is cursorily mentioned in Bible, Qur’an names Chapter Number 19 after her and mentions her by name at least thirty three times. In the Christian iconology she is seen modestly dressed with her head covered, the Muslim women and Christian nuns are also dressed modestly like Mary. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was the last Hebrew prophet, who was sent by God to preach the implementation of the Law of Moses to the Jews (Mathew;5:17-20) and make lawful some of that which was forbidden to them(Qur’an;3:49,50).
Muslims believe in Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as messenger of God (Acts;2:22), his miraculous birth without father (Qur’an;19:16-40, Matthew;1:18-25 & Luke;1:28-35) and the miracles performed by the will of God (Qur’an;3:49, Mathew;4:23,9:35, Luke; 4:22, 9:11, 3:8 and Acts:4:16). They further believe in the revelations (scripture) he received from God, who saved him and raised him up to Himself, to be sent back to this world before the end of time. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) prophesized the advent of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.(John;, ,16:7,12-14, Qur’an;). According to Bible Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said: “Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Islam: Surrender to will of God). On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’.”(Methew;7:21-23).
If Christian is the one who follows the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), then Muslims are more Christians than those who call themselves Christian. Most of the present Christians have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), they follow the doctrines of Paul. Islamic and Christian traditions are synonymous that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) will return in this world again before end of time. According to Islamic traditions, Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) will dispel all the controversies about him in his second coming. He will rule the world as just ruler according to Shari’a (Islamic law) and die natural death. Allah says: “Every human being is bound to taste death..”(Qura’n;3:185).
Development after Prophet Jesus Christ (PBUH):
Christianity was originally a movement of Jews who accepted Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as the prophet and messiah, but the movement quickly became predominantly Gentile (non-Jewish) with change in the doctrine acceptable to the Greco-Roman pagans. The early church was shaped by St. Paul and other Christian missionaries and theologians; who declared Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) to be the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, that God's love for the world is the essential component of his being, and that Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) died to redeem humankind from the Original Sin (sin committed by Adam by disobeying God). Those who followed the teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) were persecuted and marginalized. The Christians were persecuted under the
Roman Empire but by winning over I, the Emperor of Rome (306-337 C.E) who adopted the Christian faith and suspended the persecution of Christians the situation was reversed. In 313 C.E he issued, with Licinius, the Edict of Milan, granting tolerance to Christians; he also gave land for churches and granted the church special privileges. He opposed other groups, notably following Donatism (Fourth century C.E, North Africa sect, which believed in sanctity as requisite for church membership and administration of all sacraments) and Arianism (The doctrines of Arius, denying that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was of the same substance as God and holding instead that he was only the highest of created beings.), and convoked the important Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. He rebuilt Constantine Constantinople (now ) as the new Istanbul (330 C.E). Rome
Jews after Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him):
After Pontius Pilate, Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I the Great was appointed the king of
Judea (41-44 C.E) by Roman Emperor. He displayed great acumen in conciliating the Romans and Jews. Herod Agrippa II , a great-grandson of Herod I the Great, was the king of in southern Chalcis and south Lebanon from 53 C.E, who unsuccessfully mediated with the rebels in the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 C.E. The entire kingdom passed under Roman rule in 44 C.E and was reconstituted as the procuratorial Syria . Disturbances were frequent, caused by maladministration. The incompetence and anti-Jewish posture led in 66 C.E to the decisive and final outbreak of revolt. The Greeks massacred the Jews in many towns of province of Judea . In turn, the Jews responded by slaughtering Gentiles in Palestine , Samaria Galilee, and elsewhere. The Jews were successful in an early engagement against the governor of , In 67 C.E, however, Vespasian, the future emperor, with his son Titus, arrived with force and the war became increasingly bitter. By the end of 67 C.E Galilee was captured, and Syria Judea was reduced in three campaigns, which ended with the fall of in 70 C.E. The Jerusalem was destroyed, and the city became the permanent garrison town of a Roman legion. By 73 C.E all the Jewish resistance had ceased. Temple
After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews, deprived of the
, founded a new religious centre in the rabbinical Temple (Jabneh). The revolt in 115 C.E was put down. In 132 C.E the emperor Hadrian decided to build a Roman colony, Aelia Capitolina, on the site of school of Jamnia . The announcement of his plan, as well as his ban on circumcision (revoked later, but only for the Jews), provoked a much more serious revolt, led by Bar Kokhba. It was ruthlessly repressed by Julius Severus, more than half a million people were killed. In Jerusalem Judea proper the Jews seem to have been virtually exterminated, but they survived in Galilee. Tiberias in Galilee became the seat of the Jewish patriarchs. No Jew was thenceforth allowed to set foot in or the surrounding districts. This prohibition apparently was relaxed some time later to permit Jews to enter Jerusalem once in an year, on the Day of Mourning. Jerusalem
While this ban was officially still in force as late as the 4th century C.E, there is some evidence that Jews visited the city at certain festival times. About the time the Bar Kokhba revolt was crushed (135 C.E), Hadrian (Emperor of
) proceeded to convert Rome into a Greco-Roman city. He also erected temples dedicated to Jupiter and himself on the site of the destroyed Jerusalem . The Jewish presence however remained strong in Temple of Jerusalem Galilee. The Jews have flourished financially all over the Christendom for centuries, however they were ill treated as hated community branded as killers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and money lenders. They were confined to ghettos. Jews enjoyed freedom in the Islamic world, especially in the Muslim Spain, till expelled by Christians only to be welcomed again by Muslims in Ottoman Turkey.
With the conversion of Constantine I to Christianity early in the 4th century C.E, a new era of prosperity began for
. The emperor himself built a magnificent church on the site of the Holy Sepulcher, the most sacred of Christian holy places; his mother, Helena, built two others, at the place of the Nativity at Palestine and of the Ascension in Bethlehem and his mother-in-law, Eutropia, built a church at Mamre. Jerusalem began to attract floods of pilgrims from all parts of the empire. It also became a great centre of the eremitic life; men flocked from all quarters to become hermits in the Judaean wilderness, which was soon dotted with monasteries. Eventually, Juvenal, bishop of Palestine from 421 to 458 C.E, achieved his ambition and was recognized by the Council of Chalcedon (451 C.E) as patriarch of the three provinces of Jerusalem . Palestine
There was a revolt of the Jews in
Galilee in 352 C.E, which was suppressed by the Caesar Gallus. Under Marcian (reigned 450-457 C.E) and again under Justinian I (reigned 527-565 C.E) the Samaritans revolted. , like Palestine and Syria , was also troubled by the Monophysite Controversy (a debate among Christians who disagreed with the Council of Chalcedon's assertion that the person of Prophet Jesus Christ comprised two natures, human and divine). Gradually, however, the Chalcedonian doctrine gained ground, and Egypt became a stronghold of orthodoxy. Palestine
Apart from these disturbances the country enjoyed peace and prosperity until 611 C.E, when Khosrow II, king of
, launched an invasion. His troops captured Persia (614 C.E), destroyed churches, and carried off the True Cross. Earlier Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the descendent of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) had already received the first revelation in 610 C.E at Mecca Arabia. In 615 C.E, when total destruction of Byzantine Empire seemed imminent, the victory of Christians over Persians in the coming years was prophesied in Qura’n;30:2-4. Accordingly in 628 C.E the Byzantine emperor Heracles recovered Jerusalem , and he subsequently restored the True Cross to Palestine , not knowing that 10 years later Jerusalem was to fall to the Muslim Arabs. Jerusalem
became their second most holiest site being the first Qibla (prayer direction) for Muslims, and its connection with the Mairaj [Night journey of Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him), to heaven]. From 637 C.E Jerusalem was ruled by various Muslim dynasties, except for short periods during the Crusades, which left deep scars. Rule by the Jerusalem Ottoman Empire ended in 1917, and the city became the capital of the British mandate of . In 1948, the state of Palestine , a homeland for Jews was created, after centuries of oppression of Jews by European Christians (lastly holocaust by Hitler). This was done at the cost of Palestinians through oppression, forced expulsion by terror which still continues unabated. Israel claimed the city as its capital after the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 and took the entire city during the Six-Day War of 1967. Its status as capital of independent state of Israel or Palestine is one of main points of contention.
Joseph is called a father to Pharaoh(Genesis; 45:8), Abraham is called the father of a multitude of nations (Genesis;17:5), and Job is called the father of the needy (Job;29:16). “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, ..
PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
During end of 6th century after Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was born at Makka in 571 C.E (according to research by Dr.Hamidullah, the date is
17 June 569 C.E). He was chosen to be the last messenger of God for the guidance of humanity till eternity. He was not from the progeny of (Jacob) but from the progeny of Ishmael, the eldest son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). Ishmael has been mentioned in Bible to be leader of a nation being the seed of Abraham (Genesis;, , ). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was chosen by God to revive the original faith of Abraham in its true form, for the humanity, which over the time had been distorted and corrupted by the decedents of Prophet Israel (Jacob) and followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as the fulfillment of prayer, of Prophet Abraham and Ishmael, who while raising the foundations of House of Lord (Kabah) around 1800 B.C, had prayed: "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them In Scripture and Wisdom, and sanctify them: for Thou art the Exalted In Might, the Wise." (Qur’an;2:129). Israel
Prophesied In Bible:
The advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been foretold to the previous messengers. Allah says: “Behold! Allah took the Covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe In Him and render Him help." Allah said: "Do ye agree, and take This My Covenant As binding on you?" They said: "We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses."(Qur’an;3:81). The Old Testament as well as New Testament still contain these prophesies . Allah says: "Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom They find mentioned In their own (scriptures). In the law and the Gospel;- for He commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; He allows them As lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. so it is those who believe In him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is They who will prosper."(Qur’an;7:157).
According to Old Testament, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was told by God: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him"(Deuteronomy;18:18,19). Christians relate this prophesy with Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) which is not correct as the critical analysis reveal that this prophesy is about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): Among the prophets which followed Prophet Moses, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is most like Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) where as Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) had nothing common with Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) except being a Jew and prophet, (Though among the Christians, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is believed to be Son of God, one of the three persons of the Trinity). Prophet Muhammad and Moses (peace be upon them) had a normal birth through father and a mother, while Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was miraculously born without any male intervention.(Mathew; and Luke; and also Qur’an;-47).
Prophet Moses Muhammad (peace be upon him) were both married, had children and died natural deaths. Muhammad (peace be upon him) is from among the brethren of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) being descendent of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) through his son Ishmael (peace be upon him), whereas Moses was descendent of Isaac (through his son Jacob) the younger brother of Ishmael. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was unlettered, hence in verbatim repeated the revelations conforming phrase; “Words in the mouth”. Prophet Moses & Muhammad (peace be upon them) brought new laws and new regulations for their people, besides, both were accepted as messengers of God by their people in their lifetime. They ruled over their communities (as kings), they could inflict capital punishment.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John;). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was not accepted by most of his people in his life time: "He came unto his own, but his own received him not."(Gospel of John;) and he (Jesus) did not bring any new law, Jesus said; “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. . . ;”(Mathew;-18). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned by name in the Old Testament: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely (Muhammadim). This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of
."(Song of Solomon;): “Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem .” In the Hebrew language ‘im’ is added for respect. Similarly ‘im’ is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to make it Muhammadim. [According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary of Bible: Hebrew word; makh-mawd'; means delightful; hence, a delight, i.e. object of affection or desire: beloved, desire, goodly, lovely, pleasant (thing)]. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as "altogether lovely", but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is present till now. Jerusalem
While prophesizing, about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (referring to Muhammad) is come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me"(John; -14); "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever."(John;14:16);“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;”(John;15:26); “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”(John;16:7).
Ahmed" or "Muhammad" meaning "the one who praises" or "the praised one" is almost the translation of the Greek word ‘Periclytos’. In the Gospel of John;, , and 16:7, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) actually prophesized “Ahmed” by name, word 'Comforter' in Greek ‘Paracletos’ or ‘Periclytos’ refers to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says in Qur’an: “Those to whom We have given the Scripture (their scholars) recognize this (Muhammad) as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their own souls refuse therefore to believe.” (Qur’an;); "And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, 'O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.' But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, 'This is evident sorcery!”(Qur’an;61:6); “Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while ye have knowledge?”(Qur’an;3:71).
Prophesied in Other Scriptures: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also been prophesized in the Zoroaster, Buddhist and Hindu Scriptures: ‘Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8’; Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 10 to 27; Bhavishya Purana, Parv - III Khand 1 Adhay 3 Shloka 21-23; and Samveda Book II Hymn 6 verse 8.
Early life, Prophethood 10 years at Makkah:
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (571-632 C.E) was born as orphan in the ruling tribe (Quraysh), descendent of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) at Makka Arabia. This tribe was the custodian of Ka’ba, the house of worship of Allah, originally rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael but, during 7th century C.E, it was packed with idols. He was initially brought up by his grandfather and later by his uncle Abu Talib. He was illiterate but extremely honest and trustworthy. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one of few among pagan Arabs known as hanafi who, did not worship idols and believed in only one God. At the age of forty he started meditation in cave Hira where in 610 C.E he was visited by the angel Gabriel, to deliver the first revelation from God. He continued to receive the Revelations during next 23 yeas (till his death) which were promptly and accurately recorded by scribes, which is known as Qur’an, the basis of Islam. The mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was striking, Allah says: “It is He who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the way of life (Din) of truth, to proclaim it over all (false) way of life (Din), however much the idolaters may be averse. They desire to extinguish the light of God with their mouths but God will not allow it to happen, for He seeks to perfect His light even though the disbelievers may dislike it. (Qur’an;-33, similarly at 61:8-9 & 48:28 ).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began to preach publicly in 613 C.E. He was urging the rich to give to the poor and calling to worship and obey Allah (one God, the God of their ancestors Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and all) instead of idols. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not invent any new religion but was sent to revive Islam (surrender to the will of One God) the original faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham (the common ancestor of Israelites, Christians and Arabs) Moses and all other messengers up to Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon them all). The restrictions imposed upon Children of Israel due to their hardness of heart and rebelliousness were to be relaxed, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last messenger of God for all the humanity till eternity. Allah says: “We have not sent you (O’ Muhammad) but as a universal (Messenger) to the entire mankind giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin) but most men understand not.” (Qur’an;37:28). “O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe a Guidance and a Mercy.”(Qur’an;). Hence being a messenger of God for the mankind, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached to all without discriminating to any race, group or clan. Hence among his first ‘companions’ and converts, beside the Arabs can be counted Bilal the Abyssinian, Salman the Persian and Abdullah Bin-Salaam the Jew.
Migration to Medina & Establishment if First Heterogeneous Multi-Religious State at
He gained disciples who suffered worst oppression, from Quraysh, his kinsmen. They planed to murder him, consequently he had to migrate from
to Mecca in 622 C.E, where a warm welcome awaited. This migration is known as the Hijrah, which marks the beginning of the Islamic era. He established the first ever Islamic State at Medina , having first ever written constitution, conceding equal rights to all the people including Jews and Christians. Muslims thwart an offensive by forces of polytheists and idolaters of Medina in 624 C.E at Badar; they suffered partial reverses in 625 C.E at Uhad but repelled a Meccan siege of Mecca in 627 C.E in the Battle of Trench. The ‘Truce of Hudabia’ in 628 C.E, with polytheists of Makka provided peace and expansion of Islam among many Arabian tribes. Medina
Expansion of Islam in
Arabia and Around:
peacefully fell to Muslims in 630 C.E and by 631 C.E Muslims were in control of almost all of Mecca Arabia (estimated total area of about three million square kilometers) at the total loss of 240 enemies, the Muslim losses were even lesser. People started embracing Islam in large numbers. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continued to stay at , he made his last journey to Medina in 632 C.E, establishing the rites of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca as tradition of Abraham) and purged it of pagan rituals. The Messenger (peace be upon him) completed his mission; he was commanded to deliver the complete message of guidance, in unambiguous terms. Allah says: “O Messenger! Deliver the message which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you are not doing justice to your mission. Allah will protect you from the mischief of the people. Rest assured that Allah will not let the unbelievers succeed against you”(Qur’an;5:67). Any laxity in conveyance of message by hiding or concealing result in curse of God: “Those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance, after We have made it clear in the Book for mankind, will have Allah's curse and that of those who are entitled to curse;”(Qur’an;2:159). Mecca
The Messenger (peace be upon him) did not conceal any thing and completed his mission, which is further confirmed, Allah says: “..This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion
ISLAM..”(Qur’an;5:3). He died later that year, and buried at the Prophet’s Mosque at AL- ; the second holiest site along with Al-Aqsa Mosque (1st Medina at Temple ) after Ka’ba at Makka. He left Qur’an the living miracle full of wisdom (hikmah) and his Traditions (Sunnah) for the guidance of humanity for ever. Jerusalem
Islam Established as a Universal Faith:
Within few years after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his devout followers brought major parts of neighboring empires under their influence as far as up to southern France, through Spain, central Asia, India to the Atlantic Ocean. Islamic rule and political influence continued to expand, in the intervening centuries, far beyond the borders of the original Muslim conquests. Renowned scholar Michael Hart, in his famous book, placed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at the top of the list of hundred most influential men in history of mankind. According to him, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached and promulgated one of the world’s great religion, and became an immensely effective political leader. Even fourteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive; there are around 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. The majority of influential men of history had the advantage of getting born and raised in centers of civilization, highly cultured or politically pivotal nations, while Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born and raised at Mecca, the most remote and isolated corner of the world. He single-handedly accomplished the great mission with almost no means and resources. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was also an ideal leader who lead from front and left the land marks for the Muslims in all secular and spiritual spheres. He is the legislator-jurist who defined ritual observance and Islamic law in the light of Qur’an i.e. Allah repeatedly ask the believers to offer prayers (salah), but how to offer the prayers? The jurists find in the traditions (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Role Model as Best Human Being:
He is the ideal seeker of spiritual perfection for the mystics. Philosophers and statesman find a role model of both as conqueror of hearts and just ruler in him. The ordinary Muslims can find a model of God’s grace and salvation in him. He was an effective administrator, legislator, judge and military commander as well as teacher, preacher and prayer leader of the Muslim community. At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O’ People, no messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people.” History is witness to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did convey the Message very effectively and successfully.
Before his demise Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being universal messenger of God for the humanity, extended the invitation of Islam to the neighboring Kings and rulers through epistles and emissaries. The most prominent are, Hercules the Eastern Roman Emperor (610-641 C.E), Khusro Parvaiz of
, Najashi, the King of Habsha ( Persia Abyssinia), rulers of and Bahrain . He died in 632 C.E at Oman and was buried at the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjad-I-Nabwi). Medina
Islam for the Humanity:
All previous messengers and scriptures were meant for the guidance of specific nations and that period, where as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Qur’an is the guide for the humanity for ever. Hence it is now mandatory for all the humanity, including the Jews and Christians to believe and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Qur’an, to attain salvation. Allah says: “As for those who are bent on denying the truth and on barring (others) from the path of God - all their (good) deeds will He let go to waste; whereas those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds, and have come to believe in what has been bestowed from on high on Muhammad - for it is the truth from their Sustainer – (shall attain to God’s grace) He will efface their (past) bad deeds, and will set their hearts at rest”.(Qur’an;47;2-3); “If instead of this rebellious attitude the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had believed and become God fearing, We would certainly have removed their iniquities and admitted them to the gardens of Bliss”(Qur’an;5:65).
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