Section 10: The Christian Deviation from the Truth
Truth to be proclaimed at all cost -The people of the Gospel do not act up to it - The errors which the Christians commit
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
67. "O' Messenger! convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the (vice of) people, verily Allah does not guide the unbelieving ones. "
In this verse, only the Prophet (S) is addressed. It states but his duty. The text of the verse begins with "O' Messenger!" and continues explicitly and emphatically commending him such:
Then, for a further emphasis it warns him that if he refrains doing that, (that never might he refrain), he has not conveyed His message to people at all. The verse says:
After that, the revelation consoles the Prophet (S), as if he was anxious and worried about a particular incident, and tells him not to be afraid of people for performing this duty. It says:
And, at the end of the verse, as a threat and punishment unto those who reject or deny this peculiar message and pertinaciously blaspheme it, the verse says:
Truly, what an important subject there existed in the latest months of the Prophet's life that in the above-mentioned verse the lack of its conveyance has been counted equivalent with the lack of messenger ship wholly.
In different books of the scholars of both Sunnite and Shi'ah schools of thought, there are many authentic traditions recorded to say that the above-mentioned verse has been revealed at Ghadeer Khumm about the appointment of the successor for the Prophet (S) and the future fate of Islam and Muslims.1
In the last year of the Prophet's life the rites of Hajjat-ul- Wida' were very gloriously performed at the presence of the Prophet (S).
In this journey, not only the inhabitants of Medina accompanied the holy Prophet (S), but also Muslims of different parts of Arabia took part in the pilgrimage with the Prophet (S) to gain a great historical honour and credit.
The sun of Arabia was showering heat as fire over Mounts and valleys. But the sweetness of this spiritual journey made everything easy for the pilgrims of Mecca. It was nearly noon. The land of Juhfeh and behind it the hot dry deserts of Ghadeer Khumm were showing themselves from a distance.
It was on Thursday in the tenth A.H. (anno Hijira), just eight days after the Day of Sacrifice. Suddenly the Prophet (S) ordered halt to the marching caravan.
The Prophet's Muazzin invited people to noon prayer with a loud voice of 'Allahu-Akbar '. People became ready for prayer while the weather was so hot that men had to put one side of their shoulder-mantles on the ground under their feet and another side of it over their heads when establishing prayer.
When the noon prayer was established, people were going to go immediately into their small tents which they were carrying with them to shelter therein. But the Prophet (S) informed them that everybody should attend to hearken a new Divine message. Then he announced that message through a full described sermon.
Those people who were standing in a distance from the Prophet (S) to listen to his lecture could not see him from behind the crowd.
Therefore, a pulpit was prepared from the seats used at the back of the camels. The holy Prophet (S) mounting the pulpit praised Allah and sought protection from Him. Then he addressed the huge crowd of people and said:
"Soon I am going to depart from among you by accepting the invitation of Allah. I am responsible, and you are responsible, too. How do you bear witness about me? "
The audience shouted saying:
"We bear witness that certainly you have conveyed (the mission of messenger ship), advised (the circumstance of benevolence) and strived (to guide us). May, then, Allah reward you goodness."
Then he (S) questioned:
"Do you not bear witness to Unity of Allah, my messenger ship, the rightfulness of the Day of Resurrection, and raising the dead on that Day?"
The crowd answered: "Yes, We confess." The Prophet (S) said: "O' Lord! Be witness." Again, he (S) said: "O' people! Do you hear me? ..." The audience answered positively, and then a silence dominated throughout the desert, so that there was, heard nothing but the sound of the wind.
The Prophet (S) said:
"Now, look how do you treat with these two weighty and worthy things that I leave among you?"
A voice from among the crowd asked the Prophet (S) what those two worthy things were.
The Prophet (S) immediately said:
"The first is 'the Greater Weight', the Qur'an, whose one end is in Allah's hand and another end is in your hand. Never abandon it lest you might get astray! The second worthy thing is my progeny, my Ahlul-Bayt. And verily Allah, the Subtle, the Aware, informed me that never, never, will these too get separated from each other until they meet me at Heaven. Do not anticipate them both, because you, will be perished; and be not behind-hand of those two, for you will be perished, too."
At that time, people saw that the Prophet (S) was looking round as if he was looking for someone. As soon as he saw Ali (as), he leaned over and took his hand and raised it up so high that the whiteness of their arm-pits appeared.
The entire crowd saw him (as) and recognized him that he is the very ever-victorious officer of Islam. Here, the Prophet's voice became louder and more audible when he said:
"O' people! who is superior (or the Master) among the people to the believers more than their own selves? "
They said: "Allah and the Prophet (S) know better."
The Prophet (S) said:
"Allah is my master, and I am the master over the believers, and I am superior to them more than their own selves (my decision is superior to their decision)."
Then he (S) added:
"To whomever I am the Maula (the master) this Ali is his Maula (the master)."
And he repeated this statement three times, or, as some narrators of the traditions have cited, he repeated it four times.
After stating this commandment, he looked up towards heaven and prayed, saying:
"O' Allah! Be You a friend to him who is a friend to him (Ali) and (Be You) as enemy to him who is enemy to him (i.e. Ali)."
Then he (S) said to the audience:
"Beware that all of you who are present should communicate this news to those who are absent."
The Prophet's sermon was completed while sweat was showering from the faces of the Prophet (S), Ali (as) and all people there because of the heat. Before separating the rows of the pilgrims, Ruh-ul-'Amin (Gabriel) came down and revealed this holy verse to the Prophet (S):
The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest upon the perfection of religion and completion of favour, and the Lord became pleased with my messenger ship and Ali's mastership after me."
At this time there arose a sound of pleasure and uproar amongst people, and they congratulated this position to Ali (as). Two people, out of those famous ones in the gathering who felicitated Ali (as), were Abu-Bakr and 'Umar.
It was at the presence of the crowd when they one after another uttered in their Arabic tongue: "Bakhkhin bakhkhin laka yabna Abi-Talib. Asbahta wa amsayta Moulaee wa Maula kulle Mu'minin wa Mu'minah , (Hurrah, Hurrah, O' son of Abu-Talib! You have now become my Maula (master) and the Maula (master) of every believing man and believing woman.)
This report is a brief explanation of the Ghadeer Khumm which has been recorded in the scholars' books of both Sunnie and Shi'ites.
All of the Shi'ite commentators basing on Ahlul-Bayt's traditions, and also as some Sunnite commentators, like Fakhr-i-Razi and the author of Almanar have cited that this verse is related to the mastership (wilayah) of Ali-ibn Abi-Talib and the event in Ghadeer Khumm.
The style of the tone and address of the verse distinguishes this holy verse from the verses before and after it. It is only in this verse throughout the Qur'an that the holy Prophet (S) has been threatened due to the concealment of message.
It announces that if he does not convey that message, it is as if what he has conveyed during all the years of his messenger ship will be reduced to nothing. Therefore, it must be noted what an important message it is which has been stated there and in that manner.
It is a message that, from the point of significance, is equivalent with all the Divine messages of the whole period of his prophet hood and messenger ship. That message is the master ship, Imamate, and leadership of Ali-ibn-Abi- Talib (as) from the side of Allah.
O' Lord! accept us and our children among the true followers of Imam Ali (as) and his progeny (as), and cause us all to be mustered with them on the day of Resurrection.
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ حَتَّىَ تُقِيمُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُم مَّا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
68. "Say: 'O' People of the Book you follow naught (no true religion) till you keep up the Torah and the Evangel and what has been sent down unto you from your Lord; and surely that which has been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur'an} shall increase many of them in insolence and infidelity. So do not grieve for the unbelieving ones."
It is necessary to believe in all the heavenly Books, and a mere claim of belief is not sufficient. Practice and establishment of action for Faith is indispensable. Thus, the person who does not practise his Faith has no religion.
The personality and value of individuals is estimated by the level of their action on the religious duties.
Infidelity and obstinacy of persons do not harm the Islamic system and ideology, but they themselves incur its harm. Allah is the protector of the religion.
It is evident, of course that the content meaning of this verse is not allocated to the Jews. If the Muslims suffice only to the claim of Islam, too, and do not establish the prophets' principles of training and their own heavenly Book in particular, they will have neither any rank nor value with Allah nor in their own personal and social life. So, they will always be helpless, inferior and defeated.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالصَّابِؤُونَ وَالنَّصَارَى مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
69. "Verily those who believed, and those of the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians, whoever believed in Allah and the Last Day, and worked righteousness - no fear shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve."
The verse relates to the Faith and the deeds of the followers of those religions mentioned in the verse at their own concerning times.
Then, with the advent of a new religion, they should believe in the new Divine law, else the appointment of the successive prophets seems useless. Then, either of the Jews, the Christians, and others should believe in Islam like Muslims and act righteously. It is in that case that they will have neither fear nor any grief.
All the heavenly religions prove that the criterion of felicity is both 'Faith and righteous deed', not the bare claims and names or slogans. Thus, Faith is not separate from action; and tranquillity and security are found due to them both.
Some commentators have said that they are a group of people whose religion has been taken from those of the Jews and Christians. Some others have said that they believe in Noah (as) and do not believe in all prophets after him.
But, as Imam Rida (as) has said, the Sabians are some formerly worshippers who repented and believed in both 'The Origin and the End', and did righteous deeds, too.3
لَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ رُسُلاً كُلَّمَا جَاءهُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنْفُسُهُمْ فَرِيقًا كَذَّبُواْ وَفَرِيقًا يَقْتُلُونَ
70. "Certainly We look a covenant from the Children of Israel and We sent messengers to them. Whenever there came to them a messenger with what their souls did not desire, some of them they would deny and some (of them) they would slay."
In Surah Al-Baqarah No.2 and at the beginning of this current Surah, Al-Ma'idah, there is a hint to the firm covenant that Allah has taken from the Children of Israel. In the above verse, too, this covenant is referred to again.
It implies that Allah took covenant from the Children of Israel to do according to what He sent down. And, He appointed some messengers for them to guide them and to demand the fulfilment of this covenant from them. It says:
Then the verse continues implying that they not only did not do upon this covenant but also whenever a messenger brought a Divine commandment to them which contrasted their wishes and low desires, they committed the worst and the strongest struggle against him. They denied some of these prophets, while they killed those prophets whose influence they could not hinder. It says:
وَحَسِبُواْ أَلاَّ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ فَعَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ ثُمَّ تَابَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ثُمَّ عَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ
71. "And they (the Jews) imagined that there would be no affliction, so they became blind and deaf (unto the Truth); then Allah turned to them mercifully; but again many of them became blind and deaf; and Allah sees what they do."
In this verse, the vain pride of the Jews is referred to, with those plenty treacheries and violence that they had. The verse says:
As this meaning gas been pointed out in other verses, the Jews considered themselves a superior face, and they remarked that they were the Children of Allah. Finally, this dangerous pride and self-admiration, like a curtain, covered them over their eyes and ears.
So, as a result of it, they became blind for seeing the signs of Allah and, as a deaf, they did not hear the words of right. The verse says:
But, when they saw some samples of the punishments of Allah, and felt the evil fate of their own deeds they regretted. They, then, repented, because they realized that the divine threats were serious and that they were not a superior race. It was at that circumstance that Allah accepted their repentance. It says:
But this recognition and regretful ness did not last long. They again began to be disobedient, violent, obstinate and heedless to the right and justice.
Therefore, the curtains of negligence, which is the result of committing sins, were put over their eyes and ears, so that they became blind again for seeing the signs of truth and deaf again for hearing the words of truth. This status enveloped many of them.
And, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an, in a short but expressive phrase, implies that never Allah is heedless of their deeds and He sees all the things that they do. It says:
لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
72. "Certainly they are infidels who say: 'Verily Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Mary;' and the Messiah (himself) said: 'O' Children of lsrael! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Verily whoever associates anything with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the Paradise and his abode is the Fire, and there shall be no helpers for the unjust'."
Following the discussions upon the aberrations of the Jews, which were delivered in the former verses, in this verse and the verses next to it, the words are about the deviations of the Christians. At first, it begins with the greatest swerve of Christianity, i.e. God ship of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. It says:
They say so while Jesus (as) himself vividly told the Children of Israel to worship Allah, their Lord. The verse says:
Also, for an emphasis on this subject, and in order to prevent any ambiguity and fault, the words of Jesus continue adding:
And again, for a further emphasis and confirming this fact that polytheism and extremism is a kind of manifest wrongdoing, they were told such:
What is found in the above-mentioned verse regarding the Messiah (as) persisting on the theme of theism4 is a subject matter which also, adapts to the existing sources of Christianity.5 This very matter is counted among the evidences for the significance of the Qur'an.
لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
73. "Certainly they disbelieve who say: 'Verily Allah is the third of the three,' while there is no god save the One God; and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve."
This fact should be noted that what was referred to in the previous verse was the subject of extremism and unity with Allah. But, in this verse, the Qur'an points to the plurality of gods from the view point of the Christians, viz. three foldness in Divine Unity. It says:
In answer to them the Qur'an decisively says:
Then, the Qur'an, with a strong and severe tone, emphatically warns them:
أَفَلاَ يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
74. "Will they not then turn to Allah and ask forgiveness of Him? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
This holy verse contains significance to the fact that perverted beliefs should be repented of.
The deviated persons from the straight path should be invited to the right path through the statement of the divine forgiveness and mercy. It can be done by saying that Allah both forgives and bestows His mercy on the servants.
The verse says:
مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ
75. "The Messiah, son of Mary, is but a messenger (that) messengers (the like of whom) has passed away before him, and his mother was a truthful woman; they both used to eat food. See how We make the Signs clear for them (people), and see how they are turned away (from the truth)."
Allah introduces three reasons in this verse which prove that Messiah (as) is not God.
1. He (as) has been born and he (as) is son of Mary.
2. There have been some prophets like him, too, and he is not matchless.
3. Like anybody else, he is in need of food and other necessities, and he gains his strength from food. Therefore he does not possess an absolute power to be God. Whoever needs food cannot be the creator of the food.
These are clear statements of the holy Qur'an that people understand. However, having some privileges, such as miracles and exceptions, do not prove divinity for a person. Other prophets worked miracles, too, Or, Adam had not parents, either.
Allah (s.w.t.) is neither material, nor born, nor necessitous, and He has no place.
By the way, Mary is one of God's saints. The Qur'an honours women and counts Mary 'a truthful woman'. In another verse of the Qur'an, it is said that Mary testified Allah's word and she was of the obedient ones:
قُلْ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلاَ نَفْعًا وَاللّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
76. "Say: 'Do you worship besides Allah that which possesses for you neither harm nor profit? And Allah -He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing."
To complete the former reasoning about Jesus, the Qur'an in this verse remarks to the Christians that they knew that the Messiah was fully in need of what a human being needs. He was not even the possessor of his own harm and his own profit, then how could he be the possessor of their harm and profit? It says:
That was why Jesus was captured many times by his enemies, or that his friends were involved in some inflictions. So, had not been the Grace of Allah, he (as) could have done nothing.
And, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an warns them not to imagine that Allah does not hear their vain words, or He is not aware of their inside, because He is both Hearing and Knowing.
The verse says:
1. For realizing that the path of polytheism is invalid, refer to your own human intellect and sensibility.
2. Except Allah, other gods are incapable even of hearing and knowing your necessities; much less of supplying them.
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لاَ تَغْلُواْ فِي دِينِكُمْ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ أَهْوَاء قَوْمٍ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبْلُ وَأَضَلُّواْ كَثِيراً وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ
77. "Say: ' O' People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion other than the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of the people who had gone astray a foretime, and led many astray, and went astray from the right path."
In this verse following the manifestation of the fault of the people of the Book in the field of exaggeration about Divine prophets, the holy Prophet (S) is commanded to invite them, with clear reasoning that they formally return from this way. The verse says:
The exaggeration of the Christians is clear, of course, but the exaggeration of the Jews, who are also involved in those whom the Qur'an addresses to by the phrase: "O' People of the Book! " is probably a hint to the statement they said about prophet Ezra (as) and considered him the son of Allah.
And, since the origin of exaggeration is often following the vain desires of the misguided ones, to complete this meaning, the verse continues saying:
This phrase points to the fact that this meaning is recorded in the history of the Christianity, too. The idea of trinity and exaggeration about Jesus (as) was not mainly found among them in the early centuries of the Christianity.
When the Indian Idolaters, and the like: joined the religion of Christ, they added something from the remaining belief of the former, creed, viz. trinity and polytheism, to the Christianity.
- 1. Some of these books, compiled by both main sects of Islams are as follows:
1. Sunan-i-Ibn-Majih, vol. 1, p. 55,
2. Al-Fada'il, by 'Ahmad-Ibn-Hanbal (handwritten)
3. Khasa'is-un-Nisa'i p.21
4. Al-Kanawal-'Asma', byDulabi, vol. 2, p.61
5. Mushkil-ul-'Athar, by Tahawi, vol. 2, p. 307
6. Al-'Ighd-ul-Farid vol 3 p94
7. Al-'Isti'ab vol 2 p. 460
8. Tarikh-i-Baghdad vol. 7 p.377
9. Mustadrak-ul-Hakim vol. 3 p. 110
10. Tarikh-i-Damishgh, vol. 2, p. 166
11. Tafsir-ul-Hafiz, by Ibn-Kathir, vol. 2, p. 14
1. At-Tara'if, by Ibn-Tawus, p. 140
2. Managhib, by Ibn-Shahr'ashub, vol. 29, p.228
3. The Book of Salim-Ibn-Ghays, p. 111
4. 'Ikmal-ud-Din, by Ash-Shaykh-'us-Sadugh, vol. 1, p. 274
5. Ihtijaj, by Tabarsi, p. 663
6. Bihar-ul-'Anwar, vol. 37, p. 181, tradition 68
7. 'Ighbal-ul-'Ighbal, p. 663
8. Raudatul-wa'izin, vol. 1, p. 89
9. 'Al-Yaghin, p. 343
10. Al-' Adad-il-Ghawiyyah, p. 169
11. 'At-Tahsin p. 578
12. As '- Sirat-ul-Mustaghim, vol. 1, p. 301
13. 'Al-Qadir, by Al-'Allamat-ul-'Amini
14. 'Abaghat-ul-'Anwar, by Al-'Allamah Mir-'Himid Hussayn Al-Lakhunuy (India)
15. 'Ihghagh-ul-Hagh, by Ghadi Nurullah, At-Tusturi; & tens of other books.
- 2. The Qur'an Surah Al-Ma'idah, No 5, verse 3
- 3. Tafsir-i-Atyab-ul-Bayan
- 4. Mark, Chapter 12, No.29, indicates Jesus invites people to theism and says: "... O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord."
- 5. Matthew, Chapter 6, No.24 is also like that. It speaks about one God.
- 6. Surah Al- Tahrim, No 66, verse 12