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The Islamic position on crucifixion

The Qur’an, holy book of Islam claims that Jesus Christ was not crucified but was raised up alive by God to Himself and in that manner Jesus escaped the humiliating death of crucifixion. There are more then 1 reference where the Qur’an denies of this historical event. Lets look on them:-

“And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” Quran in Surah An Nisa verses 157-158 (Sahih International Translation)

“And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]” Same verses in Hilali-Khan’s Translation

“And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.” Same verses in Marmaduke Pickthall’s Translation

“That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle 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, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise.” Same verses in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s Translation

Apart from this context, the denial of Jesus being crucified can be also seen in the following verse where it is said that the Jews who were in enemity with Jesus, plotted to kill Him and God or Allah too planned against them, i.e to save Jesus from their hands:-

“And they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill 'Iesa (Jesus)], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners.” Surah Ale Imran verse 54 in Hilai-Khan’s Translation

The first two of the above translations of Qur’an (4:157-158) speaks that someone else was made to be like Jesus in appearance and he was nailed on the cross whereas Jesus was lifted up alive to heaven by God or Allah. According to Pickthall and Yusuf Ali’s translations, it was made appeared to the Jews as if they were crucifying Jesus but actually they were not.

The muslims hold two different opinions on the explanation of this. Few of them asserts that someone else who was made to look like Jesus or on whom Jesus’s resemblance was casted was crucified by Jews and not Jesus Himself. Few islamic narrations on this are here:-

Ibn Abbas said, “Just before Allah raised Jesus to the Heavens, Jesus went to his disciples, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping with water (as if he had just had a bath) and he said, ‘There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after you had believed in me.’ He then asked, ‘Who among you will volunteer for his appearance to be transformed into mine, and be killed in my place. Whoever volunteers for that, he will be with me (in Paradise).’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered, but Jesus asked him to sit down. Jesus asked again for a volunteer, and the same young man volunteered and Jesus asked him to sit down again. Then the young man volunteered a third time and Jesus said, ‘You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of Jesus was cast over that man while Jesus ascended to Heaven from a hole in the roof of the house. When the Jews came looking for Jesus, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of Jesus’ followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, the Jacobites, said, ‘Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to Heaven.’ Another group, the Nestorians, said, ‘The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to Heaven.’ Another group, the Muslims, said, ‘The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.’ The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad.” —An-Nasai, Al-Kubra, 6:489

Sources :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_view_of_Jesus'_death

http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=4&tid=12730 (Tafsir by Ismail ibn Kathir on Qur'an 4:157-158 )

It really needs to be asked that what was the source that was used by this cousin and companion of the prophet of Islam i.e Ibn Abbas in asserting this. Or if the muslims cannot answer this , then its quite sure that its nothing but a concoction what Ibn Abbas did out of his own mind or it is only is fantasy. Much probable that Ibn Abbas borrowed this idea from the gnostics since they used to believe that Jesus was so divine that He could not have died and His apperaring as a human was mere an illsuion. They used to hold the position that Simon of Cyrene who was bearing the cross of the Lord (Mat 27:32) was actually crucified and not the Lord Himself for He was lifted up or diasappeared. Have a look :-

Gnostics held that the true Jesus did not (and could not) physically suffer on the cross, and die, and that Simon of Cyrene, who bore his cross, did in reality suffer in his room. "

Source :- http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/c/crucifixion_gnostic_conception_of.html

There is a need to note that the muslims boasts on their science of hadith. The hadiths are the literatures which are said to be the sayings of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam whereas the Qur’an is rendered as the word of Allah or the word of God by the muslims. The authenticity of any event or of any of the statements of the prophet of Islam is determined by the chain of narrations or Isnad. There needs to be at least 10 chain of narrations in support of any traditions so that it may be considered as authentic AS I WAS TOLD BY A MUSLIM ONLY. Indeed, this method is really worthy of praise but ironically for those muslims who say that someone else was crucified upon whom Christ’s resemblance was casted , their own standard declares them false as we do not find any Isnad for the above tradition.

There is another group which are considered as heretics by the muslims are Ahmadiyas or the followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani who claimed himself of being Christ or Messiah. They says that Jesus was crucified but somehow escaped from the cross and reached India (Kashmir), got married and finally died and His grave is still there in Kashmir (India).

Third group which says that the Jews had an illusion as if they were crucifying Jesus because in Qur’an (4:157), there is not written that someone else was crucified but it only says “but it appeared so unto them”. So according to this group, the assertion that someone else was crucified on whom Jesus’s resemblance was casted is baseless and incorrect. One recognized Islamic orator or debater , Dr. Zaqir Naik’s explanation of this reference can be watched here:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z_wev4erE8

So here are the three different Islamic opinions on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The things to ponder are these that none of these three claims stands authentic in the light of the historical narrations. I have been debating/discussing with the muslims on this matter since more then a year on the internet and can testify that most of them rely on the Christian scriptures to prove the claim of their book right. To this i call their negative approach as they raises questions on the gospel’s authenticity yet at the same time uses them to prove their claims correct? Ridiculous. 

The four canonical gospels explicitly speaks about the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ which the muslims keeps under the carpet (assuming that to be the fabrications) but enforcing or emphasizing on the things which might raise the doubts on crucifixion of Jesus. The commonly raised argument of them are:-

Argument:- All the disciples of Jesus ran away from Golgotha, the crucifixion site and none of them were there and therefore the crucifixion reports in the gospels are doubtful. Moreover, the gospels are anonymous and hence cannot be considered as authentic as the writers are unknown.

Response:- The muslims apply the principle of eyewitness account here. They are raising the questions on the gospels being authentic or on the authenticity of the gospels. Yet we can notice that almost the whole of them argues with the Christians that the Comforter promised by Jesus in the gospel of John is none other then the prophecy concerning the advent of their prophet Mohammad.

Anyways, the muslims asserts that all the disciples of Jesus forsook Him and none of them witnessed of crucifixion using Matthew (26:56) and Mark (14:50). But if one may take pains to check these verses its written about the time when He was arrested but at the time when He was on the way to Golgotha, there were numerous people. The synoptic gospels though are not saying of any of the disciples of Jesus being at the crucifixion site but they did record of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of our Lord being there while He was on the cross.And John's gospel actually speaks of John (as a third person) that he was there (John 19:26-27).Apart from this there are numerous extra biblical records of the crucifixion of the Lord, yet there isn't any a single document (historically corroborated) which may somehow help the muslims to stand boldly with proofs in this sphere. All what they have are only the different blind beliefs begging for evidences.

Also they uses the statement of Jesus recorded in the gospel that He came to the lost sheep of Israel only as the alleged proof that Christians (gentile and of the Jewish origin) should bring faith on Mohammad as the prophet.

The negative approach, hypocrisy and opportunism can be clearly seen here too as they uses the same gospels to answer the Christians to which they considers unauthentic and also to prove their book correct? How the books whose contents are dubious for you can be/should be used by you to prove yourself correct? It will be like using a weapon whose accuracy to hit is doubtful to hit your foe. Amazing !!! Utter opportunism of the muslims.

Conclusively it will not be unjust or inaccurate to say that the position of the muslims is really worthy to be questioned as there is an obvious exhibition of hypocrisy and opportunism (KICKING THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES CALLING THEM UNAUTHETIC YET AT THE SAME TIME USING THE SAME TO PROVE THEIR CLAIMS CORRECT).

Moreover, the differences of opinion too raises doubts on the alleged truthfulness of the SELF PROCLAIMED truth from God (the Qur’an) as it only believes on the principle of producing proofs by asking Jews and the Christians to bring forth their proofs in support of their claims (Qur’an 2:111) which the muslims often poses to their opponents yet remains a failure to do the same when it is questioned?

Inconsistency in the attitude of the muslims on the things (especially on the Christian scriptures) is quite evident which is a sign of opportunism. Last but not the least, the Qur’an says that those who believe on the crucifixion has no certain knowledge and they follow only conjecture in 4:157. Let us see the what do conjecture means:-

conjecture –

1. the formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof.
2.an opinion or theory so formed or expressed; guess;speculation. 
3.Obsolete . the interpretation of signs or omens.–verb (used with object)
4.to conclude or suppose from grounds or evidence insufficient to ensure reliability.

(Source:- http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conjecture)

So its quite obvious that it is the muslims who do not have the evidence and they are only speculating the things on crucifixion of Jesus Christ.We have seen the different opinions of the muslims on this very issue BUT NONE OF THEM ARE SURE WHAT HAPPENED EXACTLY I.E HOW THE THINGS WENT THERE. What an irony that their book only says we the Christians follow conjecture yet it is the muslims only who are the victims of conjecture.Allah says in the Qur'an

" There is not an animal in the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are peoples like unto you. We have neglected nothing in the Book (of Our decrees).Then unto their Lord they will be gathered." Qur'an (6:38); Pickthall" 

Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou (O Muhammad) of the waverers." Qur'an (6:114); Pickthall

" In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe." Qur'an (12:111); Pickthall

Now folks, just see that Qur'an is making two claims here :-

(1) Allah has neglected nothing in the Qur'an.

(2) All the things are fully explained.

(3) It has no invented story but the confirmation of the existing scriptures AND DETAILED EXPLANATION AND GUIDENCE.

Now if one may investigate these claims ON THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE, he/she will surely be rejecting the Qur'an's claims cited above for if Allah makes the above claims, then why there are the differences of opinion here ? Allah should have clearly stated what happened at Golgotha. An irony it is that Allah though has made these claims yet when they are examined, they doesn't stands to be truthful or correct.

With this I conclude here.

Let the readers judge the things here and decide that who are following the conjecture.

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