(Part – 17)
Christ – Ezra – Polytheism and Life in Heaven
6. EXAMINATION AND RESULT:- Let us ponder the passage quoted above (157 to 159).
Three points emerge from them. It would appear from (157) that contrary to the belief of Jews and Christians, Jesus Christ was not killed on the Cross: from (158) that Christ was raised up to God, and from (159) that People of the Book must believe in him till the time of his death.
Now the first point is clear and definite in itself and needs no further elucidation. As to the second point how Christ was raised up to God, it is further explained as below:-
(55) “Behold! God said: Oh Jesus! I will take thy soul (make thee die) and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the, falsehoods) of those who blaspheme, (that they crucified thee) as is cleared by the Qur-‘aan).” Vide 55: 3.
(120) ‘And I (Christ) was a witness over them (Christians) whilst I dwelt amongst them, (but) when Thou didst take my soul (made me die). Thou wast the watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.” 120: 5.
(33) “So peace is on me (said Christ) the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life again (at Resurrection).” 33: 19.
The third point is only a natural consequence of the first and second, the Jews and Christians must believe in him not only up to the event of Crucifixion when he did not die, but also after the said event, up to the time before his death, or till the end of his life.
This problem, the end of Christ on earth, has been, since long, the subject of long and learned dissertations, not only in Christian, but also in Islamic literature, covering a vast field of Traditions, as well. The subject seems saturated with a sense of mystery. But within the Qur-‘aan alone, its solution came so spontaneous and so plain to the present author (Elias Burney), that he felt nervous lest he should be suffering from delusion. But still he keeps an open mind on the question. Traditions are no doubt an integral factor in the Teachings of Islam, but they are acceptable, not in addition to the Qur-‘aan, but only as subsidiary to the Qur-‘aan.
7. CHRIST – ‘UZAIR - POLYTHEISM (Peace Be Upon Them):-
God is indignant if Christ is believed to be God himself. Vide 19:5, 75 to 78: 5. To say nothing of God-ship, Christ is not even the son of God, but only an Apostle like several others. The same is the case with ‘Uzair, a Prophet of the Jews. The priests have often been the source of trouble in Religion, to lead people astray, and to grow rich at others’ expense. It is to be accepted that Islam is the Religion of Truth, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God, says the Qur-‘aan. Vide 171: 4.
To sum up, great stress is laid throughout the Qur-‘aan on God’s Transcendence (‘Tanzeeh’), but His Immanence (‘Tashbeeh’) is admitted as well. The Oneness of God is the bedrock of Islam, called ‘Tauheed’ or Monotheism, and the reverse called ‘Shirk’ or Polytheism is the greatest sin never to be forgiven. Vide 48, 116: 4, 119 to 121: 5.
8. LIFE IN HEAVEN:- One view is to treat the description of Heaven as the symbolism for the indescribable Bliss of Hereafter, but the Religious Experience confirms the literal sense, refined of course. Here is a synopsis of Salvation. Says the Qur-‘aan : “Theirs are the Gardens Eternal Home: God well pleased with them, and they with God; that is the great Salvation (the fulfillment of all desires), .” 122: 5. “They and their associates (wives and family) will be in groves of (cool) shade, reclining on Thrones (of dignity). (Various) Fruits (refreshments) will be there for them. They shall have whatever they call for (endowed with ‘Amr’) PEACE - a word (of Blessing) from the Lord, Most Merciful.” Vide 55 to 56: 36. “Those who believe (in God and His Apostle Muhammad and in subsequent Truths) and stick to Righteousness), their Lord will guide them because of their Faith, (to Regions) beneath which will flow rivers in Gardens of Paradise. (This be) their glee therein: “Glory to thee, O God!” and ‘Peace’ be their greetings (to companions) therein, and the close of their glee will be, “Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of all the worlds.” 9, 10: 10, 31: 16, 25, 33 to 35: 50, 122: 5, 55 to 58: 36 10 : 10. On the contrary, if they disbelieve and reject Faith, they will burn in Hell - Fire in the Next Life. Vide 77, 96: 56, 16: 11, 18, 72: 17.
9. CONCLUSION:- Now to conclude, all the Major Religions should put before Mankind their systems, realistic as well as idealistic, in all the spheres of human life, as taught by their Basic Books, so as to preserve the original purity, bearing the Seal of Authority. Numerous accretions and addition however accepted, should not be permitted to share the Authority of any Basic Book, which alone is accepted as the Standard of Religion. So let the Basic Books speak for themselves. This is the only way to settle the future of Religion for Mankind after comparative study.
Taken from HOLY QUR’AAN (transliteration in roman script with English translation by Marmaduke Pickthal), Published by, Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar Lahore Pakistan.