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The article is located at: http://www.answeringislam.net/Shamoun/crucifixion.htm

He Wrote:

                                                           The Crucifixion of Christ -

                                                    A Christian Critique of the Quran

                                                                      Sam Shamoun

The crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart of the Christian faith. Everything a Christian believes in and hopes for revolves around Jesus' death on the cross for unworthy sinners. The resurrection is the divine vindication of the fact that Jesus did not die for any crime he had committed, but died in place of sinners needing redemption and justification before an infinitely holy and just God. If it can be proven that Jesus did not die and rise from the dead, then Christianity is nothing more than a great lie which has deceived literally billions throughout the ages. The Christian is left without hope, having no assurance of justification, and remains in his sins. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19; Romans 4:25, 5:8-11)

 

My Response:

Sam Shamoun starts off his article by saying that if it is proven that Jesus did not die (or get crucified), then Christianity is nothing but a lie. Let us investigate now on the alleged crucifixion of Jesus:

36"Abba,[a] Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

(Mark 14:36 NIV Bible)

42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

(Luke 22:42 NIV Bible)

39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

(Matthew 26:39 NIV Bible)

Now, here is what Jesus says about praying:

22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

(Matthew 21:22 NIV Bible)

So now we have a problem. Jesus says whatever you ask for prayer (if you believe) you will receive it. Above, Jesus is asking for the "cup" to be removed from him. Here is the definition in context as to what "cup" means:

"For Jesus that cup was His death and everything that it involved."

(Source: Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 373)

So here we have a problem. If Jesus prayed for the cup to be removed, and before he says whatever you say in prayer (believing) you will receive it, then was Jesus heard?

Now, Christians will run to get verses that say that "Jesus gave his life willingly", and " It was the will of the Father", but now we have another problem. Here are some passages in the book of Psalms which will help shed some light:

39But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

40And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

(Psalms 37:39-40)

As we see above, Jesus is praying to God in his time of trouble (as he says himself that he was "overwhelmed with sorrow" in Mark 14:34), and he was praying that he wouldn't die, that the "cup" shall pass from him. But in the above passage, it speaks that God Almighty would help the individual and save him from the wicked individuals because they trust in God.

Furthermore, we read in Psalms:

28For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

(Psalms 37:28)

As we can see, God Almighty doesn't forsake his saints, so why was Jesus forsaken? Why wasn't Jesus heard? The Christians will obviously reject this claim, and again run to get verses from Paul's works etc., to help their claim, that it was God's will to kill his son, but now there is a contradiction between what they say, and what God Almighty says to what the Christians today tell us.

Moreover, David also prayed to God Almighty in his time of distress and he was heard:

 12Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

 13O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.


Psalms 40

 1I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

(Psalms 39:12-13 and Psalms 40:1)

 

David also speaks about how God Almighty performs all things for HIM:

1Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

 2I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

 3He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

(Psalms 57:1-3)

David speaks about how God Almighty will save him.

We also find in Psalms:

 2O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

(Psalms 65:2)

And,

 1In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.

(Psalms 120:1)

Moreover, even the Prophet Jonah called to the Lord in his time of distress:

 2And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

(Jonah 2:2)

Furthermore, God says that the person who will glorify him is the one who will call upon him in the day of trouble (specifically speaking to David):

 13Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

 14Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

 15And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

(Psalms 50:13-15)

 

The above should suffice for now...

 

 

He Wrote:

Islam, on the other hand, denies the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Muslims believe that God rescued Jesus from the schemes of the unbelievers and raised Christ to heaven. The general Islamic view is that someone else was crucified in Jesus' place, with most Muslims believing that Judas Iscariot was the one whom the unbelievers killed.

According to this majority view of modern Islamic scholarship Judas was made to look like Jesus on the night when Christ was to be crucified. The unbelieving Jews thought that they had crucified Christ when in reality it was Judas that they had killed.

The idea that Jesus did not die on the cross stems from the Quran in S. 4:157-158:

    "And because of their (the Jews) 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." M. M. Pickthall

In spite of the Quranic affirmation that Jesus was not crucified or killed there is no substantiation within the Quran itself that someone else, namely Judas, died in the place of Christ. All the text says is that it was made to appear as if Christ had been crucified. How this was done remains unanswered.

 

My Response:

The Holy Qur'an is clear that Jesus (A) wasn't crucified, that the Jews didn't kill him. It says clearly that it appeared to them that Jesus was crucified, simple and clear.

 

He Wrote:

To spark further controversy, there are other passages within the Quran which seem to indicate that Jesus did die. It is to such passages that we turn in order to precisely examine whether the Muslim claims that Jesus did not die finds substantiation within the Quran itself.

S. 3:144

    "Muhammad is no more Than an Apostle: many were the Apostles that passed away before him..." A. Yusuf Ali

The term which Ali translates as "many were the Apostles," is the Arabic al-russul and is more precisely translated as "THE Apostles." The phrase is inclusive and affirms that all the Apostles before Muhammad have passed away.

The following Muslim translations reflect this point:

    "... the apostles have already passed away before him..." Shakir

    "... Verily all Messengers have passed away before him..." Sher Ali

    "... messengers have already passed away before him..." M. Muhammad Ali

    "... Messengers have passed away before him..." T. Irving

The late Maulana Muhammad Ali of the Ahmadiyya sect states in relation to this passage:

    "While this verse lays stress on the essential truth of Islam, it served another important purpose at the death of the Prophet. Some of the companions thought that the Prophet was not dead. Abu Bakr went in, and seeing that life had departed, ascended the pulpit and read this verse, which had a magical effect upon his hearers, all of them being convinced that the Prophet had passed away, as all prophets had passed away before him. The prophets were but mortals, and their span of mortal life must no doubt terminate like that of other mortals. This verse affords a conclusive proof that Jesus Christ was also dead; otherwise Abu Bakr's argument could not have silenced the doubters of the Prophet's death." (Ali, Holy Quran [USA; Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore Inc., 1995], pp. 168-169, f. 496 emphasis ours)

 

My Response:

Note how the above verse speaks that Apostles before the Holy Prophet (S) did die. However, we would like to make clear that there are Muslims who believe that Jesus DID die, but he wasn't crucified, a concept totally contrary to Christian belief. Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Ali states, in his commentary for Sura 4 Ayat 158:

“There is difference of opinion as to the exact interpretation of this verse. The words are: The Jews did not kill Jesus, but God raised him up (rafa'a) to Himself. One school holds that Jesus did not die the usual human death, but still lives in the body in heaven; another holds that he did die (v.120) but not when he was supposed to be crucified, and that his being "raised up" unto God means that instead of being disgraced as a malefactor, as the Jews intended, he was on the contrary honoured by God as His Apostle: see also next verse. The same word rafa'a is used in association with honour in connection with Mustafa in xciv 4."

(Source: The Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Footnote# 664, Fourth U.S. Edition 2002)

So even though we have a school that says that Isa (A) did die, the important thing to note is that he did not die on the cross that he did not die for the sins of mankind. A Christian can bring any verse in the Holy Qur'an that says that the Messengers before the Holy Prophet (S) died, in order for them to prove their point, and defend their thesis, however we must not forget that the Qur'an says that Jesus did not die on the cross, that whoever believes this follows conjecture (Sura 4:157), and this alone refutes the attempts made by the missionary.

 

 

He Wrote:

S. 19:33, Christ Speaking As an Infant:

    "So peace is on me The day I was born, The day that I die, And that day I shall be raised up to life (again)." A. Yusuf Ali

The word "again" is not in the Arabic text but is Ali's insertion. Compare M. Ali's translation:

    "And peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised to life."

The very same phrase is used of John the Baptist (Yahya) just a few verses earlier:

    "So Peace is on him The day he was born, The day that he dies, And that day he Will be raised To life (again)!" S. 19:15 Y. Ali

According to Islamic belief John the Baptist lived and died and will be raised to dwell in paradise at the culmination of time. And yet certain Muslims have Jesus ascending to God before dying, destroying the chronological sequence of the passage.

 

My Response:

   Let’s correct Shamoun here. The Islamic view that Jesus did not die is that:

1) He ASCENDED to God

2) He will return back to earth and DIE, and will later on be RESURRECTED.

As pointed earlier, one view is that Jesus did not die, but was raised to heaven in his body, a view supported by Ibn Kathir:

And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.'') When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur'an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. He said,

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir for Sura 4 Ayat 157)

The view that he was raised to heaven (the ascension) is not what Shamoun is trying to imply, and that is the last thing noted in Sura 19:33, where it says:

"... And that day I shall be raised up to life ".

Or in other words, " The day I shall be RESURRECTED".

Shamoun mixed up the resurrection with Jesus ascending to heaven, as he says:

"According to Islamic belief John the Baptist lived and died and will be raised to dwell in paradise at the culmination of time. And yet certain Muslims have Jesus ascending to God before dying, destroying the chronological sequence of the passage."

It is clear, Sura 19:33 talks about:

1) His birth

2) His death

3) The day he gets RESURRECTED.

The correct interpretation of Sura 19:33 is as follows:

And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!) This is his affirmation that `he is a worshipper of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and that he is a creature created by Allah. He (`Isa) will live, die and be resurrected, just like the other creatures that Allah has created. However, he will have peace in these situations, which are the most difficult situations for Allah's creatures.' May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him

 (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

So let’s just summarize the main point here:

Jesus’ ascension is not the same as what is being spoken about in the Ayat, which is the Resurrection. The Muslim view is that indeed Jesus will die and be resurrected when he returns (as confirmed by the Ayat), and he ascended to heaven, this view in no way contradicts the Noble Ayat.

Moreover, Shamoun's interpretation itself is very ludicrous. The Holy Prophet (S) also ascended to heaven (Me'raj), yet we do not say he died first then ascended. Obviously, since he has confused ascension with resurrection, he would find a contradiction.

 

He Wrote:

That S. 19:33 is puzzling can be seen from Yusuf Ali's footnote:

    "... Christ was not crucified (iv. 157). But those who believe that he never died should ponder over this verse." (Ali, The Holy Quran [The Holy Koran Publishing Company], p.774, f. 2485 emphasis ours)

One Muslim writer notes:

    "No Muslim will shift the death of John (Yah Yah) to the future. All know that John died... since no one can now shift the death of John to the future, therefore no one can now shift the death of Jesus to the future. In fact there is not even one single passage throughout the Kuran showing that Jesus will return to die. The parallel statement with John who died clearly shows that Jesus also died." (A.H. Obaray, Miraculous Conception, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus (Nabi-Isa) as Taught in the Kuran [Kimberley, South Africa; Pub. By Author, 1962], p. 45)

 

My Response:

 In regards to the view that this means Jesus died, we find:

"The late Sheikh Jadul-Haq `Ali Jadul-Haq, former Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, states the following:

"Allah Almighty has told us of the end of Jesus (peace be upon him) in three surahs in the Qur’an that came as follows:

1) In Surat Al `Imran, we read: “When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: ‘Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?’ Said the disciples: ‘We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims. Our Lord! We believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Messenger; then write us down among those who bear witness.’ And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah. Behold! Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take thee (mutawaffika) and raise thee to Myself (wa rafi`uka ilayya) and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.’” (Al `Imran: 52-55)

2) Also in surat An-Nisa’, Allah says: “That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’; 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 (bal Rafa`ahu Allahu ilayhi); and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (An-Nisa’: 157-158)

3) Again in Surat Al-Ma’idah, we read: “And behold! Allah will say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?’ He will say: ‘Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden. Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up (tawaffaytani) Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things’.” (Al-Ma’idah: 116-117)

The Arabic word “mutawaffika” is derived from the root “tawaffa” and is referred always in the Qur’an as meaning “to cause someone to die”. However, the word originally means “taking”. One says: “tawaffaytu min fulanin ma liya `alayhi”. Meaning: “I have taken back my debt from so and so”. It also means “To make someone fall asleep”. This meaning is mentioned in the Qur’anic verse that reads: “It is He who doth take your souls (yatawaffakum) by night, and hath knowledge of all that ye have done by day: by day doth He raise you up (yab`athukum) again; that a term appointed be fulfilled; In the end unto Him will be your return; then will He show you the truth of all that ye did.” (Al-An`am: 60)

In this verse the word “yatawaffakum” means “make you fall asleep during the night”. In the same context, the word “yab`athukum” (revive or quicken you) is used to refer to the meaning that He awakens you during the day. Based on the above, we can say that the words “mutawaffika”and “tawaffaytani” may mean “made you fall asleep” and “when you made me fall asleep”. (See: Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah,vol. 4, pp. 322-323 and Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir, vol. 2 p. 91)

The Explanation of the phrases “bal Rafa`ahu Allahu ilayhi” and “wa rafi`uka ilayya”:

The majority of the exegetes of the Qur’an are of the view that the two phrases refer to Jesus’ ascension to the heavens and the first phrase “bal Rafa`ahu Allahu ilayhi” is an assertion of the fulfillment of Allah’s promise to him that He would make him ascend to the heavens.

The ascension referred to in the Qur’an includes both material and non-material aspects. Non-material here means ascension in place and honor (giving a high place and lofty status). Since we are to accept the idea of ascension as a way of saving Jesus from his archenemies, we are to say there must have been real death or sleeping that preceded the process of ascension. Modern scientific research has shown that the higher man ascends the more constricted his chest becomes and the more difficult it is for him to breathe. Allah says, “Those whom Allah (in His plan) willeth to guide, He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying, He maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.” (Al-An`am: 125) By the same token, taking Jesus up while still awake would have inflicted hardship on him.

All in all, Allah Almighty has taken Jesus up and saved him from killing and crucifixion. In other words, he either made him die (tawaffah) or made him fall asleep (tawaffah). All this was meant to save him from the pains he might have been subjected to in case he was taken up while still awake. Also, the meaning may be that he was taken up while still alive.

After this quick review of these Qur’anic verses, we come to know that scholars hold different views on this very issue.

The Preponderant View:

The view I find myself inclined to is that Allah Almighty has taken Jesus up from among his enemies, rescuing him from them. Hence, they neither killed nor crucified him as Christians claim. His enemies were in fact confused with regards to him. At any rate, he was saved, but how? We do not know.

The Qur’anic verses do not point out the way he was saved and, with a case like this, we are to remain silent and pose no more questions about the matter since this will get us nowhere. What is really established is that Allah Almighty did not allow the Jews to arrest Jesus nor to crucify him. It is also well clarified by the verses that Jesus found an escape and was taken up to heavens. Allah says: “For of a surety they killed him not: Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself ( bal Rafa`ahu Allahu ilayhi); and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (An-Nisa’: 157-158)

What Muslims should believe in:

A sound belief of every Muslim should be that Jesus was taken up and saved from killing and crucifixion. Anyone who believes in the idea that Jesus was killed and crucified can no longer be called a Muslim.

As for Jesus’ being taken up, whether dead or alive and the nature of the life he is now leading, scholars hold different views in this regard, as this is not decisively established in the Qur’an. The majority of scholars adopt the view that Jesus is still alive in the heavens and leading a life the nature of which we do not really know.

Jesus’ Return:

The general implication of the narrations in the books of Sunnah is that Jesus will come back in the end calling for Islam and application of the Shari`ah. In Fath Al-Bari, (vol. 6, pp. 490-494), we read that Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul! The Son of Mary is about to come back as a just ruler who will break the cross, kill the swine and cancel the tribute, and money will be so great in amount that no one will be in need of it and one act of prostration will be more lovable to a person than the whole world and every thing in it.” Then, Abu Hurayrah recited: “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them.” (An-Nisa’: 159) In his Sahih, Imam Muslim reported this hadith with the addition: “…and kill the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).””

Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, adds:

“Allah Almighty has mentioned to us that Jesus was taken up to the heavens and said: “Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself (bal Rafa`ahu Allahu ilayhi); and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (An-Nisa’: 158) He mentioned not that he has come back to the earth. Those who claim that he has come back to earth are asked to offer evidence for their claims. If they are not able to bring about any evidence, they are to know that their claims are groundless.

Allah also says: “Behold! Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take thee (mutawaffika) and raise thee to Myself (wa rafi`uka ilayya) and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.’” (Al `Imran: 52-55)

Ibn Jarir states: “(mutawaffika) here refers to his ascension”. Other scholars, however, say that it refers to sleeping as is the case with the verse that reads: “It is He who doth take your souls (yatawaffakum) by night, and hath knowledge of all that ye have done by day: by day doth He raise you up again; that a term appointed be fulfilled; In the end unto Him will be your return; then will He show you the truth of all that ye did.” (Al-An`am: 60)

On getting up, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to say: “Praise be to Allah Who brought us life after he caused us to die and unto Him will be our turning back.”

Therefore, Jesus did not die; rather, he was taken up when the Jews tried to arrest and kill him and he will come back at the end of the time and rule the land with Islam. He will live till Allah causes him to die and will be offered funeral prayer by Muslims.”

(Source:)

 

 

He Wrote:

Even more troubling is this passage taken from S. 19:31:

    "And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, And hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long As I live." Y. Ali

According to this reference Jesus is commanded to pray and give alms (zakat) until he dies. But if Muslims are correct, Jesus has not died and must therefore continue to give charity even now while in heaven!

 

My Response:

The commentary for that Ayat is pretty simple. Allah SWT has enjoined prayer, and charity forever. The Muslims are even commanded to do this:

And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). (Sura Al Baqara Ayat 43)

What Isa (A) is basically saying is that Allah SWT has told him, as well as everyone else, to pray to God, and to give charity "as long as you live", which is basically showing the importance of it, as charity and praying Salaat leads one to Paradise.

 

He Wrote:

S. 3:55

    "Behold! God said: `O Jesus! I will take thee (Arabic- inni mutawaffeeka) And raise thee to Myself And clear thee (of the falsehoods) Of those who blaspheme..." Y. Ali

S. 5:117

    "Never said did I to them Aught except what Thou Didst command me To say, to wit, `Worship God, my Lord and your Lord'; And I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt Amongst them; when thou Didst take me up (Arabic- tawaffaytani) Thou wast the Watcher Over them, and Thou art a witness to all things." Y. Ali

The phrase "I will take thee" and "when Thou didst take me" are forms of the Arabic word tawaffa. The term is nearly always used in the Quran to imply one who is taken at death. Note the way other Quranic translators have translated these passages:

Rashad Khalifa

"... I am terminating your life, raising you to Me..."

"... When You terminated my life on earth..."

Shakir

"... I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend to Me..."

"... but when Thou didst cause me to die..."

Sher Ali

"... I will cause thee to die a natural death and raise thee to Myself..."

"... but since Thou didst cause me to die..."

Muhammad Asad

"... Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shalt exult thee unto Me..."

"... but since Thou hast caused me to die..."

M. Muhammad Ali

"... I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence..."

"... but when Thou didst cause me to die..."

M. Muhammad Ali gives this commentary:

"I'Ab says that the significance of mutawaffi-ka is mumitu-ka, i.e. I will cause thee to die (B. 65:12). According to LA, `You say tawaffa-hu-llahu when you mean Allah took his soul or caused to die.' And according to LL, it signifies "God took his soul (S, Q) (either at death or in sleep, see the Quran 6:60); or caused him to die (Msb)'. No other significance can be attached to the words when thus used. Some commentators say that Jesus remained dead for three hours; others say seven, and so on (Rz). But the word is used here to really show that the Jewish plans to cause Jesus' death on the cross would be frustrated and that he would afterwards die a natural death... Pickthall's translation is, O Jesus, I am gathering thee, and this is the Biblical idiom for causing to die. Yusuf Ali, in his first edition, translated the words as meaning I will cause thee to die, but in the second edition he changed it to I will take thee." (Ali, Holy Quran, p.147, f. 436 bold emphasis ours)

Ali's note that the idiom "I am gathering thee" is used in the Bible to mean death is correct:

"Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people." Genesis 25:7-8 NIV

"Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years..." Gen. 35:28-29 NIV

"When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people." Gen. 49:33 NIV

Ali's second point that God takes people's soul at death or while sleeping is substantiated by the Quran in 6:60:

"And He it is Who takes your souls at night, and He knows what you earn by day, then raises you up therein that at an appointed term may be fulfilled. Then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you did." M. M. Ali

Ayoub proceeds to quote extensively from some of Islam's greatest commentators. One such commentator is al-Tabari who "states that the word, as commonly used, means, `I will cause you to die.' It also means, `I will receive, reclaim, or fully appropriate you.' Tabari then presents a number of interpretations, with supporting prophetic hadith traditions, of the word mutawaffik. He reports that, according to some early tafsir masters, the phrase here means `I will cause you to sleep, and will take you in your sleep.' This view is related on the authority of al-Rabi' b. Anas." (Ibid. emphasis ours)

 

My Response:

 In regards to the first verse, we find:

The Arabic word “mutawaffika” is derived from the root “tawaffa” and is referred always in the Qur’an as meaning “to cause someone to die”. However, the word originally means “taking”. One says: “tawaffaytu min fulanin ma liya `alayhi”. Meaning: “I have taken back my debt from so and so”. It also means “To make someone fall asleep”. This meaning is mentioned in the Qur’anic verse that reads: “It is He who doth take your souls (yatawaffakum) by night, and hath knowledge of all that ye have done by day: by day doth He raise you up (yab`athukum) again; that a term appointed be fulfilled; In the end unto Him will be your return; then will He show you the truth of all that ye did.” (Al-An`am: 60)

In this verse the word “yatawaffakum” means “make you fall asleep during the night”. In the same context, the word “yab`athukum” (revive or quicken you) is used to refer to the meaning that He awakens you during the day. Based on the above, we can say that the words “mutawaffika”and “tawaffaytani” may mean “made you fall asleep” and “when you made me fall asleep”. (See: Fatwa Ibn Taymiyyah, vol. 4, pp. 322-323 and Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir, vol. 2 p. 91)

(Source:, bold and underlined emphasis ours)

Now let’s just take Sam’s interpretation, and let’s just say that according to the Holy Qur’an, Jesus did die. But still, how does this agree with the Bible?

The Bible says:

 

1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

The Qur’an says:

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) know ledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

(Sura 4 Ayat 157)

The Qur’an says (if we take Sam’s interpretation) that Allah SWT caused for Isa (A) to die, the Jews (as the NT claims) did NOT kill him. Not only that, Allah SWT makes it clear that they did not even crucify him, something the bible says (1 Corinthians 1:23), so how does this agree with the bible, much less cause “controversy”?

 

 

He Wrote:

According to Tabari Muslims such as Hasan al-Basri and Matar al-Warraq argued that Jesus did not die. In fact, according to Basri Muhammad had told the Jews, "Jesus did not die, and he will return to you before the Day of Resurrection." (Ibid.) According to a tradition attributed to Ka'b al-Ahbar as reported by Mu'awiyah b. Salih, "God would not cause Jesus son of Mary to die." Instead God told Jesus that he would send him "against the one-eyed deceiver (al-Dajjal), and you will slay him. You will then live for twenty-four years, after which I will cause you to die the death of the living." (Ayoub, p. 170) Yet, according to Tabari, other Muslims asserted "that God received Jesus by causing him to die." (Ibid.)

Ayoub notes:

"This view (that God caused Jesus to die) is reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas and Wahb b. Munabbih who said, `God caused Jesus to die for three hours of the day, during which He raised him up to Him.' Ibn Ishaq mistakenly reports that `Christians claim that God caused Jesus to die for seven hours, after which He brought him back to life.'" (Ibid.)

And yet others hold to the view that Jesus was raised without dying and will be sent back a second time in which he will die and be raised to life again. There is even a tradition given by Qatadah going back to Muhammad stating this very point (Ibid., pp. 170-171)

 

 

My Response:

Every Muslim should know that Isa (A) will return and kill the Dajjal (anti-Christ) in the end times. Regardless of a view on these Ayats, every Muslim should believe that Isa (A) will return, as Sheikh G.F. Haddad says:

The difference of opinion whether `Isa died or was raised to the heaven alive and in the body, is also unrelated to his descent at the end of time.

Regardless of everything else Jesus WILL descend from the heaven. He will destroy the cross and kill the swine. The sincere among the Jews and Christians will enter Islam at his hand while the insincere will deny him and join the Dajjal - the Arch-Liar. He will renew the Shari`a of our Prophet Muhammad and kill the Dajjal. He will marry and have children and die together with the last band of believers left on earth, after which the Hour will rise. This is our Sunni faith and whoever wishes to disbelieve let them disbelieve.

(Online Source: Fatwa on the Belief in the Descent of Isa by Hajj Gibril)

The authentic hadiths even say this:

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts).

 (Sahih Al Bukhari)

 

 

He Wrote:

Another Muslim expositor, ar-Razi, lists both the diverse meanings of the term mutawaffeeka and the conflicting Islamic views on Jesus' last hours on earth:

End your term: that is, "I end your term on earth, so I do not leave you to your enemies, the Jews, to kill you."

Cause you to die: this is a statement made on the authority of Ibn Abbas, the expositor of the Quran, and Muhammad b. Ishaq. They said that the purpose was not to let his enemies, the Jews, to kill him. Then after that (God) honored Him (Jesus) by raising Him up to heaven. From this point on, Muslim scholars differed in three ways: a) Wahb said: He died for three hours, then was raised up; b) Muhammad b. Ishaq said: He died seven hours then God quickened Him and raised him up; c) al Rabi b. Anas said: God caused Him to die when He raised Him up to heaven; for God said (in the Quran): "God takes the soul at the time of their death, and that which has not died, in its sleep." (Al-Zumar 39:44)

The waw ("and") regulates the word order: Since Jesus is alive, that means that God raised Him up to heaven first; then He will descend to kill the anti-Christ. After that God will cause Him to die.

The spiritual interpretation: this is the opinion of Abu Bakr al-Wasity: "(I cause you to die) of your lusts and the desires of your soul. Then He said: `I raise you up to Me' because unless He dies to what is not but God He would never reach the knowledge of God. Also, when Jesus was raised up to heaven, He became like the angels: free of lusts, anger and reprehensible dispositions."

The complete ascension: that is Jesus, son of Mary, was raised up whole in both body and spirit, not only in spirit as some may think. What supports this interpretation is God's saying: "They would not cause You any harm."

I make you as if you died: Raising Jesus up to heaven, the eradication of any physical trace of Him from this earth, and the obliteration of His reports would make Him as if He really died. "Applying the name of one thing to another if they share similar properties and qualities, is permissible."

Grasping: which means to repay or be repaid as when receiving in full a sum of money which you are owed. Either way, snatching Him out of the earth and ascending Him to heaven is a payment for Him.

Compensation for the work: that is, God "has announced to Him the glad tidings of accepting His obedience and His deed. He revealed to Him (Jesus) the troubles and the toils He would suffer from His enemies as He spread His (God's) religion and law. He (God) would not forfeit His compensation or waste His reward."

Ar-Razi states, "these are the total said views of those who interpreted the verse according to the literal meaning." (Razi's al-Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. 8, p. 74 as quoted in Faris al-Qayrawani's Was Christ Really Crucified? [Light of Life, P.O. Box 13 A-9503, Villach, Austria], pp. 59-62)

 

My Response:

Again, even if we take the position that Isa (A) died, it would still contradict the Bible, since the Bible says he was “crucified”, and didn’t die a natural death.

 

He Wrote:

Even amongst the Muslims who believe that someone else was killed in Jesus' place, not all unanimously agree that it was Judas:

1) A Jew named Judas (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot) entered a house where Christ was, with the purpose of arresting Him, but did not find Him. God caused the likeness of Christ to be on him, and when he came out of the house people thought he was Jesus, and took him and crucified him.

2) The Jews, when they arrested Jesus, set over Him a watchman, but Jesus was taken up to God by a miracle and God caused Jesus' likeness to rest on the watchman, whom they took and crucified, while he cried out "I am not Jesus."

3) One of Jesus' friends was promised Paradise, and volunteered to die instead of Him. God caused him to resemble Jesus and he was taken and crucified but Jesus was taken up to heaven.

4) One of Jesus' followers betrayed Him, (that is, Judas), and came to the Jews to guide them to Him, and went with them to take Him. God caused him to appear like Jesus and he was taken and crucified. (Adapted from Iskander Jadeed's The Cross in the Gospel and the Koran [The Good Way, P.O. Box 66 CH-8486- Rikon, Switzerland], pp. 12-13; online edition)

5) Titawus, a Jew, entered the house where Jesus was, trying to arrest Him. He could not find Him. Instead, God changed his likeness and made him resemble Jesus. Upon coming out, the Jews had him arrested and crucified, thinking that he was Jesus. (Jadeed, Victory Of The Truth [Good Way], p. 113)

Al-Tabari in his commentary lists more conflicting views:

1) Some Muslims have stated that "When the Jews surrounded Jesus and His friends, all took on the likeness of Jesus. The Jews were confused and so killed one of the others." (On the authority of Salma)

2) "Jesus came with seventeen disciples. The Jews surrounded them. God made the disciples in the likeness of Jesus. The Jews said to the disciples, `You have bewitched us. You'd better tell us which one of you is Jesus, or we will kill you all.' Then Jesus said to the disciples, `Who is willing to give his life today for paradise? One of the disciples volunteered and went outside saying to the Jews, `I am Jesus.' They took him and crucified him."

3) "The Children of Israel surrounded Jesus and nineteen of His disciples in a house. Jesus said to the disciples, `Who is willing to take my image, die, and go to Paradise?' One disciple offered himself, and was taken outside and crucified, while Jesus ascended up to heaven."

4) Finally, "David the King of Israel sent a man to kill Jesus. That man took men with him. Jesus was with thirteen of His disciples. When He knew they had arrived He made one of the disciples to look exactly like Him. When the Jews saw that disciple, they took him outside and crucified him." (Adapted from Jadeed's Victory Of The Truth, pp. 114-115)

Another renowned commentator, Al-Baidawi, presents some similar views:

... It is related that a group of Jews insulted Jesus and his mother, whereupon he appealed to God against them. When God turned (those who insulted Jesus and his mother) into monkeys and swine, the Jews came to an agreement to kill Jesus. Then God informed Jesus that he would raise him up to heaven; so Jesus said to his disciples: 'Who among you will agree to take a form similar to mine and die (in my place) and be crucified and then go (straight) to paradise?' A man among them offered himself, so God changed him into a form to look like Jesus, and he was killed and crucified.

Others say that a man pretended (to be a believer) before Jesus and then went away denouncing him, whereupon God changed this man into a form similar to Jesus, and then he was seized and crucified. (Still) others say that the Jew Titanus entered a house where Jesus was (with a treacherous intention) but could not find him. Then God changed him into a form similar to that of Jesus, and when he came outside people thought he was Jesus and so they seized and crucified him.

Similar unusual things which one may not find improbable for the time of the prophets (have been reported on this subject). When God blames the Jews (here), (it is) only because their words showed that they acted impudently towards God, wishing to kill his prophet in spite of the confirmation (of the prophethood of Jesus) through overwhelming miracles (mu'jizat), and (furthermore they) rejoiced in doing so. (God blames them) not because their assertion (to have killed Jesus) was (merely) an opinion.

... (that is) concerning the state in which Jesus was. For as soon as this event (the crucifixion of another person in Jesus' place) occurred, the people disagreed (concerning it). Some Jews said: 'Jesus was a liar (when he said God would raise him up to heaven), for we certainly killed him!' Others hesitated, and some of these said: 'If this (crucified person) is Jesus, then where is our companion (who wanted to betray him)?' Others said: 'That is the face of Jesus, but the body is that of our companion.' Those, however, who had heard Jesus when he said: 'God will raise me up into heaven,' said: 'He was raised up into heaven.' Certain people believed (also) that his human nature was crucified, while his divine nature rose up to heaven. ... (Helmut Gätje, The Qur'an and its Exegesis [Oneworld Publications, 1996], pp. 128-129)

Finally, here also is Ibn Kathir's commentary on Sura 4:157:

The Evil Accusation the Jews Uttered Against Maryam and Their Claim that They Killed `Isa

Allah said, ...

(And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam a grave false charge.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas stated that the Jews accused Maryam of fornication. This is also the saying of As-Suddi, Juwaybir, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others. This meaning is also apparent in the Ayah, as the Jews accused Maryam and her son of grave accusations: They accused her of fornication and claimed that `Isa was an illegitimate son. Some of them even claimed that she was menstruating while fornicating. May Allah's continued curse be upon them until the Day of Resurrection. The Jews also said...

("We killed Al-Masih, `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,'') meaning, we killed the person who claimed to be the Messenger of Allah. The Jews only uttered these words in jest and mockery, just as the polytheists said, ...

(O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur'an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man!) When Allah sent `Isa with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah's curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles; curing the blind and leprous and bringing the dead back to life, by Allah's leave. He also used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow in it, and it became a bird by Allah's leave and flew. `Isa performed other miracles that Allah honored him with, yet the Jews defied and belied him and tried their best to harm him. Allah's Prophet `Isa could not live in any one city for long and he had to travel often with his mother, peace be upon them. Even so, the Jews were not satisfied, and they went to the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars. They told him that there was a man in Bayt Al-Maqdis misguiding and dividing the people in Jerusalem and stirring unrest among the king's subjects. The king became angry and wrote to his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest the rebel leader, stop him from causing unrest, crucify him and make him wear a crown of thorns. When the king's deputy in Jerusalem received these orders, he went with some Jews to the house that `Isa was residing in, and he was then with twelve, thirteen or seventeen of his companions. That day was a Friday, in the evening. They surrounded `Isa in the house, and when he felt that they would soon enter the house or that he would sooner or later have to leave it, he said to his companions, "Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise." A young man volunteered, but `Isa thought that he was too young. He asked the question a second and third time, each time the young man volunteering, prompting `Isa to say, "Well then, you will be that man." Allah made the young man look exactly like `Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and `Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep. Allah said, ...

(And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.'') When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur'an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. He said, ...

(but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them,) referring to the person whom the Jews thought was `Isa. This is why Allah said afterwards, ...

(and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.) referring to the Jews who claimed to kill `Isa and the ignorant Christians who believed them. Indeed they are all in confusion, misguidance and bewilderment. This is why Allah said, ...

(For surely; they killed him not.) meaning they are not sure that `Isa was the one whom they killed. Rather, they are in doubt and confusion over this matter. ...

(But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful,) meaning, He is the Almighty, and He is never weak, nor will those who seek refuge in Him ever be subjected to disgrace, ..

(All-Wise.) in all that He decides and ordains for His creatures. Indeed, Allah's is the clearest wisdom, unequivocal proof and the most glorious authority. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.' He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)' One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,' and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa's followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.' Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.' Another group, 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." This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa'i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise. (Source)

 

My Response:

To the Muslims, it really doesn’t matter who was crucified in the place of Isa (A), so the above was just baseless, and pointless rambling in order for Sam to make his article long. The bottom line is:

Isa (A) was not crucified, nor did he die for the sins of mankind!

 

He Wrote:

After sifting through all these conflicting reports we are still left to wonder if it was Titawus, Judas Iscariot, or the watchman who was made to resemble Jesus? And if it was one of the twelve, or thirteen, or seventeen, or nineteen (?!) disciples who died in Jesus' place, which one of them was it? Furthermore, if God would allow an innocent victim to die in Christ's place, why not just let Jesus die? Finally, what was the point of allowing someone else to die at all when God could have easily taken Jesus to heaven in full view of his enemies? This would have been the greatest act God could have performed in vindicating Jesus from all the lies of Christ's enemies.

Instead, we are asked to believe that God allowed someone else to die in Jesus' place. At the same time, we are to believe that for nearly six centuries God lead both the Jews and Christians into believing that Jesus was crucified and did indeed die. This grave error was allowed to go on while untold thousands died for this lie until the Quran finally came down to clarify this apparent deception.

 

 

My Response:

Sam Shamoun raises two important objections here:

1)      If God allowed for an innocent victim to die, why shouldn’t it have just been Jesus

2)      Why didn’t God just take Isa (A) up in front of everyone, so that his enemies could see, and believe?

Objection no#1 is pretty simple to answer, just look at the verses given in the introduction, and then see if a Merciful God would still allow his anointed one (the Messiah) to be killed.

As for objection no#2, then this is yet another issue that’s very simple to answer. Jesus himself said that there will be no sign for his generation:

11The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth; no sign will be given to it."

(Mark 8:11-12 NIV Bible)

Moreover, even the Pharisees denied Jesus’ miracles, thus showing that even if he were to fly around like superman, they still wouldn’t believe!:

 24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, this fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

 25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

 26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

 27And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

(Matthew 12:24-27 KJV Bible)

Even the Holy Prophet (S) performed a miracle by splitting the moon, yet noone believed:

Sahih Al Bukhari

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 387:

Narrated Ibn Masud:

During the lifetime of Allah's Apostle the moon was split into two parts; one part remained over the mountain, and the other part went beyond the mountain. On that, Allah's Apostle said, "Witness this miracle."

And finally, even God Almighty says that to bring them miracles wont even do much good!

If their attitude is so hard for you to bear, then dig a tunnel through the earth if you can; or find a ladder (to climb) up to the sky. Try and bring them the miracle (they demand). Had Allah so willed, He could have, (on His own), gathered all of them around His guidance. So, do not be like the foolish and the ignorant.

(Sura 6 Ayat 35 translated by Dr. Munir Munshey)

The bottom line is that the enemies STILL wouldn’t believe, even if he was to be ascended infront of everyone, so then what’s the use to do it?

 

He Wrote:

In regards to the verb tawaffa as it relates to Christ's death and exaltation, there is proof from the Quran itself to suggest that the verb implies that Jesus did die before ascending to God. The verb and its derivatives are used throughout the Quran in various ways, some of which are highlighted in Neal Robinson's book, Christ In Islam and Christianity:

"The root form wafa (ed.- from which tawaffa is derived), with the three consonants w, f and y is not found in the Quran. We do, however, find two instances of the elative of the corresponding adjective (9:111 and 53:41), which suggest that the meaning of the root form is `to fulfill (a promise)' or `to be complete'.

Form II, waffa, occurs eighteen times as a finite verb and once as a participle:

  1. In one instance, where Abraham is the subject and the object is not expressed, the meaning seems to be close to that of the root form, `to fulfill [a promise]'(53:37).
  2. In every other instance the meaning is `to pay/repay in full' and the context is the last judgement when God will recompense people for their actions in this life (active: 3:57, 4:173, 11:15,111, 24:25,39, 35:30, 46:19, passive: 2:272,281, 3:25, 3:161,185, 8:60, 16:111, 39:10,70, active participle: 11:109).

Form IV, awfa, also occurs eighteen times as a finite verb and once as a participle:

  1. Frequently, it means `to fulfil (a covenant, vow, promise or obligation)' (with human subject: 2:40, 3:76, 5:1, 6:152, 13:20, 16:91, 17:34, 22:29, 48:10, 76:7, active participle 2:177. With God as subject 2:40).
  2. It can also mean `to give full (measure)' (with human subject: 6:152, 7:85, 11:85, 12:59,88, 17:35, 26:181).

Form X, istawaffa, occurs only once where it has the meaning `demand full payment', `exact in full' (83:2).

Form VI, tawaffa, occurs 25 times as a finite verb and once as an active participle:

  1. With angels or angelic messengers as the subject it means `receive' or `gather' [at death] (4:97, 6:61, 7:37, 8:50, 16:28,32, 32:11, 47:27). Cf. one instance where death itself is the subject (4:15).
  2. With God as the subject it seems to mean:

(a) `to receive in death' or `cause to die' (10:104, 16:70, 39:42),

(b) `to receive in death' or `cause to die' prematurely (Muhammad 10:46, 13:40, 40:77, the pious 3:193, 7:126, 12:101),

(c) `to receive' souls in sleep, which is likened to death (6:60, 39:42),

(d) `to receive' Jesus (5:117, participle 3:55).

  1. In the passive it is a euphemism for death, particularly a premature death (2:234, 240 22:5, 40:67)." (Ibid. [State University of New York Press, 1991], pp. 117-118 bold emphasis ours)

To support Robinson's view that tawaffa almost always means death when God or angels are the subject we quote the following Quranic verses:

"If any of you die And leave widows behind, They shall wait concerning themselves Four months and ten days..." S. 2:234 Y. Ali

"Whether We let thee (O Muhammad) behold something of that which We promise or (whether We) cause thee to die, still unto Us is their return, and Allah moreover, is Witness over what they do." S. 10:46 M. Pickthall

"Whom the angels cause to die while they are wronging themselves. Then will they make full submission (saying): We used not to do any wrong. Nay! Surely Allah is Knower of what ye used to do." S. 16:28 Pickthall

"Say: The angel of death, who hath charge concerning you, will gather you, and afterward unto your Lord ye will be returned." S. 32:11 Pickthall

In light of the preceding examples and the linguistic evidence, we are left with the conclusion that the Quran in S. 3:55 and 5:117 conclusively prove that Jesus died before ascending to heaven.

 

 

My Response:

Again we would have to refer to the quote by Dr. Hajj Gibril:

The difference of opinion whether `Isa died or was raised to the heaven alive and in the body, is also unrelated to his descent at the end of time.

Regardless of everything else Jesus WILL descend from the heaven. He will destroy the cross and kill the swine. The sincere among the Jews and Christians will enter Islam at his hand while the insincere will deny him and join the Dajjal - the Arch-Liar. He will renew the Shari`a of our Prophet Muhammad and kill the Dajjal. He will marry and have children and die together with the last band of believers left on earth, after which the Hour will rise. This is our Sunni faith and whoever wishes to disbelieve let them disbelieve.

(Online Source: Fatwa on the Belief in the Descent of Isa by Hajj Gibril)

It doesn’t matter if the verse means that Isa (A) died before ascending to heaven, the common belief is that Isa (A) will descend from heaven in the end times, as proven in the hadiths above.

 

He Wrote:

There is additional support for this in a hadith in Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Ibn Masud

As if I saw the Prophet talking about one of the Prophets whose nation had beaten him and caused him to bleed, while he was cleaning the blood of his face and saying, "O Allah! Forgive my nation for they have no knowledge." Bukhari Vol. 4:683 (Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan's 9 volume translation)

The only prophet who was beaten and uttered such words was Jesus Christ as he lay crucified on the cross of Calvary:

"There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, `Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:32-34 NKJV

This still does not resolve the issue since the Quran in S. 4:157 denies that Jesus was crucified. To make matters worse, Mahmoud Ayoub indicates that there is a tradition from Muhammad where the latter states that Jesus did not die but will come at the end to kill the false Messiah. Afterwards, Jesus will die, be buried, and be raised to life at the Day of Judgement. (Ayoub, The Quran and Its Interpreters, pp. 170-171)

 

My Response:

Sam Shamoun tries to make a connection with the hadith and the biblical verse.

However, the hadith says:

SAHIH BUKHARI, BOOK 56: Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions


Volume 4, Book 56, Number 683:

Narrated 'Abdullah:

As if I saw the Prophet talking about one of the prophets whose nation had beaten him and caused him to bleed, while he was cleaning the blood off his face and saying, "O Allah! Forgive my nation, for they have no knowledge."

Here, the Holy Prophet (S) is narrating that the Prophet was *cleaning* the blood off his face. In the biblical verse however, Jesus couldn’t do that since he was crucified on the cross, his two hands being nailed to the end of the cross.

Moreover, the hadith doesn’t make mention of a crucifixion, it just says that the Prophet was beaten by the people of the nation.

If Sam Shamoun wants to assert that the hadith is referring to Isa (A) then he will be facing a problem since the hadith doesn’t mention a crucifixion, just the Prophet being beaten, and then the Prophet saying "O Allah! Forgive my nation, for they have no knowledge." If this hadith refers to Jesus, then that means that the Gospel writers misquoted Jesus, by adding his words into events that never took place (such as the crucifixion).

Lastly, it is beyond us why Shamoun would try to make a connection between the hadith and the biblical verse to support his claim, yet then contradict the view by mentioning Sura 4:157. The conclusion we can reach here is that the hadith speaks about a Prophet (not mentioned) who was beaten, and while wiping the blood from his face asked God Almighty to forgive his nation. If this narration was something spoken by Isa, this would pose a big problem for Christians, as mentioned earlier.

 

 

He Wrote:

There are several possible solutions in trying to reconcile what appears to be a contradiction, since on the one hand the Quran seems to imply that Jesus was crucified and actually did die. Yet, on the other hand the Quran explicitly denies that the Jews crucified or killed the Messiah:

1.

S. 4:157 does not deny Jesus' crucifixion, but simply denies that it was the Jews who were responsible for the crucifixion. This interpretation is consistent with the Quran itself, as the following passage demonstrates:

"Ye (Muslims) slew them not, but Allah slew them. And thou (Muhammad) threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair test from Him. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower." S. 8:17 Pickthall

Hence, it wasn't the Jews who crucified Christ but God's set purpose which allowed Christ to be crucified. This is precisely what the Bible teaches:

"this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it." Acts 2:23-24 RSV

"But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled." Acts 3:18 RSV

"for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place." Acts 4:27-28 RSV

"but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake." 1 Peter 1:19-20 RSV

"... whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8 NKJV

If this view is correct, then Muslims should have no objections to Jesus' death and resurrection. In fact, one Muslim writer wholeheartedly embraces it:

"The mere saving of Jesus from being killed would not make Allah the best of planners, for any person could save Jesus from being killed... In keeping with His being the best of planners, a resurrection is what Allah planned. Plainly then, the Jews accomplished their plan and killed Jesus, but Allah accomplished His best plan by raising Jesus to life again and unto Himself. (A.H. Obaray, Op. Cit., p. 39)

 

My Response:

The above is absolute nonsense! As mentioned earlier by the Sheikh, any Muslim who says Isa (A) was crucified can not be considered a Muslim anymore:

“A sound belief of every Muslim should be that Jesus was taken up and saved from killing and crucifixion. Anyone who believes in the idea that Jesus was killed and crucified can no longer be called a Muslim.”

Moreover, the verses which Shamoun cites that “says” Isa (A) dies does not even say that Allah SWT crucified Jesus, then Isa (A) ascended to heaven! Sam Shamoun even quoted Tafsir Ibn Kathir where he clearly and ambiguously says:

“(All-Wise.) in all that He decides and ordains for His creatures. Indeed, Allah's is the clearest wisdom, unequivocal proof and the most glorious authority. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.' He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)' One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,' and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa's followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.' Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.' Another group, 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." This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa'i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise. (Source)

So to think that Sam would say Sura 4:157 could mean that Allah SWT crucified Jesus, not the Jews, would be totally bogus!

 

 

He Wrote:

2.

Jesus did not die but it was made to appear as if he did. He is coming a second time where he will then experience death after universally ushering in Islam.

The problem with this second view is that it discards the clear Quranic witness that Jesus did die before ascending.

 

My Response:

Again, we will allow Sunni scholar Sheikh G.F Haddad to correct Sam:

The difference of opinion whether `Isa died or was raised to the heaven alive and in the body, is also unrelated to his descent at the end of time.

Regardless of everything else Jesus WILL descend from the heaven. He will destroy the cross and kill the swine. The sincere among the Jews and Christians will enter Islam at his hand while the insincere will deny him and join the Dajjal - the Arch-Liar. He will renew the Shari`a of our Prophet Muhammad and kill the Dajjal. He will marry and have children and die together with the last band of believers left on earth, after which the Hour will rise. This is our Sunni faith and whoever wishes to disbelieve let them disbelieve.

(Online Source: Fatwa on the Belief in the Descent of Isa by Hajj Gibril)

That view (cited by Sam) does in no way contradict the Holy Qur’an.

 

 

He Wrote:

3.

Jesus was crucified and died. He was then raised by God and ascended to heaven. From there he will come a second time where he will kill the false Messiah, usher in Islam universally, and then die a second time. He will eventually be resurrected for the second time at the Day of Judgement.

Some may have a problem with this view since it would have Jesus dying twice, something that some Muslims will not accept. They may claim that the Quran indicates that every soul will die once, and then be resurrected to give an account before God:

"Every soul shall have A taste of death; And only on the Day Of Judgement shall you Be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved Far from the Fire And admitted to the Garden Will have attained The object (of Life): For the life of this world Is but goods and chattel Of deception." S. 3:185 Y. Ali

Yet, on the same token there are verses in the Quran that speak of two deaths:

Lo! (on that day) those who disbelieve are informed by proclamation: Verily Allah's abhorrence is more terrible than your abhorrence one of another, when ye were called unto the faith but did refuse. They say: Our Lord! Twice hast Thou made us die, and twice hast Thou made us live. Now we confess our sins. Is there any way to go out? S. 40:10-11 Pickthall

There are examples in the Quran where people died and came back to life only to die again:

And remember ye said: "O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see God manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on. Then We raised you up after your death: Ye had the chance to be grateful. S. 2:55-56 Y. Ali

And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding. And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand. S. 2:72-73

Bethink thee (O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. S. 2:243 Pickthall

Or (bethink thee of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death? And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life. He said: How long hast thou tarried? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but thou hast tarried for a hundred years. Just look at thy food and drink which have not rotted! Look at thine ass! And, that We may make thee a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! And when (the matter) became clear unto him, he said: I know now that Allah is Able to do all things. S. 2:259 Pickthall

Or, do you think that the Fellows of the Cave and the Inscription were of Our wonderful signs? When the youths sought refuge in the cave, they said: Our Lord! grant us mercy from Thee, and provide for us a right course in our affair. So We prevented them from hearing in the cave for a number of years. Then We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties was best able to compute the time for which they remained... And you might see the sun when it rose, decline from their cave towards the right hand, and when it set, leave them behind on the left while they were in a wide space thereof. This is of the signs of Allah; whomsoever Allah guides, he is the rightly guided one, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) aright. And you might think them awake while they were asleep and We turned them about to the right and to the left, while their dog (lay) outstretching its paws at the entrance; if you looked at them you would certainly turn back from them in flight, and you would certainly be filled with awe because of them. And thus did We rouse them that they might question each other. A speaker among them said: How long have you tarried? They said: We have tarried for a day or a part of a day. (Others) said: Your Lord knows best how long you have tarried. Now send one of you with this silver (coin) of yours to the city, then let him see which of them has purest food, so let him bring you provision from it, and let him behave with gentleness, and by no means make your case known to any one... (Some) say: (They are) three, the fourth of them being their dog; and (others) say: Five, the sixth of them being their dog, making conjectures at what is unknown; and (others yet) say: Seven, and the eighth of them is their dog. Say: My Lord best knows their number, none knows them but a few; therefore contend not in the matter of them but with an outward contention, and do not question concerning them any of them. 18:9-12, 17-20, 22

In light of the foregoing the theory of Christ dying and rising a second time is quite plausible from an Islamic perspective.

 

My Response:

We have no problem with the above except this:

Jesus was crucified and died. He was then raised by God and ascended to heaven. From there he will come a second time where he will kill the false Messiah, usher in Islam universally, and then die a second time. He will eventually be resurrected for the second time at the Day of Judgement.

 

Again, no Muslim can believe Isa (A) was crucified, as Allah SWT makes it very clear that it APPEARED to them (the Jews) that Jesus was being crucified, while in reality he wasn’t.

 

He Wrote:

4.

The final view is that Jesus was crucified but did not die. He swooned and on the third day was resuscitated by some of his disciples, namely Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. From there he went to India and died at an old age.

Muslims who adhere to this view include the Ahmadiyyas and the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.). Orthodox Sunni Muslims consider these sects to be heretical.

Amazingly, the most famous swoon theory proponent is neither an Ahmadi or a member of the N.O.I. Rather it is South African Muslim Apologist Ahmad Deedat, considered to be Islam's greatest defender.

In his writings and debates, Deedat attempts to prove that Jesus did not die on the cross but simply swooned. He also attempts to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Jesus simply recovered and appeared alive to his followers, proving that he had not died on the cross. (Deedat, Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction, I.P.C.I, 4th Floor, 124 Queen Street, Durban 4001, RSA, or P.O. BOX 2439 Durban 4000, RSA)

This theory will also not work since it contradicts the Quranic witness that Jesus was neither crucified nor killed. And it also contradicts Muhammad's statement that Jesus did not die.

 

My Response:

Sheikh Ahmed Deedat actually says;

Three Topics

It can hardly be expected in a small publication of this nature that one can deal with all the references about Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, interspersed throughout the fifteen different chapters of the Holy Quran. What we can do is to give a quick glance to the index page reproduced from the Quran earlier in this letter.

Here we find three significant topics, not dealt with yet in our discussion:

  1. Not crucified, (4:157).
  2. Message and miracles,(5:113, 19:30-33).
  3. Prophesied Ahmed, (61:6).

Regarding the first topic, "not crucified", I had written a booklet under the heading "Was Christ Crucified?" some twenty years ago. The book is presently out of print, and further, it needs updating, for much water has passed under the bridge since it first saw the light of day.

As regards the third topic mentioned above, "Prophesied Ahmed", I propose to write a booklet under the title "Muhammed, salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, the Natural Successor to Christ" after I have completed "Was Christ Crucified?", I hope to complete both these projects soon, Insha Allah! (Arabic: "By the will of Allah").”

(Source: Christ in Islam by Sheikh Ahmed Deedat.)

He also clearly says:

APPENDIX

The Muslim reader of this and other allied tracts may be tempted to ask, "Do we Muslims need to use the Bible to get at the Truth of God?"

The answer is an emphatic NO!
The Muslim position is very clear:

1) Sin is not inherited.
2) The "Trinity" is a fabrication.
3) Jesus is not God.
4) God does not beget sons or daughters.
5) Christ was neither killed nor crucified.

(Source: WHO MOVED THE STONE? By Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, bold and underlined emphasis ours)

 

Sheikh Deedat clearly says that Jesus was not crucified, and this is a firm Muslim position! The reason as to why he also includes the hypothesis of Jesus going on a cross was to show also that even if he was on the cross, he still couldn’t have possibly died, as he states:

 

AFTERWORD

“The Crucifixion or Christ had been pushed down my throat to be the only redeeming factor for mankind since my early encounter with students and priests of Adams Mission when I was in my teens. (See Epilogue: "Is the Bible God's Word?")

Being a rather impressionable youth, I was amazed at the manner in which scores of young articulate men believed in the Crucifixion as their only factor of salvation and seemed to be concerned about my being condemned to hell for not believing in it.

This subject of the Crucifixion of Christ on which all Christianity is staked, became a serious subject of my studies. I really wanted to know what it was all about and began to study their authority, the "New Testament", on the subject.

Honestly, I do not expect anyone to ask me about my belief as a Muslim concerning the Crucifixion. My belief is the Quranic belief as categorically stated in Chapter IV, Verse 757. (Note: Sheikh Deedat actually is referring to Sura 4 Ayat 157)

I repeat emphatically that the study of the crucifixion was thrust upon me by those of the Christian faith who claimed to be my benefactors and well-wishers. I seriously took their concern for me to heart and studied and researched objectively, using their own sources. The results you will agree are astounding.

I would like to thank the hundreds of Christians who came knocking at my door and for initiating me into this subject.

The foregoing is the result of my years and years of study and research.

Ahmed Deedat”

 

(Source: Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction? By Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, bold and underlined emphasis ours, as well as the Note)

 

 

He Wrote:

Hence, no matter from what angle we look at it the Quran leaves us with difficulties. When this occurs we are to look to the Bible for the answer. This is precisely what the Quran teaches Muslims to do:

"If thou wert in doubt As to what We have revealed Unto thee, then ask those Who have been reading The Book from before thee: The Truth hath indeed come To thee from thy Lord: So be in no wise Of those who doubt." S. 10:94 Y. Ali

"And before thee (Muhammad), We sent no one, except men, to whom We granted revelation. Ask the people of the Scripture message, if you don't know." S. 21:7

Not only is the crucifixion one of the best established facts of history, it is clearly taught throughout Scripture, leaving no ambiguity as to its reality.

 

 

My Response:

Despite everything shown above, Sam Shamoun still has problems with the Qur’an. I don’t see the problem, because besides people having different views on if Isa (A) died or not, the common ground we all stand on is that Isa (A) was NOT crucified. A very simple thing to understand, although it is only confusing when one wants it to BE confusing!

In order for us to make clear on the commentary of the two verses above, we will first post Muhammad Asad’s commentary for Sura 10:94;

I.e., the Jews and the Christians. The "reading" is here a metonym for belief, namely, in the Bible, which-notwithstanding the fact that its text has been corrupted in the course of time-still contains clear references to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad and thus, by implication, to the truth of the divine message revealed through him. In its wider sense, the above verse alludes to the unbroken continuity of man's religious experience and to the fact, frequently stressed in the Qur'an, that every one of God's apostles preached one and the same basic truth. (See in this connection the second paragraph of 5:48 and the corresponding notes 66 and 67.)(Quran Ref: 10:94)

(Online Source)

And lastly for Sura 21:7, the correct interpretation of the verse would be, as cited by Ibn Kathir:

Here Allah refutes those who denied that human Messengers could be sent:

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ﴾

(And We sent not before you but men to whom We revealed.) Meaning, all the Messengers who came before you were men, human beings. There were no angels among them. This is like the Ayat:

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى﴾

(And We sent not before you any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships) ﴿12:109

﴿قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعاً مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ﴾

(Say: "I am not a new thing among the Messengers...) ﴿46:9 Allah tells us that the previous nations denied that and said:

﴿أَبَشَرٌ يَهْدُونَنَا﴾

("Shall mere men guide us'') ﴿64:6. So Allah says here:

﴿فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنْتُم لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ﴾

(So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know.) meaning, ask the people of knowledge among the nations such as the Jews and Christians and other groups: `were the Messengers who came to you human beings or angels' Indeed they were human beings. This is a part of the perfect blessing of Allah towards His creation: He sent to them Messengers from among themselves so that they could receive the Message from them and learn from them.

(Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged version, Dar Us Salam Publications)

Contrary to what Sam feels, the Holy Qur’an tells the believers:

O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (The Holy Qur’an Sura 4 Ayat 59)

Thus, if a Muslim has a difficulty understanding something (even though everything is clear), he must refer to what the Holy Prophet (S) says.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

At the end of Sam’s article, he only provides verses that speak of the crucifixion of Jesus. For detailed responses on the alleged crucifixion, please visit:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/the_crucifixion_hoax_1.htm

http://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/paul_the_corrupter.htm

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/five%20hundred%20witnesses.htm

 

We conclude by saying:

And Truly, The One True God ALLAH (SWT) Knows Best!

 

 

 

 

Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.

The early Disciples' original writings declare that Jesus never got crucified!

Rebuttals by Umar.


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