By MuslimAnswers.net Team
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم
A certain Christian asked: “Since the Muslims accept that the Eternal and Beginningless Speech of Allah became a book (i.e. the Qur’an), why are they so stuck on not accepting that the Eternal Word of God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ?”
The answer begins by immediately noting that the claim of the Christian regarding the Muslim belief is flatly wrong. No Muslim says that the “Eternal Speech of Allah” literally became a book – neither the Tawra, nor the Injeel, nor the Qur’an. In fact, whoever believes in such an idea is not a Muslim at all.
Rather, the Muslim says that the recited Qur’an in its letters, words, and sounds, point out [in Arabic ‘dalla ‘ala’] the Beginningless Speech of Allah, without the “Beginningless Speech of Allah” becoming incarnate in the books or on the tongues of the reciters.
We say that the confusion (or sometimes the malicious intent) may arise due to the linguistic usage of the term “Speech of Allah” to refer to the Qur’an and other revealed books, and the equating of this linguistic usage with the strict technical meaning.
In order to establish the Muslim understanding on this issue, we can further another very pertinent example: When a person utters the word “Allah” this word does not become the Divine Being “Allah” in His Essence, but rather it is understood that this utterance is pointing towards the Divine Being. Reciprocally, the Divine Being “Allah” is His Essence does not become the word “Allah” on the tongue of the one who mentions and remembers his Lord.
Of course, there is a wide gulf between the Christian and Muslim conception of Allah (or the Divine Being), since the Christian insists that God is one ousia (substance or being) existing in three distinct hypostases (subsistences), and this is something which the Muslim rejects outright, and says that its impossibility is of the absolute type, relating to the very nature of Divinity.
Even though Christians may say that we have misunderstood their religion, the truth is that they claim that multiple “persons” occupy the status of Divinity in full – thus the usage of the term “hypostasis” [subsistence, as in the subsistence of a being]. So according to this paradigm, the “Word of God” is one of these “hypostasis” which had the ability incarnate himself in the body of a man.
The Muslim would immediately point out that even without incarnation, the very idea of one being existing in different “persons” or “hypostasis” is simply outside the realm of possibilities and is to be rejected outright. The Muslim would also say that for any set of multiple Beings occupying their own spatial coordinates [such as what the Christians claim about Jesus (Alayhi Salaam) during his earthly life, or of the “Holy Spirit” in certain instances, such as what is alleged concerning his descent during Jesus’ “Baptism” or during the incident of “Pentecost”] would itself militate against the idea that any of the beings referred to (Jesus (Alayhi Salaam) or the “Holy Spirit”) could possibly be Divine, due to the compelling need of regulatory specification in such cases. (Much more is there that can be discussed about this matter, but such matters will be discussed in other articles and works).
Thus, we see that the Christian objection concerning the Qur’an and its relationship with the “Beginningless Speech of Allah” is invalid, and that it masks the fundamental disagreement between the Islamic and Christian faiths in their views on Divinity.