Answered by Moulana Yusuf Laher (http://www.anwaarul-islam.co.za)
The Christian asks: “We have in the story of the crucifixion of Jesus two mutually contradicting viewpoints: On the one side, the statement from the Bible, attested by a large multitude of people that Jesus was actually hung up and crucified on the cross. Yet, we have the Quran saying that this is not true, and that it was all a mass illusion of some sort. But why should anyone discard the evidence of the Bible and the affirmation of this fact by a large multitude of eyewitnesses for the sayings of a book coming 6 centuries after the fact?”
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم
When it comes to issues like these, there are some basic principles to adhere to:
1. We maintain that the Bible is not on its original form, but has been changed and altered. Thus, we do not accept what is written in it. We will only accept that which conforms to the Islamic texts and Islamic teachings, otherwise it will be rejected. When there is a contradiction between the Bible and Islamic teachings, we will accept the Islamic teaching.
2. We believe that Nabi Mohammed (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is the final Messenger of Allah and whatever he says is Divine revelation. Irrespective of how many people ‘witnessed’ and testified, the word of our Nabi outweighs everything else. There is no one more truthful than him.
3. We are not denying that a crucifixion took place. We too say it took place but the person crucified was not Nabi Eesaa (Alayhis Salaam). There are many narrations mentioned in the books of Tafseer such as Roohul Ma’aani, at-Tabari, Khaazin, Ibni Katheer and many others that another person was given the facial appearance of Nabi Eesaa (Alayhis Salaam) and he was crucified. So the eye witnesses saw the crucifixion but it took place on another person. The Qur’aan attests to this and uses the word ‘SHUBBIHA LAHUM’ (i.e. that it was made to appear to them as such). Our belief is on the Qur’aan and not the altered Bible.
4. Irrespective of how long after that era the Qur’aan came, it is a Divine Book and delivered to us by a Chosen Messenger. The criteria in here is the miraculous nature of the Qur’an which incapacitates the opponents of Islam, and the information contained therein is not contradicted by the relatively weak claims of the Bible we have in our hands.
4 thoughts on “Question: “Why would one discard evidence of Christ’s crucifixion and accept the Quranic account?””
The author here is shoving his interpretations and making claims without justifying them rationally. Please let someone else write a proper answer to the question
I will try to contact the Moulana who answered this when possible, but from my own side I have to say that the main objection to the Crucifixion narrative (when responding to Christians) is in fact with the background to the narrative, insofar as it is supposing a Trinitarian view of God that we Muslims would not accept; without that Trinitarian view, the Crucifixion would not even have been presented as such a big affair in the theology of the Christians (because concepts like the redemption of all humanity, the supercession of the ‘Old Covenant’ by the ‘New Covenant’) would not have been articulated.
From the point of view of narration of the event, we say that the entire episode from the time of the “Romans’ capture of Jesus (Alayhi Salaam)” to “Jesus’ (Alayhi Salam) crucifixion” was not witnessed to such a magnitude that it confers us indubitable knowledge. If we wish to be even more strict, we might say that the narrations in the Bible and the original transmissions they are taken from may not even reach the level of weak Ahadeeth in terms of Islamic sciences.
If there is more to this from the Moulana I will let you know as well.
In addition to the above:
There was also a lecture given almost a year ago entitled: ” What happened to Jesus? A Muslim Biblical Scholar’s Response to the Passion and Resurrection Narratives in the New Testament” by Ustadh Ali At-Taei (at: http://livestream.com/TheLighthouselive/events/4024382), where this matter is dealt with in more detail, going into the problems of the New Testament narratives and giving his own possibilities as to what might have happened to ‘Isa (AS). But the caution in here is, that Ustadh at-Taei explicitly mentions that he is giving his responses from the point of view of “modern history”, a perspective that excludes miraculous Divine Intervention, so in that sense the Ustadh acknowledges that a response based on ‘modern historical methods’ has its drawbacks, yet can give us some idea as to different possibilities regarding the question of what happened to ‘Isa (AS).
I will look into the video definitely. I have been studying the crucifixion for quite some time, have written an essay/article on the crucifixion resurrection and ascension, I find these traditional ulama replies display a serious lack of knowledge and critical thinking, therefore it is better that if one cannot answer the question adequately, another persons work be recommended, especially since I find many of the articles on this site very interesting and well done. The answer as given above by the Moulana would not be convincing at all to a Christian since there are many claims been made which someone cannot believe without evidence. I’m not trying to be polemical or demeaning to the Moulana but a multi layered approach to the crucifixion has to be done, especially when it is popularly believed by many scholars and historians Christian or non Christian that JesusAS died on the cross.
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