BEHOLD THE BEAST
The death and resurrection of Jesus is another issue that arouses
controversy in Islam. The Bible plainly teaches that God, in love, offered
up Jesus on the cross of Calvary for our sins and raised Him again the
third day for our justification. But the Koran says half "No" and half
"Yes,' thereby leaving Muslims confused. In an attempt to justify the
ambiguous teaching of the Koran on the issue, some Islamic scholars
allege corruption of the Bible. Half "Yes" and half "No," in the sense that
they are divided over the interpretation of Surat al-Imran, 55:
"Behold! God said: O Jesus! I will take thee to Myself 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 to me and I will
judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute."
The word Arabic "inni-mutawaffeeka" translated "I will take thee" is
the point of controversy among scholars. Some hold that the word
means death of sleep and God raised him in his sleep.1 Others say the
word means I, God, "take you" from the world, but not by death.2 Yet
others claim it means God caused Jesus to die three hours and then
raised him.3 Muhammad Ibn Ishaq said, he was dead seven hours, then
God raised him to life and took him to heaven. Dr. Anis Shorrosh says:4
"As an Arab, I have never known of any other meaning than death for
this expression, i.e. "inni-mutawaffeeka", within or outside the Koran."
The controversy rages on in Sura 4, An-nisa, 157:
"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
1 Al-Muthana says he was told so by Ishaq who in turn heard it from Abd-Allah Ibn
Jafar and Al-Rabia
2 Ali Ibn Suhail from Domra Ibn Rabia from Ibn Shuthab from Matar Waraq
3 Ibn Hamid quoting Salima and Ibn Ishaq and Wahab Ibn Munabih
4 Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab View of Islam, p. 97
therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge, but only
conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not."
From this sura comes the popular belief of Muslims that Allah cast the
likeness of Jesus onto another man and that this man was the one
crucified while Jesus was snatched into heaven. Muslims believe that the
world was deceived into believing that it was Jesus that was crucified.
The Chief culprit in this deception is Allah himself. Whoever invented
this clever fable actually did a good job for Islam, but not a thorough
one. He fell short of identifying the Jesus substitute, thereby leaving
room for more controversies.
Muslims deem it convenient to select Judas Iscariot since he was the
one that betrayed Jesus. But that cannot be since Judas, after betraying
Jesus, was overwhelmed with guilt and committed suicide (Matthew
27:3-5). And so Muslims must swim and eventually sink (unless they
repent) in the ocean of dilemma into which Allah and Koran have
Realizing the untenable nature of the ambiguous statement in Sura
4:157, some scholars are busy experimenting with more "suitable"
theories. One such scholar is the aggressive sophist, Ahmed Deedat. In
one of his specious arguments entitled Resurrection or Resuscitation?,
Deedat propounded the "Swoon theory" - a theory that Jesus survived
the cross half dead and recovered afterwards in a roomy grave.1
The repeated denial of Jesus. death on the cross in Sura 4:157 not
only exposes Allah's deception, but it also exposes his ignorance of
prophetic tradition. The true God mentioned the triumph of Messiah
(Jesus) over Satan through death when He gave the promise in the
garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). The Prophet Isaiah predicted His (Jesus)
virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) and also His atoning death (Isaiah 53:5-9). The
Prophet David, whom Muslims call Anabiya Dauda, also prophesied
1This theory was first conceived by Venturni, a German rationalist and then
popularized by Prophet Ahman Ghulam of the Ahmadiya brand of Islam. Deedat
implies, had he lived in Muhammad's time and been in the shoes of either Zaid Ibn
Thabit or Waraqa Ibn Naufal, that he would have suggested this seemingly
"sophisticated" swoon concept himself. Deedat is over 1,400 years late for his
warmed over theory to be considered.
Jesus' death (Psalm 16:10), a prophecy which is confirmed in Acts 13:32-35.
If you are the kind of person who is skeptical of fulfilled prophecies,
then consider one that will be fulfilled at Christ's second coming:
And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabit-
ants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of Grace and supplications; and
they shall look upon me whom they have pierced. (Zech 12:10;
CF. Rev. 1:7)
An Allah who is ignorant of these prophecies cannot be a true God
even if he claims to be one. As we see in Surat al-Maryam, 15:
"So peace on him [refers to John] the day he was born, the day
that he dies and the day that he will be raised up alive [again]!"
And verse 33 of the same sura:
"So peace is on me [Jesus] the day I was born, the day that I
die, and the day I shall be raised up to life."
There is no arguing the fact that Muslims believe the Apostle John
(Yahaya) was born and died according to the first verse. Then why not
believe the same of Jesus the Christ according to the second verse?
Because the order of the two verses is the same and the wordings are
practically the same. The context in the second can only mean one thing.
Yusuf Ali seems to realize this fact. 1 In comparing Sura 19:15 with Sura
19:33, he commented thus:
"Christ was not crucified (Sura 4:157) but those who believed
He never died should ponder over this verse (i.e. 33 of Surat al-
Some do not want to believe the crucifixion on the ground that God
would not have allowed His chosen prophet like Jesus to be killed by
wicked hands. Such reasoning is refuted by the Koran itself.
They (also) said:
"God took our promise not to believe in an apostle unless he
showed us a sacrifice consumed by fire [from heaven]. Say:
"there came to you apostles before me, with clear signs and even
1 No. 2485, Ali, A. Yusuf, The Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary
with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the
truth?." (Sura 3:183).
If we examine the whole Koran, we find that the only messenger
who came from God with the kind of offering described in the above
quoted sura is Christ as can be seen in Sura 5:115-117.
The Apostle Paul, whom Muslims hate to hear, made an amazing
remark concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A remark
which makes a mockery of anyone trying to deny this historical event.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that He was buried, and that He arose again the third day
according to the Scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas,
then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five
hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain
unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians
In essence, the Apostle Paul is saying this: if you are in doubt, go
and ask the eyewitnesses. If the Muslims knew the importance of the
cross in God's program, they certainly would not have rejected it. Satan
knows that he met his Waterloo through the death and resurrection of
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also Himself [Jesus] likewise took part of the same;
that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of
death, that is the devil; And deliver them who through fear of
death were all their life time subject to bondage. (Hebrews
This was the sole mission of Christ and He accomplished it, praise
God. Contrary to Muslim allegations, neither Christ nor Paul established
a religion. Religion is Satan's dragnet to catch men into Hell-fire, while
Christ came purposely to conquer Satan and deliver as many as put their
trust in Him. Does the Koran inform us of how Allah defeated Satan? No,
on the contrary, Allah even incorporates Satan's cohorts (the jinns -
demons) into the Islamic fold (Sura 72:14), and concentrates on fighting
against the Salvation plan of the Bible God.
Dear reader, do not allow the enemy to rob you of the Salvation
made available through the atoning death and triumphant resurrection
of Jesus. As a result of your sins, you owe God a debt you can never pay.
His perfect holiness demands justice, a justice which would result in a
punishment for every offence. But He is also a God of love. In His love
He yearns to be merciful. But if He merely waved our sins aside (as some
think), the yearning of His love would be met, but what about the
requirement of His holiness and justice? My friend, there must be a basis
for forgiveness. The cross provides that basis. Jesus Christ died to pay
your sin debt. The Bible God knew - if He left mankind alone - that
everyone would go to Hell, for no one can satisfy the demands of God's
righteousness. That was why God, in love, came in the person of Jesus.
He came to help us.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7)