[Comp.Sci.Dept, Utrecht] Note from archiver<at>cs.uu.nl: This page is part of a big collection of Usenet postings, archived here for your convenience. For matters concerning the content of this page, please contact its author(s); use the source, if all else fails. For matters concerning the archive as a whole, please refer to the archive description or contact the archiver.

Subject: Islam FAQ (Part 9/15): Islam: Prophethood, Jesus & Trinity

This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:18 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: islam-faq
All FAQs posted in: alt.religion.islam, bit.listserv.muslims
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: islam-faq/part9 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: 1995/3/27 Version: 3.3 Organization: Alumni Association, Caltech, Pasadena, California
Copyright 1993,1994,1995 Asim Mughal (mughal@caltech.edu) Redistribution for profit, or in altered content/format prohibited without explicit written permission of the author. Any other redistribution must include this copyright notice and attribution. Frequently Asked Questions: Part 9 __________________________________ This message is automatically posted to 'soc.religion.islam' every month and when updated. This lists answers to most commonly asked questions on the forum. Contributions & changes are requested and should be directed to: mughal@caltech.edu OVERVIEW: The Frequently Asked Questions document for Islam has been divided in parts. Below is the index. Part 1 - Welcome & Index Part 2 - Info on Islamic News Groups Part 3 - Introduction to Islam Part 4 - God & Worship Part 5 - Islam, Quran & Muhammad (PBUH) Part 6 - Marriage Laws in Islam Part 7 - Women In Islam Part 8 - Life after Death, Moral System & Human rights in Islam Part 9 - Islam: Prophethood, Jesus & Trinity Part 10 - Islam: Farrakhism & Malcom X Part 11 - Islamic Internet Guide: Islamic Resources on Internet Part 12 - Other Islamic Resource Guides on Internet Part 13 - Islamic Literature: Books & Video Part 14 - Islamic Calendar & Prayer Time Table for 1994 Part 15 - Misc: List of Halal Foods ________________________________________________________ PART 9: Islam: Prophethood, Jesus & Trinity Contents --Articles-- 1. Prophethood In Islam ........................................... from III&E 2. Is Jesus Really God? ........................................... from III&E 3. God is All Knowing... Jesus was not ............................ from III&E 4. God is All-Powerful... Jesus was not ........................... from III&E 5. God does not have a God ........................................ from III&E 6. God is Invisible ............................................... from III&E 7. No one is Greater than GOD ..................................... from III&E 8. Conclusion on Jesus ............................................ from III&E 9. Word of God about Jesus ........................................ from III&E 10. Who Invented Trinity? .......................................... from III&E 11. Trinity in the Bible ........................................... from III&E 12. Doctrine Takes Shape ........................................... from III&E 13. Formal Doctrine is Drawnup ..................................... from III&E 14. Church Puts its Foot down ...................................... from III&E 15. Debate Continues ............................................... from III&E 16. Islam and the Matter of The Trinity ............................ from III&E --Announcements-- 17. Archive Info .............................................................. 18. Credits ................................................................... Articles ..................................................................... 1. Prophethood In Islam ........................................... from III&E Prophethood is not unknown to heavenly revealed religions, such as Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and significance. According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. How would man know his role and purpose of his existence unless he received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do? Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus Allah had chosen from every nation a prophet or more to covey His Message to people. One might ask: How were the prophets chosen and who were entitled to this great honor? Prophethood is Allah's blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom He wills. However, from surveying the various messengers throughout history, three features of a prophet may be recognized: 1. He is the best in his community morally and intellectually. This is necessary because a prophet's life serves as a model for his followers. His personality should attract people to accept his message rather than drive them away by his imperfect character. After receiving the message he is infallible. That is, he would not commit any sin. He might make some minor mistakes which are usually corrected by revelation. 2. He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not an impostor. Those miracles are granted by the power and permission of God and are usually in the field in which his people excel and are recognized as superiors. We might illustrate this by quoting the major miracles of the three prophets of the major world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Moses' contemporaries were excellent in magic. So his major miracle was to defeat the best magicians of Egypt of his days. Jesus' contemporaries were recognized as skillful physicians. Therefore, his miracles were to raise the dead and cure the incurable diseases. The Arabs, the contemporaries of the Prophet Mohammed, were known for their eloquence and magnificent poetry. So Prophet Muhammad's major miracle was the Quran, the equivalent of which the whole legion of the Arab poets and orators could not produce despite the repeated challenge from the Quran itself. Again Muhammad's miracle has something special about it. All previous miracles were limited by time and place, i.e., they were shown to specific people at a specific time. Not so the miracle of Muhammad, the Quran. It is a universal and everlasting miracle. Previous generations witnessed it and future generations will witness its miraculous nature in terms of its style, content and spiritual uplifting. These still can be tested and will thereby prove the divine origin of the Quran. 3. Every prophet states clearly that what he receives is not of his own but from God for the well-being of mankind. He also confirms what was revealed before him and what may be revealed after him. A prophet does this to show that he is simply conveying the message which is entrusted to him by the One True God of all people in all ages. So the message is one in essence and for the same purpose. Therefore, it should not deviate from what was revealed before him or what might come after him. Prophets are necessary for conveying God's instructions and guidance to mankind. We have no way of knowing why we were created. What will happen to us after death? Is there any life after death? Are we accountable for our actions? In other words, is there any reward or punishment for our deeds in this life? These and so many other questions about God, angels, paradise, hell, etc. can not be answered without revelation from the Creator and Knower of the unseen. Those answers must be authentic and must be brought by individuals whom we trust and respect. That is why, messengers are the select of their societies in terms of moral conduct and intellectual ability. Hence, the slanderous Biblical stories about some of the great prophets are not accepted by Muslims. For example, Lot is reported to have committed fornication while drunk, with his daughters; or David sent one his leaders to death to marry his wife. Prophets to Muslims are greater than what these stories indicate. These stories can not be true from the Islamic point of view. The prophets are also miraculously supported by God and instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of the message. The content of the prophets' message to mankind can be summarized as follows: a) Clear concept about God: His attributes, His creation, what should and should not be ascribed to Him. b) Clear idea about the unseen world, the angels, jinn (spirits), Paradise and Hell. c) Why has God created us? What does He want from us and what is the reward or punishment for obeying or disobeying Him? d) How to run our societies according to His will? That is, clear instructions and laws that, when applied correctly and honestly, will result in a happy and ideal society. It is clear from the above discussion that there is no substitute for prophets. Even today with the advancement of science, the only authentic source of information about the supernatural world is revelation. Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience. The first is too materialistic and too limited; the second is too subjective and frequently too misleading. Now one might ask: How many prophets has God sent to humanity? We do not know for sure. Some Muslim scholars have suggested 240 thousand prophets. We are only sure of what is clearly mentioned in the Quran, that is, God has sent a messenger (or more) to every nation. That is because it is one of God's principles that He will never call a people to account unless He has made clear to them what to do and what not to do. The Quran mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates that there have been others who were not mentioned to the Prophet Mohammed. These 25 include Noah, the man of the Ark, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. These five are the greatest among God's messengers. They are called 'the resolute' prophets. An outstanding aspect of the Islamic belief in prophethood is that Muslims believe in and respect all the messengers of God with no exceptions. Since all the prophets came from the same One God, for the same purpose - to lead mankind to God - belief in them all is essential and logical; accepting some and rejecting others has to be based on misconceptions of the prophets' role or racial bias. The Muslims are the only people in the world who consider the belief in all the prophets of God an article of faith. Thus the Jews reject Jesus Christ and Muhammad; the Christians reject Muhammad and in reality reject Moses because they do not abide by his laws. The Muslims accept them all as messengers of God who brought guidance to mankind. However, the revelation which those prophets brought from God has been tampered with in one way or the other. The belief in all the messengers of God is enjoined on the Muslims by the Quran. "Say (O Muslims): we believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and their children, and that which Moses and Jesus received and that the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered." (2:136) The Quran continues in the following verses to instruct the Muslims that this is the true and impartial belief. If other nations believe in the same, they are following their own whims and biases and God will take care of them. Thus we read: "And if they believe in what you believe, then they are rightly guided. But if they turn away, then they are in disunity, and Allah will suffice you against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. This is God's religion and Who is better than God in religion?" (2:137-38) There are, at least, two important points related to prophethood that need to be clarified. These points concern the roles of Jesus and Muhammad as prophets who are usually misunderstood. The Quranic account of Jesus emphatically rejects the concept of his 'Divinity' and 'Divine Sonship' and presents him as one of the great prophets of God. The Quran makes it clear that the birth of Jesus without a father does not make him son of God and mentions in this respect Adam who was created by God without a father and mother: "Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, 'Be', and he was." (3:59) Like other prophets Jesus also performed miracles. For example, he raised the dead and cured the blind and lepers, but while showing these miracles he always made it clear that it was all from God. Actually the misconceptions about the personality and mission of Jesus found a way among his followers because the Divine message that he preached was not recorded during his presence in the world, rather it was recorded after a lapse of about hundred years. According to the Quran he was sent to the children of Israel; he confirmed the validity of the Torah which was revealed to Moses and he also brought the glad tidings of a final messenger after him. "And when Jesus son of Mary said, 'Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be the PRAISED ONE." (61:6) (The capitalized portion is the translation of Ahmad which is Prophet Muhammed's name.) However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry. They plotted against his life and in their opinion crucified him. But the Quran refutes this opinion and says that they neither killed him nor crucified him, rather he was raised up to God. There is a verse in the Quran, which implies that Jesus will come back and all the Christians and Jews believe in him before he dies. This is also supported by authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) The last prophet of God, Muhammad, was born in Arabia in the sixth century C.E. Up to the age of forty, people of Makkah knew him only as a man of excellent character and cultured manners and called him AL-AMEEN (the trustworthy). He also did not know that he was soon to made a prophet and receiver of revelation from God. He called the idolaters of Makkah to worship the only one God and accept him as His prophet. The revelation that he received was preserved in his life-time in the memory of his companions and was also recorded in pieces of palm leaves, leather etc... Thus the Quran that is found today is the same that was revealed to him; not a syllable of it has been altered as God Himself has guaranteed its preservation. This Quran claims to be the book of guidance for the whole humanity for all times, and mentions Muhammad as the last Prophet of God. 2. Is Jesus Really God? ........................................... from III&E Without a doubt, you have often heard the claim that Jesus is God, the second person in the "Holy Trinity." However, the very Bible which is used as a basis for knowledge about Jesus and as the basis for doctrine within Christianity clearly believes this claim. We urge you to consult your own Bible and verify that the following conclusions are not drawn out of context: 3. God is All Knowing... Jesus was not ............................ from III&E When speaking of the Day of Judgment, Jesus clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his knowledge when he said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the son, but the father." (Mark 13:32, and Matt. 24:36) But God knows all. His knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of his own admission, did not know when the day of judgment would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God. 4. God is All-Powerful... Jesus was not ........................... from III&E While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself admitted that the power he had was not his own but was derived from God when he said, "Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do..." (John 5:19) Again he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: As I hear I judge, and my judgment is just because I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which has sent me." (John 5:30) But God is not only All-Powerful, He is also the source of all power and authority. That Jesus, of his own admission, could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not God. 5. God does not have a God ........................................ from III&E GOD DOES NOT HAVE A GOD.....BUT JESUS DID HAVE A GOD God is the ultimate judge and refuge for all, and He does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus acknowledged that there was One whom he worshipped and to Whom he prayed when he said, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." (John 20:17) He is also reported to have cried out while on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46) If Jesus were God, then couldn't this be read, "Myself, myself, why hast thou forsaken me?" Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus prayed the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2-4), was he praying to himself? When in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, "O my father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt." (Matt. 26:36-39) Was Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own admission and by his own actions, acknowledged, worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is clear proof that Jesus himself is not God. 6. God is Invisible ............................................... from III&E ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE GOD IS AN INVISIBLE SPIRIT.... BUT JESUS WAS FLESH AND BLOOD While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said: "No man hath seen God at any time." (John 1:18) "Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape." (John 5:37) He also said in John 4:24: "God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." That Jesus would say that no one had seen or heard God at any time, while his followers both saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not God. 7. No one is Greater than GOD ..................................... from III&E NO ONE IS GREATER THAN GOD AND NO ONE CAN DIRECT HIM.... BUT JESUS ACKNOWLEDGED SOMEONE GREATER THAN HIMSELF WHOSE WILL WAS DISTINCT FROM HIS OWN Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus himself who said in John 14:28: "My Father is greater than I." When someone referred to him as good master in Luke 18:19, Jesus responded: "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God..." furthermore, Jesus drew clear distinctions between himself and God when he said, "I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me." (John 8:42) Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to God, rather than his equality with God, when he said in Luke 22:42, "not my will but Thine be done" and in John 5:30, "I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which has sent me." That Jesus would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God. 8. Conclusion on Jesus ............................................ from III&E The Church recognizes the Bible as the primary source of knowledge about God and Jesus. But since the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is not the Supreme Being and the Supreme Being is not Jesus, upon what basis have you come to believe otherwise? My brother or sister, the belief that the Supreme Being is a Trinity is false and completely inconsistent with the words of Jesus as presented in the Bible. God is one, not three. He is a perfect unity. If you are interested in the truth about God and your relationship to Him, we invite you to investigate the religion of Islam. 9. Word of God about Jesus ........................................ from III&E REGARDING THE SONSHIP OF JESUS: "That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are doubting. It is not for God to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing, He but says to it 'Be', and it is." (Qur'an 19:34, 35) "And they say, 'the All-Merciful has taken unto Himself a son.' You have indeed advanced something hideous. The heavens are well nigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-Merciful a son; and it behooves not the All-Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-Merciful as a servant." (Qur'an 19:88-93) "Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, 'Be', and he was." (Qur'an 3:59) "People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him - that He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian." (Qur'an 4:171) B. REGARDING JESUS BEING GOD: "And when God said, 'O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God?"' He said, 'To You be glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not know what is within Your soul; You know the things unseen. I only said to them what You did command me: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when You did take me to Yourself the Watcher over them; You are the witness of everything.'" (Qur'an 5:116, 117) C. REGARDING CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS "And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God'...yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of certainty...no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the People of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day, he will be a witness against them." (Qur'an 4:156-159) 10. Who Invented Trinity? .......................................... from III&E The three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - all purport to share one fundamental concept: belief in God as the Supreme Being, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Known as "tawhid" in Islam, this concept of the Oneness of God was stressed by Moses in a Biblical passage known as the "Shema," or the Jewish creed of faith: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." (Deuteronomy 6:4) It was repeated word-for-word approximately 1500 years later by Jesus when he said: "...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord." (Mark 12:29) Muhammad came along approximately 600 years later, bringing the same message again: "And your God is One God: There is no God but He, ..." (The Qur'an 2:163) Christianity has digressed from the concept of the Oneness of God, however, into a vague and mysterious doctrine that was formulated during the fourth century. This doctrine, which continues to be a source of controversy both within and without the Christian religion, is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity. Simply put, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that God is the union of three divine persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - in one divine being. If that concept, put in basic terms, sounds confusing, the flowery language in the actual text of the doctrine lends even more mystery to the matter: "...we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity... for there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost is all one... they are not three gods, but one God... the whole three persons are co-eternal and co-equal... he therefore that will be save must thus think of the Trinity..." (excerpts from the Athanasian Creed) Let's put this together in a different form: one person, God the Father + one person, God the Son + one person, God the Holy Ghost = one person, God the What? Is this English or is this gibberish? It is said that Athanasius, the bishop who formulated this doctrine, confessed that the more he wrote on the matter, the less capable he was of clearly expressing his thoughts regarding it. How did such a confusing doctrine get its start? 11. Trinity in the Bible ........................................... from III&E References in the Bible to a Trinity of divine beings are vague, at best. In Matthew 28:19, we find Jesus telling his disciples to go out and preach to all nations. While the "Great Commission" does make mention of the three persons who later become components of the Trinity, the phrase "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" is quite clearly an addition to Biblical text - that is, not the actual words of Jesus - as can be seen by two factors: 1) Baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and 2) The "Great Commission" was found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost - see Mark 16:15. The only other reference in the Bible to a Trinity can be found in the Epistle of I John 5:7, Biblical scholars of today, however, have admitted that the phrase "...there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" is definitely a "later addition" to Biblical test, and it is not found in any of today's versions of the Bible. It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus or any other prophet of God. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin. 12. Doctrine Takes Shape ........................................... from III&E While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a "divine Son." After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God's revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church people who put the matter together. Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word "Trinity" when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father. 13. Formal Doctrine is Drawnup ..................................... from III&E When controversy over the matter of the Trinity blew up in 318 between two church men from Alexandria - Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop - Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray. Although Christian dogma was a complete mystery to him, he did realize that a unified church was necessary for a strong kingdom. When negotiation failed to settle the dispute, Constantine called for the first ecumenical council in Church history in order to settle the matter once and for all. Six weeks after the 300 bishops first gathered at Nicea in 325, the doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out. The God of the Christians was now seen as having three essences, or natures, in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 14. Church Puts its Foot down ...................................... from III&E The matter was far from settled, however, despite high hopes for such on the part of Constantine. Arius and the new bishop of Alexandria, a man named Athanasius, began arguing over the matter even as the Nicene Creed was being signed; "Arianism" became a catch-word from that time onward for anyone who did not hold to the doctrine of the Trinity. It wasn't until 451, at the Council of Chalcedon that, with the approval of the Pope, the Nicene/Constantinople Creed was set as authoritative. Debate on the matter was no longer tolerated; to speak out against the Trinity was now considered blasphemy, and such earned stiff sentences that ranged from mutilation to death. Christians now turned on Christians, maiming and slaughtering thousands because of a difference of opinion. 15. Debate Continues ............................................... from III&E Brutal punishments and even death did not stop the controversy over the doctrine of the Trinity, however, and the said controversy continues even today. The majority of Christians, when asked to explain this fundamental doctrine of their faith, can offer nothing more than "I believe it because I was told to do so." It is explained away as "mystery" - yet the Bible says in I Corinthians 14:33 that "... God is not the author of confusion..." The Unitarian denomination of Christianity has kept alive the teachings of Arius in saying that God is one; they do not believe in the Trinity. As a result, mainstream Christians abhor them, and the National Council of Churches has refused their admittance. In Unitarianism, the hope is kept alive that Christians will someday return to the preachings of Jesus: "...Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Luke 4:8) 16. Islam and the Matter of The Trinity ............................ from III&E While Christianity may have a problem defining the essence of God, such is not the case in Islam. "They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God." (Qur'an 5:73) It is worth noting that the Arabic language Bible uses the name "Allah" as the name of God. Suzanne Haneef, in her book WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ISLAM AND MUSLIMS (Library of Islam, 1985), puts the matter quite succinctly when she says, "But God is not like a pie or an apple which can be divided into three thirds which form one whole; if God is three persons or possesses three parts, He is assuredly not the Single, Unique, Indivisible Being which God is and which Christianity professes to believe in." (pp. 183-184) Looking at it from another angle, the Trinity designates God as being three separate entities - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If God is the Father and also the Son, He would then be the Father of Himself because He is His own Son. This is not exactly logical. Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. Monotheism, however, has as its fundamental belief that God is One; the Christian doctrine of the Trinity - God being Three-in-One - is seen by Islam as a form of polytheism. Christians don't revere just One God, they revere three. This is a charge not taken lightly by Christians, however. They, in turn, accuse the Muslims of not even knowing what the Trinity is, pointing out that the Qur'an sets it up as Allah the Father, Jesus the Son, and Mary his mother. While veneration of Mary has been a figment of the Catholic Church since 431 when she was given the title "Mother of God" by the Council of Ephesus, a closer examination of the verse in the Qur'an most often cited by Christians in support of their accusation, shows that the designation of Mary by the Qur'an as a "member" of the Trinity, is simply not true. While the Qur'an does condemn both trinitarianism (the Qur'an 4:17) and the worship of Jesus and his mother Mary (the Qur'an 5:116), nowhere does it identify the actual three components of the Christian Trinity. The position of the Qur'an is that WHO or WHAT comprises this doctrine is not important; what is important is that the very notion of a Trinity is an affront against the concept of One God. In conclusion, we see that the doctrine of the Trinity is a concept conceived entirely by man; there is no sanction whatsoever from God to be found regarding the matter simply because the whole idea of a Trinity of divine beings has no place in monotheism. In the Qur'an, God's Final Revelations to mankind, we find His stand quite clearly stated in a number of eloquent passages: "...your God is One God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." (Qur'an 18:110) "...take not, with God, another object of worship, lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected." (Qur'an 17:39) "...Because, as God tells us over and over again in a Message that is echoed throughout All His Revealed Scriptures: "...I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore, serve Me (and no other)..." (Qur'an 21:92) -- Aisha Brown Announcements ................................................................ 17. Archive Info .............................................................. This FAQ is archived at several sites and is available for public retrieval thru anonymous FTP, E-MAIL, Gopher & World Wide Web. -- Anonymous FTP -- Login: anonymous Password: Your e-mail address Site: rtfm.mit.edu Dir: /pub/usenet/news.answers/islam-faq/ Site: ftp.uu.net Dir: /pub/usenet/news.answers/islam-faq/ Site: ftp.cco.caltech.edu Dir: /pub/calmsa/islam-faq/ -- E-MAIL -- Send E-mail to: mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu Text of E-mail Message: send usenet/news.answers/islam-faq/part9 quit -- GOPHER -- Site: gopher.caltech.edu 70 Path: Computing Information/ CCO anonymous ftp archive/ pub/ calmsa/ islam-faq/ Site: latif.com 70 Path: Resources relating to Islam/ Soc.Religion.Islam -- World-Wide-Web (WWW) -- One recommended interface is 'mosaic,' below are mosaic 'home pages.' URL at USENET Archive site: http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/islam-faq/faq.html URL at Caltech MSA site: http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~calmsa/links.html 18. Credits ................................................................... The author wishes to thank all those who contributed in any capacity for the original one part FAQ or this multi-part FAQ. -- SOURCES -- The basic introduction and literature presented in the FAQ is from brochures on Islam distributed by Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E). These brochures were typed in electronic form by Ms.M.Ahmed. The information on soc.religion.islam forum (in Part 2) has been compiled from USENET archives and administrative logs of Soc.Religion.Islam moderator panel. What is III&E? III&E is an acronym for the Institute of Islamic Information & Education which was established in Chicago, Illinois in 1985. The III&E is registered in the State of Illinois and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a not-for-profit religious organization. More information can be obtained by contacting Dr. M. Amir, III&E, P.O. Box 41129, Chicago, IL 60641-0129, U.S.A.; Tel: (312) 777-7443 Fax: (312) 777-7199. -- FORMAT -- The format of the FAQ series has been done by utilizing resources of Islamic Information & News Network (IINN). A custom program, Nebula, written by editors of IINN for generating newsletters has been used. What is IINN? Islamic Information & News Network is a forum dedicated to educate the network community on issues relating to Islam and Muslims in an academic & non-political environment. Weekly digest is available on internet by subscribing to MUSLIMS@ASUACAD.BITnet (A Bitnet listserv list) and on USENET: bit.listserv.muslims. -- Permissions -- Permission to post this multi-part FAQ has been obtained by the following: o Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E) o Islamic Information & News Network (Muslims@PSUVM.bitnet) o Moderator(s) of News.Answers (Thomas Khoenig & P.Huang) # End of Islam FAQ Part 9 #