Muslim Teens/christianity / islam
Al salam alaikum
I am a muslim and i was having a conversation last time with a christian friend.. she was telling me that Jesus is the son of God. i have read the bible and realized that Jesus is to be called son of God and Lord..
i would like to know why is he called this way and in Islam, God is known not to have a son.
Also, i would like to know what made christians convinced on christianity and not other religion
Peace to you!
Thank you for your excellent questions!
You asked about Jesus: 'why is he called this way and in Islam, God is known not to have a son.'
The following article will provide you with the answer: (You may want to share it with your friend.)
Jesus - Son of God! An explanation for Muslims
'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....' (Surah 10, Yunus, verse 94)
'How can Jesus be the son of God?' This is probably one of the most asked questions coming up in discussions Muslims have with Christians. Having heard answers of Islamic scholars beforehand even the thought of it seems blasphemous. There is a problem in such an approach. Do we seek answers to a computer virus from a medical doctor? No! Similarly, questions about Christian teachings should be addressed to practicing Christians. Knowing their subject they will be able to explain the real meaning of Biblical teachings. Below you will find the Biblical, Christian answer to your good question.
2. CLARIFYING MISUNDERSTANDINGS
Christians do not believe that Jesus is the son of God in a physical sense. God forbid that he should take a wife! That would be blasphemy. However, they do believe that Jesus is the Son of God in a figurative sense. Arabs, for example, are commonly known as 'sons of the desert'. Nobody would ever think that the desert would have given physical birth to them. No, the term has to be understood in a figurative, metaphorical sense. Arabs know the desert in and out; they are one with it. That is why they are called in such a way. The Quran calls a wayfarer a 'son of the road', 'ibn as sabeel' (Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 177) and Satan's followers his children (Surah 18, Al Kahf, verse 50). The Arabic word 'ibn' is sometimes used in a figurative sense as opposed to 'walad' which is always used in a physical way. In the Quran the latter is used when a protest is brought about 'Allah having taken unto himself a son' (Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 116). It shows clearly that the Islamic denial is directed only against the physical, not the figurative sonship of Jesus. Here the question must be raised, 'Why did Allah not speak against the figurative concept of Jesus' sonship held by the great majority of Christians at all times?' Let us now investigate the true Christian doctrine of Jesus being the Son of God in more detail.
3. WHY CHRISTIANS CALL JESUS THE SON OF GOD
A. He is one with Him in essence.
Besides having many other titles, such as 'Messiah' or 'Son of man', he calls himself 'Son of God' because he knows Him in a profound way. Jesus is the Eternal Word who has always been One with God. (John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11) Similarly, the Qur'an calls Jesus the Word of God and the Soul, the Spirit of God (4:171,172). Just as a person is forever one with his words, spirit, and soul, so God and Jesus Christ are eternally One.
They all asked, 'Are you then the Son of God?' He (Jesus) replied, 'You are right in saying I am.' (Luke 22:70, see also Matthew 16:15-17)
Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father...' Jesus answered: 'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father...Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?' (John 14:8-10)
B. He is like God.
Jesus has God's holy and sinless character and his mighty attributes. The Qur'an calls him 'a holy son.' (19:19; 3:46). While it speaks of the other prophet's need of forgiveness (38:24; 48:1), it never attributes a single sin to Jesus. Also, it uniquely ascribes supernatural powers to him that God alone possesses. (3:45-51; 5:110-112) Like Father, like Son. (Hebrews 1:1-9; Matthew 17:5) In ancient Jewish customs, the firstborn son also represented the father and was regarded as being equal to him. When Jesus used this term publically for himself in the Gospels, the Jews were absolutely certain that he claimed to be God. In his official trial by the Sanhedrin, this was the very charge brought up against him: Blasphemy. He claimed to be the Son of God and in that, he made himself God. (John 5:18, 19:7)
C. He came from God.
But Jesus continued, 'You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.' (John 8:23-24, see also Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:34,35 )
Similarly, the Qur'an teaches that Jesus came directly from God, that He was born of a virgin, that He had no earthly father. (3:47; 19:20). Unlike Adam, who was formed from dust, the Messiah came from heaven. In the Quran Jesus too is set apart from all other prophets by calling Him the Messiah which means 'the Anointed One.' (4:157,171,172)
Because God is so much greater than man, He chooses to express Himself in human terms so that we can understand Him. When Surah 22, Hajj, verse 61 says that Allah sees and hears, it does not mean He has ears and eyes. Rather He is expressing a truth in a way we can understand He is All-knowing. Similarly, behind the title 'Son of God' is a profound truth expressed in human terms. The Bible calls a number of people 'sons of God' but Jesus is addressed as such in a particular way:
'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' (John 3:16)
The Greek word for 'one and only son', 'mono-genes', means literally, 'one in kind, unique' and has sometimes been incorrectly translated into English as 'only begotten'. This rendering is wrong because 'Mono-genes' is also used in Hebrews 11:17 to describe Isaac as Abraham's 'one and only son', namely the one who was promised by God to Abraham and his wife Sarah. (Genesis 15) Since Ishmael too was Abraham's son, but through his servant Hagar (Genesis 16), the term 'one and only' distinguishes Isaac as being unique in his kind but not as the only begotten. Furthermore, the Hebrew word used to describe Isaac in the Old Testament story as 'only son' in Genesis 22:2 is completely different from the word 'begotten' used, for example, in Psalm 2:7:
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father (or, I have begotten you).'
'In the ancient Near East the relationship between a great king and one of his subject kings, who ruled by his authority and owed him allegiance, was expressed....also by 'father' and 'son.' (N.I.V. Study Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, USA, 1985, footnote) Acts 13:33 applies Psalm 2:7 to the relationship between God and Jesus in a filial not in a carnal sense. It refers to a prophecy that was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead. Just as other people are called 'one and only sons' in the Bible because of their uniqueness in some ways, Jesus too is called exclusively 'one and only Son of God.' On a number of occasions he made statements to prove this fact:
'All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.' (Luke 10:22)
Nobody else has ever used such language to speak about himself! (For more examples see: John 5:22-23, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 3:17) Jesus, the Son of God, has come to show us what God is like:
'No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, (or, but the only Son), who is at the Father's side, has made him known.' (John 1:18)
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30,31)
The destiny for us who are living in the time of the New Testament is dependent on our relationship to Jesus. The New Testament makes it clear that salvation is by faith through Christ alone:
'That in the time to come he might make clear the full wealth of his grace in his mercy to us in Christ Jesus: Because by grace you have salvation through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is given by God: Not by works, so that no man may take glory to himself. For by his act we were given existence in Christ Jesus to do those good works which God before made ready for us so that we might do them.' (Ephesians 2:7-10)
'Being conscious that a man does not get righteousness by the works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, we had faith in Christ Jesus, so that we might get righteousness (right standing before God) by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law: because by the works of the law will no flesh get righteousness.' (Galatians 2:16)
Salvation by faith in Jesus is believing with the intellect that the Bible is right about our sinful condition, about who Jesus is and about what he did on the cross for us. Passages that speak about judgement according to works have to be read in the light of what true faith means. This is confirmed when their immediate context is considered. (e.g. Joh 5:28-29, compare with verses 23-24, Mat 16:27 with verses 21-26, 25:31-46 with 23:37-39, Jam 2:14-26). As the German reformer Martin Luther used to say 'the faith that saves is never alone.' True faith in Christ shows itself in four ways:
1. Out of thankfulness followers of Jesus do what he tells them: To love God and man. This is the essence and test of true obedience. They desire to follow the moral law set out in the Old Testament and summarized in what is known as 'the 10 commandments.' (Exo 20:1-17)
2. Genuine faith in Jesus produces a desire to become more like him, to do what is right and just.
3. Saving faith creates the awareness that this new obedience can only come through faith in Christ. It does not come from focusing on the law, the desperate attempt to meet its demands. Instead it comes from continually fixing one's eyes on Jesus and his work, by remaining connected to him through being in his presence with one's thoughts.
4. Lastly, Biblical faith generates a constant abiding in and reliance on Jesus by faith. In this way only the Holy Spirit of God supplies the power for a changed life and lasting fruit. (Rom 8:13, Joh 15:5)
Once the misunderstandings have been removed it becomes clear why Jesus is the unique Son of God: He is one with him in essence, he is like God and he comes from heaven.
'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him!' (John 3:36)
Do you believe or reject him? Do not give the answer lightly because it is your most important ever! The following story told by Jesus will help you in your conclusion:
'A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Haven't you read this scripture: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?' Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.' (Mark 12:1-12)
Let us move on to the second question: 'i would like to know what made christians convinced on christianity and not other religion.'
The short answer is because God's message has not changed. What was commanded by God regarding how to get forgiveness for our sin in the Torah and Zabur found ultimate fulfillment in the Injeel. The more detailed answer is found in the articel below:
ʻĪd al-’Aḍḥá and the Origins of Sacrifice
ʻĪd al-’Aḍḥá, the Feast of Sacrifice, is the great festival of Islam. It is also known as Baqri-Eid, the Cow Festival. In Egypt and Turkey they call it 'Idu Bairam. What is the meaning of it? Wise men were saying, "However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source", and, "Opinion has a significance proportioned to the sources that sustain it".1 Accordingly, this article will explore the origins of sacrifice in order to fully answer the question under consideration. The concept of sacrifice is also the key that enables the reader to understand the message of the Tawrāt and the Injīl, known as the ‘Holy Bible’. This fascinating theme is found throughout its pages, binding them together with an invisible ‘red thread’ into one unified meaning. Since the Holy Book of the Muslims is “…confirming the scriptures that came before it” (Āl-‘Imrān  3), parallels will be drawn to the concept of sacrifice mentioned in it.2
BACKGROUND TO THE FIRST SACRIFICE
The word ‘sacrifice’ is defined as, “…a religious rite in which an object is offered to a divinity in order to establish, maintain, or restore a right relationship of a human being to the sacred order. It is a complex phenomenon that has been found in the earliest known forms of worship and in all parts of the world …”.3 According to the Tawrāt, the very first recorded sacrifice to God in the history of mankind was made by Adam’s two sons, Cain and Abel. Muslims know them as Qābil, the elder, and Hābil, the younger, whose sacrifice was accepted by God because he was righteous. What made him right before God? Why did He prefer the sacrifice of the one over the other? Where did this idea of sacrifice come from in the first place? The Quranic account does not tell us. Therefore it is in line with proper academic research to find an answer to that question in the Tawrāt and the Injīl where the same incident was recorded before with additional details:
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the first born of the flock. The LORD looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour … Then the LORD said to Cain: “… If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:3-7)
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. (Hebrews 11:4)
God accepted Abel’s (Hābil’s) sacrifice because it was offered in faith. What was the nature of his faith, on what revelation of God was it based? To answer that question we will first present circumstantial evidence. Both the Tawrāt and the Holy Qur’ān, contain the story of how God created Adam and Eve.4 In Paradise they were allowed to eat from all trees except one. Tempted by Satan they disobeyed God and as a result of this monstrous sin they became aware of their nakedness and covered their shame with leaves. God pronounced a terrible punishment upon them. They and their descendents had to leave Paradise, being unable to continue enjoying a care free life and most of all, a personal relationship with their Creator. The following significant detail is mentioned only in the Tawrāt:
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
God provided them with clothes made from animal skins to replace their insufficient covering of leaves. Is he illustrating by this that men by themselves are unable to cover their shame caused by sin without the shedding of blood? Did God teach Adam and Eve the concept of sacrifice on this momentous occasion which they then passed on to their children? Two pieces of direct evidence allow us to answer in the affirmative.
THE CONCEPT OF SACRIFICE
Many years after our first parents, God appointed Moses as the leader of the Israelites. He chose them to serve the surrounding nations as an example of who their Creator is, of how to get back into a relationship with Him, and what principles He wanted everyone to live by. At the heart of God’s relationship with His people was an elaborate system of various sacrifices. By way of offering animals they were assured to get their sins forgiven:
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: “Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish… Give it to Eleazar the Priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered…(he) is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times towards the front of the Tent of Meeting... While he watches, the heifer is to be burned… A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.” (Numbers 19:1-10)
This central requirement of the law is also alluded to in the Qur’ān, Sūrat al-Baqarah  67-74. While Muslim commentators, such as Maududi and Yusuf Ali, link it to Numbers 19:1-10, Ibn Kathir does not. All somewhat disagree among each other as to the meaning of the passage and therefore it is best to go back to the Tawrāt, being the earliest and clearest source, where it was first explained. Moreover, all Muslim commentators do agree that in Sūrat al-Isrā’  1-7 the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem is mentioned. It was built in obedience to God’s commanded and has worship through sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins at the very heart of its existence! Both Muslims and Christians agree that the blood of animals cannot take away sin. All three of God’s books, the Tawrāt, Zabūr and the Injīl, indicate that the sacrifices in the past point to a perfect sacrifice that was to come.5
THE ULTIMATE FULFILMENT OF SACRIFICE
When God announced the punishment to Shaytan for misleading Adam and Eve, He said in poetic language:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
Here we find the first of many prophecies by which God announces His plans to bring people back to their original state of a personal relationship with their Maker in Paradise. Incredibly, someone who was to be born of a woman would overcome Shaytan and destroy his power! In his struggle, the victorious one would have to endure temporary evil inflicted upon him. The following amazing prophecy in the Tawrāt was made about 700 years before its fulfilment. It describes how he, like the animals who were sacrificed before him, would die for the forgiveness of the sins of his people:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all… he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge My righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:5-12)
In other prophecies that special person was clearly identified as the Messiah (Greek: Christ), a title given uniquely to Jesus in the Qur’ān and in the Bible.6
Jesus Himself confirmed that he was the fulfilment of these prophecies:
He [Jesus] said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: ‘The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day’, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44ff)
What a profound and wonderful truth: sins are forgiven! God is pleased when we believe in His sacrifice not when we bring our own sacrifice! This truth is foreshadowed in the famous story believed in by Muslims and Christians where Abraham was commanded to kill his son. In Islam the commemoration of it is the basis for ʻĪd al-’Aḍḥá. In the passage that follows we read about God’s miraculous intervention and how He spared the troubled father from this terrible ordeal:
“And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice”. (Sūrat as-Saffat  107)
Why is the sacrifice which Muslims, Jews and Christians believe to have been a ram called ‘momentous’, especially when compared with Abraham’s son? Surely he is greater, more important, than a ram! The greatness of this sacrifice cannot be found in its use as a symbol for a human self-purification or devotion, or to commemorate Abraham’s faithfulness. If that was the case, there would be no need for God HIMSELF to provide such a great sacrifice. The answer to the question lies in the word ‘ransom’.
It means that a person, in this case Abraham’s son, is set free in exchange for someone or something else. When compared with Abraham’s son, the ram by itself is not very special; in that sense it is not great. Therefore, the real symbolic importance of it has to lie somewhere else. It points to the perfect sacrifice found in Jesus Christ as mentioned in the Injīl:
Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)
That truth found again and again in the Holy Bible cannot have been abrogated, otherwise, according to Sūrat al-Baqarah  106, it would have to be replaced with something similar or better. What better could be offered to us than God personally dealing with our sins and with the shame we brought upon Him and ourselves, by supplying a great sacrifice for us in Jesus Christ?!
RESPONSE AND RESULTS
The literal meaning of the word “Injīl” is “Good News”. Having defeated death, Jesus rose to life again on the third day! Well before He went to heaven, the Messiah said that the way to properly respond to this best news God has ever given to mankind is to repent (meaning: change of mind and heart resulting in turning around from sin) and to simply believe that Jesus died for our sins. Once a person trusts in what Jesus did and said, through the power of the Holy Spirit God will produce in them assurance of forgiveness instead of uncertainty, joy instead of sadness, selfless love and forgiveness instead of selfish hatred and fear. To live in such a sacrificial way in thankful response to God giving us eternal life with Him comes at a high price. Followers of Jesus are told in the Holy Bible to be ready to suffer through persecution, by surrendering all of their life to God and His will. But surely it is only right to give to God what we can not keep anyway in order to win what we cannot lose!
1 The former is a Nigerian proverb, the latter is a quote from Benjamin Cardozo, US jurist; Supreme Court justice from 1932-38.
2 The words‚ “sacrifice(s)” / “offering(s)” are found 1047 times in the Holy Bible and 16 times in the Holy Qur’ān.
4 Sūrat al-Baqarah  30-39, Sūrat al-A‘rāf  19-25, Genesis 1:25-3:24. All Bible references are taken from Holy Bible (NIV), Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986.
5 Leviticus 23:19-27: ‘atonement’ from root: ‘to cover’, Psalm 22, Mark 10:45, Hebrews 9:13-14, 10:1-4.
6 Daniel 9:24-26, 7:13; Mark 14:61-62; Sūrat Āl-Imrān’ 45.
Please let me know if you have any comment or questions regarding these answers. I would also like to offer you a free and easy six lesson Bible study course via e-mail to get a summary of the main message of the Bible. Would you like lesson 1 to have a look?