The oneness of God is the basic concept that is revealed through all prophets' calls, and confirmed by all revelations. Not because God needs acknowledgement from His creatures, but because knowing that there is One Creator and One Originator that is unlike any of His creatures and beyond the multiplicity of the physical world, helps man to understand who s/he is and for what purpose s/he is created. The faith in God is the faith in the Supreme Divine Law, according to which everything takes place in the universe. This knowledge is not only mentally comprehended, but it should also be existentially experienced. To put it in other words, the faith in the One God reveals to man how laws of spiritual development work. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)called for the oneness of Allah from different dimensions in order to clarify the Call that previous Revelations had conveyed.
O Fire! be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham! (HQ: 21:69).
That story indicates that faith in Allah could be so powerful that it might bring miracles and transform a person to a higher level of existence.
Man who takes false deities deviates from the path that leads to her/his own salvation. That is, because s/he may value the finite, thinking that it is eternal, or miss the way to the Truth by sanctioning the unreal. Those people lose their direction, waste their life, and become astray. The believers pray to God to save them from this path and lead them to the righteous one as the first Surah` in The Holy Qur'an indicates:
Show us the straight way, The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray (HQ: 1: 6-7).
In The Holy Qur'an, all prophets came to remind people of the oneness of God; and it was for their own good. Existentially, this knowledge means that man will free her/himself from any illusive power, and hence, her/his ultimate goal, as to achieve and experience the meaning of spiritual resurgence, crystallizes. The belief in God provides her/him with the criteria by which s/he can observe her/his actions and correct her/his mistakes. Yet people tend to forget and deviate from the righteous path, destroy each other and destroy themselves in the first place.
Verily Allah will not deal unjustly with man in aught: it is man that wrongs his own soul (HQ: 10:44)
In Sura of Al-A'raf (HQ: 7:59- 100), The Holy Qur'an demonstrates the call of some prophets, beginning from Noah (PBUH), mentioning Abraham (PBUH), Hud (PBUH), Salih (PBUH), Lut (PBUH) and Shu'ib (PBUH), then proceeds in explaining Moses' call in details. All these prophets started by calling their people to believe in God, yet each has a different advice to give. The Holy Qur'an elucidates that the core meaning of the prophet's call is to set a relationship between believing in God and how to lead a worldly life that is guided by that belief. In other words, man's life may be spiritually fruitful if s/he does not violate the ethical law. The Holy Qur'an shows that People who went astray share one common attitude; they cannot find an ultimate goal for their existence:
Say: "Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, While they thought that they were acquiring good by their works? They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him, vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any Weight." (HQ: 18:103-105).
Moreover, those people tend to harm others and to make mischief, such as the people whom Shu'aib (PBUH) came to guide and who were cheating in their measures. In The Holy Qur'an each prophet had to call to the belief in God and at the same time correct the way and manner of his own people.
The story of Moses (PBUH) is very special and mentioned in more details. He went to the Pharaoh, following God's command. He addresses Moses (PBUH) and Aaron (PBUH), "Go, both of you to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah)" (HQ:20:43-44).
The explicit mission of Moses (PBUH) was to save the Children of Israel from the tyranny of the Pharaoh, but the implicit mission was to call him to follow the right path. God tells Moses (PBUH) and his brother the following,
"So go ye both to him, and say, 'Verily we are Messengers sent by thy Lord: send forth, therefore, the Children of Israel with us, and afflict them not: with a Sign, indeed, have we come from thy Lord! and Peace to all who follow guidance!" (HQ: 20:47).
As a savior, Moses (PBUH) was not a politician; he was a messenger from God:
Moses said: "O Pharaoh! I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.
Moses (PBUH) was acting for a double purpose. On the one hand he called the Pharaoh to give up the attitude of being an absolute dictator and to think of the higher power of God. On the other hand, he defended the rights of the children of Israel who were suffering from the unjust rule. Moses (PBUH) was demonstrating how the belief in God could free man from the false deities. The Pharaoh, who was deceived by his power, thought that he was a god. The children of Israel were unable to defend their rights, fearing the tyranny. Moses' call stimulated their faith and empowered them. Moses (PBUH) was courageous enough, by God's support, to face the Pharaoh and to try to guide him to the righteous path. We can see in this story how faith in God has its impact on different persons according to their positions. The power of faith culminated with the story of the magicians, who did not fear the mundane power of the Pharaoh; rather they accepted to be killed than to be hypocrites.
"They said: "Never shall we regard thee as more than the Clear Signs that have come to us or than Him Who created us! so decree whatever thou desirest to decree: for thou canst only decree (touching) the life of this world" (HQ:20:72).
By recalling the story of Moses (PBUH) through different parts in The Holy Qur'an, The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)confirmed Moses' call, stressing the practical aspect of faith and the interrelationship between the mundane and the spiritual. In other words, this power of faith can turn to be a great incentive for helping, serving and searching for channels to pursue good deeds. The believer is known by her/his good deeds, rather than by her/his words alone. By confirming the message revealed to Moses (PBUH), The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)focuses on how prophets came to awaken men's awareness of the existence of their Lord, he called his people to free themselves from the tribes' ethics and traditions and introduced a new approach to life. This interrelationship between faith and deeds is obvious in the 10 Commandments that were revealed to the children of Israel in the Torah and were assured in The Holy Qur'an. The following verse mentions some of them:
And remember We took a Covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; And practice regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (HQ: 2:83).
The teachings that the Divine conveyed through The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)came to clarify Moses' message:
Verily this The Holy Qur'an doth explain to the Children of Israel most of the matters in which they disagree" (HQ: 27:76).
In another place the Prophet (PBUH) was asked by the Divine to remind the children of Israel of their Commandments.
"Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you
from": join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your
children on a plea of want - We provide sustenance for you and for them - come not
nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath
made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye
may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan's property, except to improve
it, until he attains the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full)
justice; no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear, whenever
ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the Covenant
of Allah: thus doth He command you, that ye may remember. Verily, this is My Way
leading straight: follow it; follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about
from His (great) Path; thus doth He command you, that ye may be righteous"
It is noticeable that those commandments start by the guidance to take no god with God, and to Him alone should one surrender. Although the Ten Commandments in Torah came with different wording, but the main ideas are similar and the first three commandments focus on the belief in God. Jesus came to put the main call in different wording.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (M't: 22: 37-40)
Loving the Lord is another way of expressing surrender to the One Divine Truth, and this love is reflected in one's love to her/his fellow human beings. That is the core of the Islamic Call.
Without inner struggle, religious teachings turn into rigid and spiritless forms,
and illusions replace true faith. Guiding the children of Israel to the way of liberation
from illusion is the core of the Prophet's message, and it is well confirmed by
the Holy Qur'an and prophet Muhammad's teachings.
Making Image of God
The children of Israel did not follow the Righteous Way, even in Moses' life. When he left them for a while, they were confused between the real and the shadow. The story that was narrated in The Holy Qur'an symbolizes this:
"What then is thy case. O Samiri?" He replied: "I saw what they saw not, so I took some of the left out of the messenger and put it aside so did my ego suggested me (Moses) said: "Get thee gone! but thy (punishment) in this life will be that thou wilt say, 'Touch me not'; and moreover (for a future penalty) thou hast a promise that will not fail: now look at thy god, of whom thou hast become a devoted worshipper: we will certainly (melt) it in a blazing fire and scatter it broadcast in the sea!" But the God of you all is Allah: there is no god but He: all things He comprehends in His knowledge. (HQ: 20: 95- 98)
Samiri symbolizes any one who mixes the real teachings with illusions. Short after Moses (PBUH), the children of Israel fell in the same trap of Samiri, they confused between forms and meanings. They became too much wedded to the forms and literal instructions that they forgot why they were assigned in the first place.
The story in the Holy Qur'an crystallizes what is mentioned sporadically in the Torah where Moses (PBUH) warned his people not to fall victims to illusions. The Torah tells Moses' anger of his people when they did not follow the way of God that he guided them to, and they worshipped the calf:
And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you" (De: 9:16).
Moses (PBUH) reminded them not to make "images" of God, which is the greatest illusion that triggers many others. In (De: 4: 15-19) he mentioned the greatest repercussion of worshipping "images" saying: "Lest ye corrupt yourselves". He guided them to consider the words of the Lord by their hearts, implicitly not tongues alone:
And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, (De: 32:46).
Moses (PBUH) used to remind them that hearts need purification to be able to discern.
"Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked" (De: 10:16).
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, (De: 30:6)
Without reminding oneself of whom one's God is, man may fell in the hands of Satan. Jesus (PBUH) could very clearly distinguish between the deception of Satan and the True Path. In the Gospel we read:
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt
fall down and worship me.
In The Holy Qur'an, we read:
When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: "Now have I come to you
with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye
dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me". "For Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord:
so worship ye Him: this is a Straight Way
Illusion Resides In A Defiled Heart
The point that Jesus (PBUH) raised several times was very crucial, for sometimes people appear as righteous, and in their hearts the evil resides. So, he drew their attention to clean their hearts because without purity of heart, confusion takes place, and illusion prevails:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of
dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
How easy one can fell in illusion when one is strict in observing the instructions and yet one's deeds contradict with the common sense that motivates any benevolent person. Jesus (PBUH) argued with those who were blind in hearts to clarify that point:
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they
asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse
The Holy Qur'an describes this state of blindness:
..they inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the vanities of this world, saying (for excuse): "(Everything) will be forgiven us." (Even so), if similar vanities came their way, they would (again) seize them. Was not the Covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not ascribe to Allah anything but the truth? And they study what is in the Book. But best for the righteous is the Home in the Hereafter. Will ye not understand? (HQ: 7:169).
As the verse elucidates, those who believe in the Law of Life and who have a belief in the continuation of life are capable of distinguishing between the illusive and the real. They can put aside the vanities of this world and focus on their ultimate goal of life.
Jesus (PBUH) criticized the hypocrisy of the Jewish that were not dealing with God, but pretended to be followers of His Teaching, acquiring people's praise. They gave alms openly and pray before others in order to display their piety. Jesus (PBUH) warned them and at the same time he founded a way that can protect man from vanity and pride, which may kill the soul and diminish the spiritual endeavor.
thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing
in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter
into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in
secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly"
Responding to the meticulous implementation of rites, thinking that by performing those rites, purification would be mechanically achieved, Jesus (PBUH) commented:
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man" (M't: 15:11).
In The Holy Qur'an, we read:
So woe to those who perform the prayers. (But) are neglectful of their
Prayers, Those who (want but) to be seen (of men), then they refuse (to supply)
(even) neighbourly needs "
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)asserted that it is an illusion to think that performing religious rites are the end goal, and forgetting the fact that those rites are meant to train man to experience her/himself as a spirit. Their fruits are shown in the changing of man's ethics. To perform the rites without inner focus is meaningless:
If a person's prayer does not take her/him afar from atrocity, s/he gets further and further from God. (PH)
Al Tabarani, as quoted in Al Jamí Al Sagheer Leíl Siuti
It is so possible that a fasting person does not get anything from his fast but hunger and thirst. (PH)
Narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Magah
If reading Qur'an has not led you to quitting (atrocity), then you have not read It. (PH)
Al Tabarani, as quoted in Al Jamí Al Sagheer Leíl Siuti
Jesus (PBUH) says:
"Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth" (M't: 6:2-3)
He also says:
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree
corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
In The Holy Qur'an:
"Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity
followed by injury. Allah is Free of all wants, and He is Most Forbearing. O ye
who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,
like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah
nor in the Last Day. They are in Parable like a hard barren rock, on which is a
little soil; on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will
be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who
It is obvious from the previous discussion of the confusion that occurred among the children of Israel that Jesus came to correct their way and The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)confirmed Jesus' correction and clarified what was missing through The Holy Qur'an guidance. The Holy Qur'an describes those who appear to be committed to divine teachings but in truth they are attached to forms and overlook their meanings, as falling victims to their own illusions, and hence get nothing of the divine wisdom.
The likeness of those who keep the Torah (as letters) then they do
not reflect It themselves (as meanings), is that of an ass which carries huge tomes
(but understands them not). They are an example of the worst kind of people who
falsify the Signs of Allah.
The Holy Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad's teachings clarify that God as the Light of heaven and earth, manifests through those with pure hearts, on top of whom come prophets and messengers of God. They, thus, enlighten the ways for the seekers of Truth. In that way, the Holy Qur'an and The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) confirmed the teachings of Jesus (PBUH) who said:
"I am the light of the world: he that followeth
me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh: 8:12)
The Holy Qur'an states that The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is "as a Lamp spreading Light." (HQ: 33: 46) , implying that Allah's Light is followed through His Messenger. .
Believe, therefore, in Allah and His Messenger, and in the Light which We have sent down. (HQ: 64: 8)
Say: "If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive
you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who
looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much"
Narrated by Al Bukhari, Moslem, and Ahmad.
The teachings of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)confirm and clarify the teachings of Jesus (PBUH). Both explained that messengers of Allah represent His Love and Mercy to Humankind and manifest Allah's Grace. In her/his search, the seeker of truth is guided through Allah's Light that appears in His Messengers. The Holy Qur'an criticizes "Those who deny Allah and His Messengers, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His Messengers, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": and (those who) wish to take a course midway. (HQ: 4: 15)
To say that Prophets represent Allah's Light is not to imprison the Divine in one of His Manifestations. The Holy Qur'an makes it clear that prophets guide people to surrender to Allah, but never claim that they are to be taken as gods with Him.
It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the Prophetic office, should say to people: "Be ye my worshippers rather than Allah's": on the contrary (he would say): "Be ye worshippers of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: for ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly."(HQ: 3: 79)
From that perspective, the Holy Qur'an and The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) highlight the very special place of Jesus (PBUH), and concurrently eliminate some of the confusions about him. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says,
"I am the closest one to Jesus, the son of Mary, in this life and in the Afterlife"(PH) .
Narrated by Al Bukhari.
All the offspring of Adam are touched by the devil except Mary the daughter of Imran and her son Jesus, peace be upon both of them (PH)
The Prophetís saying is mentioned in Ahamadís Musnad. It is also mentioned in Al Bukhari and Moslemís Sahih by similar wording.
First and foremost, the Holy Qur'an confirms the miraculous birth of Jesus from Virgin Mary.
"O Mary! Allah giveth Thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Jesus Christ" (HQ: 3:45).
And Mary, the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into her of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of his Revelations, and was one of the devout (Servants). (HQ: 66:12).
And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her
of Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a Sign for all peoples
The Holy Qur'an cleared the confusion between the miraculous birth of Jesus (PBUH) and what is so called reincarnation of God, or Son of God. When man loses her/his ability to attribute to God the transcendental, unseen aspects, man may materialize her/his god and as such may fail to harmonize with the Divine Eternal Law. S/he imprisons himself in a frame that s/he has created. That is far from any prophetic teachings. That misconception, the Holy Qur'an terms as an act of "exaggeration" or "excess", which human beings are liable to fall victims to.
O People of the Book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was A Messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not "Trinity": desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is One God: glory be to Him: (far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. (HQ: 4: 171)
With the stress in the Holy Qur'an that Jesus (PBUH) is a Servant of Allah, and that is how we should perceive our relation with him, the Holy Qur'an provides an approach that gives the earthly existence a dimension where "surrender" to the Supreme elevates man and purifies her/him so that the divinity within her/his heart can enlighten her/his way. Is one whose heart Allah has opened so that he surrendered (to Allah), and has received enlightenment from Allah, (no better than one hard-hearted)? (HQ: 39:22)
O ye that believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk, and He will forgive you; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (HQ: 57: 28)
Regardless of how high and sublime one may be elevated, man remains a Servant of God. As a matter of fact, to be a Servant of God, is not a taken for granted notion, it is a goal. While, we, as human beings, are God's creatures, those who know how to be in harmony with the Divine Law can realize the aim of their existence and be Servants of God . Here again, the Holy Qur'an reveals Jesus' special place, and asserts his high rank as a Servant of Allah.
The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him "Be": and he was.(HQ: 3: 59)
The verse highlights a certain similitude that made both Adam (PBUH) and Jesus (PBUH) very special, each in a way. The special status of Jesus Christ (PBUH) as resemblance of Adam (PBUH) whom God asked the angels to fell down prostrate before him, was a sign of Allah's power, but Adam (PBUH) was not a god.
Speaking about Adam, The Holy Qur'an says:
"When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." (HQ: 15:29).
In these verses, The Holy Qur'an emphasizes that Adam (PBUH) and Jesus (PBUH) acquired life through the Direct Word of God BE KUN. The angels were asked to surrender to God, accepting Adam as His vicegerent:
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on
Therefore, when they fell down before Adam, they were not worshipping him; rather they were witnessing the manifestation of God within a creature. For the teachings of the Holy Qur'an, there is nothing wrong when a man attends the state of acknowledging the Unseen Power through the seen manifestations, but the Unseen remains always transcendental:
To Allah belong the East and the West: whithersoever ye turn, there
is Allah's countenance. For Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing
God manifested Himself in man in a special way:
We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it" (HQ: 33:72).
"God does not reveal Himself in anything like He did in Man" .
A Sufi saying
Hence, genuine followers of Jesus acknowledge God's Might through the miraculous birth of His Word: Jesus. They worship God, the Supreme Transcendent, and know Him through His manifestation in His Word and Messenger. Hence they don't take the limited creature to be their God; rather they do as the angle did when they fell down before Adam.
Because man tends to deviate, the confusion rises in the minds of those who hang on words without going deep in their meanings. The Holy Qur'an blamed them in a strong way, introducing at the same time a method by which man may correct her/himself.
"He may warn those (also) who say, "Allah hath begotten a son. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying: What they say is nothing but falsehood!" (HQ: 18:4-5)
Those who follow Jesus' teachings and guidance truthfully are those who acknowledge the fact that he is a Messenger from God; through him God expresses His Might. Namely, they are insightful of the two levels of divinity, the Transcendent and the Manifest without confusing one for the other. Therefore those who follow Jesus (PBUH) remain in the righteous path.
"O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to myself and clear thee (of the falsehood) 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 unto Me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. (HQ: 3:55)