CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCI-FICTION
By Ahmed Deedat
THE ONLY SALES-POINT
"MOST INFLUENTIAL MEN"
Recently, an American historical researcher and mathematician, Michael H. Hart, published a book : "THE 100, THE TOP HUNDRED OR THE GREATEST HUNDRED IN HISTORY." In his book he gives the names of the 100 "Most Influential Men in History" and his reasons for their positions in his list. Amazingly, he (most probably a Christian) puts Muhummed (peace be upon him) FIRST1 in his hundred, and with good reasons too. And with equally good reasons he places Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), the man accepted as "Lord" and "Saviour" by nearly all his fellow Americans, number THREE.
1. You can read this chapter here – Muhammed (pbuh) No.1, A Chapter by Michael H. Hart. I have also placed the chapter on Jesus Christ along side it
REAL FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY
Though there are at the moment 200 million more nominal Christians in the world than the 1000 million Muslims, Mr. Hart divides the credit for founding Christianity between Paul and Jesus, and he gives the greater portion to Paul. Hence the 3rd position for Jesus. Every knowledgeable Christian concedes that the real founder of Christianity is St. Paul and not Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).
REASON FOR DIFFERENCE
In any event, if there is any division between a Muslim and a Christian on the grounds of dogma, belief, ethics or morality, then the cause of such conflict could be traced to an utterance of Paul found in his books of Corinthians, Phillipians, Galatians, Thessolanians, etc., in the Bible.
As against the teaching of the Master (Jesus) that salvation only comes through keeping of the commandments (Mathew 19:16-17), Paul nails the law and the commandments to the cross Paul nails the law and the commandments to the cross (Colossians 2:14) 1 and claims that salvation can only be obtained through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:-
"If Christ be not risen from the dead, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain."
(1 Corinthians 15:14)
1. One of the multifarious letters/correspondence of Paul among the 27 Books of the New Testament.
THE KING-PIN OF CHRISTIANITY
According to St. Paul, there is nothing that Christianity can offer mankind, other than the blood and gore of Jesus. If Jesus did NOT die, and he was NOT resurrected from the dead, then there can be NO salvation in Christianity! "For all your good deeds", says the Christian dogmatist, "are like filthy rags" — (Isaiah 64:6).
NO CRUCI-FICTION — NO CHRISTIANITY
"THE DEATH OF JESUS ON THE CROSS IS THE CENTRE OF ALL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY. . . ALL CHRISTIAN STATEMENTS ABOUT GOD, ABOUT CREATION, ABOUT SIN AND DEATH HAVE THEIR FOCAL POINT IN THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST. ALL CHRISTIAN STATEMENTS ABOUT HISTORY, ABOUT THE CHURCH, ABOUT FAITH AND SANCTIFICATION, ABOUT THE FUTURE AND ABOUT HOPE STEM FROM THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST", says Professor Jurgen Moltmann in his — "The Crucified God".1
1. "GOD": The bulk of Christendom accept Jesus Christ as God incarnate — God in human flesh. According to the Christian dogma, Jesus must die as God, for a million human sacrifices cannot redeem mankind from their sin.
In a nutshell. No CrucifixionI — No Christianity! This is the experience of us Muslims, in this ocean of Christianity, which is South Africa. A thousand sects and denominations of Christianity are vying with one another to redeem the "heathen" (as they say) from hell-fire. However, in this battle no Christian priest, parson or predikant, or hot-gospeller, local or imported, will ever endeavour to teach the Muslim something about hygiene; for we Muslims can claim to be the most hygienic people (I am talking about personal hygiene). Nor do they endeavour to teach us about hospitality; for we are the most hospitable of people. Nor about ethics or morality; for we are the most moral people — (as a whole) i.e. we don't drink, we don't gamble, we don’t date, court or dance; we pray 5 times a day, we fast for one whole month during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadaan; and we take pleasure in being a charitable people. Despite any of our shortcomings, we venture to suggest that there is not another group of people that can "show a candle" to us in brotherhood, in piety or in sobriety.
BLOOD FOR SALVATION
"Yes! Yes!" says the Christian missionary, "but you do not have salvation." Because salvation comes "only through the blood of the lord Jesus". "All your good works are like filthy rags", he says. "If only you Muslims would accept the redeeming blood of Jesus, and take Jesus as your 'Personal Saviour', you Muslims, then would be like angels walking the earth."
AN ANSWER SUPREME
What are we Muslims to say to this Christian claim? Nothing better than Allah's shattering reply to the Jewish boast!.
(SURA NISAA) Holy Qur’ân 4:157
1. Allah: Allah is the name of God Almighty in the Semitic languages, i.e. in the language of Moses, Jesus and Muhummed (May the peace of God be upon them all). Read — "What is His Name?" for elaboration.
2. "Full of Doubts!" — In a state of confusion.
3. "Without Knowledge!" — In ignorance.
4. "Only follow Conjecture!" — Guess work—Fiction!
Could anyone have been more EXPLICIT, more EMPHATIC, more DOGMATIC, more UN-COMPROMISING in rejecting the dogma of a faith than this? "IMPOSSIBLE!" is the answer. The only One Who could, would be the All-Knowing, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent Lord of the Universe — GOD ALMIGHTY Himself!
The Muslim believes this categorical Qur’ânic statement to be from God. Hence he asks no questions and seeks for no proof.
Had the Christians accepted the Holy Qur’ân as the Word of God, the problem of the crucifixion would never have arisen. They vehemently oppose the Qur’ânic teaching and attack everything Islamic. In the words of Thomas Carlyle — "THEY (the Christians) HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO HATE THE MAN MOHAMED AND HIS RELIGION.
CALL YOUR WITNESSES
In trying to prove their dogmas 1, they invent shocking statements and posers — one of which has been used as the title of this book — "CHRIST CRUCIFIED - Hoax or History?" 2 No doubt it sounds provocative; but it is a borrowed title — from the Christian's own extravagances; from his own vocabulary.
Garner Ted Armstrong, the Executive Vice-President and Co-Publisher of the "PLAIN TRUTH" (a Christian Magazine from America, which boasts a current, FREE, world-wide circulation of 6 million copies a month) 3, attempts to answer his own puzzle under the heading:
"WAS THE RESURRECTION A HOAX?" This is the typical American way of selling religion. He elucidates his poser -"HOAX?" - with the words, "THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH IS EITHER THE SUPREME FACT OF HISTORY OR A FLAGRANT. DELIBERATE FABRICATION FOISTED OFF ON THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRISTIANITY."
Another budding, young "Billy Graham" from America, Josh McDowell effuses in his book "THE RESURRECTION FACTOR", saying, "I WAS FORCED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST IS EITHER ONE OF THE MOST WICKED, HEARTLESS, VICIOUS, HOAXES EVER FOISTED UPON THE MINDS OF MEN, OR IT IS THE MOST FANTASTIC FACT OF HISTORY." Since it is not possible for an Oriental to match American superlatives and extravagant verbiage, I do not have to apologise for humbly borrowing their words for the title of my book: "CHRIST CRUCIFIED -Hoax or History?" 4
1. Dogma: "Principle, tenet, doctrinal system; arrogant declaration of opinion." — Oxford Dictionary.
2. Original title of this book.
3. As claimed in their February 1984 issue.
4. Now changed to — "CRUCIFIXION or CRUCI-FICTION?"
To the Muslim belief that Jesus Christ was "neither killed nor crucified", the Christian objects, "how can a man (Muhummed pbuh) a thousand miles away from the scene of a happening, and 600 years after an event, pronounce as to what had transpired?" The Muslim says that the words Muhummed (pbuh) uttered were not his own, but that the Words were "put into his mouth" by the All-Knowing, All-Seeing God. The Christian retorts that he is not prepared to accept the metaphysical aspect of Muhummed's revelation; moreso, in view of the written records by "eye-witnesses" (?) and "ear-witnesses" (?) as regards the happenings on that Easter week-end some two thousand years ago.
The Christian plea is valid. Their logic is good. To entertain their plea we will call up their witnesses and cross examine them to discover the truth or falsity of the matter from their own authorities. Admittedly, the key witnesses in the case are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — the alleged authors of the Canonical Gospels. But they have all died and are in their graves. "Yes, that is true, but we have in our possession their sworn affidavits!" says the Christian.
DEMAND FOR PROOF
When confronted by the extravagant and conflicting claims of the Jews and the Christians to their exclusive rights to salvation, Allah subha nahu wa-ta aala1 commands us to demand for proof. He says:
(SURA BAQARA)Holy Qur’ân 2:111
And they have produced the only proof they have; in over fifteen hundred different languages! Eleven different dialects of the Bible for the Arabs alone! Are we going to swallow them hook, line and sinker? No! It is presupposed that when Allah commands us to demand for proof, that we would be in a position to analyse the proof, once it is produced. Otherwise, it makes no sense to demand for proof; it would be nonsense!
1. subha nahu wa-ta aala meaning, Glory Be To Him!