The Polytheism of the Christians
From As-Sunnah Bi-Monthly Islamic Newsletter (Issue no. 21)
"Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam. Say: 'Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam, his mother and all those who are on the earth together?' And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is able to do all thing. And the Jews and the Christians say: 'We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.' Say: 'Why then does He punish you for your sins?' Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heaven and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the return (of all). O People of Scriptures! Now has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series) of Messengers, lest you say: 'There came to us not bringer of glad tidings and no warner." But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allah is able to do all things." [Soorah al-Maidah (5): 17-18]
Allah states that the Christians are disbelievers because they exaggerate in the position of Isa (alaihi as-salaam) until they elevate him above the rank that Allah gave him.
The Christian Sects:
Said Ibn Batriq, the Patriarch of Alexandria and a famous Christian scholar, mentioned in the year four hundred after the Hijrah that a Christian Council convened during the reign of Constantine, who build the city that bears his name. In this Council, the Christians came up with what they called, 'the Great Trust.' There were more than two thousand patriarchs in this Council, and they were in such disarray that they divided into many sects, where some sects had twenty, fifty or hundred members, etc. When the king saw that there were more than three hundred Patriarchs who had the same idea, he agreed with them and adopted their creed. Constantine gave his support to this sect for which as an honor, churches were built and doctrines were taught to young children, who were baptized on their creed, and books were written about it. Meanwhile, the kind oppressed all other sects. Another Council produced the sect known as the Jacobites, while the Nestorians were formed in a third Council. These three sects agreed that Isa (alaihi as-salaam) was divine, but disputed regarding the manner in which Isa's (alaihi as-salaam) divinity was related to his humanity; were they in unity or did Allah incarnate in Isa! Thus as a result, some Christians believe that Isa (alaihi as-salaam) is one in the trinity, while other claim he is the son of Allah. [See Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
Allah is holier than what they attribute to Him, "Surely, disbelievers are those who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam.' But Messiah said: 'O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.'" [Soorah al-Maidah (5): 72]
"Say: 'He is Allah (the) One. Allahus-Samad (the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures needs, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him." [Soorah al-Ikhlas (112): 1-4]
So, "O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in you religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word ('Be!' he was) which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit from (created by) Him (1*) so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: 'Three (Trinity)! Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs." [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 171]
Isa (alaihi as-salaam) is only one of Allah's servants and one of His creations. Allah commanded, 'Be' and he was, and He sent him as a Messenger. Isa was a word from Allah that He bestowed on Maryam, meaning He created him with the word, 'Be' that He sent wit Jibreel to Maryam. Jibreel blew the life of Isa into Maryam by Allah's leave, and Isa came into existence. This incident was exception to the normal conception between man and woman that results in children. This is why Isa was a word and Ruh (spirit) created by Allah, as he had no father to conceive him
"Verily, the likeness of Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: 'Be' and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt." [Soorah al-Imran (3): 59-60]
"And she who guarded her chastity, We breathed into (garment) and We made her and her son (Isa) a sign for all that exists."
Narrated Ubadah (radhi allahu anhu): "The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: 'If anyone testifies that La ilaha illa Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, and that Isa is Allah's slave and Messenger and His Word (Be!' and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him, and that Paradise is the truth and Hell is the truth, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few." [Junadah, the sub-narrator said, 'Ubadah added: 'Such a person can enter Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes.] [Saheeh al-Bukharee v.4, no.644]
Allah then reminds of His perfect ability over everything and that everything is under His complete control and power, "Say: 'Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Mayam, his mother and all those who are on the earth together?' Therefore, if Allah wills to do that; who would be able to stop him or prevent Him from doing it? Allah then said: "And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heaven and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills." All things in existence are Allah's property and creation and He is able to do everything. He is never asked about what He does with His power, domain, justice and greatness so this refutes the Christians creed.
Refuting the Claim of People of the Book that they are Allah's Children Allah then refutes the false claims and lies of the Jews and Christians, "And the Jews and Christians say, We are the children of Allah and His loved ones." Allah says to them, "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" meaning if you were truly as you claim, Allah's children and loved ones, then why did He prepare Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims? "Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created," Allah states, you are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and Allah is the Lord of all His creation, "He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills" Allah does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgment, and He is swift in reckoning. "And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heaven and the earth and all that is between them," Therefore, everything is Allah's property and under His power and control, "and to Him is the return (of all)."
"And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted a good part of the enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection; and Allah will inform them of what they used to do." [Soorah al-Maidah (5): 14] meaning those who call themselves Christians and followers of Isa, son of Maryam, while in reality, they are not as they claim. We took from them the covenant and pledges that they would follow the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), aid him, honor him and follow his footsteps. And that they would believe in every Prophet whom Allah sends to the people of the earth. They imitated the Jews and broke the promises and the pledges. This is why Allah planted enmity and hatred between them and they will remain like this until the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, the numerous Christian sects have always been enemies and adversaries of each other, accusing each other of heresy and cursing each other. Each sect among them excommunicates the other sects and does not allow them entrance to their places of worship.
The Monarchist sect accuses the Jacobite sect of heresy, and such is the case with the Nestorians and the Arians. Each sect among them will continue to accuse the other of disbelief and heresy in this life and on the Day when the witnesses will come forth. Allah then said, "Allah will inform them of what they used to do" warning and threatening the Christians because of their lies against Allah and His Messenger and their false claims about Allah, Exalted be He above what they say about Him. The Christians attribute a companion and a son to Allah, while He is the One and Only, the All-Sufficient, who neither begets nor was He begotten, and there is none like unto Him.
"O People of Scriptures! Now has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series) of Messengers, lest you say: 'There came to us not bringer of glad tidings and no warner.' But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allah is able to do all things."
Allah is addressing the People of the Book the Jews and the Christians, saying that He has sent His Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to them, the Final Prophet, after whom there will be no Prophet or Messenger. Rather, he is the last Messenger who came after a long time passed between him and Isa, son of Maryam. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "I, among all people, have the most right to the son of Maryam, for there was no Prophet between Him and I." [Fath al-Bari (6:550)]
Allah sent Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) after a period of time during which there was no Prophet, clear path, or unchanged religions. So, Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) as a perfect bounty at a time when he was needed the most. Evil had filled the earth by then, and tyranny and ignorance touched all the servants, except a few of those who remained loyal to the true teachings of previous Prophets, such as some Jewish rabbis, Christian priests and Sabian monks until Allah sent Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and took them from the darkness to the light and placed them on a clear path and a glorious Law. Imam Ahmad recorded that Iyadh Ibn Himar al-Mujashi said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) gave a speech one day and said: "My Lord has commanded me to teach you what you have no knowledge of and of which He taught me this day, 'All the wealth that I gave to My servants is permissible. I created all My servants Hunafa (monotheists). But the devil came to them and deviated them from their religion, prohibited for them what I allowed and commanded them to associate others with Me (in worship), which I gave no permission for.' Then Allah looked at the people of the earth and disliked them all, the Arabs and non-Arabs among them, except a few from among the Children of Israel. Allah said (to me): 'I only sent you to test you and to test with you. I sent to you a Book that cannot be washed by water (it is eternal), and you will read it while asleep and while awake.' Allah has also commanded to me to burn (destroy) Quraysh. So, I said, 'O Lord! They will smash my head and leave it like a piece of bread.' He said: 'I will drive them out as they drove you out, and when you invade them We will help you. Spend on them (your companions) and We will spend on you, send an army and We will send five armies like it (in it's support). Fight with those who obey you, against those who disobey you. And the inhabitants of Paradise are three: a just, prosperous, and charitable ruler; a merciful man who has a kind heart towards every relative and every Muslim; a forgiving, poor man with dependants (who is charitable). And the inhabitants of Fire are five: the weak one who has no religion; those who follow after you not for family reasons nor wealth; and the treacherous who does not hide his treachery, acting treacherous in even the most insignificant matters; and a person who comes every morning and every evening, is cheating your family and your wealth." And he mentioned the stingy, or the liar, and the foulmouthed person." [Musnad Ahmad (4:162 and Saheeh Muslim)]
Allah said: "lest you say: 'There came to us not bringer of glad tidings and no warner" meaning so that you, who changed the true religion, do not make it an excuse and say, 'No Messenger came to us with glad tidings and warning against evil." There has come to you a bringer of good news and a warner, Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). "And Allah is able to do all things." Ibn Jarir said this part of the verse means, 'I am able to punish those who disobey Me and to reward those who obey Me."