Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) represents the common link between the two religions with the most followers on earth today: Christianity and Islam. However, for us to accurately identify the true message of Jesus Christ (PBUH), an objective point of view must be maintained throughout the course of our research. We should not allow our emotions to cloud our vision, thereby blinding us from the truth. We must look at all of the issues rationally and separate the truth from falsehood with the help of Almighty God (Allah).
By Moulana Ilyaas McAlan Saee’d
When we look at the variety of false religions and deviant beliefs around the world and the zeal with which their followers uphold these beliefs, it becomes quite evident that these people are not able to find the truth because of their blind commitment to their beliefs. Their tenacious adherence is usually not based on an intellectual understanding of the teachings, but on powerful cultural and emotional influences. Because they were brought up in a particular family or society, they firmly cling to the beliefs of that society, believing that they are upholding the truth.
The only way that we may find the truth about anything is to approach it systematically and logically. First, we weigh the evidence and then we judge it by the intelligence which Allah (God) Almighty has given us. In the material world, it is fundamentally intelligence that distinguishes humans from animals, which act purely on instinct. After determining what the objective truth is, we must then commit ourselves to it emotionally. Yes, there is a place for emotional commitment, but emotional commitment must come after a reasoned comprehension of the issues. Emotional commitment is essential, because it is evidence of a true understanding. When one fully and properly understands the reality of the issue, one is then mentally and spiritually prepared to vigorously uphold that reality. It is from this intellectual and spiritual point of view that the subject of Jesus Christ’s (PBUH) message and his relevance to those who desire to follow God will be analysed in the following paragraphs.
The foundation of Jesus Christ’s (PBUH) message was submission to the will of God, because that is the foundation of the religion which God (Allah) prescribed for man since the beginning of time. In Arabic, submission to God’s will is expressed by the word Islam. In the gospel according to Matthew 7:22, Jesus (PBUH) is qouted as saying: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
In Luke 3:8, the devil asks Jesus (PBUH), promising him the authority and glory of all the kingdoms of this world, “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” Thus the essence of the message of Jesus (PBUH) was that only God (Allah) deserves to be worshipped and that the worship of anyone or anything besides God or along with God is false. Jesus (PBUH) not only called people to this message but he also practically demonstrated it for them by bowing down in prayer and worshipping God himself. Mark 14:32 states: “And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane, and he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.”
Jesus Christ (PBUH) was circumcised and consequently, circumcision was a part of Jesus’ way. In the gospel according to Luke 2:21: “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” All Muslims follow and practise this noble act of circumcision.
Jesus did not eat pork. He followed the laws of Moses (PBUH) and he did not eat pork. In Leviticus 11:7-8, “And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch, they are unclean to you.”
Jesus’s (PBUH) dealing with pigs was his permission to the unclean spirits which were possessing a man to enter them. When they entered the herd of pigs, they ran into the water and drowned. No Muslim is allowed to consume pork.
Prophet Jesus (PBUH) consecrated himself to God and therefore abstained from alcoholic drinks according to the instructions recorded in Numbers 6:1-4: “And the Lord said to Moses, Say to the people of Israel, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of the Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, he shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grape or eat grapes, fresh or dried. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.” As to the miracle of turning water into wine, it is only found in the gospel of John, which consistently contradicts the other three gospels. Consequently, New Testament scholars have expressed doubt about the authenticity of this incident. In the Qur’aan 5:90, Allah (God) prohibits intoxicants irrevocably. To conclude, we ask Almighty Allah (God) to guide us to the true teachings and pratices of Jesus Christ and the True Prophets.