INTRODUCTION: PART – 14
5. END OF CHRIST IN THE BIBLE AND THE QUR-‘AAN:- The Ministry of Christ lasted only about three years from 30 to 33 years of his age. The action of ‘Amr was most prominent in his life that he healed the blind and lepers and quickened the dead to life (vide 49: 2), but according to the Bible and Christian Traditions, Christ felt agonies on the Cross which made him cry helpless till he yielded up his ghost - (in the sphere of Khalq’). This submission (Islam) to the action of ‘Khalq’ in spite of the gift of ‘Amr’ is the characteristic of ‘Abd’, Apostle, and saint. Vide 30 to 35 : 19. The last moments of the life of Jesus Christ as if, on the Cross, are thus portrayed in the Bible:-
“Now from the sixth hour was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour, and about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying “Eli! Eli! Lama sabach-thani? That is to say. “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken me? Jesus when he had cried out with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (Matt. XXVII, 45-50).
But the Qur-‘aan says Christ was altogether saved from the indignity of the Cross, and as if by a miracle of likeness, someone else of the same features was crucified by the Jews under illusion. Says the Qur-‘aan:-
(Verse, 157) “And they (Jews) said (in boast), we killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God (in the Knowledge of God). But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) Knowledge, but only conjectures to follow, for a surely they killed him not.”
(Verse, 158) “Nay, God raised him up unto Himself, and God is Mighty, Wise.”
(Verse, 159) “And there is none, of the people of the Book, but must believe in him (Christ), before his death. And on the Day of Judgment, he (Christ) will be a witness.” Vide 157 to 159: 4.
While the Jews claim to have killed Christ on the Cross, it is also a Cardinal point of Faith to the Orthodox Christian Churches that (a) Jesus Christ gave up his life on the Cross. That (b) he was buried after Crucifixion, that (c) on the third day, he rose in body with his wounds fresh, that (d) he met his disciples and (f) was afterwards taken up bodily to heaven. In fact, this is the Belief which forms the basis of the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and Vicarious Atonement for since, which is, however, losing its force with the Modern Age of Action and Retribution.
6. EXAMINATION AND RESULT:- Let us ponder the passage quoted above (157 to 159).
Three points emerge from them. It would appear from (157) that contrary to the belief of Jews and Christian, Jesus Christ was not killed on the Cross: from (158) that Christ was raised up to God, and from (159) that People of the Book must believe in him till the time of his death.
Now the first point is clear and definite in itself and needs no further elucidation. As to the second point how Christ was raised up to God, it is further explained as below:-
(55) “Behold! God said: Oh Jesus! I will take thy soul (make thee die) and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the, falsehoods) of those who blaspheme, (that they crucified thee) as is cleared by the Qur-‘aan).” Vide 55: 3.
(120) ‘And I (Christ) was a witness over them (Christians) whilst I dwelt amongst them, (but) when Thou didst take my soul (made me die). Thou wast the watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.” 120: 5.
(33) “So peace is on me (said Christ) the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life again (at Resurrection).” 33: 19.
The third point is only a natural consequence of the first and second, the Jews and Christians must believe in him not only up to the event of Crucifixion when he did not die, but also after the said event, up to the time before his death, or till the end of his life.
This problem, the end of Christ on earth, has been, since long, the subject of long and learned dissertations, not only in Christian, but also in Islamic literature, covering a vast field of Traditions, as well. The subject seems saturated with a sense of mystery. But within the Qur-‘aan alone, its solution came so spontaneous and so plain to the present author (Elias Burney), that he felt nervous lest he should be suffering from delusion. But still he keeps an open mind on the question. Traditions are no doubt an integral factor in the Teachings of Islam, but they are acceptable, not in addition to the Qur-‘aan, but only as subsidiary to the Qur-‘aan.
Copied from HOLY QUR’AN (transliteration in roman script with English translation by Marmaduke Pickthal), Published by ,Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar Lahore Pakistan.