part 1

Ansariyan Publications is pleased to present this book to its readers world-wide, soliciting their comments and suggestions not only about this book but also about other books which it has been publishing in English and other languages. The first book by our brother author published by Ansariyan is titled Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam which saw the light simultaneously in Iran and in the United States of America in the year 2000. Below you will find a list of other books which Yasin T. al-Jibouri has written, edited or translated. The reader is advised to visit our Internet website to see an extensive list of the books which we have published and are available for sale including, of course, those written or translated by the author of this book.

From 1972 to 2003, the author lived in the United States and observed how today's �Christians� worship at their churches and deal with each other. He was once kept on the mailing lists of five churches in Atlanta, Georgia, so he would be invited on various occasions by these churches, and he responded to most of those invitations in order to study the status of today's Christian community in that part of the world. This is why he later thought of writing this book which, differently from many others, relies in its contents on first-hand �Christian� references to prove a number of �shocking� facts such as: 1) Christ was not crucified but one of his disciples, who was not sincere in his conviction,

was: The name of and details about this disciple are included in this book with complete references. 2) The concept of �the Holy Trinity� was never an original article of faith in Christianity but was introduced into it in the third century A.D. 3) Many of today's �Christian� beliefs were derived from ancient Babylonian, Indian and Persian religions in addition to Greek and Roman mythologies. 4) Christ was not born on December 25th; rather, Dionysius or Bacchus, the Graeco-Roman god of wine, was regarded as the �only begotten son� of Jupiter and was born of a virgin named Demeter (or Semele) on December 25th...! 5) All present day's four biblical gospels of John, Mark, Luke and Matthew do not represent the truth faith of Christ; rather, only the Gospel of Saint Barnabas of Cyprus, who learned directly from Christ, does. This true Gospel is not recognized by any of today's numerous Churches. Add to this list the fact that the concept of �son of God�, which most Christians of our time apply to Christ, was used by the Pharaohs of Egypt for Akhnaton just as ancient Greek and Roman mythologies contained many stories about alleged �sons of God�, a concept very much abhorred in Islam not only because of its Pagan origins but because it makes no sense: If God has sons, why not daughters, too? Are males implied to be better or superior to females? What happened to equality and justice? Does the Almighty prefer men over women? And if He supposedly has a

son, and since he already has a mother, Mary, then the Christians worship a whole family...

Of course any zealous �Christian� may be quite angry on reading the above, and if the reader is one of these �Christians�, this book is not written for him; instead, it is written for those who truly seek the truth and commit themselves to abide by it, and these are unfortunately rare species. This book is written for open-minded Christians and for Muslims who live in �Christian� communities overseas.

Often, readers are interested in knowing who the author is, his background, academic achievements, etc. In order to satisfy this curiosity, we are providing you here below with his bio-data:

Yasin T. al-Jibouri was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1946 and lived most of his life in the holy city of al?Kadhimiyya (Kazimain) which is located in north-west Baghdad; he is presently living there. He lived in the United States from 1972 to 2003 and closely observed the missionary activities of both Muslims and non-Muslims in that country. He was prompted to write this book by what he regarded as the hypocrisy of many Christian clergymen who were not playing their role as educators of their flocks and sometimes were themselves involved in immoralities that have nothing to do with the pristine faith brought by the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, peace and blessings be with him and with his sinless and virtuous virgin mother.

Al-Jibouri graduated from the College of Arts, Baghdad University, on June 30, 1969, having majored in English which he

taught at a high school in Hilla, metropolis of Babylon governorate, starting in 1970 then at a vocational institute in al?Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, for a couple of years starting in 1971 during which year he had the opportunity to perform the pilgrimage (hajj) in the company of his respected father and a maternal cousin. From there, he flew in 1972 to the United States by way of Beirut, Lebanon. In Rome, Italy, he changed flights and reached New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport in the eve of August 13, 1972. His objective was to pursue his studies for a graduate degree in English which he achieved.

In the United States, al-Jibouri had in the beginning the hardest years of his life simply because he had to pay for his own studies as well as living expenses. He rejected an offer by Saddam Hussein's government, which was made in person by the Cultural Attach� at the Iraqi Embassy in London at the time, to pay for his schooling provided he moved from the United States to the United Kingdom. He knew that if he had accepted the offer, he would have to be used by the tyrant's government as a tool to do its bidding. Working menial jobs during the summer and studying during other seasons, he could not earn his degree before 1978, accumulating by then many more credit hours than required to graduate. His graduation date from the then Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta University) is December 20, 1978.

Despite many years of hunger and want,

he became involved in the activities of the �Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada� (MSA) which later was included under the umbrella of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In 1973, he inaugurated Atlanta's first Islamic Center, delivering the khutba (sermon) as the imam, but he soon was forced out due to sectarian prejudices mainly from some Indian and Pakistani self-appointed Sunni community leaders who were administering the MSA's activities. He, therefore, was removed as the imam, and this prompted him in the winter of 1973 to establish the Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc. in order to introduce Islam the proper way, not by attacking this sect or that as those ignorant couple and their followers were doing, but through the medium of Islamic Affairs bi-monthly newsletter which started publication in January of 1974. The founders of the Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc., were, in addition to al-Jibouri, Dr. Akbar Ali Zaidi, a Pakistani-American who worked for the statistics department in the famous Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, who served as the Society's President, and Muhammed Zafar Mahdi, also Pakistani, who was studying for his Ph.D. at Georgia State University and who served as the Society's financial secretary. Later, they were joined by Dr. Ja`far Tabatabai, an Iranian-American physician, who served as the Society's financial secretary after Mahdi had left the State of Georgia.

During the entire period from 1973 to 1979, al-Jibouri served as the Society's General Secretary. The Society's activities covered not only the local community in Atlanta

but extended to serve the entire United States and abroad. Al-Jibouri kept in touch with a number of seekers of the truth in order to explain to them what the faith of the immediate family of the Prophet(�) was, and some of them finally were convinced, so they embraced it and have been propagating it ever since. For example, Latif Ali, who was born in 1954 in Banje Berbice, Guyana, for a Sunni family, is one of them. He recalls how his father used to go quite often to the area mosque but died when Ali was only nine. When he grew up, due to the fact that he studied at the Cumberland Methodist School, Latif Ali had an opportunity to compare the Methodist sect of Christianity with both Bahaaism (Which was created by one Baha'ullah who was born in 1817 and died in 1892) and Qadianism (faith of the Ahmadis; the Ahmadiyya Movement which was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed of Qadian which is located in the Gurdaspur District in the State of Punjab, India; �Qadianism� and �Ahmadism� bear the same connotation). Meanwhile, he came to know the author through Islamic Affairs newsletter. Gradually, he was influenced by both newsletter and books which al-Jibouri had sent him and eventually embraced Shiite Islam wholeheartedly. Other well known Shiite scholars and publishers also contributed to Latif Ali's acceptance of the Shiite Jaafari Inthna-Asheri School of Muslim Law.

The establishment of the Islamic Society of Georgia, Publisher of Islamic Affairs bimonthly newsletter, took place at al-Jibouri's modest apartment

at 172 Vine Street, S.W., No. 7, Atlanta, Georgia, shortly after al-Jibouri was removed as the imam of the Islamic Center of Atlanta. This quite recurring incident of pushing out Shiites from leading positions in the Islamic community is one of the ugly manifestations of prejudice by some Sunnis towards their Shiite brothers, and it happens quite often. Yet this ouster produced a flood of literature started with the publication and distribution of Islamic Affairs newsletter and developed later into the translating and writing of many quality books detailed here for you so you may judge for yourself. And this incident of ousting al-Jibouri from his leading role in Atlanta is detailed in his autobiography titled Memoirs of a Shiite Ithna-Asheri Missionary. These memoirs were published and distributed and may be reprinted in book form. Presently, they are available only in electronic form.

part 2

In January of 1974, al-Jibouri started editing and publishing his Society's newsletter Islamic Affairs which evolved from a four?page newsletter to a twelve?page bulletin, becoming the most widely circulated Shiite publication in the United States with readers in all 50 U.S. States and 67 countries abroad, prompting the Society to seek help from a local company to maintain its vast computerized mailing list and print address labels for distributing Islamic Affairs by mail. All issues of this newsletter were printed and mailed out throughout the States and abroad free of charge, thanks to the generosity of its eager readers and supporters. Seldom has a Shiite publication lived for so long while being

supported by voluntary contributions in addition to the generosity of its founders. Just to give you an idea about how powerful that newsletter was, here is al-Jibouri narrating an incident for you:

�Vol. 1, No. 4 issue of Islamic Affairs featured an article about Imam Ali(�), and the issue was extremely popular, so much so that we had to reprint it three times. Nevertheless, one day I needed a copy of that issue in order to reprint it for the fifth time, so I kept calling some of its recipients in Atlanta trying to borrow it from them. Everyone I called told me that he/she had given it to someone else and that it kept in circulation till he lost track of it. The Library of Atlanta's Emory University was a regular recipient of Islamic Affairs because it has a department of theology, so I went there and spoke with the librarian after introducing myself as the editor-in-chief of Islamic Affairs. The librarian went away and looked for the newsletter. After a while, she returned to tell me that one of the university's professors had borrowed it and was using it as a teaching tool in his classes. I inquired about when he would return it, and the lady told me that it would be returned two weeks later. She wrote a note to herself not to let anyone borrow it other than myself for the time being. Exactly two weeks later, I returned to the library and asked for my copy of the newsletter. The

same lady went and brought it to me. I was grateful but deeply disappointed: The professor had written so many notes on it in ink so he would explain its contents to his students, it could not be reproduced at all.� This incident shows you how popular and powerful Islamic Affairs was. In his book titled Islamic Da'wah in the West: Muslim Missionary Activity and the Dynamics of Conversion to Islam (Oxford University Press, 1992), Larry Poston mentions Islamic Affairs four times.

In 1975, Yasin T. al-Jibouri received instructions to facilitate the entry to the United States of the very first representative of the then Grand Ayatollah Abul?Qasim al?Khoei in North America, namely Sheikh Muhammed Sarwar of Quetta, near the Pakistan?Afghanistan border, who, due to al-Jibouri's personal sponsorship, did, indeed, arrive at the same point of entry, namely New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, on January 25, 1976, a very important date in the history not only of the Shiite community of North American but of that of the whole Islamic world due to the tabligh activities that resulted from the establishment of such a monumental Shiite institution like the Khoei Center in an important part of the world. The request to facilitate the entry into the United States of Sheikh Sarwar came through New York's Shi'a Association of North America (SANA), which was founded by al-Jibouri's great friend, Ghulam-Raza Hassanali, who had migrated to the United States with his family from Dares-Salam, Tanzania, as did Aunali Khalfan who is mentioned elsewhere in this Preface. SANA

is believed to be the very first Shiite organization established in the United States: It was founded in the early 1970s, perhaps a year or two before al-Jibouri had founded his Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc. Sheikh Sarwar failed to obtain an entry visa to the United States after having tried to do so in Iraq, then in Iran, Germany and the United Kingdom. Followers of al-Khoei in these countries acted as guides and hosts for the Sheikh and helped him with accommodations and travel expenses. When Hassanali spoke to al-Jibouri about the Sheikh being given the run-around, the first sent a package to the Sheikh who was at the time in London containing the following documents: 1) a letter of sponsorship which al-Jibouri typed on his Society's stationery indicating that he was the Sheikh's personal sponsor and guarantor, that al-Jibouri pledged not to let this cleric work in the United States, and that the visa applicant, if granted the visa, would abide by U.S. laws, rules and regulations; 2) a copy of the Bylaws of the Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc., of which al-Jibouri was the General Secretary; 3) constitution of the Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc.; and 4) some copies of the Islamic Affairs newsletter. Unfortunately, the package arrived after the Sheikh had already made another failed bid in London to obtain the entry visa to the United States; so, he was advised to go to Lebanon to try his luck. In Beirut, he was subjected to a foiled kidnapping attempt as the

country was embroiled in civil war; so, the Shiites there were very much concerned about his safety: They whisked him out of Beirut in the depth of the night to Damascus which was to be his last attempt following which he would return to Najaf, Iraq, to resume his studies at the hawza. In Damascus, Sheikh Sarwar submitted the package sent to him by al-Jibouri during the interview, and he was finally able to obtain his entry visa.

A few days following the arrival in the United States of Sheikh Muhammed Sarwar, the Sheikh became al-Jibouri's room?mate in Atlanta, Georgia. There, the Sheikh received training by al-Jibouri on the preparation of newsletters and different publications especially in the areas of typesetting, art designs and layout, steps required for making a �cold camera-ready copy� before being sent to the press. The Sheikh had come with specific instructions from the late Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei to start a regular newsletter or magazine, produce a new English translation of the Holy Qur'an and write books for Muslim children and adults. Upon its completion, Sheikh Sarwar's English translation of the Holy Qur'an was published by Tahrike-Tarsile-Qur'an, Inc. (Distribution of Holy Qur'an, Inc.) of New York, a publishing house established and managed by al-Jibouri's close friend, Aunali Khalfan, and his great family. For your information, Khalfan was instrumental in the publication for the first time ever of a text of the Holy Qur'an in Braille language for the blind. He has been publishing not only various translations of the Holy Qur'an but

also some other top quality Islamic books, including many published by Ansariyan, the list of which now tops five thousand. One of the books which he has published and is now marketing is Peak of Eloquence: Nahjul Balagha which is compiled by al-Sharif al-Radi and edited by Yasin T. al-Jibouri with an Introduction by Martyr Murtadha Mutahhari. This title is marketed world-wide by other American book sellers as well. May the Almighty bless Aunali's efforts and reward them in the life of this world and in the Hereafter, Allahomma Aameen.

As for the magazine which the Sheikh was instructed to issue, it was given the title The Message of Islam. It was, indeed, founded in February of 1976 under the supervision of Sheikh Sarwar not in Atlanta, Georgia, but in Houston, Texas, shortly before the Sheikh had gone to Atlanta to be al-Jibouri's roommate for few months. Its publication was made possible through help from the Shiite community in Houston members of which had written al-Khoei requesting him to send them a scholar to teach them Shiite Islam. During his stay at al-Jibouri's very modest apartment (so modest, its monthly rent at the time was only $98 exclusive of utilities) in Atlanta, Georgia, the Sheikh put out two editions of this magazine. Thereafter, the Sheikh moved from Atlanta to New York City where there have always been a much larger Shiite population and where a fourth edition of The Message of Islam was published. To the best of al-Jibouri's knowledge, this magazine disappeared after the publication

and distribution of its fourth edition. In New York, Sheikh Muhammed Sarwar founded the Khoei Center. Later on, unfortunately a controversy developed because of which the New York Shiite community requested the late Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei to remove Sheikh Muhammed Sarwar from office and appoint someone else in his place. The great sage sent in 1982 one of his sons, namely martyr Sayyid Majid al-Khoei, on a fact-finding mission and to prepare for the establishment of the Khoei Foundation, the very first major institution established by Najaf's marji`iyya (highest religious authority) in the Western world. The year 1982 ended Sarwar's term which started in 1976. He was replaced, after a bitter and costly court battle, by Sheikh Fadhil al-Sahlani, an Iraqi sheikh from Nasiriyya and a friend of al-Jibouri. Sheikh al-Sahlani has been efficiently running the Foundation, School and Center ever since. In the process of those court hearings, Yasin T. al-Jibouri, in his capacity as Sarwar's personal sponsor, was requested to submit a signed statement indicating that the late Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei was Sarwar's boss and that the latter was obligated to follow his orders; otherwise, he would be insubordinate. Al-Jibouri complied, composing and signing such a statement as requested in his capacity as the one who helped him come to the United States and acted as his guarantor. The statement was presented before the judge who ruled that Sarwar should step down from his office and hand over all documents and assets to Sheikh Fadhil al-Sahlani, the new representative of al-Khoei to the

believers in the United States and Canada.

The present building of the Khoei Foundation, which is located in Jamaica, New York, was opened seven years after that incident, that is, on the 15th of Sha'ban 1409 A.H./March 25,1989, in order to meet the religious needs of the Muslim community in the United States. The religious programs are conducted in Arabic, Urdu, Persian and, of course, English. Presently, the address of the Khoei Foundation is 13711 90th Avenue, and that of the Khoei Center is 8989 Van Wyck Expressway, both located in Jamaica, a suburb of New York City. The latter includes a mosque, a school and resident imam's quarters as well as a modern library, kitchen and cafeteria.

part 3

In the same year, that is, 1989, the Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei established the London branch of this Foundation, appointing his son, Sayyid Muhammed Taqi al-Khoei, as its head. It is now located on Chevening and Salusbury roads. Its board, upon establishment, was comprised of these dignitaries: Sayyid Muhammed Taqi al-Khoei, Sheikh Muhsin Ali al-Najafi, Sheikh Yousuf Nafsi, Sayyid Muhammed al-Mousawi (of Bombay, India), Sayyid Fadhil al-Milani, Sayyid Majid al-Khoei (another son of the late al-Khoei), Sheikh Hajj Kadhim Abdul-Hussain, Sayyid Muhammed Ali Shahristani (a world renown philanthropist and founder of the Open Islamic University in London, a man who was born in Iraq and who had descended from an Iranian family), and al-Hajj Mustafa Kawkal. Sayyid Taqi al-Khoei was succeeded in this post by his brother, the late Sayyid Abdul-Majid al-Khoei who was assassinated in Najaf, Iraq, on

Thursday, April 10, 2003. Following this tragic incident, Sayyid Yousuf al-Khoei, another son of the late Grand Ayatollah, became director of London's Khoei Foundation. Another branch for the Khoei Foundation was established in Montreal, Canada, but information about it has not been available at the time when this text has been compiled for the kind reader.

Late Grand Ayatolllah al-Khoei was born on November 19, 1899 and died on August 8, 1992. Following the demise of the late sage, Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qasim al-Khoei, the Shiite world, represented in Najaf's hawza, Islamic seminary, elected Sayyid Ali al-Sistani to succeed him in this highest religious office. Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husaini al-Sistani was born on August 4, 1930 in Mashhad, Iran, to a family of religious scholars. His grandfather, after whom he was named, was a famous scholar who had studied in Najaf. Sistani's family originally comes from Isfahan. During the Safavid period, his forefather, Sayyid Muhammed, was appointed by then King Hussain as �Sheikhul-Islam� (mentor/leading authority on Islam) in the Sistan province. He traveled to Sistan where he and his children settled, hence his last name, �al-Sistani�. Sistani began his religious education as a child, starting in Mashhad and moving on to study at the great Shiite holy city of Qum in central Iran in 1949. In 1951, after spending few years there, he went to Najaf, Iraq, to study under the late Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qasim al-Khoei. Sistani rose in religious ranks to be named in 1960 a supreme �marji`� the highest religious authority, under Iraqi government's

head, Gen. Abdul-Karim Qasim, but without any interference from the government. At the unusually young age of 31 (that is, in 1961), Ayatollah Sistani reached the senior level of accomplishment called ijtihad, which entitled him to pass his own judgments on religious questions and issue binding edicts.

Let us now go back and review al-Jibouri's stay in Atlanta, Georgia, which lasted from 1972 to 1979. During that period, al-Jibouri was instrumental in attracting converts to the Shiite Ja'fari Inthna-'Asheri School of Muslim Law. These converts were taught Islam as propagated by the Infallible Offspring of the Prophet(�), namely the Ahl al-Bayt(�). Among the earliest of local converts, that is, not counting those outside Georgia who embraced Shiite Islam through al-Jibouri's missionary efforts such as Latif Ali of Guyana who is discussed above, and many others elsewhere, are: Tariq Abdul-Salam followed by Mehdi Abdul-Raheem, Baqir Abdul-Haleem and Abdul-Qahhar who were the most active callers to the truth at the time. Conversion was done to some of them directly from Christianity and to some others from the Sunni School of Muslim Law. All these converts, with the exception of Abdul-Raheem, were born and raised in Georgia. Abdul-Raheem was born in the Bahama Islands and was a permanent resident of the United States. Abdul-Qahhar once had the opportunity to go to Germany where he was blessed with converting some Germans to the Shiite Islamic faith. The other brothers gradually converted others, too, and so on, and only the Almighty knows how many are now those who have accepted Shiite

Islam through such a chain of conversions. The Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc. was also able to reach out to many incarcerated Americans whom it introduced to Islam and who accepted it wholeheartedly. Some of these incarcerated converts established organizations of their own to promote the faith enthusiastically despite fierce opposition from Wahhabi and Salafi inmates who applied all sorts of pressure on administrators of American prisons to prevent these Shiite converts from practicing their faith in the claim that Shiites are not Muslims. It is not known how many inmates switched faith to Shiite Islam after being influenced by the works and translations of our brother, al-Jibouri.

After obtaining his graduate degree, al-Jibouri moved in 1979 to Prince George's County, Maryland. In that year, al-Jibouri was invited by a group of youths studying in Toledo, Ohio, for their undergraduate and graduate degrees and who wanted to organize themselves to do Islamic da'wah work. He met them there and then and took advantage of the proximity of Toledo to Detroit so he would, for the second time, meet the late imam Muhammed Jawad Chirri who was then imam and director of the Islamic City of Detroit. Chirri and al-Jibouri had met when the first came to Atlanta, Georgia, to hold a memorial service for the tragic and premature death of an ailing young son of Dr. Ja'far Tabatabani, an Iranian-American doctor and at the time one of al-Jibouri's fellow officers of the Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc. Reference is made to him above. The highly revered

scholar and imam, Chirri, insisted on hosting al-Jibouri at his home, thus causing him to miss his flight from Ohio to Maryland! But it was time well spent: Chirri showed al-Jibouri his manuscript for his book titled The Brother of the Prophet Muhammed(�), referring of course to Imam Ali(�), soliciting his comments and suggestions. Imam Chirri was born in Lebanon on October 1, 1905 and died in Dearborn, Michigan, on November 10, 1994. He is known particularly for three of his most important works: The book referred to above, The Shiites Under Attack and Inquiries about Islam. These scholarly works will shine like the stars in the depth of the night and testify to the zeal of their writer for the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt(�). Imam Chirri, may the Almighty fill his resting place with noor, Allahomma Aameen, was an avid reader of Islamic Affairs, the newsletter which al-Jibouri started editing as early as January of 1974.

While living in Hyattsville, Maryland, from 1979 � 1982, then in Virginia thereafter, Yasin T. al-Jibouri became involved in the activities of the Islamic School located in Potomac, Maryland, where the Principal was Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim, a very active and energetic Iraqi pediatrician who started his Islamic activities at the Islamic Center in the U.S. capital, Washington. You can actually write a book about this great man due to the thousands of those who came to know Islam through his efforts which included writing and translating quality books designed either for new converts to Islam or for Muslim children

and adults. He is an icon in the history of Islam in the United States and the world, may the Almighty reward him most generously in this life and in the life to come, Allahomma Aameen. The Sunday School was rented from its administrators for Sundays to teach children of Muslim families in Maryland, the District of Columbia (D.C., where the U.S. capital is located) and Virginia. As the children were learning the tenets of their creed, Islamic Arabic and history in classes upstairs, the parents were downstairs listening to speeches about Islam some of which were delivered by al-Jibouri. These activities were arranged and directed by Dr. Abdul-Sahib Mahallati, an Iranian-American physician, and called �Adult Education Programs�. Now let us introduce you with some available information to two important personalities who have had a huge impact on the spread of Islam throughout the United States:

1. Dr. Mehdi Haeri son of Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Haeri Yazdi who was one of the mentors of the late Ayatollah Ruhulla Khomeini (founder of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran). Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Haeri is the one who revitalized the hawza (religious seminary) in Qum, one of the main Shiite religious centers in the world. Dr. Mehdi Haeri studied at the same hawza then at Tehran University where he taught theology (ilahiyyat).

He was once loaned by Tehran University to be a visiting professor at Georgetown University in the U.S. capital, Washington, where he taught Eastern Existentialist Philosophy, a branch of knowledge with which very few scholars are familiar. In fact, Dr.

Haeri was one of three individuals in the whole world who specialized in this subject and had written books on it. He came to Georgetown University through his acquaintance with Mr. Schriver, one of the relatives of the renown Kennedy family. Dr. Mehdi Haeri will always be remembered affectionately by all those who were honored to meet him, learn from him or in any way benefit from his ocean of knowledge. At the time, Yasin T. al-Jibouri worked as receptionist at a Persian rug store owned and managed by a highly respected Iranian-American family, namely the Parvizians. The store is still located till now in the Chevy Chase area of the metropolitan U.S. capital area. It was there and then that our brother, al-Jibouri, came to know this great man and saw how hard he worked towards establishing the Islamic Education Center (IEC). He sometimes used to visit him at his most modest Chevy Chase apartment and noticed how ascetic, simple and highly intellectual Dr. Haeri was. You will get to know more about this unique personality later on. This great personality played a pivotal role in founding the IEC, may the Almighty bless his soul and reward him for his efforts in spreading Islam in North America and the world, Allahomma Aameen.

part 4

2. Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim, an Iraqi-American pediatrician who is an institution all by himself and whose life's achievements are seldom matched. Dr. Hashim was born in the holy city of al-Kadhimiyya (Kazimain) in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 15, 1927. He went to

private schools, finishing his high school studies in al-Adhamiyya city, Baghdad. In 1945, he joined the then Royal College of Medicine before Baghdad University was established from which he graduated in 1951. He served for one year as physician in the Iraqi army in the Rawandooz area. In 1953, Dr. Hashim migrated to the United States at his own expense seeking medical training in pediatrics during the years from 1953 to 1955 whereby he won residency and fellowship in pediatrics in 3 hospitals in Massachusetts and one hospital in Ohio. In 1956, he returned home to Baghdad where he practiced his career for one year following which he returned to the United States and won in 1957 a fellowship in Pediatric Pathology at the Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, after which he practiced Pediatrics in Cumberland, Maryland. In 1966, he became Superintendent of the Sunday school at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. Family members, especially youngsters, of many Arab and Muslim ambassadors, diplomats, businessmen and permanent residents were taught Islamic Arabic, Qur'an and the tenets of the Islamic faith every Sunday. In 1968, he moved his practice to the U.S. capital's area to be closer to the Islamic Center. During a period of 10 years, the number of the school�s students swelled from 26 to 241. As its Principal, Dr. Hashim had to divide it, because it was too crowded, and to move part of it to Tilden Jr. High School in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland, eleven miles from the Islamic Center of Washington,

D.C., and close to where Dr. Hashim has been living. Most students at this Sunday Islamic School (75%) were Sunni, while 25% of them were Shiite. The other part of the school was left at the Islamic Center in DC. The school at Tilden grew from 99 students to 191 students in two years. This impressed many Iranian visitors such as Mr. Futuvat, who once worked for the prestigious Parvizian family's rug store mentioned above and who wanted to establish an Islamic Center for Iranian and non-Iranian children. Dr. Hashim decided to write and introduce to his students his book titled Teachings of Muhammed as Taught by Ahlul Bayt(�) in order to test the tolerance of the Sunni brothers to the teachings of the Prophet's Family. As it turned out, they raised their ire and it was like a nightmare, so it was the parting time: Dr. Hashim and other Shiite teachers and students (plus 30% Sunni students from the Center's School) went to Woodward High School in Rockville, Maryland, where the Sunday school grew from 65 students to 160 students in 2 years. From 1968 to 1985, Dr. Hashim wrote as many as 20 books forming the Series of Islamic Books for Beginners. At that juncture, and in 1981, the Sunday school moved to the Islamic Education Center (IEC) where it still is functioning till now. At the same time, a full-time Islamic school, that is, the Muslim Community School (MCS), moved to IEC and continues to do so till now. It won accreditation

from the local Maryland government. From 1981 to 1986, Dr. Hashim managed to get 72,000 copies of the English translation of the Holy Qur'an by A. Yousuf Ali printed and distributed mostly to new converts serving prison sentences. In the next year, 1987, he quit being the Principal of the Sunday school, which is now directed by Br. Adnan al-Dadah, another Iraqi doctor, and established the �Qur'an Account, Inc.� to help educate new converts to Islam in American prisons among whom Islam was spreading steadily and quickly. From that year and up to now, as many as 7,634 Americans joined the Islamic faith, a monumental achievement by any standard, Masha-Allah. Many of these are becoming Shiite Ithna Asheris. Prisons in most American states always contact him. Also chaplains of prison libraries request Qurans and books in order to make them available to the prisoners through their libraries. Earlier, in 1985, he wrote How to be Your Child's Doctor, Sometimes as a textbook to help mothers who tend to their children at home. Remember that Dr. Hashim is a pediatrician, an expert on this subject. In 1992, Dr. Hashim retired from his medical practice and completed the next year, 1993, the writing of his Sunni-Shi'i Dialog Pamphlets. From 1996 to 1998, he helped organize Ahlul-Bayt Conferences at the IEC where top Shiite scholars were invited to speak and the attendants, especially invited Sunni guests, were encouraged to raise questions. One of the speakers was Dr. Muhammed al-Tijani al-Samawi, the famous Tunisian-born professor who descended from an

originally Iraqi ancestry that lived in Samawa city, Iraq, and a formerly Tijani Sufi scholar who converted to Shiite Islam following a visit to Najaf, Iraq, where he had met Martyr Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr. Our brother, al-Jibouri, always translated al-Samawi's speeches delivered both at the IEC in Maryland and at the Khoei Foundation in New York. Both al-Jibouri and al-Tijani became good friends during that time and continue to be so. Besides Dr. al-Tijani, other prominent Shiite university professors were always invited to speak at conventions held at the spacious theater area of the Center, including Dr. Abdul-Aziz Sachedina and Dr. Liyakat Takim, both are noted for their scholarly contributions to the Islamic intellectual discourses in North America since the early 1970s. In 1997, Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim put together the Abstracts of Proceedings for the Ahlul-Bayt Assembly of America. In 1999, he wrote the Bylaws for the short-lived Darul-Salam Center which was established in Annandale, Virginia (Fairfax County), by mostly Iraqi Shiites, notably Dr. Ali al-Attar, Dr. Mahmoud Thamer, Dr. Sundukchi, and Dr. Ridha al-Attar. Darul-Salam Center premise consisted of a two-storey townhouse, a kitchen and facilities plus a small parking lot. The town of Annandale is located in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. Al-Jibouri resided in Annandale before leaving the United States for the United Kingdom in late July of 2003. In the U.K., he stayed in the tourist town of Bournemouth, Middlesex, which is located about one hour and a half on the bus south of London. Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim wrote the Bylaws

and Articles of Incorporation for Darul-Salam in 1998, registering it in 1999 as a non-profit religious organization. Its activities were astounding, and many of the personalities in the Iraqi government nowadays were guest speakers, such as the late Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Dr. Humam Hammoudi, Dr. Muaffaq al-Rubai�i, Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani, Dr. Adil Abdul-Mahdi, to mention only a few individuals who now are famous officials in the Iraqi government. Revenue from membership, however, never met the expenses. From 1999 to 2006, expenses of Darul-Salam were around $219,300 whereas membership income was around $45,400, causing a huge deficit which was met mostly by a few generous individuals especially the Center's founding fathers: During this period, about $175,000 came from these few benevolent contributors. But this continuous financial hemorrhage could not be sustained indefinitely; therefore, Darul-Salam Center was frozen as of June 2006 and remains till now to be so. Our brother, Yasin T. al-Jibouri, had made a contribution of a large number of books to this Center just to be told few days later that a number of them were thrown in a nearby dumpster because the Sunni librarian of the Center did not like them. Perhaps they were �too Shiite� for him which he could not tolerate. All the remaining books were given to Imam Ali's Center, and thank God, this time the Shiite librarian did not throw any of them away; they are put to good use, read or borrowed. Darul-Salam Center was a medium for all Iraqis to meet, socialize, and hold discussions. But

without money to support it, it could not be sustained. Many informative lectures, religious and political, town-hall meetings, even a previous ambassador to Iraq (Wilson) gave lively discussions. Among those who delivered speeches and lectures at the Darul-Salam Center were famous personalities such as Dr. Phebe Marr, now retired university professor and author of many books on Middle East politics including The Modern History of Iraq, and Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani, now Iraq's oil minister.

Al-Jibouri met both of these intellectuals but kept in touch only with Dr. Marr who expressed interest in what al-Jibouri wrote about Iraq shortly before and after the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Al-Jibouri presented a copy of his book titled Allah: The Concept of God in Islam to Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani there and then. Also, Darul-Salam sponsored the publication and distribution of al-Jibouri's translation of Ghadir's Khutba in the month of Thul-Hijja of 1419 A.H. (March 1999 A.D.), and Dr. Hashim was instrumental in getting it printed. This book is still being distributed to prison inmates all over the U.S. and it made headways with those who read it. This book contains both the original Arabic text of this great sermon of the Prophet of Islam(�) in 23 pages and al-Jibouri's translation of it. Ansariyan Publications hopes it will in the near future reprint it in a different format. In 2004, Dr. Hashim rewrote and edited his book titled Khutbas of Jumu�ah, and in the next year he posted his website: where you will find themes of Nahjul-Balaaghah in

27 selection subjects (such as Nahjul Balagha about the Prophet, Nahjul Balagha about Ahlul Bayt, or Nahjul Balagha about the Umayyads).

part 5

This website has a very interesting section for downloading �slide shows� in Microsoft PowerPoint which Dr. Hashim first introduced in 2007 and continues to add to it. As regarding the books which Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim has been able to write so far, they now number 24 and still counting, and their titles are as follows: Iman, Ibadat, Eleven Surahs Explained, Life of Muhammed(�) Vol. I, Life of Muhammed(�) Vol. II, Al-Khulafaa Al-Rashidoon, Islamic Ethics and Personal Conduct, Life of Some of the Prophets(�) Vol. I, Life of Some of the Prophets(�) Vol. II, Islamic Arabic, Salat, Workbook for Islamic Arabic (By Sr. Siham al-Dadah, wife of Dr. Adnan al-Dadah referred to above), Arabic Alphabets Cards (by Sr. Siham al-Dadah), The Way of Ahlul Bayt(�), Ahlul Bayt Vol. I, Ahlul Bayt Vol. II, Ahlul Bayt Vol. III, Qur'anic Selections Explained Vol. I, Qur'anic Selections Explained Vol. II, Qur'anic Selections Explained Vol. III, Qur'anic Selections Explained Vol. IV, How to be Your Child�s Doctor, Sometimes, Abstract of Proceedings, of Ahlul Bayt Assembly of America, and 40 Sermons of Friday Prayers (Khutba of Jumu�ah). With such a glowing record, Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim qualifies to be described as an institution all by himself, an icon, an umma... May the Almighty grant him long, healthy and happy life and reward him for all what he has done and will be doing for the sake of promoting Islam in a

mostly hostile environment, Allahomma Aameen.

Now let us narrate for the inquisitive avid reader the story behind the establishment of the Islamic Education Center (IEC), one of the largest and most prominent Shiite centers in North America:

The location is 7917 Montrose Road, and it has an interesting story behind it: The site was first a community center for the Syrian (or Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch, a Christian community of mostly Syrians who spoke Arabic and perhaps Syriac or Aramaic and whose religion was Christianity. By the way, there is an area in Syria where the natives speak the same language spoken by Jesus Christ, namely Aramaic, and they are unique among all other Christians of the world. These Christian Syrians were falling behind on paying the mortgage installments for their center and wanted to move to Texas, so they were willing to sell their property. The center was then comprised of a large hall for meetings or special functions as well as congregational prayer services, a modern stage, a large kitchen, cafeteria, many classrooms and restrooms in addition to vast five acres of grounds for either landscape or expansion. Al-Jibouri was at the time working for Parvizian's rug store on 7034 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, Maryland, which still exists and to which reference is made above. He noticed how a female realtor used to go quite often to Manoucher Parvizian, the most senior of the Parvizian brothers, trying to convince him to buy the property. It so happened that Professor Mehdi Haeri was loaned at

the time by Tehran University to Washington's Georgetown University during the days of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and the professor noticed the female realtor's persistence, so much so that he spoke with the Parvizians and offered to get the Mostazafan Foundation in Tehran to sponsor the purchase and renovation as well as conversion of the center to meet the Muslim community's needs, and the Parvizians welcomed the idea. Al-Jibouri typed the application for the center's mortgage, and the Parvizian brothers managed, with help from the Mostazafan Foundation, to pay its $240,000 down-payment for a total cost at the time of a very modest $1.2 million; Manoucher Parvizian negotiated the deal. The Mostazafan Foundation changed name later to the Alawi Foundation because it originally was the Pahlevi Foundation, a trust catering to the needs of the family of now buried Muhammed Reza Shah Pahlevi whenever they lived abroad. Ironically, the shah's son lived not far from the area where the IEC now stands, and once the friends of his �royal highness� had to make a collection in order to help him pay for the rent of his apartment because he had run out of cash! See how some people go from riches to rags. The above information introduced the reader to how the IEC came to exist, and the full story of this great institution, which has been serving Islam and its converts to Islam since its establishment in 1981, will be narrated for you later in this rather lengthy Preface! So, let us go

back to Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim and see what he is up to.

Dr. Hashim received, on the IEC's inauguration day, the keys to the place from Abdi Parvizian who delivered a speech on the occasion. Al-Jibouri attended that inauguration and soon started teaching Qur'anic Arabic and Islamic History at it. During that time he was renting one room in a rooming apartment, sharing the kitchen and bathroom with other tenants, and he was paying the rent on a week-by-week basis. He simply could not afford to rent an apartment for himself, nor could he afford to get a telephone installed in his room except many months later. In 1978, Dr. Hashim became the Founding Father of the Muslim Community Center, which was established in the city of Silver Spring, Prince George's County, Maryland, which is adjacent to Montgomery County.

Below is a brief chronology of the Islamic Education Center with focus on its school where Muslim children have for years been learning the tenets of their creed:

In 1978, Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim wrote and published his book titled Book of Teachings of Muhammed as passed down by Ahlul Bayt(�) when he was Principal of the Sunday School at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. Strong objections were raised by Sunnis about this book. This led to the establishment of a predominantly Shiite school at Woodward High School in Rockville, Maryland. In 1979, Dr. Mehdi Haeri became involved in the activities of the Sunday School, delivering series of lectures to adult classes there and then. The next year, 1980,

witnessed the purchase of the Islamic Education Center which needed renovations and conversions. These were completed by 1981, the date when the Center became operational. Yasin T. al-Jibouri now moved his classes of Qur'anic Arabic and Islamic History from Woodward High School to the Islamic Education Center (IEC) which has been expanding and its activities diversifying ever since. The board of directors of this great institution at the time of its establishment included the following dignitaries: Dr. Mehdi Haeri, Dr. Abdul-Sahib Mahallati, Dr. Moinfar, Br. Bahram Nahidian, Br. Manoucher Parvizian and Dr Rafii, who all are Iranians, and Dr. Parvez Shah, a Pakistani physician and a very generous donor to all good Islamic causes, may he and all these dignitaries be most generously rewarded by the Almighty for their good intentions and actions, Allahomma Aameen. Dr. Shah later was instrumental in the establishment in the late 1980s of the Idara-e-Jaferia at 3140 Spencerville Road, Burtonsville, Maryland, for this reason: Since the administrators of the IEC were all Iranians, Persian was the dominating language on the center's activities. Other Shiite communities had to wait till Persian programs were completed before theirs could start, and this meant a delay as late as midnight. By the time the activities of these non-Iranians were completed so those of non-Iranians could start, the time would have already past midnight! When they concluded, the time was in the early hours of the morning, and the children would have by then slept for quite some time while drowsiness would have taken its

toll on those who have to drive their families back home in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia so late in the evening, or so early in the morning, on State highways where one wrong turn could end in a traffic accident and a disaster; most program attendants lived outside Maryland or far away from the Center. It was not a pleasant situation, so this prompted dignitaries in the Urdu-speaking community to establish their own center in Maryland and the Arabic-speaking community to first meet in Northern Virginia at apartments of active Shiite brothers, notably from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, then establish the Darul-Salam Center in Annandale, Virginia. One of the above dignitaries, namely Br. Bahram Nahidian, later established his own Manassas Mosque at 12950 Center Entrance Court, Manassas, Virginia, not far from the Metropolitan area, where he has been the imam since its establishment in the mid-1980s.

The Manassas Mosque has been expanding since its establishment both by way of activities and physically, acquiring more space by purchasing adjacent stores. It was established at a mid-size commercial area. Imam Bahram Nahidian, who received religious training in Iran and specializes in the exegesis of the Holy Qur'an, has been one of few Shiites in the United States who have been working very hard to strengthen a Shiite-Sunni brotherhood, tolerating in the process so much bothering and resistance from those who despise such a blessed effort, and unfortunately there are many such folks at every time and clime. Just as there are prejudiced Sunnis, there are also prejudiced Shiites,

and it is this ugly prejudice which is responsible for tearing the unity of the Islamic world apart. Sunnis and Shiites are brothers, and they should treat each other according to the principles of Islamic brotherhood. Opponents of Islamic unity are at the root cause of the ills afflicting our Islamic communities worldwide.

One of the earliest programs at the IEC was an interesting Friday evening sessions in the exegesis of the Holy Qur'an presented by Dr. Adnan al-Dadah, an Iraqi medical doctor whose wife, Sr. Siham, was also very active in teaching the children Arabic and prayers, may Allah reward both of them for their selfless efforts, Allahomma Aameen.

part 6

In the mid-1980s, the IEC managed to raise one million dollars to add another floor which allowed it to increase its activities. These activities attracted not only Iranians but also Pakistani, Arab, Turkish and other communities living in three states: the District of Columbia (where the U.S. capital, Washington, is located), Virginia and, of course, Maryland. Also, a nearby house was purchased to be the residence of the center's imam. Mawlanas (highly trained clerics who graduated from recognized religious seminaries) from abroad were invited temporarily to conduct special events. Among them have been these well known scholars: Mawlana Ayatollah Abdul-Majid Mahallati, God bless his soul, who was very much loved because of being so witty, knowledgeable and very cordial with everyone, and Mawlana Rafiq Naqvi, who came from India, a departure in the IEC's policy of importing Iranian clerics and scholars. Other mawlanas who have served

at the IEC include: the late Mawlana Shahroudi (Iranian) who stayed in office for a short period of time in the early 1990s; may he always be blessed, Mawlana Mohammad Reza Hejazi (Iranian) who served as the imam from 1994 � 2001 during which he was studying for his Ph.D. degree in theology at Washington's Catholic University. Mawlana Dr. Hejazi is now in California, and he is remembered for having started a very interesting �Interfaith Dialogue� with the Catholic University in D.C., his alma mater. Three-day meetings once a year were held regularly for full three years during which ayatollahs from Iran were invited to participate. One of the products of those dialogue meetings was some Catholic University professors going to visit Iran, particularly the hawza (theological seminary) in Qum, where some of them stayed for few years. This was the streamlining of such unique activities started by Mawlana Hejazi, the great young and energetic scholar. From 2001 � 2003, Mawlana Dr. Reza Akbarian (Iranian), a professor of Islamic Philosophy at Tehran University, was in charge of administering the IEC. From the year 2004 and till the present time, Mawlana Ahmed Bahraini (Iranian) has proven to be the most active, energetic and organized imam the IEC has been lucky to have. According to Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim, the IEC is now enjoying its golden age, thanks to Mawlana Bahraini. Mawlana Bahraini saw to it to add Maulana Abdul Jalil (a scholar from Ghana who had received theological training in Qum) to the IEC's staff. Abdul Jalil

is most dynamic and eloquent in both English and Arabic, and his Friday khutbas (sermons) attract many people. He also conducts on each Friday evening meetings for exegesis (tafsir) of the Qur'an which are usually attended by 60-100 persons.

Expansion of premises of the IEC has always been on the mind of each and every imam who administered this great institution. In the late 1990s, the third phase of IEC's expansion was completed when the yard between the school's building and the mosque became an office space. The likelihood of more expansion remains to be real due to the fact that the front and back yards of this institution are still largely wooded areas.

In 2007, a medical clinic open to people without insurance was inaugurated at the IEC along with its sponsor MobileMed organization. Several hundred patients visit it every year. It is called Ibn-Sina (Avicenna) Clinic, and it serves all people of all languages and creeds. It is also worth mentioning that presently there are eleven Shiite centers in Greater Washington area: Three of them are administered by mostly Iranians, three others by Pakistanis, two by Afghanis, one by Arabs, in addition to others in the southern part of the State of Virginia information about which could not be obtained at the time when this material was collected for you. This phenomenal spread of Shiite institutions in Virginia has taken place within a short period of three decades, Alhamdu Lillah!

Let this information serve as a chronicle for present and all future generations. The doing of

good is always rewarded by the Almighty according to the intention of the doer. May the Almighty purify our minds and souls and enable us to be worthy of bearing the name of His religion, Islam, Allahomma Aameen.

During the entire time when the author was living in Maryland, he had to face untold hardships. The time when he moved from Georgia to Maryland was close to winter, and during the winter, snow fell heavily and the man did not have enough to cover himself with during the night; therefore, in the morning, he always had nosebleeds. He met hardships also in making a living there simply because, in part, his degree was in a language which everybody spoke as the mother tongue, and due to the prejudice against Muslims in general and Arabs in particular promoted by the Zionist Jewish community in the United States particularly during those times due to the publicity against the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Despite the odds and the hardships, he was able to stand fiercely to defend the Islamic Revolution which had by then erupted in Iran like a volcano, delivering numerous speeches in defense of the Revolution and responding to the anti-Islamic news media, employing his pen and mastership of the language.

In 1980, Ayatollah Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr was martyred, and the event shook al-Jibouri and prompted him to establish the �Islamic Revival Movement� and to start the publication and distribution of its organ, Islamic Revival newsletter which he edited under the borrowed name of �Abu Ali�. Al-Sadr is

recognized world-wide as one of the most brilliant scholars, thinkers, philosophers, economists, religious and political leaders not only of Iraq but of the entire Islamic world. He is the father-in-law of Muqtada al-Sadr and cousin of both Muhammed Muhammed-Sadiq al-Sadr (Muqtada's father) and Imam Mousa al-Sadr, the famous Lebanese Shiite leader who is believed to have been assassinated by Muammar al-Qadhafi of Libya. The father of Ayatollah Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr is Sayyid Haydar al-Sadr, a well respected high ranking Shiite cleric. The al-Sadrs' lineage goes back to the Prophet of Islam(�) through the seventh Imam, Mousa al-Kadhim(�). Martyred Ayatollah Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr is famous for his books Falsafatuna (Our [Islamic] Philosophy) and Iqtisaduna (Our [Islamic] Economics). Al-Jibouri once bought The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, a 4-volume set, by John L. Esposito, and he was surprised to see how the information about Ayatollah Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr was so scanty and even inaccurate: The place of birth of martyr al-Sadr as placed in this encyclopedia is indicated to have been in Najaf, whereas the fact is that the great martyr was born in al-Kadhimiyya. Al-Jibouri wrote a letter to Esposito's office to correct this error, but he never received an answer, let alone an apology for making such a mistake!

Islamic Revival was dedicated to the Islamic liberation movements throughout the Muslim world in general and in Iraq in particular. In the same year, Saddam Hussein, encouraged mostly by the U.S., invaded Islamic Iran, and al-Jibouri was quick to put out a circular titled �Abu

Satoor Invades Iran�. The term �Abu Satoor�, man of the hatchet, refers to butchers: Surely Saddam introduced himself to the world as �the Butcher of Baghdad�. During that period, in order to save money for publications, he could not afford to rent anything more than a single room in a rooming house where he had to share the kitchen and bathroom with all other tenants as stated above. It was there and then that he once sat in the kitchen preparing some food for his greatest guest ever, the late martyr Sayyid Muhammed-Mehdi al-Hakim, oldest son of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim. Sayyid Muhammed-Mehdi al-Hakim was assassinated in Khartoum, the Sudan, in January of 1988 at the hands of Saddam's henchmen who were then running the Iraqi embassy in the Sudan like a den of hoodlums. Al-Hakim had earlier met al-Jibouri when the latter was involved in his Islamic activities in Atlanta, Georgia, and a strong bond tied both men who worked hand in hand to expose the bloody nature of Saddam Hussein's regime to the world. At the time, al-Hakim had an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which was later closed by the Emirates' government following pressures from Saddam Hussein's government, and it was from there that al-Jibouri used to receive information about armed activities of Islamic resistance opposing Saddam's regime which he translated into English and circulated in both Arabic and English to the news media and important decision makers throughout the U.S. Martyr al-Hakim was also instrumental in sponsoring

the translation and publication of one of the most important books which al-Jibouri has till now translated: ��������� Al-Muraja'at: A Shiite-Sunni Dialogue to which reference is made elsewhere in this Preface.

The year 1980 shifted al-Jibouri's attention to politics, prompting him to put out several Arabic and English pamphlets, circulars and letters to the news media. In addition to Islamic Revival, he also published Rafidain News, Al-Rafidain and the Iraq News Monitor which he used to send out by mail and by facsimile. He also put out a newsletter in Arabic titled Al-Muqatiloon for circulation to Iraqis and Arabic speaking communities throughout the United States. In 1986, al-Jibouri became affiliated with the Islamic Union of Iraqi Students which was comprised of Iraqis studying in the United States on their own and who opposed Saddam's bloody regime.

The Union published an Arabic newspaper which included an English section edited by al-Jibouri. The Union also sponsored the publication and distribution of a translation made by al-Jibouri of a book titled Who is the Tikriti President? which appeared for security reasons without the name of its author or translator. The translation of this book was serialized in the United Kingdom by the Da'wah Chronicle newspaper and by the Echo of Islam magazine in Tehran. This book is actually authored by one of al-Jibouri's close friends, namely Dr. Sayyid Salah Jawad Shubber, son of the famous orator Sayyid Jawad Shubber who was martyred at the filthy hands of Saddam Hussein.


One street in Najaf now bears the name of this martyr

and scholar. Dr. Salah Shuubber, who presently works for Iraq's health ministry, details Saddam's life from birth to the attack on Iran, and it deserves to be treated as a major source of information about Saddam's biography especially since much of its contents were written as memoirs by one of Saddam's closest relatives, namely Hardan al-Tikriti.

Most people know Yasin T. al-Jibouri as a translator, and he prides himself in being the very first person ever to translate the works of Martyr Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed Baqir al?Sadr, the greatest economist, philosopher, author and political figure in the modern history of the Islamic world. Al-Sadr was tortured and killed in person by Saddam Hussein on April 9, 1980. Notice that this exact date in the year 2003 marked the beginning of the end of the tyrant's regime: It is the date of the fall of Baghdad. Prior to al-Sadr's martyrdom, al-Jibouri had serialized in his bimonthly newsletter Islamic Affairs excerpts from Contemporary Man and the Social Problem, one of the smaller works of Martyr al-Sadr. The first of al-Sadr's works which al-Jibouri translated was A General Outlook at Rites which was published by the World Organization for Islamic Services (WOFIS) in 1979. It was followed by Contemporary Man and the Social Problem which was also published by the same Publisher in 1980. In the same year, that is, when al-Sadr was martyred, al-Jibouri participated with other Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein's government in demonstrations in the American capital, Washington, to denounce Saddam's barbaric behavior, and this assassination

prompted him to establish in the same year his first political newsletter, Islamic Revival, to which reference is made above and which was published in Washington, D.C., by his Islamic Revival Movement. In the next year, 1981, he translated and published at his own expense and despite his abject poverty The General Bases of Banking in the Muslim Society and What Do You Know About Islamic Economics? The latter title was again published by the Imamia Center, Inc. of Lanham, Maryland, U.S.A., in the month of Ramadan 1410 A.H./April 1990 A.D. Twice was his translation titled A General Outlook at Rites published in the U.S. The latest edition was registered with the Library of Congress of Washington, D.C. Sadly, this is the only book that bears al-Sadr's name at this Library which is the world's most famous and important. In 1991, al-Jibouri responded to the uprising in his home country, Iraq, that is, the Intifada, so he started the publication and distribution of Al-Intifada newsletter on a large scale both by mail and by facsimile machines.

Al-Jibouri has also translated and/or published many other titles; one of them is: Our Faith by the revered Sayyid Muhammed Hussain al?Jalali, a famous Iraqi scholar, researcher, critic and theologian now living in Chicago, Illinois. Other works which he has translated include: A Biography of Imam al?Rida which was written by the late Sheikh Muhammed Jawad Fadlallah, brother of the famous Muhammed Hussain Fadlallah of Lebanon; his translation of it was published in the United Kingdom and has been reprinted

several times; Al?Muraja`at: A Shi`i?Sunni Dialogue by Sharafud?Deen Sadr ad?Deen al?Musawi; his translation of it was published in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1415 A.H./1995 A.D. by the Imam Hussain Foundation. It had previously been translated and published under the title The Right Path. It was later reprinted in 1380 A.H./2001 A.D., and another edition of it in larger print size was published by Ansariyan Publications in a highly professional way. Add to the list Shiites are the [true] Ahl al?Sunnah of Dr. Muhammed al?Tijani al?Samawi, a very important translation of his. It was published in New York in 1996 by Vantage Press and was marketed worldwide by both and Barnes and Noble; its ISBN number is: 0?533?12055?1. Its first copies were sold �like hot cakes;� therefore, Vantage Press had to reprint it three times so far and may do so again. Add to the above list Maqtal al?Husain by the late Abd al?Razzaq al?Muqarram the translation and publication of which was also sponsored by the Imam Hussain Foundation.

Following the assassination at the hands of security forces of tyrant Saddam Hussein of the great scholar, religious and social leader, Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed Muhammed-Sadiq al-Sadr, on the eve of Friday, at about 7:30 pm, Thul-Qi`da 3, 1419 A.H./February 19, 1999, to whom reference is made above, al-Jibouri and a number of Iraqis who opposed Saddam's government and who were living in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., area founded the �Harakat Jund al-Islam� (Soldiers of Islam Movement) and staged demonstrations in the U.S. capital to denounce this assassination. Every

Saturday, for quite some time, al-Jibouri would speak through a loudspeaker to the Washingtonians and tourists about the long list of crimes committed by Saddam Hussein, about how the United States hand picked this tyrant to replace the Shah of Iran in the area, and how the U.S. will regret it. On a Saturday, the 27th of February of 1999, al-Jibouri put out a seven-page flyer for the American and foreign news media and for all others to introduce them to the biography of this great martyr who was born in Najaf al-Ashraf in 1943 and fathered four sons: Mustafa, Mu�ammal, Murtada and Muqtada. With the exception of Muqtada, the rest of the old sage's sons were martyred on the same day together with the Ayatollah's son-in-law who happened to be in their company.

It is a sad fact that not much has been written about martyr Ayatollah Muhammed Muhammed-Sadiq al-Sadr. For the sake of justice, we have to indicate to the reader here below some facts about him and about his background:

He is Sayyid Muhammed son of Sayyid Muhammed-Sadiq son of Sayyid Muhammed Mehdi son of Sayyid Isma`il son of Sayyid Sadr ad-Din Muhammed son of Sayyid Salih son of Sayyid Muhammed son of Sayyid Ibrahim Sharaf ad-Din. His genealogy reaches Imam Mousa al-Kadhim(�), one of the offspring of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib(�) and Fatima al-Zahra(�), daughter of the Messenger of Allah(�). His father, Sayyid Muhammed-Sadiq al-Sadr, is the cousin of Martyr Sayyid Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr who was executed together with his sister Bint

al-Huda by Saddam Hussein. Martyr Sayyid Muhammed Muhammed-Sadiq al-Sadr started his studies at Najaf's hawza (religious seminary) in 1954. In 1960, he joined the College of Fiqh (Islamic juristic system) from which he graduated in 1964. During that period, he married the daughter of his uncle, Sayyid Muhammed Ja`fer al-Sadr, by whom he was blessed with four sons: Mustafa, Mu�ammal, Murtada and Muqtada. The latter, Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, is famous world-wide for having opposed the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, and he is founder of the Sadrist Movement which now has representation in the Iraqi government and parliament.

Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed Muhammed-Sadiq al-Sadr was tutored by the best scholars the most prominent among whom were: Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Abul-Qasim al-Khoei, and Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr. He was awarded the degree of ijtihad by the Martyr Sayyid Muhammed Baqir al-Sadr in 1977 when he was 37 years old. In the same year, he taught the stage of Al-Kharij at the hawza but, due to the political circumstances of the time, he could not continue to teach till the year 1990.

Due to his anti-Saddam activities, al-Jibouri was condemned by many Sunnis in Virginia and elsewhere. One day he received a phone call from a newspaper reporter in California asking him how he felt about some Sunnis in Virginia calling him �terrorist�. Al-Jibouri inquired of the reporter about what acts of terrorism he had committed, and the latter told him that this is just what he had heard from organizers

of some �Islamic� (Sunni) organizations in Virginia. Al-Jibouri refused to conduct an interview with that reporter, whether in person or over the phone or in writing, telling the reporter that the Almighty will judge those who try to tarnish his image and will effect justice on his behalf.

In addition to the list of books detailed above, al-Jibouri has translated two books by the late Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed al-Shirazi: Canon: A Glimpse at the Islamic Law and The Pathway to an Islamic Revival.

Since the early days when microcomputers were sold on the market with a 48 kilo bytes memory, al-Jibouri developed a passion to acquire as much knowledge about their hardware and software as he could. In the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, he managed to earn a Certificate with Honors in Microprocessors and Microcomputers from N.R.I. of Washington, D.C. He also obtained three Certificates in electronics and programming, including advanced programming, and finally his A+ Electronics Technician Certificate. He wrote more than 100 programs in dBASE.

Our brother, Yasin T. al-Jibouri, has edited and revised three English translations of the Holy Qur�an:

1) by S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, which was published in New York by Tahrike-Tarsile-Qur'an for the United Muslim Foundation of Lake Mary, Florida, for which he wrote a very interesting Preface about the Qur'an being a miracle. This Preface is one of the best of his writings if not the very best,

2) by M.H. Shakir, and

3) by A. Yousuf Ali, which has been published also by Tahrike-Tarsile-Qur'an of New York.

Al-Jibouri edited several newsletters and magazines, including

Middle East Business Magazine of which he became Senior Editor. Among the books which he has edited are:

1. Socio-Economic Justice with Particular Reference to Nahjul-Balagha by Dr. S.M. Waseem,

2. A Biography of Leaders of Islam by Sayyid Ali Naqi Naqwi, English translation by Dr. Sayyid Nazir Hasan Zaidi, and

3. Your Kalima and the Savior by Wajahat Husain which was published in India in the year 2000 while the author was then living in New Jersey, U.S.A.

part 8

He has also translated: 1) The Form of Islamic Government and Wilayat al-Faqeeh, and 2) About the World Political Situation from a Muslim�s Viewpoint, when he was living in Maryland during the 1980s.

Among his other translations are the following:

1) The first four volumes of the series titled Al-Islam Risalatuna, a project which was sponsored but never completed by the Khoei Foundation in New York,

2) Al-Muraja`at: A Shi`i-Sunni Dialogue, the first authentic English translation of Al-Muraja�at by Imam Sayyid Sharafuddeen Sadrud-Deen al-Musawi,

3) Al-Shiite hum Ahl al-Sunnah by Dr. Muhammed al-Tijani al-Samawi,

4) Al-Maqtal (the martyrdom epic of Imam Husain) by Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram.

Al-Jibouri has also translated the following titles originally authored in Arabic by Rachad el-Moussaoui:

1) Best Month, Best Night;

2) The Book of Istikhara;

3) Weapon of the Prophets, which was actually published by the Muhammed-Ali Foundation (named after former heavy weight champion Muhammed-Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, which later changed name to only �Muhammed Foundation�) in Chicago, Illinois;

4) Miracles of the Holy Qur�an; and

5) The Great Names of Allah (Asmaa� Allah al-Husna). These books' Publisher removed al-Jibouri's name as the translator, perhaps

the author wanted to give the impression that he had written them in English�

Yasin T. al-Jibouri contributed many articles for Islamic Monitor, a top quality bulletin of the Islamic Research Information Center which used to maintain an office at the fashionable National Press Building near the White House in Washington, D.C. This top quality magazine was the product of efforts of mostly two young and energetic Iranians: Dr. Muhammed Nahavandian and Dr. Mustafa Safavi and was published by the Islamic Research and Information Center (IRIC) which still exists and has a website; perhaps you ought to visit it! Among his most interesting articles published in Islamic Monitor were: �Violations of Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia�, �The Drug Epidemic�, �An Interview with Professor Fazlallah Reza (once chancellor of the University of Tehran, Ambassador in Paris to the United Nation's UNESCO and Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Canada), �Bahrain: A Shameful Human Rights Record� and �A Biography of Ayatollah Sabzawari�.

Al-Jibouri also contributed articles to Noor al-Islam, a high quality Arabic and English magazine published by the Imam Hussain Foundation in Beirut. In its issue dated November/December 1992, it published a detailed biography of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Abul-Qasim al-Khoei which was written by al-Jibouri.

Not all of al-Jibouri's writings have been published; some of them have been considered as being too lengthy to publish, and these include a detailed rebuttal to an article written by Samuel P. Huntington and published in the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine under the heading �The

Clash of Civilizations?� This article created an uproar throughout the world, and al-Jibouri sent his rebuttal directly to Huntington himself at his work office in New York then circulated it as widely as he could. It may be one of his best essays in defense of Islam against those who enjoy using the term �Islamic terrorists� while they themselves have written the book on global masked and most lethal forms of terrorism.

Al-Jibouri has written eight books:

1) Volume One of his auto-biography titled Memoirs of a Shiite Missionary in America: Two Decades of Da`wah, which is available upon request now only in electronic form,

2) Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam, which was published first in the United States then by Ansariyan in the year 2000, and it is one of the most famous of his books because it approaches the fast from a completely different angle: It discusses the spiritual and Hereafter benefits of fast starting from the moment when the soul departs from the body and on Sirat al-Aakhira in the life to come; remember that there are two such Sirats, that is, al- Sirat Al-Mustaqeem: one in this life and one in the life to come,

3) The Ninety-Nine Attributes of Allah, which remains in manuscript form and will be edited for publication,

4) Mary and Jesus in Islam (this book),

5) Allah: The Concept of God in Islam, which was published by Ansariyan in the year 1997, then it was reprinted later under the title The Concept of God in Islam by the

same Publisher,

6) Muhammed: The Prophet and Messenger of Allah, which was published also by Ansariyan in the year 2008,

7) Kerbala and Beyond, which was also published by Ansariyan in 2002, and

8) Ghadir Khumm: Where Islam was Perfected, which remains a manuscript in need of editing before it can be sent to the press.

Ansariyan has fairly recently published new translations by al-Jibouri. Their titles are: 1) Al-Siraj: The Lantern, which was published in 2001, 2) The Truth about the Shiite Ithna-Asheri Faith, which was published in 2004, 3) Kashf al-Reeba an Ahkam al-Gheeba: Removal of Doubt about Rulings Relevant to Backbiting, which was published in 2008, 4) Riyaa wa Ujub: Pretension and Conceit, which was published in 2008 and 4) Uswat al-Arifeen: The Model of the Gnostics, which was published in 2008. Ansariyan hopes to publish more such books.

Al-Jibouri founded the Islamic Society of Georgia, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) in 1973 when he was living in the U.S. State of Georgia and studying for his graduate degree, the Islamic Revival Movement in 1980 when he was living in Prince George's County of the American State of Maryland, the International Islamic Society of Virginia, Inc. in 1982 when he was living in a number of cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia till the year 2003, and the Iraq News Monitor in 1992. He edited Islamic Affairs bimonthly newsletter from January 1974 till June 1989 with a hiatus that followed his departure from Georgia in 1979; he resumed its publication in 1982, publishing it in a different format. The

publication and distribution of Islamic Affairs is regarded as one of the most significant achievements of the author's Islamic Da'wah work due to the number of people who were influenced by it, some of whom eventually embraced the faith of the Shi'a Ja'fari Ithna-'Asheri School of Muslim Law which appealed to them more than their past sects. Reference to conversion efforts to the Shiite School of Islamic Law is referred to above.

Most men of letters receive recognition after their death and critics examine what they have left behind, but al-Jibouri has already received recognition for his missionary and literary as well as organizational activities during the 32 years which he spent in the United States. One of the best sources for such recognition is a book published in 1992 by Oxford University Press titled Islamic Da'wah in the West: Muslim Missionary Activity and the Dynamics of Conversion to Islam by Prof. Larry Poston, dean of a college in New York City. Its ISBN number is 0-19-507227-8. Look up in its Index the following: �International Islamic Society of Virginia�, �Islamic Affairs�, �Islamic Society of Georgia� and �Jibouri, al-�. It is just one of many books written by non-Muslim scholars documenting the spread of Islam in the West.

Following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, Yasin T. al-Jibouri decided to go home. He was deprived of seeing his family for full 32 years. On the first of September, 2003, al-Jibouri reached Amman, Jordan, where he stayed for the next day. After that, on September 3, 2003, he rented

a car and went to Baghdad. He set foot on that day for the first time since he had left his home country in 1971. Alhamdu-Lillah, since his return home, and despite the hardships of life in the post-Saddam era in Iraq, he has been managing to write and translate as you have read above, and he hopes to keep doing so till the last day of his life. He solicits in earnest your du'a for his health so he may enrich the Islamic library of precious books; Iraq's weather does not seem to be merciful to his asthma condition. Ansariyan, too, solicits your du'a so it may be able to continue its message of spreading Islam throughout the world; may you be rewarded by the most Generous One, Allahomma Aameen.

Ansariyan Publications thanks you for your interest in its publications, Wassalamo Alaikom.

Ansariyan Publications,

Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran


Before we go into a detailed discussion of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him and his virtuous virgin mother, let us highlight the major differences between Christianity and Islam. In the next chapter, these differences will be itemized and discussed.

The Church has taught that Jesus is the Messiah whom the Jews were expecting but whom they rejected, accusing him of being born of fornication:

�You dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and He will be the judge.� (John 8:49-50).

In 4:155-156, the Holy Qur'an condemns and curses all those who blasphemed the honour of Mary. Islam accepts Jesus son of

Mary as the Masih, advocating the prophecy of Christ and recognizing his virgin birth as one of his miracles, even calling him the �Word of Allah.� It defends his mission and reproaches all those who rejected it, endorsing the original Bible[1] as a revelation from the Almighty to him. Islam does not preach that Jesus was crucified or killed but did ascend to heaven.[2] Many Christians regard Jesus as a deity and worship him as a god, addressing him as �Lord,� a title fit only for the Almighty God. But they differ a great deal among themselves with regard to his deification, yet they all certainly regard him as much more than a human being. They call him �the son of God, part of the Trinity.� The Unitarian Church[3] stresses the Unity of God (what Muslims call Tawhid), and the fact that Jesus was a human being. For this reason, it is not considered �Christian� and is not a member of the Federal Council of Churches, nor is it a member of any church federation. Islam repudiates in the strongest of terms the divinity or deity of Jesus Christ and the concept of the Trinity. The Christian doctrine preaches that Jesus died voluntarily, nailed to the cross, in order to atone for mankind's sins. Jesus is believed as having offered himself as an atoning sacrifice in order that mankind might earn salvation. Islam unequivocally rejects the notion that sins can be transferred from some to others by any means, holding each and every individual accountable

for his or her actions. The Almighty, Islam teaches, forgives the sinners who repent and make amends. Repentance, then, in addition to prayers, fast, and charity can atone for one's sins. God does not overburden any of us; He fully knows our weaknesses and limitations. Christianity considers Jesus as a mediator between man and God. Christians pray �in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ,� appealing to God through him. Islam recognizes no mediator between man and God: everyone can be in direct contact with God and actually does so when he performs his prayers. Intercession, however, is permitted by the Almighty Who grants it to individuals whom He chooses and who will intercede, with His permission, on behalf of their friends. As a matter of fact, the Almighty's mercy will reach on the Day of Judgment the ultimate limit when God permits ordinary people with whom He is pleased or whom He forgives to intercede on behalf of others. Such is His mercy... There are many other Christian beliefs and practices which we cannot discuss here due to the limitation of space and which include the belief in the reincarnation, the cremation of the dead, a tradition which the Christians learned from Hindus and Buddhists, the singing and dancing at their churches, the choir (an adaptation from the pagan chorus), the appointment of women as top church �officials,� the endorsement of homosexuality and the appointment of gay and lesbian �ordained� ministers...

The Major Differences Between Islam and Christianity

Following are ten points marking the major differences between Islam and Christianity:[4]

1. Today's

Christianity preaches belief in the Triune God; Islam, contrariwise, stresses the Unity of God, Tawid. Muslims everywhere declare: La ilaha illa Allah! (There is no god except Allah). Not to accept Tawhid implies shirk, apostasy.

2. Christians preach that Jesus is �the only begotten son of God.� Islam preaches that Jesus was a human being who received Divine Inspiration and was thus empowered to perform all the miracles which he, by permission of his Creator and Maker, was able to perform. He was a prophet and a great teacher of mankind, a man of God.

3. Christians claim that Eve was the first to be deceived by Eblis in the Garden of Eden, that she was responsible for tempting Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. They, therefore, place the curse of God on woman, calling her �the organ of the Devil, �The foundations of the arms of the Devil whose voice is the hissing of the serpent,� �the gate of the Devil,� �the road of iniquity,� �the sting of the scorpion,� �a daughter of falsehood, a sentinel of hell, the enemy of peace and of the wild beasts the most dangerous...,� etc. These are the words of renown Christian Saints: St. Bernard, St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, St. John Damascene, and others. In Islam, Adam and Eve both were simultaneously deceived. Women, therefore, enjoy equal status with men in as far as their rights and obligations are concerned. The Almighty does not distinguish between His servants based on their gemder. Christians, however, accuse Muslims

of pushing women back into their harems and discouraging them from educating themselves and competing with men in all fields and professions. This is one of their numerous false charges which are all based on ignorance of the religion of Islam and a genuine feeling of prejudice if not sheer malice and spitefulness. Christians have been encouraging their women to bare themselves so that they would look at them, fornicate with them and beget by them millions of illegitimate children who are either killed by abortion or who grow up not knowing who their parents are. At the same time, they do not pay women the same wages they pay men, and they discriminate against them in all fields and professions. In fact, they enslave women.

4. The sin of Adam and Eve was not forgiven; therefore, every child is born in sin. Such is the belief held by Christians. In Islam, Adam and Eve regretted, repented, and were given the chance to be forgiven even while they were here on earth. Every child is born sinless and capable of achieving the ultimate limit of human perfection. Parents often corrupt their children, causing them to deviate from the right creed, victimizing them, thus adding their children's sins to those of their own. Sin is acquired by one's intentional desire to ignore God's laws, to surrender to temptation, and to acquire by vile means what rightfully belongs to others. Sins are committed by one's misdeeds and miscalculations; nobody inherits sin.

5. Jesus' mission was �to wash away humanity's

sins with his own blood,� Christians claim. In Islam, his mission was: to teach mankind the right way of leading an upright life. He was not sent to atone for humanity's alleged sin. He is regarded as one of the greatest prophets of God, and the original Bible revealed to him was surely the Word of God. He was born to Virgin Mary who is described in Islam as one of the four most perfect of all women of mankind in each and every aspect of human perfection.

6. Christianity claims that man can attain salvation only by believing in Jesus as �the only begotten son of God�, and that Jesus had given his blood to wash the sins of mankind. In Islam, the essential condition for attaining salvation is to combine righteous deeds with a sound belief. Mere passive belief is meaningless. The Islamic system, which comprehends all problems of mankind and provides solutions for them, must be followed in its entirety.

7. Christians say that we cannot approach God without the mediation of a priest. In Islam, everyone, man or woman, is his or her own priest or priestess and can approach God without the mediation of anyone. God is near to everyone and the gates of His mercy are always wide open to receive those who repent and are willing to make amends. Islam strongly stresses the significance of one's dignity and self-respect. One who admits his sins to someone else will in all reality be humiliating himself before another human being. He should

do so before his Maker, and only before his Maker, each and every hour of his life. Muslims seek Allah's forgiveness every day before, during, and after their five daily prayers. Humility before God is what Islam condones, not self-humiliation before another human being, even if such a human wears a collar and is a man of the Church.

8. Ascetic life according to Christianity is a saintly one; Jesus and the saints are models in this regard, and celibacy is preferable over marriage for the attainment of spiritual eminence. Not so in Islam. Asceticism is unnatural; it clashes with our human nature and deprives us of enjoying the lawful pleasures of this life__including and especially sexual pleasures__so that we may thank the Almighty Who provides us with them. Life is to be enjoyed; it is the greatest gift of the Almighty to the living. Take His gifts and thank Him for them; do not deprive yourself of what is lawful. �I have not enjoyed of your world,� says Prophet Muammed, �except three: prayers, perfumes, and women!� Prayers bring one closer to his Maker, provide him with comfort against his worries, and pave the way for his salvation. They also are healthy daily physical exercises. Perfume, for both men and women, is very highly commended in Islam; one who wears it and thus smells good will not be shunned by others; rather, he or she will be loved, cherished and respected not only by other people, but also by the angels and by God Himself; He

surely loves those who are clean physically and spiritually. Sex is one of the blessings of the Almighty on His servants as long as it is lawful and is not followed by remorse. No pleasure is pleasing if it is followed by remorse or, worse, by AIDS...! Whenever you cohabit with your wife, the Prophet teaches us, you earn a blessing, a good deed... Such is the beauty of Islam.

9. Christianity preaches the separation of the religion from the State, from politics. Islam, contrariwise, provides a socio-political system wherein politics are mixed with religion just as water is mixed with milk; they are inseparable. Today's �Muslim� governments are mostly hypocritical because they are not trying to please Allah but to please the enemies of Allah: Western politicians who are Christian only by name and who wish to suck the blood of the Muslims dry, buying their natural resources, especially oil, for very cheap prices while refusing to sell them their technology[5], selling them their manufactured goods at very high prices. The mosque used to be the place where people's problems were solved and criminals punished, the place where people get their marriage blessed. It is the place where they learn their creed. Nowadays, in many Muslim countries, there are more �security� and �intelligence� agents frequenting mosques than there are worshippers! Pro-Western hypocritical rulers of the Muslim world fear nothing more than Islam even as they lie and claim to be its adherents and defenders. This is so because they are constantly pressured by �Christian� Western

politicians to keep people away from Islam, to encourage the opening of more bars and night clubs and the closing of more mosques and religious centers.

10. According to the admission of many Biblical scholars, the Bible contains �irrational beliefs, crude science and indecent tales.�[6] Today's Bible is far from being the revelation that descended upon Jesus. It was not put together during the life of Jesus Christ, so it cannot be regarded as representative of the message of Christ. The Holy Qur'an, on the other hand, was written down during 23 years under the direct supervision of Prophet Muammed, and not a single syllable in it has been changed. It is divinely protected against any alteration, addition, or deletion. Moreover, it essentially is rational, scientific, and modern in its spirit and shall always remain so. No other sacred scripture can ever be described as such, ever...

These are the basic differences between Islam and Christianity presented to the reader in brief. Now let us research the life of Jesus and his saintly mother, starting from the latter, then learn something about the Bible, its authors and message.

Maryam (Mary) Daughter of `Imran (Amram)

Allah Almighty has said the following in the Holy Qur'an:

Surely Allah favored Adam and Noah and the descendants of Abraham and the descendants of `Imran over the nations: offspring, one from the other, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing. `Imran's woman said: Lord! Surely I vow to dedicate to You what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Your service); accept, therefore, from me; surely You are the Hearing,

the Knowing. So when she gave birth to her, she said: Lord! Surely I have given birth to a female__and Allah knew best what she had given birth to__and the male is not like the female; I have named her Maryam, and I commend her and her offspring into Your protection from Satan the accursed. So her Lord accepted her with a good acceptance and made her grow up a good growth and gave her into the charge of Zakariyya (Zacharias). Whenever Zakariyya entered the sanctuary (to see her), he found with her food. He said: O Maryam! Whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah bestows His grants unto whomsoever He pleases without measure. (3:33-37)

Scholars have said that Mary's mother was Hanna daughter of Faqooth, grandmother of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. Ibn `Abbas has said that `Imran (Amram) is the son of Mathan. There is no kinship between him and `Imran father of Moses since one thousand and eight hundred years separate one from the other.

The descendants of Mathan were the chiefs of the Children of Israel; they were their rabbis and kings. Muammed ibn Isaq[7] has said, �He is `Imran son of Sahim son of `Amoor son of Meeshan son of Izekiel son of Aharef son of Baoom son of Izarya son of Amsiy son of Nawoos son of Nootha son of Baridh son of Yehusha Faz son of Radim son of Abiyya son of Rehobom son of Solomon son of David, peace be upon him.�

Zakariyya[8] (Zacharias or Zachary) son of Barkhiya and `Imran son of Mathan were married to sisters. One of those sisters was the wife of Zakariyya son of Barkhiya, namely Eisha (Elizabeth) daughter of Faqooth, Yaya's mother. The other was the wife of `Imran: Hanna daughter of Faqooth, Maryam's mother.

Hanna had almost lost hope of having a son when she became very old. Hers was a family upon whom Allah had bestowed His favors and whom He held in high esteem. While she was sitting under a tree, she saw a mother bird feeding her chicks. The instinct of motherhood stirred within her, and she invoked Allah Almighty to grant her a son. She, as the Holy Qur'an tells us, said, �Lord! Surely I vow to dedicate to You what is in my womb to be devoted (to Your service)� (Qur'an, 3:35), that is, that her child would be free from the bondage of this life and its entanglements, and he will dedicate his time for the worship of Allah and for the service of His cause. It was the custom then to bring such a dedicated person to Jerusalem to worship Allah and to serve His creed.

Always males, those dedicated servants of Jerusalem were not expected to leave the house of worship till they reached their adolescence. Once one of them reached his adolescence, he would be given the choice to either stay or go wherever he wanted. There was hardly any family among the Children of Israel that did not make such a dedication.

Only boys were dedicated; girls would not be fit for such a service due to the menstruation and the inconvenience associated with it. But Maryam's mother had already made that dedication, so her husband `Imran said to her, �Look what you have done! Did you consider the possibility that you were big with a female, and the female is not fit for such a dedication?� He was quite distressed. `Imran died while his wife was pregnant with Maryam.

When she delivered, she found out that her child was a girl. She had prayed for a son. Seeking to apologize to Allah Almighty, she said, �Lord! Surely I have given birth to a female, and the male is not like the female,� that is, she is not fit for the service of the house of worship in Jerusalem due to her weakness and menstruation. She named her Maryam (Mary). In their tongue, it meant �the worshipper,� the one who serves her Lord. Maryam was the most beautiful of all her contemporary ladies and her conduct was the very best.

The Messenger of Allah is quoted as having said, �Four among the women of mankind are most cherished: Maryam daughter of `Imran, Asiya wife of Pharaoh, Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid[9] (wife of Prophet Muammed), and Faima daughter of Muammed.� She continued to implore her Lord saying that she sought refuge with Him on her behalf to forbid Satan the accursed from having any access to her progeny. The Messenger of Allah is also quoted as saying, �There is no

infant born except that Satan would touch it, so it would scream because of such a touch, except Maryam and her son.� It is recommended to recite the following verse at the birth of any newborn female: �... and I commend her and her offspring into Your protection from Satan the accursed� (Qur'an, 3:36).

Shu`ayb ibn Muhammed, according to his chain of narrators, has said, �Every human being is hit by Satan on the side at birth except Jesus and his mother, peace be upon them. A barrier was placed to protect them. Satan could not penetrate it; therefore, they were not harmed.� Neither one of them committed any of the sins commonly committed by humans. Allah Almighty has said, �So her Lord accepted her with a good acceptance and made her grow up a good growth� (Qur'an, 3:37). The meaning of this verse is that He created her without any increase or decrease of her physique, so she was growing during a short period as much as an ordinary infant would grow during quite a lengthy one.

When Maryam was born, her mother Hanna carried her to the temple. The descendants of Aaron, who then numbered thirty, looked after the temple at Jerusalem in the same zeal the caretakers look after the Ka`ba. They placed her in the hands of the rabbis. She said to them, �Do look after this dedicated infant,� whereupon they competed with one another in looking after her since she was the daughter of their leader. Zakariyya said to them, �I am

more worthy of her than you since her aunt lives in my house.� The rabbis said, �We shall not let you decide that, for if she were to be left with the person who is most worthy of her and her nearest in kin, she should have been left with her mother who gave birth to her. But we shall cast the lots about her, and she will be looked after by the one whose arrow wins.� They agreed to do so.

Nineteen men came to the Jordan River. They threw their arrows, or their pens whereby they used to write the Torah, in the water. The pen or arrow belonging to Zakariyya surfaced over the water while the rest were submerged. Ibn Isaq and a group of other scholars, including al-Suddi, have all said that Zakariyya's pen pierced the water and stood up in it as though its water were mud, while their pens were washed away by the tide. Allah Almighty has said, �You were not with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them should have Maryam in his charge� (Qur'an, 3:44). Thus did Zakariyya, who was their high rabbi and prophet, win, and this is why Allah Almighty has said that Zakariyya took custody of and looked after her.

Muhammed ibn Ishaq has said, �When Zakariyya took charge of her, he gave her to her aunt, Yahya's mother, and asked her to nurse her till she reached womanhood. It was then that he built a room for her in his

mosque to be her sanctuary, placing its door in the middle.� Whenever he entered to see her, he noticed that she had unseasonable fruits, that is, summer fruits were with her during the winter, and vice versa, so he would ask her where she had received them from, and she would say that they were from Allah, from the fruits of Paradise.

Muhammed ibn Ishaq has also said that the Children of Israel were then inflicted with a famine, yet she kept receiving her sustenance thus, as Zakariyya was becoming increasingly unable to look after her. He, therefore, went out to the Children of Israel and said, �O Children of Israel! You know, by Allah, that I have become quite old and too weak to look after the daughter of `Imran; so, which one of you will look after her when I am gone?� They said, �By Allah we, too, are worn out and are in difficulty as you can see.� Each one of them would recommend to the other to be the one to look after her, and they kept doing so till they did not find anyone ready to do it. They decided to cast their lots this time too, and the arrow this time came to be that of a righteous carpenter from among the Children of Israel named Joseph son of Jacob son of Matan, and he was Maryam's cousin. So he took her. Maryam saw in his face the weight of the burden, whereupon she said to him, �O Joseph! Think

well of Allah, for He will sustain us.� Joseph started receiving sustenance on account of her, and he would bring her every day of what he had earned to take care of her needs. Whenever he brought it to her and she was in the house of worship at Jerusalem, Allah would multiply it for him and increase it. Whenever Zakariyya entered to see her, he used to see a remnant of sustenance that was more than what Joseph had brought her, hence his question to her, �O Mary! Whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whomsoever He pleases without measure� (Qur'an, 3:37).

Christians have for years been debating about Mary, whether she was the �mother of God,� as some call her, or whether she was an ordinary pious lady. We do not wish to contribute to such a debate, preferring to leave them wandering forever in their wilderness as they please...

Birth of Jesus son of Mary

part 1

Allah Almighty has said,

And mention Mary in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place; so she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her Our spirit, and he appeared to her as a perfectly ordinary man. She said: Surely I seek refuge against you with the Beneficent God, if you are God-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord to give you [the glad tiding of] a pure boy.� She said, �How can I have a boy while no mortal has yet touched

me, nor have I been unchaste?� He said. �Even so; your Lord says: It is easy for Me, and so that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter already decreed.� So she conceived him [Jesus], then withdrew with him to a remote place. And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the newly-born) called out to her from beneath her: Do not grieve! Surely your Lord has made a stream flow beneath you, and shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop on you fresh ripe dates; so eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any human today. And she came to her people carrying him. They said: O Mary! Surely you have done a strange thing! O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother unchaste! But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who is a child in the cradle? He [Jesus] said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet, and He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me

prayers and zakat as long as I live, and dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed. And peace be on me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised (back) to life. Such is Jesus son of Mary; (this is) the saying of truth about which they dispute. (19:16-34)

Prophets' biographers have said that when three days had passed since Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she was either thirteen or fifteen years old. One of those dedicated for the service of the temple with her was her above-mentioned cousin Joseph the carpenter. He was a thoughtful man who used to offer charity from his earnings. Joseph and Mary used to take turns in serving the temple. When they ran out of water, each would take the pitcher and go to the cave to obtain water then return to the temple. The day that she met Gabriel was the longest and the hottest day of the year. She had run out of water, so she asked her cousin, �Shall we go together, O Joseph, to obtain water?� He said, �I have some water left which will suffice me for today.� She said, �But I, by Allah, am out of water!� She took her pitcher and went out alone till she came to the cave where she met Gabriel whom Allah made to appear to her as an ordinary man. He told her that Allah had sent him to grant her a pure boy. She said,

�Surely I seek refuge from you with the Beneficent God if you are God-fearing� (Qur'an, 19:18), that is, a pious, obedient to his Lord. Imam `Ali has said, �I have come to know that a pious person is one who has compassion for others and is merciful, and she thought that he (Gabriel) was a man, a human.� `Ikrimah has said, �Gabriel appeared to her in the form of a young beardless man with curly hair, and in perfect form.� Wise men have said that Allah Almighty sent him in human form so that Mary would be able to remain self-composed and listen to his speech. Had he appeared in his normal form, she would have been frightened by him and would have shunned him. When Mary sought refuge with Allah against him, he said to her, �I am only a messenger of your Lord to give you (the glad tiding of) a pure boy. She said: How can I have a boy while no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste? He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy for Me, and so that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter already decreed� (Qur'an, 19:19-21). Having heard his statement, she submitted to Allah's decree, whereupon Gabriel blew in the pocket of her loose outer garment. By then, she had taken it off. Once he had left, Mary filled her pitcher with water, put her outer garment on, instantly

and unconsciously conceiving of Jesus, then went back to the temple.

Another story of how Mary conceived is narrated, or say suggested, by al-Suddi and `Ikrimah who have said that Mary used to remain in the temple as long as she was clean. Once she started her period, she would go to her aunt's house till she became clean again and would then return. While Mary was bathing after her period was over, having chosen a sunny spot because it was then winter and that day was the shortest day of the year and placed a curtain between her and the rest of the house residents, arch-angel Gabriel appeared. He gave her the glad tiding of Jesus, then he blew in the pocket of her outer loose garment. Al-asan says that the Nazarenes had taken the east as their qibla because Mary had taken a place facing the east [prior to her conception]. When she was big with Jesus, her cousin Joseph the carpenter was in her company, and they were both going to the temple one day near Mount Zion. That temple was their greatest. They used to repair it, heat it, and sweep it, and nobody knew anyone more diligent or dedicated that both of them. The first person who found it objectionable that she should be pregnant was this same cousin and fellow servant of the temple, Joseph the carpenter. When he saw what had happened to her, he thought it was monstrous and horrible, and he did not know what to do

or what to say to her. Whenever he contemplated upon charging her, he remembered her uprightness, adoration, and innocence and the fact that she was never out of his sight even for one hour. If he desired to think of her as innocent, he saw the signs of her pregnancy. When he could not keep it to himself any longer, he decided to discuss it with her.

The first thing he said to her was, �I have noticed something about you to which I have found myself reacting, and I have been trying to keep it to myself, but I finally decided that discussing it with you may set my mind at ease.� She said to him, �Say it nicely.� He asked her, �Tell me, Mary, has there been any trees growing without seeds?� She said, �Yes!� He asked her again, �Then has there been trees growing without rain?� She said, �Yes!� Then he said, �Can there be children without parents?� She said, �Yes! Don't you know that Allah Almighty caused all the trees to grow when He created them without first sowing their seeds, for seeds come from trees? Have you not come to know that Allah caused the trees to grow without rain, and through His might He caused the rain to sustain the species of trees after having created each species separately? Or do you say that Allah is not able to grow trees without the help of water and without it He could not have been able to grow them?!� Joseph said

to her, �No, I do not say that, but I say that Allah Almighty is capable of doing anything; all He has to do is to say to it, `Be!' and it is!� Mary then said, �Don't you know that Allah created Adam and his wife without parents?� He answered in the affirmative. Her last statement convinced him that what had happened to her must have been something which Allah Almighty had decreed, and that it was not fitting for him to ask her about it due to the secrecy she seemed to maintain in its regard. Then Joseph took charge of all the maintenance chores needed to be performed at the temple and spared her having to do anything at all.

Scholars say that when Mary came close to giving birth, Allah Almighty inspired her that the Jerusalem temple was one of His houses which was pure and was built so that His Name would be praised therein. �Go to a place where you can seek seclusion,� the Almighty inspired her. Mary went to the house of her aunt, the mother of Yaya (John the Baptist). When the latter stood up to greet her and welcome her, she found herself in need of Mary to support her to stand up. Then she asked her, �O Mary! Can you imagine me being pregnant?!� Mary said, �I, too, am pregnant!� Zakariyya's wife said, �Then I find the one in my womb prostrating to the one in yours!� To this does the Almighty refer in the verse saying,

�... testifying to a Word from Allah� (Qur'an, 3:39). When she felt comfortable at her aunt's house, the Almighty inspired her, �If you give birth among your people, they will taunt you, charge you, and kill both you and your son; so, get away from them.�

Scholars have differed regarding how long it took Mary to conceive and deliver. Some say that the duration of her pregnancy was nine months like all other women, while others say it was eight, and that that was another miracle: no new-born who stayed in his mother's womb for only eight months survived except Jesus. Other scholars say it was six months, still others say it was three hours, and some even say it was only one hour. Ibn `Abbas has said, �It was only conception then delivery, and the time from the conception to the delivery and the seclusion she sought was only one hour, for Allah Almighty did not mention any separation between them when He said, `So she conceived him then withdrew with him to a remote place' (19:22), that is, far away from her people.� Muqatil[10] has said, �His mother conceived him in one hour; he was formed in one hour; he was delivered in one hour when the sun had just set, and she was twenty years old, having had only two menstrual periods before conceiving Jesus.�

Mujahid[11] has said, �Mary, peace be upon her, has said, `Whenever I sought seclusion, Jesus would speak to me, and I would speak to him. If a human distracted

me from that, he would praise the Almighty while being in my womb, and I would hear his praising,'� and Allah knows best.

part 2

When the pain of childbirth intensified, she sought to support herself with the trunk of a tree, and it was a dry palm tree with neither leaves nor a live trunk but a dead stump. The angels did not like the sight of that palm tree, and they were surrounding her in rows, and that palm tree was at a village called Bethlehem[12]. When her crisis reached its zenith, she said in agony, �Oh! Would that I had died before this and had been a thing quite forgotten� (Qur'an, 19:23), whereupon she was addressed, �Grieve not! Surely your Lord has made a stream flow beneath you, and shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates� (Qur'an, 19:24-25). The original Arabic text of the first verse, that is, �Then he called out to her from beneath her� (Qur'an, 19:24), can be recited in two different ways: min tahtiha, that is, from under her, connotes a reference to the one who called upon her from the mountain side, namely Gabriel. Or it can be recited man tahtaha, the one who was underneath her, that is, Jesus Christ, after having emerged from his mother's womb. He addressed her by the Will of Allah. Allah caused a river to flow for her after she had given birth to Jesus. Its water would be sweet and cool if

she wanted to drink of it, lukewarm if she wanted to wash herself with it. Ibn `Abbas has said, �Jesus, or Gabriel, struck the earth, whereupon water gushed forth, and the dry tree was brought back to life after its dryness. Its branches cascaded, and it brought forth its produce and excelled in it. She was told to shake the trunk of the palm tree to her so that it would cause fresh dates to fall upon her.� Al-Rabee` ibn Khaytham has said, �There is nothing better for a woman in her postnatal period than fresh dates, nor for any patient better than honey.� Omer ibn Maymoon has said, �I cannot think of anything better for a woman having difficulty delivering than fresh dates.�

Wahab has said, �When he [Jesus] was born, all idols were seen falling on the ground headlong in each and every land, so much so that the demons were frightened and did not know why. They rushed to Eblis the accursed who was on a throne which he had made for himself on the surface of a lake mocking the Almighty's Throne when it was first on the water. They came to him when six hours of the day had passed. When Eblis saw their throngs, he felt very upset and alarmed because he had never seen them assembling like that since he scattered them throughout the world to do their mischievous deeds. He used to see some of them now and then but never all of them at the same time.

He asked them what had happened. They told him that something must have happened on earth that caused all the idols to be smashed without any human touching them. Nothing was more instrumental than those idols in bringing destruction to the descendants of Adam. Now this new event that has occurred caused humans to think very low of those idols, and the devils were concerned that humans were not going to worship idols any more. �Be informed,� they said, �that we have not come to you here before looking for its cause throughout the world, in the seas, and everywhere else, but we did not increase but in ignorance regarding what has happened.� Eblis said to them, �This must have been a momentous event; so, remain where you are.�

Eblis immediately flew away for three hours during which he passed by the place where Jesus was born. When he saw the angels gazing at that spot, he realized that that was the scene of the event. He wanted to approach it from above, but the heads of the angels and their shoulders acted as a shield. He wanted to approach it from under the ground, but he noticed that the angels' feet were planted firmly in it. He then wanted to penetrate through their ranks, but they forbade him from doing so as testified to this fact by the statement of the Prophet saying, �Every human being is hit by Satan on the side upon its birth except Jesus son of Mary, peace be upon him;

Allah Almighty shielded Jesus from him, so he kept trying [unsuccessfully] to penetrate the shield.'�

Having facilitated the delivery for Mary, Allah Almighty prepared Mary to meet her people. �Eat, O Mary,� the Almighty inspired her, �of the fresh dates, and drink of the sweet and cool water; cool your eyes and be contented. If you see any human, and he asks you about your son, or makes a serious charge against you in his regard, tell him that you pledged to abstain (from speaking to anyone) for the sake of achieving the Pleasure of the Most Merciful One.� The �fast� referred to in chapter 19 (Srat Maryam), verse 26, meant abstention from speaking. Fast during that period was abstention from eating, drinking, and speaking, �... so I shall not speak to any man today� (Qur'an, 19:26), Mary was instructed to say. Another reference to abstention from speaking to people is made in the first verses of the Qur'anic Chapter named after Mary, the same Surat Maryam referred to above: �He (Zakariyya) said: Lord! Give me a sign (aya). He said: Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights though being in sound health� (Qur'an, 19:10). Sometimes staying away from people and remaining in constant contact with the Almighty enables one to reach a very high spiritual plain. Remember how Prophet Muammed, prior to the initiation of his historic mission, used to seek seclusion from people at the ira cave of Mount Thawr in order to meditate and to clear

his thoughts.

Mary brought her infant Jesus to her people carrying him.

Al-Kalbi[13] has said, �Joseph the carpenter took Mary and Jesus inside a cave and kept them there for forty days till she recovered fully from the pains of childbirth, then he brought her back carrying him, being forty days old, whereupon Jesus spoke to her on the way saying, `Mother! Congratulations! I am the servant of Allah and His Messiah!' When she came to her family with the infant, all members of her family were so grieved, they wept. It was a family of righteousness. They said to her, `O Mary! You surely have done a strange thing' (19:27), that is, `Where did you get this son from?' She beckoned to them to ask Jesus. They were now angry and said, `How can we speak to one who is a child in the cradle?' (19:29).� Wahab has said that Zakariyya came to her while she was debating with the Jews about him; he said to Jesus, `Speak up and produce your proof if you were indeed ordered to do so.' Jesus, who was then forty days old, said, `I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet, and He has made me blessed wherever I may be. He has enjoined on me prayer and zakat as long as I live, and (to be) dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed. And peace be on me the day I was born, the day

I die, and the day I am raised to life'� (Qur'an, 19:30-33). Thus did Jesus admit his submission to the Will of Allah at the very beginning of his speech, belying the claim of the �Christians� and making his argument against them.

Imam Muhammed ibn `Ali al-Baqir[14], is quoted as saying, �When Jesus was born, in each day he grew up as much as infants would grow in a month. When he was nine months old, his mother took him by the hand, brought him to the class and seated him before the teacher. The teacher asked him to say Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim, which Jesus repeated. The teacher then required him to repeat the alphabets after him, whereupon he raised his head and asked him whether he knew what the alphabets meant. The teacher raised his stick aiming to hit him, but he quickly said to him, `Do not hit me, O teacher! If you do not know, ask me, and I shall explain them to you.' The teacher asked him to explain them to him, so he stated the following,

Alif � is derived from La ilaha illa-Allah (there is no god except Allah);

Ba � is derived from Behjatullah (the Splendor of Allah);

Jeem � is derived rom Jalal-Allah (the Greatness of Allah);

Dal � is derived from Din-Allah (the Creed of Allah);

Ha �� is derived from Hawiya, Hell, the pit;

Waw � is derived from Waylun li ahlin-nar (Woe unto the people of the Fire!);

Za � is derived from Zafeeru-Jahannam, the exhalation of Jahannam (or ge hen Hinnom[15]), Hell, the

eternal Fire;

Hutti ��� is derived from Huttatil khataya `anil mustaghfirin (the sins have been removed from those who seek His forgiveness);

Kilman ���� is derived from Kalamullahi ghayr makhlooq wala mubaddila li kalimatih (the Speech of Allah is not created, and there is no alteration to it);

Sa`af ��� is derived from Sa` bi sa` wal jaza bil jaza (a measure for a measure, and a reward for each good deed);

Qirshat ���� is derived from taqrushuhum heena tahshuruhum (it gathers them together as it inflicts its pain upon them).'�

The teacher said to Mary, �Woman, take your son away, for he needs no teacher.�

Al-Husain ibn Muhammed ibn al-Husain, a scholar of exegesis, has informed us through his chain of narrators which goes back to Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri who quotes the Messenger of Allah as saying, �Jesus was sent by his mother to learn, so the teacher required him to say Bismillah (in the Name of Allah), whereupon Jesus asked him what that meant. The teacher told him he did not know, so Jesus explained it to him. He said, `The B means Bahaullah (the Splendor of Allah), the sin [the `s' in bismillah] means Sanaullah (the Majesty of Allah), and the mim [the `m' in Bismillah] means Mamlakatullah (the Kingdom of Allah, the Exalted, the Sublime),'� and Allah knows best.

Jesus and Mary Leave for Egypt

Jesus was born forty-two years after the ascension of Augustus[16] [of the Roman Empire], fifty-one years after the king of the Ashkanites[17], kings of the sects, had passed away. Today's Syria and its surrounding areas were under the

authority of Caesar of Rome who had appointed Herod[18] as the king on his behalf. When Herod, who was ruling over the areas then inhabited by the Children of Israel, came to know the story of the Messiah, he wanted to kill him. The Children of Israel saw a star according to whose appearance they, utilizing their books, calculated the date of his birth. Allah sent an angel to Joseph the carpenter to warn him against Herod and his evil scheme, ordering him to flee with the boy and his mother to Egypt and to return once Herod was dead. Joseph transported Mary and her son on a donkey till they reached a place in Egypt to which the Almighty refers in this verse: �And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and We gave them a shelter on a lofty ground having meadows and springs� (Qur'an, 23:50).

Mary and Jesus Return Home

Wahab has said that when Herod died, twelve years after the birth of Jesus[19], Allah inspired Mary telling her of Herod's death, ordering her to return with her son Jesus and cousin Joseph the carpenter to Syria. They did, settling near the Galilee mountain at a village in north-northeast of Bethlehem (Bayt Laham) called Nazareth after which Christians are called �Nazarites� or �Nazarenes.� Its Arabic name is al-Nasira. There, Jesus kept learning in one hour what others would learn in a day, and in a day what others would in a month, and in a month what others would in a year, and

such is the Almighty's design with His messengers. When he became thirty years old, Allah inspired him to come out to the public and to invite them to worship the One and Only God, Allah, through the medium of parables, empowering him to heal the sick, to cure those afflicted with permanent handicaps, to give sight back to the blind, to heal the mentally retarded, to suppress the power of evil, to forbid people from committing misdeeds, and to subject the devils to humiliation by permitting goodness to thus prevail. He did as he was ordered, so people loved him and enjoyed his company. His followers started increasing in number. Soon he became quite famous, and at times he may have had as many as fifty thousand patients or handicapped persons to heal. Those who could walk to him did so, and those who could not he himself sought, the messenger of God that he was. Those who could not reach him, he managed to reach them, and such is the mark of distinction of men of God. The only medicine he applied to the patients who had a full conviction in him and in his Lord was his supplication.

Mary's Death and Prophethood of Jesus

According to a number of accounts, Mary conceived Jesus when she was thirteen years old. She gave birth to him at Bethlehem, a suburb of Jerusalem, fifty-one years after the beginning of the reign of the Ashkelonites (or Ashkenazim). Allah sent the wahi (inspiration) to him at the age of thirty,

and He raised him up from the temple at Jerusalem on Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power) during the month of Ramaan when he was thirty-three years old; so, his prophethood continued for only three years. His mother lived after his being raised to heavens for six years, and Allah knows best.

The Disciples

Allah Almighty has said, �But when Jesus perceived disbelief on their part, he said: Who will be my helpers in Allah's way? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the way) of Allah: We believe in Allah and bear witness that we submit (to Him in Islam)� (Qur'an, 3:52). The Almighty has also said, �And when I inspired the disciples saying: Believe in Me and in My messenger, they said: We believe and (you) bear witness that we are Muslims (submitters to the will of Allah)� (Qur'an, 5:111), that is, Allah enabled the disciples to believe in His messenger. They were the elite from among those who believed in Jesus son of Mary and who followed him. They were his supporters and viziers, and they were twelve in number. Their names are: Simon al-Safa who is also called Peter, his brother Andrews, Jacob son of Zebedee, his brother John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew al-Ashshar (collector of the `ushr tax, the tithe[20]), Jacob son of Halfa, Leah who is also called Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot. Biblical lists of them, however, differ from this one.

The �saints� who wrote the Gospels named after them are: John, Mark, Luke, and Matthew. Let us see what

Christians tell us about them:[21]

St. Mark was a friend of Saints Peter, Paul, and Luke. He is John Mark; his mother is believed to be the owner of the house where the Last Supper (where the Table of Viands, or al-Ma'ida) was held. His Gospel is the shortest and simplest, the only one which stands out from among all the other three in context and in spirit. Some Biblical critics are of the view that it was the first to be composed. It narrates the life of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to the passion and alleged �resurrection�.

St. Luke, a man from Antioch[22], Syria, was said to be a doctor, a physician, and a friend and companion of Saints Paul and Mark. Christian tradition, however, says that he was a painter and that he died as a martyr. He is described as �a disciple of the apostles�[23] which clearly means he learned not directly from Jesus but from his twelve apostles. His Gospel provides an account of the birth of Jesus, tells of his ministry and ends with the passion and alleged �resurrection�. He is author of a twelve-volume literary work, the Gospel and the Acts, and is the most literary of the New Testament writers. The approximate date of his death or �martyrdom� is given as 66 A.D.

St. Matthew, also named Levi, is said to be a publican (tax collector) of Capernaum, a city in northeast Palestine on the Sea of Galilee. He was employed as a tax collector by Herod

Antipas, tetrach of Galilee. He is described as one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. He is author of the first synoptic Gospel which, like the rest, gives an account of the birth of Jesus, tells of his ministry, and ends with the passion and alleged �resurrection�. The Bible offers scanty and uncertain information about him. Everything about his character, conduct, conviction and life is subject to debate and is never ascertained... He wrote his Gospel, the first of the four, in Hebrew. His Gospel is also attributed to Matthew who is said to be one of the twelve apostles or disciples.

St. John is the son of Zebedee, a fisherman from the Galilee, and Salome. He is the younger brother of St. James the Greater, also one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Jesus Christ, we are told, also had a brother named James...! Ancient Christian tradition claims that John is the author of all the four Gospels comprising the Bible..., in addition to three epistles and the Book of Revelation. Is he really?! This is the subject of debate among Christians; so, let us leave them debating and arguing till the Day of Judgment! He is described in Christian books as a �divine,� theologian, and as an Evangelist, a writer of the four Gospels. No date of his birth or death is available, and even the place where he died is not known for sure. Some writers admit that what is written about him is more of a legend than a fact.

One is

tempted to ask: �Why is it that there are four Gospels instead of one? Why is there so much duplication and difference between one Gospel and another? Whose Gospel is the right or the more reliable one? Since they cannot all be right, which one is right? If those Gospels were all written by St. John, as stated above, why, then, are they divided into four with each one of them bearing the name of an apostle? Had they all been written by St. John, why was not the Bible called the Book of John?� My bet is that if you ask a priest or even the most learned Christian cleric, he will never give you a straight answer to any of these legitimate questions.

Saint Barnabas

part 1

According to the Gospel of Matthew, and to be exact Ch. 10, verse 4, the list of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ is as follows: Simon (or Peter), Andrew (Peter's brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James' brother), Philip, Batholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, another Simon who is said to be �a member of `The Zealots,' a subversive political party,� and Judas Iscariot. Why is the name of Saint Barnabas not among them, and how did he come to write his own Gospel, the only one accepted by Muslims as the true Bible? With all their prejudices, speculations, sectarian motivations, it is unwise to accept what today's or yesterday's Christians tell us about Saint Barnabas and his Bible, or about the other disciples.

The Encyclopedia Britannica III, for example, describes those who believed that Christ was human and not divine as heretics, and so do many Christian writers and theologians. An independent research, therefore, will yield better results, that is for sure. One such research has been undertaken by M.A. Yusseff who published his findings in a very interesting book titled The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament which was published in 1405 A.H./1985 A.D. by the American Trust Publications of Indianapolis, Indiana.[24] Saint Barnabas was originally called Joseph the Levite or Joses the Levite and is better known as Matthai or Matthias. In the Christian document known as Recognitions, Matthias is identified as another name for Apostle Barnabas, which is correct. In another document known as Homilies, Barnabas is said to be a personal Apostle of Jesus, �a strict servant of the Law,� and, hence, one of the original twelve Disciples (or Apostles) of Jesus Christ. The Jews, too, list his name among not twelve but five apostles, the remaining four being: Naki, Nester, Buni, and Todah. But we find the name �Lebbacus� among these disciples in Matthew 10:13, that of �Judas son of James� in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13, both contradicting other Biblical accounts; so, which one is correct and which one is not?!

Saint Barnabas was born in Cyprus in the first century A.D. Other references to him are recorded in the Bible in Acts 11:19 and 15:41. He is said as having joined the Jerusalem church �after the alleged

crucifixion of Jesus[25],� which is not true, sold his property, and gave the proceeds as a donation to his community. He founded the church in Antioch (Turkish Antakya), where he preached. Inviting Paul of Tarsus (Turkey) to be his assistant, he undertook missionary activity and then went to Jerusalem. Shortly after 48 A.D., a conflict separated both men, and Barnabas sailed home to Cyprus. Where did he write his Gospel and when? Nobody seems to know. How did he die? Nobody seems to know, yet he is called a martyr... We are also told that he knew St. Mark. In 488 A.D., his grave was discovered near the Monastery of St. Barnabas in the Cypriot city of Salamis. A copy of his Gospel was found buried with him[26]. The accurate list of the twelve disciples of Jesus exists in the Gospel of St. Barnabas himself who records the following:

Jesus, having returned to the region of Jerusalem, was found again of the people with exceedingly great joy, and they implored him to abide with them, for his words were not as those of the scribes, but were with power; for they touched the heart.

Jesus, seeing that great was the multitude of them that returned to their heart for to walk in the law of God, went up into the mountain, and abode all night in prayer. When the day came he descended from the mountain and chose twelve whom he called apostles, among whom is Judas, who was slain upon the cross[27]. Their names are: Andrew

and Peter his brother, fishermen; Barnabas, who wrote this, with Matthew the publican, who sat at the receipt of custom; John and James, son of Zebedee; Thaddaeus and Judas[28]; Bartholomew and Philip; James, and Judas Iscariot the traitor. To these he always revealed the divine secrets. He made Iscariot Judas his dispenser of that which was given in alms, but he stole the tenth part of everything. (The Gospel of Barnabas 14)

The Gospel of St. Barnabas is the one that contains the true teachings of Jesus Christ; it will be discussed later how it refers to Prophet Muammed as the �Paraclete,� a Greek word meaning �Messenger� and �Comforter,� in Arabic al-Amin... Even if you set aside the Gospel of St. Barnabas, a good Greek translation of the original text of John 14:16 will read as follows: �And I will Pray the Patera, and he shall give you another Paraclete, so that he may abide with you forever.� The Greek word Patera is erroneously translated as �the Father,� a reference to the Almighty, in a �modern� version of the Bible which gives the following text for John 14:16-17: �And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever__the Spirit of Truth.�[29] No man of righteousness has earned the title of �the Spirit of Truth� (in Arabic al-Sadiq) more than Prophet Muhammed. A good scholar of Greek will do better than that; he will translate Patera into �Nourisher� or �Sustainer,� and Paraclete into �Comforter,� al-Amin in Arabic, a title

given to Prophet Muhammed even before he had started his prophetic mission. The translation of what John has in 14:16-17 should instead run as follows:

And I will request the Nourisher (God) to send you another Messenger, so that he may be (your) guide always, the inspired, the Truthful, whom the world at large will not welcome because it will not comprehend or appreciate him, but you (believers) will recognize him. He will dwell with you and (his message) will find a place in your hearts.

A testimony to the truth of the statement saying �... and (his message) will find a place in your hearts� is that most converts to Islam used to follow one sect of Christianity or another. Upon acceptance of Islam, such converts do not abandon Christ; they simply rediscover him and get to know the real Christ whose message has been and is still being distorted. The best Christians in the world are the Muslims. Muslims wholeheartedly honour Jesus Christ and his true and pristine message presented by Prophet Muhammed; read the following verses of the Holy Qur'an and see for yourself how such message is described:

Allah said: O Jesus! I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the Day of Resurrection... (Qur�an, 3:55)

Carefully examine the above verse especially this portion: �... and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to

the Day of Resurrection� and see how the Almighty raises the status of those who follow Jesus above those who disbelieve in him till the Day of Judgment. Those who believe in Jesus Christ and who follow his pristine message are none other than the Muslims, whereas the rest may be divided into two groups: 1) those who have distorted the message of Jesus Christ and lied about it one generation after another and are still doing so, and 2) the Jews who disbelieved in him and in his message and disbelieved in his virgin birth. Although the Jews now are the masters of the world, thanks to the West in general and to the U.S. in particular, but such power they will not keep forever. They will eventually weaken because the promise of the Almighty is true and irreversible; they will be exposed for what they really are: the anti-Christ, the Dajjal, the disseminator of falsehood through their absolute control over the news and information media.

Let us go back to the argument about the Paraclete. This is not the first time such an argument is raised. `Allama al-Majlisi records an incident narrated by al-asan ibn Muammed al-Nawfali involving Imam Ali ibn Mousa al-Rida debating with a Catholic about the authenticity of the existing four Gospels comprising the Bible. It went on as follows:

The Imam asked the Catholic, �O Christian! Are you familiar with a statement in the Bible wherein Jesus says, `I am going to my Lord and your Lord, and the Paraclete is

coming who shall testify to my truth just as I testified for him, and he shall explain everything to you, and he shall be the one to expose all the sins of nations, and he shall be the one to smash the pillar of apostasy'?�[30] The Catholic said, �We admit all what you have just quoted of the Bible.� The Imam asked him, �Do you testify that such a statement is actually fixed in the Bible?� �Yes,� said the Catholic. Imam al-Rida said, �O Catholic! Could you tell me about the first Bible, how you lost it then found it, and who put your existing Bible together?� The Catholic said, �We did not lose the Bible except for one single day then we found it fresh; John and Matthew brought it back to us.� Imam al-Ria said, �How little your knowledge of the Bible and its scholars is! If such is your claim, then why do you dispute with one another about the Bible? Rather, controversy has always revolved around the Bible which is in your hands today. Had it been the same as the first one was, you would not have thus disputed (with one another) about it, but I shall inform you of such controversy myself.�

The Imam went on to state the following:

�Be informed that when the first Bible was lost, the Christians gathered around their scholars and said to them, `Jesus son of Mary has been killed, and we do not know where the Bible is. You are the scholars; so, what

do you have with you?' Luke and Mark said to them, `We have learned the Bible by heart; so, do not grieve in its regard, and do not forsake the churches, for we shall recite to you one Gospel after another on each Sunday till we put it all together.' Luke, Mark, John and Matthew sat together, and they put this Bible of yours for you after you had lost the first (original) one. These four men were students of the early disciples; are you aware of that?!� The Catholic answered, �This I did not know and now I do. It is also now clear to me how much you know about the Bible, and I have heard from you things with which I was familiar and to which my heart testifies to be the truth. I have, therefore, gained a better understanding.� Imam al-Ria then said to him, �How do you, then, find the testimony of these men?� �Accurate,� said the Catholic, �since they are the scholars of the Bible, and everything to which they testified is the truth.�

part 2

Imam al-Ria then turned to al-Mamoon and his company and said, �Bear witness to what he has just said.� They said, �We testify.� Then the Imam turned to the Catholic and said, �I challenge you to swear by the son and his mother whether you know if Matthew had said, `The Messiah is David son of Abraham son of Isaac son of Jacob son of Yehuda son of Khadrun', and that Mark said about the

lineage of Jesus son of Mary that he was `The word of God which He placed in the human body, so it became human', and that Luke said, `Jesus son of Mary and his mother were humans of flesh and blood, so the Holy Spirit entered into them'. Then you testify that Jesus had himself said the following about his creation, `I tell you the truth: None ascends the heavens except that he descends therefrom except the man who rides the camel, the seal of the prophets, for he shall ascend to the heavens then shall he descend;' so, what do you say about that?� The Catholic said, �This is the speech of Jesus, and we do not deny it.� Imam al-Rida said, �If so, what do you say about the testimony of Luke, Mark, and Matthew with regard to Jesus and what they had attributed to him?� The Catholic said, �They lied about Jesus...� Imam al-Rida turned to the audience and said, �O people! Has he not (a moment ago) testified to their truthfulness and said that they were the scholars of the Bible and what they said is the truth?!� The Catholic said to the Imam, �O scholar of the Muslims! I would like you to excuse me from having to discuss these men.� After a while, the Imam turned to that Catholic high-ranking cleric, an archbishop, and said, �In the Bible, it is written: `The son of the virtuous woman is departing, and the Paraclete is coming after him, and he shall

lighten the burdens and explain everything to you, and he shall testify for me as I have testified to you. I have brought you the parables, and he shall bring you the interpretation.' Do you believe that such a text exists in the Bible?� The Catholic answered in the affirmative.[31]

The Holy Qur'an, moreover, tells us in Surat al-Saff (Ch. 61) that �Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! I am the prophet of Allah to you testifying to that which is before me of the Torah and giving the glad tidings of a Prophet who will come after me; his name is Amed; but when he came to them with clear arguments, they said: This is clear magic� (Qur'an, 61:6). Compare this Qur'anic verse with the following text in the Gospel of St. Barnabas:

Thereupon said the disciples, �O master, it is thus written in the book of Moses, that in Isaac was the promise made.�

Jesus answered with a groan, �It is so written, but Moses wrote it not, nor Joshua, but rather our rabbins, who fear not God. Verily, I say to you that if you consider the words of the angel Gabriel, you shall discover the malice of our scribes and doctors. For the angel said: `Abraham, all the world shall know how God loves you, but how shall the world know the love that you bear to God? Assuredly it is necessary that you do something for the love of God.' Abraham answered, `Behold the servant of God, ready to do

all that which God shall will.'

�Then spoke God, saying to Abraham, `Take your son, your firstborn Ishmael, and come up the mountain to sacrifice him.' How is Isaac firstborn, if when Isaac was born Ishmael was seven years old?�

Then answered Jesus, �Verily I say to you that Satan ever seeks to annul the laws of God. Therefore he with his followers, hypocrites and evildoers, the former with false doctrine, the latter with lewd living, today have contaminated almost all things, so that scarcely is the truth found. Woe to the hypocrites, for the praises of this world shall turn for them into insults and torments in hell.

�I therefore say to you that the messenger of God is a splendor that shall give gladness to nearly all that God has made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love (of God), the spirit of prudence and temperance. He is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he has received from God three times more than He has given to all his creatures. O blessed time, when he shall come to the world. Believe me that I have seen him and have done him reverence, even as every prophet has seen him. Seeing that of his spirit God gives to them prophecy. And when I saw him my soul was filled with consolation, saying, O Muammed, God

be with you, and may he make me worthy to untie your shoe latchet, for obtaining this I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God.� (The Gospel of Barnabas 44)

�... unworthy to untie your latchet� above brings to memory what St. Mark said in 1:7: �And this was his message: `After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.� The speaker is undoubtedly Jesus and the one whose coming he is predicting is none other than Prophet Muammed. But people look at things and make them appear as they would like them to. Such is the truth which all other disciples, with the exception of Barnabas, had deliberately hidden.

The reader is encouraged to obtain a copy of the Gospel of Saint Barnabas[32] and compare it with other existing Bibles, be they those accepted by the Catholics or those endorsed by the Protestants and judge for himself as to how much distortion the message of Christ has suffered and is still suffering...

Al-Dahhak has said that the disciples (in Arabic �aw?riyy�n) were called so due to their pure hearts. Apparently he gave them more credit than they deserve, seeing how much distortion they inflicted on the message of Jesus even as early as the very first century. As a matter of fact, one very famous Christian writer, George Bernard Shaw, described these disciples very well when he said the following on p. 72 of The Adventures of a Black Girl

in Her Search for God: �Jesus could be reproached for having chosen his disciples very unwisely if we could believe that he had any real choice. There are moments when one is tempted to say that there was not one Christian among them and that Judas was the only one who showed any gleams of common sense.� Imagine! Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak has said that they were called so because their faces were shining with the mark of adoration, its glow and whiteness. The Arabic root word, hur, means: intense whiteness. Al-asan has said that it means �supporters� or �helpers,� while Qatadah thinks that it means �the ones most fit to be successors of their master.�

Did those disciples or apostles deserve all these compliments? Let us examine how they dealt with their master:

The night preceding the �imprisonment� of Jesus Christ was truly a testing night for the faith of those disciples. On that night, those disciples joined him in his concealment. Jesus knew perfectly well what they were; so, he recommended them to devote themselves to prayer so that they might not fail the test. On that occasion, they made a great profession of faith and integrity. One said, �I will shed my blood where a drop of your perspiration falls.� Another said, �I will die before anyone hurts a hair of your body.� Despite all these protests and professions, they could not keep even the night's vigil along with Jesus. Jesus said to them, �Stay here with me keeping the night's vigil along with me...�

Then he came to the disciples and saw them fallen asleep. He then said to Peter, �Can you not keep even a moment's vigil with me? Keep vigil and keep yourself engaged in prayers lest you should fail the test...� Then, coming out again, he saw them sleeping the second time, and their eyes were heavy with sleep..., and he saw them the third time sleeping. If you have a copy of The New Testament in Today's English Version (third edition, New York), turn to p. 73 and see for yourself.

Ibn `Abbas has said that they were fishermen. Some of them were. Jesus passed by them once and asked them what they were doing. �Fishing,� said they. He asked them, �Would you like to come with me so we may fish for people?� They asked him, �How can that be?!� He said, �We invite them to the way of Allah.� They asked him who he was, and he answered them that he was Jesus son of Mary, a servant and messenger of Allah. �Is there any other prophet whose status is higher than yours?� they asked him. �Yes,� he answered, �the Arabian Prophet,� so they followed him, believed in him, and joined his march. This is what we, Muslims, would like to think of these disciples, but how do Christians look at us? Contrary to what we, Muslims, are taught by our Islamic code of ethics, Christians do not recognize our religion or any other religion besides theirs. To them, anyone who does not recognize

Jesus as the �son of God,� His �only begotten son,� and who is not baptized, can have no place in heaven. Adherents of all religions in the world, and those who have no religion, have the right to wishful thinking. Compare this with the tolerance Islam demonstrates in the following verse of Surat al-Baqara and judge for yourself:

Surely those who believe (Muslims), and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabeans[33] (Sabians), whoever believes in God and in the Last Day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. (2:62)

Such is the tolerance of Islam, and such is the perfect code of Islamic ethics.

The Holy Spirit

Among the signs of the prophethood of Jesus is that he was assisted by the Holy Spirit. The Almighty has said, �We gave Jesus son of Mary clear arguments and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit� (Qur'an, 2:87); �Allah will say: O Jesus son of Mary! Remember My favor on you and on your mother when I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit� (Qur'an, 5:110).

Scholars have differed regarding the Holy Spirit (al ruh al qudus). Al-Rabee` ibn Anas has said that it is the spirit that blew the breath of life into him, and that Allah attached it to His own Name as an act of honoring. The qudus is Allah Almighty according to the verse, �... and a spirit from Him� (Qur'an, 4:171), and also, �... so We breathed into her of Our ruh

� (Qur'an, 21:91). Other scholars have said that what is meant by the qudus is purity, hence al ruh al qudus means �the pure spirit.� Jesus is also called r for the simple reason that he was not carried in men's loins, nor was he carried by the wombs of married women; rather, he was an order decreed by the Almighty. Al-Suddi says that al ruh al qudus, the Holy Spirit, is Gabriel, and that this phrase means: �supporting Jesus through Gabriel,� peace be upon both of them, since he was his companion, friend, and guard, walking with him wherever he walked till he ascended to heavens. Sa`eed ibn Jubayr and `Ubayd ibn `Umayr say that it is Allah's Greatest Name, and through it did he (Jesus) bring the dead back to life and perform those miracles to people.

Miracles of Jesus

part 1

Al-Suddi has said that when Jesus was at his class, he used to tell his fellows what their parents were doing. He would tell one of them, �Go home and see that your family has eaten such-and-such food,� or �they have left such-and-such for you,� so he would go home and ask his parents to let him have it. The family would in turn ask him how he came to know about it, and he would say that Jesus had told him. For this reason, the parents prohibited their children from having anything to do with Jesus, telling them that he was a sorcerer. They once gathered them all together at a house, and Jesus came

and wanted to see them. When he asked who were confined inside the house, it was maliciously said to him, �Pigs.� He said, �So shall they be,� whereupon the door of the house was opened and indeed pigs came out of the house, and the news of the incident became widespread.

The Children of Israel felt fed up with Jesus. They wanted to get rid of him. When his mother sensed the danger, she conveyed him on a donkey and went out to Egypt[34].

When Jesus and his mother, peace be upon both of them, came out wandering about in the land, they left the Children of Israel behind and came to a villager who hosted them and was very kind to them. The king during that time was a stubborn oppressor, so their host one day came back home looking very depressed. He entered his house while Mary was in his wife's company. Mary asked his wife why her husband looked so depressed, whereupon she said to her, �Our king compels every man to take care of feeding him and his soldiers and serve them wine; anyone who refused would be penalized. Today is our turn to host him, and we are not able to handle such a burden.� Mary asked her to tell her husband not to worry, since he was kind to her and to her son, and that she would ask her son to invoke Allah on his behalf, and that his invocation would alone be sufficient. Then Mary told Jesus of it,

whereupon he said that if he were to do so, there would be some mischief [due to wine drinking]. �It does not matter,� Mary said, �for he has surely been very kind to us.� Then Jesus told his host to have his pots and containers filled with water, then to inform him once they were all full. The man did so, whereupon Jesus invoked his Lord and the water in the pots turned into meat and gravy, while the water in the containers turned into wine[35]. People had never tasted anything like it before. When the king came, he and his men ate, and when he drank of that wine, he asked his host where he had obtained it from. When the man told the king where he had obtained it from, the king said to him, �The wine I am served at my palace is brought to me from that land, and it surely does not taste like this one.� The host had to change his story, but the king pressured him to tell him the truth. Finally, the man gave up and said, �The truth is that there is, at my house, a child who is granted by Allah the answer to any of his pleas, and he is the one who invoked Him to turn the water into wine.�

It so happened that that king had a son whom he very much wished to succeed him as monarch, but that son had died only a few days ago. He loved him more than

anyone else. The king said, �A man who invokes Allah to turn water into wine and Allah answers his plea is surely capable of bringing my son back to life.� Jesus was brought to him, and he discussed the matter with him. Jesus said to him, �Do not do that, for if he is brought back to life, a great deal of evil shall take place.� The king said, �I am not concerned about that after seeing him again.� Jesus asked him, �If I bring him back to life, are you all going to leave me and my mother to go wherever we want?� The king said, �Yes.� Jesus, therefore, invoked Allah Who did, indeed, bring that son back to life. When the king's subjects saw him, they rushed to grab their weapons and said, �This king has plundered our wealth and now wants to appoint his son as his successor over us so that he, too, will do what his father has been doing...� They fought among themselves. Jesus and his mother left them and continued their journey.

Another of his miracles is that he created out of clay birds, as Allah Almighty tells us in the Holy Qur'an, 3:49: �... I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of mud like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah's permission,� and in 5:110: �... and when you determined out of mud a thing like the form

of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission.�

Among his other miracles was his curing the leprous and those born blind, as Allah Almighty has said, �... and you healed the [born] blind and the leprous by My permission� (Qur'an, 5:110). The reason why these two ailments were particularly mentioned is due to the fact that nobody among the physicians of the time could find any cure for them. Jesus lived during a time when medicine was considered the most prominent branch of knowledge, so he was able to demonstrate to them miracles in it which nobody else could.

Still another of his miracles was his bringing the dead back to life by the Permission of Allah Who says, �... and when you brought forth the dead [back to life] by My permission� (Qur'an, 5:110). Among the dead whom he brought back to life was Lazarus (as he is called in Latin, a word which means �one helped by God,� or Eleazar in Hebrew), a friend of his. He, his sisters Martha and Mary were friends of Jesus. His sister Mary sent Jesus a message saying that her brother had died three days ago. Some people suggested to her to escort them to his grave. She did, and it was inside a closed vault. Jesus supplicated to his Lord saying, �Lord! Creator of the seven heavens and the seven earths! You have sent me to the Children of Israel to invite them to Your creed, and

I have told them that I can bring the dead back to life with Your permission; therefore, do bring Eleazar back to life, O Lord!� Lazarus came back to life and got out of his grave on his own. He lived and even fathered a number of children. References to this incident exist in three of modern day's versions of the Gospels[36]: Matthew, John, and Luke.

The son of an old woman was another. This story says that while touring the land in the company of his disciples, Jesus passed by a city and said, �This city has a treasure; who among you would like to go and take it out?� They said, �O Ruhullah (spirit of Allah)! No stranger enters this town without being murdered by its people.� Jesus said, �Stay here, all of you, till I come back.� He went and entered it. He came to the door of a house and said, �Assalamo `Alaikum, O residents of the house! This is a stranger asking you to feed him!� An old woman said to him, �Are you not satisfied with the fact that I do not go to the governor and tell him about you, yet you have the courage to ask for food?!� While Jesus was thus standing at the door, her young son joined them. Jesus said to him, �Please do host me tonight!� The young man repeated what his old mother had said. Jesus then said to him, �But if you do host me, I will enable you to marry the

king's daughter.� The young man said, �You must be either a mad man or Jesus son of Mary!� Jesus said, �I am Jesus,� whereupon he agreed to host him. He offered to let him stay there for the night. The next morning, he said to his host, �Go to the king's palace and tell him that you had come to ask for his daughter's hand. He will order to have you beaten and kicked out.� The youth stood before the king and told him that he wished to ask him for his daughter's hand. The king ordered him to be beaten; he was beaten and kicked out.

part 2

The youth came back and told Jesus what had happened, whereupon Jesus said to him, �Tomorrow, go back and ask for his daughter's hand; what will happen to you will be different from what has happened to you today.� The youth did as he was told, and he was given a beating worse than the one he had received the day before. He told Jesus about what had happened to him, and Jesus said to him, �Go one more time back to him, for he will tell you that he will marry her to you on his own terms, and that his terms will be a gold and silver mansion with everything in it made of gold, silver and chrysolite. Tell him that you will do that. If he sends someone with you, you will find your quest, and do not say anything about it to him.� The

youth entered the king's palace for the third time and again approached the king regarding his marriage to his daughter. The king asked him, �Do you accept to pay her dowry if I decide it?� He asked him what the dowry was, and the king told him what Jesus had already told him to expect. He said, �Yes, I do; so send someone to see it.� The king sent a number of men with him, and he did, indeed, show them what he had promised to, and people were quite impressed. The king married him to his daughter, and the youth found it hard to believe that he finally married into the royal family. He said to Jesus , �O Ruhullah! How can you do all of this while you yourself look in such a (shabby) condition?!� Jesus said, �I have preferred what will last to what will perish.� The youth said to him, �I, too, am willing to abandon what perishes, and I desire to accompany you.� He actually renounced this vanishing world and became a follower of Jesus who took him by the hand and introduced him to his disciples. �This,� said Jesus, �is the treasure I had told you about!� The son of that old woman remained in the company of Jesus till he died. Jesus passed by and saw his corpse lying in state on a bed, so he invoked Allah and the dead man came back to life and sat on the edge of the bed. He was carried by

other men from the bed and given clothes to wear. He put the carrier on his shoulders then went back home. He remained with his family and fathered a number of children.

Another miracle of Jesus: He brought Sam son of Noah back to life. Jesus was once describing the ark of Noah to his disciples when the latter asked him, �Is it possible that you bring to life one of those who were aboard it so that he may describe it for us?� Jesus stood up and went to a hill, took a handful of its soil and said, �This is the grave of Sam son of Noah. If you wish, I can bring him back to life for you.� They welcomed the idea, so he invoked Allah by His Greatest Name, struck the hill with his staff then said, �Come back to life by the Will of Allah,� whereupon Sam came out of his grave with half of his hair looking gray. Immediately Sam asked, �Has the Day of Judgment come?� Jesus said, �No, but I have called upon you in Allah's Greatest Name.� During the time of Noah, old age never changed the color of people's hair; only during the time of Abraham did all of that start to change. Sam lived five hundred years maintaining his youthful look. He told them about the story of the ark. After that Jesus ordered him to die, and Sam responded with, �On one condition! That Allah spares me the agony of death!� Jesus invoked Allah

and included Sam's wish in his invocation, and Allah responded favorably to his plea.

Another of the miracles of Jesus was his walking on water. Jesus once went out on one of his trips accompanied by a short and faithful follower of his. When Jesus reached the sea[37], he said, �Bismillah, in health, and in conviction,� then he started walking on the water. The man was quite amazed and said to himself, �This is Jesus, the spirit of Allah, walking on the water's surface!� Having inaudibly said so, he fell into the water. Fearing drowning, he sought help from Jesus who took hold of him and pulled him out. Jesus said to him, �O Shortie![38] What did you say to yourself?!� He told him about it, whereupon Jesus said, �You placed yourself in a position in which Allah did not place you; therefore, Allah despised you for having said what you said; so, do regret and repent.� The man regretted and repented, so he went back to the status with which Allah had blessed him. Thus did Jesus provide us with a lesson in piety and admonish us not to envy one another.

Another tale says that Jesus passed once by a man who used to sit quite often by a grave. He saw him doing so quite often; therefore, he decided to find out why. Jesus came to him and said, �O servant of Allah! I see that you spend a lot of time sitting by this grave.� The man said, �O Ruhullah! This grave contains

my wife's corpse, a woman of beauty and affinity, and I have a trust with her.� He asked him, �Do you like that I pray Allah and He brings her back to life for you?� The man warmly welcomed the suggestion. Jesus made his ablution and offered two prostrations, then he invoked Allah Almighty to bring the person inside that grave back to life. A coal-black man came out of the grave looking like a burnt stump of a tree. He asked him who he was, so he answered him by saying, �O Ruhullah! I am a man being tormented for the past forty years, and at this hour, it was said to me to respond to your call, so I did,� adding, �O messenger of Allah! I have seen so much torment that if Allah ever returned me to this world, I would grant Him my covenant that I shall never disobey Him in anything; so, please do pray Allah on my behalf.� Jesus felt sorry for him, and he invoked Allah Almighty on his behalf, then he told him to go away, and he did. The man who used to frequently sit by the grave then said, �O messenger of Allah! I have made a mistake about identifying this grave! Her grave is over there!� Jesus invoked Allah again, and a very beautiful young woman came out of the grave. Jesus asked him, �Do you know her?� �Do I know her?!� the man retorted adding, �Of course I do! She is my wife.�

Jesus invoked Allah to reunite her with her husband, and the latter took her by the hand till they came to a tree under which he slept, putting his head on her lap. The son of the king happened to pass by, and he looked at her and she looked at him, and they instantly admired each other. He beckoned to her, so she moved her husband's head away from her lap and followed the prince. Later, her husband woke up. He looked for her and could not find her, so he went out looking for her till he was able to get hold of her. He held her and said that she was his wife, while the prince kept saying that she was his bondmaid. As they argued thus, Jesus happened to pass by. The husband said to the prince that that man was Jesus. Having heard the husband tell his story, Jesus asked the woman, �What do you have to say?� She said, �I am the bondmaid of this man, and I do not know the other.� Jesus said to her, �Give us back what we have given you.� She said, �I have done so,� falling dead. Jesus retorted, �Have you seen anything more strange than this?! A man whom Allah caused to die as a disbeliever is brought back to life to believe, and a woman whom Allah caused to die as a believer, then He brought life back to her, chose to disbelieve!�

The Table of Viands

Allah Almighty has said,

The disciples said: O Jesus

son of Mary! Will your Lord consent to send down to us food from heavens? He said: Be careful of (your duty to) Allah if you are believers. (5:112)

What was that table all about? How was it sent down and what did it contain? These questions are answered differently by different people, each according to the extent of his knowledge or depth of his imagination! Qatadah has quoted Jabir quoting `Ammar ibn Yasir citing the Messenger of Allah saying, �The table was sent down with bread and meat on it because they had asked Jesus for food to eat, and that it would not be exhausted. He said to them, `I shall do so, and it shall always come to you as long as you do not become malicious or betray (me), for in the latter case, you will be tormented.' It was only one day after its descent upon them that they became malicious, and they betrayed (Jesus).�

Ata ibn Abu Rabah[39] is quoted as citing Salman al-Farisi (the Persian) saying that Jesus never committed any wrong deed, nor did he rebuke an orphan, nor did he burst laughing, nor did he drive flies away from his face[40]... When the disciples asked him to bring them tables of viands, he said, �Lord! Do send down to us food from heavens to be for us an ever-recurring happiness, to the first of us and to the last, and a sign from You, and grant us means of subsistence, and You are the best of Providers� (Qur'an,

5:114). A red table between two clouds, one above it and one underneath it, came descending upon them as they looked at it till it settled on the ground before them. Jesus wept and said, �Lord! I implore You to count me among those who are grateful to You! Lord! Make it a sign of mercy from You rather than one of penalty!� When they saw it, they found it something which they had never seen before, and similar to its fragrance they had never inhaled. Jesus said to them, �Whoever is most righteous in deeds among you should uncover it and mention the Name of Allah over it then eat of it.� Shemon (Simon) al-Safa said, �You are more fit to do so than any of us.� Jesus stood up, made his ablution, offered lengthy prayers and kept weeping for quite some time. Then he removed the sheet that had covered it saying, Bismillah (in the Name of Allah), the best of sustainers.� It was a roasted fish the scales and the bones of which had already been removed. So fat it was that it seemed as if it was floating over oil. At its head there was salt, and at its tail there was vinegar, and it was surrounded by many types of vegetables with the exception of leek. There were five loaves of bread on it. On the first of them there were olives. On the second there was honey. On the third there was oil, and on the fourth there was

jerked meat. On the fifth there was cheese.

Simon said, �O Rullah! Is this earthly, or is it from the food of the afterlife?� Jesus said, �What you see is neither the food of the life of this world nor of that of the Hereafter. Rater, it is something which Allah has innovated through His overwhelming Might; so, eat of what you have asked for, and He will provide you with an increase of His favors.� They said, �O Ruhullah! Could you please show us a miracle derived from this one?� Jesus said, �O fish! Come back to life by the permission of Allah!� The fish shook and its scales and bones came back to it, whereupon the disciples were frightened of it. Jesus asked them, �What is the matter with you that you ask for things which, when granted, you dislike?� Then he added, �How worried I am about you that you should ever be chastised! O fish! Go back to your former state by the permission of Allah!� The fish resumed its former state, a roasted fish, just as they had seen it before. They said, �O Ruullah! Be the first to eat of it, then we will eat after you.� Jesus said, �God forbid that I should eat of it; rather, those who asked for it shall eat of it.� But they were apprehensive of eating of it; so, Jesus invited the indigent, the sick, the leprous, and those afflicted with other ailments to come and eat of it. He said to them,

�Eat of the sustenance of your Lord! Yours shall be the joy, and affliction shall be others' lot!� So they ate of it. As many as one thousand and three hundred men and women from among the poor, the sick, the handicapped, and those afflicted with ailments ate of it to their fill. Then Jesus looked at the fish, and it appeared just as it had come the first time from the heavens.

The table after that ascended as they looked on and disappeared. All those who were sick and ate of it were healed, and so were all those with permanent handicaps, and Allah enriched of His favor the poor who partook of it till their death. The disciples regretted having missed the opportunity to eat of it, and so did those who could not. Whenever it descended, the young and the old, the men and the women, would crowd around it. It kept coming to them for forty days in the late morning and before noon. It would remain with them till they all had enough, then it would fly away before their very eyes. It used to come one day and skip another, just as the she-camel of the people of Thamd. Allah Almighty inspired Jesus to �Make My table and sustenance for the benefit of the poor rather than the rich,� so the rich were very displeased about that, so much so that they complained about it and they started casting doubt about the table, saying, �Do you believe that a table

can really come down from the heavens?!� Jesus said to them, �Prepare yourselves, then, to receive the penalty of Allah.�

Allah Almighty inspired Jesus: �I have made two provisions regarding those who belie it. Those who disbelieve after I have sent it down will be tormented a torment with which I will not torment anyone else from among the people of the world.� Jesus, thereupon, said, as the Holy Qur'an tells us, �If You chastise them, surely they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, surely You are the Mighty, the Wise� (Qur'an, 5:118). He, therefore, turned three hundred men from among them, who had spent their night in bed with their wives, into pigs running in the alleys and frequenting the places where garbage is collected, eating filth. When people saw that, they were alarmed, and they came to Jesus son of Mary horrified. They wept over those of their families who were turned into pigs. When the pigs saw Jesus, they wept and kept turning around him. Jesus called them by their names, and they came, one by one, crying and nodding with their heads as he called out their names, unable to speak. They lived for three days, then they perished.

The Almighty Admonishes Jesus

part 1

Abu Busayr quotes Abu Abdullah, Imam Ja`fer al-Sadiq, saying that the Almighty, Glory and Exaltation are His, admonished Jesus son of Mary thus:

O Jesus! You are the Messiah by My command; you bring the dead back to life by My Word, so let your desire be My Pleasure, and be fearful

of Me, for you shall find no refuge from Me except with Me. O Jesus! I admonish you as one Who is Compassionate to you: Seek My mercy though I granted you authority, and seek whatever pleases Me, for blessed you are as a grown-up, and blessed you are as a child, wherever you may be. I testify that you are My servant and the son of My bondmaid. O Jesus! Let My status with you be your ultimate concern, and remember Me so that such remembrance will be treasured when you return to Me. Seek nearness to Me through optional (nafl) acts of worship; rely upon Me so that I may make you independent of others; do not rely on others else My Wrath should overtake you.

O Jesus! Be patient when tried, and be contented with your lot. Be as I would like you to be, and I would like to be pleased with you, for My pleasure is that I am obeyed and never disobeyed. O Jesus! Let your tongue ever mention My Name, and let your heart ever be filled with love for Me. O Jesus! Be aware in the times of heedlessness, and judge with beautiful wisdom seeking My Pleasure. O Jesus! Desire My Pleasure, fear My wrath, and kill your heart with fear of Me. O Jesus! Observe the night as means to seeking My Pleasure, and deprive yourself of water during your day seeking to treasure it for the Day when you will very much be in need of

Me. O Jesus! Compete with others in the paths of goodness as much as you can so that you will be identified with goodness wherever you go. O Jesus! Judge among My servants as I have advised you, and effect My justice among them, for I have revealed to you that which heals the hearts from Satan's ailments. O Jesus! Do not sit with one who is tried with tribulations. O Jesus! What I say is the truth: No creature truly believes in Me except that he humbles himself to Me, and no creature feels awe of Me except that he is hopeful of My rewards. I, therefore, testify to you that such a person is secure against My punishment so long as you do not alter My way. O Jesus son of the righteous Virgin! Weep over your soul like one who bids his family farewell, who has no desire for this life, who leaves life for those who seek it, desiring only what is with Allah.

O Jesus! Be, moreover, kind in speech, disseminating the greeting, awake when the eyes of the doers of good are asleep, being apprehensive of the Hereafter, of the tremendous quakes, of the horrors of the Day of Judgment when no family nor offspring nor wealth will be of any avail. O Jesus! Decorate your eyes with grief when the idle ones laugh. O Jesus! Be submissive and persevering, for congratulations to you when you obtain what those who persevere shall receive. O Jesus! Live your life day by

day, and taste what lost its taste, for the truth is what I say: You have only your hour and your moment, so derive lessons from the passage of time, and let what is coarse (of clothes) and what is most simple (of food) suffice you, for you have seen what your final destiny shall be, and that whatever you take and whatever you consume is already preordained. O Jesus! You shall be questioned, so have mercy on the weak just as I have been Merciful unto you, and do not cause any grief to the orphan.

O Jesus! Mourn your own soul when you perform your prayers, and let your feet take you to the places where prayers are held, and let Me hear the sweetness of your mentioning My Name, for I have treated you beautifully. O Jesus! How many nation have I caused to perish on account of a sin from which I protected you? O Jesus! Be kind to the weak, and raise your exhausted eyes to the sky and supplicate to Me, for I am near to you, and do not supplicate to Me except when you are pleading to Me, having one and only concern, for whenever you thus call upon Me, so shall I answer your call. O Jesus! I never wanted the life in this world to be the reward of those who preceded you nor a penalty to those against whom I sought revenge. O Jesus! You shall perish, whereas I shall always remain; from Me comes

your sustenance, and with Me is the time of your death, and to Me is your return, and upon Me is your judgment; so, plead to Me and to none else so that your plea may be good, and so that I will be the One to answer it.

O Jesus! How numerous are people, yet how few are those who persevere! Trees are many, yet those that bear tasty fruit from among them are few; so do not let the beauty of a tree allure you till you taste of its fruit. O Jesus! Do not be allured by one who is rebellious against My wish; he eats My sustenance while worshipping someone else other than Me, then he calls upon Me at the moment of affliction, and I still respond to his call, then he goes back to what he used to do! Is it against Me that he rebels, or is he challenging My wrath? By My own Self do I swear that I shall take him in a way from which he shall have no recourse, nor shall he have any refuge. Where shall he flee? From My sky, or from My earth?! O Jesus! Tell the unjust ones from among the Children of Israel: Do not supplicate to Me as long as you harbour usury and the idols are at your homes, for I have sworn never to answer the prayer of anyone who thus prays to Me, and that I shall make My answer to their prayers a curse upon

them till they disperse. O Jesus! How beautiful is My patience and how beautiful is what I seek, yet people are heedless, returning not to Me! Words come out of their mouths without their hearts comprehending them till they become the object of My contempt, and till they try to please the believers seeking My pleasure.

part 2

O Jesus! Be merciful seeking mercy for others, and treat the servants as you wish them to treat you, and quite often remember death and separation from the family. Do not be distracted, for distraction corrupts, and do not be heedless, for the heedless are distant from Me, and remember Me with good deeds so that I may likewise remember you.

O Jesus! Seek My forgiveness after you commit any sin, and remind those who often return to Me of Me. Believe in Me, and seek nearness to Me by being near to those who believe in Me. Enjoin them to join you in supplicating to Me, and beware of the supplication of the oppressed one, for I took upon Myself to open for it a gate in the heavens, and that I shall answer his call even if it may be after a while. O Jesus! Be informed that the wrongdoer entices others, and that befriending the evildoer hurls one into the pit; so, know who your friend is before you befriend him, and choose for your own company brethren from among the believers. O Jesus! Repent to Me, for there is no sin too great for My forgiveness,

and I am the most Merciful of those who have mercy. O Jesus! Perform acts of righteousness for your soul as long as you live and before time comes when none else can do so on your behalf, and worship Me for the sake of a Day as lengthy as a thousand years of your own reckoning, for I reward a good deed with ten-fold, and the sin stains the sinner. Compete with others in the doing of good deeds, for how many meeting adjourned with a safeguard from the fire!

O Jesus! Keep away from that which shall perish and cease to be, and visit the ruins of those who were before you: call upon them and ask them to respond to you; can you feel the presence of any of them at all? So seek wisdom from them, and be informed that you shall soon join their company together with those who soon will.

O Jesus! Tell whoever rebels and revolts and deceives to await My punishment and to expect My annihilation; he shall be burnt among those who shall perish. Congratulations to you, O son of Mary, and many congratulations if you emulate the manners of your Lord Who, out of His Mercy, is Compassionate unto you, Who starts the giving out of His generosity, Who is always there for you during your each and every calamity. Do not disobey Him, O Jesus, for it is not lawful for you to disobey Him. I have taken a covenant from you just as I had

taken it from those before you, and I am for that a Witness.

O Jesus! I have never granted My creation anything better than My religion, nor have I blessed them with anything better than My Mercy! O Jesus! Wash with water that which appears of your parts, and heal with good deeds those that do not, for to Me you shall surely return. O Jesus! I have granted you of My blessings an abundance without dreariness, and I have sought of you a loan for the goodness of your own soul, but you were too miser to do so, hence you may be one of those who perish. O Jesus! Decorate yourself with the decoration of faith, with love for the needy, and walk on earth gently, and perform your prayers on all the tracts of the earth, for they are all clean.

O Jesus! Be prepared, for whatever comes is near, and recite My Book when you are pure, and let Me hear you reciting it in a somber voice. O Jesus! There is no good in a pleasure which does not last, nor in life that will depart. O son of Mary! Had your eyes only seen what I have prepared for My good friends, your heart would have dissolved and your soul would have come out of your body in anxiety for it, for there is no home like the Hereafter where the righteous are neighbours of one another; angels near to Me visit them, and they are secure from the horrors of

the Day of Judgment, a home wherein happiness never changes, nor does it ever depart from its people. O son of Mary! Compete for its sake with those who compete, for it is the desire of those who have a desire; it pleases those who see it. Congratulation to you, O son of Mary, if you are among those who work for it from among those who do so in the company of your fathers: Adam and Abraham, in the Gardens and felicity with which you do not wish to trade anything else at all and from which you never desire to be diverted; thus do I deal with the pious. O Jesus! Flee to Me with those who flee from a fire with flames, a fire with chains and torment; no rest shall there ever enter it, nor any of its torments shall be diminished; it is as though it were pieces of pitched darkness. Whoever is saved from it is a winner, and none will be spared from it if he is written down among those who shall perish; it is the abode of the tyrants and oppressors and everyone who is rude and haughty, conceited and arrogant. O Jesus! Evil is the abode of those who feel comfortable with it, and evil, indeed, is the abode of the wrongdoers. I warn you against your own soul; so, take admonishment from Me.

O Jesus! Wherever you may be, you should be on your guard concerning Me, and testify that I created you, and you

are My servant; I shaped you and to the earth sent you. O Jesus! No mouth can have two tongues, nor one chest can have two hearts, and such are the minds, too. O Jesus! Do not wake up in disobedience, and do not come to your senses finding yourself heedless, and wean yourself from desires that cause you to sin. Any desire that distances you from Me you should abandon, and be informed that you are to Me as a trusted messenger; so, be forewarned of Me, and be informed that your life shall in the end bring you back to Me, and that I shall take you with My knowledge. Be humble whenever My Name is mentioned, submissive of heart whenever you yourself mention Me, awake when the heedless sleep. O Jesus! This is My advice to you and My admonishment; so, take it from Me, for I am the Lord of the Worlds.[xli]

If you discern these exhortations, and if you compare them with what the Almighty admonished His prophet and messenger Moses or His Prophet and Messenger Muhammed, or any of His prophets and messengers, you will find a great deal of similarity between them. The Almighty is One and the same, and so is His Wisdom and Creed. His speech, too, is one and the same, praise be to Him. Very few, however, realize this simple and pristine fact.

Invocations by Jesus

Muhammed, the Messenger of Allah, is quoted as saying that Jesus son of Mary was the first person to speak as an

infant. He glorified Allah a good deal in a way no ear had ever heard before, leaving no sun, nor moon, nor mountain, nor spring, without including it in his glorification. He said,

You are the One Who is near despite Your Sublimity, High in nearness, Above everything You have created. You are the One Who created seven [heavens] in the space by Your Words in complete level formations; in awe of You did they respond to Your call even when they were mere smoke, so they came in obedience to Your Command. In them are angels glorifying Your Holiness. And You made in them a light despite the blackness of the dark, and a light from the light of the sun during daytime. You made in them the thunder that glorifies Your praise; so, it is through Your Might that it came to shatter the darkness which You created. You made in them [stars as] lanterns whereby one seeks guidance when puzzled and lost. So Blessed be You, Lord, in the way You have raised the heavens, in the way You spread the earth, causing it to float above the water, holding it against the torrent of overwhelming sea waves, bringing all things to submit to You as they appeared. Their stiffness became softened through submission to You; their affairs submitted to Your Command; their waves surrendered to Your Greatness. You caused rivers following seas to gush forth, then You made small rivulets succeeded by brimful springs, then You brought out of the rivers and

trees fruits, then You placed on the surface of the earth the mountains as pegs even above the water, and their stones and rocks submitted to You. So blessed be You, Lord! Who can ever be called as You are called, or who can ever reach Your status? You spread the clouds, free those in bondage, and affect equity, and You are the best of those who judge. There is no god but You; You ordered us to seek Your forgiveness for each and every sin of ours; there is no god but You; You have veiled the heavens from the (vision of the) people; there is no god but You; the wise among Your servants are the ones who fear You; we bear witness that You are not a god whom we invented, nor one whose worship comes to an end, nor is there any partner with You to call upon while forsaking You, nor to help You in creating anyone so that we might suspect Your having created us. We testify that You are the One and Only One, on Whom all depend, the One Who does not beget, nor is He begotten, and none at all is like Him.

Supplication by Jesus Whereby he Brought the Dead Back to Life

As regarding his supplication whereby he used to cure the sick and bring the dead back to life, it was as follows:

Lord! You are the Lord of those in the heavens and those on earth; there is no god in them except You. You are the Omnipotent in the heavens and the Omnipotent

on earth; there is no Omnipotent in them except You. You are the King of those in the heavens and the King of those on earth; there is no king in them except You. You are the Judge of those in the heavens and the Judge of those on earth; there is no judge in them except You. Your Might on earth is the same as it is in the heavens; Your Authority on earth is the same as it is in the heavens; I plead to You by Your Glorious Attributes, for You can do anything at all.

And here is another supplication of his for the kind reader:

Lord! I have dawned unable to avoid what I hate to face; I do not have the benefit of what I wish to have, and the decision is out of my hands. I have become pawned by my deeds, so none is more in need than I am. Lord! I invoke You not to make my foe feel pleased at my own expense, nor a friend of mine to think ill of me, and do not cause me to undergo a catastrophe related to my creed, and do not make the life of this world the greatest of my concerns, and do not place me at the mercy of one who will have no mercy on me, O ever-Living One, O self-Sustaining!

Was Jesus Crucified?

Sa`eed ibn Jubayr is quoted as having cited Ibn `Abbas as saying that when Allah wanted to raise Jesus to heaven, Jesus went out to

meet his followers at a house where all his twelve disciples assembled. He went out to them from a well in the house and his hair was dripping with water. He said, �Among you are those who will disbelieve in me twelve times even after having believed in me.� Then he added, �Which one of you agrees to look like me and be killed in my place and enjoy the status reserved for me with my Lord?� Their youngest stood up, but Jesus told him to sit down. He repeated the question to them, and the same young man stood up again, whereupon Jesus said, �Then you shall be the one.� He immediately was made to look just like Jesus, then Jesus was raised to heaven. The Jews[42] came and took the disciple who looked just like Jesus, killed him, then crucified him; thus, some of them disbelieved in him twelve times after having believed in him, and they were divided into three sects: One of the sects said that God was among them, then He ascended to heaven. These are the Jacobites[43]. The other sect said that �the son of God� stayed with them as long as God willed, then God raised him up to Him, and they are called the Nestorians[44]. The third sect said that �the servant of Allah[45] and His messenger� remained among them for as long as Allah willed, then Allah raised him up to Him, and these are the Muslims. Both previous sects collaborated against the Muslim one, wiping

the latter out. Islam, hence, remained hidden, obscure, forgotten, till Allah sent Prophet Muhammed to revive it.

Allah Almighty has said,

�Such is Jesus son of Mary; (this is) the saying of truth about which they dispute[46]. It does not befit Allah to take to Himself a son; Glory to Him; when He decrees a matter, He only says to it: `Be!' and it is. And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord; therefore; worship Him; this is the right path. But parties from among them disagreed with one another, so woe unto those who disbelieve because of their presence on a great Day� (Qur'an, 19:34-37).

Abu Salih, Shu`ayb ibn Muhammed al-Bayhaqi, through his chain of narrators, has informed us that the Messenger of Allah had said, �Prophets are brothers of one another: their mothers may be different, but their creed is one (and the same). I am the most worthy of Jesus son of Mary, peace be upon them, because there is no prophet separating me from him (chronologically). The son of Mary is about to be sent to you as a just judge, and he shall come to my nation and be my khalifa over them; so, if you see him, you will find him square of face, his complexion is reddish white, his hair is straight as though it drips although it is not wet. He shall come down between two scepters to smash the cross, kill the pig, enforce the jizya (protection tax), receive the funds (religious taxes) and make the pilgrimage or

the `umra or both, and he will fight people in the defense of Islam, so much so that all creeds will be vanquished except Islam, and everyone will prostrate to Allah, the Lord of the World, and Allah will annihilate during his time the lying anti-Christ. Security shall prevail over the earth to the extent that lambs will graze side by side with lions, tigers with cattle, and wolves with sheep. Children will play with snakes, and neither will harm the other. After that, he shall remain on earth for forty years. He shall marry and have children, then he shall die and the Muslims shall perform the funeral prayers for him and bury him in Medina.�

Al-Husain ibn Amed ibn Muammed ibn `Ali, through his chain of narrators, quotes Ibn `Abbas citing the Messenger of Allah saying, �How shall Allah annihilate a nation in whose vanguard is myself, and among whose last generation is Jesus, while al-Mehdi is in its midst?�

After Jesus:The �Son of God� and (The Trinity)

part 1

Jesus Christ never claimed to be the �son of God,� nor did he ever say that he was God. The concept of the Trinity (God the father, God the son, and the Holy Spirit) was foreign to Christianity for about three hundred years. Anyone who conducts a research to find out how this concept crept into the Christian faith will conclude that it is one of several Pagan concepts that somehow found their way to Christianity, the faith not of Christ but of his disciples barring St. Barnabas. A small number of Biblical scholars

testify to this fact. Let us read what one of them says:

There is ample evidence in the Bible that the Israelites had always regarded Yahweh (Jahovah) as the Creator of all. Another original characteristic of the Israelite God was that He stood alone, without any family connections, whether consort, son or daughter.[47]

Such �Israelites� include the apostles of Jesus. Another scholar, Col. J. Garnier, clearly points out to the fact that Pagan gods have incorporated three deities in one god. So is the concept of the Trinity.

It is of importance to notice first that all the various gods and goddesses of the ancients, though known by many names and different characteristics, can yet all be resolved into one of the persons of a Trinity composed of a father, mother and son; and that this fact was well known to the initiated. It should also be observed that the father and the son constantly melt into one; the reason being that there was also a fabled incarnation of the son who, although identified with him, was yet to be his own son by the goddess.[48]

We will not discuss the Trinity here but will instead concentrate on the concept of Jesus as the �son of God,� a concept more emphasized by St. John than any other disciple, that is to say, if we regard these authors of the Gospels as disciples of Jesus Christ. St. John's Gospel has since the dawn of Christianity been the subject of controversy, debate, and discussion, and it still stands out as quite

different from all other Gospels. The credibility of what St. John wrote in his Gospel is doubted by numerous scholars of the Bible in the past and in the present:

I do not think the writer [St. John] distinguished in his own consciousness between what he remembered (or had derived from the reminiscences of others) and what he felt must have been true, and I greatly doubt whether we can distinguish often in that Gospel what is derived from tradition and what is derived from imagination.[49]

In the Pagan theology of the fertility cult, that is, of agricultural propagation, the god is said to be incarnated as his own son to walk upon the earth in human form and be slain and resurrected as the personification of the harvest and plant life. This same Pagan theme occurs in John 1:14 where we read the following: �And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father), full of grace and truth.� This clearly reflects the fact that St. John was fully knowledgeable of Pagan doctrines to the extent that he sometimes borrowed his themes from them. We can go on and on highlighting the sharp differences between the Gospel of St. John and those of the other Saints, but this will be an undertaking that will surely be laborious and exhaustive. Let us, instead, read the following from the only true though �unofficial� Gospel:

Jesus departed from Jerusalem after the Passover, and entered into the

borders of Caesarea Philippi[50]. There the angel Gabriel having told him of the sedition which was beginning among the common people, he asked his disciples, saying, �What do men say of me?� They said, �Some say you are Elijah, others Jeremiah, and others one of the old prophets.�

Jesus asked, �And you, what do you say that I am?� Peter answered, �You are Messiah, Son of God.� Then Jesus was angry and rebuked him, saying, �Begone and depart from me, because you are the Devil and seek to cause me offence!� And he threatened the eleven, saying, �Woe to you if you believe this, for I have won from God a great curse against those who believe this.� And he was ready to cast away Peter, but the eleven besought Jesus for him, who did not cast him away, but again rebuked him, saying, Beware that you never again say such words, because God would reprobate you.�

Peter wept and said, �Sir, I have spoken foolishly. Beseech God that He pardons me.�

Then said Jesus, �If our God willed not to show himself to Moses His servant, nor to Elijah whom he also loved, nor to any prophet, do you think that God should show Himself to this faithless generation? But know you not that God has created all things of nothing with one single word, and all men have had their origin out of a piece of clay? Now, how shall God have a likeness to man? Woe to those who suffer themselves to be deceived of


And having said this, Jesus besought God for Peter, the eleven and Peter weeping, and saying, �So be it. O blessed Lord our God.�

Afterward Jesus departed and went into Galilee in order that this vain opinion which the common folk began to hold concerning him might be extinguished. (The Gospel of Barnabas 70)

This agrees with what we, Muslims, have in our Holy Qur'an where Christ will on the Day of Judgment deny having required people to worship him and his mother besides the One and Only God:

Allah will say (on the Day of Judgment): O Jesus son of Mary! Did you say to men: Take me and my mother for two gods besides God? He will say: Glory to You! It did not befit me to say what I had no right to say; had I said it, You would indeed have known it; You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Your mind; surely You are the great One Who knows the unseen. (5:116)

part 2

In fact, the Holy Qur'an strongly condemns those who attribute godhead to Jesus or call him �the son of God,� labelling them as apostates, disbelievers in Him:

Certainly they disbelieve those who say: Surely God is the Messiah son of Mary, and the Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel! I worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with God, then God has forbidden him from (entering) the garden, and his abode is the fire, and there shall be no

helpers for the unjust. Certainly they disbelieve those who say: Surely God is the third (person) of the three[51]; and there is no god but the One God, and if they do not desist from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve. Will they not then turn to God and His forgiveness? And God is Forgiving, Merciful. The Messiah son of Mary is but a prophet; prophets before him have indeed passed away, and his mother was a truthful woman; they both used to eat food. See how We make the Signs clear to them, then behold how they are turned away (from the right track)! (5:72-75)

Allah Almighty has also said the following Qur'anic verses in this regard:

The Jews say: Uzair[52] is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! (9:30)

O People of the Book! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah son of Mary is only a prophet of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Mary and a spirit from Him; believe, therefore, in Allah and in His prophets, and do not say Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only One God: far be it from His Glory that He should have a son; whatever in the

heavens and in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector. The Messiah does by no means disdain that he should be a servant of Allah, nor do the angels who are near to Him, and whoever disdains His service and is proud, He will gather them all together to Him. As for those who believe and do good deeds, He will pay them fully their rewards and give them more out of His Grace; as for those who disdain and are proud, He will chastise them with a painful chastisement. And they shall not find for themselves besides Allah a guardian or a helper. (4:171-173)

Surely the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam: He created him from dust then said to him: Be! and he was. (3:59)

All praise is due to Allah Who revealed the Book to His servant (Muammed) and did not make in it any crookedness, rightly directing, so that he might give warning of a severe punishment from Him and give glad tidings to the believers who do good deeds that they shall have a goodly reward (Paradise), staying in it forever. And warn those who say: Allah has taken a son. They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers; a grievous word it is that comes out of their mouths; they speak nothing but a lie. (18:1-5)

They say: Allah has taken a son! Glory to Him; He is the self-Sufficient; His is whatever in the heavens and in the earth; you

have no authority for this; do you say against Allah what you do not know? Say: Those who forge a lie against Allah shall not be successful. (It is only) a provision in this world, then to Us shall be their return, then shall We make them taste a severe punishment because they disbelieved. (10:68-70)

And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is surely the best of planners. And Allah said: O Jesus! I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of (the charges of) those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so I shall decide between you concerning that in which you differed. (3:54-55)

In the following verses, the Almighty starts by chastising the Jews then the Christians:

Therefore, for the breaking of their covenant and their disbelief in the Signs of Allah and their killing the prophets wrongfully and their saying: Our hearts are covered. Nay! Allah set a seal upon them because of their disbelief, so they shall not believe except a few. And for their disbelief, and for their having uttered against Mary a grievous calumny. And (for) their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the prophet of Allah, and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so, and most surely those who differ therein are only

in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge in its regard but only follow conjecture, and surely they did not kill him at all. Nay! Allah took him up to Him, and Allah is Mighty, Wise. And there is not one of the People of the Book but most certainly believes in this before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he (Jesus) shall be a witness against them. (4:155-159)

When Qur'anic texts such as these agree with what St. Barnabas had written in his Gospel, the truth will shine, but how many sincere seekers of the truth are there in our world?

Finally, is it Christianity or Paganism?


Is Today's form of Christianity really the creed revealed by the Almighty to Jesus son of Mary, or is it a revival of ancient Paganism? This question may raise some eyebrows, and it may wake up a drowsy reader, but it is a question quite valid and relevant. If one traces pagan doctrines, he will be struck with similarities between what the pagans used to practice (and some still do) and what today's Christians practice at their churches. The traces of paganism in Christianity can be seen in: 1) the concept of Christ as the �son of God,� 2) the Trinity, 3) the Incarnate Saviour, 4) the Second Advent, 4) the Virgin Birth, 5) the Sacraments, and 6) the Communion of Saints. You can also add to this list the organized order of saints, the choir (an offspring of the pagan chorus), the singing and dancing..., etc. All these are very

well known practices of paganism in various parts of the world and by various cultures. Were we to discuss each one of them, we would need not one but many volumes; so, let us be contented with discussing the most important of all of them: the concept of Jesus Christ as the �son of God.�

This concept is directly linked to the pagan �sun god,� or god of the sun, hence Sunday[53], the day when the sun god, in his various names and attributes, is worshipped. If we study these sun gods, we will see the link between their worship and the concept of Jesus Christ as the �son of God.�[54]

When Jesus Christ came to this world, sun worship was a religion that prevailed throughout the world. Well known sun gods whose worship had been popular throughout the Mediterranean countries at one time or another are: Attis of Phrygia (central Asia Minor), Adonis of Syria, Dionysius or Bacchus of Greece, Bel (or Baal) of Babylon, Osiris and Horus of Egypt, and Ithras or Mithra of Persia. Here is a brief account of these sun gods, one from which the reader can see the link between these �sun gods� and the �son of God� concept introduced into the Christian faith and officially endorsed at the Nicaea Conference referred to above:


He was born of a virgin named Nana and was regarded as the �only begotten son� and �saviour�. He was bled to death on March 24th at the foot of a pine tree and his votaries believed

that his blood had renewed the fertility of the earth and thus brought a new life to humanity. He, however, rose from the dead, and his resurrection along with his death was celebrated by his votaries. Every year on the 24th day of March, they would first fasten his image to a pine tree and then lay it in a tomb with wailing mourning. On the next day, they would find the tomb empty and celebrate the resurrection with great rejoicing. Sacramental meal and baptism of blood were special features of his �church.�

Adonis or Tammuz

Adonis was a young man loved by the goddess Aphrodite. When he was killed by a wild boar, goes on the legend, Aphrodite persuaded the gods to let him live for six months of each year. His death and resurrection, hence, were celebrated in midsummer festival in Adonia, Greece, symbolizing yearly growth and decay. He was the virgin-born �saviour� of Syria. He suffered death for the redemption of mankind but rose again in the Spring. His resurrection was commemorated by a great annual festival. The Old Testament, in Izekiel, viii:14, refers to the weeping and wailing of women over his idol. On p. 113, Vol. 2, of Mythology of the Aryan Nations, Rev. Sir G.W. Cox calls him the crucified Tao (that is, divine love personified). In his Hebrew Lexicon, Dr. Parkhust remarks: �I find myself obliged to refer Tammuz to that class of idols which were originally designed to represent the promised Saviour [meaning Jesus], the desire of all nations.�

Dionysius or Bacchus

God of wine, he was the �only begotten son� of Jupiter and was born of a virgin named Demeter (or Semele) on December 25th... Christians celebrate Christmas, the supposed birth of Christ, on December 25th. He was a �redeemer, liberator and saviour.� �It is I,� says Bacchus to mankind, �who guide you; it is I who protect you and who save you; I am Alpha and Omega.�[55] Wine had an important place in the festivals of his cult. It is today in the Christian theology, representing �the blood of Jesus.� Imagine one drinking the

blood of...! He was slain for redeeming humanity and was called �the slain one,� �the sin-bearer,� �the redeemer.� Notice the striking similarity between these words and what Christians preach. Is it a coincident? We do not think so. Bacchus's passion play was celebrated every year representing his death, descent into hell and resurrection. Passion plays used to be part of the Christian festivals during the Middle Ages. The main surviving Passion Play is that of Oberammergau, Bavaria.


God of the underworld, he was born on December 29th of a virgin called by the Egyptians the �virgin of the world.� He preached the gospel of gentleness and peace. Wine and corn were regarded as his celebrated discoveries. He was betrayed by Typhen, slain and dismembered. He was interred but came again to life after remaining in hell for two or three days and three nights. After his death, it was the custom of his votaries to keep his image in a box and bring out the image at the time of worship with the cries of �Osiris is risen!�

�The sufferings and death of Osiris,� says Rawlingson in a footnote on p. 260, Vol. 3, of Herodotus, �were the great mystery of the Egyptian religion. His being the divine goodness, and the abstract idea of `good', his manifestation upon earth (like an Indian god), his death and resurrection, and his office as judge of the dead in a future life, look like the early revelation of a future manifestation of the deity converted into a mythological fable.�

Needless to say, �the early revelation of a future manifestation of the deity� in this quotation is a reference to the alleged incarnation of God in Jesus.

�Belief in the god-man in the form of Osiris,� says Sir Richard Gregory on p. 54 of his book Religion in Science and Civilisation, �became the chief element in Egyptian religion, and remained for thousands of years the faith of the people through the tangled skein of religious life in Egypt until Osiris passed into the form of the god-man Jesus Christ.�

Mithras or Mithra

His name in ancient Persian means �friend,� and he was an ancient cultic god of Persia and India who became in the 5th century B.C. the chief Persian god. His cult extended into Mesopotamia and Armenia, thus becoming a world-wide religion. He was the virgin-born sun god of the Persians, the perfect prototype of Jesus Christ and the founder of an international Church, Mithraism, in which Christmas and Easter the most important festivals. �This divine saviour came into the world as an infant. His first worshippers were shepherds; and the day of his nativity was December 25th. His followers preached a severe and rigid morality, chief among their virtues being temperance, chastity, renunciation and self-control. They kept the seventh day holy, and the middle day of each month was a special feast of Mithra, which symbolised this function of Mediator. They had seven sacraments of which the most important were baptism, confirmation, and Eucharistic supper, at which the communicants partook of the divine nature of Mithra under

the species of bread and wine.�[56]

Bel or Baal: Striking Similarities Between the Babylonian and the Christian Passion Plays

Bel (or Baal) in the Old Testament is a term used for god or gods of Canaan. He is symbolized by the sun, and he was gradually promoted to become the chief deity, the source of life and fertility. His worship extended beyond Babylon; Baalbek (the city of Baal, Lebanon) was devoted to his worship, hence it is called in Greek Heliopolis, the city of the sun, or of the sun god. The story of his life is extremely astonishing: his passion play has a very close resemblance with the Christian passion story even in details. The Jews had passed a long time in captivity in Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar[57] II (630 � 562 B.C.), and this accounts for the close resemblance. Here is the proof for such striking similarities:[58]

Modern archaeological researches have brought to light very bewildering facts which go to prove that Babylonian mythology played a very important role in the early stages of Christianity. In 1903-4, German excavators at Kala Shergat (the site of Assur, the ancient Assyrian city whose surrounding areas are also called Nimrud and is located in today's Iraq) discovered two cuneiform documents. When deciphered, they were found to contain the narrative of the Passion Play of Baal. An English journal, namely The Adventures of a Black Girl in Her Search for God, published its translation along with the story of the Christian Passion Play. In its text, he is referred to as Bel; so, henceforth we will keep referring to

him as such. On the next two pages is an exact reproduction of what page 72 of that journal had included; this is not our text but that of the said journal:

The Babylonian Passion Play

1. Bel is taken prisoner.

2. Bel is tried in the House on the Mount (the Hall of Justice).

3. Bel is smitten (wounded).

4. Bel is led away to the Mount.

5. Together with Bel a malefactor is led away and put to death. Another, who is also charged as a malefactor, is released, thus not taken away with Bel.

6. After Bel had gone to the Mount, the city breaks out into tumult, and fighting takes place in it.

7. Bel's clothes are carried away.

8. A woman wipes away the heart's blood of Bel flowing from a drawn-out weapon.

9. Bel goes down into the Mount away from sun and light, disappears from life and is held fast in the Mount as in a prison.

10. Guards watch Bel imprisoned in the stronghold of the Mount.

11. A goddess sits with Bel; she comes to tend to him.

12. They seek for Bel where he is held fast. In particular, a weeping woman seeks for him at the �Gate of Burial.� When he is being carried away, the same lamented: �O my brother! O my brother!�

13. Bel is again brought back to life (as the sun of spring); he comes again out of the Mount.

14. His chief feast, the Babylonian New Year's festival in March at the spring equinox, is celebrated also as his triumph over the powers of


The Christian Passion Play

1. Jesus is taken prisoner

2. Jesus is tried in the House of the High Priest and the Hall of Pilate.

3. Jesus is scourged.

4. Jesus is led away to crucifixion in Golgotha.

5. Together with Jesus, two malefactors are led away water and blood (John). Mary Magdalene was put to death. Another (Barnabas) is released to the people and thus not taken away with Jesus.

6. At the death of Jesus, the veil in the temple is rent (Synopt.), the rocks are rent asunder, the graves are opened and the dead come forth into the holy city. (Matthew)

7. Jesus' robe is divided among the soldiers. (Synopt., John Cp. Ps. XXII, 18)

8. The lance-thrust in Jesus' side and outflow of two other women busy themselves with the (washing and) embalming of the body. (Mark, Luke)

9. Jesus, in the grave, in the rock tomb (Synopt.), goes down into the realm of the dead (1 Pet. III, XII, 40; Acts, II, 24; Rom. X, 17; �the descent into hell� dogma).

10. Guards are set over the tomb of Jesus. (Matthew)

11. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sit before the tomb. (Matt., Mark)

12. Women, in particular Mary Magdalene, come to the tomb to seek Jesus where he is behind the door of the tomb. Mary stands weeping before the empty tomb because they have taken her Lord away. (John)

13. Jesus' restoration to life, his rising from the grave (on a Sunday morning).

14. His festival approximately at the spring equinox is also celebrated as his triumph over the powers of darkness

(Cp., e.g., Col. II, 15).

Having stated all the above, it really leaves no room for doubt that Christianity has suffered so much distortion and alteration, it definitely is no longer the faith of Jesus Christ. Even if you set aside all the theological controversies with which the Church is rife, a look at the conduct of average Christians today, especially in the West, will make wonder whether Jesus Christ can ever be proud of those who claim to be his followers. Fornication and adultery, boyfriend and girlfriend, are quite commonly the practices of the day. Abortions take place daily and, thus, thousands of babies are being killed. Promoters of homosexuality are not ashamed but are �proud� of their abnormality and are vocal in demanding �their rights�... Family ties are very loose, children hardly respect their parents, wives hardly respect their husbands, students hardly respect their teachers. Those who have money can do anything at all with their wealth, including buying government positions. The �legal system� is bought, sold, and traded. The news media creates demons and angels. Pornography is so widespread, it is sickening... All these immoralities and injustices are quite common and widespread, yet the Church �officials� stand spectators and, much worse, sometimes get themselves involved in many of them. Is this the product of a healthy creed? We do not think so. Is this the faith which Jesus Christ introduced to the world? It certainly is not. True and authentic Christianity or Judaism is nothing but Islam, rest assured.

Jesus son of Mary is

mentioned by name in the Holy Qur'an thirty-six times; twenty-five of which as Jesus, and eleven times as the Messiah, the Maseeh, the anointed one. The name of his mother occurs in the Holy Qur'an thirty four times, and surely Allah knows best.


part 1

It is sincerely hoped that the discreet reader has benefitted from this book, that it has brought him closer to His Maker, the One Who created him for one and only reason: to worship Him, and only Him. It is hoped that this book has brought him closer to the Almighty, to His last Prophet(�), and to the Prophet�s Ahl al-Bayt(�) and distanced himself from all those who do not denounce the murderers of Imam Husain(�), those who do not learn any lesson from his epic of heroism, who do not mourn his tragedy, who do not shed tears during the month of Muharram to commemorate this tragedy the like of which has never been recorded in history..., and unfortunately this description fits the majority of Muslims, for the majority is not always right. Seventy-two verses in the Holy Qur'an condemn the majority. Let this be a lesson for all of us. Might and numerical superiority do not necessarily have to be right. In most instances, they are not.

For sure, whoever bases his belief in the Almighty on solid foundations will be the winner in this life and in the life to come, and the most solid of all foundations is one built on knowledge and conviction, not on ignorance, nor on

taking things for granted, nor on hiding the truth or distorting it. This address is directed specifically to new Muslim converts in the West in general and in the U.S. in particular, those who have been taught to glorify certain sahaba and to forget about everyone else, to study the first few years of the dawn of Islam, and to forget about the rest. These converts should spare no time nor effort to study Islamic history and to find out who actually took Islam seriously and who did not, who shed the blood of innocent Muslims, including members of the Prophet�s family, the very best of all families in the entire history of mankind, and altered the Sunnah to serve his own ambition.

One authentic hadith says, �For everything there is a zakat, and the zakat of knowledge is its dissemination.� The reader who reads this book ought not keep what he/she has learned to himself/herself but share it with others, believers or non-believers. It will then enhance the conviction of the believers and plant the seed of iman in the hearts of the unbelievers. Who knows? Maybe one day that seed will grow. It is the Almighty Who permits its growth, and He does so at the right time, the time which He chooses. Pass this book on to a relative or a friend. Translate it into another language. Let on-line computer services benefit from it. Make photocopies of some of its contents and distribute them to others. Write a dissertation or a thesis utilizing

its text. Extract excerpts from it for inclusion in your newsletter or magazine, book or booklet. Or write one like it or better. All these options are yours; so, do not sit idle. Move to action, and let the Almighty use you as His tool for disseminating useful knowledge.

Do you, dear reader, think that you have a choice whether to disseminate the knowledge included in this book with others or not? If you think that you do, read the following statement of the great grandson of the Messenger of Allah(�), namely Imam Musa ibn Ja`fer(�), who quotes his forefathers citing the Messenger of Allah(�) saying,

One who reneges from his oath of allegiance, or who promotes what misleads people, or who hides some knowledge with him, or who confines some wealth with him unjustly, or who knowingly aids an oppressor in committing oppression while being fully aware of his oppression, is outside the folds of Islam.

This tradition is recorded on p. 67, Vol. 2, of al-Majlisi�s Bihar al-Anwar. It clearly demonstrates that one who hides knowledge is on the same level with that who deliberately assists oppressors and tyrants. We, therefore, should spare no means to share what we know with others, with those who listen and who follow the best of what they listen to. Earn rewards by bringing the servants of Allah closer to their Creator Who made and sustained them, Who will try them and place them either in His Paradise or in His hell. If acts of worship are based on shallow

conviction, they are as good as nothing. Strengthen your brethren�s conviction through this book. They will surely appreciate it and, above all, Allah, too, will.

If the reader appreciates the time and effort exerted in writing this book, as brief as it is, I, the author, kindly request him/her to recite Srat al-Fatiha for the soul of my parents and for the souls of all believing men and women, the living and the dead. If you do so, rest assured that you, too, will be rewarded for reciting it, and your rewards will be with the Most Generous of all those who reward: Allah Almighty Who appreciates even the smallest of good deeds. Why do I request the kind reader to recite Surat al-Fatiha for my parents? Well, this is the least a son can do for his deceased parents who worked very hard to raise him as a Muslim. My father was a qari of the Holy Qur'an who refused to read any other book besides the Qur'an as long as he lived, a man who never intentionally hurt anyone all his life. And my mother, though illiterate, sat next to my father as he recited the Holy Qur'an so she would learn as much as she could. Not only will my parents receive blessings when you recite Srat al-Fatiha for their souls, but you, too, dear reader, will get your rewards as well. How will you be rewarded? Well, read on! Here is a glimpse of what you will Insha-Allah receive:

On p. 88, Vol.

1, of Mujma` al-Bayan fi Tafsir al- Qur'an, al-Tibrisi cites a tradition through a chain of narrator wherein the Prophet of Islam is quoted as saying, �Whoever recites Srat al-Fatiha will be rewarded as though he had read two thirds of the Holy Qur'an and will be (in addition to that) given rewards as though he gave charity to each and every believing man and woman.� Just imagine how generous the Almighty is! Ubayy ibn Ka`b is cited in the same reference saying, �I once recited Srat al-Fatiha in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, who said to me, `I swear by the One Who controls my life, Allah never revealed any chapter in the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms, or (even) in the Qur'an like it. It is the mother of the Book, and it is the seven oft-repeated verses. It is divided between Allah and His servant, and His servant will get whatever he asks Him for.�� The Messenger of Allah(�) said once to Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Anari, one of his greatest sahaba, may Allah be pleased with all his good sahaba, �O Jabir! Shall I teach you the merits of a Sura which Allah revealed in His Book?� Jabir said, �Yes, O Messenger of Allah! May both my parents be sacrificed for your sake! Please do!� The Messenger of Allah(�) taught him Srat al-Hamd, the �Mother of the Book,� then said to him, �Shall I tell you something about it?�

�Yes, O Messenger of Allah,� Jabir responded, �may my father and mother be sacrificed for your sake!� The Messenger of Allah(�) said, �It cures everything except death.� Imam Ja`fer al-Sadiq is quoted on the same page as saying, �Anyone who is not cured by the Book�s Fatiha cannot be cured by anything else.� Imam `Ali ibn Abu Talib(�) has said,

The Messenger of Allah has said, �Allah, the Exalted One, the Sublime, said to me: `(O Muhammed!) We have bestowed upon you seven oft-repeated verses and the Great Qur'an (verse 87 of Surat al-Hijr); so, express your appreciation for it by reciting the Book�s Fatiha,� thus comparing it to the entire Qur'an.� Surat al-Fatiha is the most precious of the treasures of the `Arsh. Allah specifically chose Muhammed to be honoured by it without having done so to any of His prophets with the exception of prophet Sulayman (Solomon) who was granted (only this verse) of it: Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim (verse 30 of Chapter 27, Srat al-Naml); don�t you see how He narrates about Balqees[59] saying, �O Chiefs (of Yemen�s tribes)! Surely an honourable letter has been delivered to me; it is from Solomon, and it is: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful...� (27:29-30)? So whoever recites it sincerely believing that he/she is following in the footsteps of Muhammed and his progeny, abiding by its injunctions, believing in its apparent as well as hidden meanings, Allah will give him for each of its letters a good deed better than all this world and everything in

it of wealth and good things. And whoever listens to someone reciting it will receive a third of the rewards the reciter receives; so, let each one of you accumulate of such available goodness, for it surely is a great gain. Do not let it pass you by, for then you will have a great sigh in your heart about it.�[60]

part 2

Rewards of reciting Surat al-Fatiha are also recorded on p. 132 of Thawab al-A`mal wa Iqab al-A`mal cited above. Abu Abdullah Imam Ja`fer al-Sadiq has said, �Whoever recites Surat al-Baqara and Surat al-Fatiha, they will both shade him like two clouds on the Day of Judgment. And if the reader wishes to read more about the merits of the Basmala (Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim), he is referred to pp. 70-71 of my book Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam published by Ansariyan (P.O. Box 37185/187, Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran). As for the merits of Srat al-Fatiha, I would like to quote for you here what is published on pp. 71-73 of the same book:

Al-Tibrisi, in his exegesis Mujma`ul-Bayan fi Tafsir al- Qur'an, provides nine names for the first chapter of the Holy Qur'an, namely Srat al-Fatiha: 1) al-Fatiha, the one that opens, for it is like a gate: when opened, it leads one to the Book of Allah; 2) al-Hamd, the praise, for its verses are clearly praising the Almighty; 3) Ummul-Kitab, the mother of the Book, for its status is superior to all other chapters of the Holy Qur'an, or like the

war standard: it is always in the forefront; 4) al-Sab`, the seven verses, for it is comprised of seven verses and the only one whose verses are seven, and there is no room here to elaborate on the merits of the number 7 especially since most readers of this book are already aware of such merits; 5) al-Mathani, the oft-repeated Chapter, for no other Chapter of the Holy Qur'an is repeated as often as this one; 6) al-Kafiya, the chapter that suffices and that has no substitute; you simply cannot replace its recitation with that of any other chapter of the Holy Qur'an in the first two rek`ats of the prayers, whereas it can substitute others; 7) al-Asas, the basis or foundation or bed-rock, a connotation of its being the foundation upon which the Holy Qur'an stands just as the Basmala (�Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim�) is the foundation of the Fatiha; 8) al-Shifa�, the healing, due to the fact that the Messenger of Allah(�) has said that the Fatiha heals from all ailments except death, and 9) al-Salat, the prayers, or the basic requirement of the daily prayers, one without the recitation of which no prayer can be accepted. The Prophet has quoted the Almighty as saying, �The prayers have been divided between Me and My servant: one half for Me, and one for him;� so when one recites it and says, �Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin,� the Almighty says, �My servant has praised Me.� And when he says, �Arrahmanir-Rahim,� the Almighty says, �My servant has lauded Me.� And when

he says, �Maliki Yawmid-Din,� Allah says, �My servant has exalted Me.� And when he says, �Iyyaka Na`budu wa iyyaka nasta`in,� Allah will say, �This is a covenant between Me and My servant, and My servant shall be granted the fulfillment of his pleas.� Then if he finishes reciting the Fatiha to the end, Allah will again confirm His promise by saying, �This is for [the benefit of] My servant, and My servant will be granted the answer to his wishes.�

The Messenger of Allah(�) is quoted by Abu `Ali al-Fadl ibn al-asan ibn al-Fadl al-Tibrisi, may Allah have mercy on his soul, saying that one who recites al-Fatia will be regarded by the Almighty as though he recited two-thirds of the Holy Qur'an and as though he gave by way of charity to each and every believing man and woman. �By the One in Whose hand my soul is,� the Prophet continues, �Allah Almighty did not reveal in the Torah, the Gospel, or the Psalms any chapter like it; it is the Mother of the Book and al-Sab` al-Mathani (the oft-repeated seven verses), and it is divided between Allah and His servant, and His servant shall get whatever he asks; it is the best Sura in the Book of the most Exalted One, and it is a healing from every ailment except poison, which is death.� He is also quoted by al-Kaf`ami as saying, �He (Allah) bestowed it upon me as His blessing, making it equivalent to the Holy Qur'an, saying, `And We have granted you

al-Sab` al-Mathani and the Great Qur'an (Surat al-Hijr, verse 87).� It is the most precious among the treasures of the `Arsh.� Indeed, Allah, the most Sublime, has chosen Muhammed alone to be honoured by it without doing so to any other Prophet or Messenger of His with the exception of Solomon (Solomon) who was granted the Basmala. One who recites it, being fully convinced of his following in the footsteps of Muhammed and his Progeny, adhering to its injunctions, believing in its outward and inward meanings, will be granted by Allah for each of its letters a blessing better than what all there is in the world of wealth and good things, and whoever listens to someone reciting it will receive one third of the rewards due to its reciter.

Many readers of my Memoirs, to which reference is made in the Preface to this book, wrote me saying that they thought that their text ought to be turned into a documentary film! As for my book on the fast, I have been overwhelmed by the flood of letters from readers all over the world expressing appreciation of the effort invested in writing it, how it is quite different from any other book dealing with the same subject-matter. It is hoped that their response to this book will not be any less. Rest assured, dear reader, that Insha-Allah I will personally answer your letter despite my terribly busy schedule. Your views count.

There is no doubt that you, dear reader, know that it is very costly to

print books, and philanthropists in the Muslim world are rare species. Once you find one, you will find out that he is willing to spend money on anything except on a book! This is very sad, very tragic, very shameful. Islam spread through a Book, the Holy Qur'an. That was all the early generations of Muslims needed besides the presence of the Messenger of Allah. But times have changed; we do not have the presence of the Messenger of Allah in our midst to ask him whenever we need to know, and his Sunnah has suffered acutely of alteration, addition, deletion, custom-designing and tailoring to fit the needs of the powerful politicians of the times, so much so that it is now very hard to find the pristine truth among all the numerous different views and interpretations. This is why the reader has to spend more effort to get to know the truth; nobody is going to hand it to you on a golden platter. You have to work hard to acquire it. �Easy come, easy go.� Yet readers who would like to earn a place in Paradise through their dissemination of Islamic knowledge, such as the knowledge included in this book, are very much needed and are advised in earnest to send their contributions to the Publisher of this book in order to help him print more copies of it and make them available to those who cannot afford to purchase them. Some readers erroneously surmise that book publishers are wealthy people who make

a lot of money selling books, but, alas, this applies ONLY to non-Muslim publishers. After all, Allah will judge our actions according to our intentions, and if you help promote a book seeking the Pleasure of Allah, rest assured that you will be richly rewarded. It remains to see how strong you are against the temptations of Satan who will try his best, and his worst, to dissuade you from doing so. He very well knows that nothing in the world stands between him and corrupting the minds of Muslims more than accurate knowledge about Allah and the men of Allah. May Allah Ta`ala include us among the latter, Allahomma Ameen.

May Allah Ta`ala accept our humble effort; may He forgive our sins and shortcomings; may He take our hands and guide us to what He loves and prefers, Allahomma Ameen, Wassalamo Alaikom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.



[1] �Bible� is a Greek word which means �books.� The original Bible, which was written in Aramaic, mother tongue of Jesus Christ, was lost. John, Mark, Matthew and Luke rewrote it from memory, putting a great deal of their own personal views in it, thus altering the original pristine message brought by Jesus.

[2] Jesus is not the only one who is believed to be alive and living in heaven. Enoch (Idris) is also believed to be alive. Both al-Khidr and Imam al-Mehdi, peace be upon both of them, are believed to be alive and living on earth.

[3] Beliefs of the Unitarian Church are referred to as Unitarianism. This branch

of Christianity began in Reformation under leaders such as Michael Servetus (1511 - 1553 A.D.), a Spanish theologian and physician who is known in Spanish as Miguel Serveto, and Fausto Sozzini (1539 - 1604), nephew of Laelius Socinus (or Lelio Sozini), an Italian religious reformer. Both men organized this anti-Trinitarianism movement because of which they were subjected to a great deal of persecution by other Christians. In order to escape the merciless Catholic Court of Inquisition, Servetus had to flee to Lyons where he edited Ptolemy's geography works, and to Paris, where he studied medicine. He was jailed by orders of the Inquisition but escaped and made for Italy where he was seized on orders issued by John Calvin, tried then burnt alive at the stake. The religious belief of this Church (or Christian sect) is based on the concept that God is one person, thus contrasting that of the one in three persons, or Trinitarianism.

[4] Here, I have to some extent utilized Mawlana Fazlul-Rahman Ansari's book Islam and Christianity in the Modern World (The World Federation of Islamic Missions, Karachi, Pakistan, 1965 [1384 A.H.]), but most of this text is mine. This is one of the best books written by Muslims on this subject. May Allah reward Ansari with the best of His rewards, Allahomma Ameen.

[5]Westerners seldom acknowledge Muslims' contributions to science and technology. One is tempted to say that they are ingrates by nature. During my stay in the U.S., I noticed that the best minds in the U.S. are not American, and

that the Americans do not work as hard as foreigners; they feel they do not have to. Why should they, especially since there are many, including heads of Arab and Muslim States, who are ready to be their obedient servants and faithful lackeys?! These servants and lackeys are the ones who facilitate for the enemies of Islam to spy on or even to attack other Muslim countries, thus becoming their accomplices and disclosing to the world and to history their ugly hypocrisy. May the Almighty condemn them and rid the world of them.

[6] This is the statement of Canon Barnes.

[7] Abu Bakr Muhammed ibn Ishaq (d. 151 A.H./768 A.D.) is a well known scholar from Medina who was contemporary to the `Abbaside ruler Abu Ja`fer Abdullah al-Mansur who came to power in June 754 A.D./Thul-Hijjah 136 A.H. and who commissioned ibn Ishaq to write the very first complete biography of Prophet Muammed. His work, however, which became the basis of Ibn Hisham's Seerat, had to be continued by Muammed ibn Omer al-Waqidi (747 - 822 A.D./129 - 206 A.H.), mentor of Muammed al-Zuhri, better known as Ibn Sa`d, who died in 230 A.H./845 A.D. and who is a traditionist and a historian born in Barah and died in Baghdad. Ibn Sa`d's most famous work is Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, or Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d.

[8] Zacharias was father of John the Baptist (prophet Yahya). His name in Hebrew is Zachariah, the same as it is in Arabic. �Zakariyya� is a variation of it.

[9]Her full name is: Khadija daughter

of Khuwaylid son of Asad son of Abdul-`Uzza son of Qusayy, of the clan of Banu Hashim, of the tribe of Banu Asad. Qusayy was the ancestor of all clans belonging to Quraysh, Prophet Muammed's tribe. Quraysh's real name was Fahr, and he was son of Malik son of Maar son of Kananah son of Khuzaimah son of Mudrikah son of Ilyas son of Maar son of Nazar son of Ma`ad son of `Adnan son of prophet Ishmael son of prophet Abraham son of prophet Sam son of prophet Noah. Khadija was born in 565 A.D. and, according to a number of historians, died in 623 A.D. at the age of 58. Her mother, a distant relative of Prophet Muammed, was Faima daughter of Za'idah son of al-Asam, of Banu Amir son of Luayy son of Ghalib. Her mother's date of birth is not known but historians say that she died in or around 575 A.D. Khadija's father, Khuwaylid, belonged to the `Abd al-`Uzza clan of the tribe of Quraysh. He died in 585 A.D. Needless to say, Khadija, through both of her parents, was a distant cousin of Prophet Muammed who also belonged to Banu Hashim. I included my research of the life of this great lady, the events involving her marriage with Prophet Muammed, as well as the chronology of her past marriages and offspring, in my best work yet titled Allah: The Concept of God in Islam which was published in 1418 A.H./1997 by Ansariyan Publications.

[10] He is Abu al-asan Muqatil ibn

Sulayman al-Balkhi (d. 150 A.H./767 A.D.), a mufassir who moved to Baghdad then to Basra where he died. His most important work is Al-Tafsir al-Kabir.

[11] He is Abu Bakr Mujahid ibn Amed ibn Mousa (d. 324 A.H./936 A.D.), a qari, actually the imam of qaris of his time, a traditionist, and a linguist from Baghdad. All the books he wrote deal with the Holy Qur�an.

[12] �Bethlehem� is a Hebrew word with two meanings: 1) the house (Hebrew beth, Arabic bayt) of bread, or 2) the house of the goddess Lahmu, twin deity of Lahamu. In Mesopotamian mythology (which spread beyond the valley of the Tigris and the Euphrates), these were the first gods to be born from the chaos created by the merging of the watery deep surrounding the earth and the salt waters. They represent silt, but in some texts they seem to take the form of serpents. Bethlehem is located in south Jerusalem. In Genesis 35:16-20 and 48:7, in 1 Samuel 16:17, and in 2 Samuel 23:13-17, it is referred to as Ephrath or Ephratah.

[13] His full name is Muhammed ibn al-Sa'ib al-Kalbi (d. 763 A.D.), a genealogist, traditionist, linguist, and chronologist from Kufa. He fought Mi`ab ibn al-Zubayr then retired and dedicated his entire time to study Arabic and history. He studied in Kufa and lived for some time in Basra.

[14] He is the great grandson of Prophet Mhammed and one of the most brilliant persons who ever walked on the face of earth, with knowledge so vast, he was said to

�pierce through the knowledge of prophets.� He was Imam Muhammed son of Imam `Ali son of Imam al-usain son of Imam `Ali son of Abu Talib, peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them. He was born in Medina on Rajab 1, 57 A.H./May 10, 677 A.D. and was killed on Thul-Hijjah 7, 114 A.H./January 28, 733 A.D. by a poisoned saddle given to him as a present by the Umayyad tyrant Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.

[15] �Ge hen Hinnom,� Hebrew for �the valley of the son of Hinnom,� the Jews believe, is a place near Jerusalem where, according to Jeremiah 19:5, [Gentile] children were burnt in sacrifice to Baal. The latter was the fertility god of then polytheist Canaanites (Arabs, descendants of Ken`an, who inhabited Greater Syria. According to Vol. 1, p. 24 of Civilization: Past and Present, �'Phoenician' is the name which the Greeks gave to those Canaanites who dwelt along the Mediterranean coast of Syria, an area that is today Lebanon.�). The Greeks, then, were the ones who called those Arabs "Phoenicians". Ge hen Hinnom is Arabized as �Jahannam.� Before the advent of Islam, Arabs believed neither in heaven nor in hell. They, therefore, did not have any concept of the afterlife and had no words for Paradise or hell in their very rich and extensive vocabulary. �Janna,� by the way, means: a garden, an orchard, but it really does not describe Paradise fully. Paradise is a lot more than an orchard or a garden. It is a whole world by

itself. Incidentally, the word �Paradise� (firdaws) is also a loan word, some say from Persian, others from Babylonian.

[16] �Augustus� is his title which means �revered.� His name was Octavius or Caius Octavius, and he lived from 63 B.C. to 14 A.D. He was a contemporary of Jesus Christ and a grand nephew of Julius Caesar. He also was the first Roman emperor. (Caius) Julius Caesar (102 B.C. - 44 B.C.), who extended Rome's control to France (then land of the Gauls, original inhabitants of the France before Celtic Germanic tribes kicked them out and occupied their land in the third century B.C.) and Britain, adopted him and named him Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus. After his (Caesar's) assassination, Augustus gained power in Rome. In 31 B.C., he defeated Queen Cleopatra of Egypt (69 B.C. - 31 B.C.) at Actium, Greece, on September 2, 31 B.C. It was then that he became master of the Roman world.

[17] Or Ashkenazim, one of the two major Jewish sects; the other is the Sephardim.

[18]It was through Marc Antony (83 B.C. - 30 B.C.), a protege of Julius Caesar, that Herod (or Herod the Great) secured such a position which he maintained from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. In his last years, he fell a victim to insanity, executing his sons Aristobulus, Alexander, and Antipater. He is the one who ordered the mass massacre of children.


[19]There is no definite date given for the birth of Jesus Christ even by Christians themselves! Most books say that he was �probably� born between

8 B.C. and 4 B.C. The angel referred to above is described in Christian books as �the heavenly host.� In Islam, this may either be arch-Angel Gabriel or one of the angels working under his command. �Jesus� is a Greek noun derived from the Hebrew �Joshua� which means: �savior.� �Christ� is a Greek translation of the Hebrew �Messiah� which means �anointed.� In Arabic, his name is `�s?. Jesus Christ is cousin of John the Baptist who is described by the People of the Book as �an ascetic preacher.� In Islam, he is a prophet referred to in the Holy Qur�an as Yaya son of Zakariyya (Zacharias). He is mentioned in 3:39 where he is described as �an honourable, chaste, a prophet from among the good ones,� in 6:85 and 19:12-15 where he is described as one whom the Almighty granted wisdom even as a youth, and in 21:90 where he and his family are described as those who �used to hasten, one with another, in (the doing of) deeds of goodness.�

[20] It is a tax on agricultural produce, goods, or personal items set aside as an offering to God. Very few Christians nowadays pay it. Here in the U.S., taxes collected by federal, state, social security, insurance, etc. take out about 30% of one's hard earned income, leaving him in need for charity himself!

[21] The following text material is excerpted from two sources: The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia (The Viking Press, New York, 1968), and the Encyclopedia Britannica III.

[22] The city of Antioch is situated

on the banks of the river al-Asi (Orontes). It was founded about 300 B.C. by Celeucus I (Nicator) who died in 280 B.C. Celeucus I was a general of Alexander the Great. Antioch is the city where the followers of Jesus Christ were called �Christians� (rather than Nazarines) for the first time. It is the seat of a Melchite, or Maronite, and a Jacobite patriarch. It fell to the Persians in 538 A.D., to the Arabs in 637 (16 A.H.), to the Byzantians from 969 - 1084 (358 - 477 A.H.), to Seljuk Turks in 1085 (478 A.H.), to the Crusaders in 1098 (491 A.H.), to Egyptian Mamlukes in 1268 (666 A.H.), and to Ottoman Turks in 1516 (922 A.H.). It was transferred to Syria by Western powers in 1920 (1339 A.H.) but restored to Turkey in 1939 (1358 A.H.). This is why the reader sometimes sees Antioch identified as a Syrian town and sometimes as a Turkish one! What a busy little town!

[23] Encyclopedia Britannica II, Vol. 11, p. 178.

[24] For the benefit of our reader, the full address of the said Publisher is: ATP, 10900 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46231, U.S.A. I think this book ought to be in every personal and public library. May the Almighty bless and reward its author and publisher, Allahomma Aameen.

[25] This misleading statement exists in Vol. One of the world renown Encyclopedia Britannica III. How many other errors exist in this Encyclopedia?!

[26] That copy was later deposited at the Imperial Library at Vienna. It was at

a much later date translated into English and edited by Lonsdale and Laura Ragg.

[27] This statement, among many others in the Gospel of St. Barnabas, agrees with what we, Muslims, have in the Holy Qur�an. Jesus Christ was not crucified. Indeed, it was Judas Iscariot who was crucified. Let the Christians of the world stand corrected. But they will never accept this correction simply because it means undermining the very foundation of their present day's creed.

[28] The reader can easily see that there were two men among the disciples of Jesus named Judas; one of them was crucified, so he was rewarded in heaven, and the other was not, so he was rewarded by the Romans for his treachery. The latter is Judas Iscariot.

[29] The Great News: The New Testament (Colorado Springs, Colorado: International Bible Society, 1984).

[30] This is a rough translation of the original Arabic text. A thorough research of the Bible may yield better results and reveal the exact Biblical verse to which the Imam was referring. Unfortunately, the Imam did not specify which of the four Gospels he was quoting. Consulting a Bible in Arabic may also produce the same anticipated result: the number of the exact verse and the name of the Gospel which the Imam had in mind.

[31] al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 14, pp. 331-333. Again, since this text is my translation from the Arabic original, the Imam's quotations may not be exact. Consulting a Bible written in Arabic will be worthwhile and will provide the numbers of the chapters

and verses to which the Imam here refers. Unfortunately, I do not at the moment have a copy of the Bible in Arabic.

[32] Since there is no copyright on The Gospel of Barnabas, the copy of it which I consulted for the writing of this book does not contain the Publisher's name or the place or date of publication.

[33] Some Arab writers say that the Sabeans were a certain sect of unbelievers who worshipped the stars secretly and openly professed to be Christians. According to others, they are followers of the religion of Sabi' son of Seth son of Adam, which is more accurate, for the Holy Qur�an includes them in the above quoted verse among the believers. Other writers say that their religion is pretty much what Christianity teaches except that their qibla was towards the south. Still others say that they followed the religion of Prophet Noah, and surely Allah knows best.

[34] The discreet reader realizes that reference to Egypt does not mean today's Egypt. We are talking not about now but about two thousand years ago. At that time, Egypt was a �superpower� that had extended its domination to a large part of its contemporary world. This statement means: �Mary conveyed Jesus on a donkey and went out to the lands under Egypt's control.� Mary was avoiding the brutality of the Romans and those who worked for them. Some parts of Palestine (Greater Syria) at that time fell under Egypt's control.

[35] This incident can be found in the Bible. Some Christians find

no harm in wine drinking, basing their argument on Jesus turning water into wine, but little do they consider the fact that Jesus never drank that particular wine at that particular time nor at any other time and we, Muslims, challenge them to prove otherwise. Prophets of God are not wine drinkers; sinners are.

[36] These Gospels have continuously been undergoing changes, editings, distortions, additions, deletions, linguistic variations, mis-translations, etc. due to errors in translation, sectarian biases and prejudices and other factors. The only Gospel accepted by Muslims as accurate is that of St. Barnabas, a Cypriot companion of St. Paul (originally Saul), which was not canonized by the Council of Nicaea of 325 A.D. That Council was called for by the Byzantine emperor Constantine I (288 - 337 A.D.), or Constantine the Great, who built the Turkish city Constantinople in 330 A.D. to dedicate it to Jesus' mother, Virgin Mary. Constantine's objective behind holding the Nicaea Conference was to settle the disputes among various Christian sects as to what constituted Christianity, but the said Conference created more problems than it solved. It was also boycotted by a number of Christian sects who did not endorse its decisions.

[37] Most likely, this is the Sea of Galilee, or Tiberias (in Arabic Bahr Tabariyyah) in northeast Palestine. During the lifetime of Jesus Christ, nine cities were flourishing on its shores. Some of the disciples of Christ, the fishermen, were from that area.

[38] Jesus Christ had a most beautiful and attractive conduct and a brilliant sense of humour. This

quotation testifies to this fact.

[39] Ata ibn Abu Rabah (d. 114 A.H./732 A.D.) was a renown tabi`i who learned from the sahaba and reported hadith from them. He was once the mufti of Mecca.

[40] This is a figure of speech which means: �He never hurt anyone.�

[xli] al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 14, pp. 289-293. There is a lot more text of the same, but the lack of space does not allow me to provide the reader with more.

[42] According to the distorted story of Jesus, soldiers of the Roman empire (which then ruled Palestine) crucified Jesus. Muslims believe that: 1) the Jews, not the Romans, crucified a man thinking that he was Jesus, that the plot against him was not politically but religiously motivated; 2) the real Jesus was not crucified but was raised to heaven and is still alive. He will come back near the end of the life on this planet to fight those who distorted his message. There are millions of Christians who believe in this second coming of Jesus, but they, as usual, differ among themselves as to how it will be. Some claim that Jesus will not come back in person but there will be a revival of his faith...


[43] Named after Jacob Baradaeus, this sect of Christianity spread in the 6th. century throughout Syria, Iraq, and India. Its views sharply contradict those held by Roman Catholics and by the Orthodox. Its head is the patriarch of Antioch (at Syrian Homs), and it uses Syriac as its sacred language. Christ

spoke (Northwest Semitic) Aramaic. Syriac is an Aramaic language, a dialect of the Semitic subfamily of Afro-Asiatic languages. Some Syrian Christians still speak Aramaic even today. The first and authentic Bible was written in Jesus' mother tongue, Aramaic, but it was lost... Greater Syria, by the way, used to be called the land of Aram, hence Aramaic means �the language spoken in Aram.� It is named after Aram, a descendant of Nahor, grandfather of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim), peace be upon him. Its capital Damascus is one of the most ancient cities in the world. It dates back to 3000 B.C., hence it is now about five thousand years old.

[44] They are named after Nestorius, 5th century patriarch of Constantinople. Followers of this Church reject the labeling of Virgin Mary, mother of Christ, as �the Mother of God,� saying that she bore Jesus as a man. It flourished in Syria and ancient Persia, and one of its adherents, Nestor (which could either be his first name or a reference to his being Nestorian), met young Prophet Muhammed when he was in the company of his uncle Abu Talib who was then on a business trip. Salman al-Farisi, one of Prophet Muhammed's early disciples and traditionists, had converted from Zoroastrianism to Nestorianism then to Islam.

[45] Notice that I did not use the word �Allah� for the previous sects. This is due to the fact that those sects did not have the correct concept of the Almighty. The word �Allah� here refers to the complete and perfect concept

of God.

[46] Christians have been disputing with one another about Jesus Christ and will continue doing so till the end of time. Some of them went as far in their apostasy as charging him of being homosexual..., Astaghfirullah (I seek refuge with Allah). Some Christian �churches� in the United States and other Western countries have been solemnizing �marriages� wherein men marry men or women marry women... What will they do next?!

[47] William F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, Doubleday Co., Inc., Garden City, New York, 1957, p. 261.

[48] Col. J. Garnier, The Worship of the Dead, Chapman Hall, Ltd., 1904, p. 12.

[49][49] History of Christianity in the Light of modern Knowledge, A Collective Work, p. 209.

[50] Caesarea Philippi is an area in north Palestine at the foot of Mt. Hermon built by Philip the Tetrarch.

[51] This is the Almighty's reference to the concept of the Trinity. Advocates of the Trinity claim that the God exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

[52] Uzair is Arabic for Hebrew Ezra. This is the only verse in the Holy Qur�an where such a reference is made. Who is this alleged Jewish �son of God�? After the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem at the hands of Nebuchadnessar, the Torah was lost. Since there was none who remembered the law when the Jews returned from captivity, God raised up Ezra from the dead a hundred years after his death. When the Jews saw him thus raised from the dead, they said he must be the son

of God. This is the contested view of some scholars. This raising from the dead is confused with another incident which actually took place to someone else and which is narrated in the Holy Qur�an in 2:261. It involves Bal`am (Balam) ibn Ba`r, a learned Israelite, who passed by a dead town (some say Antioch or one of its suburbs) and wondered how God would bring it back to life. The Almighty caused him to die then raised him back to life to see for himself that He can do anything at all.

[53] According to The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia, early Christians observed the first day of the week (Monday) as their Sabbath �in commemoration of the Resurrection.� Some sects, such as Seventh-Day Baptists, have reverted to Saturday. �Monday,� by the way, was the Babylonian day when the moon__hence moon-day, Monday__was worshipped. Saturday was �Saturn's day,� the day when Saturn, god of the harvest, was to be worshipped. This is another proof of the pagan roots in Christianity.

[54] In the text to follow, I have benefitted from Fazlul-Rahman Ansari's book Islam and Christianity in the Modern World.

[55] Godfrey Higgins, Anacalypsis, Vol. 1, p. 322.

[56] The Nineteenth Century, September 1905, p. 496.

[57]Nebuchadnezzar (reigned 605-562 B.C.) was a king of Babylon during whose long and eventful reign the Neo-Babylonian Empire attained its peak and the city of Babylon its greatest glory. Nebuchadnezzar - more properly Nebuchadrezzar - is the biblical form of the name Nabukudur-utsur (which means "Nabu has set the boundary", Nabu being the Babylonian god

of wisdom and writing). He was the son of Nabopolassar, a Chaldean chief who in 626 B.C. led a revolt against Assyria, proclaimed himself king of Babylon, and, in alliance with the Medes and the nomadic Scythians in Babylonia and Assyria, succeeded in overthrowing the vast Assyrian Empire and destroying Nineveh in 612 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, as crown prince, was given command of the Babylonian army harrying the remainder of the Assyrians in northern Syria. Early in 605 B.C., he met Necho, then pharaoh of Egypt, in battle and defeated him at Carchemish, an ancient Hittite and Assyrian city on the Euphrates River in present-day southern Turkey. Necho is better known as Necho II (or sometimes Nekau), and he was a king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of the pharaos of Egypt. A few months later, Nabopolassar died, and Nebuchadnezzar hastened home to claim his throne. He soon returned to the west in order to secure the loyalty of Syria and Palestine and to collect tribute; among those who submitted were the rulers of Damascus, Tyre, Sidon, and Judah. In 601 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar attempted the invasion of Egypt but was repulsed with heavy losses. Judah rebelled, but Jerusalem fell in March 597 B.C., and the ruler, Jehoiakim, and his court were deported to Babylon. Eight years later another Jewish rebellion broke out; this time Jerusalem was razed and the population carried into captivity. Expeditions against the Arabs in 582 B.C. and another attempt at invading Egypt in 568 B.C. receive brief mention in Nebuchadnezzar's later records. Nebuchadnezzar

built temples in many of the cities of his kingdom, but the main achievement of his reign was the rebuilding of Babylon, on a scale and with magnificence never before envisaged. The city covered some 500 acres and was protected by massive double fortifications. The Euphrates River, which bisected it, was spanned by a bridge. In the great palace, built to replace Nabopolassar's, he created the terraced cloister known to the Greeks as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (remains of which can still be seen in Hilla, metropolis of today's Babylon governorate) and reckoned among the Seven Wonders of the World. It was said that he built it to please his mountain-born wife, Amytis, daughter of Cyaxares, the Median king.

[58] In the following text, I have utilized Fazlul Rahman Ansari's excellent book Islam and Christianity in the Modern World, pp. 70-72.

[59][59] Balqees Queen of Saba� (Sheba) belonged to the Arab tribe of Himyar which for centuries has been residing in Yemen. Her people used to worship the sun and the moon and other stars, and some of the ruins of the temples she had built for them can still be seen in Saba�. Solomon (Sulayman), on the other hand, was headquartered in Jerusalem (Ur-O-Shalom, the city of peace, as it is called in Hebrew; the Arabs used to refer to it as Eilya?. This is why Syria used to be called Aram, the land of the Aram?ans. Aramaic is still spoken in some part of Syria even today.

[60] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 1, p. 88.

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