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Chapter4: The Good News
“ 'Behold!' the angels said: O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him: his name will be Jesus, the son of Mary; held in honor in this world and the hereafter; and (of the company of) those nearest to Allah” (Holy Qur'an 3:45). The bulk of Christendom has misunderstood this verse as well as many others in the Bible. They imagine the Father (God) sitting on a throne, a glorified chair, and His Son, Jesus, sitting on His right hand side. Can you conjure up the picture? If you do, you have strayed from the true knowledge of God. He is no old Father Christmas. He is beyond the imagination of the mind of man. He exists. He is real, but He is not like anything we can think of, or imagine.
" Nearest to God ", not physically nor geographically but spiritually. Compare this with, " And (Jesus) sat on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19).
In eastern languages "right hand" meant a place of honor, which the Holy Qur'an more fittingly describes as, " IN THE COMPANY OF THOSE NEAREST TO ALLAH". The above verse confirms that Jesus is the Christ, and that he is the Word which God bestowed upon Mary. Again, the Christian reads into these words, a meaning which they do not carry. They equate the word "Christ" with the idea of a god-incarnate; and the "Word" of God to be God.
"Christ" Not a Name
The word "Christ" is derived from the Hebrew word Messiah, Arabic Maseeh. Root word masaha, meaning "to rub", "to massage", "to anoint". Priests and kings were anointed when being consecrated to their offices. But in its translated Grecian form, "Christ" seems unique: befitting Jesus only.
Christians has a knack of transmuting baser metals into shining gold. What he is wont to do is to translate names into their own language; like Cephas to "Peter", Messiah to "Christ". How do they do that? Very easy, Messiah in Hebrew means "Anointed". The Greek word for anointed is Christos. Just lop off the 'os' from Christos, and you are left with "Christ", a unique name! Christos means "Anointed", and anointed means appointed in its religious connotation. Jesus, peace and blessing be upon him, was appointed (anointed) at his baptism by John the Baptist, as God's Messenger. Every prophet of God is so anointed or appointed. The Holy Bible is replete with the "anointed" ones. In the original Hebrew, he was made a Messiah. Let us keep to the English translation "anointed". Not only were prophets and priests and kings anointed (Christos-ed), but horns, and cherubs and lamp-posts also.
I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar...(Genesis 31:13).
If the priest that is anointed do sin...(Leviticus 4:3).
And Moses... anointed the tabernacle and all things that was therein...(Leviticus 8:100).
…The Lord shall...exalt the horn of his anointed(I Samuel 2:10).
Thus saith the Lord to his anointed to Cyrus...(Isaiah 45:1).
Thou art the anointed cherub...(Ezekiel 28:14).
There are an hundred more such references in the Holy Bible. Every time you come across the word "anointed" in your Bible, you can take it that that word would be christos in the Greek translations, and if you take the same liberty with the word that the Christians have done, you will have Christ Cherub, Christ Cyrus, Christ Priest and Christ Pillar, ...etc.
Some Titles Exclusive
Although, every prophet of God is an anointed one of God, a Messiah, the title Maseeh or Messiah, or its translation "Christ" is exclusively reserved for Jesus, the son of Mary, in both Islam and in Christianity. This is not unusual in religion. There are certain other honorific titles which may be applied to more than one prophet, yet being made exclusive to one by usage: like "Rasulullah", meaning "Messenger of God", which title is applied to both Moses (19:51) and Jesus (61:6) in the Holy Qur'an. Yet "Rasullullah" has become synonymous only with Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, among Muslims.
Every prophet is indeed a "Friend of God", but its Arabic equivalent "Khalillullah" is exclusively associated with Father Abraham. This does not mean that the others are not God's friends. "Kaleemullah", meaning "One who spoke with Allah" is never used for anyone other than Moses, yet we believe that God spoke with many of His messengers, including Jesus and Muhammed, may the peace and blessings of God be upon all His servants. Associating certain titles with certain personages only, does not make them exclusive or unique in any way. We honor all in varying terms.
Whilst the good news was being announced (verse 45 above) Mary was told that her unborn child will be called Jesus, that he would be the Christ, a "Word" from God, and that...
“ He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous” (Holy Qur'an 3:46).
“ At length she brought the (babe) to her people carrying him. They said: O Mary! truly a strange thing has thou brought!. O sister of Aaron! thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!” (Holy Qur'an 19:27-28).
There is no Joseph the carpenter here. The circumstances being peculiar, Mary the mother of Jesus had retired herself to some remote place in the East (Holy Qur'an 19:16). After the birth of the child she returns.
Yusuf Ali, comments in his popular English translation of the Qur'an:
"The amazement of the people knew no bounds. In any case they were prepared to think the worst of her, as she had disappeared from her kin for some time. But now she comes, shamelessly parading a babe in her arms! How she had disgraced house of Aaron, the fountain of priesthood!
"Sister of Aaron": Mary is reminded of her high lineage and the unexceptionable morals of her father and mother. How, they said, she had fallen, and disgraced the name of her progenitors!
What could Mary do? How could she explain? Would they, in their censorious mood accept her explanation? All she could do was to point to the child, who, she knew, was no ordinary child. And the child came to her rescue. By a miracle he spoke, defended his mother, and preached to an unbelieving audience".
Allah, azza wa jall, says in the Qur'an:“ But she pointed to the babe. They said: How can we talk one who is a child in the cradle? (And by a miracle he spoke) He (Jesus) said: I am indeed a servant of Allah (God): He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet: and He hath made me blessed where-so-ever I be, and hath enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. (He hath made me) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest; So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life again)!” (Holy Qur'an 19:29-33).
His First Miracle(s)
Thus Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, defended his mother from the grave calumny and innuendoes of her enemies. This is the very first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Holy Qur'an that, he spoke as an infant from his mother's arms. Contrast this with his first miracle in the Christian Bible which occurred when he was over thirty years of age:
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine.
Jesus saith unto her, 'Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.'
His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
Jesus saith unto them, fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John 2:110)
Since this miracle, wine has flowed like water in Christendom. Many reason that what was good for the Master is good enough for them. Jesus was no "kill-joy" they say. Didn't he make good potent wine, that even those "well drunk", those whose senses had been dulled could make out the difference? "That the best was kept for the last". This was no pure grape juice. It was the same wine that, according to the Christian Bible, enabled the daughters of Lot to seduce their father (Genesis 19:32-33). It was the same wine which the Christian is advised to eschew in Ephesians 5:18 - "And be not drunk with wine..."
It is that innocent (?) 1% potency that eventually leads millions down into the gutter. America has 10 million drunkards in the midst of 70 million "born-again" Christians! The Americans call their drunkards "Problem Drinkers". In South Africa, they are called "Alcoholics"; drunkard is too strong a word for people to stomach.
But the Prime Minister of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, does not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He says, "I am not prepared to lead nation of drunkards", referring to his own people who drink intoxicants.
Whether the water "blushed" or not "seeing" Jesus, we cannot blame him or his disciples for the drinking habits of his contemporaries. For he had truly opined, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). Mankind had not reached the stage of receiving the whole Truth of Islam. Did he not also say: "You cannot put new wine into old bottles"? (Matthew 9:17).
"Mother" or "Woman"?
According to St. John, in the fourth verse above, describing the marriage feast at Cana, we are told that Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, behaved insolently towards his mother. He calls her "woman," and to rub more salt into the wound he is made to say, "what have I to do with thee?" What connection is there between you and me, or what have I got to do with you? Could he have forgotten that this very "woman" had carried him for nine months, and perhaps suckled him for 2 years, and had borne endless insults and injuries on account of him? Is she not his mother? Is there no word in his language for "mother"?
Strange as it may seem, that while the missionaries boast about their master's humility, meekness and long-suffering, they call him the "Prince of Peace" and they sing that "he was led to the slaughter like a lamb, and like a sheep who before his shearer is dumb, he opened not his mouth", yet they proudly record in the same breath, that he was ever ready with invectives for the elders of his race, and was always itching for a showdown i.e. if their records are true:
"Ye wicked and adulterous generation!"
"Ye whited sephulcres!"
"Ye generation of vipers!"
and now to his mother: "Woman..."
Muhammed salla-Allahu alilhi wa sallam, the Messenger of God, is made to absolve Jesus (pbuh) from the false charges and calumnies of his enemies.
“ And He (God Almighty) hath made me (Jesus) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest” (Holy Qur'an 19:31).
On receiving the good news of the birth of a righteous son Mary responds:“ She said: O My Lord! how shall I have a son, when no man hath touched me? The angel says in reply: He said: Even so: Allah (God) createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a matter He but sayth o it 'Be,' and it is! And Allah (God) will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Torah (Law) and the Gospel” (Holy Qur'an 3:47-48).
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 Mark 16:19 is now expunged from the R.S.V. as an interpolation. "Is the Bible God's Word? Explains.
 This prophecy found fulfillment within a very short time. We find this in Sura Maryam (above).
 This verse, as well as the other prophecies of Jesus from the Gospel of St. John, are abundantly fulfilled in the person of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).