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Understanding & Receiving the Gift of Life from Isa al Masih

We examined the final week of the prophet Isa al Masih PBUH.  The Injil records that he was crucified on Day 6 – Good Friday, and he was raised back to life the following Sunday.  This was foreseen both in the Taurat and the Psalms and Prophets.  But why did this happen and what does it mean for you and me today?   Here we seek to understand what is offered by the Prophet Isa al Masih, and how we can receive mercy and forgiveness.  This will help us even understand Ibrahim’s ransom described in Surah As-Saffat (Surah 37), Surah al Fatihah (Surah 1 – The Opener) when it asks Allah to ‘show us the Straight Way’, as well as understanding why ‘Muslim’ means ‘one who submits’, and why religious observances like wudu, zakat and eating halal are good intentions but insufficient in themselves for the Day of Judgment.

Bad News – what the Prophets say of our relationship with Allah

The Taurat teaches that when Allah created mankind He

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

“Image” is not meant in a physical sense, but rather that we were made to reflect Him in the way we functioned emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually.  We were created to be in relationship with Him.  We can visualize this relationship in the slide below.  The Creator, as infinite ruler, is placed at the top while man and woman are placed at the bottom of the slide since we are finite creatures.  The relationship is shown by the connecting arrow.

Created in His image, people were made to be in relationship with the Creator
Created in His image, people were made to be in relationship with the Creator

Allah is perfect in character – He is Holy.  Because of this the Zabur says

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong (Psalm 5: 4-5)

Adam committed one act of disobedience – only one- and the Holiness of God required Him to judge.  The Taurat and Qur’an record that Allah made him mortal and expelled him His presence.  The same situation exists for us.  When we sin or disobey in any way we dishonor Allah since we do not act according to the image that we were made in.  Our relationship is broken.  This results in a barrier as solid as a rock wall that comes between us and our Creator.

Our sins create a barrier between us and Holy God
Our sins create a solid barrier between us and Holy God

Piercing Sin’s barrier by Religious Merit

Many of us try to pierce this barrier between us and Allah by religious deeds or works that earn enough merit to break the barrier.  Prayers, fasting, Hajj, going to mosque, zakat, alms to charity are the ways we seek to earn merit to pierce the barrier as illustrated next.  The hope is that religious merit will cancel out some sin.  If our many deeds earn enough merit we hope to cancel all our sins and receive mercy and forgiveness.

We try to pierce this barrier by doing good deeds to earn merit before Allah
We try to pierce this barrier by doing good deeds to earn merit before Allah

But how much merit do we need to cancel sin?  What is our assurance that our meritorious deeds will be sufficient to cancel the sin and pierce the barrier that has come between us and our Creator?  Do we know if our efforts for good intentions will be sufficient? We have no assurance and so we try to do as much as we can and hope it will be sufficient on Judgment Day.

Along with deeds to gain merit, efforts for good intentions, many of us work hard to stay clean.  We diligently perform wudu before prayers.  We work hard to stay away from people, objects and food that make us unclean.  But the prophet Isaiah revealed that:

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

The prophet tells us that even if we avoid everything that make us unclean, our sins will make our ‘righteous acts’ as useless as ‘filthy rags’ in making us clean.  That is bad news.  But it gets worse.

Worse News: the power of Sin and Death

The Prophet Musa PBUH clearly set the standard in the Law that total obedience was required.  The law never said something like “attempt to follow most of the commands”.  In fact the Law stated time and again that the only work that assured payment for sin was death.   We saw in the time of Nouh PBUH and even with the wife of Lut PBUH that death resulted from sin.

The Injil summarizes this truth in the following way:

For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23)

“Death” literally means ‘separation’.  When our soul separates from our body we die physically.  Similarly we are even now separated from God spiritually and are dead and unclean in His sight.

This reveals the problem of our hope in earning merit to pay for sin.  The problem is that our hard efforts, merits, good intentions, and deeds, though not wrong, are insufficient because the payment required (the ‘wages’) for our sins is ‘death’.  Only death will pierce this wall because it satisfies God’s justice.  Our efforts to gain merit are like trying to cure cancer (which results in death) by eating halal food.  Eating halal is not bad, it is good – and one should eat halal – but it will not cure cancer.  For cancer you need a totally different treatment that puts the cancerous cells to death.

So even in our efforts and good intentions to generate religious merit we are actually dead and unclean as a corpse in the sight of our Creator

Our sin results in death - We are like unclean dead bodies before Allah
Our sin results in death – We are like unclean dead bodies before Allah

Ibrahim – showing the Straight Path

It was different with the Prophet Ibrahim PBUH.  He was ‘credited righteousness’, not because of his merit but because he believed and trusted the promise to him.  He trusted Allah to meet the payment required, rather than earning it himself.  We saw in his great sacrifice that death (the payment for sin) was paid, but not by his son but instead by a lamb provided by God.

Ibrahim was revealed the Way - He simply trusted God's Promise and God Provided the payment
Ibrahim was shown the Straight Path- He simply trusted God’s Promise and God Provided the payment of death for sin

The Quran speaks of this in Surah As-Saffat (Surah 37 – Those who set the Ranks) where it says:

And we ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. And we left (the blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times.  “Peace and salutation to Ibrahim” (Surah As-Saffat 37:107-109)

Allah ‘ransomed’ (paid the price) and Ibrahim received the blessing, mercy and forgiveness, which included ‘peace’.

Good News: The work of Isa al Masih on our behalf

The example of the prophet is there to show us the Straight Path in accordance with the request of Surah Al-Fatihah (Surah 1 – The Opening):

Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
Guide us to the straight path –
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. (Surah al-Fatihah 1:4-7)

The Injil explains that this was an illustration to show how Allah would pay for sin and provide a cure for death and uncleanness in a simple but powerful way.

For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

Up until now, it has all been ‘bad news’.  But ‘injil’ literally means ‘good news’ and in declaring that the sacrifice of Isa’s death is sufficient to pierce this barrier between us and God we can see why it is good news as shown.

The sacrifice of Isa al Masih - the lamb of God - makes the payment for sin on our behalf
The sacrifice of Isa al Masih – the lamb of God – makes the payment by death for sin on our behalf just like Ibrahim’s lamb had done.

The prophet Isa al Masih was sacrificed and then rose from the dead as firstfruits so he now offers us his new life.  We need no longer remain prisoners of sin’s death.

The resurrection of Isa al Masih was 'firstfruits'. We are freed from death and receive the same resurrection life.
The resurrection of Isa al Masih was ‘firstfruits’. We can be freed from death and receive the same resurrection life.

In his sacrifice and resurrection Isa al Masih became the gate through the barrier of sin that separates us from God.  This is why the prophet said:

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:9-10)

Isa al Masih is thus a Gate that breaks through the barrier of sin and death
Isa al Masih is thus the Gate that breaks through the barrier of sin and death

Because of this gate, we now can re-gain the relationship we had with our Creator before our sin became a barrier and we can be assured of receiving mercy and the forgiveness of our sins.

With an open Gate we now are restored in Relationship with our Creator
With an open Gate we now are restored in Relationship with our Creator

As the Injil declares:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.  (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

The Gift of God to you

The prophet ‘gave himself’ for ‘all people‘.  So this must include you as well as me.  Through his death and resurrection he has paid the price to be a ‘mediator’ and offers us life.  How is this life given?

For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

Notice how it is given to us.  It is offered as a … ‘gift’.  Think about gifts.  No matter what the gift is, if it is really a gift it is something that you do not work for and do not earn by merit.  If you earned it the gift would no longer be a gift – it would be a wage!  In the same way you cannot merit or earn the sacrifice of Isa al Masih.  It is given to you as a gift.  It is that simple.

And what is the gift?  It is ‘eternal life’.  That means that the sin which brought you and me death is now paid up.  God loves you and me that much.  It is that powerful.

So how do you and I obtain eternal life?  Again, think of gifts.  If someone wants to give you a gift you must ‘receive’ it.  Anytime a gift is offered there are only two alternatives.  Either the gift is refused (“No thank you”) or it is received (“Thank you for your gift.  I will take it”).  So also this gift must be received.  It cannot just be mentally believed in, studied or understood.  To be of benefit, any gift offered to you must be ‘received’.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:12-13)

In fact, the Injil says of God that

God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved … (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

He is a Saviour and His desire is that ‘all people’ receive his gift and be saved from sin and death.  If this is His will, then to receive his gift would simply be submitting to His will – the very meaning of the word ‘Muslim’ – one who submits.
So how do we receive this gift?  The Injil says that

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:12)

Notice that this promise is for ‘everyone’.  Since he rose from the dead Isa al Masih is alive even now.  So if you call on him he will hear and give his gift to you.  You call out to him and ask him.  Perhaps you have never done this.  Below is a guide that can help you. It is not a magic chant.  It is not the specific words that give power.  It is the trust like Ibrahim had that we place in Isa al Masih to give us this gift.  As we trust him He will hear us and answer.  The Injil is powerful, and yet also so simple.  Feel free to follow this guide if you find it helpful.

Dear Prophet and Lord Isa al Masih.  I understand that with my sins I am separated from Allah my Creator.  Though I can try hard, my efforts do not pierce this barrier.  But I understand that your death was a sacrifice to wash away all my sins and make me clean.  I know that you rose from the dead after your sacrifice so I believe that your sacrifice was sufficient and so I submit to you.  I ask you to please cleanse me from my sins and mediate with my Creator so I can have eternal life.  Thank you, Isa the Masih, for doing all this for me and would you even now continue to guide me in my life so I can follow you as my Lord.

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful

Scorpio in the Ancient Zodiac

Scorpio is the third constellation of the zodiac and is the image of a venomous scorpion.  It is also associated with the smaller constellations (Decans) Ophiucus, Serpens and Corona Borealis. In today’s horoscope if you are born between October 24 and November 22 you are a Scorpio.  In this modern horoscope reading of the zodiac, you follow the horoscope advice for Scorpio to find love, good luck and health.  It gives insight on your personality.

Where did Scorpio Originate?

But was it read this way at its beginning?  Here is a picture of the stars that form Scorpio.  Can you see a scorpion in this photo of the stars?  You’d need a lot of imagination! 

Photo of the Scorpio stars. Can you see a scorpion here?

In fact, even if we connect the stars in ‘Scorpio’ with lines it is still hard to ‘see’ the scorpion.  But this sign goes back as far as we know in human history. 

Scorpio constellation connected by lines. The raised tail is clear. But how do you know it is a scorpion and not a hook?

Here is the zodiac in the Denderah Temple of Egypt, more than 2000 years old.  The image of the scorpion in this zodiac is circled in red.

Scorpio in the Ancient Egyptian Dendera Zodiac

Here is a photo of National Geographic poster of the zodiac, also showing Scorpio as seen in the Southern Hemisphere.  Even though the stars that form scorpio are connected with lines in this diagram made to show us the zodiac constellations, it is still hard to ‘see’ a scorpion in this star constellation.

Scorpio outlined in a National Geographic Zodiac Poster

As with the other constellations, the Scorpio constellation of a scorpion ready to strike was not created from the stars themselves.  Rather, the idea of the striking scorpion came first. This idea was then overlaid on the stars as a recurring sign as a memory aid. The ancients could point out Scorpio to their children and tell them the story associated with it.

The Ancient Zodiac Story

The Zodiac constellations together form a Story – one written with the stars.  The Sign of Scorpio is the third chapter of 12. We saw in the first chapter (Virgo) that the Quran and the Bible state that Allah made the constellations. So the Story is His and was given at the beginning of human history.

The original zodiac was not a horoscope to guide your daily decisions to good luck, health, love and fortune based on the date of your birth and the movement of the planets.  It was a guide by Allah to show us the Straight Way and was recorded with the zodiac constellations so they could be seen and remembered by people every night.  The Story started with the promise of the seed of the Virgin, given in the constellation Virgo.  It continued with the weighing scales of Libra, showing us that our balance of deeds are too light for the Kingdom of Heaven. A price must be paid to redeem our light deeds. 

Scorpio in the Ancient Zodiac Story

But who is it demanding this payment?  Scorpio shows who it is, and reveals the heavenly conflict between the Seed of Virgo and the scorpion.  To understand this conflict we must see Scorpio along with its Decan (an accompanying constellation that is connected to the main constellation) Ophiuchus.

Scorpio and Ophiuchus constellations, 19th century artwork. Artwork from the 1886 ninth edition of Moses and Geology (Samuel Kinns, London). This book was originally published in 1882.

The constellation pictures a gigantic scorpion (Scorpio) trying to sting a mighty man (Ophiuchus) in the heel, while Ophiuchus is trampling on the scorpion while at the same time wrestling a coiled serpent.  This gigantic scorpion has its tail uplifted in anger, ready to wound and strike the man’s foot.  This sign helps us understand this conflict to-the-death.  In Scorpio we begin to learn the nature of the price to ransom us from Libra, the scales of justice.  Scorpio and the Serpent (Serpens) are two images of the same adversary – Shaytan.

This sign in the stars repeats the promise given as a Sign to Hazrat Adam in the garden of Paradise and recorded in the Taurat when the LORD told Shaytan (in the form of a serpent) concerning the Seed of Virgo

 “… you will strike his heel and he will crush your head”

(Genesis 3:15)

The scorpion struck the heel when the prophet Isa al Masih PBUH was crucified on the cross, but the scorpion suffered mortal defeat when the prophet rose from death three days later.  But it was foretold long beforehand with the constellations Scorpio, Ophiucus and Serpens by the One who made the stars and arranged them in the heavens. 

Conflict with Scorpio remembered by others

This promised conflict that began in the Garden and reached its climax on the cross was remembered by many ancient cultures.

2200 BCE Babylonian seal in British Museum. Shows temptation of Adam & Eve

These two images shows how both the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians had memories of Adam and Eve in Paradise and also the promise that the head of the serpent would be crushed. The ancient Greeks remembered this through Scorpio

…you can trace the starlit Ophiuchus himself: so brightly set beneath his head appear his gleaming shoulders. … his hands … firmly clutch the Serpent, which encircles the waist of Ophiuchus, but he, steadfast with both his feet well set, tramples a huge monster, even the Scorpion, standing upright on his eye and breast.

Aratus quoting Exodus 4th Century BCE Greek poet

Serpens and the Crown – Corona Borealis

The third Decan Constellation associated with Scorpio is Corona Borealis – a crown placed above Ophiuchus and Serpens. Here is a typical image of the three Scorpio decans shown together.

Ophiuchus and Serpens eyeing Corona Borealis – The Crown

You can see that both Ophiucus and Serpens are looking at The Crown. This is the constellation known as Corona Borealis. In fact, these two are battling for this Crown and we can see that Serpens is trying to grasp Corona Borealis.

The Serpent (Serpens) constellation up close – reaching for the Crown – Corona Borealis

Serpens is striving to lay hold of the Crown. This illustrates the nature of the conflict between the two. This is not only to be a conflict-to-the-death, but it is also a struggle for rule and dominion. The Serpent and Ophiucus battle to determine who will have the Crown.

Scorpio – A Story for you and me

Scorpio is for all people, not just for those born between Oct 24-Nov 22.  Scorpio is not a guide to more wealth or love, but from ancient times was an illustration placed in the stars for you and me to know what great lengths our Creator would go to in order to redeem us from our light deeds – that it would involve a great struggle to the death – and for the right to rule. This is actually the meaning of ‘Masih’.

The Prophet Isa al Masih referred to this conflict over the right to rule between himself and Shaytan when he referred to him as the ‘prince of this world’:

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

John 12:30-32

Thus this Sign is not just about rule over the world, but also asks us a very personal question – will I be drawn to him or not? Answering this question will reveal if the Sign of Scorpio guides us as intended.

The story of the struggle between the two great adversaries is not finished.  It continues with Sagittarius. (or understand it from the beginning with Virgo)

To read what the Ancient Prophets wrote which explains Scorpio’s conflict more fully see :

Libra in the Ancient Zodiac

Libra is the second constellation of the zodiac and means ‘weighing scales’.  In today’s horoscope if you are born between September 24 and October 23 you are a Libra.  It gives insight on your personality. Today’s horoscope guides your fortune and blessing as determined by the date of your birth in relation to the twelve Zodiac Signs.  The horoscope of today is used as a guide to find true love (love horoscope), or guide decisions towards good luck and success in relationships, health and wealth.

Libra Constellation

Libra star photo. Can you see balancing scales?

Libra is a constellation of stars that form the picture of scales or balances.  Here is a picture of the stars that form Libra.  Can you see ‘weighing scales’ in this photo of the stars?  No. 

Libra Constellation with stars connected by lines

In fact, even if we connect the stars in ‘Libra’ with lines it is still hard to see the scales.  But this sign of weighing scales goes back as far as we know in human history. 

Here is a picture of the zodiac in the Denderah Temple of Egypt, more than 2000 years old.  The image of the scales of Libra is circled in red.

Dendera Zodiac with Libra circled

Here is a photo of National Geographic poster of the zodiac, also showing Libra as seen in the Southern Hemisphere.  The triangle does not appear as a scale at all.

National Geographic poster of Zodiac constellations. Libra is circled in red

This means that the Libra constellation of the weighing of heavenly scales was not created from the stars themselves.  Rather, the idea of weighing scales came first.  This idea was then overlaid on the stars as a recurring sign to be a memory aid.  The ancients could point out the Libra constellation to their children and tell them the story associated with the weighing scales. 

The Author of the Constellations

The Zodiac constellations together form a Story – written in the stars.  Who wrote this story?  Surah al-Furqan tells us that Allah himself made the constellation of stars in the sky.

Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light;

(Surah al-Furqan: 25:61)

The oldest book of the Bible, written even before the Taurat of Musa PBUH, was the book of Job.  Job also mentions constellations and affirms that they were made by God:

He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.

(Job 9:9)

The twelve Signs of the Zodiac form a Story given by the Creator.  This Story is that of the Cosmic struggle between Him and His Adversary.  Virgo is the first chapter in this Story – of the coming Seed of the Virgin Woman – written in the night sky for all peoples. 

Libra Chapter in the Ancient Zodiac

Libra is the second chapter in this Story.  Libra painted another sign in the night sky for all peoples.  In it we see the sign of Allah’s Justice.  Righteousness, justice, order, government and the institutions of the rule of His Kingdom are illustrated for us with the Celestial Scales.  Libra refers to Divine judgments, accusations, penalties, payments, defaults and adjustments.  In Libra we are brought face to face with eternal justice, the weighing of the penalties of our sin and the price of redemption.  Surah Al Qariah (101) gives the same verdict when it speaks of a balance of good deeds weighed against the heavenly standard. 

he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light,-

Will have his home in a (bottomless) Pit.

Al-Qariah 101:8-9

Unfortunately, the verdict is not favourable for us.  The brightest star is in the upper arm of the balance – the balance of our good deeds is shown to be light as Al Qariah warned.   The Zabur pronounces the same verdict.

Lowborn men are but a breath,

The highborn are but a lie;

If weighed on a balance they are nothing;

Together they are only a breath.

(Psalm 62:9)

The Sign of Libra is given for us to ask ourselves if our balance of deeds is sufficient. In the justice of the Kingdom of God, all of us are found to have a balance of good deeds that weigh only as much as a breath – they are deficient and insufficient. 

But we are not without hope.  As in matters pertaining to paying debt and obligations, there is a price which can cover our lack of merit.  But it is not an easy price to pay.  The Zabur declares

The ransom for a life is costly

No payment is ever enough

(Psalm 49:8)

As the Prophet Job knew his redeemer who would balance his debt before heaven, so also the Zodiac Signs show us how we can know this same redeemer who can help us in our need. 

Libra & Scorpio

Libra’s picture has changed since the beginning of human history.  In early images and names given to the stars in Libra we see the claws of Scorpio reaching to grasp Libra.  In fact the brightest star Zubeneschamali, comes from the Arabic phrase al-zuban al-šamāliyya, which means “the northern claw”.  The second brightest star in Libra, Zubenelgenubi, is derived from the Arabic phrase al-zuban al-janūbiyy, which means “the southern claw.” The two claws of adjacent Scorpio are grasping at Libra.  This reveals the great struggle that is underway between these two opponents.  How this struggle unfolds we explore in the next Ancient Zodiac chapter The Sign of Scorpio. To understand the First Chapter of the Zodiac read the Sign of Virgo.

To read what the Ancient Prophets wrote to help us understand the Scales of Libra more fully see

Virgo & the Zodiac as Signs for my Life

Surah al-Buruj (Surah 85 – The Mansions of the Stars) mentions the Zodiac with:

By the sky, (displaying) the Zodiacal Signs;

By the promised Day (of Judgment);

By one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness;

Surah Al-Buruj 85:1-3

Surah Al-Buruj states that the Signs of the Zodiac are witnesses to the Day of Judgment.  What does this mean?

The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac are today associated with astrology and the horoscope.  Today’s horoscope guides your fortune and blessing as determined by the date of your birth in relation to the twelve Zodiac Signs.  The horoscope is used as a guide to find true love (love horoscope), or guide decisions towards good luck and success in relationships, health and wealth. These Twelve Signs used today for finding your personal horoscope for love, good luck and fortune are:

  1. Virgo
  2. Libra
  3. Scorpio
  4. Sagittarius
  5. Acquarius
  6. Pisces
  7. Aries
  8. Taurus
  9. Gemini
  10. Cancer

Modern Horoscope

Here is an example of a modern horoscope for Virgo:

Your pragmatic sign can normally screen out distractions, but today what’s coming for you may be too intense to ignore. A seismic collision between a short-fused Aries moon and volcanic Pluto in your passion can stir up your mental chatter and nervous energy to the point where you feel you need to take action. Talk to a grounded friend before you make a rash move. This WILL pass, and you don’t want to spend the next week mopping up the mess. You may need more love and affection than you’re getting, Virgo—but maybe that’s because you’re looking for it in the wrong places. Between the big-hearted Sun and hazy Neptune, people might not honor their commitments to you. But you’re perfectly capable of taking care of yourself when this happens. Turn this into the opportunity to expand your social horizons and attract all sorts of fascinating new friends (or more).

This advise for Virgo (born between August 23 – September 22) is supposed to guide your life. If you are born under another horoscope sign then you would read that sign.

But is this the original way that the ancients used the zodiac?

What is the Zodiac? Where does it come from?

These twelve Zodiac Signs are constellations of stars visible on the earth through the course of the year. Surah al-Furqan tells us that Allah himself made the constellation of stars in the sky.

Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light;

Surah al-Furqan: 25:61

But why would Allah make these constellations?  Astrology and the horoscope is generally regarded as a false worship, perhaps involving magic and forbidden arts.

The constellations and the twelve Signs of the zodiac have been part of human history for as far back as we have historical records.  How did the ancients use the zodiac with its twelve signs?

The oldest book of the Bible, written even before the Taurat of Musa PBUH, was the book of Job.  Job also mentions constellations and affirms that they were made by God:

He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.

Job 9:9

And so does Amos, another early prophet in the Bible

He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the Lord is his name.

Amos 5:8

The Pleiades are a group of stars that make up part of the constellation of Taurus the Bull.  If Job speaks of them in a book that was written more than 4000 years ago, the constellations of the zodiac have been with us a very long time. We can learn how the ancients used the zodiac and receive guidance in a different way then how they are commonly used in today’s horoscope. We can see that by examining the constellation Virgo, the first chapter of the ancient Zodiac Story.

The Constellation Virgo

Here is a photo of the stars forming Virgo.  Virgo is a young woman, a virgin. But it is impossible to ‘see’ Virgo (this virgin woman) in the stars.  The stars themselves do not naturally form the image of the woman. 

Night sky photo of Virgo. Can you see the Virgin woman?
Night sky photo of Virgo. Can you see the Virgin woman?
Photo of Virgo with lines connecting the stars of the Virgo constellation

Even if we connect the stars in the Virgo constellation with lines as in this image from Wikipedia, it is still hard to ‘see’ a woman with these stars, let alone a virgin woman.

But this has been the Sign for as far back as records exist.  Virgo is often depicted in full detail, but the details do not come from the constellation itself.   

Image of the Virgo woman is placed on the stars in great detail

Below is the entire Zodiac from the Egyptian Temple in Dendera, dated to 1st century BC.  This zodiac contains the 12 Zodiac signs and the Sign of Virgo is circled in red.  To help see more clearly, there is a diagram to the right with the images clearly sketched out.  Virgo is again circled in red.  You see that Virgo holds a seed of grain.  This seed of grain is the star Spica, the brightest star in the Virgo zodiac constellation.

Dendera Zodiac from Egypt. Virgo is circled in red

Here we see Spica in a photo of the night sky, as the Virgo stars are connected with lines

Virgo Constellation with Spica star shown

How does one know that Spica is a seed of grain (or ear of corn in some ancient images)?  It is not apparent from the constellation itself, just as Virgo is not apparent from the stars that make up the constellation.

This means that the Virgin Woman with the seed of grain was not created from the stars themselves.  Rather, the Virgin with the seed of grain was thought of beforehand, and then was placed on the constellation.   Where then did Virgo with her seed come from?  Who first had the Virgin in mind and then placed her and her seed as the Virgo constellation in the stars? 

Surahs al-Furqan, al-Baruj and the Book of Job declares that the zodiac constellations were ‘signs’ and that they were made by Allah from the beginning of time.  Long before the message of the prophets were recorded in books, they were placed in the stars as images to tell the story of Allah’s plan.  The original zodiac was not to guide us to wealth, love and good fortune depending on when in the year our birth was.  The zodiac was given as a story to guide us to the Straight Way.

This story written in the stars from the beginning of human history extends an invitation to you. It invites you to participate in this cosmic plan of the Creator. But before we can participate in this Story we must understand it as it is told from its twelve zodiac signs. The Story starts with Virgo.

Virgo Story from Beginning

In paradise, when Adam & Eve disobeyed, and Allah confronted them and the serpent (Shaytan) He promised Shaytan that:

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:15
Persons and their relationships in the Promise of Allah given in Paradise relating between the womans offspring and shaytan
The characters and their relationships given in Paradise. The Woman with the offspring is the original meaning of the Sign of Virgo. The ancients used this to remember this Promise

Here he gave a promise that an ‘offspring’ (literally a ‘seed’) will come from a woman – without mentioning her union with a man – thus she is a Virgin.  This Seed of the Virgin would crush the ‘head’ of the serpent.  The only person who was born of a virgin was the prophet Isa al Masih PBUH.  The coming of the Masih from a Virgin was announced at the beginning of time, as explained more fully here.  Then the sons of Adam, to remember the promise, drew out the constellation Virgo with her seed (Spica) so that their descendants would remember the promise.

This promise of the seed coming from the Virgin was given again to the Prophet Isaiah, 700 years before Isa al Masih was born.

Thus the Plan of Allah, given as 12 pictures, remembered in the constellations of the Zodiac, was studied, told and retold in the centuries from Hazrat Adam to Hazrat Nouh/Noah.  After the flood, the descendants of Noah corrupted the original story and it became the horoscope as it used today.

The Prophet Isa al Masih alluded to this very sign when:

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

John 12:24-25

The Prophet Isa al Masih saw himself as that seed – Spica – which would achieve a great victory for us – the ‘many seeds’. So the twelve Signs of the zodiac are for all peoples. There is not just one horoscope sign for you based on your birth date. The 12 Signs form a complete story that will guide your life, if you choose to follow it, not towards love, good luck and better relationships, but to eternal life through a lasting relationship with the Creator of the Zodiac.

Understand the complete Story as it was originally given by following the constellations of the Zodiac. Use it for guidance to the Straight Path

Here are the written messages from the Books that make up the Virgo chapter of the Zodiac:

The Day: Al-Inshiqaq & At-Tur and The Masih

Surah Al-Inshiqaq (Surah 84 – The Sundering) describes how earth and sky will be shaken and destroyed on the Day of Judgment. 

When the sky is rent asunder,

And hearkens to (the Command of) its Lord, and it must needs (do so);-

And when the earth is flattened out,

And casts forth what is within it and becomes (clean) empty,

And hearkens to (the Command of) its Lord,- and it must needs (do so);-

(then will come Home the full reality).

O thou man! Verily thou art ever toiling on towards thy Lord- painfully

toiling,- but thou shalt meet Him.

Then he who is given his Record in his right hand,

Soon will his account be taken by an easy reckoning,

And he will turn to his people, rejoicing!

But he who is given his Record behind his back,-

Soon will he cry for perdition,

And he will enter a Blazing Fire.

(Al-Inshiqaq 84:1-12)

Surah Al-Inshiqaq warns that those whose record of deeds is not given to his ‘right hand’ will enter a ‘blazing fire’ on that Day. 

Do you know whether your record of deeds will be given to your right hand or behind your back?

Surah at-Tur (Surah 52 – The Mount) describes in detail the shaking of earth and people on Judgment Day

There is none can avert it;-

On the Day when the firmament will be in dreadful commotion.

And the mountains will fly hither and thither.

Then woe that Day to those that treat (Truth) as Falsehood;-… (Surah at-Tur 52:8-11)

So leave them alone until they encounter that Day of theirs, wherein they

shall (perforce) swoon (with terror),-

The Day when their plotting will avail them nothing and no help shall be given them.

And verily, for those who do wrong, there is another punishment besides

this: But most of them understand not.

(Surah at-Tur 52:45-47)

Are you confident you have not ‘done wrong’ and never treated truth ‘as falsehood’ (lied) so that you can pass the judgment of that Day?

The Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH came to help those who are not sure how their record of deeds will be given to them on Judgment Day.  He came to help those who have no help.  He said in the Injil:

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:7-18

The Prophet Isa al Masih claimed great authority to protect his ‘sheep’ and give them life – even for that coming Day.  Does he have that authority?  The Taurat of Musa PBUH foresaw his authority even from the Creation of the world in six days.  Then the Zabur and the succeeding prophets prophesied details of his coming so we could know that his coming was really the plan from heaven.  But how does one become ‘his sheep’ and what did he mean by ‘I lay down my life for the sheep’?  We look at this here.

The teachings of the Prophet Isa al Masih has always divided people. This was true in his day as well. Here is how this discussion concluded and how the people who heard him were divided

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’[d]? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.

John 10:19-42

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The Day: Al-Masad & Al-Hadid and The Masih

Surah Al-Masad (Surah 111 – The Palm Fibre) warns of Flaming Judgment on the Final Day. 

Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!

No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains!

Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of Blazing Flame!

His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood – As fuel!-

A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her (own) neck!

(Al-Masad 111:1-5)

Surah Al-Masad warns that we can perish.  Even those close to us, like our wives, also face the threat of the sentence on the Final Day of Judgment. 

So what can we do to prepare for the examination of Allah who knows all our shameful secrets?

Surah Al-Hadid (Surah 57 – The Iron) tells us that He has sent Signs to lead us from the Darkness of our shameful secrets into the Light.

He is the One Who sends to His Servant Manifest Signs, that He may lead you from the depths of Darkness into the Light and verily God is to you most kind and Merciful.

(Surah al-Hadid 57:9)

But we are warned that those who have lived in Darkness will be searching frantically for Light on that Day.

One Day will the Hypocrites- men and women – say to the Believers: “Wait for us!  Let  us borrow (a Light) from your Light!” It will be said: “Turn ye back to your rear! then seek a Light (where ye can)!” So a wall will be put up betwixt them, with a gate therein. Within it will be Mercy throughout, and without it, all alongside, will be (Wrath and) Punishment!

(Those without) will call out, “Were we not with you?”  (The others) will reply, “True! but ye led yourselves into temptation; ye looked forward (to our ruin); ye doubted (God’s Promise); and (your false) desires deceived you; until there issued the Command of God. And the Deceiver deceived you in respect of God.

(Surah al-Hadid 57:13-14)

What if we have not lived such that we will have Light on that Day? Is there hope for us?

The Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH came to help us on that Day.  He spoke clearly that He was that Light for those of us who are in shameful darkness that will be needed on Judgment Day.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.

21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”

22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”

23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

25 “Who are you?” they asked.

“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”

27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

John 8: 12-30

Isa al Masih PBUH claimed great authority as ‘Light of the World’, and when challenged he referred to the ‘Law’.  This is the Taurat of Musa PBUH that prophesied of his coming and his authority.  This was followed by the Zabur and the succeeding prophets who predicted details of his coming so we could know that he had the authority which he claimed.  What is ‘Son of Man’ and what did Isa al Masih mean by ‘when you have lifted up the Son of Man’? What does it mean to have ‘the light of Life’?  We look at this here.  Do so today, because on the Judgment Day it will be too late to start looking then, as al-Hadid warns

“This Day shall no ransom be accepted of you, nor of those who rejected God.” Your abode is the Fire: that is the proper place to claim you: and an evil refuge it is!”

(al-Hadid 57:15)

This is how the Prophet Isa al Masih concluded his teaching on this occasion.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

John 8:31-59

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