Surah Qaf (Surah 50) describes a Day when the Trumpet of Allah is blown and the guardian angels on our right and left sides reveal the record of our deeds and merits. These ayat read:
It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.
Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and noted them), one sitting on the right and one on the left.
Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it).
And the stupor of death will bring Truth (before his eyes): “This was the thing which thou wast trying to escape!”
And the Trumpet shall be blown: that will be the Day whereof Warning (had been given).
And there will come forth every soul: with each will be an (angel) to drive, and an (angel) to bear witness.
(It will be said:) “Thou wast heedless of this; now have We removed thy veil, and sharp is thy sight this Day!”
And his Companion will say: “Here is (his Record) ready with me!” (Surah Qaf 50:16-23)
Ayah 20 says that the warning of the Trumpet had already been given (before the Qur’an was revealed). When was this given? It was given by Isa al Masih (PBUH) when he foretold that his return to earth would be announced by the trumpet of Heaven:
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:31)
What happens after this? Surah Qaf describes an angel on our right and on our left, recording our deeds. Since Allah is nearer to us than our jugular vein, the Injil tells us that these records of our deeds are so extensive that they are ‘books’. This was described in a vision that John, a disciple of Isa al Masih PBUH, received and wrote in the final book of the Injil. As it is written:
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
This declares that all are judged ‘according to what they have done’ as recorded in the ‘books’. And so we greet the angels on our right and left after prayers, hoping to get some advantage in the recording of deeds. But there is another book, called the ‘Book of Life’, which is different than the other good and bad record-keeping books. It clearly states that ‘anyone’ whose name is not found written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (another term for hell). So, even if our list of good deeds recorded by the angel on our right is very long, and the list of sins recorded by the angel on our left side is very short – even then – if our name is not in the ‘book of life’ we are still condemned to Hell. What is this ‘book of life’ and how is our name recorded in this book?
Both the Taurat and Quran tells us that when Hazrat Adam sinned, Allah banished him from Paradise and made him mortal. This meant that he (and we his children) was separated from the source of Life. This is the reason we are mortal and will die one day. The Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH came to restore this Life to us so our names could be entered into the Book of Life. As he declared
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)
How the Prophet Ibrahim foresaw this gift of life, and why Isa al Masih can give us life is explained in detail here. Surah Qaf warns us that
(The sentence will be:) “Throw, throw into Hell every contumacious Rejecter (of God) (Surah Qaf 50:24)
“The Qur’an is the original scripture – same language, letters and recitation. No place for human interpretation or corrupted translation …If you pick up a copy of a Qur’an from any home around the world I doubt you will even find a difference between them.”
A friend sent me this note. He was comparing the text of the Holy Qur’an with that of the Injil/Bible. The Injil does have minor textual variations within the thousands of existing manuscripts. The claim is often made, as above, that there has been no variation in the Qur’an. This is seen as an indication of the Qur’an’s superiority over the Bible, and evidence of its miraculous protection. But what do the hadiths tell us about the formation and compilation of the Qur’an?
Formation of Quran from Prophet to Caliphs
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab.. I heard Hisham bin Hakim reciting Surat Al-Furqan during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle and I … noticed that he recited inseveral different ways which Allah’s Apostle had not taught me. … I … said, “Who taught you this Sura which I heard you reciting?” He replied, “Allah’s Apostle taught it to me.” I said, “You have told a lie, for Allah’s Apostle has taught it to me in a different way from yours.” So I dragged him to Allah’s Apostle and said, “I heard this person reciting Surat Al-Furqan in a way which you haven’t taught me!” On that Allah’s Apostle said, “Release him, (O ‘Umar!) Recite, O Hisham!” Then he recited in the same way as I heard him reciting. Then Allah’s Apostle said, “It was revealed in this way,” and added, “Recite, O ‘Umar!” I recited it as he had taught me. Allah’s Apostle then said, “It was revealed in this way. This Qur’an has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways, so recite of it whichever (way) is easier for you.” Bukhari Vol 6, Book 61, No. 514
Narrated Ibn Mas’ud: I heard a person reciting a (Quranic) Verse in a certain way, and I had heard the Prophet reciting the same Verse in a different way. So I took him to the Prophet and informed him of that but I noticed the sign of disapproval on his face, and then he said, “Both of you are correct, ….” Bukhari Vol 4, Book 56, No 682
These two clearly tell us that during the Prophet Mohamed’s (PBUH) lifetime there were several variant versions of the Qur’an’s recitation that were used and approved by Mohamed (PBUH). So what happened after his death?
Abu Bakr and Qur’an
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people! of Yamama had been killed. (I went to him) and found ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), “Umar has come to me and said: “Casualties were heavy among the Qurra’ of the! Qur’an (i.e. those who knew the Quran by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yalmama, and I am afraid that … a large part of the Qur’an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur’an be collected.” I said to ‘Umar, “How can you do something which Allah’s Apostle did not do?” ‘Umar said, “By Allah, that is a good project. “… Then Abu Bakr said (to me). “…. So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur’an and collect it in one book).” …Then I said to Abu Bakr, “How will you do something which Allah’s Apostle did not do?” Abu Bakr replied, “By Allah, it is a good project.” Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. So I started looking for the Qur’an and collecting it from (what was written on) palmed stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart,. … Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur’an remained with Abu Bakr …. Bukhari Vol 6, Book 61, No 509
This comes from when Abu Bakr was caliph, directly succeeding Mohamed (PBUH). It tells us that Mohamed (PBUH) had never collected the Qur’an into a standard text or given any indication that such a thing should be done. With heavy battle casualties amongst those who knew the Qur’an by memory, Abu Bakr and Umar (he became the 2nd Caliph) persuaded Zaid to start to collect a Qur’an from diverse sources. Zaid was initially reluctant because Mohamed (PBUH) had never indicated a need to standardize the text. He had trusted several of his companions to teach the Qur’an to their followers as the following hadith tells us.
Narrated Masriq: ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr mentioned ‘Abdullah bin Masud and said, “I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Take (learn) the Qur’an from four: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu’adh and Ubai bin Ka’b.’ ” Bukhari Vol 6, Book 61, No 521:
However, after the Prophet’s (PBUH) death disagreements arose between the companions because of these variant recitations. The hadith below tells of a disagreement over Surah 92:1-3 (Al-Layl)
Narrated Ibrahim: The companions of ‘Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) came to Abu Darda’…. Then he asked them,: ‘Who among you can recite (Qur’an) as ‘Abdullah recites it?” …. “How did you hear ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud reciting Surat Al-Lail (The Night)?” Alqama recited: ‘By the male and the female.’ Abu Ad-Darda said, “I testify that I heard me Prophet reciting it likewise, but these people want me to recite it:– ‘And by Him Who created male and female.’ but by Allah, I will not follow them.” Bukhari Vol 6, Book 60, No 468:
Today’s Qur’an has the 2nd reading for Surah 92:3. Interestingly Abdullah, who is one of the four in the previous hadith especially singled out by the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as an authority on Qur’anic recitation, and Abu Ad-Darda used an alternate reading for this verse and were not willing to follow the others.
The following hadith shows that whole regions of the Islamic empire were following different recitations, to the extent that one could verify where someone came from by what recitation he used. In the case below, the Iraqis of Kufa were following Abdullah bin Mas’ud’s recitation of Surah 92:1-3.
‘Alqama reported: I met Abu Darda’, and he said to me: To which country do you belong? I said: I am … of Iraq. He again said: To which city? I replied: “Kufa”. He again said: Do you recite according to the recitation of ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud? I said: Yes. He said: Recite this verse (By the night when it covers) So I recited it: (By the night when it covers, and the day when it shines, and the creating of the male and the female). He laughed and said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) reciting like this. Muslim Book 004, Number 1801:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: ‘Umar said, Ubai was the best of us in the recitation (of the Qur’an) yet we leave some of what he recites.’ Ubai says, ‘I have taken it from the mouth of Allah’s Apostle and will not leave for anything whatever.” Volume 6, Book 61, Number 527:
Though Ubai was considered ‘the best’ in reciting the Qur’an (He was one of those noted previously by Mohamed-PBUH), others in the community left out some of what he recited. There was disagreement over what was to be abrogated and what was not. Disagreements on variant readings and abrogation were causing tensions. We see in the hadith below how this problem was solved.
Caliph Uthman and Quran
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war …. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to ‘Uthman, “O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before.” So ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, “Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you.” Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, ‘Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and ‘AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. … and when they had written many copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt.Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510:
This is why there are no variant readings today. It was not because the prophet Mohamed (PBUH) only received or used one recitation (he did not, he used seven), nor because he compiled an authoritative Qur’an. He did not. In fact, the whole of book 30 of Sunan Abu-Dawud hadiths is about the variant recitations of the Qur’an. Today’s Qur’an is non-variant because Uthman (3rd caliph) took one of the readings, edited it, and burned all the other recitations. The following hadiths show how this editing lives on in today’s Qur’an.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas …. Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed the Holy Book to him, and among what Allah revealed, was the Verse of the Rajam (the stoning of married person (male & female) who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and we did recite this Verse and understood and memorized it. … I am afraid that after a long time has passed, somebody will say, ‘By Allah, we do not find the Verse of the Rajam in Allah’s Book,’ Bukhari: vol. 8, book 82 No 817
Today there is no verse about stoning (Rajam) for adultery in the Qur’an. It was thus edited out.
Narrated Ibn Az-Zubair: I said to ‘Uthman, “This Verse which is in Surat-al-Baqara: “Those of you who die and leave widows behind…without turning them out.” has been abrogated by another Verse. Why then do you write it (in the Qur’an)?” ‘Uthman said. “Leave it (where it is), …, for I will not shift anything of it (i.e. the Quran) from its original position.” Bukhari Vol 6, Book 60, No 60:
Here we see a disagreement between Uthman and Ibn Az-Zubair over whether abrogation of a verse meant it should or should not be kept in the Qur’an. Uthman had his way and so this verse is in the Qur’an today. But there was controversy about it.
Uthman and the Heading for Surah 9 (At Tawbah)
Narrated Uthman ibn Affan:: Yazid al-Farisi said: I heard Ibn Abbas say: I asked Uthman ibn Affan: What moved you to put the (Surah) al-Bara’ah which belongs to the mi’in (surahs) … and the (Surah) al-Anfal which belongs to the mathani (Surahs) in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the first long surah or chapters of the Qur’an), and you did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them?
Uthman replied: When the verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet (PBUH), he called someone to write them down for him and said to him: Put this verse in the surah in which such and such has been mentioned; and when one or two verses were revealed, he used to say similarly (regarding them). (Surah) al-Anfal [ie surah 8] is the first surah that was revealed at Medina, and (Surah) al-Bara’ah [ie surah 9] was revealed last in the Qur’an, and its contents were similar to those of al-Anfal. I, therefore, thought that it was a part of al-Anfal. Hence I put them in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the seven lengthy surahs), and I did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them. Dawud Book 3, Number 0785:
Surah 9 (at Tawbah or Al Barah) is the only Surah in the Qur’an that does not begin with ‘In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful’. The hadith explains why. Uthman thought that Surah 9 was part of Surah 8 since the material was similar. From the questioning we can see that this was controversial within the early Muslim community. The next hadith shows the reaction of one of the Companions to Uthman’s Qur’an.
‘Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) reported that he (said to his companions to conceal their copies of the Qur’an) and further said: He who conceals anything he shall have to bring that which he had concealed on the Day of judgment, and then said: After whose mode of recitation you command me to recite? I in fact recited before AIlah’s Messenger (PBUH) more than seventy chapters of the Qur’an and the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) know it that I have better understanding of the Book of Allah (than they do), …. Shaqiq said: I sat in the company of the Companions of Mubkmmad (PBUH) but I did not hear anyone having rejected that (that is, his recitation) or finding fault with it. Muslim Book 031, No 6022:
Several things stand out:
Abdullah b. Masud tells his followers to hide their Qur’ans for some reason.
He seems to have been commanded by someone to use a different recitation. This is best understood as referring to the time when Uthman standardized his version of the Qur’an.
Ibn Mas’ud’s objection to changing the way he recited the Qur’an was that: I (Mas’ud) have better understanding of the Book
Shaqiq said that the Companions of Muhammad did not disagree with Mas’ud.
Textual versions of Qur’an today
Following Uthman’s edition, however, variant readings still existed. In fact, it seems that in 4th century after the Prophet [PBUH] there was a sanctioned return to different readings. So though today the major Arab textual reading is the Hafs (or Hofs), there is also the Warsh, used mostly in North Africa, Al-Duri, used mostly in West Africa and still others. The difference between these readings are mostly in spelling and some slight wording variations, usually without any affect on meaning, but with some differences that do have an affect on meaning only in the immediate context but not in wider thought.
So there is a choice as to what version of the Qur’an to use.
We have learned that there are variant Arabic readings of the Qur’an today, and it went through an editing and selection process after the death of the prophet Mohamed (PBUH). The reason that there is such little variation in the Qur’anic text today is because all other text variants were burned at that time. The Quran has no alternate reading footnotes, not because it had no alternate readings, but because they were destroyed. Uthman probably produced a good recitation of the Qur’an, but it was not the only one, and it was not made without controversy. Thus the widely accepted idea of the Qur’an being “original scripture – same language, letters and recitation. No place for human interpretation” is incorrect. Though the Bible and Qur’an both have variant readings, they also both have strong manuscript evidence indicating that the text as it is today is close to the original. Both can give us a trustworthy representation of the original. Many are distracted from seeking to understand the message of the Books by having an undue veneration for the mode of preservation of the Qur’an and an undue disdain for the mode of preservation of the Bible. We would be better off focusing on understanding the Books. That was the reason they were given in the first place. A good place to start is with Adam.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
He promised to be with them always, yet he left them shortly afterwards when he ascended to heaven. How could he still be with them (and also with us) after he ascended?
The answer comes in what happened a little later. At the supper just before his arrest he had promised the coming of the Helper. Fifty days after his resurrection (and 10 days after his ascension) this promise was fulfilled. This day is called the Day of Pentecost or Pentecost Sunday. It celebrates a remarkable day, but it is not only what happened that day but when and why it happened that reveals the sign of Allah, and a powerful gift for you.
What happened on Pentecost
The complete events are recorded in the Book of Acts chapter 2 of the Bible. On that day, the Holy Spirit of God descended on the first followers of Isa al Masih PBUH and they started speaking loudly in languages from around the world. It created such a commotion that thousands who were in Jerusalem at the time came out to see what was happening. In front of the gathered crowd, Peter spoke the first gospel message and ‘three thousand were added to their number that day’ (Acts 2:41). The number of followers of the gospel has been growing ever since that Pentecost Sunday.
This summary of Pentecost is not complete. Because, just like the other events of the Prophet, Pentecost happened on the same day as a Festival that had begun with the Taurat in the time of the Prophet Musa PBUH.
Precisely 50 days after the ‘Firstfruits’ Sunday the Taurat required the Jews to celebrate Pentecost (‘Pente’ for 50). It was first called Feast of Weeks since it was counted by seven weeks. Jews had been celebrating the Feast of Weeks for 1500 years by the time of the Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH. The reason that there were people from all over the world to hear Peter’s message that day the Holy Spirit descended in Jerusalem was precisely because they were there to celebrate the Pentecost of the Taurat. Today Jews continue to celebrate Pentecost but call it Shavuot.
We read in the Taurat how the Feast of Weeks was to be celebrated:
Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:16-17)
Precision of Pentecost: Sign from Allah
There is a precise timing of the Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on people since it occurred on the same day as the Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) of the Taurat. The crucifixion of Isa al Masih occurring on the Passover Festival, his resurrection occurring on the FirstFruits Festival, and this coming of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Weeks, are clear signs to us from Allah. With so many days in a year why should the crucifixion, resurrection, and then the coming of the Holy Spirit happen precisely on each day of the three spring festivals of the Taurat, except if this was to show us His plan?
Pentecost: The Helper gives New Power
In explaining the signs of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter pointed to a prophecy from the prophet Joel predicting that one day the Spirit of God would pour out on all peoples. The events of that Pentecost day fulfilled the prophecy.
One reason that the Gospel is ‘good news’ is that it provides power to live life better. Life is now a union between Allah and people. This union takes place through the indwelling of the Spirit of God – which began on the Pentecost Sunday of Acts 2. It is Good News that life can now be lived on a different level, in a relationship with God through His Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us a true inner guidance – guidance from God. The Bible explains it like this:
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
The indwelling Spirit of God is a second firstfruits, because the Spirit is a foretaste – a guarantee – of completing our transformation into ‘children of God’.
The gospel offers a new life not by trying-but-failing to keep the Law. Nor is it an abundant life through possessions, status, wealth and all the other passing pleasures in this world, which Suleiman had found so empty. Instead, the Injil offers a new and abundant life by the indwelling of the Spirit of God in our hearts. If Allah offers to indwell, empower and guide us – that has to be Good News! The Pentecost of Taurat, with the celebration of fine bread baked with yeast pictured this coming abundant life. The precision between the Old and New Pentecosts is a clear sign that this is the plan of Allah for us to have an abundant life.
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 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.
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. 5 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.
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.
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.
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
The Quran speaks of this in Surah As-Saffat 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
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.
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)
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.
As the Injil declares:
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,6 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.
The Taurat of Prophet Musa PBUH revealed foreknowledge of Isa al Masih PBUH through Signs which were patterned to the coming of the Prophet. The Prophets which followed Musa showed Allah’s plan with oracles. Dawud PBUH, inspired by God, first prophesied of the coming ‘Masih’ in Psalm 2 about 1000 BC. Then in Psalm 22 he wrote an oracle about someone whose hands and feet are ‘pierced’ in tortures, then ‘laid in the dust of death’ but afterwards achieving a great victory that would impact all ‘the families of earth’. Was this a prophecy of the coming crucifixion and resurrection of Isa al Masih? We take a look here.
Prophecy of Psalm 22
You can read the entire Psalm 22 here. Below is a table with Psalm 22 side-by-side with the description of the crucifixion of Isa al Masih as witnessed by his disciples (companions) in the Injil. The texts are color matched so the similarities are easily noted.
Crucifixion details from the Injil
Psalm 22 – written 1000 BC
(Matthew 27: 31-48) ..Then they led him (Jesus) away to crucify him…. 39 Those who passed byhurled insults at him, shaking their heads40 and saying, “… save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him,…About the ninth hour Jesus cried…“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” …48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.Mark 15: 16-2016 The soldiers led Jesus away… They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him…37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.(JOHN 19:34) they did not break his legs..., pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.…they crucified him… (JOHN 20:25) [Thomas] unless I see the nail marks in his hands ,…”…JOHN 20:23-24 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them,with the undergarment remaining…Let’s not tear it”, they said,”Let’s decide by lot who gets it”…
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest…7 All who see memock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. 10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
The Injil is written from the perspective of eye-witnesses who watched the crucifixion. But Psalm 22 is written from the perspective of someone experiencing it. How to explain this similarity between Psalm 22 and the crucifixion of Isa al Masih? Is it coincidence that the details match so exactly as to include that the clothes would both be divided (seamed clothes were split along the seams and passed among the soldiers) AND have cast lots (the seamless garment would be ruined if torn apart so they threw dice for it). Psalm 22 was written before crucifixion was invented but it describes its specific details (piercing of hands and feet, bones being out of joint – by being stretched as the victim hangs). In addition, the Gospel of John states that blood and water flowed out when the spear was thrust in Jesus’ side, indicating a fluid buildup in the cavity of the heart. Isa al Masih thus died of a heart attack. This matches the Psalm 22 description of ‘my heart has turned to wax’. The Hebrew word in Psalm 22 which is translated ‘pierced’ literally means ‘like a lion’. In other words, the hands and feet were mutilated and mauled as by a lion when they were pierced.
Unbelievers reply that the similarity of Psalm 22 with the eye-witness recording in the Injil is perhaps because the disciples of Isa made up the events to ‘fit’ the prophecy. Could that explain the similarity?
Psalm 22 and the legacy of Isa al Masih
But Psalm 22 does not end with verse 18 in the table above – it continues on. Note here how triumphant it is at the end –after the death!
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever!
27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn— for he has done it. (Psalm 22:26-31)
This is not talking about details of this person’s death. That was dealt with in the beginning of the Psalm. The prophet Dawud PBUH is now looking further into the future and addressing the impact of this person’s death on ‘posterity’ and ‘future generations’ (v.30). That is us living 2000 years after Isa al Masih. Dawud tells us that ‘posterity’ which follows this man with ‘pierced hands and feet’, who died such a horrible death will ‘serve’ him and be ‘told about him’. Verse 27 foretells the extent – it will go to the ‘ends of the earth’ and among ‘all families of nations’ and cause them to ‘turn to the LORD’. Verse 29 indicates how ‘those who cannot keep themselves alive’ (all of us) will one day kneel before him. The righteousness of this man will be proclaimed to people who were not yet alive (the ‘yet unborn’) at the time of his death.
This ending has nothing to do with whether the Injil was made up to fit Psalm 22 because it is now dealing with much later events – those of our time. The writers of the Injil, in the 1st century, could not make up the impact of the death of Isa al Masih into our time. The rationalizing of the unbelievers does not explain the long-term, world-wide legacy of Isa al Masih that Psalm 22 correctly predicted 3000 years ago.
Quran – David’s foreknowledge given by Allah
This victorious praise at the end of Psalm 22 is exactly what the Quran means when it says of David’s inspired Psalms that:
We bestowed Grace aforetime on David from ourselves: “O ye Mountains! Sing ye back the Praises of Allah with him! and ye birds (also)! And We made the iron soft for him (Surah Sheba 34:10)
We gave (in the past) knowledge to David and Solomon: And they both said: “Praise be to Allah, Who has favoured us above many of his servants who believe!” (Surah An-Naml 27:15)
As it says, Allah gave David the knowledge and grace to foresee the future and with that knowledge he sang the praises recorded in Psalm 22.
One could not make a better prediction of the effect of the crucifixion of Isa al Masih than Psalm 22 does. Who else in world history can claim that details of his death as well as the legacy of his life into the distant future would be predicted 1000 years before he lived? Since no human can predict the far future in such detail this is evidence that Isa al Masih’s sacrifice was by “God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge“.
The other Prophets foretell the sacrifice of Isa al Masih
‘A son will be born from a virgin’ predicted the Prophet Isaiah in 700 BC and he will live perfectly without sin. Only a perfect life could be offered in sacrifice for another. Isa al Masih, born in fulfillment of that prophecy, lived that perfect life
The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zechariah gave a series of prophecies of a coming one whom Zechariah correctly named as Isa – 500 years before Isa lived. Zechariah prophesied that in ‘one day’ the sins of the people would be removed. Isa offered himself as the sacrifice and so in exactly ‘one day’ sins were atoned for, fulfilling all these prophecies.
The Prophet Isaiah predicted in great detail how the Masih would be ‘cut off from the land of the living’ including torture, being rejected, ‘pierced’ for our sins, led like a lamb to the slaughter, his life being an offering for sin, but afterwards he would again see ‘life’ and be victorious. All these detailed predictions were fulfilled when Isa al Masih was crucified and then rose from death. That such details could be predicted 700 years beforehand is a great Sign that this was Allah’s plan.
Isa al Masih refers to a prophecy of Zechariah that he would free ‘prisoners of death’ (those already dead). His mission to enter death and free those trapped there was foretold by the prophets.
With these many prophecies, from prophets who themselves were separated by hundreds of years, living in diverse countries, having different backgrounds, yet all focused on predicting some part of the great victory of Isa al Masih through his death and resurrection – this is evidence that this was according to Allah’s plan. For this reason, Peter, the leader of the disciples of Isa al Masih, said to his listeners:
But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. (Acts 3:18)
Right after Peter said this, he then declared:
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. (Acts 3: 19)
There is a promise of blessing for us that we can have our sins ‘wiped away’. We look at what this means here.
“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:23-24)
After Peter’s message, thousands believed and the message was embraced by multitudes around the world of that day – all without any compulsion. The reason for the widespread acceptance were the writings of the Taurat and prophets of Zabur that had been written down hundreds of years previously. The people examined these scriptures to see if they did indeed foretell the coming, the death and the resurrection of Isa al Masih. These same unchanged scriptures are available today so we can also investigate the death and resurrection of Isa al Masih, and if it was according to “God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” as Peter declared. Here we summarize some of what the first hearers of the Injil observed from the Taurat, going back as far as Adam and the six-day creation, as they
“…examined the scriptures every day …” (Acts 17: 11)
Allah’s foreknowledge revealed from beginning of Taurat and in Quran
From the first page of the Taurat we can see that days of Isa al Masih PBUH and his sacrifice were foreknown by Allah. Of all the Holy Books (Taurat, Zabur, Injil & Qur’an) there are only two weeks where the events of each consecutive day of the week are narrated. The first such week is the account of how Allah created everything in six days recorded in the first two chapter of the Taurat. Notice how the Quran emphasizes the six days of Creation:
Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o’er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds! (Surah Al-Araf 7:54)
He who created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days and then established Himself above the Throne – the Most Merciful, so ask about Him one well informed.(Surah Al-Furqan 25:59)
It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded? (Surah As-Sajdah 32:4)
And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched Us no weariness.(Surah Qaf 50:38)
It is He who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth and what emerges from it and what descends from the heaven and what ascends therein; and He is with you wherever you are. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing. (Surah Al-Hadid 57:4)
The only other week with daily events recorded is the last week of the Prophet Isa al Masih. No other prophet, whether Ibrahim, Musa, Dawud, and Muhammad PBUT have daily activities narrated for one complete week. The complete creation week account at the opening of the Taurat is given here. We have gone through the daily events in Isa al Masih’s last week. This table places each day of these two weeks side-by-side for comparison.
Adam is warned away from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil with a curse.
Isa is nailed to a tree and cursed. (When Christ was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13)
No animal is found to be suitable for Adam. Another person was necessary
The sacrifice of Passover animals in the end were not suitable. A person was required.
(It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me” Hebrews 10: 4-5)
Allah puts Adam into a deep sleep
Isa enters the sleep of death
Allah makes a wound in Adam’s side with which he creates Eve – Adam’s bride
(“I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb” – Revelation 21:9)
Allah rests from work. The day is declared Holy
Isa al Masih rests in death
Each day’s events for these two weeks are like mirror images of each other. They have symmetry. At the end of both of these weeks, first fruits of new life is ready to burst forth and multiply. Adam and Isa al Masih are reverse images of each other. The Quran says of Isa al Masih and Adam:
Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. (Surah Al-Imran 3:59)
The Injil says of Adam that
… Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. (Romans 5:14)
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15: 21-22)
By comparing these two weeks we can see that Adam was indeed a reverse pattern of Isa al Masih. Did Allah need to take seven days to create the universe? Could he not have done it with one command? Why then did he create in the manner that he did? Why did Allah rest on the seventh day when He was not tired? He did all in the manner and order that He did so that the final activities of Isa al Masih could be anticipated in the daily acts of the Creation week. This is especially true of Day 6. We can see pattern even in the choice of words. For example, instead of simply saying ‘Isa al Masih died’ the Injil says he ‘breathed his last’, a direct reverse pattern in the words themselves to Adam who received the ‘breath of life’. Such a pattern from the start of time speaks of ‘foreknowledge’, just as Peter stated after the resurrection of Isa al Masih.
Subsequent Illustrations in the Taurat
The Taurat then records specific events and establishes rituals that serve as illustrations or pictures that point to the coming sacrifice of the Prophet Isa al Masih. These were given to help us understand the foreknowledge of Allah’s plan. In our journey through the Taurat we have looked at some of these milestones. The table below summarizes them, with links to these great Signs that were recorded over a thousand years before the Prophet Is al Masih.
Sign from Taurat
How it reveals the plan of the coming sacrifice of Isa al Masih
When Allah confronted Adam after his disobedience He spoke of a single male offspring who would come (only) from a woman (thus a virgin birth). This offspring would crush Shaytan but would himself be struck in the process.
A sacrifice of death was required. Qabil sacrificed vegetables (which have no soul) but Habil offered the life of an animal. This was accepted by Allah. This illustrated the plan for the sacrifice of Isa al Masih.
The picture gains more detail as the location where the Prophet Ibrahim sacrificed his son was the same location where thousands of years later the Prophet Isa al Masih would be sacrificed, and the Prophet Ibrahim spoke of that future sacrifice. The son was to die but at the last moment the lamb substituted so the son could live. This pictured how Isa al Masih the ‘Lamb of God’ would sacrifice himself so we could live.
Further details of God’s plan are revealed when the lambs are sacrificed on a specific day – Passover. Pharaoh of Egypt, who did not sacrifice a lamb experienced death. But the Israelites who sacrificed a lamb escaped death. Hundreds of years later Isa al Masih was sacrificed on this exact same day in the calendar – Passover.
Harun institutes specific ritual sacrifices of animals. The Israelites who sinned could offer sacrifices to atone for their sin. But sacrificial death was required. Only Priests could offer sacrifices on behalf of the people. This anticipated Isa al Masih in his role as Priest who would give his life in sacrifice for us.
Because the Taurat of the Prophet Musa PBUH so clearly pointed to the coming of the Prophet Isa al Masih it says of the Law:
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. (Hebrews 10:1)
And Isa al Masih warned those who did not believe his mission:
I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5: 43-47)
Isa al Masih also said to his followers to help them understand his mission
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24: 44)
The prophet clearly said that not only the Taurat, but the writings of the ‘Prophets and the Psalms’ also were about him. We look at this here. Whereas the Taurat used events that were illustrations of his coming, these later prophets wrote directly of his coming death and resurrection with oracles.
Here we understand how to receive the gift of eternal life offered to us by the Prophet Isa al Masih.
The Lord said to Moses,2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
3 “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.
The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
4 “‘These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times:5 The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. (Leviticus 23:1-5)
Is it not curious that both the crucifixion and rest of the Prophet Isa al Masih coincided exactly with two Holy festivals prescribed 1500 years beforehand as shown in the timeline? Why is this? The answer reaches out to us all, even to how we now greet one another every day.
This coordination of the Prophet Isa al Masih with the festivals of the Taurat continues. The recitation from Taurat above dealt only with the first two festivals. The next festival was called ‘first fruits’ and the Taurat gave this instruction about it.
The Lord said to Moses,10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.11 He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath…
14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. (Leviticus 23: 9-11, 14)
So ‘the day after the sabbath’ of the Passover was a third Holy day. Every year on this day the High Priest entered the Holy Temple and waved the very first grain harvest of the spring before the LORD. This signified the start of new life after the death of winter, looking forward to a plentiful harvest so the people could eat and be satisfied.
This was the exact same day after the Sabbath when Isa al Masih PBUH had rested in death, the Sunday of a new week on Nisan 16. The Injil records startling events on this same day that the High Priest went in the Temple to offer ‘first fruits’ of new life. Here is the record:
Isa al Masih Risen from the Dead
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast.18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him,and he disappeared from their sight.32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24: 1-48)
Isa al Masih’s Victory
The prophet Isa al Masih PBUH on that Holy day of ‘First Fruits’ achieved a great victory that his enemies and his companions did not believe possible – he came back to life victorious over death. As the Injil explains:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15: 54-56)
But this was not just a victory for the prophet. It is also a victory for you and me, guaranteed by the timing with the First Fruits festival with his resurrection. The Injil explains it like this:
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15: 20-26)
The prophet was raised to life on the same day as the First Fruits festival so we would know that we can participate in this same resurrection from death. Just as the First Fruits festival was an offering of new life with the expectation of a great harvest later in the spring, the Injil tells us that the raising of Isa al Masih was the ‘first fruit’ of the resurrection with the expectation of a larger resurrection later for all ‘who belong to him’. We saw in the Taurat and Qur’an that death came because of Adam. The Injil tells us that in a parallel way resurrection life comes through Isa al Masih. He is the first fruits of new life that we are all invited to participate in.
Easter: Celebrating the Resurrection of that Sunday
Today the resurrection of Isa al Masih is often referred to as Easter, and the Sunday that he rose is often remembered as Easter Sunday. But these words only came into use hundreds of years afterwards. The actual words used to remember the resurrection of Isa al Masih are not important. What is important is the resurrection of the Prophet as a fulfillment of the Festival of First Fruits begun hundreds of years earlier in the time of the Prophet Musa, and what this means for you and me.
This is seen for Sunday of the new week in the Timeline:
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)
When he ‘tasted death’ on Good Friday he did so for you, me and ‘everyone’. Good Friday has its name because it was good for us. When he rose on the First Fruits Festival he now offers new life to everyone.
Resurrection and Peace of Isa al Masih in the Qur’an
Though given in less detail, the Qur’an labels the resurrection of Isa al Masih as one of three most important days. Surah Maryam recites it in this way:
[Isal al Masih said] “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)”! (Surah Maryam 19:33)
The Injil also emphasizes the birth of Isa al Masih, his death and now his resurrection. Since his resurrection is ‘first-fruits’, the peace that was upon the prophet in his resurrection is also now available to you and me. Isa al Masih showed this when he greeted his disciples later on the day of his resurrection:
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John20:19-22)
The customary greeting that Muslims now extend to one another (‘salam ealaykum’ – Peace be upon you) was used by the Prophet Isa al Masih long beforehand to link his resurrection with the peace that is now given to us. We should remember this promise from the prophet every time we hear or say this greeting, and think of the gift of the Holy Spirit also now available to us.
Resurrection of Isa al Masih considered
The Prophet Isa al Masih showed himself alive from death over many days to his companions. These events from the Injil are narrated here. But it is instructive to note that even at his first appearance to his disciples it:
…seemed to them like nonsense (Luke 24: 10)
The prophet himself had to:
beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
And again later:
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24: 44)
How can we be sure if this is indeed Allah’s plan and straight way to give us life from death? Only God can know the future, so Signs revealed hundreds of years previously through the Prophets in Taurat and Zabur, and fulfilled by Isa al Masih were written to give us assurance:
so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1: 4)
So we can be informed on this vital topic of the sacrifice and resurrection of the Prophet Isa al Masih, links to four different articles are available:
This article reviews the Signs given in the Taurat (Law of Moses) pointing to Isa al Masih.
This article reviews the Signs in ‘the Prophets and the Psalms’. The goal of these two articles is to allow us to judge for ourselves whether it was indeed written that “The Masih will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day” (Luke 24:46) in these books.
This article will help us understand how to receive this gift of resurrection life from Isa al Masih.
This article addresses some confusion about the crucifixion of Isa al Masih, reviewing what the Holy Qur’an and different Islamic scholars have written about it.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. (Luke 23: 55-56)
The women wanted prepare the body of the prophet but time had run out and the Sabbath began at sundown Friday evening. This was the 7th day of the week and Jews were not permitted to work on this day. This command went back to the creation account in the Taurat. Allah had created everything in 6 days. The Taurat stated:
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:1-2)
So the women, though they wanted to prepare his body, were obedient to the Taurat and rested.
But the chief priests continued their work on the sabbath. The Injil records their meetings with the governor.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matthew 27: 62-66)
So that Sabbath day saw the chief priests working to secure a guard around the body in the tomb. The body of the Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH rested in death while the women rested in obedience on that Sabbath day of the Holy week. The Timeline shows how their rest that day mirrored the 7th day of Creation where the Taurat says that Allah rested from Creation.
Surah 62 (The Congregation, Friday – Al-Jumu’ah) tells us that the day of prayer for Muslims is Friday. But Surah al-Jumu’ah first gives a challenge – which the prophet Isa PBUH accepted in his role as Masih. Al-Jumu’ah, just before decreeing the day of prayer to be Friday, declared:
Say: “O ye that stand on Judaism! If ye think that ye are friends to God, to the exclusion of (other) men, then express your desire for Death, if ye are truthful!”
But never will they express their desire (for Death), because of the (deeds) their hands have sent on before them! and God knows well those that do wrong! (Surah 62 al-Jumu’ah: 6-7)
These Ayat mean that if we are true friends of Allah then we will have no fear of death, but since they (and we) have doubts about how good our deeds are we avoid death at great cost. But on this Friday, Day 6 of his final week, as a Jew, Isa al Masih faced this exact test – and he did it by starting with prayer. As the Injil explains about the prophet:
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:37-39)
Before we continue the events of this Friday, we will review the events leading up to this Friday prayer. Our avowed enemy, Shaytan, had entered Judas on Day 5 to betray the prophet Isa al Masih PBUH. The next evening on Day 6 the prophet shared his last supper with his companions (also called his disciples). At that meal he explained through example and teaching how we should love one another and about God’s great love for us. Exactly how he did this is described here from the Injil. Then he prayed for all believers – which you can read here. The Injil describes what happened next after his Friday prayer:
The arrest in the Garden
When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. (John 18: 1-13)
The prophet went to the garden just outside Jerusalem to pray. There Judas brought soldiers to arrest him. If we face arrest we might try to fight, run or hide. But the prophet Isa al Masih PBUH did not fight or run. He very clearly admitted that he was indeed the prophet that they were looking for. His clear confession (“I am he”) startled the soldiers and his companions escaped. The prophet submitted to arrest and was taken to the house of Annas for interrogation.
The First Interrogation
The Injil records how the prophet was interrogated there:
19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (John 18: 19-24)
The prophet Isa al Masih PBUH was sent from the former high priest to the high priest of that year for a second interrogation.
The Second Interrogation
There he would be interrogated in front of all the leaders. The Injil recorded this further interrogation:
53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together.54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’”59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked.64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death.65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him. (Mark 14: 53-65)
The Jewish leaders condemned the Prophet Isa al Masih to death. But since Jerusalem was ruled by Rome, an execution could only be approved by the Roman Governor. So they took the prophet to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. The Injil also records what happened at the same time to Judas Iscariot, the one who had betrayed him.
What happened to Judas the betrayer?
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed.2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. (Matthew 27: 1-8)
Isa al Masih interrogated by the Roman Governor
Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas.17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27: 11-26)
The Crucifixion, Death & Burial of the Prophet Isa al Masih
The Injil then records in great detail how the Prophet Isa al Masih was crucified. Here is the account:
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar,put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. (Matthew 27: 27-56)
‘Pierced’ in his side
The Gospel of John records a fascinating detail in the crucifixion. It states:
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” (John 19: 31-37)
John saw the Roman soldiers pierce the side of Isa al Masih with a spear. Out came blood and water separated, indicating that the prophet had died of heart failure.
The Injil records a final event on that day – the burial.
The Burial of Jesus
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27:57-61)
Day 6 – Good Friday
Each day in the Jewish calendar began at sunset. So that day 6 of the week began with the Prophet sharing his last supper with his disciples. By the end of the day he had been arrested, put on trial many times, crucified, pierced with a spear, and buried. This day is often referred to as ‘Good Friday’. That raises the question: How can a day of betrayal, torture and death of a prophet ever be referred to as ‘good’? Why Good Friday and not ‘Bad Friday’?
This is a great question that we answer by continuing the Injil’s account over the next days. But a clue is found in the timeline if we notice this Friday was on the holy day of Nisan 14, the same Passover day the Jews sacrificed a lamb for their deliverance from death in Egypt 1500 years before.
Most accounts of men conclude at their death, but the Injil continues so we can understand why this day could ever be thought of as Good Friday. The next day was the Sabbath – Day 7.
But first let us return to Surah Al-Jumu’ah, continuing from the ayat we studied.
Say: “The Death from which ye flee will truly overtake you: then will ye be sent back to the Knower of things secret and open: and He will tell you (the truth of) the things that ye did!”
O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of God, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew! (Surah 62 al-Jumu’ah:8-9)
Isa al Masih, taking the challenge of Ayat 6 & 7, did not flee from death, but starting with prayer faced this great test, proving he was a ‘friend to God’. Is it not appropriate then, in memory of his courage, that Muslims were later commanded to set apart Friday as the day for prayer in the mosque? It is as if Allah does not want us to forget the service of the prophet!
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. (Luke 22: 1-6)
We see that Satan/Shaytan took advantage of this conflict to ‘enter’ Judas to betray the prophet. This should not surprise us. Several Surahs in the Holy Qur’an say of Satan that:
Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (Surah Al-Isra 17:53)
And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path. And never let Satan avert you. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. (Surah Az-Zukhruf 43: 61-62)
“Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed? And that ye should worship Me, (for that) this was the Straight Way? But he did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did ye not, then, understand?” (Surah Ya-Sin 36: 60-62)
Towards the end of the Injil, Satan is described in a vision:
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon,and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12: 7-9)
From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26: 16)
The next day – Day 6 – was the Festival of Passover that the Prophet Musa PBUH had begun 1500 years beforehand. How would Satan, through Judas, find his opportunity on this Holy day? We look at this next.
Day 5 Summary
The timeline shows how on the 5th day of this week, the great dragon, Satan, moved to strike at his greatest enemy – the Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH.