REVISITED: JESUS THE TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE

In this short post I will sum up the evidence from the Johannine corpus that the Father is said to be the only true God, not to the exclusion of the Son (or the Holy Spirit), but in perfect inseparable union with his beloved Son (and his eternal Spirit.)  

The following text,

“When Jesus spoke these words, He lifted His eyes toward heaven and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may also glorify You. As You have given Him authority over all flesh, He will give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.’” John 17:1-3

Is seen by anti-Trinitarians as proof that neither Jesus nor the inspired biblical writers taught the Trinity.

In reality, this merely highlights the propensity of anti-Trinitarians to misinterpret the God-breathed Scriptures by wrenching texts out of their immediate and overall contexts.

After all, the same inspired writer who has our blessed Lord affirming the essential Deity of his Father is also the same one who began his God-breathed proclamation by identifying the Son as the uncreated Word of God who brought all creation into existence. John is also the one who testifies to the Son being the true God and eternal life whom the Father sent to reveal God to mankind:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it… The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him… The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14, 18

“We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true God. We are in union with the one who is true, his Son Jesus the Messiah, who is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 ISV

Compare how the following translations render the foregoing text:  

“… united with his Son Yeshua the Messiah. He is the genuine God and eternal life.” CJB

“… and in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the real God and this is real, eternal life.” PHILLIPS

“… in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” NABRE

“…in his Son Jesus Christ. This one is the true God and eternal life.” NET

“… and we are in him that is true, that is, in that his Son Jesus Christ, the same is that very God, and that eternal life.” GNV

“… in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal Life.” TLB

“… We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life.” GW

“… and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life.” MSG

“… We are in the one who is real, his Son Yeshua Christ. This Yeshua Christ is the real God and eternal life.” NOG

That John is referring to Jesus as the true God can be demonstrated from the fact that it is the Son who is declared to be the Life that gives everlasting life to all who believe in him:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness of what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without measure to Him. The Father loves the Son, and has placed all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:31-36

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He will… Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself… Do not marvel at this. For the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:21, 25-26, 28-29  

“‘All whom the Father gives Me will come to Me, and he who comes to Me I will never cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who has sent Me, that of all whom He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’ The Jews then murmured about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus therefore answered them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day… Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life. And I will raise him up on the last day.’” John 6:37-44, 54

“‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life. They shall never perish, nor shall anyone snatch them from My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them from My Father’s hand. My Father and I are one.’ Again the Jews took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, claim to be God.’” John 10:27-33

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11:25-26  

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6

“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God which He has given concerning His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this witness in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he does not believe the testimony that God gave about His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. So if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:9-15

There is additional corroboration from the epistle of John itself, since it begins by bearing witness to Christ being that very eternal life that was with the Father and who manifested himself to John and the other disciples:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have touched, concerning the Word of life—the life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and announce to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you that which we have seen and heard, that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3

Hence, John ends his letter the way he started it, namely, by testifying that the Son is himself the very eternal life who has come to grant everlasting life to all who would believe in him. As the following scholars explain:

ba. 1 John 5:20 sn The pronoun This one (οὗτος, houtos) refers to a person, but it is far from clear whether it should be understood as a reference (1) to God the Father or (2) to Jesus Christ. R. E. Brown (Epistles of John [AB], 625) comments, “I John, which began with an example of stunning grammatical obscurity in the prologue, continues to the end to offer us examples of unclear grammar.” The nearest previous antecedent is Jesus Christ, immediately preceding, but on some occasions when this has been true the pronoun still refers to God (see 1 John 2:3). The first predicate which follows This one in 5:20the true God, is a description of God the Father used by Jesus in John 17:3, and was used in the preceding clause of the present verse to refer to God the Father (him who is true). Yet the second predicate of This one in 5:20eternal life, appears to refer to Jesus, because although the Father possesses “life” (John 5:266:57) just as Jesus does (John 1:46:571 John 5:11), “life” is never predicated of the Father elsewhere, while it is predicated of Jesus in John 11:25 and 14:6 (a self-predication by Jesus). If This one in 5:20 is understood as referring to Jesus, it forms an inclusion with the prologue, which introduced the reader to “the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.” Thus it appears best to understand the pronoun This one in 5:20 as a reference to Jesus Christ. The christological affirmation which results is striking, but certainly not beyond the capabilities of the author (see John 1:1 and 20:28): This One [Jesus Christ] is the true God and eternal life. See also D. B. Wallace, Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin: Semantics and Significance, Studies in Biblical Greek 14, ed. D. A. Carson (Bern/New York: Peter Lang, 2009), 273-77. (NET Bible https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+john+5&version=NET; bold emphasis mine)

Therefore, Jesus is indeed the true God and eternal life, not in distinction from the Father but in perfect inseparable union with the One whom he proclaimed to be the only true God. This is why everlasting life is dependent on knowing the Son in the same sense and to the same extent that one is to know the Father, since you cannot truly know the Father without knowing the Son who came to perfectly reveal him.

Biblical references are taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.

FURTHER READING

JESUS CHRIST: TRUE GOD FROM TRUE GOD

JOHN 17:3: ONLY TRUE GOD

JOHN 17:3 AND THE ONLY TRUE GOD

The Bible on the Only True God Pt. 1

“ALLAH ONE OF”: REVISITING THE ISSUE OF AHAD

In the following article, Ahad: Monotheism vs. Eloquence of the Quran, I demonstrated that the phrase found in Q. 112:1 qul huwa Allah ahadun literally translates as “Say he is Allah, one of.”

In this post I will share some of the verses proving that the word ahad does not mean one, but really means “one of”.

Unless indicated otherwise, quranic references will be taken from Arthur J. Arberry’s English version, titled “Koran Interpreted”.

and they follow what the Satans recited over Solomon’s kingdom. Solomon disbelieved not, but the Satans disbelieved, teaching the people sorcery, and that which was sent down upon Babylon’s two angels, Harut and Marut; they taught not any man (ahadin), without they said, ‘We are but a temptation; do not disbelieve.’ From them they learned how they might divide a man and his wife, yet they did not hurt any man (ahadin) thereby, save by the leave of God, and they learned what hurt them, and did not profit them, knowing well that whoso buys it shall have no share in the world to come; evil then was that they sold themselves for, if they had but known. S. 2:102

When you were going up, not twisting about for anyone (ahadin), and the Messenger was calling you in your rear; so He rewarded you with grief on grief that you might not sorrow for what escaped you neither for what smote you; and God is aware of the things you do. S. 3:153

excepting those of the idolaters with whom you made covenant, then they failed. you naught neither lent support to any man (ahadan) against you. With them fulfil your covenant till their term; surely God loves the godfearing. S. 9:4

And whenever a sura is sent down, they look one at another: ‘Does anyone (ahadin) see you?’ Then they turn away. God has turned away their hearts, for that they are a people who do not understand. S. 9:127

So set forth, thou with thy family, in a watch of the night, and follow after the backs of them, and let not any one of (ahadun) you turn round; and depart unto the place you are commanded. S. 15:65

Such (being their state), we raised them up (from sleep), that they might question each other. Said one of them, “How long have ye stayed (here)?” They said, “We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day.” (At length) they (all) said, “God (alone) knows best how long ye have stayed here…. Now send ye then one of you (ahadakum)with this money of yours to the town: let him find out which is the best food (to be had) and bring some to you, that (ye may) satisfy your hunger therewith: And let him behave with care and courtesy, and let him not inform any one (ahadin) about you. S. 18:19 Y. Ali

Say: “God knows best how long they stayed: with Him is (the knowledge of) the secrets of the heavens and the earth: how clearly He sees, how finely He hears (everything)! They have no protector other than Him; nor does He share His Command with any person (ahadan) whatsoever. S. 18:26 Y. Ali

But lo, He is God, my Lord, and I will not associate with my Lord any one (ahadan). S. 18:38

And his fruit was all encompassed, and in the morning he was wringing his hands for that he had expended upon it, and it was fallen down upon its trellises, and he was saying, ‘Would I had not associated with my Lord any one (ahadan)!‘ S. 18:42

And on the day We shall set the mountains in motion, and thou seest the earth coming forth, and We muster them so that We leave not so much as one of (ahadan) them behind; S. 18:47

And the Book shall be set in place; and thou wilt see the sinners fearful at what is in it, and saying, ‘Alas for us! How is it with this Book, that it leaves nothing behind, small or great, but it has numbered it?’ And they shall find all they wrought present, and thy Lord shall not wrong anyone (ahadan). S. 18:49

Say: ‘I am only a mortal the like of you; it is revealed to me that your God is One God. So let him, who hopes for the encounter with his Lord, work righteousness, and not associate with his Lord’s service anyone (ahadun). S. 18:110

Eat therefore, and drink, and be comforted; and if thou shouldst see any mortal, say, “I have vowed to the All-merciful a fast, and today I will not speak to any man (ahadan).” S. 19:26

And how many a generation We destroyed before them! Dost thou perceive so much as one of (ahadin) them, or hear of them a whisper? S. 19:98

O believers, follow not the steps of Satan; for whosoever follows the steps of Satan, assuredly he bids to indecency and dishonour. But for God’s bounty to you and His mercy not one of (ahadin) you would have been pure ever; but God purifies whom He will; and God is All-hearing, All-knowing. S. 24:21

And if you find not anyone (ahadan) therein, enter it not until leave is given to you. And if you are told, ‘Return,’ return; that is purer for you; and God knows the things you do. S. 24:28

who were delivering the Messages of God, and were fearing Him, and fearing not any one (ahadan) except Him; and God suffices as a reckoner. S. 33:39

Hast thou not regarded the hypocrites, saying to their brothers of the People of the Book who disbelieve, ‘If you are expelled, we will go forth with you, and we will never obey anyone (ahadan) in regard to you. If you are fought against, we will help you.’ And God bears witness that they are truly liars. S. 59:11

and not one of (ahadin) you could have defended him. S. 69:47

guiding to rectitude. We believe in it, and we will not associate with our Lord anyone (ahadan). S. 72:2

and they thought, even as you also thought, that God would never raise up anyone (ahadan). S. 72:7

The places of worship belong to God; so call not, along with God, upon anyone (ahadan)… Say: ‘I call only upon my Lord, and I do not associate with Him anyone (ahadan)… Say: ‘From God shall protect me not anyone (ahadan), and I shall find, apart from Him, no refuge… Knower He of the Unseen, and He discloses not His Unseen to anyone (ahadan), S. 72: 18, 20, 22, 26

But on that day shall no one (ahadun) chastise with (anything like) His chastisement, And no one (ahadun) shall bind with (anything like) His binding. S. 89:25-26 Shakir

Does he think that no one (ahadun) has power over him?… Does he think that no one (ahadun) sees him? S. 90:5, 7 Sher Ali

DEBATE CHALLENGE TO MUSLIM METAPHYSICIAN PT. 2

I continue with my challenges to Jake the so-called Metaphysician: DEBATE CHALLENGE TO MUSLIM METAPHYSICIAN PT. 1B.

AL-QURAN: THE ETERNAL LOGOS BECOMES A BOOK!

As a Sunni Muslim, Jake is obligated to believe that the Quran is the uncreated speech of Allah (kalam Allah) that became a book (kitab). The reason being is that speech is one of the attributes (sifaat) of Allah, and since Allah’s attributes eternally subsist in him this means the Quran is an inseparable part of Allah’s very own being or essence (dhaat). As such, the Quran cannot be created (makhluq) since nothing that is intrinsic to Allah’s nature can have come into existence at a specific point in time.  

As the following Muslim scholar put:

“The Qur’an is God’s speech, which he uttered, and it is uncreated. Who holds the opposite is a Jahmit, an unbeliever. And who says: ‘The Qur’an is God’s speech’, and stops at that point without adding ‘uncreated’, speaks even more infamously than the latter. Also, who maintains our sounds, our Qur’an recitation would be created, the Qur’an itself, however, God’s speech, is a Jahmit, too. And who doesn’t declare all these people as unbelievers, is like them.” (according to Ibn Abu Ya’la, Tabaqat al-Hanabila, ed. Muhammad Hamid al Fiqh, Cairo 1952, vol. I, p. 29; transl. Dr. Christopher Heger)

Noted Islamicist, F.E. Peters, quotes Muslim scholar Ahmad Ibn Hanbal as saying:

The Quran is the Word of God and it is not created. It is not wrong to say, “It is not created,” for God’s Word is not separated from Him, and there is nothing of Him that is created. Beware of discussing this with those who speak about this subject and talk of the “creation of sounds” and such matters, and those who go midway and say, “I don’t know whether the Quran is created or uncreated, but it is God’s Word.” Such a one is guilty of a religious innovation as is the one who says, “It is created,” for it is God’s Word and that is not created. (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Creed) [WILLIAMS 1971:29] (Peters, Judaism, Christianity, And Islam: The Classical Texts and Their Interpretation [Princeton Uinversity Press, Princeton, NJ, 1990 paperback], p. 47; bold emphasis mine)

Peters quotes another Muslim authority who stated that:

The Quran is God’s speaking, which is one of His attributes. Now God in all His attributes is One and with all His attributes is eternal and not contingent, (so His speaking is) without letters and without sounds, not broken up into syllables or paragraphs. It is not He nor is it other than He… (Ibid.; bold emphasis mine)

Here’s what a prominent Salafi website wrote in regards to the question of whether the Quran is created:

The evidence that the Qur’aan is not created is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Surely, His is the creation and commandment” [al-A’raaf 7:54]

So Allaah describes creation as one thing and commandment as another. The conjunction implies that the second thing mentioned is different, and the Qur’aan is part of the commandment because of the evidence of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Rooh (a revelation, and a mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will”

[al-Shoora 42:52]

If the Qur’aan is part of the command or commandment, which is different from creation, therefore it is not created, because if it were created, this division of categories would not be correct. This is the evidence from the Qur’aan. (Islam Question & Answer 10153: 

The Qur’aan was revealed by Allaah, not created

; bold emphasis mine)

The verse which this site posted is actually referring to Allah’s Spirit since the Arabic word Ruh (spelled Rooh in the above) means Spirit. Thus, not only have they argued for the Quran being uncreated but also for the Spirit’s uncreatedness!

After all, if the Quran being part of Allah’s command means that it is uncreated, since Allah’s commands are not part of creation, then the Spirit must be uncreated as well. This leaves us with Allah, His Word (the Quran) and His Spirit being all uncreated!

Renowed Sunni Muslim writer, GF Haddad, in addressing Shia claims to the contrary, provides a list of quotes from renowned Muslim scholars regarding the Quran’s uncreatedness, some of which include:

Ahl al-Sunna agree ONE AND ALL that the Qur’an is the pre-existent, pre-eternal, uncreated Speech of Allah Most High on the evidence of the Qur’an, the Sunna, and faith-guided reason.

In a rare instance of classic kalâm reasoning, Imam Malik gave the most succinct statement of this doctrine:

“The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, the Speech of Allah comes from Him, and nothing created comes from Allah Most High.” Narrated by al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ (Dar al-Fikr ed. 7:416).

Hafiz Abu al-Qasim Ibn `Asakir said in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (Dar al-Jil ed. p. 150-151):

The Mu`tazila said: ‘the Speech of Allah Most High is created, invented, and brought into being.’ The Hashwiyya, who attribute a body to Allah the Exalted, said: ‘The alphabetical characters (al-hurûf al-muqatta`a), the materials on which they are written, the colors in which they are written, and all that is between the two covers [of the volumes of Qur’an] is beginningless and pre-existent (qadîma azaliyya). Al-Ash`ari took a middle road between them and said: The Qur’an is the beginningless speech of Allah Most High unchanged, uncreated, not of recent origin in time, nor brought into being. As for the alphabetical characters, the materials, the colors, the voices, the elements that are subject to limitations (al-mahdûdât), and all that is subject to modality (al-mukayyafât) in the world: all this is created, originated, and produced.”

Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi said in al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat (al-Kawthari ed. p. 265; al-Hashidi ed. 2:18) with a sound chain:

“Something Ibn Shaddad had written was handed to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi which containing the phrase: “My pronunciation of the Qur’an is uncreated” and the latter was asked to show it to Ahmad ibn Hanbal for corroboration. The latter crossed out the phrase and wrote instead: “The Qur’an, however used (haythu yusraf), is uncreated.”

“In another sound narration, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi, Abu Muhammad Fawran [or Fawzan], and Salih ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal witnessed Ahmad rebuking one of his students named Abu Talib with the words: “Are you telling people that I said: ‘My pronunciation of the Qur’an is uncreated’?” Abu Talib replied: “I only said this from my own.” Ahmad said: “Do not say this – neither from me, nor from you! I never heard any person of knowledge say it. The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah uncreated, whichever way it is used.” Salih said to Abu Talib: “If you told people what you said, now go and tell the same people that Abu `Abd Allah [Imam Ahmad] forbade to say it.”” End of al-Bayhaqi’s narration in al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 265-266; al-Hashidi ed. 2:18). This is a sound narration also found in Salih ibn Ahmad’s book al-Mihna (p. 70-71), Ibn al-Jawzi’s Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad (p. 155), and Ibn Taymiyya in Majmu` al-Fatawa (12:360, 12:425).

The Proof of Islam and Renewer of the Fifth Hijri Century, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali said in his “Foundations of Islamic Belief” (Qawa`id al-`Aqa’id) published in his Rasa’il and his Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din and partially translated in Shaykh Nuh Keller’s Reliance of the Traveller and by Mrs. Ahmad Darwish on the Mosque of the Internet:

“The Qur’an is read by tongues, written in books, and remembered in the heart, yet it is, nevertheless, uncreated and without beginning, subsisting in the Essence of Allah, not subject to division and or separation through its transmission to the heart and paper. Musa heard the Speech of Allah without sound and without letter, just as the righteous see the Essence of Allah Most High in the Hereafter, without substance or its quality.” End of al-Ghazzali’s words.

And Imam al-Tahawi said of the Qur’an in his “Creed of Abu Hanifa and his Companions”: “It is not created like the speech of creatures.”…

Allah says, {Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!} -Yasîn 82

Ibn `Uyayna explains, “Allah has differentiated his Creation from his Command. His command is “Be” (Kun).”

Allah says, {Verily! Our Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it: “Be!” and it is.} – Surah An-Nahl 40

Shaykh `AbdulQadir al-Jilani (Rahimahullah),* explaining that the word of Allah is not created says, “Allah (subhanehu Wa ta’ala) said, {Verily! to him (belongs) the creation and the Command}; (Allah) has differentiated his Creation from his Command, If His Command which is “Be” (Kun) that He creates His creation (with) is created it would be a repetition that has no benefit – as if He (Allah) said ‘Verily! to him (belongs) the creation and the creation’; Allah (subhanehu Wa ta’ala) is far removed from doing such a thing.” From the book Al-Ghunya li-Talibiy Tariq al-Haqq, volume 1 page 59. (The Uncreatedness of the divine speech the glorious Qur’an; bold and capital emphasis mine)

I will have more to say about the Mutazilites shortly. Haddad quotes:

From the Futuhat al-Makkiyya:

[164] He – Most High – speaks, not after being previously silent nor following presumed tacitness, with a speech pre-eternal and beginningless like the rest of His Attributes, whether His knowledge, will, or power. He spoke to Musa. He named it [His speech] the divine Bestowal (al-tanzîl), the Book of Psalms (al-zabûr), the Torah, and the Evangel. [All this] without letters (hurûf), sounds (aswât), tones (nagham), nor languages (lughât). Rather, He is the Creator of sounds, letters, and languages.

[2000-09-18] (Haddad, Ibn `Arabi on Uncreatedness of Qur’an)

Speaking of the attributes of Allah, Haddad explains that:

The `Aqida of the People of Truth is:

sifaatu-l-Laahi laysat `ayna dhaatin

The Attributes of Allah are neither the very Essence,

wa laa ghayran siwaahu dha-nfisaali

nor other than Himself, nor separate.

sifaatu-dh-Dhaati wa-l-af`aali turran

And all the Attributes of the Essence and of the Acts

qadiimaatun masuunaatu-z-zawaali

are pre-existent and without end. [From the poem Bad’ al-Amali by the Maturidi master, Siraj al-Din `Ali ibn `Uthman al-Ushi (d. 569).] (The Uncreatedness of the divine speech the glorious Qur’an; bold emphasis mine)

There’s a lot more:

35. The Qur’an is the Word of God that emanated from Him without modality in its expression. He sent it down to His messenger as a revelation. The believers accept it as such literally. They are certain it is, in reality, the Word of God, the Sublime and Exalted.

36. Unlike human speech, it is eternal and uncreated. (The Creed of Imam Al-Tahawi (Al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah), translated, annotated and introduced by Hamza Yusuf [Zaytuna Institute, 2007], p. 54; bold emphasis mine)

73. We do not argue about the Qur’an. Rather, we testify that it is the Word of the Lord of the universe as revealed through the Trustworthy Spirit, who taught it to the paragon of messengers, Muhammad. It is the Word of God, the Sublime and Exalted. No mortal speech compares to it, and we do not say it is created. (Ibid., p. 64; bold emphasis mine)

And:

Ahlul al-Sunnah declare the following: We believe that the attribute of speech [of Allah] to be Qadim al-Naw’ Hadith al-Ahad, which means that in its essence [Allah’s Speech] is Eternal, and He speaks whenever He wants the way He wants.

Saying, “Qadim al-Naw’” means that Speech is an Attribute of the Divine Essence, hence Eternal, as it exists due by His Essence, which neither has an end nor a beginning…

The following ayat establish clear incontrovertible proof of Allah’s Speech, in a manner that befits His Majesty and Supremacy, which is an eternal, everlasting and perfect Attribute of His Essence.

Allah said…

“And, indeed, Allah spoke to Musa with [direct] speech.” [al-Nisa’ (4):164]

Moreover, Allah said…

“And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [al-An’am (6):115]

“I seek refuge in the Perfect Word from the evil of what He created”.

“nothing would harm him until he marches from that stopping place.”

All these are proof enough to affirm the attribute of Speech of Allah, Most High.

The Qur’an is the Word of Allah (Kalam Allah), which He sent down to His slave and Messenger, to remain as a source of legislation for mankind, until the Day of Judgement. He described Himself with it, by adding it [as a genitive] to His Name, in the verse…

“And if anyone of the idolaters seek thy protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.” [al-Taubah (9):6]

Therefore he who claims that the Qur’an is created is deemed a disbeliever as per the evidence established by all the aforementioned ayat.

All the scholars and exegetes specializing in Jurisprudence and hadith agree by consensus that whoever says that the Qur’an is created is a disbeliever. The majority of scholars also stated that whoever says that his utterance of the Qur’an is created is an innovator [as opposed to other scholars who declared such a person to be a disbeliever]. As for those who sit on the fence regarding this issue – they neither state that the Qur’an is created but nor do they affirm the Qur’an as being the Word of Allah – they are classified as innovators as well.

Imam Ahmad [ibn Hanbal] and Ahlu’l-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah were firm about this issue, showing no tolerance to anyone who did not take a firm position on this matter. Moreover, they abandoned those scholars who stated their utterance of the Qur’an was created, and also discouraged and warned people from learning or taking knowledge from them. The reason for their strong reaction and firm stance against these scholars as to close the door to ill-hearted people who would exploit such a statement in order to manipulate the Qur’an. This is because the utterance in this case is a double-edged sword; on the one hand it is an action performed by a person, and from another aspect, the utterance includes the Qur’an itself, which is the Word of Allah.

This is why Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal told people not to visit or take knowledge from al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali al-Karabisi, and forbade Dawud al-Zahiri, who had not taken a stance in this matter, from entering upon him; he dealt similarly with Ya’qub al-Dawraqi, and other scholars who had the same attitude. This is the reason why the author stated, “[It is also required] that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, it is neither (makluq) created to eventually vanish nor the (sifah) attribute of something created which must therefore come to an end (yanfadh).” (The Creed of Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qayrawani: being a translation of Muqaddimah al-Risalah ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, by Imam Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani [310 – 389 AH], with commentary by Shaikh Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Najmi [d. 1429 AH] [Dar As-Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham, U.K.: First edition, 2012], pp. 68-73; bold emphasis mine)

Wahhabi Salafi polemicist Jalal Abualrub writes:

The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, not Created

The Qur’an is the speech of Allah, revealed, not created, regardless of how it is recited, written, and any way or anywhere it is recited. What is written from the Qur’an is just that, i.e., Quran, what is read from the Qur’an is just that, i.e., Quran, what is recited from the Qur’an is just that, i.e., Quran. The Speech of Allah is qadim, not created, regardless of the way and the form in which the Qur’an is presented. It is the Speech of Allah, not created, or new, or made, or a physical entity, or a physical reality, or a material entity. Rather, it is an attribute from the attributes of Allah’s essence. It is not similar to any created thing.

The Attribute of Speech

Allah is able, and will always be able to speak. (It is not permissible to separate between the two [i.e. Allah and His Speech] in a way that negates His Attributes)12. Sometimes, it is heard directly from Allah, glorified be He, sometimes from the one who hears it directly from Allah [such as Angel Jibril]. Whoever hears it directly from Allah hears it directly, without any mediator or translator, such as our Prophet Muhammad, when Allah spoke to him directly on the night of al-Miraj. Allah also spoke to Musa when he was on Mount Tur. Similarly, whoever Allah decides to speak to from among His angels, hears His speech from Him directly. Whoever is not among the categories mentioned, they hear Allah’s qadim13 speech in truth from whoever is reciting it for them [from Allah]14. Allah’s Speech consists of intelligible letters and a voice that is heard.15

12 I could not find out precisely what the Imam meant here, but perhaps he meant that Allah’s Attribute of Speech is always present in Him, because He has been speaking SINCE ETERNITY, whenever He wills, and in any way He wills. Allah also initiates speech whenever He wills, as Allah said, Comes not unto them an admonition (a chapter of the Qur’an) from their Lord as a recent revelation but they listen to it while they play. [21:2] Ibn Kathir said, “‘Recent’, or, ‘New’, meaning, new in regards to its revelation.” Refer to, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim, 3/231, published by, Mu’assasat ar-Rayyan.

13[T .N] This statement from the Imam has a different meaning to it, while scholars such as, Ibn Taimiyyah have clarified what, qadim, means when used in reference to Allah’s Speech. The author used this term in its literal form, and Allah knows best, to mean that, qadim, is that which was spoken previously. Qadim literally means, old, before, olden, previously etc.

14 [T .N] Meaning, just as Prophet Muhammad was given the Revelation. Allah spoke the Qur’an to Angel Jibril, who spoke it to Prophet Muhammad. In reality, as the Imam here says, Allah’s Messenger heard it in a qadim manner, meaning that Allah already spoke before the Prophet Muhammad heard it. (Kitab al-I’tiqad (The Book of Creed), by Imam Abu al-Husain Muhammad bin al-Qadhi Abu Ya’la al-Hanbali, verification of the text and commentary by Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Khumaiyis (Associate Professor at Muhammad bin Sa’ud University), translated by Amr bin Jalal Abualrub [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, First edition: 2012], pp. 17-18; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Muslims were even threatened with death if they denied that the Quran is uncreated, eternal. For example, renowned Muslim jurist Qadi ‘Iyad quotes a Muslim named Malik saying that:

He said about someone who said that the Qur’an is created, “He is an unbeliever, so kill him.” He said in the version of Ibn Nafi’, “He should be flogged and painfully beaten and imprisoned until he repents.” In the version of Bishr ibn Bakr at-Tinnisi we find, “He is killed and his repentance is not accepted.” (Qadi ‘Iyad Musa al-Yahsubi, Muhammad Messenger of Allah (Ash-Shifa of Qadi ‘Iyad), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K. 1991; third reprint, paperback], p. 419; bold emphasis mine)

And:

The Quran is eternal, whereas its form (i.e., the Arabic language and the book in which it is written) is temporal. In fact, in early Islamic history it was considered blasphemous to say that the Quran was created, with the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil (d. AD 850) going so far as to “decree the death penalty for anyone who taught that the Word of God (i.e., the Quran) is created.” (John Alden Williams, ed., Islam [New York: George Braziller, 1962], p. 179)

ISLAM’S VERSION OF JESUS AND MUSLIM ARIANS?

In striking similarity to Christianity with the rise of Arianism in the fourth century AD, which taught that the prehuman Christ was the first of God’s creatures, Islam had its own Arians when it came to the Quran’s nature.

A group of Muslims arose in the early 9th century AD who were heavily influenced by Greek logic and philosophy (much like Jake), and therefore rejected the notion of the Quran being uncreated since they believed this compromised the oneness of Allah. They even likened this belief regarding the Quran to the Christian understanding of Jesus being the uncreated Word (Logos) that became flesh! These Muslim logicians are called Mutazilites.

What makes this rather ironic is that this disagreement even led to violence and murder, as Islamic scholar Cyril Glassé admits:

“It is a fundamental doctrine of Islam that the Koran, as the speech of God, is eternal and uncreated in its essence and sense, created in its letters and sounds (harf wa jarh). It has been asserted that the doctrine of the uncreated Koran was the result of exposure to the Christian dogma of the Logos; that, as Christians defined Jesus as the Word of God and as having two natures, one human and one Divine in one person, so the Muslims transposed this doctrine by analogy to the Koran as the Word of God made book. The Muslims were indeed aware of the Christian doctrine; the Caliph al-Ma’mun (d. 218/833), who supported the Mu’tazilite theory that the Koran was created, wrote to one of his governors that belief in the uncreatedness of the Koran resembled the Christians when they claim that Jesus was not created because he was the ‘Word of God’. During the brief Mu’tazilite ascendancy which began in the Caliphate of al-Ma’mun, belief in the uncreated Koran was temporarily suspended, arousing fierce opposition. The Koran was declared to be created, and those opposed to this view were persecuted during an inquisition called the mihnah (212-232/833-847) into the beliefs of the religious authorities. Yet lawyers and Judges staunchly upheld the dogma of the uncreated Koran, and nurtured it when necessary in secret. Ibn Hanbal went further, and declared that the Koran was uncreated from ‘cover to cover’, that is, also in its letters and its sounds. In this he was certainly not intending to imitate the Monophysites, but he was flogged for his beliefs. When the mihnah came to an end, the doctrine of the uncreatedness was restored, and has not been challenged since, in the Sunni world. The Kharijites differ from the Sunnis on this point, and in their dogmas the Koran is entirely created, which is also true for the Shi’ites, both Twelve-Imam and Zaydi, whose theology in many ways is an extension of that of the Mu’tazilites.” (Glassé, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, [Harper San Francisco, second edition 1991, 1999], pp. 231-232; bold emphasis mine)

John L. Esposito, Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, also mentions the Mutazila views of the Quran and God’s attributes:

The Mutazila took issue with the majority of ulama over the doctrines of the divine attributes or names of God and the eternal, uncreated nature of the Quran. Both beliefs were seen as contradictory and as compromising God’s unity (Islam’s absolute monotheism). How could the one, transcendent God have many divine attributes (sight, hearing, power, knowledge, will)? The Mutazila maintained that the Quranic passages that affirmed God’s attributes were meant to be understood metaphorically or allegorically, not literally. Not to do so was to fall into anthropomorphism, or worse, shirk, associationism or polytheism. Similarly, the Islamic doctrine that the Quran is the speech or word of God should not be taken literally, for how could both God and His word be eternal and uncreated? The result would be two divinities. The Mutazila interpreted metaphorically those Quranic texts that spoke of the Quran preexisting in heaven. Contrary to majority opinion, they taught that the Quran is the created word of God, who is its uncreated source. The Mutazila critique of those like Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who believed in the eternity of the Quran, was ably summarized by Caliph Mamun in a letter to his governor:

Everything apart from Him is a creature from His creation – a new thing which He has brought into existence. [This perverted opinion they hold] though the Koran speaks clearly of God’s creating all things, and proves to the exclusion of all differences of opinion. They are, thus, like the Christians when they claim that Isa bin Maryam [Jesus, the son of Mary] was not created because he was the word of God. But God says, “Verily We have made it a Koran in the Arabic language,” and the explanation of that is, “Verily, We have created it,” just as the Koran says, “And He made from it His mate that he might dwell with her.” (Esposito, Islam The Straight Path [Oxford University Press, New York Oxford: Hard cover, third edition], pp. 71-72; bold emphasis mine)

Thomas W. Lippman states in regards to the Mutazilites that:

… They also rejected the dogma that the Koran was the uncreated word of God, coeternal with Him. The Mutazilites said that this view compromised the oneness of God.

In the ninth century the Caliph al-Mamun elevated Mutazilism to the status of official creed. He proclaimed that the Koran had been created by God and was not coeternal with Him. The test of orthodoxy was the answer to the question whether God created all things, including the Koran. A “no” answer brought torture and imprisonment, and the Caliph decreed that all judges must subscribe to the new doctrine. Mutazilism which originated in rationalism, thus manifested itself as illiberal and repressive, and after al-Mamun’s death his successors repressed it as vigorously as he had imposed it. The argument over the eternality of the Koran is of little relevance to the practice of ordinary Muslims today; but it shows the extent to which Islam, basically a straight forward and unequivocal faith, has undergone the same process of self-analysis as Christianity. The issues of rationalism and spirituality, divine omniscience and human freedom, have never been finally settled. (Lippman, Understanding Islam: An Introduction To The Muslim World [A Plume Book: October 2002, third revised and updated edition], p. 74; bold emphasis mine)

Another Islamic scholar named Annemarie Schimmel writes:

The problem of the nature of Christ, so central in the dogmatic development of the early church, has also influenced, in a certain way, the development of Islamic dogma. Christ’s designation as logos, as the Word of God, “born not created,” has most probably influenced Islamic theories about the Koran, which is regarded by the Muslim as the uncreated Word of God. Phenomenologically seen, the Koran has the same position in Islamic dogmatics as has Christ in Christianity. Harry A. Wolfson therefore coined the term “inlibration,” the “Word become Book,” in contrast to the Christian concept of incarnation, “the Word became Flesh.” That explains why theologians emphasized the designation ummi for Muhammad; this term, first probably meaning “the prophet sent to the gentiles” was interpreted as “illiterate.” The Prophet had to be a vessel unstained by external knowledge for the Word’s inlibration, just as Mary had to be a virgin in order to be a pure vessel for the Word’s incarnation. That is, the Koran is much more than simply a book … (Schimmel, Islam – An Introduction [State University of New York Press, Albany 1992], pp. 74-75; bold emphasis mine)

Yusuf K. Ibish, in an article entitled “The Muslim Lives by the Quran,” stated:

I have not yet come across a western man who understands what the Quran is. It is not a book in the ordinary sense, nor is it comparable to the Bible, either the Old or New Testaments. It is an expression of Divine Will. If you want to compare it with anything in Christianity, you must compare it with Christ Himself. Christ was an expression of the Divine among men, the revelation of the Divine Will. That is what the Quran is. If you want a comparison for the role of Muhammad, the better one in that particular respect would be Mary. Muhammad was the vehicle of the Divine, as she was the vehicle … There are western orientalists who have devoted their life to the study of the Quran, its text, the analysis of its words, discovering that this word is Abyssinian, that word is Greek by origin… But all this is immaterial. The Quran was divinely inspired, then it was compiled, and what we have now is the expression of God’s Will among men. That is the important point. (Charris Waddy, The Muslim Mind [New York: Longman, 1976], p.14)

In his Ideals and Realities of Islam, Muslim scholar Seyyed Hossain Nasr noted that,

The Word of God in Islam is the Quran; in Christianity it is Christ… To carry this analogy further one can point to the fact that the Quran, being the Word of God therefore corresponds to Christ in Christianity and the form of this book, which like the contents is determined by the dictum in heaven, corresponds in a sense to the body of Christ. The form of the Quran is the Arabic language which religiously speaking is as inseparable from the Quran as the body of Christ is from Christ Himself. Arabic is sacred in the sense that it is an integral part of the Quranic revelation whose very sounds and utterances play a role in the ritual acts of Islam. (Op. cit. [London: George Allen & Urwin, 1975], pp. 43-44; bold emphasis mine)

Another reputable Muslim schola, Mahmoud M. Ayoub, in speaking of Muhammad’s relation to the Quran, says:

… that the words that Muhammad conveyed to his people were not his own, but were revealed to him by God. It is also understood to mean that his mind was not contaminated by human wisdom. Rather it was a pure receptacle for the divine word in the same way that Mary’s virginity means for Christians that her body was a pure vessel fit to receive Christ, the Word of God.

In fact, there is an interesting parallel between Christ and the Qur’an. Christ is, for Christians, the incarnate Word of God. While the Qur’an is, like Christ, the eternal divine word, it does not play a role in the creation of the world. It is the eternal word of God preserved for moral and spiritual guidance. It is an eternal book: “This surely is a glorious Qur’an, preserved in a well-guarded Tablet” (Q. 85:21-22). (Ayoub, Islam: Faith and History [Oneworld Publications, Oxford England, 2004], p. 41; bold emphasis mine)

Jake’s woes are far from over as we shall see in the subsequent parts of my series.

DEBATE CHALLENGE TO MUSLIM METAPHYSICIAN PT. 1B

I proceed from where I previously left off: DEBATE CHALLENGE TO MUSLIM METAPHYSICIAN PT. 1.

THE QURAN CONFIRMS THE TRINITY 

What makes this all the more ironic, in fact shocking, is that the Islamic “revelation” actually confirms the Trinity, albeit unwittingly.

Take, for instance, the very passage that Adnan cited:

O People of the Book! Go not beyond the limits in your way of life and say not about God but The Truth: That the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was a Messenger of God and His Word that He cast to Mary and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. And say not: Three (wala taqooloo thalathatun). To refrain yourselves from it is better for you. There is only One God. Glory be to Him that He have a son! To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in and on the earth and God sufficed as a Trustee. S. 4:171 (Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/4/st46.htm)

Here is another version:

O ye people of the Book! do not exceed in your religion, nor say against God aught save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, is but the apostle of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary and a spirit from Him; believe then in God and His apostles, and say not ‘Three.’ Have done! it were better for you. God is only one God, celebrated be His praise that He should beget a Son! His is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; and God sufficeth for a guardian. Palmer

This passage is confirming that Jesus is the preexistent Word of God who came forth as a Spirit from him in order to become incarnate from the blessed virgin Mary!

The Quran is simply parroting John’s teaching that Christ is the eternal Logos (Greek for Word) that became flesh, just as the authors/editors of the Study Quran candidly admit:

“… The understanding of Jesus as a messenger of God is consistent with several Gospel verses that state Jesus was sent by God (see, e.g., John 5:23; 5:30; 5:36-37; 6:39; 6:44; 6:57; 8:16; 8:18; 8:39; 8:43; 10:36; 12:49; 14:24; 17:21; 17:25; 20:21.) Yet the Quran ascribes unique distinctions to certain prophets, which then become the basis of their honorific titles in Islamic tradition. For example, God is said to have taken Abraham for a friend (v. 125), the basis of his honorific title Khalil Allah (the intimate friend of God), and to have spoken to Moses ‘directly’ (v. 164), the basis of his honorific title Kalim Allah (one who speaks with God).

“In the present verse, the uniqueness of Jesus among the messengers is affirmed in several ways, including his title Ruh Allah (‘Spirit of Allah’). He is referred to here and in certain places, however, as the Messiah (al-Masih), a term that in Arabic is understood to refer to his having been purified by God of sin (T). This is not unrelated to the concept of being ‘anointed,’ the root meaning of the word in Hebrew.

“He is also identified as God’s Word (see also 3:45; 19:34), an idea that has CLEAR RESONANCE with the Gospel tradition, where Jesus is identified as the ‘Word’ of God (See John 1). Christian and Islamic tradition, however, derive different theological conclusions from this appellation. In the Islamic context, the identification of Jesus as God’s Word does not preclude or overshadow his function as the bringer of the Gospel, which, like the Torah and the Quran, represent God’s Word and message to humanity. Some commentators interpret His Word here as the tidings Mary received of his miraculous conception in her womb or as an allusion to the Divine Creative Command Be! by which Christ was formed in Mary’s womb (see 3:45, 59; R, T). HOWEVER, while all created beings are brought into existence through God’s Word, Christ ALONE is specifically identified as ‘a Word from God.’ Some might argue, therefore, that Jesus, by virtue of being identified as God’s Word, somehow PARTICIPATES (UNIQUELY) in the Divine Creative Command, although this is not the traditional Islamic understanding of Jesus’ identification as a Word from Him (3:45).

“The miracle of Jesus’ virgin birth is also alluded to here in that he is identified as God’s Word committed to Mary (alqaha ila Maryam), which could also be rendered ‘cast upon Mary.’ Cf. 66:12, where it is said that God breathed His Spirit into Mary. Consistent with the implicit representation in 66:12 of Jesus as God’s ‘Spirit’ breathed into Mary, in the present verse Jesus is also identified as a Spirit from God. Cf., 2:87, 253; 5:110 where Jesus is strengthened… with the Holy SpiritIt is on this basis that Jesus is given the honorific title ‘Spirit of God’ (Ruh Allah) in the Islamic tradition. Some commentators, however, understand Jesus’ description a Spirit from God metaphorically and consider Spirit here to be either a reference to Jesus’ purity or a metaphor for God’s mercy (rahmah; R).” (The Study Quran, p. 267; bold and capital emphasis mine) 

The Muslim scripture also describes the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God as a divine Person whom God sends to create and give life, just as we see in the following passages: 

(Muhammad), mention in the Book (the Quran) the story of Mary how she left her family and started living in a solitary place to the East out of her people’s sight. We sent Our Spirit to her, who stood before her in the shape of a well formed human being. Mary said, “Would that the Beneficent God would protect me from you. Leave me alone if you are a God fearing person”. He said, “I am the Messengers of your Lord. I have come to give you a purified son“. S. 19:16-19 (Muhammad Sarwar http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/19/st23.htm)

And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her private parts, so We breathed into it of Our Spirit and she established as true the Words of her Lord and His Books and she had been among the ones who are morally obligated. S. 66:12 (Bakhtiar http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/66/st46.htm)

In these examples, the Spirit appears to Mary as a perfect looking man to announce to her that God has sent him to give her an absolutely pure son. The Spirit did this by God breathing him into Mary’s body in order to cause her to conceive Jesus in her blessed womb.

God also breathed his Spirit into Adam,

And when thy Lord said to the angels, ‘See, I am creating a mortal of a clay of mud moulded. When I have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him!’ S. 15:28-29 Arberry

 For the obvious purpose of animating Adam’s body so he could become a living being. This shows that the Spirit is the personal divine breath of God through whom God creates and imparts life.

The Holy Spirit was also sent to strengthen Jesus during his earthly ministry,

When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic; S. 5:110 Pickthall – cf. Q. 2:87, 253

Here we have an explicit reference to God’s Triunity, i.e., God/Allah, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all working together as Jesus carries out his earthly mission.

Once again, the Quran is doing nothing other than parrot the Holy Bible at this point:

“Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. And His fame went throughout the surrounding region. He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by everyone. He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. When He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He rolled up the scroll, and He gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all those who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” Luke 4:14-21

“The word which He sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, the word, which you know, that was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:36-38

The Spirit is further sent to strengthened believers to remain faithful to the will of God:

Thou wilt not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their clan. As for such, He hath written faith upon their hearts and hath strengthened them with a Spirit from Him, and He will bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. They are Allah’s party. Lo! is it not Allah’s party who are the successful? S. 58:22 Pickthall

In order for the Spirit to strengthen all believers everywhere, he must be omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Yet the only way the Spirit could possess such attributes as if he is God in essence, a fact that is even admitted by the late Muslim translator and commentator Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

“… Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, ‘a spirit from Himself’. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker’s heart, and further fortifies him with THE DIVINE SPIRIT, which we can no more adequately define in human language the nature of God.” (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, fn. 5365; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Hence, instead of condemning the Trinity the Islamic scripture actually bears witness to it by affirming that Jesus is the preexistent divine Word who became flesh, and that God’s Spirit is a divine Person who does what only God can do.

I have more for Jake in the next installment: DEBATE CHALLENGE TO MUSLIM METAPHYSICIAN PT. 2.