Q: Salaamz dear Mufti Saab,
I would like to ask you concerning the truth behind the Trinity which the Christians preach and propogate. Could it be that they have mixed up calling Isa, Angel Jibreel And Allaah as one ? or is it something more than that? Its something which has bothered me for quite a while and would appreciate any explanation you have regarding it.
May Allaah continue to bless you and your efforts at Darul Uloom and may he continue to shower upon you the bounty of knowledge.
A: Wa alaikum As Salaam,
It was an intentional act of theirs to attribute divinity to Isa (A.S). They knew very well that Isa (A.S) was a prophet who lived amongst the people as a human being. The disciples ate with him, drank with him and walked along with him. Therefore, there was absolutely no doubt in the minds of the early followers of Isa (A.S) that he was only a prophet who could not share divinity with Allah.
The early Christians, through the teachings of the Gospel, also knew very well that there was only one God, Allah. Their Gospel taught them that Allah is alone, who has no partners, sons, peers or equals. This also was a deep rooted belief held by the early Christians since it was evident from the life and teachings of their prophet, Isa (A.S).
About Jibraeel (A.S), they knew that he was an angel whom they referred to as the Holy Ghost. They also knew that Isa (A.S) was strengthened by angel Jibraeel (A.S) who came from Allah. From their teachings of the Gospel, they were fully aware that Allah, Isa (A.S) and Jibraeel (A.S) were three separate beings and were not one. Hence, it was totally impossible for any Christian (scholar or non scholar) to be mixed up and confused about calling one by the name of the other.
It is to be noted that the early disciples and followers of Isa (A.S) believed in him to be only a prophet and Messenger of Allah. The disciples of Isa (A.S) never called Isa (A.S) ‘father’, ‘God’ or ‘son of God’. Instead, they referred to him as ‘teacher’, ‘master’, ‘holy servant’. In this regard, we find that in the book of Matthew, Isa (A.S) is reported to have said to his disciples, ‘But you are not to be called Rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren, and call no man your father on earth, for you have one father who is in heaven’ (Matt 23: 8 – 11). Here, it is evident that Isa (A.S) referred to himself as a teacher to the disciples, and he also told them that they had only one father (Lord) who was in heaven. That is, he was not their lord.
In another narration in Acts 2:22, it is stated that while addressing a party of the Jews, Peter (the disciple of Isa) said, ‘Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know’. (Acts 2:22). Here, it is evident that Peter, the beloved disciple to Isa (A.S) accepted and considered Isa (A.S) to be ‘a man attested by God’. That is, he was a Messenger of God.
In another passage, Peter again said to the Jews about Isa (A.S), ‘The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus’ (Acts 3:13). Here, Peter called Isa (A.S) a servant of Allah, not God or the son of God.
These along with many other verses of the present day Gospel (Bible) reveal that the disciples regarded Isa (A.S) (Jesus) only as ‘a man’, ‘a Messenger of God’, ‘a servant of God’, ‘a teacher’, ‘a Messiah’. It is also evident that the disciples of Isa (A.S) knew nothing of, and did not believe in the doctrines of Trinity and incarnation of Jesus. From the teachings of Isa (A.S) recorded in the Christian Scriptures, one will see clearly that Isa (A.S) preached and propagated the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed).
In this regard, the Gospel of Matthew and Mark record that Jesus said, ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One; and you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’. (Mark 12:29; Matt 22:36). From this message, one can see clearly that Isa (A.S) (Jesus) was firm upon the teaching of the Oneness of Allah and that his teaching was the same given by every prophet on the face of the earth. From such teachings and statements of Jesus, one will see that he never preached the doctrines of Trinity and incarnation, nor did he claim to be God or His son. These were fabrications, invented by the latter Christians.
In the Gospel of John, Isa (A.S) (Jesus) invokes Allah as follows, ‘And this is eternal life that they may know thee the Only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent’. (John 17:2)
The doctrines of trinity and incarnation of Jesus were invented by Paul, the real founder of modern day Christianity. Some of Paul’s statements which are in total contrast to the words and message of Jesus are:
In his letter to Philippians he (Paul) says: ‘Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death of the cross. Therefore god has highly exalted him…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is lord’.
In his letter to the Colossians, he (Paul) says, ‘He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him’ (Col 1:15-17).
The above teachings of Paul brought about the doctrines of Incarnation, Trinity, Crucifixion and Redemption. These were such theories that did not originate from Jesus or from the Gospel which was given to him.
Belief in the trinity was an intentional act and there was no mix up. The Catholic doctrine believes Jesus (Isa A.S) is God without ceasing to be what he was.
As mentioned by their Scholars ‘Jesus was both man and God at the same time’ (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics). On accounted of the fabricated teachings of the Trinity, many groups arose in the beginning centuries of Christianity who tried to reconcile between the differing opinions as to who Jesus was.
There were some like Paul of Samosata (the Bishop of Antioch 260-272 A.D), and Lucian (well-known Christian theologian/ascetic) along with a large group and their followers who held that Jesus was a creature and a mere man. He was not a divine being (From Christ to Constantine-James Makinon).
In the fourth century Arius, the well-known Christian thinker, fought a great battle against the church of his time and caused an outcry in the Christian world (at that time). James Makinon in his famous work ‘From Christ to Constantine’ mentioned the following about the position held by Arius. He writes: “Arius on the contrary insisted that God alone is eternal and has no equal. That he created the son out of nothing; that the son is, therefore, not eternal.”
When Arius propounded his theories, it was widely accepted especially by the Eastern Church. However, the Central Churches of Antioch and Alexandria were ruled by Alexander, Athanasius and the like, who were not willing to accept any solution to the problem which touched the divinity of Jesus or affected the doctrine of Incarnation.
Consequently, when emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea in 323 A.D, the theories and views of Arius were not only strongly rejected but Arius himself was sent into Exile.
Another sect which emerged in the fifth century AD was the Paulician Sect which held a middle view in regard to Jesus. The sect asserted that Jesus was not God but an Angel. God sent him to the world so that he may reform it. Consequently, he was born in human form from the womb of Virgin Mary. The influence of this sect remained mainly in the region of Asia Minor and Armenia.
This Sect did not receive general acceptance, because of the absence of scriptural evidence relating to Jesus being an Angel.
In the middle of the fifth century AD, there arose the Nestorian Sect whose leader was Nestorius. He attempted to solve this problem of the church and he presented a new philosophy. He preached that the essence of Jesus consisted of two persons, the one son, the other God. He said that Jesus being god is true and his being a human being is also true. He presented Jesus as two persons and two natures or realties. This theory was condemned by all the churches and Nestorius was imprisoned and exiled.
In this way, other Sects came up in the sixth and seventh century, all of whom tried to explain the reality of Jesus. Is he Man? Is he God? Was he an Incarnate? All this questions continued to baffle Christian thinkers and until today, they are still confused about the truth of Jesus.
The above details were given to show that the idea of trinity was not a ‘mix-up’ or an error. It was an intentional plan of Paul to remove Christianity from the teachings of true monotheism and to give it a new outlook.
The fabrications that were brought by Paul and his indifference to the teachings of Jesus are so well-known in the circle of Christian theologians and scholars that some of them have made this clear in their writings.
In this regard, the Encyclopaedia Britannica in describing the condition of Paul states: “One group among the writers represented for example by W. Wrede, who were by no means oppose to Paul, opine that Paul changed Christianity to such an extent that he has become its second founder. In reality, he is the founder of the ‘Church Christianity’ which is totally different from the Christianity brought by Jesus. They say that ‘follow Jesus or follow Paul, but both cannot be followed simultaneously.’
In a similar manner, Von Loewinch (Professor of church history and Christian art) also stated that Paul separated Christianity from Judaism and gave it a distinct form. Hence, he is the creator of those churches which were built in the name of Jesus.
It is clear from the above quotations of those Christian scholars that Paul distorted the teachings of Christianity that came from Jesus and made it a new religion.
(Izharul Haqq – Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi; What is Christianity – Mufti Taqi Usmani).
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.