In our day we may read the books of Buddhist, Jews and Muslims translated into important world languages. Hence, "searchers for the truth" study the Qur'an and are astonished at some verses in which they find striking truths from the Gospel.
"We caused to follow upon their footsteps 'Isa the Son of Mary, confirming to what was between his hands of the Torah. And we caused the Injil to come to him. In it is guidance and light – and confirmation to what was between his hands of the Torah – and guidance and a sermon for the pious. Therefore the People of the Gospel have to judge by what Allah has sent down in it. And those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down, these are the unclean offenders" (Sura Al-Ma'ida 5:46-47).
Whoever analyses these unique verses will find basic truths in them that deserve analysis, meditation and acceptance.
Allah speaks in the plural "We". He, His Spirit, and His Word are a complete unity, speaking and working in full harmony. The word "We" indicates that Allah is more than one: He is – himself, his Spirit, and his Word – an indivisible spiritual unity.
Allah caused Christ, the Son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of his previous prophets, considered him to be an ambassador of Allah (rasul Allah) and the distillation of all his previous prophecies. In Sura al-Ma'ida 5:46 he appears as the seal of the prophets. His divine sending is mentioned five times in the Qur'an (Suras Al ‘Imran 3:49; al-Nisa’ 4:157,171; al-Ma'ida 5:75; al-Saff 61:6).
In the Gospel, the Son of Mary prays to God, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent" (John 17:3). Whoever discovers the love of God and Christ, his ambassador, will receive eternal life. In the gospels, we read 30 times that Christ was sent by God (Luke 4:18; John 5:30+37-38; 10:36; 20:21 among others)
The first task of Christ's ministry, according to the Qur'an was to confirm the unchanging truth of the Torah. He confirmed this revelation through his person and the text of his Gospel.
No one can confirm the revelation of Allah, except the Revealer himself and by his own revelation. But in the Qur'an, Christ is the confirmer of the authenticity of Allah's revealed words. This divine authority was not given to any other prophet.
The Son of Mary even had the unique authority to change some of the revealed Law given to Moses, which indicates that Christ himself is the revealer. In the Qur'an he explained to his listeners:
"And I will confirm what is in my hands of the Torah, and will make lawful for you some of what was prohibited to you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me!" (Sura Al ‘Imran 3:50).
The Son of Mary possessed the rare authority to develop the Shari’a on his own, for he was the incarnate word of God. The full power of the word of Allah dwelt in him. He has the right to demand full obedience from every reader of this message!
Sura al-Ma'ida 5:46 and Al ‘Imran 3:50 clearly state that there exists a direct communication between Allah and Christ. The Most Exalted contacted Christ not through an angel, nor behind the curtain, but spoke directly to him and gave him the Gospel.
Two other verses testify that Allah personally taught the Son of Mary and gave him the comprehensive knowledge of divine revelation:
"And he teaches him the book, the wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel" (Sura Al ‘Imran 3:48).
We do not read in the Qur'an that Allah personally taught any other prophet save Christ, the wisdom of Solomon, the Shari’a of Moses and the good news of redemption in the Gospel.
In addition, the Qur'an testifies twice that Allah taught the Son of Mary "the book". Muhammad was born 570 years after Christ, so the Qur'an did not exist at the time of Christ. Therefore the above mentioned verses indicate the unique "tablet" kept in heaven, in which all predestined decisions of Allah had been recorded. Allah opened to Christ the secrets of fate of mankind, and the content of the divine decree of all creation. He taught him, through this heavenly book, the purposes for the past and future of all historical events.
In addition, the Qur'an left no room for doubt as to how this comprehensive revelation had reached the Son of Mary. We read in the Qur'an about one of several conversations between Allah and Christ, after his ascent to heaven. Allah speaks here in the past perfect tense to prove this fact beyond logical understanding:
"I had taught you the book, the wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel" (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:110).
In this verse, Allah speaks in the singular "I", to testify that he, in person, and without any mediator, entrusted Christ, the Son of Mary, with all the information in heaven and on earth, including destinies and divine decree, wisdom, the Shari’a of Moses and the Gospel of salvation. He who recognizes the wideness and profoundness of this verse will be amazed; this declaration in the Qur'an is great. We should ponder it in order to grasp the infallibility of the Torah and the Gospel based on the unlimited authority of Christ.
The Qur'anic verses mentioned above, testify that the Gospel is Allah's precise revelation. To his listeners, Christ presents the richness of Allah's will and the profundity of his grace. Everyone who ignores the mighty message of the Gospel neglects the divine blessing in it and the spiritual life it gives, for he isolates himself not recognizing Allah's comprehensive declaration.
We also conclude from these verses that the Son of Mary did not receive a printed and hardbound book from Allah, but a sweeping knowledge that cannot be contained in books. Christ denied himself and testified in the Gospel that the words he spoke did not come from himself, but they were inspired by his spiritual Father: "The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works" (John 14:10).
The Son of Mary also declared, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19).
In Sura al-Ma'ida 5:46, we read twice that the Gospel of Christ contains Allah’s guidance. The Almighty guides the readers of the Gospel in his straight path. He does not mislead the followers of Christ, as do those, about whom we read five times in the Qur'an as going astray: (Sura al-Ra'd 13:27; Ibrahim 14:4; al-Nahl 16:93; Fatir 35:8; al-Muddaththir 74:31).
"Allah misleads whom he will, and guides whom he will" (Ibrahim 14:4).
Christians are not slaves, but possess a free will. The Lord guides them to heaven if they read the life-giving Gospel and obey.
In these verses about the right guidance, we see the Qur'anic echo of the good news of Christ’s redemption. His Gospel does not only contain his new law, but also the Good News of deliverance from sin and death, and the free offer of God's grace to whoever accepts it. Christ declared clearly, "I am the way, the truth, and life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
He who listens to Christ’s teaching, believes in him, and lives according to what is written, will receive heavenly power from Christ, so that eternal life dwells in him. Then he will recognize that Allah the Almighty is his spiritual Father. Christ will guide him in the right path that brings him home to the heavenly Father. He has opened to him the door to eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 11:25-26 among others). He who follows Allah’s guidance revealed in the Gospel of Christ, will live with the Father, as Christ lives with his spiritual Father forever. His eternal life fosters in us love, truthfulness, purity, service and patience. He who follows the guidance of Christ will be changed into his image.
The Qur'an testifies that the light of Allah shines clearly in the Gospel, and that whoever reads the words of Christ will be enlightened so that heavenly light will shine through him. He will not walk in darkness, but will have a bright future. Christ said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12).
Christ illuminates his followers so that they will not travel glumly in life, but bear the light of heaven in their hearts. Christ said, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). They will abandon deception, adultery and hatred and will serve others so that the heavenly light would dwell in them too.
In verse 46 of Sura al-Ma'ida, there appears a strange expression – that the Gospel includes a special sermon for the god-fearing. This sermon is unknown to most non-Christians. Muhammad was interested to find this special warning and divine encouragement, but he was not able to read the Gospel because it had not been translated into Arabic in his time. However, he inquired about parts of this sermon attempting to find out about the dedication of Christ's followers. Today, everyone can read this unique sermon mentioned in the Qur'an, because the whole Gospel has been carefully translated into Arabic. The title of this special message is "The Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:1 - 7:29). We find in it the constitution of the spiritual kingdom of Allah. The climax of this sermon is Christ's call, "You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). We are prepared to send this sermon to you and to everyone who wishes to read and delve deeper into this holy revelation. If you keep its words, you will gain heavenly power for your thirsty soul.
In Sura al-Ma'ida 5:47, we find a striking expression which appears only once in the Qur'an and contains a profound and wide-ranging meaning: "The people of the Gospel". Muhammad watched the Christians around him and realized that they often quoted and spoke from the Gospel. They tried to practise Christ's teachings and kept many verses from the Gospel by heart. He recognized that this book was the center of their culture, the basis of their faith, and the spring of spiritual power to their lives. This is why Muhammad called Christ's followers "The people of the Gospel". Each one of them was, in his eyes, a "walking Gospel". They were entitled to have this divine book, for they lived out what they believed in. They followed the example of the Son of Mary in their behavior. Muhammad testified in their favor,
"You will also find that those who have the greatest sympathy with the believers (Muslims) are the ones who call themselves Christians (Nasaara), because they have priests and monks among them and they are not arrogant" (Sura Al-Ma'ida 5:82).
What a great testimony Muhammad gave about Christians in his day! This honest comment in the Qur'an about the Christians can encourage conversations and cooperation between the Muslims and the followers of Christ, because the testimony is true.
The text of Sura al-Ma'ida 5:46-47a, which finally speaks about the people of the Gospel, is summarized in the Qur'an with one sentence – Sura al-Ma'ida 5:47b, which contains a decisive legal ordinance. Muhammad ordered the Christians, in a gentle manner, not to follow any other religion or law, but to stick only to the Gospel and live according to it, otherwise he would consider them "the unclean offenders". Muhammad imagined that the Gospel was similar to the Shari’a of Moses. Therefore he allowed, and ordered, the Christians to judge their own affairs, according to their book and adapt their culture according to the Gospel.
This is the only verse that grants Christians the freedom to practise their faith and rights, and is based on the Gospel, in an Islamic country without any hindrance.
This unique verse also ensures for Christians the special right to remain free as non-Muslims, enjoying Muslim protection in Islamic states, for they possess Allah's revelation entrusted to them. Allah would not allow them to become Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, or Muslims, but they must live according to the Gospel and acknowledge their faith. All Christians and Muslims should recognize these important verses, learn them by heart and live accordingly (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:46-47).
Actually, the Son of Mary issued about 500 commands in his Gospel and summarized them in one spiritual ordinance, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (John 13:34).
In this commandment, Christ made his own love, service and sacrifice the only rule, and the measure for his law. He, himself, is our law, in the full sense of the word. We, in general, are unable to love and serve as Christ did. However, the apostle Paul explained the biblical incentive for this great commandment, "The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5). The Lord injects the power of his love into whoever desires to fulfill the Shari’a of Christ. He who does not seek God's power for kindness will not be able to live according to the law of Christ. All ideas, powers and laws that do not emanate from the holy Gospel and the love of Christ are not divine.
Muhammad did not issue his report on Christians only in general, but also in particular. Every Christian who does not love according to the law of Christ would deserve punishment, for he has become an unclean offender. This verse is a strong attack on liberal Christians who do not live according to the law of Christ. Muhammad condemned them, because they live without the Shari’a of their Lord and reject his commandments. If they continue in their corrupt ways and unbelief they will no longer be worthy of being called Christians according to the Qur'an.
In Sura al-Ma'ida, Muhammad appears as a remarkable preacher and warner. He asked the Jews to repent and become true Jews, and urged the Christians around him to become faithful Christians. The only way to achieve this divine goal is to read and establish the Torah and the Gospel and to practise them in all areas of faith and life. Muhammad insisted:
"O people of the book, you are nothing until you establish the Torah and the Gospel and what your Lord has made to descend to you" (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:68).
Who dare claim, after reviewing these verses, that the Gospel was falsified? Muhammad, himself, commanded Christians to live according to the Gospel. The Qur'anic order disclaims every accusation that the Gospel is corrupted.
The Qur'an, in all its verses, never claims that the Gospel was falsified! Muhammad held that the faithful Christians would not lie or deceive, therefore it was impossible for them to falsify their Scriptures. This is why he showed a high respect to them, honored their Gospel and gave them a lofty lawful rank.
Yet some later critics claim that the Gospel was falsified after Muhammad. Those who mistrust the Gospel, in spite of the positive testimonies of the Qur'an, neglect the fact that the original manuscripts of the Gospel were not burned by the fathers of the church, as Caliph Uthman treated the originals of the Qur'an. The early manuscripts of the Gospel are kept as true witnesses to this today. There are hundreds of the original texts of the Gospel, whether in part, or as whole books, and these are openly displayed in different museums.
Also, the Gospel, at the time of Muhammad, had already been translated into more than ten languages and was widespread around the known countries. Who would be able to gather all the copies in all these languages from all over the world and change certain words or phrases in each of these copies? The worldwide spread of the Gospel, even at the time of Muhammad, makes it rather impossible to corrupt it. Today, the Gospel is translated into hundreds of languages, and millions of its copies are in circulation. We own printed copies of the unchanged, original Gospel and offer it to you free of charge, if you are ready to study it.
Christ solemnly attested the infallibility of his Gospel and ended all discussion about its falsification saying, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
Today, Christ lives with Allah, as the Qur'an testifies twice (Suras Al ‘Imran 3:55; al-Nisa’ 4:158). One could try to falsify a book on earth, but in eternal realms Christ, the incarnate Word, cannot be touched neither by a human, nor by a demon. Christ is the incarnate Word of God "He is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). In him we rest and serve.
We are prepared to send you a free copy of the Gospel of Christ, in English or in Arabic, if that is allowed to be sent into your country.
If you are assured, through this leaflet, that the Gospel is not falsified, we suggest that you give this leaflet to individuals who have questions on this subject. We are prepared to send you limited copies of it upon request for the service of the word of God.
P.O. BOX 567 • Imperial, PA 15126 • USA