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in the quran it says about Jesus' crucifixion:

And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. -- Qur'an 4:157

So it was made to appear Jesus was crucified.. but he was really not crucified.

This confuses me because it seems as though God is purposely misleading people here. After Muhammad arrives people should now believe that Jesus was not crucified even though that is what was historically reported. Why did God do that and not just raise Jesus to himself without creating the illusion of crucifixion?

  • God Almighty did not do this as you mentioned.He did with purpose to teach other people well.And He told them the truth that he was lifted up and will return on the day of judgement to kill the anti christ. – Alex A Sep 18 '17 at 7:28
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"This confuses me because it seems as though God is purposely misleading people here."

❶ - That begs the related question, WHO is the people God is misleading? The same people who were attempting to murder Jesus, after they had sufficient time (right from the birth of Jesus) to accept the truth he brought, which they refused again and again. So they were clearly already misled, by themselves. Can you deny this? Of course not, because that is the reality.

❷ - As for the disciples and the believers, then Jesus clearly mentioned to them as has been reported in the Bible that he is to ascend to God, so they knew and they would not be misled.

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" John 20:17

"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe." John 14:28-29

If you claim that he would not have explained what it meant, then it is conjecture. The conclusion from all this is, those who chose to mislead themselves were further misled and confused. Those who had believed were guided and upon guidance. How is this anything other than what is to be expected?

إذ قال الله يا عيسى إني متوفيك ورافعك إلي - And (remember) when Allâh said: "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself... (3:55)

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In answering this question I reference some areas that may seem off-topic for the question but included to both build the answer and avoid more hanging questions. I feel the elaboration is warranted since the topic is a standing important point of confusion

The example of Abraham

I think the best way to understand this is when Abraham (Ibrahim, Avram) the great ancestor of both Isa (Yeshua, Jesus) pbuh and Muhammed (pbuh) was in the process of sacrificing his son (Ismail (Ishmael) according to Islamic tradition, Isaac according to Old Testament).

The custom back then with Abraham’s folk was to sacrifice their eldest son to their idol gods in times of drought and famine. Abraham rejected these idol gods and preached his folk to forsake their false gods and worship Allah and Allah only. His audience for the most part rejected his message and taunted him to sacrifice his own son to Allah if he believed in Allah so much. He had a dream where he was requested to sacrifice his son (Quran 37:102)

Human sacrifice, especially ones own children may seem the ultimate in evil and cruelty, but now in the 21st century it persists for not only our eldest sons but all sons and daughters are sacrificed to military campaigns to the altar of false gods and flags with the full encouragement of their parents. The physical methods are different but ideologically the same.

The narrative in both the Quran and Old Testament say that this was the ultimate test of faith for Abraham (Quran 37:106). Abraham demonstrated that he was willing to sacrifice everything including his son for the sake of Allah, and his son also did not waver in letting his father take his life if that was the will of Allah (Quran 37:102).

Allah of course did not allow the actual sacrifice and commanded Abraham to sacrifice a sheep instead (Quran 37:107). After passing this ultimate test of faith, Allah rewarded Abraham by promising prophets and the scriptures to his descendants, and blessing the world through his seed.

Indeed, tradition follows that Muhammed was a descendant of Ismail (Ishmael) and all the prophets of Bani Israel (Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, etc) were descendants of Isaac (Quran 6:84). Israel is another name for Jacob (Yakub), who was son of Isaac. Israel's 12 sons and their descendants, the 12 tribes of Israel, are collectively referred to in the Quran as children of Israel (Bani Israel).

Mission of Jesus, rejection of his message and mission

Jesus (Isa, Yeshua) was sent to Bani Israel as their messiah and savior. Part of his mission was to relieve them of some of their burdens (Quran 3:50) (relax some dietary restrictions, sabbath) and to demonstrate that mercy was much closer to piety than laws and punishments. He also strove to restore all faith and worship to Allah as the bani Israel were already corrupting themselves by worshiping and cherishing partners to Allah (money, material goods, children, ancestors, tribe worship, etc).

Jesus like Yahya (John the baptist), and numerous prophets before who were slain, would not waiver in risking their lives in the service of Allah. That being said I think that the example of Abraham and his son gives us important insight about the nature of Allah and the supposed blood sacrifice crucifixion of Jesus.

Allah did not allow sacrifice of Jesus, as with Abraham's son

Just as Allah did not allow the sacrifice of Abraham's son, or any human sacrifice, clearly forbidden in (Quran 5:32, 17:33), similarly Allah would not have allowed the death of his messenger Isa ibn Merriem (Jesus, son of Mary) as a sacrifice.

Allah needs nothing, source of all mercy and beneficience

Allah has no need for human blood, Christ’s or anyone's. Allah ‘needs’ nothing period. We need Allah. To believe otherwise, is very sinful. The Christian belief is that God the Father ‘needed the blood of his only begotten son to forgive the sins of everyone. All you have to do is just believe that Christ offered himself as a blood sacrifice to the heavenly Father and you are ‘saved’.

The enormity of this misconception goes way beyond being ludicrous. It portrays Allah as a horrific bloodthirsty entity, and obviously insulting and blasphemous to Muslims. It is impossible for Christians to glorify Christ and his supposed crucifixion without darkening the heavenly Father.

Was there a deception? Are we entitled to truth and light if we reject it?

Thus just as Allah did not need and did not allow the sacrifice of Abraham's son, as the aya states Allah did not allow the crucifixion of Isa ibn Merriem. However, the aya (4:157) adds that the crucifixion appeared real to the witnesses of the event.

The OP was confused as to why Allah would make it appear as an actual crucifixion as though there was a deception. This question pre-supposes an arrogant expectation that Allah owes his creation the complete perception of all reality. This expectation is way out of place. Allah owes us nothing. Everything, our lives, our sustenance, the world, the universe, our family, etc are gifts from Allah. Allah is above all and is not obliged to provide anything. Our attitude should always be gratitude. Appreciation, not expectation. Shukur, not Kufur.

All our faculties sight, hearing, scents, etc are included in all the providences of Allah. Everything we see or hear is through Allah’s permission ‘iznee’ (Quran 2:255, 6:103, 35:22). We perceive what Allah permits us to perceive. What our eyes do see is a tiny fraction of reality.

This is particularly relevant to the folk who came to witness the crucifixion. Allah sends his messenger as a mercy providing truth and light to this folk who reject him and condemned him to death after all the healing, guidance, and wisdom he provided and the miracles he performed. Even his disciples fled and those that were cornered and questioned as was Simon Peter denied having known him.

Isa was rejected, spat upon, tortured, humiliated, and condemned like a criminal. To expect Allah to provide truth and reality to those who have so violently and murderously rejected truth is very arrogant. See Quran 14:4.

If I provided you a gift out of the goodness of my heart expecting nothing in return, but you return the favor by rejecting the gift and trying to kill me, do you expect me to keep providing you gifts?

Nay, Jesus’s audience rejected the truth, love, guidance, and mercy provided by Allah through his messenger. Despite of this, despite of us, Allah sent his final messenger, Muhammed as a mercy, and blessing for all the nations (Quran 21:107). There is nothing binding Allah to do this. Allah is the most compassionate, most merciful.

Cruci 'Fiction'

So let our Christian brothers heal their hearts and minds that Jesus did not die on the cross. Allah is all beneficent. The most beneficent does not need human sacrifice to forgive sins. The alleged crucifixion is a cruci’fiction’.

If our Christian brethren want to know and live the true message of Jesus, all they have to do is embrace Islam and follow the teachings and example of the prophet Muhammed (pbuh). This does not imply in any way that Muhammed is superior to Jesus. All the messengers of Allah had the same mission and it says in the Quran that we must not distinguish between them (2:285).

So where did this blood sacrifice notion come from?

How else can Paul and the other apostles come to terms with the crucifixion of the messiah. The old testament describes the messiah as the warrior king who will come and deliver the tribe Israel from her enemies and establish Allah’s kingdom on earth. Instead they saw their master brutalized and murdered. If he didn't perform all the miracles and confirmed that his teachings were authentic of divine origin, they would have dismissed him as a false prophet.

Even though the interpretation to explain this event is ludicrous and blasphemous as stated earlier, there is not any way to explain the reason for the crucifixion of the messiah who was sent by a benevolent God. On the contrary this is malevolence. It is very difficult to explain malevolent results from a benevolent God.

The Old Testament is often referenced to try explain the meaning and reason for the crucifixion of Jesus. There are numerous references in the Pentateuch, particularly numerous in Leviticus, where Jehova commands the Israelites to offer animal sacrifices, particularly during holidays like Passover. In the gospels also Joseph, husband of Mary and stepfather to Jesus, is mentioned sacrificing a pigeon at the temple after the birth of Jesus. The gospels mention Jesus getting upset with money extraction for passover sacrifices at the temple. He did not object to the animal sacrifices themselves.

Quran clarifies purpose of animal sacrifice

The Quran clarifies in surah 22 aya 36-37 that that blood and meat from the animal sacrifice does not reach Allah, but the piety from us earns us sevap (good deeds) in distributing the meat, skin, and other products to the needy. Indeed in many cases from our prophet's time until the present day, the sacrifice festival once a year is the only time the very needy have access to meat protein. This clarifies the purpose of animal sacrifices. Allah obviously does not need them, but rather a method of worship where the believers with means give up some of their worldly possessions to feed and clothe the needy and in so doing bind the community closer together and closer to Allah. It is another form of zekat (alms giving).

The clarification in the Quran regarding animal sacrifices is in stark contrast to the verses in Leviticus of the Old Testament where Jehova commands the Israelites to make burnt offerings of animal sacrifices because the smell of the burnt offerings is “pleasing to the lord”. This implies that Jehova derives pleasure sensations from burnt flesh of his animal creation and also this cruel pleasure is more important than feeding and clothing the destitute. This is not an all benevolent God, and we can see the roots of where the sacrifice of Christ notion originates.

Modern Interpretations of Sacrifices

We can put aside the literal meaning of burnt offerings for a metaphorical one where we give up something that we cherish in this world (not humans) with no expectation of any kind of return, material or spiritual, to demonstrate that we cherish, and worship Allah only, and ascribe no partners to him.

In our prophet’s and Abraham’s time, people cherished their herds of sheep, goats, camels, and cattle. In our time we cherish all kinds of things, notions, flags, ideologies, relationships, etc. There is a thin line between cherishing the above and worshiping them as substitutes or partners to Allah. They can become false gods. If we cherish our work and our careers, we must remember to sacrifice the time needed for salaat when the times come. Otherwise, the work, money earned, or career is considered a partner to Allah or more important to Allah. If anything in this life ends up being more important to us than Allah, give it up as a the ancient Israelites gave up the animals which were very important to them.

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There are things that only Allah knows. And like Infatuated said, we can't even imagine how the story unfolded.

Maybe it was to test the true believers. Those who don't believe in man-made religions but in the world of Allah.

Bibles have countless of versions that were created by men in power to serve their own agenda of greed. Only the Quran hasn't been changed and thus only a Muslim would believe that Jesus was a prophet of Allah and not his son.

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Allah apparently didn't want to mislead people but by making another person (the treacherous disciple of Jesus, Judas Iscariot) resemble Jesus' look, He wanted to both save Jesus and punish Judas for his treachery and malice. I recommend you reading the Gospel of Barnabas if only for getting an understanding of what a scenario like this could've really unfolded and made sense. This Gospel may not be historically verifiable as an (or the) authentic Gospel, but there are Muslim scholars who think that the content itself testifies to its authentic origins even regardless of the explicit references to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

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    Comments for downvotes appreciated. – infatuated Jan 14 '17 at 8:39
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These are my superstitions but they are logical.

1 - Dead is a person who does not remember God and thank God.

So, the people in the graves are dead only in our eyes. But they are alive in the eyes of God.

2 - Alive is a person who remembers God and thanks God.

So, many people alive in this world are totally dead in the eyes of God.

Now, let me tell you Hadith, the Hadith says,

The heart who remembers God and the heart that does not remember God is like a person who is Alive and who is Dead.

So, Jesus can never die. Because just like Heart never stops beating, Jesus never stopped remembering and thanking God.

None of any Prophet can die. Because Prophets are always remembering and thanking God.

My answer was metaphoric but true. Because in our eyes, Jesus and other Prophets might be dead but in God's eyes (All-Knowing, who knows everything), they never die. Subhan Allah. :)

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This life is a test, and Allah often tests us humans, as He tested nations before us and as illustrated in the Quran.

For example, in 2:143:

Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which you were used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.

Why did Allah change the Qibla even if temporarily? As a test.

Another example, from 74:31, which follows aya 30 in which Allah mentions "over it are nineteen," where "it" means hellfire, and from the aya below it's clear 19 refers to the number of angels guarding "over" hell:

And We have set none but angels as Guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers,- in order that the People of the Book may arrive at certainty, and the Believers may increase in Faith,- and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book and the Believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers may say, "What symbol doth Allah intend by this?" Thus doth Allah leave to stray whom He pleaseth, and guide whom He pleaseth: and none can know the forces of thy Lord, except He and this is no other than a warning to mankind.

One can dispute what is meant by the number being a test. But it is an example of how even a statement in the Quran can be a test, not only actions that occur by Allah's will.

And this testing is crucial/ central to the message about faith, as in 3:142 below:

Did ye think that you would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast?

There are many other ayat that emphasize this point, such as 3:152 in the same Sura.

Or this, from 29:2:

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested?

The matter of why Allah made the illusion of Jesus' supposed crucifixion is another such test. Clearly many have been taken in by this test.

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    How do you know that life is a test? Where is it written? – user23793 Aug 11 '17 at 13:59
  • It's written in the Quran but not using the phrase "life is a test." See answer above: 29:2, 3:142, 3:152, 2:143. Just look for it in the Quran; it's hard to miss. The purpose of life is to worship Allah and He tests His worshippers during their lifetime. For qualities such as patience, compassion, endurance, understanding. Based on this tested faith, people reach the next life in a good or bad place. – S Karami Aug 15 '17 at 8:27
  • Interesting, see also: How can life be a Test if Allah is all-knowing? – user23793 Aug 15 '17 at 21:58
  • The All-Knowing wants to test humans who have (and chose) free will. Otherwise, it wouldn't be "free will." We can choose right or wrong. Hell and Heaven wouldn't be just without free will and choice. Allah is not only Omniscient but also Almighty. Therefore He has the power to grant us free will without comprising His omniscience. I have faith there is a truth and solution to the apparent contradiction between our free will and His omniscience. Similarly unsolved math problems do not shake my faith in mathematics. Note humans curtailing free will of others is a gross sin. – S Karami Aug 15 '17 at 23:50
  • In fact I just remembered the solution. He gave us free will so we can prove our sincerity and faith and character. The fact that He knows the result in no way compromises the result or the free will, since we do not know it in advance. The test-giver in any exam must know the correct answers in advance, albeit not who will pass. Allah however is perfectly just and will not oppress anyone, so He does not use His knowledge against any person being tested. – S Karami Aug 15 '17 at 23:54
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The tafseer explains this.

No where in the tafseer nor the Quranic Scripture that says Allah made this illusion to happen, this is how misinterpretation renders the verse.

The key to understand this is:

At the time of Jesus, how many people did in fact meet him in person or know how he looked like? In other words if those who crucified him, crucified someone else and made him travel all along the streets, saying that we have crucified Jesus, how many people could at that time confirm?

So the verse beautifully describes what people have thought. not what had really happened.

Also pay attention to the last part of the verse, it says , and they didn't kill him for sure, so there is uncertainty being spoken of here. Allah saved him, and didn't cause any illusions, exalted He is.

And Allah knows best

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