CHAPTER 4 : THE GOOD NEWS
"BEHOLD! THE ANGELS SAID: 'O MARY! GOD GIVETH THEE GLAD TIDINGS OF A WORD FROM HIM: HIS NAME WILL BE CHRIST JESUS THE SON OF MARY HELD IN HONOUR IN THIS WORLD AND THE HEREAFTER AND (OF THE COMPANY OF) THOSE NEAREST TO GOD'"
HOLY QURAN 3:45
"Nearest to God," not physically nor geographically, but spiritually. Compare this with - "And (Jesus) sat on the right hand of God."(Mark - 16:19). The bulk of Christendom has misunderstood this verse as well as many others in the Bible. They imagine the Father (God) sitting on a throne - a glorified chair - and His "son", Jesus, sitting on His right hand side. Can you conjure up the picture? If you do, you have strayed from the true knowledge of God. He is no old Father Christmas. He is a spiritual Being, beyond the imagination of the mind of man. He exists. He is real, but He is not like anything we can think of, or imagine. In eastern languages "right hand" meant a place of honour, which the Holy Quran more fittingly describes as - "IN THE COMPANY OF THOSE NEAREST TO GOD."
The above verse confirms that Jesus is the CHRIST, and that he is the WORD which God bestowed upon Mary. Again, the Christian reads into these words, a meaning which they do not carry. They equate the word "Christ" with the idea of a god-incarnate; and the word from God to be God!.
CHRIST NOT A NAME
The word CHRIST is derived from the Hebrew word Messiah, Arabic-Masih. Root word m-a-s-a-h-a, meaning to rub, to massage, to anoint. Priests and kings were anointed when being consecrated to their offices. But in its translated, Grecian form "CHRIST", it seems unique:befitting Jesus only. The Christian has a knack of transmuting baser metals into shining gold. What he is wont to do is to translate names into his own language like "cephas" to Peter, "messiah" to Christ. How does he do that? Very easily MESSIAH in Hebrew means anointed. The Greek word for anointed is "christos". Just lop off the 'os' from christos and you are left with christ. Now change the little 'c' to a capital 'C', and "hey, presto!" he has created a unique (?) name! Christos means ANOINTED, and anointed means APPOINTED in its religious connotation. Jesus (pbuh) was appointed (anointed) at his baptism by John the Baptist, as God's Messenger.Every Prophet of God is so anointed or appointed. The Holy Bible is replete with the "anointed" ones. In the original Hebrew - made a "messiah". Let us keep to the English translation - "anointed." Not only were prophets and priests and kings anointed (christos-ed), but borns, and cherubs and lamp-posts also.
|1 Samuel 2:10|
There are a hundred more such references in the Holy Bible. Everytime you come across the word ANOINTED in your English Bible, you can take it that that word would be christos in the Greek translations, and if you take the same liberty with the word that the Christians have done, you will have - Christ Cherub, Christ Cyrus, Christ Priest and Christ Pillar, etc.
SOME TITLES EXCLUSIVE
Although, every prophet of God is an ANOINTED one of God - a Messiah, the title "Masih" or "Messiah" or its translation "CHRIST" is exclusively reserved for Jesus, the son of Mary, in both Islam and in Christianity. This is not unusual in religion. There are certain other honorific title which may be applied to more than one prophet, yet being made exclusive to one by usage: like "Rasul-lullah", meaning Messenger of God, which title is applied to both Moses (19:51) and Jesus (61:6) in the Holy Quran. Yet "Rasul-lullah" has become synonymous only with the Prophet of Islam among Muslims.
Every prophet is indeed a FRIEND OF GOD, but its Arabic equivalent "Kha- lil-lullah" is exclusively associated with Father Abraham. This does not mean that the others are not God's friends. "Kalimul-lah" (One who spoke with God) is never used for anyone other than Moses, yet we believe that God spoke with all His Messengers, including Jesus and Muhummed (May the Peace and Blessings of God be upon all His servants). Associating certain titles with certain personages only, does not make them exclusive or unique in any way. We honour all in varying terms.
Whilst the good news was being announded (verse 45 above) Mary was told that her unborn child will be called Jesus, that he would be the Christ, a "Word" from God, and that.....
"HE SHALL SPEAK TO THE PEOPLE IN CHILDHOOD* AND IN MATURITY. AND HE SHALL BE (OF THE COMPANY) OF THE RIGHTEOUS."
Holy Quran 3:46
* This prophecy found fulfilment within a very short time. We find this in Sura Maryam below:
"AT LENGTH SHE BROUGHT HIM (THE BABE) TO HER PEOPLE, CARRYING HIM (IN HER ARMS). THEY SAID:"O MARY! TRULY AN-AMAZING THING HAST THOU BROUGHT! O SISTER OF AARON THY FATHER WAS NOT A MAN OF EVIL NOR THY MOTHER A WOMAN UNCHASTE!"
Holy Quran 19:27-28
There is no Joseph the carpenter here. The circumstances being peculiar, Mary the mother of Jesus had retired herself to some remote place in the East (H.Q.19:16). After the birth of the child she returns.
"The amazement of the people knew no bounds. In any case they were prepared to think the worst of her, as she had disappeared from her kin for some time. But now she comes, shamelessly parading a babe in her arms! How she had disgraced the house of Aaron, the fountain of priesthood! "SISTER OF AARON: Mary is reminded of her high lineage and the unexceptionable morals of her father and mother. How, they said, she had fallen and disgraced the name of her progenitors!
"What could Mary do? How could she explain? Would they, in their censorious mood accept her explanation? All she could do was to point to the child, who, she knew, was no ordinary child. And the child came to her rescue. By a miracle he spoke, defended his mother, and preached -to an unbelieving audience."
A.Yusuf Ali, comments in his notes 2480-2482 on page 773 of his translation.
"BUT SHE POINTED TO THE BABE. THEY SAID: 'HOW CAN WE TALK TO ONE WHO IS A CHILD IN THE CRADLE?'"
HOLY QURAN 19:23
And by a miracle he spoke: HE SAID: "I AM INDEED A SERVANT OF GOD: HE HATH GIVEN ME REVELATION AND MADE ME A PROPHET; "AND HE HATH MADE ME BLESSED WHERESOEVER I BE, AND HE HATH ENJOINED ON ME PRAYER AND CHARITY AS LONG AS I LIVE "(HE) HATH MADE ME KIND TO MY MOTHER, AND NOT OVERBEARING OR MISERABLE; "SO PEACE IS ON ME THE DAY I WAS BORN, THE DAY THAT I DIE, AND THE DAY THAT I SHALL BE RAISED UP TO LIFE (AGAIN)!"
Holy Quran 19:24-33
HIS FIRST MIRACLE(S)
Thus Jesus (pbuh) defended his mother from the grave calumny and innuendoes of her enemies. This is the very first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Holy Quran - that, he spoke as an infant from his mother's arms. Contrast this with his first miracle in the Christian Bible which occured when he was over thirty years of age: And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
Since this miracle, wine has flowed like water in Christendom. Many a fool reasons that what was good for his Master is good enough for him. Jesus was no "Kill-joy" they say. Didn't he make good potent wine, that even those "well drunk", those whose senses had been dulled could make out the difference? - "THAT THE BEST WAS KEPT FOR THE LAST." This was no pure grape juice. It was the same W-I-N-E that, according to the Christian Bible, enabled the daughters of Lot to seduce their father (Genesis 19:32-33). It was the same W-I-N-E which the Christian is advised to eschew in Ephesians 5:18 - "And be not drunk with WINE...."
It is that innocent (?) 1% potency that eventually leads millions down into the gutter. America has 10 million drunkards in the midst of 70 million "born-again" Christians! The Americans call their drunkards "PROBLEM DRINKERS". In South Africa, they are called "ALCOHOLICS" - drunkard is too strong a word for people to stomach.
But the Prime Minister of Zambia, Dr.Kenneth Kaunda, does not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He says, "I am not prepared to lead nation of drunkards" - referring to his own people who drink intoxicants.
Whether the water "blushed" or not "seeing" Jesus, we cannot blame him or his disciples for the drinking habits of his contemporaties. For he had truly opined, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). Mankind had nof reached the stage of receiving the whole Truth of Islam. Did he not also say - "You cannot put new wine into old bottles"? (Matthew 9:17)
"MOTHER" OR "WOMAN"?
"According" to St.John, in the fourth verse above, describing the marriage feast at Cana, we are told that Jesus (pbuh) behaved insolently towards his mother. He calls her "WOMAN," and to rub more salt into the wound he is made to say - "what have I to do with thee?" What connection is there between you and me, or what have I got to do with you? Could he have forgotten that this very "woman" had carried him for nine months, and perhaps suckled him for 2 years, and had borne endles insults and injuries on account of him? Is she not his mother ? Is there no word in his language for "mother"?
Strange as it may seem, that while the missionaries boast about their master's humility, meekness and long-suffering - they call him the "Prince of Peace" and they sing hat - "he was led to the slaughter like a lamb, and like a sheep who before his shearer is dumb, he opened not his mouth yet they proudly record in the smae breath, that he was every ready with invectives for the elders of his race, and was always itching for a show down i.e. if their records are true:-
"Ye wicked and adulterous generation!"
"Ye whited sephulcres!"
"Ye generation of vipers!" and now to his mother -
Muhummed (pbuh) the Messenger of God, is made to absolve Jesus (pbuh) from the false charges and calumnies of his enemies.
"AND HE (God Almighty) HATH MADE ME (Jesus) KIND TO MY MOTHER, AND NOT OVERBEARING OR MISERABLE"
Holy Quran 19:32
On receiving the good news of the birth of a righteous son (end of H.Q. 3:46 ), Mary responds:
SHE SAID: "O MY LORD! HOW SHALL I HAVE A SON WHEN NO MAN HATH TOUCHED ME?" The angel says in reply: HE SAID" "EVEN SO: GOD CREATETH WHAT HE WILLETH: WHEN HE HATH DECREED A PLAN, HE BUT SAITH TO IT, 'BE,' AND IT IS! "AND GOD WILL TEACH HIM THE BOOK AND WISDOM, THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL,
HOLY QURAN 3:47-48