As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 43, Az-Zukhruf or the Golden Adornments, verses 57-67. These verses talk of Prophet Isa or Jesus and how he was only a mortal man and serves as a harbinger of the End Times.
Tafseer for this selection concerns the view of Jesus as a God or Son of God in early Christianity and in Arabia and his role in the End Times.
Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
When (Marymam) Mary’s son Jesus (Isa) is quoted as an example, your people raise a clamor at it, and say: “Are Our gods better or is he?” They cite this to you merely to provoke you. They are but a quarrelsome people. He (Jesus) was no more than a mortal whom We favored and made an example to the Children of Israel. Had it been Our will, We could create angels from you to succeed you in the earth. He (Jesus) is, in fact, a sign for the coming of the Hour of Doom. Therefore, have no doubt about its coming, follow me; this is the Right Way. Let not Shaitãn mislead you, for he is your open enemy. When Jesus came with clear signs, he stated: “I have brought you wisdom, and come to clarify some of those things about which you have disputes: so fear God and obey me. Surely it is God, Who is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is the Right Way.” In spite of these teachings, the factions disagreed among themselves; so woe to the wrongdoers from the punishment of a painful Day. Are they waiting for the Hour of Doom that it should come on them all of a sudden, without warning? On that Day, even friends will become enemies to one another with the exception of the righteous people. 43:[57-67]
Concerning the view of Jesus as a God or Son of God in early Christianity and in Arabia in verses 57-59:
Jesus was a man, and a prophet to the Children of Israel, “though his own received him not”. Some of the churches that were founded after him worshiped him as “God” and as “the son of God”, as do the Trinitarian churches to the present day. The orthodox churches did so in the time of the Holy Prophet. When the doctrine of Unity was renewed, and the false worship of others besides Allah was strictly prohibited, all false gods were condemned. The pagan Arabs looked upon Jesus as being in the same category as their false gods, and could not see why a foreign cult, or a foreign god, as they viewed him, should be considered better than their own gods or idols. There was no substance in this, but mere mockery, and verbal quibbling. Jesus was one of the greater prophets: he was not a god, nor was he responsible for the quibbling subtleties of the Athanasian Creed.
Also, concerning Jesus’ role in the End Times in verse 61:
This is understood to refer to the second coming of Jesus in the Last Days before the Resurrection when he will destroy the false doctrines that pass under his name, and prepare the way for the universal acceptance of Islam, the Gospel of Unity and Peace, the Straight Way of the Qur’an.
This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.
Thank you and be well.