In my previous article I showed that "the Son of Man" foretold in the Jewish Apocalypses was not Jesus Christ, and that Jesus never assumed that appellation for himself, for thus he would have made himself ridiculous in the eyes of his audience.
There were only two courses open to him: either to denounce the Messianic prophecies and the Apocalyptical visions about the Barnasha as forgeries and legends, or to confirm them and at the same time to fill, if he were that lofty personage, the office of the "Son of Man." To say: "The Son of Man came to serve and not to be served," (l) or "The Son of Man shall be delivered unto the hands of the Chief Priests and the Scribes" (2) or "The Son of Man came eating and drinking [wine]" with the sinners and the publicans, (3) and at the same time to confess that he was a beggar living on the charity and hospitality of others, was to insult his nation and its nation and its holiest religious sentiments! To boast that he was the Son of Man and had come to save and recover the lost sheep of Israel, (4) but had to leave this salvation to the Last Judgement, and even then to be cast into the eternal flames, was to frustrate all the hopes of that persecuted people, who alone in all mankind had the honor of being the only nation that professed the faith and religion of the true God; and it was to scorn their prophets and Apocalypses.
(1). Matt. xx. 28.
(2). Ibid. xx 18.
(3). Ibid.xi 18.
(4). Ibid. vxiii. 11.
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Could Jesus Christ assume that title? Are the authors of the four Gospels Hebrews? Could Jesus conscientiously believe himself to be what these spurious Gospels allege? Could a Jew conscientiously write such stories which are purposely written to disconcert and foil the expectation of that people? Of course, other than a negative answer cannot be expected from me to these questions. Neither Prophet Jesus nor his apostles would ever use such an extravagant title among a people already familiar with the legitimate owner of that surname It would be analogous to putting the crown of the king upon the head of his ambassador, the latter having no army to proclaim him king. It would be simply an insane usurpation of the rights and privileges of the legitimate Son of Man. Consequently, such an unjustifiable usurpation on the part of Jesus would be equivalent to the assumption of the epithet of "the Pseudo Son of Man" and of the Antichrist! The very imagination of a similar act of audacity on the part of the Holy Christ Jesus makes my whole nature revolt. The more I read these Gospels the more I become convinced to believe that they are a production - at least in their present shape and contents - of authors other than the Jews. These Gospels are a counterpoise to the Jewish Revelations - particularly as a counter-project against the Sibyllian Books. This could only be done by Greek Christians who had no interest in the claims of the children of Abraham. The author of the Sibyllian Books places side by side with the Jewish prophets Enoch, Solomon, Daniel, and Ezra, the names of the Greek sages Hermes, Homer, Orpheus, Pythagoras, and others, evidently with the object of making propaganda for the Hebrew religion. These books were written when Jerusalem and the Temple were in ruins, some time before or after the publication of St. John's Apocalypse. The purport of the Sibyllian Revelation is that the Hebrew (l) Son of Man or the Messiah will come to destroy the power of Rome and to establish the religion of the true God for all men.
(1) The name "Hebrew" in its wider sense is applied to all the descendants of Abraham who afterwards assumed the names of their respective ancestors, such as the Ishmaelites, Edomites Israelites, etc.
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We can produce many sound arguments to prove the identity of "the Son of Man" with Prophet Muhammad only, and shall divide these arguments as follows: ARGUMENTS FROM THE GOSPELS, AND FROM THE APOCALYPSES
In the most coherent and significant passages in the discourses of Jesus where the appellation "Barnasha" - or "the Son of Man" - appears, only Prophet Muhammad is intended, and in him alone the prediction contained therein is literally fulfilled. In some passages wherein Jesus is supposed to have assumed that title for himself, that passage becomes incoherent, senseless, and extremely obscure. Take for instance the following passages: "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they said, Behold." (1) John-Baptist was a teetotaler, he fed himself only on water, locusts, and wild honey; they said he was a demoniac; but "the Son of Man," id est Jesus (?), who ate and drank wine, was branded as "the friend of publicans and sinners"! To blame a prophet for his fastings and abstinence is a sin of infidelity or of gross ignorance. But to reproach a person who claims to be a Messenger of God of frequenting the banquets of publicans and sinners, and for being fond of wine, is quite natural and a very serious charge against the sincerity of that person who pretends to be a spiritual guide of men. Can we Muslims believe in the sincerity of a Khwaja or Mullah when we see him mixing with drunkards and prostitutes? Could the Christians bear with a curate or parson of a similar conduct? Certainly not. A spiritual guide may have conversations with all sorts of sinners in order to convert and reform them, providing that he is sober, abstemious, and sincere. According to the quotation just mentioned, Christ admits that his behavior had scandalized the religious leaders of his nation. True, the officers of the Custom-house, called "publicans," were hated by the Jews simply because of their office. We are told only two "publicans" (2) and one "harlot" (3) and one "possessed" woman (4) were converted by Jesus; but all the clergy and the lawyers were branded with curses and anathemas (5). All this looks awkward and incredible The idea or thought that a Holy Prophet, so chaste and sinless like Jesus, was fond of wine, that he changed six barrels of water into a most intoxicating wine in order to render crazy a large company of guests already tipsy in the wedding-hall at Cana, (6) is practically to depict him an impostor and sorcerer! Think of a miracle performed by a thaumaturge before a rabble of drunkards! To describe Jesus as a drunkard, and gluttonous, and a friend of the ungodly, and then to give him the title of "the Son of Man" is to deny all the Jewish Revelations and religion.
Again, Jesus is reported to have said that "The Son of Man came to seek and recover that which was lost."(7)
(1). Matt. xi. 19.
(2). Matthew and Zacchaeus (Matt. ix. 9; Luke xix. 1 - 11).
(3). John iv.
(4). Mary Magdalene (Luke viii. 2).
(5). Matt. xiii., etc.
(6). John ii.
(7). Matt. xiii. 11, Luke ix. 56; xix. 10, etc.
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The commentators of course interpret this passage in a spiritual sense only. Well, it is the mission and the office of every prophet and the preacher of the religion to call the sinners to repent of their iniquity and wickedness. We quite admit that Jesus was sent only to the "lost sheep of Israel," to reform and convert them from their sins; and especially to teach them more plainly concerning "the Son of Man" who was to come with power and salvation to restore what was lost and to reconstruct what was ruined; no, to conquer and destroy the enemies of the true believers. Jesus could not assume for himself that Apocalyptic title "the Barnasha," and then not be able to save his people except Zacchaeus, a Samaritan woman, and a few other Jews, including the Apostles, who were mostly slain afterwards on his account. Most probably what Prophet Jesus said was: "The Son of Man will come to seek and recover what is lost." For in Prophet Muhammad alone the believing Jews as well as the Arabs and other believers found all that was irremediably lost and destroyed - Jerusalem and Mecca, all the promised territories; many truths concerning the true religion; the power and kingdom of God; the peace and blessing that Islam confers in this world and in the next.
We cannot afford space for further quotations of the numerous passages in which "the Son of Man" occurs as either the subject or the object or the predicate of the sentence. But one more quotation will suffice, namely: "The Son of Man shall be delivered unto the hands of men," (Matt. xvi. 21; xvii. 12, etc.), and all the passages where he is made the subject of passion and death. Such utterances are put into the mouth of Jesus by some fraudulent non-Hebrew writer with the object of perverting the truth concerning "the Son of Man" as understood and believe by the Jews, and of making them believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Apocalyptical triumphant Savior, but he would only appear on the Day of the Last Judgement. It was a policy and a cunning propaganda of dissuasion, and then of persuasion, made purposely for the Jews. But the fraud was discovered, and the Jewish Christians belong to the Church which held these Gospels to be divinely revealed. For nothing could be more repugnant to Jewish national aspiration and relidous sentiment than to present to them the expected Messiah, the great Barnasha, in the person of Jesus whom the Chief Priests and the Elders condemned to be crucified as a seducer! It is quite evident, therefore, that Jesus never appropriated the title of "the Son of Man;" but he reserved it only for Prophet Muhammad. Here are a few of the arguments:
(a) The Jewish Apocalypses ascribe the titles "the Messiah" and "the Son of Man" exclusively to the Last Prophet, who will fight with the Powers of Darkness and vanquish them, and then will establish the Kingdom of Peace and of Light on earth. Thus the two titles are synonymous; to disown either of them is to disown altogether the claim to being the Last Prophet. Now we read in the Synoptics that Jesus categorically denied his being the Christ and forbade his disciples to declare him "the Messiah"! It is reported that Simon Peter, in reply to the question put by Jesus: "Whom say you that I am?" said: "Thou art the Christ [Messiah] of God." (l) Then Christ commanded his disciples not to say to anybody that he is the Christ. (2) St. Mark and St. Luke know nothing about the "power of the keys" given to Peter; they, not being there, had not heard of it. John has not a word about this Messianic conversation; probably he had forgotten it! St. Matthew reports (3) that when Jesus told them not to say that he was the Christ he explained to them how he would be delivered and killed. Thereupon Peter began to reprove and admonish him not to repeat the same words about his passion and death. According to this story of St. Matthew, Peter was perfectly right when he said: "Master, be it far from thee!" If it is true that his confession, "Thou art the Messiah," pleased Jesus, who conferred the title of "Sapha" or "Cepha" on Simon, then to declare that "the Son of Man" was to suffer the ignominous death upon the Cross was neither more nor less than a flat denial of his Messianic character. But Jesus became more positive and indignantly scolded Peter, saying: "Get thee behind me, satan!" What follows this sharp rebuke are most explicit words of the Master, leaving not a modicum of doubt that he was not "the Messiah" or "the Son of Man." How to reconcile the "faith" of Peter, recompensed with the glorious title of "Sapha" and the power of the keys of Heaven and of Hell, with the "infidelity" of Peter punished with the opprobrious epithet of "satan," within half an hour's time or so? Several reflections present themselves to my mind, and I feel it my bounden duty to put them in black and white. If Jesus were "the Son of Man" or "the Messiah" as seen and foretold by Daniel, Ezra, Enoch, and the other Jewish prophets and divines, he would have authorized his disciples to proclaim and acclaim him as such; and he himself would have supported them. The fact is that he acted the very reverse. Again, if he were the Messiah, or the Barnasha, he would have at once struck his enemies with terror, and by the aid of his invisible angels destroyed the Roman and Persian powers, then dominant over the civilized world. But he did nothing of the sort; or, like Prophet Muhammad, he would have recruited some valiant warriors like 'Ali, Omar, Khalid, etc., and not like Zebedees and Jonahs, who vanished, like a frightened specter when the Roman police came to arrest them.
1. Luke ix. 20.
2. Luke (ix. 21) says: "He rebuked them and commanded them not to say that he was the Messiah." Cf. Matn xvi. 20; Mark viii. 30.
3. Lcc. cit., 21 - 28.
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There are two irreconcilable statements made by Matthew (or corrupted by his interpolator), which logically destroy each other. Within an hour Peter is "the Rock of Faith," as Catholicism will boast, and, 'the satan of Infidelity," as Protestanism will scout him! Why so? Because when he believed Jesus to be the Messiah he was rewarded; but when he refused to admit that his master was not the Messiah he was convicted! There are no two "Sons of Man," the one to be the Commander of the Faithful, fight sword in hand the wars of God, and uproot idolatry and its empires and kingdoms; the other to be an Abbot of the poor Anchorites on the summit of Calvary, fight the wars of God cross in hand, and be martyred ignominously by idolatrous Romans and unbelieving Jewish Pontiffs and Rabbis! "The Son of Man," whose hands were seen under the wings of the Cherubs by the Prophet Ezekiel (ii), and before the throne of the Almighty by the Prophet Daniel (vii), and described in the other Jewish Apocalypses was not predestined to be hanged upon Golgotha, but to transform the thrones of the pagan kings into their own crosses; to change their palaces into calvaries, and to make sepulchers of their capital cities. Not Prophet Jesus, but Prophet Muhammad, had the honor of this title, "the Son of Man"! The facts are more eloquent than even the Apocalypses and the visions. The material and moral conquests achieved by Prophet Muhammad the Holy Messenger of Allah over the enemy are unrivalled.
(b) "The Son of Man" is called by Jesus "the Lord of the Sabbath day." (1) This is very remarkable indeed. The sanctity of the seventh day is the theme of the Law of Moses. God accomplished the work of creation in six days, and on the seventh He rested from all work. Men and women, children and slaves, even the domestic animals were to repose from all labor under the pain of death. The Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue orders the people of Israel: "Thou shalt remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it." (2) The students of the Bible know how jealous God is reported to be concerning the strict observation of the Day of Rest. Before Moses there was no special law about this; and the nomad Patriarchs do not seem to have observed it. It is very likely that the Jewish Sabbath had its origin in the Babylonian Sabattu.
------------- Footnotes: (1). Matt. xii. 7. (2). Exod. xx. ------------- end of footnotes
The Qur'an repudiates the Jewish anthropomorphous conception of the Deity, for it means to say, as if like man, God labored six days, got fatigued, reposed and slumbered. The sacred verse of the Qur'an thus runs: "And verily We have created the heavens and the earth, and whatever is between them in six days; and no weariness affected Us".
The Jewish idea about the Sabbath had become too material and insidious. Instead of making it a day of comfortable rest and a pleasant holiday, it had been turned into a day of abstinence and confinement. No cooking, no walk, and no work of charity or beneficence were permitted. The priests in the temple would bake bread and offer sacrifices on the Sabbath-day, but reproached the Prophet of Nazareth when he miraculously cured a man whose arm was withered. (1) To this Christ said that it was the Sabbath which was instituted for the benefit of man, and not man for the sake of the Sabbath. Instead of making it a day of worship and then a day of recreation, of innocent pleasure and real repose, they had made it a day of imprisonment and weariness. The least breach of any precept concerning the seventh day was punished with lapidation or some other penalty. Moses himself sentences a poor man to lapidation for having picked up a few sticks from the ground on a Sabbath day; and the disciples of Jesus were reproached for plucking some ears of corn on a Sabbath day, although they were hungry. It is quite evident that Jesus Christ was not a Sabbatarian and did not adhere to the literal interpretation of the draconic ordinances regarding the Sabbath. He wanted mercy or acts of kindness and not sacrifices. Nevertheless, he never thought of abrogating the Sabbath, nor could he have ventured to do so. Had he ventured to declare the abolition of that day or to substitute the Sunday for it, he would have been undoubtedly abandoned by his followers, and instantly mobbed and stoned. But he observed, so to say, the Law of Moses to its title. As we learn from the Jewish historian, Joseph Flavius, and from Eusebius and others, James the "brother" of Jesus was a strict Ibionite and the head of the Judaistic Christians who observed the Law of Moses and the Sabbath with all its rigors. The Hellenistic Christians gradually substituted first the "Lord's Day," i.e. the Sunday; but the Eastern Churches until the fourth century observed both days.
------------- Footnote: Matt. xii 10-13 ------------- end of footnote
Now if Jesus were the Lord of the Sabbath day he would have certainly either modified its rigorous law or entirely abolished it. He did neither the one nor the other. The Jews who heard him understood perfectly well that he referred to the expected Messiah as the Lord of the Sabbath, and that is why they kept their silence. The Redactor of the Synoptics, here as everywhere, has suppressed some of the words of Jesus whenever "the Son of Man" forms the subject of his discourse, and this suppression is the cause of all these ambiguities, contradictions, and misunderstandings. Unless we take the Holy Qur'an as our guide, and the Prophet of Allah as the object of the Bible, all attempts to find the truth and to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion will end in failure. The Higher Biblical Criticism will guide you as far as the gate of the sacred shrine of truth, and there it stops, stricken with awe and incredulity. It does not open the door to enter inside and search for the eternal documents therein deposited. All research and erudition shown by these "impartial" critics, whether Liberal Thinkers, Rationalists, or indifferent writers, are, after all, deplorably cold, skeptical, and disappointing.
Lately I was reading the works of the French savant Ernest Renan, La vie de Jesus, Saint Paul, and L' Antichrist. I was astonished at the extent of works, ancient and modern, which he has examined; he reminded me of Gibbon and others. But, alas, what is the conclusion of their inexhaustible research and study? Zero or negation! In the domain of science the marvels of Nature are discovered by the Positivists; but in the domain of Religion these Positivists make hay of it and poison the religious sentiments of their readers. If these learned critics were to take the spirit of the Qur'an for their guidance and Prophet Muhammad as the literal, moral, and practical fulfillment of Holy Writ, their research could not be so desultory and destructive. Religious men want a real and not an ideal religion; they want a "Son of Man" who will draw his sword and march at the head of his valiant army to pulverize the enemies of God and to prove by word and deed that he is the "Lord of the Sabbath day," and to abrogate it altogether because it was abused by the Jews as the "Fatherhood" of God was abused by the Christians. Prophet Muhammad did this! As I have often repeated in these pages, we can only understand these corrupted scriptures when we penetrate, with the help of the light of Al-Qur'an, into their enigmatic and contradictory statements, and it is only then that we can sift them with the sieve of truthfulness and separate the genuine from the spurious. When, for example, speaking about the priests continually dissolving the Sabbath in the Temple, Jesus is reported to have said: "Behold, here is one that is greater than the Temple." (1) I can guess of no sense in the existence of the adverb "here" in this clause, unless we supply and attach to it an additional "t," and make it read "there." For, if Jesus or any other prophet before him should have had the audacity of declaring himself "greater than the Temple," he would have been instantly lynched or stoned by the Jews as a "blasphemer" unless he could prove himself to be the Son of Man, invested with power and greatness, as the Prophet of Allah was.
------------- Footnote: (1). Matt. xii 6 -------------
The abrogation of Saturday by the Prince of the Prophets - Prophet Muhammad - is hinted at in the LXII Sura of the Qur'an entitled "Al-Jumu'a" or "The Assembly." Before Prophet Muhammad the Arabs called Friday "al A'ruba," the same as the Syriac Pshitta "A'rubta" from the Aramaic "arabh" - " to set down (the sun)." It was so called because after the setting of the sun on Friday the Sabbath day commenced. The reason given for the sacred character of Saturday is that on that day God "rested" from His work of creation. But the reason for the choice of Friday, as it can easily be understood, is of a double nature. First, because on this day the great work of the creation, or of the universal formation of all the innumerable worlds, beings and things visible and invisible, planets, and microbes was completed. This was the first event that interrupted eternity, when time, space, and matter came into being. The commemoration, the anniversary, and the sanctity of such a prodigious event on the day on which it was achieved is just, reasonable, and even necessary. The second reason is that on this day prayers and worship are conducted by the faithful unanimously, and for this reason it is called the "jumu'a," that is to say, the congregation or assembly; the Divine verse on this subject characterizes the nature of our obligation on Friday as: "O believers! When it is called to the prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of God and leave merchandise," etc.
The faithful are called to join in the Divine service together in a House dedicated to the worship of God, and to leave off at that time any lucrative work; but after the congregational prayers are over they are not forbidden to resume their usual occupations. A true Muslim within twenty-four hours worships his Creator five times in prayer and devotion.
(c) We have already made a few remarks on the passage in St. Matthew (xviii. 11) where the mission of the "Son of Man" is "to seek and recover what was lost." This is another important prediction - though undoubtedly corrupted in form - about Prophet Muhammad, or the Apocalyptical Barnasha. These "lost things" which the Barnasha would seek and restore are of two categories, religious and national. Let us examine them in detail:
(1) The mission of the Barnasha was to restore the purity and the universality of the religion of Prophet Abraham which was lost. All the peoples and tribes descended from that patriarch of the believers were to be brought into the fold of the "Religion of Peace," which is no other than the "Dina da-Shlama," or the Religion of Islam. The religion of Moses was national and particular, and therefore its hereditary priesthood, its Levitical sacrifices and pompous rituals, its Sabbaths, jubilees, and festivals, and all its laws and corrupted scriptures would be abolished and substituted by new ones having a universal character, force, and durability. Prophet Jesus was a Jew; he could not have accomplished such a gigantic and stupendous undertaking because it was materially impossible for him to do it. "I came not to change the law or the prophets," (l) said he. On the other hand, the rank idolatry, with all its abominable pagan practices, superstition, and sorcery, to which the Arab nationalities were addicted, had entirely to be wiped out, and the Oneness of Allah and of religion to be restored under the flag of the Messenger of Allah bearing the Holy Inscription: "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except God; and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God."
------------ Footnote (1). Matt. v.17-19 ------------ end of footnote
2. The unification of the nations descended from Prophet Abraham, and their dependencies were to be restored and accomplished. Of the many corrupted, selfish, and unjustifiable silly notions the Hebrew Scriptures contain there is the indiscriminate bias they entertain against the non-Israelite nations. They never honor the other descendants of their great progenitor Prophet Abraham; and this antipathy is shown against the Ishmaelites, Edomites, and other Abrahamite tribes even when Israel had become the worst idolator and heathen. The fact that besides Prophets Abraham and Ishmael about three hundred and eleven male slaves and warriors in his service were circumcised (1) is an incalculably forcible argument against the Jewish attitude towards their cousin nationalities. The kingdom of David hardly extended its frontiers beyond the territory which in the Ottoman Empire formed only two adjacent "Vilayets," or Provinces. And the "Son of David," whom the Jews anticipate to come with the attribute of the "final Messiah," may or may not be able to occupy even those two provinces; and besides, when will he come? He was to have come to destroy the Roman "Beast." That "Beast" was only mutilated and slaughtered by Prophet Muhammad! What else is expected? When Prophet Muhammad, the Apocalyptic Barnasha, founded the Kingdom of Peace (Islam), the majority of the Jews in Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, etc., voluntarily rushed to the greatest shepherd of mankind when he appeared with the terrific blows which he struck at the "Brute" of paganism. Prophet Muhammad founded a universal Brotherhood, the nucleus of which is certainly the family of Prophet Abraham, including among its members the Persians, the Turks, the Chinese, the Negroes, the Javanese, the Indians, the English, etc., all forming one "ummat" (Arabic) or "Umtha da-Shlama," i.e. the Islamic Nation!
------------- Footnote (1). Gen. ------------ end of footnote
3. Then the recovery of the promised lands, including the land of Canaan and all the territories from the Nile to the Euphrates, and gradually the extension of the Kingdom of Allah from the Pacific Ocean to the eastern shores of the Atlantic, is a marvelous fulfillment of all the prophecies about the Holiest and the Greatest of the Sons of Man!
Considering the stupendous work accomplished by Prophet Muhammad for the One True God, the brief time spent by him and his brave and devoted companions in its accomplishment, and the ineffaceable effects that the work and the religion of Prophet Muhammad have left upon all the kingdoms and the thinkers of mankind, one is at a loss to know what tribute to pay to this Prophet of Arabia, except the wish to behold him shining in redoubled glory before the Throne of the Eternal as Daniel saw in his vision!