Study 2: TRUTH AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AL-KITAB
We have seen in the last lesson that Almighty Allah in His
mercy and grace preserved His word throughout the centuries for
our benefit. In this lesson we shall be examining some of the
basic and fundamental truths found in those Scriptures. At the
same time we shall also see some common misconceptions many people
have concerning those Scriptures. Such misconceptions can seriously
hamper our correct understanding of the Word of Allah and will
therefore be dealt with here.
's Foundational Truth - Allah is One.
First and foremost in the teaching of all Scripture is the
foundational truth that Allah is one. He is without partner.
There is no other worthy of worship beside Him. This is the teaching
of all Scripture. The following two quotes from the and
the serve to illustrate what is found throughout Scripture.
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."
"'The most important one,' answered Isa, 'is this:
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."
Allah's unity is the groundwork upon which all the rest of
Scripture is built. Closely related to this teaching is the Scriptural
truth that Allah is a spirit without form, and therefore cannot
be seen. We also mention here a few other attributes of Allah
which are attested to throughout Scriptures. Allah is eternal,
everywhere present, all-powerful, unchanging, holy, all-knowing,
love and the creator of all existing things. In addition to the
creator, Allah is also the preserver and sustainer of all His
creation. As is written in the , He knew us before we were
born and it was he who formed us in the womb. He controls all
of creation and raises up and puts down rulers and kings.
Because Allah is without form and has no co-partners, the
making of images for worship and the worship of images are both
condemned in Scripture as being hateful to Allah. We cite one
such passage from the Law Allah gave to Prophet .
"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not
make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above
or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." (Exodus.20:3,4)
The Scripture teaches the existence of spiritual beings called
angels. The angel Jibrail, for example, is mentioned
throughout Scripture as Allah's messenger and obedient servant
in carrying out His commands. We shall see later in the
that it was Jibrail who announced to the virgin that she would miraculously have a son by the power of the Holy
Spirit. Angels, we are told in Scripture, were created by Allah
and worship Allah. Man's worship of angels is expressly forbidden
In addition to the angels, Scripture also teaches the existence
of Satan. He is also known as the devil, or Iblis.
Created by Allah and originally good, Satan rebelled against
Allah and attempted to put himself above Allah. As a result he
fell under Allah's curse. From the beginning of human history
to the present he has been working to destroy the beauty of Allah's
creation and to lead men away from Allah's path. However, Scripture
also tells us that the final destiny of Satan is the eternal
fire of hell.
"And Iblis who deceived them, was thrown into the
lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet
had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever
and ever." (Revelation.20:10)
Another teaching of Scripture is the coming of a final judgement
by Allah. When that final and great day comes the angel will
blow on his trumpet and all those who have died will be raised
to life. They will join the living to stand before the judgement
seat of Allah. On that day, Allah in His justice and righteousness
will judge all men for what they have done during their lives.
After the judgement it is recorded that there are only two possibilities
for a man. Either Allah will put him in heaven for all eternity
or he will spend all of eternity in hell. Heaven is a place where
according to the --
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will
be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order
of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
Hell on the other hand will be a place of eternal torment
totally separate from the grace, mercy and love of Allah. Thus,
it is written in the ,
"They will be punished with everlasting destruction and
shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of
his power." (II Thessalonians 1:9)
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers,
the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters
and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning
sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
The Position of in Scripture
We go on now to examine two common misconceptions people have
about Scripture. The first is that the Scriptures teach the existence
of more than one God. As we have already shown, it is the very
foundation of Scripture that Allah is one. There have been at
different periods those who have misinterpreted so as
to support polytheism. However, this is something that all honest
students of the Word of Allah must abhor. For example, at different
times in history some people have been tempted to place , the mother of Isa, in a position almost equal to Allah
and worthy of our worship. As is clear from Scripture, however,
such a position is wrong and hateful to Allah. Allah alone is
worthy of our worship. To be sure, has a place of honour
in the Word of Allah as one who received Allah's grace to a special
degree. Nevertheless, despite her obedience to and devotion to
Allah she, like all other men and women, is not to be worshipped.
She was a person created by Allah just as we are. Worship is
reserved for Allah alone, the eternal, the one.
The Term - Son of Allah
At the same time, it is necessary that we deal with another
term that occurs frequently in the and which has been misunderstood
and consequently has been a stumbling block for many people.
That is the title given to Prophet Isa as being the "Son
of Allah". Perhaps it would be most helpful to first explain
what the term does not mean and then we can go on to see from
Scripture what the term actually implies. First of all, we must
say with considerable emphasis that the term has no meaning in
the physical sphere. It most certainly does not mean that in
some way Allah had a wife and in a physical sense begot a son.
Such an idea is abhorrent to any true follower of Allah. Allah
has neither a wife, nor any form, hence the idea of physically
begetting a son is as ridiculous as it is repelling. Thus, we
must insist from the beginning that the term has no physical
sense nor can it in any way deny the unity and oneness of Allah,
which we have already seen is the very foundation upon which
the whole of Scripture rests.
The Word of Allah
Perhaps an illustration here would help to make this clear.
Besides being called the Son of Allah in the , Isa is also
called the "word of Allah" (Revelation 19:13). It is
obvious that when we say Isa is the Word of Allah we do not imply
a literal meaning. Isa was not a book, letter or sound. It was
not the literal meaning of the term but the figurative, the symbolic
meaning that is implied. Word means communication. To say Isa
is the "word of Allah" means he is Allah's means of
communication with men. In the same way, when the says
Isa is the "Son of Allah" it in no way implies a literal
physical sonship. Rather it implies a figurative, symbolic meaning
of the term son. To see that this is true and to find out just
what the figurative meaning is let us look at the Scriptures.
The Term 'Son of Allah' as Used for the Descendents of
First of all, we find the term "son" being used
in the . Allah used the term in talking about His chosen
people, the family of Prophet , the friend of Allah (Khalilullah).
Thus, in talking about His own work in calling descendants of
out of Egypt by the prophet , Allah says,
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt
I called my son." (Hosea 11:1)
Similarly, in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, Allah
says the following about His future dealings with Prophet 's
"They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring
them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level
path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father,
and Ephraim is my firstborn son." (Jeremiah 31:9)
It is clear from these passages that when Allah calls the
family of His "son", He does not mean in any
way a physical relationship. It is certainly not that Allah had
physically begot the descendants of . Rather, it is clear
that what is meant is a special relationship, one that is not
at all physical.
Characteristics of a Father - Son Relationship
Let us compare this to a human father - son relationship.
Such a relationship usually has two aspects - a physical relationship
and a bond of closeness. The father has begotten the son and
also has a close relation to the son characterized by love, dependence
and obedience. There is love between the father and son, the
son is dependent on the father, who in turn is committed to protecting
and providing for the son. Finally, the son is obliged to be
obedient and show respect to his father. This is usually what
a father-son relationship implies. However, this is not always
true. For example, a man can adopt a son. He is legally the father.
They have a relationship including love, dependence and obedience,
yet there is not a physical relationship between the two. Such
is exactly the case when Scripture talks of the children of
as being Allah's sons. Among all the peoples of the world, Allah
in His sovereignty chose the children of to have this
special relationship to Him. This relationship had nothing whatever
to do with the physical area because and his descendents
were created by Allah exactly as are all other men. Rather, it
was a relationship of mutual love and dependence on Allah by
's descendents. Allah promised to protect and provide
for 's descendents and they promised obedience and respect
The Term 'Son of Allah' Used for the King over the Descendents
We find another example of this father - son relationship
between Allah and His creation in the case of the king Allah
chose to guide and rule over the family of . This man,
chosen by Allah to be king, was to live in a special relationship
to Allah characterized by the qualities already mentioned of
love, dependence and obedience. Let us look at one such passage.
When Allah's servant Prophet (pbuh) is old, Allah gives
him the following message concerning his son the prophet
"He said to me: ' your son is the one who will
build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my
son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever
if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as
is being done at this time.' (I Chronicles .28:6,7)
Thus, once again we see here an example of Allah using the
term "son" in talking about one who has a special and
unique relation to Himself; and yet, a relationship in no way
related to the physical.
The Term 'Son of Allah' as used in the
Let us go on to see how this father-son relationship is used
in the . Once again we see essentially the same thing. It
is used of those individuals who have the special relationship
to Allah characterized by the qualities we saw earlier of love,
dependence and obedience. For example, when the disciples of
Prophet Isa ask him how they should pray Isa begins a model prayer
by saying "our Father in heaven". It is obvious that
there is no physical relationship to Allah implied. Rather, what
Isa is trying to teach His disciples here is that our relationship
to Allah should be characterized by that love, dependence and
obedience seen in a father-son relationship. We see this same
idea elsewhere in the . In another place Allah tells the
faithful that they must not be like the unbelievers. Rather,
their relationship with Allah must be special and unique. It
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and
daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18)
Thus, we see throughout the Word of Allah the father-son relationship
is used of those uniquely related to Allah, but never in the
physical sense. It implies that they are separate from the majority
of mankind who live in unbelief and rebellion against Allah.
Rather, Allah has called these people and separated them for
a special relationship to Himself characterized by love, dependence
The Term 'Son of Allah' as Used of Prophet Isa
Now let us look at one final aspect of this father-son relationship
as found in the . We often find Isa referred to as the "son"
of Allah. What we have seen before is true here. This in no way
implies a physical relationship. The very idea that Allah could
have a physical son is to be rejected and abhorred. Rather, for
Prophet Isa we find again the term means close relationship characterized
by the qualities we saw before. Thus we find in the that
"'My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to
finish his work." (John 4:34)
Again, when Prophet Isa is tested by Satan, Isa wards off
Satan by saying the following,
"It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but
on every word that comes from the mouth of Allah." (Matthew
Thus, we see that Isa's relationship with Allah was supremely
characterized by those traits seen earlier of dependence and
We saw earlier that when Allah called any person or group
His "son" it implied they had a special and unique
relationship to Him. Thus, the descendents of Prophet
were Allah's sons in that they were separate from all other people
on earth. Others lived in rebellion to Allah but the family of
was to live in obedience to Allah. Yet, among the family
of Allah singled out one man and made him king. This
man, also designated as Allah's son, was in even more of a unique
relationship to Allah. The traits of love, dependence and obedience
were still there. However, being singled out to be king from
among all other people in the nation, he had even a more unique
relationship to Allah than did others of 's descendents.
Similarly, we see that Prophet Isa's relationship to Allah as
signified by the term "son of Allah" was even more
special and unique. Again it was not physical but one of love,
dependence and obedience. Yet, Isa was the "Ruhullah",
born without human father by the Spirit of Allah. He was the
"Kalimatullah", the communication of Allah to man.
We can say at this point that the term "Son of Allah"
as used of Isa implies no physical relationship. It was again
one characterized by the qualities we saw before. Yet, we have
not in so saying, fathomed the full depth and uniqueness of his
relationship to Allah. We shall be going on in coming lessons
to see more of what the says about the relationship between
Allah and Prophet Isa.
1. What is the foundational teaching of all Scripture?
2. Give three attributes of Allah.
3. What did Allah forbid in the command given to Prophet
4. What is the final destiny of Satan?
5. What does Scripture teach about , mother of Isa?
She was like Allah
She was a person like us
c. She should be worshipped
6. Who announced to that she would have a son without
a human father?
7. What are three characteristics of a father - son relationship?
8. When Allah calls a person or persons His son does this
have a physical sense?
a. Yes b. No
9. Those whom Allah calls His sons are
a. To live in unbelief and sin.
To live like all other people
c. To live in obedience to Allah
10. Why do you think most people misunderstand the term "son