Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Meeting the challenge of the Quran concerning the Deity of Christ

Sam Shamoun

The Muslim scripture challenges all those who call upon someone besides Allah to produce a book which shows that the one they invoke created any part of the earth and/or has a share in the dominion of the heavens:

Say: 'Have you considered your associates on whom you call, apart from God? Show me what they have created in the earth; or have they a partnership in the heavens?' Or have We given them a Book, so that they are upon a clear sign from it? Nay, but the evildoers promise one another naught but delusion. S. 35:40 Arberry


Say: ‘Have you considered that you call upon apart from God? Show me what they have created of the earth; or have they a partnership in the heavens? Bring me a Book before this, or some remnant of a knowledge, if you speak truly.’ S. 46:4 Arberry

Say (O Muhammad to these pagans): “Think! All that you invoke besides Allah show me! What have they created of the earth? Or have they a share in (the creation of) the heavens? Bring me a Book (revealed before this), or some trace of knowledge (in support of your claims), if you are truthful!” Hilali-Khan

It is no secret that the NT writings testify that the earliest followers of Christ were known for their habit of calling on the name of the risen Lord Jesus both for salvation and in their worship:

“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to THY saints AT JERUSALEM; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon THY name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of MINE to carry MY name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of MY name.’ So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened. For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ And all who heard him were amazed, and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc IN JERUSALEM of those who called on THIS name?’” Acts 9:10-21

“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from HIS mouth; for you will be a witness for HIM to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on HIS name.’” Acts 22:12-16

“because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in HIM will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows HIS riches upon all who call upon HIM. For, ‘every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

The Quran itself mistakenly accuses Christians of taking Jesus as a God alongside or besides Allah (cf. 5:17, 72, 116-117; 9:30).

This, therefore, means that the Muslim challenge applies to us as well.

In light of this challenge we are now going to present evidence from both the inspired Old and New Testament writings to show that the Messiah is the unique Divine Son of God who shares in the dominion and rule of his Father over all creation and is the Divine agent that God used to create everything that exists.

We start off with the Hebrew Scriptures. The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Mighty God would someday be born as a child in order to rule on the throne of David forever:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Another inspired author spoke of a Divine Being with a human appearance who would reign for all eternity and whom all the nations would worship:

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

According to the inspired Christian Scriptures, Jesus Christ is the Mighty God and the Son of Man whom God’s holy prophets spoke of:

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, since I have no husband?’ And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-35

“Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’” Mark 14:61b-62

Being the Divine Son of Man who sits enthroned at the right hand of God the Father means that the risen Christ has absolute power and authority over every creature. In other words, all creation is subject to the power of the risen Lord Jesus:

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Matthew 28:18

“and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23

“But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority… If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 2:9-10, 3:1

“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.” 1 Peter 3:21-22

The NT also depicts Christ as sitting on the same glorious throne that belongs to his Father as co-Ruler of God’s eternal kingdom:

“He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15

“And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery… she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God AND TO HIS THRONE… And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” Revelation 12:1-2, 5, 10

“Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the THRONE of God AND OF THE LAMB through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There shall no more be anything accursed, but THE THRONE of God AND OF THE LAMB shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him;” Revelation 22:1-3

In fact, the NT teaches that Jesus is the Heir who owns everything that belongs to the Father:

“the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.” John 3:35

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,” John 13:3

“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:14-15

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him… all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.’” John 17:1-2, 10

The NT writings even describe Jesus as the Maker and Sustainer of all creation, the One through and for whom every created thing exists:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men… He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” John 1:1-4, 10, 14

“But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” 1 Corinthians 8:6

“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for IN HIM all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM. He IS before all things, and IN HIM all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.” Colossians 1:13-18

The following passage not only describes Jesus as God’s Agent who made and sustains all creation it also portrays Christ as the Son who is the exact representation of God’s being, the firstborn Heir whom all of God’s angels worship, and the immutable God who rules forever!

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’? Or again, ‘I will be his Father, and he will be my Son’? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’ In speaking of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.’ But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.’ He also says, ‘In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’ To which of the angels did God ever say, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:1-13 NIV

These passages show that the Deity of the Messiah is not a doctrine that is based on the witness of a single book. Rather, we have a collection of writings that were composed over a fifteen hundred year period by various authors at various times and places which bear witness to the fact that the Messiah is a fully Divine Person who rules forever!

Hence, the Quran’s challenge to bring a book to show what Jesus whom Christians call upon created of the earth or to prove that he shares in the dominion of the heavens has been duly met. Both the Old and New Testament writings affirm that the Messiah Jesus is fully God in essence, created and sustains all things, and also rules the entire creation forever.

The Quran on Jesus as Creator and Life-giver

But that’s not all. Even the Muslim scripture agrees that Jesus created and gave life while he was on earth!

According to the Quran Jesus raised the dead and also brought a clay bird to life by breathing into it:

And He will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will CREATE for you out of clay (annee AKHLUQU lakum mina al-teeni) as the likeness of a bird; then I will BREATHE (anfukhu) into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. S. 3:48-49

When God said, ‘Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; and when thou CREATEST out of clay (wa-ith takhluqu mina al-teeni), by My leave, as the likeness of a bird, and thou BREATHEST (tanfukhu) into it, and it is a bird, by My leave; and thou healest the blind and the leper by My leave, and thou bringest the dead forth by My leave; and when restrained from thee the Children of Israel when thou camest unto them with the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said, “This is nothing but sorcery manifest.”’ S. 5:110

Amazingly, Jesus creates and gives life in the same exact way that Allah does!

And when thy Lord said to the angels, ‘See, I am CREATING (khaliqun) a mortal of a clay of mud moulded. When I have shaped him, and breathed in him My spirit (wa NAFAKHTU feehi min roohee), fall you down, bowing before him!' S. 15:28-29

When thy Lord said to the angels, 'See, I am CREATING a mortal of a clay (innee KHALIQAN basharan min teenin). When I have shaped him, and BREATHED in him My spirit (wa NAFAKHTU feehi min roohee), fall you down, bowing before him!' S. 38:71-72

It is apparent that the above passages are echoing the Genesis account of man’s creation:

“then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

This helps us understand the reason why God breathed his Spirit into the first human, namely, it was the Spirit who caused man to become a living, animated being. God used the Spirit to give man a rational soul, a mind, reasoning faculties etc.

Therefore, since it is the Spirit that causes inanimate objects to come to life Jesus must have possession of God’s very own life-giving Spirit; otherwise, how could the mere breath of a human prophet give life to clay figures?

Thus, by breathing into the clay bird Jesus was basically endowing it with a soul and the faculties needed to know how to fly, gather food etc.

Once again, the Muslim scripture is simply echoing the Biblical teaching that the Lord Jesus Christ is a life-giving Spirit who has authority to breathe out the Holy Spirit and thereby give life to anyone he so chooses:

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will... Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself… Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear HIS [the Son’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:21, 25-26, 28-29

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” John 20:21-23

“Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

The Quran and Jesus as a co-occupant of Allah’s throne

There is more to the story. The Quran implicitly attests that Jesus has a share in Allah’s heavenly dominion since it says that Allah took Jesus to himself:

Behold! God said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. S. 3:55 Y. Ali

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God"; - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is Exalted in Power, Wise; - S. 4:157-158 Y. Ali

But Allah raised him ['Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-powerful, All-Wise. S. 4:158 Hilali-Khan

Notice what the verses do not say, namely, they do not claim that Allah took Jesus to heaven, nor do these texts say that Allah simply raised Jesus to an exalted status. Rather, the passages emphatically and unambiguously testify that Jesus was taken to Allah himself, to dwell in the very presence of Allah. This means that wherever Allah is Jesus must be right there with him!(1)

Yet this is where it gets interesting since, according to the Quran, Allah is seated on his throne in heaven as the sovereign ruler and sustainer who directs all creation:

God! There is no god but He, - the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). S. 2:255 Y. Ali

Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He established Himself upon the Throne, directing all things. There is no intercessor (with Him) save after His permission. That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Oh, will ye not remind? S. 10:3 Pickthall

High above all is God, the King, the Truth! Be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation to thee is completed, but say, "O my Lord! advance me in knowledge." S. 20:114 Y. Ali

He is God; there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-holy, the All-peaceable, the All-faithful, the All-preserver, the All-mighty, the All-compeller, the All-sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! S. 59:23 Arberry

Do you feel secure that He who is in heaven will not cause the earth to swallow you, the while it rocks? Do you feel secure that He who is in heaven will not loose against you a squall of pebbles, then you shall know how My warning is? S. 67:16-17 Arberry

Allah’s throne is even described as glorious:

Possessor of the Glorious throne; S. 85:15 Rodwell

Lord of the Throne of Glory, Pickthall

This is precisely the description given of the throne that the Lord Jesus shall sit on when he judges the fate of all the nations!

“When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;’” Matthew 25:31-34

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” Matthew 25:31 NKJV

Moreover, the supposedly sound ahadith claim that Allah’s throne is actually above the seven heavens, which means that Allah himself must be above them as well:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and His Apostle offers prayers perfectly and fasts (the month of) Ramadan then it is incumbent upon Allah to admit him into Paradise, whether he emigrates for Allah's cause or stays in the land where he was born.” They (the companions of the Prophet) said, "O Allah's Apostle! Should we not inform the people of that?" He said, "There are one-hundred degrees in Paradise which Allah has prepared for those who carry on Jihad in His Cause. The distance between every two degrees is like the distance between the sky and the Earth, so if you ask Allah for anything, ask Him for the Firdaus, for it is the last part of Paradise and the highest part of Paradise, and at its top there is the Throne of Beneficent, and from it gush forth the rivers of Paradise." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 519)


“… It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the (Mighty) Throne of the Most Merciful.>>…” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 23:11; bold emphasis ours)


There are two views over the meaning of the phrase ...

<on its fixed course for a term (appointed).> (The first view) is that it refers to its fixed course of location, which is beneath the Throne, BEYOND the earth in that direction. Wherever it goes, it is beneath the Throne, it and all of creation, because the Throne is the ROOF of creation and it is not a sphere as many astronomers claim. Rather it is A DOME SUPPORTED BY LEGS OR PILLARS, CARRIED BY THE ANGELS, and it is ABOVE the universe, ABOVE the heads of people. When the sun is at its zenith at noon, it is in its closest position to the Throne, and when it runs in its fourth orbit at the opposite point to its zenith, at midnight, it is in its furthest position from the Throne. At that point it prostrates and asks permission to rise, as mentioned in the Hadiths.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Dharr said, “I was with the Prophet in the Masjid at sunset, and he said…

((O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets?)) I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said…

((It goes and prostrates itself beneath the Throne, and that is what Allah says: <And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.>))

It was also reported that Abu Dharr said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ayah

<And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term.>

He said…

((Its fixed course is beneath the Throne.))"

(The second view) is that this refers to when the sun's appointed time comes to an end, which will be on the Day of Resurrection, when its fixed course will be abolished, it will come to a halt an it will be rolled up. This world will come to an end, and that will be the end of its appointed time. This is the fixed course of its time ... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 36:38; bold and capital emphasis ours)

According to this next report Muhammad ascended above the seventh heaven with Gabriel in order to see Allah:

7079. Sharik ibn 'Abdullah related that he heard Anas ibn Malik say, "On the night when the Messenger of Allah travelled from the Mosque of the Ka'ba, three people came to him while he was sleeping in the Masjid al-Haram before he received the revelation. The first of them asked, 'Which of them is he?' The middle one said, 'He is the best of them.' The last of them said, 'Take the best of them.' On that night he did not see them until they came to him on another night in which his heart saw while his eyes were asleep. His heart does not sleep. That is how it is with the Prophets: their eyes sleep but their hearts do not sleep.

“They did not speak to him until they carried him and placed him at the well of Zamzam and then from among them Jibril took charge of him. Jibril split him open between his throat and the middle of his chest and emptied out his breast and abdomen and then washed it with Zamzam water so that he cleansed his abdomen. Then a tray was brought which contained a gold vessel filled with faith and wisdom. He stuffed it into his breast and blood vessels, i.e. the veins of his throat, and then he closed it and ascended with him to the lowest heaven. He knocked on one of its doors and the people of the heaven called out, 'Who is this?' 'Jibril.' he answered. They said, 'Who is with you?' He replied. 'Muhammad is with me.' He said, 'Has he been sent for?' 'Yes,' he answered. They said, 'Welcome!' The people of the heaven rejoice at him. The people of heaven do not know what Allah wants of him on the earth until He informs them.

"He will find Adam in the lowest heaven. Jibril will tell him, 'This is your father Adam, so greet him.' He greeted him and Adam returned the greeting and said, 'Welcome to my son! And an excellent son you are!' There in the lowest heaven are two flowing rivers and he asked, 'What are these two rivers, Jibril?' He replied, 'This is the sources of the Nile and the Euphrates.' Then he took him around the heaven and there was another river on which was a castle of pearls and emeralds. He put his hand into it and it was very fine musk. He asked, 'What is this, Jibril?' He replied, 'This is Kawthar which your Lord has stored up for you.'…

"Each heaven contained Prophets which he named. I recall of them that Idris was in the second, Harun in the fourth, another whose name I do not recall in the fifth, Ibrahim in the sixth, and Musa in the seventh because of the virtue of speaking directly to Allah. Musa said, "Lord, I did not think that You would elevate anyone above me!' Then Jibril ASCENDED with him above that as only Allah knows until he reached the Lote-Tree of the Boundary and the Compeller, the Lord of Might approached AND DESCENDED until he was the distance of two bow spans from him or nearer.

"Part of what Allah revealed to him was 'Fifty prayers for your community every day and night.' Then he descended until he met Musa who stopped him and said, 'Muhammad, what did your Lord contract with you?' He answered, 'He contracted with me fifty prayers every day and night.' He said, 'Your community will not be able to do that. Go back and ask your Lord to lighten it for you and for them.' The Prophet turned to Jibril as if he wished to consult him about that and Jibril indicated to him, ‘Yes, if you wish.' So he ASCENDED to the Compeller and said while he was in his place, 'O Lord, lighten it for us. My community will not be able to do this!' He reduced it by ten prayers. Then he returned to Musa who stopped him, and Musa continued to send him back to his Lord until it was five prayers. Then Musa stopped him the fifth time and said, 'Muhammad, I tried as hard as I could with the tribe of Israel, my people, with less than this and they were weak and abandoned it. Your community has weaker bodies, hearts, physique, seeing and hearing. Go back and ask your Lord to lighten it for you.' Every time the Prophet turned to Jibril so that he could advise him and Jibril did not dislike that. So he took him UP for the fifth time and he said, 'O Lord, my community are weak in their bodies, hearts, hearing and physique, so lighten that for us.' The Compeller said, 'Muhammad!' 'At Your service!' he replied. He said, 'The Word with Me does not change and it is as I obliged on you in the Mother of the Book.' He said, 'Every good action is worth ten like it and so it is fifty in the Mother of the Book while it is five for you.' He returned to Musa who asked, 'How did you do?' He said, 'He lightened it for us and gave us ten for every good action.' Musa said, 'By Allah, I tried as hard as I could with the tribe of Israel with less than this and they abandoned it. Return to your Lord and ask him to lighten it for you more.' The Messenger of Allah said, 'Musa, by Allah, I am embarrassed by the number of times I was returned to my Lord.' He said, 'descend in the Name of Allah.'" He said, "He woke up and he was in the Masjid al-Haram." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, 100. Book of Tawhid (the belief that Allah is One in His Essence, Attributes and Actions), XXXVII. His words, "And Allah spoke directly to Musa." (4:164); online source; bold, italic and capital emphasis ours)

Here is the link to Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan’s translation of this same report.

What makes this narrative rather interesting is that, even though Muhammad was above the seventh heaven where Moses was, Allah still had to descend in order to speak with the former. This, thereby, shows that Allah and his throne are actually located high above the seventh heaven.

Thus, since Allah took Jesus to himself, to his very own heavenly presence, this means that Jesus must also be above the seventh heaven alongside Allah!(1)

Notice the logic behind this argument:

  1. Allah is seated on his glorious throne guiding and controlling all the affairs of his creation.
  2. Allah’s throne is above the seven heavens.
  3. Allah raised up Jesus to dwell with him, to live in his own presence.
  4. Jesus must therefore be above the seven heavens as well.

Moreover, as the sovereign king Allah is a judge who enjoins and deals with everyone justly since all judgment belongs to him alone:

Say: ‘I stand upon a clear sign from my Lord, and you have cried lies to it. Not with me is that you seek to hasten; the judgment is God's alone. He relates the truth, and He is the Best of deciders.’ S. 6:57 Arberry

Then they are restored to God their Protector, the True. Surely His is the judgment; He is the swiftest of reckoners. S. 6:62 Arberry

And call not upon another god with God; there is no god but He. All things perish, except His Face. His is the Judgment, and unto Him you shall be returned. Arberry S. 28:88– cf. 12:40, 67; 28:70; 40:12

Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou (O Muhammad) of the waverers. S. 6:114 Pickthall

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. S. 6:115 Y. Ali

Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed. S. 16:90 Pickthall

Therefore, since Jesus is with Allah who is on his throne above the seven heavens we would expect to find that Christ also shares, or will share, in Allah’s rule and judgement. Lo and behold, this is precisely what we find the hadiths reporting!

For instance, according to the following passage on the day of resurrection Jesus will testify against all those who refuse to believe in him:

And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him ['Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of Allah and a human being], before his ['Iesa (Jesus) or a Jew's or a Christian's] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he ['Iesa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them. S. 4:159 Hilali-Khan

The ahadith explain this in reference to Jesus’ return from heaven before the last hour in order to rule and judge all mankind:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it.” Abu Huraira added, “If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- ‘And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e. Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them.’” (4.159) (See Fateh Al Bari, Page 302, Vol. 7). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)

Here is how Ibn Kathir, one of Islam’s greatest expositors, explained Q. 4:159:

In the chapter about the Prophets in his Sahih, under, “The Descent of `Isa, Son of Maryam,” Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Maryam (`Isa) will shortly descend among you as a just ruler, and will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the Jizyah. Then there will be an abundance of wealth and nobody will accept charitable gifts any more. At that time, one prostration will be better for them than this life and all that is in it.>> Abu Hurayrah then said, “Read if you will…

(And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.)” Muslim recorded this Hadith. So, Allah's statement…

(before his death) refers to the death of `Isa, son of Maryam. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; bold emphasis ours)

Also note his commentary to Q. 43:61:

(And he (`Isa) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) The correct view concerning this phrase is that it refers to his descent before the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says…

(And there is none of the People of the Scripture but must believe in him before his death) (4:159). -- meaning before the death of `Isa…

(And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them) (4:159). This meaning has the support from an alternate recitation of the Ayat(And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, evidence that the Hour will surely come. Mujahid said…

(And he shall be a sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, sign and “One of the signs of the Hour will be the appearance of `Isa son of Maryam before the Day of Resurrection.” Something similar was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Abbas, `Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Malik, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. Many Mutawatir Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah said that `Isa will descend before the Day of Resurrection AS A JUST RULER AND A FAIR JUDGE. (Capital and underline emphasis ours)

Amazingly, these reports demonstrate that Allah honors Jesus in a way which he has never honored any other prophet or messenger before him, especially Muhammad! This is because not only will Jesus be the only prophet/messenger who will judge and rule the entire earth he will also be responsible for eradicating all disbelief and turning everyone to the true faith!

This can be seen from the fact that the ahadith report that Jesus will abolish the jizya when he returns from Allah’s presence. The jizya is the sum of money which the Quran imposes on Jews and Christians who come under the rule of Muslims but refuse to convert to Islam (Q. 9:29). Its abolishment means that everyone must become a Muslim when Jesus descends from heaven. Therefore, since there will no longer be any Jews or Christians when Jesus rules the entire world jizya will become obsolete since you cannot collect it from Muslims!

This also means that Jesus will end up abolishing much, if not most, of the Quran, specifically all those verses that deal with the treatment of Jews, Christians and all other disbelievers. After all, of what use will all of these commands be after the whole world becomes Muslim when Jesus comes down from Allah himself? For more on this topic we suggest this article.

We, thus, find the Quran itself testifying that Jesus creates and gives life in the same way that Allah does, as well as confirming that Jesus shares in Allah’s dominion over mankind as judge and ruler. It is obvious that Muhammad adopted specific Christian teachings concerning Jesus into his religion without realizing how such beliefs contradicted his assertion that Jesus was no more than a messenger of Allah (*).

Be that as it may, since the Holy Bible testifies that the One whom Christians call upon, namely Jesus, was/is able to create, give life, and has a partnership in the dominion of the heavens, this means that the challenge of the Quran has been met. Even the Islamic sources themselves affirm that Jesus created, gave life, dwells with Allah above the seven heavens, and will actually return from there in order to rule the entire world and destroy all disbelief.

In light of such testimony from both the Holy Bible and the Islamic corpus Christ’s true followers are therefore thoroughly justified in worshiping Jesus as their eternal Lord and Savior.

However, this doesn’t mean that those who worship Christ are invoking someone other than Allah, (if one means by that the one true God of all). Rather, Christians call upon the risen Lord Jesus precisely because he is the true God who became flesh for our salvation. As we shall see in another series the ones guilty of calling on someone other than Allah are actually the Muslims.


(1) According to some of so-called sound hadiths Jesus is actually dwelling in the second heaven along with his cousin John the Baptist:

Narrated Malik bin Sasaa:
That the Prophet talked to them about the night of his Ascension to the Heavens. He said, “(Then Gabriel took me) and ascended up till he reached the second heaven where he asked for the gate to be opened, but it was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'I am Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' He replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' He said, 'Yes.' When we reached over the second heaven, I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and Jesus who were cousins. Gabriel said, 'These are John (Yahya) and Jesus, so greet them.' I greeted them and they returned the greeting saying, 'Welcome, O Pious Brother and Pious Prophet!’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 640)

It is chiefly due to such narrations that Sunni Muslims deny that Jesus was taken to dwell with Allah himself.

However, the assertion of the ahadith directly contradicts the explicit testimony of the Quran which states that Allah raised up Jesus to himself, not to some other place. Thus, if Jesus is living in the second heaven then this means that Allah must also be there as well.

Besides, if the author(s) of the Quran wanted the readers to know that Jesus was in the second heaven then s/he/they could have simply said so. There are plenty of references to the seven heavens within the Quran itself (cf. Q. 2:29; 41:9-12) so there would have been no problem for the writer(s) and/or redactor(s) to have simply mentioned that Allah took Jesus to the second heaven.

In fact, the author(s) could have described Christ’s ascension in the same way the Quran depicts the exaltation of Idris:

And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) Idris (Enoch).Verily! He was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet. And We raised him to a high station. S. 19:55-56 Hilali-Khan

In that way this would have left the issue of whether Allah raised Jesus to himself or to one of the seven heavens open and undecided. Unfortunately for the Muslims, that is NOT what the compiler(s) and/or editor(s) wrote.