Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birth of Jesus: An Islamic Interpretation BY Nadeem Quraishi

 
  Birth of Jesus: An Islamic Interpretation
Nadeem Quraishi
(Please click on Print button  to have a copy of this discussion printed.)
The Muslims all over the world believe that Jesus(pbh) was born without a father.  His birth is the result of Immaculate Conception. His mother Mary was a virgin.  Mother Mary never had marital relationship with anybody. The Christians all over the world believe exactly the same thing.  In fact, the entire foundation of Christian faith is based on the Immaculate Conception. They use this faith to justify his Son of God status.  Although a Muslim would not believe in Son of God theory, yet he believes everything else the Christians say regarding the Immaculate Conception.
Muslim faith regarding the Immaculate Conception is based on the Quranic verses that says Jesus(pbh) is  Kalimah of Allah, that he is a sign of Allah,  that his mother is a sign of Allah.  Jesus(pbh) was created in his mother's womb by a single blow of air or spirit.   He was created by the word 'kun'.   Muslims further contend that the Qur-an never said mother Mary had any matrimonial relationship with anybody!   Not only that, apparently the Qur-an never mentioned anything about his father!!!
Today I am going to show you in a step by step approach that there is nothing extraordinary in the birth of Jesus(pbh).  My entire argument is based on the Qur-an. I will quote straight translations.  I will not add commentary within parenthesis to derive a twisted or different meaning.   If possible here and there I will quote distorted translations done by scholars to show you how the scholars made errors.  It would not take lot of scholarship on your part to understand straight translations versus a distorted translation.
You will be surprised to see that so much of information is available in the Qur-an, yet Muslims are reluctant to pay attention to the facts. Probably you never investigated it mainly because it is a done deal, an accepted faith. Besides who has time to do all these investigative studies!!!  Selectively only few verses were told to you and cleverly several other verses were never discussed. You just accepted whatever explanation was available to you.  You never questioned because the preaching came from scholars.  Like most Muslims, you are left to believe and support the Christian doctrines.
Ironically, it does not need any scholarship to find out the entire truth based on Islam.  I am not a scholar by any means, but I am not a stupid either not to understand Allah's words.  I believe in the total Qur-an  and I believe no verses of the Qur-an  contradicts one another and no verse is false.
However, it is possible that your mind is set to a given theory and not open to any new possibilities.  Even then, please read along attentively and see every thing will make sense to you.
 
Father of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh):
To start with, let me ask you a very simple question: 'Did the last and final prophet Muhammad(pbuh) have a father?'  I know your answer, YES!  Second question, 'How do you know, was his father's name mentioned in the Qur-an ?'  If you don't have a ready answer, let me help you.  In the entire Qur-an , there is absolutely no mention of father of last and final prophet Muhammad(pbuh). Yet we believe prophet Muhammad(pbuh) did have a father.  Fact remains that the Qur-an is not the chronology of the family history of all prophets.
Jesus'(pbh) Father Mentioned in The Quran:
As I said, although prophet Muhammad's(pbuh) father is not mentioned in the Qur-an, we do not argue about whether or not he had father.   However, there is clear mention of the father of prophet Jesus(pbh), yet we strongly believe that he did not have a father.  In a way we are refusing to accept the truth propounded by the verse, or Quran in general.
In surah An-Aam verse 84-87 Allah mentions names of 18 prophets at a stretch. Of these, verse 86 specifically mentions name of Isa as:  ".. And Zakariyya, and Yahya and Isa and Ilyas - everyone was of the righteous."   After stating the names of the 18 prophets, in the very next verse 88 Allah goes on to say that:
 6:88    (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren. And
            We chose them and  We guided them towards the Right Path.
Yusuf Ali: (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren; ...
Pickthall: With some of their forefathers and their offspring, and their brethren; ..
Shakir:  And from among their fathers and their descendants and their brethren;
Rodwell: And some of their fathers, and of their offspring, and of their brethren ..
Hilali & Khan: And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren,.
Irving: We picked out some of their forefathers, their offspring and their brethren....
Arberry: And of their fathers, and of their seed, and of their brethren;....
In the verse 6:88, the Arabic words ".. Wa min aaba ihim."  is critical. Let me break down the words:  Wa means  And, Min means From Aaba means Fathers Ihim means Among theirs.   Together it means .. And from among their fathers..
Muslim scholars are in jeopardy with this statement from Allah.  They desperately try to justify their faith that Jesus(pbh) did not have father. So now they start twisting the meaning and interpretation. Let us briefly analyze various  interpretations.
One interpretation is that "some" of their fathers (Pickthall, Hilali & Khan, Irving) were chosen and guided. However, the statement does not say some HAD fathers and they were guided and some DID NOT have fathers and were not guided. Please review again before we proceed.
Another interpretation is that the word 'aaba ihim' means  'of their forefathers' (Pickthall, Irving). Meaning of Aaba is not forefather but father.  I still would give benefit of doubt.  Now if Jesus did not have a father how can he have a forefather?  The extreme twisting of the word 'aaba' is ancestor, predecessor or progenitor.  What ever it may be, a male person cannot have a forefather or  a progenitor or ancestor without a father.
In order to argue that Jesus(pbh) cannot have a father, some Muslims suggest that 'forefather' can mean ancestors from mother's side. Thus in case of Jesus(pbh), ancestors from mother's side were guided. At this time I would leave this strange interpretation open for further discussion. If several other verses suggest that Jesus(pbh) did not have a father, then 'forefather' may be interpreted as ancestors from mother's side. On the other hand, if several verses suggest that Jesus(pbh) have  had a father, then use of the word 'forefather' is far fetched and cannot mean ancestors from mother's side. Except for Pickthall and Irving, all other translators translated the word 'aaba' as 'fathers' and not forefathers.
At this time I want to emphasize that if Jesus(pbh) did not have a father then the verse 6:88 should not have included his name or should have specifically stated that  illa Isa or except Isa.  Or would you say it was an oversight (nauzubillah!) on part of Allah!!!  If the argument is that some HAD fathers, then which other prophet did not have a father? Can you tell me who was born without a father other than Jesus(pbh)?
There are several other prophets whose fathers are not specifically mentioned in the Qur-an , for example, Nuh, Dawud, Ayyub, Musa, Harun, Zakariya, whose name exists in the list of 18 prophets in the above verses.  Even though we don't find the mention of fathers of these prophets we believe these prophets did have fathers.  But in case of Jesus(pbh) we make the exception that he did not have a father.   We make this exception because Bible tells that Jesus(pbh) did not have a father, [although time and again Bible refers to his father as a person named Joseph]   and the Quran addresses him as Son of Mary.
Muslims are more interested to uphold the Biblical statement at the cost of the Quranic declaration!!! I know in all probability no body showed you the facts this way.  But once the facts are unfolded in front of you, will you be bold enough to declare or admit (openly of silently) that Yes! I believe in the declaration of the Quran?
Wherever Allah made exceptions, He did not forget to mention the fact.  Let us explore some of  the instances of exceptions caused by Allah.  I will leave it up to you to check the verses.
1.  Allah had saved Nuh(pbuh) and his family from the deluge, but there was an exception in case of his wife (66:10) and his son(11:40-43) because they were misguided.
2.  Allah saved Lut (pbuh) and his family from destruction, but there was an exception in case of his wife (7:83; 11:81; 15:59-60; 26:170-171; 27:57; 29:32) because she remained misguided.
The instances of these exceptions do tell that Allah is not oblivious to mention any exceptions.  Please note, these exceptions are related to ordinary way of life and not to the Law of Nature.  Yet  Allah mentioned these. Then how come if Allah made an exception in the Law of Nature, He forgot to mention it?

 Jesus(pbh) is Kalimah of Allah:
The Quran stated that  Jesus(pbh) is Kalimah of Allah. Based on this, the Muslims try to fool themselves by suggesting that use of word Kalimah indicate Immaculate Conception was possible. Only they can tell if they mean the word Kalimah acted as a germ cell, or a sperm  that caused Mary's pregnancy.
The meaning of Kalimah is "a word",  "a decree",  "a prophecy",  "a command".  Jesus(pbh) was born as a Kalimah of Allah, in other words in fulfillment of  a prophecy or decree of Allah. Let us read the verse:
3:45     "O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings with a word (kalimah) from
            Him, whose name is the Messiah Isa, son of Mary.
4:171   The Messiah, - Jesus the son of Mary, was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His word
            (kalimah)  which He imparted towards Mary...
There are lots of meandering explanations available to drive home the point that the use of the word Kalimah caused pregnancy. For a brief moment I would like to give benefit of doubt to this notion; because I want to bring in another argument.  What about Yahya(pbuh)? Do you know that he too is Kalimah of Allah? How come in his case the use of the same word Kalimah did not cause a pregnancy without a conjugal relation?  Or would you volunteer to say that Yahya(pbuh) was also born without a father or without a mother for that matter? Let us visit the verse. Please note, here Allah is talking to Zakariya(pbuh).
3:39     Allah does give you glad tidings of Yahya, confirming the truth of a word (kalimah) of
           Allah ...
After receiving the glad tiding, Zakariya(pbuh) became concerned because he was old and his wife was barren. He questioned, how can a son be born to him?
3:40     "O My Lord, how shall I have a son, seeing I am very old
            and my wife is barren. He replied, " 'likewise' does Allah do
            what He wills."
It may sound like as if with  the word 'likewise does Allah do what He wills ', Allah instantly caused pregnancy or created Yahya out of a thunder.  The scholars invented absurd stories at this juncture and recommended  miracles.  They try to fool the Muslims by suggesting that Kalimah alone is sufficient to cause pregnancy or create a child paranormally. The scholars stop here and refuse to talk about another supporting verse.  What Allah meant by the word 'likewise' is given elsewhere, in Surah Al-Anbiya verse 21:90.
21:90     So We listened to him and granted him Yahya, and We cured his wife for
              him..
To recap, we find that although Yahya(pbuh) is also Kalimah of Allah, there is nothing unusual or paranormal in his birth.  More precisely saying, Yahya(pbuh) was not conceived without conjugal relationship of his parents.  Allah cured his mother from infertility so that he could be conceived.
With regards to other uses of the word Kalimah,  Allah mentioned that the whole creation has been created as a manifestation of His command.  You may verify the word in 18:109, 31:27, 6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 18:27 verses.
18:109  Say: "If the ocean were ink fthe words of my Lord, surely the ocean
             would be exhausted before  the words (kalimah) of my Lord be
            exhausted"  -  and even though We brought another like it to add.
31:27   And if all the trees in the earth were pens and the oceans - with
            seven oceans behind  this, the Words (kalimah)  of Allah would not be
            exhausted..
Isa(pbuh) and Yahya(pbuh) are Kalimah of Allah, just as the rest of the creations are - they have been born in fulfillment of His decree or prophecy made to Mary or Zakariya(pbuh) respectively. The word Kalimah by itself did not act as germ cell.

Likeness of Jesus(pbh) and Adam(pbuh):
A verse of Surah Al-e-Imran 3:59 is often used to justify that Jesus(pbh) was born without a father.  The verse states that the likeness of Jesus(pbh) is the likeness of Adam(pbuh).  The general conclusion of Muslims is that the  "likeness" relates to their unusual birth. They argue that Adam(pbuh) was "born" without a father and a mother, so it is possible for Jesus(pbh) to take birth without a father! I am little leery about it. Don't you think this is rather a forced conclusion? Let us read the verse from Surah Al-e-Imran to explore the issue of likeness.
3:59      The similitude of Jesus before Allah is that of Adam. He
            created him fromdust; then He said to him - 'be' and he was.
First,  let us check what likeness the two prophets might have regarding birth:
1. Adam(pbh) is said to have been born without a father and a mother.  So Jesus(pbh) too should not have a father and a mother. Absence of only father will not establish the likeness.
2. Jesus(pbh) is son of Mary. Adam(pbuh) too should be son of Mary, or at least son of a woman. If not, then it is not a true likeness.
3. Adam was not 'born' - he was created, whereas Jesus(pbh) was born.  So there is no likeness in birth. Birth is a different process and creation is a altogether different event.  How can the two be linked  and compared?
4. Adam is supposed to have been created a full-grown adult man. Jesus(pbh) too should have been born a full-gown adult man. Since he was born as an infant, there is no likeness in their creation per se.
5. Adam(pbh) was supposedly created in the Heaven and sent down on earth. Jesus(pbh) should have been created in the Heaven and sent down on earth.  If not then there is is no likeness in their creation.
6. Jesus(pbh) underwent a normal gestation in his mother's womb. Adam(pbuh) should have passed through gestation period in his mother's (oops!) womb!  If not, then there is no likeness in their birth.
7.  Adam was created from clay or teen (7:12; 17:61; 38:71, 76). Please note, in case of Isa, the word teen was not used.   Isa was created out of turab or dust.  Therefore, the likeness of birth between Isa and Adam is not in the way they were created.
From this discussion any sensible person can see that likeness cannot be likened to their birth.  There is absolutely no likeness in the way they were born or created.  Adhering to any one likeness and ignoring all other will be a partisan approach. The verse is not talking about the likeness of birth - rather the likeness of the two in general.
Further,  note that in the above verse, "He created him out of dust.." Allah  is referring to the creation of Isa alone and not their creation.  Here, the word 'him' refers to Isa, who was created out of dust (turab).  Ironically, you will find that all human being are created from dust (turab) as mentioned in verses 18:37; 22:5; 30:20; 35:11; 40:67).  Therefore how is Isa's creation any different from the creation of human being?
22:5     O mankind! If you have a doubt about the Resurrection, then We
            have created you from dust (turab),then out of a sperm, then from leech-like blood-clot,
30:20   Among His Signs is this, that He has created you from dust (turab)..
40:67  It is He Who has created your from dust (turab), then from sperm-drop, then
            from an leech-like clot,..
So the question comes, where is the likeness between Adam and Jesus? Since there is no  likeness on the process of birth,  there has to be likeness after the birth.   For example, Adam(pbuh) was a prophet of Allah, Jesus(pbh) too was a prophet of Allah (not a condemned person as claimed by the Jews). Adam(pbuh) had wife and children, Jesus(pbh) too had wife and children. Adam(pbuh) lived his full life, Jesus(pbh) too lived his full life.  Adam(pbuh) was not killed or crucified, Jesus(pbh) too could not have been killed or crucified to death. Adam(pbuh) was buried on earth, Jesus(pbh) too was buried on earth. Adam(pbuh) was not raised alive in the Heaven, Jesus(pbh) too cannot have been raised alive to the Heaven.
I know many readers will disagree with me because I  forced a few conclusions.  The conclusion saying that Jesus(pbh) too died on earth or buried on earth.  Whether Jesus(pbh) is dead or alive is totally a different debate and outside of the scope of  present discussion.  Readers may click underneath to go to a different page to debate the issue.


Suffice it to say here that the verse 3:54 clearly says Allah will cause Jesus'(pbh) death then raise him.  The death will occur first before he can be raised.  Secondly, 3:143 clearly states that all Rasuls before Muhammad(pbuh) have already passed away.  You may click on the above site to go into that debate.  If you do so, please remember to come back to this topic to finish it. You may bookmark the page at this time.

The Word 'Kun' Caused the Pregnancy:
With regards to the birth of Jesus(pbh), Kun - fayakun theory is misinterpreted by many Muslims. According to them,  Jesus(pbh) was born due to the command Kun.  No doubt about it. Problem is that  Muslims believe that because Allah said, Kun, so Jesus(pbh) was born without the need of any father. Let us revisit the verse from Surah Al-e- Imran:
3:59     The similitude of Jesus before Allah is that of Adam. He
            created him from dust; then He said to him - 'be' and he was.
Popular notion is that the moment Allah says 'be' (Kun), immediately it becomes (fayakun).  They ignore the fact that there is time gap between the command Kun and its fulfillment.   It is by no means instantaneous.  About birth of Isa, when Allah said, Kun, he was not born immediately.  The fulfillment of the command Kun took at least the normal gestation period (8-10 months) for Mary, possibly more in preparation for the pregnancy or marriage(!).  Or is there any brother who would say Mary gave birth then and there, on the spot?
19:22    So she conceived him,  and retired with him to a remote place.
19:23    And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She cried;
            'Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten!
It does not take a lot of research to realize that Kun was not accomplished instantaneously.  It is important to understand that when Allah decrees an affair, He just says to it 'be' and the creation starts immediately and 'it becomes' completed in due course.  In this case when Allah said Kun the necessary steps for childbirth started immediately - starting from selection of spouse [guardian as in verse 3:43].   The best example of kun-faykun and the time gap to accomplish it is indeed the birth of Jesus(pbh).  Isa's birth was NOT instantaneous.
There are several verses in the Qur-an indicating similar thoughts, like  2:117;  6:73; 16:40; 19:35; 36:82.  The fayakun in response to the command Kun is by no means instant. All human beings are created and destroyed by the word Kun.  Let us read a verse regarding the command Kun from Surah Al-Mu'min.
40:68   It is He Who gives life and death. And when He decided upon an affair,
           He says to it  "Be"  and it is.
 

Virgin Mother vs. Chaste Mother:
Mary is widely regarded as Virgin by the Christians. Terms such as Virgin Mother, Virgin Mary etc are ingrained with Christianity. Muslims are not far behind, they too regard Mary as Virgin Mother.  Muslims base their argument on several verses.  For example in verse 21:91 of Surah Al-Anbiya
21:91   And (remember) her who guarded her chastity, We breathed into her from
            Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a Sign for all peoples.
This verse has three parts to it.
1. Mary guarded her chastity
2. Spirit was breathed into her
3. Mary and her son was made a sign for the mankind
Yusuf Ali: And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: ..
Pickthall: And she who was chaste, .
Shakir: And she who guarded her chastity.
Muslims grossly misunderstand all three parts due to not paying attention to supportive verses.  Let us analyze each statement separately.
The Qur'an uses the word to mean chastity (ahsaan)  and not virginity.  A woman is chaste if she lives with her lawful husband or more generally speaking is innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse.   She is unchaste if she entered into sexual relationship with different people before or after marriage. The question of chastity came because in verse 19:20 Mary questioned how can she have a child since she is not unchaste.   The logical conclusion is she can still have a child and remain a chaste woman provided she comes in contact with a lawfully wedded husband.
Many Muslims, including some scholars indicated that had there been a husband for Mary she would not have been a chaste.  In saying so, these Muslims are ascribing slurs on their own mothers and good women in general. Since when a lawfully wedded, monogamous woman became unchaste?   Those who say so, let them ask what about their own mothers, are they unchaste just because they were legally married and monogamous and had sons and daughters through lawfully wedded husbands?
 
Question came up whether Mayam was virgin or not.  Yes she was a virgin when the prophecy came to her. Based on this she cannot be called Virgin Mother, because, right at this moment she has not conceived yet let alone being a mother.  She was a virgin when she talked to the angels and expressed her anxiety.   Please note that when Mary was talking to the angels, she did not use word denoting 'virginity'.  She knew like any other woman, that she may be virgin today, but after marriage she will not remain virgin anymore.  Her concern was not virginity, rather 'chastity' (ahsaan).

The Blow of Spirit Caused the Pregnancy:
Continuing with the same verse 21:91:  ". so We breathed into her of Our Spirit . "
Similar thought is also narrated in Surah At-Tahrim
66:12   And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded Her chastity and We
            breathed into (her body) of Our Spirit.
Yusuf Ali: And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded Her chastity and We
            breathed into (her body) of Our Spirit ....
Pickthall: And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor  We
            breathed therein something of Our Spirit.....
Shakir:  And Marium, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity so We
            breathed into her of Our inspiration.....
 
In the above verse Allah clearly mentioned that ". We breathed into her of Our Spirit."  Based on this, Muslims jump conclude that bravo! Here is the proof of Immaculate Conception!!  Immediately, people stop application of logic, inference, deduction and cross-verification of this strange conclusion.
Obviously, what they mean is that when Allah said We breathed into her of Our Spirit, some sort of semen was infused into her to make her pregnant.  More vaguely, she was made pregnant with the 'breathing.'  It would be utterly inane if someone comes up with possibility of test-tube baby back in that era!!! Suffice it to say that even for a test-tube baby a sperm is needed to fertilize the ovum. I would have believed that breathing caused pregnancy, but for several verses, particularly one from Surah As-Sajdah,
32:7-9  He who created all things in the best way, and He began creation of
            man from clay, and He  made his progeny from a quintessence of despised
            fluid; then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him His  spirit. And He gave
            you hearing and sight and understanding. Little thanks do you give!
This verse relates to man in general and not necessarily to Adam.  If you read minutely the process of embryology as mentioned in the Quran, you will find that conception first occurs in the womb by infusion of semen.  Thereafter, when the fetus grows to a certain  stage, Allah breathes in His Spirit. In other words, He infuses the human soul into the child lying in the womb.
To sum up, breathing  is done inside the fetus, after the fertilization, after the fetus has grown inside the womb.  Breathing of Spirit and infusion of semen are two different thing occurring at two different stages of birth of a human being.
 
Jesus(pbh) is a Sign of Allah:
The same verse 21:91 states that Mary and her son were made Signs for the nation.  Based on this Muslims make another jump conclusion that Mary and her son are Signs because she conceived him without a male and he was born without a father! This apparent supernatural matter qualifies them to be Signs!!! Whereas the truth is that they can be Signs because of their character, conduct and dedication for the cause of Allah.
Further, Mary and  Jesus(pbh) are Signs of Allah because Mary is a pious woman, she dedicated her life to the service of Allah, and she was chosen to be a befitting mother of a prophet.  Jesus(pbh) too is a Sign because he was saved from the clutches of murderous  enemies.  Such instances of unparalleled character, devotion, steadfastness etc. and saving of prophets are often called signs for the posterity.
Several other instances are called signs in the Qur'an.  In none of these signs there is anything supernatural. Each of the sign happened and some still happen as a natural course.  These signs are not intended to bewilder the people rather to make them understand about the existence of God.
1.  Revelation of the Quran in piecemeal in 23 years is a Sign (29:49-51).
2.  Movements of ships in the sea is a sign (2:164, 31:31, 36:41-42, 42:32-33)
3.  In the battle of Badr,  313 ill-equipped Muslim soldiers defeating 1000 strong Quraish
     army is a sign (3:12)
4.  The she-camel was made a sign for the tribe of Thamud (7:73, 11:64, 17:59, 26:155,
     54:27)
5.  Alteration of nights and days is a sign (2:164, 3:189, 10:6, 16:12)
6.  Destruction of the town of Saba is a sign (34:19)
7.  Firawn's  mummified body was saved as a sign for later generation (10:92)
8.  Diversity in language and color of people are sign (30:22)
9.  Prophet Nuh was saved in the ark as a sign for mankind (29:15, 54:15)
10. There are abundant signs in the heaven and the earth  for people who understand
    (3:189, 6:96-100, 10:5 & 7, 30:20-25, 30:46, 36:33-44, 56:57-73 etc.)

Angel Gabriel is The Culprit!    Illicit relationship between Gabriel and Mary:
Many Muslims feel the need of man to make Mary pregnant.  This is really assuring.  At least they admit that in spite of Jesus being Kalimah or Sign etc. his conception must occur with the intervention of a man.  However, based on the verse 19:17 they suggest it is at this time Mary was made pregnant by angel Gabriel!!! The verse says Gabriel came to her in clear form of a handsome man and conveyed the message.
By Mary's own admission19:20 (supported by 66:12, 21:19)  she is not unchaste.  But what is happening here?  Is she lying? If Gabriel made her pregnant, then definitely Mary is lying about her chastity. According to many pervert Muslims, here Gabriel and Mary engaged in some  form of adultery.  However, to save them from the blame of adultery, those same Muslims say that no form of sexual contact happened between them.  OK. Then how did she get pregnant? Did Gabriel brought sperms in a test tube, if so whose sperm?  OK, would you say that Gabriel, the OBGYN physician implanted the sperms in her uterus by using some modern medical procedures unknown at that time!!!! Suffice it to say that impregnation by Gabriel is nothing but  layers after layer of fabrication, the Muslims are clearly out of track..

Meaning of Kazalika: A wild card for conception:
It is important to understand the meaning of the word 'kazalika'.  Often this word is used as  a wild card to beat all logic and argument.  In two different places, in response to  Mary's anxiety about the prophecy of birth, the first reply was 'kazaliki'.
3:47     She said: ""O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath
            touched me?" He said: "likewise (Kazaliki) Allah  creates what He wills. When He
           had decreed , He then only say to it "be" and it is.
Yusuf Ali 3:47 She said "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath
            touched me?" He said:   "Even so:..
Pickthall 3:47 She said "My Lord! How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched
            me?" He said:   "So (it will be)..
Shakir 3:47 She said:  My Lord! When shall there be  a son (born) to me and man has
            not  touched me?    He said: Even so:..
19:20-21: She said, "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has
            touched me, nor have I been  unchaste?"  He said: "So (it will be) ". Your Lord
            says: "That is easy for Me, and in order that We make him a  sign unto men
            and a mercy from Us; and the matter has been decided."
Yusuf Ali 19:21 ...He said: "So (it will be)".
Pickthall 19:21 ...He said: So (it will be).
Shakir 19:21 ...He said: Even so; ..
In the verse 19:21, Mary is talking about two possibilities (1) coming in touch with a man lawfully and  (2) coming in touch with a man unlawfully.  However, in her own admission, she is not unchaste. So the possibility #2 is out of consideration.  This leaves behind the only one possibility - that of coming in touch with a man.
 In verse 3:47, Mary is talking of just one possibility - no man has touched her.
In reply to both the instances Allah said 'even so' or  more appropriately,  'likewise'.  The word  'likewise'  in a way sends back Mary's question in the form of an answer.   She can have a child the way  she  thinks it is possible - without becoming unchaste, by coming in touch with a man legally.
If the readers think that 'kazaliki' Mary became pregnant with the word 'kun' or by blow of spirit, please go back to the above discussion to understand the significance of 'kun' and 'blow of spirit'.  This word is not a magical wild card to cause pregnancy.  If you are still hesitant, let us explore the case with Zakariya(pbuh).
3:40     "O my Lord ! How shall I have a son,seeing that I am very old
            and my wife  is barren". He said: "Kazalika."
The meaning of 'Kazalika' was made more explicit in the verse 21:90 which says:
21:90 So We responded to him and gave him Yahya and We cured his wife for him.
So you see, kazaliki does not suggest that child birth would take place without the need of a spouse.  Rather Allah cures the obstacle or in case of Mary, prepares the ground so that she can become pregnant "legally."
Similarly, in case of  Sarah, the wife of Ibrahim(pbuh), Allah cured her of infertility so that she may have a son.  Sarah did not give birth without a male, nor was she impregnated by any word or blow of air as such.
51:29-30 But his wife (Sarah) came forward, clamouring: and she smote her face
            and said: "An old barren woman!".   They said: "Likewise, says your Lord"...
In Surah As-Shu'ara' verse 57-59 tells about the punishment given to the Egyptians and the Children of Islaril were given the inheritance of the gardens and springs.  There is nothing paranormal in the process.
26:57-59 So We expelled them, from gardens and springs and of treasure and every kind
               of honorable position, - likewise (Kazalika) We gave them as inheritance to the
               Children of Israel.
The word Kazalika did not throw out the Egyptians overnight, rather over a period of time they were expelled normally as it should happen.
In verse 25:32, the mode of revelation of the Qur-an is mentioned.  It took 23 long years to reveal the entire Quran, bit by bit and at intervals, not instantly.  Look at the reply to the question why not instantly:
25:32     And those who reject faith say: Why is not the Quran revealed to him all
              at once?  Likewise (kazalika)
Here Kazalika did not create any instant revelation of the entire Quran. It still continued to be revealed in pieces over a period of time.  The word Kazalika did not create any supernatural thing in case of the Quran.
It is important to note that in Surah 3 (Al-e-Imran) and Surah 19 (Mary) before narrating the prophecy of childbirth to Mary, the prophecy of childbirth to  Zakariya was narrated.  Strangely enough, both of them expressed their concern as to how they would get their sons under apparent adverse circumstances.  In case of Zakariya (and also Ibrahim, verse 51:29-30) the adverse circumstances were their old age and their wives' infertility.  In case of Mary her adverse circumstance was her unmarried state at that moment. In all the cases assurances were given as Likewise (Kazalika/Kazaliki).
Two of them, Zakariya and Ibrahim got their children normally beyond any reasonable doubt, but in case of Mary there is all the doubt!!  If Mayram was impregnated in a miraculous way, then by the same analogy  Zakariya and Ibrahim should also have received their sons  without their wives in a miraculous way.  BUT the wives were cured and they received the sons through conjugal relations in a normal way.  So Kazalika was not a wild card to cause pregnancy in a miraculous way.   It suggests the normal course of affair and no more.


 Mary's Marriage:
Quran does not clearly say that Mary was married to a man. The words such as marriage, spouse etc was not specifically used anywhere with reference to Mary.  Therefore to discuss about Mary's marriage may be little too ambitious.  The entire discussion in this sub-section is only suggestive to an event leading to the birth of Jesus(pbh).  At the end I will leave the discussion for open arguments in light of the discussion in other sub-sections and verses of the Quran.
In Surah Al-e-Imran, verses 3:35-45 describes a series of events starting from the time Mary was in the womb of her mother to the point she received the prophecy of  giving birth to Jesus(pbh).
Verse 35 narrates the intention of a woman of the family of Imran, who was the mother of Mary. This woman decides to dedicate her child after birth in service of the lord.
Verse 36 narrates the woman delivered a girl child, named her Mary and placed the girl-child and future offspring under the protection of the Lord.
Verse 37  narrates that Mary was given under the charge of Zakariya.
Verse 3:37 says
Yusuf Ali:  ..to the care of Zakariya was she assigned..
Pickthall:  .and made Zakariya her guardain..
Shakir:  ..and gave her into the charge of Zakariya.
 
Verse 38 -41 narrates the prayer of Zakariya to have a pious child like Mary. Allah assures him about that and gives the prophecy of birth of Yahya.
Verse 42 & 43 narrates Allah has chosen Mary as a pious woman.
Verse 44 narrates how a caretaker of Mary was selected by draw of quills (sort of lottery).
Verse 45 narrates the prophecy of birth of Jesus(pbh).
It is very important to note  the continuity of events from birth of Mary to the prophecy of birth of Jesus(pbh).  It is equally important to note that between the events in two successive verses there is time lag of several months to several years.  For example, after the incident of the verse 3:35 at least several months the incident of verse 3:36 took place.  Thereafter at least 4 - 5 years (may be less or more) when the incident in the verse 3:37 took place.
Apparently verses 38-41 seems like a break in the sequence, due to Zakariya's prayer.  However, Mary's keen devotion to the service of Lord motivated Zakariya(pbuh) to pray for a child of his own.
Now let us investigate the verses 3:37 and 3:44.  According to the verse 3:37, Mary was entrusted by her mother to the charge of Zakariya(pbuh). Please note Zakariya(pbuh) was already a prophet.  Since it was the will of Mary's mother to dedicate Mary to serve Allah, she was sent to the most appropriate place for worship, the temple and was placed in care of temple-in-charge prophet Zakariya(pbuh). By any sense, Zakariya(pbuh),  the prophet is the best choice to be the legal  guardian.  This verse does not indicate of any controversy as to whether Zakariya(pbuh) or someone else needs to be the guardian of Mary.  The verse indicates it was a unanimous decision of Mary's mother.
Let us come back to  the sequence of events starting from 3:35 up until 3:43. Nowhere the sequence was broken or it jumped one step backwards or forward. Verse 3:44 is not in direct continuation of the verse 3:37.   Although there was an apparent break of event right after 3:36 when Zakariya's prayers were addressed.  Please note, Zakariya's prayer was as a result of observation of ongoing devotion of Mary.  So when  the assignment of guardianship ended with 3:36,  different events continued after 3:36.   The topic reverted to Mary again with the verses 3:41 and 3:42. However, it did not revert to the issue of assignment of guardianship to Zakariya(pbuh).  Rather the verse now talks about Mary as a woman and Allah has chosen her as a pious woman. So when 3:44 starts narrating something hidden and talks about casting of quills by people,  it is not breaking the sequence and jumping backward to an old event of assignment of previous guardianship.  This requires your careful attention, because many Muslims believe that verse 3:44 is referring to the event of verse 3:37.  Please don't forget that the events between two successive verses happened after a lapse of time - few months to few years.
Popular opinion is that people were casting quills to decide who will take charge of the child-Mary in verse 3:37.  Why should people be so interested in the child-Mary? By any sense, Zakariya(pbuh),  the prophet is the best choice to be the legal  guardian of the child-Mary.  How can general people's claim be superior to prophet Zakariya(pbuh) as the guardian of a child devoted to serve the Lord? Besides  the time Mary was dedicated to Zakariya(pbuh), she was yet to prove her superior devotion and she was not a public figure per se.  This negates  the need of 'controversy' for guardianship of child-Mary.
    Casting of lots with pens in 3:44 happened when Mary is a grown-up woman. If you are not certain, please refer to the previous verse 3:41 where she was referred to as 'woman'.
     
    Yusuf Ali: Behold the angels said. "O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee - chosen
                    the above the women of all nation.
The casting of quills were done to determine a 'new' guardian for Mary. While Zakariya(pbuh) was already her guardian since childhood, a new guardian at this time is certainly a different type of guardian - a husband. This is supported by the continuation of 3:44 and 3:45 in succession. After the selection of a 'guardian' comes the prophecy of childbirth. If Mary was not a woman in 3:44, then in all likelihood the prophecy in 3:45 came to a child-Mary. It is certainly not appropriate for Allah to talk to a child about childbearing. If you say that between 3:44 and 3:45 there were time gap and by the time  3:45 was conveyed,  Mary was a woman  then it is well and good. Then my question is that why can there be no time gap between 3:37 and 3:44? Strangely, 3:42 already says she was a woman then you argue that in 3:44 she is back to her childhood!
 
Why Casting of Quills: Obviously many people were interested to have the 'famous', 'pious' and 'chosen' woman as lawful wife. However, a decision was difficult to reach, therefore,  probable suitors wanted to leave the decision to Providence by draw of lottery. Such decision making by way of lottery was in vogue at that time.
Why Announcement of Hidden: The verse 3:37 says point-blank that Zakariya(pbuh) was the guardian. Thereafter, what is this so hush-hush, controversy and hidden about the guardianship? If the 'announcement about the hidden' is referring to the guardianship of Zakariya(pbuh) then how is it hidden? It is no more hidden, the verse 3:37 unambiguously states to that effect. There can be no valid argument as to why Zakariya's(pbuh) selection has to be so hush-hush and hidden. On the contrary, if the verse 3:44 is referring to selection of spouse then 'announcement about the hidden' makes sense. The spouse was never again hinted in the Quran and the entire fact is still hidden, except for this subtle reference.
 Some Christian and Muslim scholars argue that a married woman cannot have 'guardian'. This is one of the weirdest arguments. According to them only a child-Mary needed a guardian. The Webster dictionary defines the word guardian as 'one who has the care of the person'. How can the husband of a married woman not be her guardian? It may not be so in the Christian society of today or in the modern US society, but largely speaking, a husband is surely comparable to a guardian to whom the wife is dependant.
I request the readers to investigate the events starting from 3:35 to 3:45 again and again, and in particular verses 3:37 and 3:44. Most Muslims believe that just one guardianship selection took place. They fail to see that in case of Zakariya(pbuh) the guardianship was assigned, not selected. Whereas in 3:44, it is talking of a new guardianship for a grown-up Mary. Thus the events in 3:35 - 3:44 clearly indicate Mary had two different guardians at two different times in her life.

 Process of Procreation:
The Quran describes in detail about the entire process of procreation or childbirth.  The verses are detail and describes the process, starting with the need of sperm (32:7-8;  77:20; 75:37; 86:5-7 etc), union of male and female gametes or pairs (13:3;  36:36; 43:12; 49:13, 51:49; 53:45 78:8etc.) to the ultimate statement in verse 6:102 about Allah Himself.
All these verses are broad statements applying to all human being and all living being in general.  There are no scope of any exception in any statements and nowhere Allah said He will cause an exception in case of Jesus(pbh). So when Jesus(pbh) is viewed as a person born without a father, there is serious contradiction.   Either Allah caused serious discrepancy in several verses (nauzubillah!) or it is  the human being who are creating the discrepancy based on our poor understanding and lack of investigative research.
The Christians believe Jesus(pbh) as son of God.  The Quran refutes such statement and emphatically states that Allah being all-Powerful Creator, even if He wants to have a child, He must have a consort.  He cannot have a child by any other means -- the command Kun cannot break His law and create for Him a child out of nowhere (fa-yakun is not possible!!!)
6:102   Originator of the heavens and the earth!  How could there be to Him a child
            when there is to Him no  consort?
In a way Allah is bound by the same Law He created.  His laws are all pervasive, universal.  Therefore, there must be consorts or in other words, there has to be union of male and female if there has to be any procreation.  There is no deviation from this principle.
The very first revelations of the Quran are five short verses as mentioned in the Surah Alaq or Clot. It says:
96:1-2:   Read in the name of your Rabb Who created.  He created man from a
              blood-clot.
Most scholars use the English term 'blood-clot' as the  meaning of Alaq.   However, it is more than mere clot of blood, because blood cells on division remain blood cells, they don't form into an embryo.  A clot is formed when something is solidified or transposed into a different formation through the union or transfusion of other substance.  Thus a clot in this case is a transformed mass formed due to fusion of more than one substance. The clot here is the zygote formed by the union of sperm and ova.  From this clot Allah creates man as testified in the second verse.  Fact remains that to a naked eye, a 4-cell, 8-cell or 16-cell morula, blastula or gastrula would look no more than a blood-clot.  In any case, the significance of procreation is so great that Allah chose to reveal the very first few verses with a reference to procreation.
Need of sperm for procreation:
32:7-8  And He began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his progeny
            from an extract of a liquid held  in light estimation.
53:45-46And that He has created the pairs - male and female, from the sperm cell
            when it is adapted
77:20   Did We not create you from a weak fluid?..
75:37   Was he not a sperm out of an ejaculation ejaculated? ..
86:5-7  So let men consider what he is created of. He is created out of a liquid poured
            forth, - coming out from  between the back-bone and the breast-bone..
Need of pairs and mates for procreation:
16:72   And Allah makes for you mates from among yourselves and through  your
            mates He gives you sons and  daughters.
51:49   And of all things We have created pairs, that perhaps you may be reflecting
36:36   Glory be to Him Who creates pairs in everything of it out of what the earth
            grows, and among  themselves and among what they do not know.
42:11   Originator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from
            among yourselves, and mates  of the cattle. He multiplies you through it...
Based on the above verses, particularly 16:72, how can Mary have a son born to her without mates? Please note, there is no scope of any exception in any case. So Jesus(pbh) cannot have been born without a sperm cell - in other  words, without a father.
 
Chromosome Theory:
Last of all, I would like to discuss the chromosome theory.  Everybody knows that procreation of races take place through union of gametes or sex-cells.  Human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes; 22 pairs  of which are autosomes and one pair is sex chromosome.  In case of females the sex chromosomes are two  X and X  and in case of males, the sex chromosomes are X and Y.  During the time of gamete formation, the chromosomes including the sex chromosomes in the cell divide.  In males, a germ cell divides and forms gametes, one containing only X chromosome and the other only Y chromosome.  Similarly, in the females, the germ cell divides and forms two gametes, each containing X chromosome.
Sex determination takes place when sperm and egg unite.  All eggs carry only X chromosomes, while, the sperms carries either X or Y.   When a sperm containing X chromosome fertilizes an egg, the resultant XX zygote will be a female.  On the other hand, if a sperm containing Y chromosome fertilizes an egg, the resultant XY zygote will be a male.
With this prelude, let us explore some alternate possibilities.  Since Jesus(pbh) was a male, his body contained one Y chromosome.    He could not have received the Y chromosome by any means from his mother's body. The Y chromosome must have come from a male.  Had Jesus(pbh) been a female, we could have interjected an alternate, weird possibility.  The possibility is that the in Mary's body, the sex cell or sex chromosome did not divide. As a result the egg in her uterus already contained diploid number of cells and this cell formed into a full grown person.  But this full grown person has to be a female because of XX chromosomes.
Such process of procreation from the same body is called homogenesis and are very primitive form of reproduction seen only in lower forms of invertebrates.  Such reproduction has ceased to take place in the higher invertebrates and absolutely stopped in the lowest form of vertebrates. Human being are classified as  mammals and are in the highest rung of vertebrates.   It is absolutely impossible for any mammal to reproduce without germ cells from both the sexes.
Let us talk briefly about chromosomal aberration.   Is it possible that Jesus(pbh) was born as a case of chromosomal aberration?  There is a case called Klienfelter's syndrome where it is possible for a MALE to have two X chromosome and one Y chromosome.  A female cannot have such syndrome of two X and one Y, because  due to the presence of Y chromosome  the person would be a male and not female.  So the possibility of Mary having Klienfelter's syndrome is out.
It is remotely possible that Mary had three X or just one X (Turner's syndrome)chromosome.  Both cases would result in infertile gonads and such person cannot reproduce.  Even if they reproduce, to make a male child, they need Y chromosome which can come only from sperm or a male gamete.
Someone must tell wherefrom Jesus got a Y chromosome!  If you argue that he did not have any Y chromosome, may Allah bless you!!!
 
Conclusion:
It is true that Jesus(pbh) was a Kalimah of Allah, he and his mother were a Signs from Allah, he was created with the command Kun and Spirit was blown into him as a part of his formation.  Each and all of these statement was interpreted wrongly  to drive home the theory of Immaculate Conception. The discussion above raises serious doubt about the validity of the theory.  As you can see, each and every point of contention miserably fails under slightest scrutiny. Had the Immaculate Conception theory been a genuine Islamic concept, it should not have struggled so much under slightest debate. It should have come out in flying colors under most rigorous cross-examination.
The above discussion shows that Immaculate Conception theory collapses under slightest questioning and crashes like a house of card. Time has come for you either to admit the Islamic truth or follow the Christian dogma. May Allah guide you to understand the true meaning of Islam, Aamin.
Jazakumullahu Khyran


First hosted:  September 4, 1999

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