The Antichrist in Muhammad: Jesus as the Son of God
forgiveness of sins, the divine grace-filled life on earth, and--following death and judgment--eternal life and the beatific vision.
"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God," as St. Athanasius boldly stated. If Jesus is not the "Son of God" who assumed human nature as he stated, the whole edifice of Christianity and our divine (adopted) filiation or sonship is unintelligible.
Christians know that when they proclaim that Jesus is the "only Son of God the Father," they are using the term "son" in an analogical manner, not in what would be called a univocal manner. In other words, the relationship between God the Father and God the Son is similar to, but certainly not identical with, the relationship between a human father and son. For all the similarity between the relationship between God the Father and God the Son to the relationship between a human father and human son, the similarity must be understood to include an even greater dissimilarity.
Muhammad, however, rejected the revealed doctrine that Jesus was the "Son of God" in all its senses, univocal or analogical. Of course, no one knows exactly why, but it appears to have been the conjunction of three weaknesses or prejudices or idées fixes in his thought.
First, it is apparent that Muhammad understood the Christian idea of Christ's filiation or "sonship" to be a literal, almost fleshly concept. In other words, he understood the "sonship" of God the Son to be univocal, or identical with, the "sonship" of a human son. The Qur'an asks rhetorically: "How could he [Allah] have a son when He does not have a consort and He created all things?" (Qur'an 6:101)
The simpleminded and self-acclaimed "prophet" Muhammad evidently believed, or at least publically argued, that the Christian doctrine of divine filiation required that God the Father take a wife and have sexual relations with her. His spiritual imagination was rather mundane in this area.
Beyond this simplistic vulgar, pagan, materialistic concept of filiation which Muhammad never overcame, and which is clearly a misunderstanding of the Christian doctrine, there seems to have been no effort on Muhammad's part to understand the Christian concept. He painted, with the black paint of his unsubtle and uncompromising monotheistic doctrine, the polytheistic pagan and the Trinitarian Christian using the same unholy Qur'anic paintbrush.
In so doing, he foolishly condemned what he did not know and did not try to know. This was the work of a misled man, not of a prophet, and certainly not the work of God the Father who would not work at cross purposes with himself and impugn his eternal relationship with God the Son after he had divinely revealed it in the Gospel.
Second, Muhammad's horror with the concept of divine filiation may have been engendered by Muhammad's horror of polytheism, though whether this horror was political (as an expression against the ruling tribe of Mecca) or theological it is hard to tell. All the pagan gods around him--including the pagan god Allah before Muhammad cleansed him--seemed to have companions, partners, or sons and daughters. This sort of horror is displayed in the Meccan aya: " But they [the pagans at Mecca] have attributed to Allah partners--the jinn, while He has created them--and have fabricated for Him sons and daughters." (Qur'an 6:100)
We can understand Muhammad's discomfort with polytheism, and appreciate his jealousy for monotheism, but not at the misguided expense of the revealed truth of the Trinity.
Third, Muhammad seems completely ignorant of the Old Testament use of "son of God," which should have allowed him to understand its Scriptural basis. The term "son" and even "son of God" is not foreign to the Old Testament. (E.g., Ex. 4:22, Job 1:6; 2:1; Ps. 88:7, Wisdom 2:13). That's one reason Jesus and all the other witnesses to the term in the Gospels used it, though, to be sure, with reference to Jesus it was intended as a unique description of his relationship to God the Father.
In any event, only some (since they are numerous) of the supposed Qur'anic revelations which clearly contradict the Scriptural teachings and the de fide teachings of the Catholic Church on the divine sonship of Jesus will be cited:
"They [the Christians] have said, 'Allah has taken a son.' Exalted is He; He is the [one] free of need. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You [the Christians] have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know? Say [to the Christians], 'Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.'" (Qur'an 10:68-69) (Meccan)
"And say, 'Praise to Allah, who ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Jesus, Muhammad, antichrist, Son of God, Andrew M. Greenwell
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