One would think that the beautiful revelation of God as Father, both in its general sense in Judaism and in its "unheard-of sense" in the Christianity, is something that would have been embraced by Muhammad had his ear been attuned to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most lovely and comforting of truths. In fact, the exact opposite is to be found in Muhammad's supposed revelations.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "Our Father, who art in heaven," rolls off the lips of every Christian in the Lord's Prayer as if it were a quotidian dose of honey. The concept of God as Father is a revealed truth, and one which lends great intimacy and suavity to the Christian's relationship to God. It is, in fact, one of the central revelations of Jesus, and a centerpiece of the Gospel.
As revealed, the Fatherhood of God is twofold. First, it involves Jesus' unique relationship to God the Father as the eternally-begotten Son of God. Second, it involves our adoption as sons of God the Father, in other words, our participation by grace in Christ's own Sonship as "sons in the Son," fillii in filio. In this article we will deal with the first aspect. In a subsequent article, we will deal with the second.
Jesus' relationship with God the Father defined who he was, and is central to understanding the life of grace he promised to those who believed in him.
"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) "[T]he Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10:38) "He who has seen me has seen the Father," he told the Apostle Philip. (John 14:9) To the Jews who questioned him, he stated tersely: "'I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.' They said to him, 'Where is your father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'" (John 8:18) Jesus spoke of returning to "my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (John 20:17). In his high priestly prayer, which is nothing but a prayer of intimacy with God the Father, Jesus prayed: "I pray not only for them [his disciples], but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." (John 17:20-21).
It follows from the centrality of that revelation in Scripture that the doctrine of God's Fatherhood would be a defined dogma. And so it is. The Fatherhood of God relative to the eternally-begotten Son of God is found in the Nicene Creed, which refers to "one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." It is the counterpart to the belief in "one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages."
The Catechism is succinct: "Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense (sensu inaudito): he is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father in relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his Father." (CCC §240)
While the notion of God as Father as a positive revelation of who God is in himself (ad intra) is not found expressly Judaism, the notion of God as Father as he relates to his people (ad extra) is not entirely foreign. True, the notion of God's fatherhood in the Old Testament is metaphorical, and, not except perhaps by implicit suggestion looking backwards from the Christian revelation, Trinitarian.
For example, we might point to Isaiah 63:16: "For you, O Lord, are our father (avinu), our redeemer, from everlasting is your name." "Is this way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?" (Deut. 32:6) God refers to Israel as his "firstborn son," which suggests that he sees himself in the position of Father. (Ex. 4:22) And this concept is touchingly repeated in Hosea 11:1, a scripture which the evangelist Matthew uses as a prophecy of Jesus: "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." (Cf. Matt. 2:15) It would not offend the sensibilities of the Jew to refer to Yahweh as "Father." Indeed, in many of their prayers, the Jews refer to God as "our Father," Avinu, for example in the prayer Avinu Malkeinu, "Our Father, Our King," the Jewish prayer recited to during services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
One would think that the beautiful revelation of God as Father, both in its general sense in Judaism and in its "unheard-of sense" in the Christianity, is something that would have been embraced by Muhammad had his ear been attuned to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most lovely and comforting of truths.
But that is not the case. In fact, the exact opposite is to be found in Muhammad's supposed revelations. Moved by the spirit of antichrist, Muhammad rejected virulently, and in no uncertain terms, the central revelation of Jesus Christ that God is "Father." Indeed, the rejection is so absolute, so emphatic, so uncompromising that one has to wonder whether Allah is God--as we Christians know Him--at all.
Indeed, as Bernard Lewis observed in his book Islam: The Religion and the People, Islam rejects the fatherhood of God--something well-established within the Judaeo-Christian tradition (though Jews, of course, would not see it as descriptive of a unique relationship between God the Son, Jesus, and God the Father)--and considers it a blasphemy, redolent of shirk, the most grievous sin. It constitutes to Muslims what the unforgivable "sin against the Holy Spirit" is to Christians.
That folly of a judgment in Muhammad, of course, means that--in Muhammad's eyes, and (sadly) in the eyes of the Muslim who follows Muhammad's antichrist teaching--each time Jesus referred to God as "Father," Abba, he blasphemed God, and each time we pray an "Our Father" we are guilty of blasphemy.
It is a remarkable, one might speculate even demonic, feat for a supposed prophet of the most high God to proclaim, allegedly in the name of God, that prayer to God in the manner God taught us is a blasphemy to God.
A Roman Catholic's Pater noster is blasphemy. The Anglican's Our Father is blasphemy. A Greek Orthodox's Pater hemon is blasphemy. A Jew's Avinu is blasphemy. What kind of monstrous teaching is that?
Muhammad's rejection of the revelation of God as Father is found in two ways.
First, there is the rejection of the doctrine by its absence. Read the entire Qur'an cover-to-cover, from Al-Fatiha, the first surah, to An-Nas, the last surah, and you will find no mention of Allah as Father. None.
(Nor, interestingly, will you find any description of Allah as Love. But we will get to that issue when we discuss Muhammad and the Trinity.)
Second, there is the rejection of the doctrine by the rejection of any attribution to God of any "begetting" of a Son; thereby, implicitly rejecting God's Fatherhood. For example, "Say He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him." (Qur'an 112:1-4) Or, as another example, "Allah forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say "Be," and it is." (Qur'an 19:35)
According to Sahih Muslim 35.6475 (from Muslims' perspective, an authentic group of ahadith, or reports about Muhammad), Muhammad allegedly said: "There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory would get into Paradise. Verily, Allah is Odd (He is one, and it is an odd number) and He loves odd number."
The Ninety-Nine Names of God, which are a recapitulation of all the names of Allah in the Qur'an and the Sunna, and therefore the legitimate or orthodox ways of a Muslim to invoke Allah, are quite beautiful. But one name of God is notable--one might say truly odd--by its absence. In these names, Allah is never invoked as Father!
There is a huge difference in understanding God as Ar-Rahman, the Compassionate, if that compassion is the compassion of a Father or the compassion of a Master. And that goes for any other of the remaining ninety-eight names.
Muhammad never prayed to Allah with anything remotely like filial love of Jesus, "Father! Pater! Glorify your name! Clarifica tuum nomen!" (John 12:28) Muhammad did not receive the "Spirit of sonship" by which Christians cry, "Abba, Father." (Cf. Rom. 8:15) And as a result such filial love of God has been unfortunately withheld from his followers. Since then, his followers have not seen themselves as "sons in the Son," filii in filio, and sons of God, but slaves of Allah, 'abdullahs.
In closing, we might profitably turn to the prophet Malachi. Malachi, considered generally the last prophet of Judaism (if one does not include St. John the Baptist as Christians would), is considered an authentic prophet by both Christian and Jew. (Incidentally, the Qur'an does not mention Malachi as a prophet, though other Old Testament prophets are mentioned in the Qur'an).
Malachi asked the Jews--and through the Jews all of humanity, including the Muslims:
"Have we not all one Father?" (Malachi 2:10)
The question is rhetorical. There is no answer but "Yes."
Unfortunately, the Muslim is forced, by the juggernaut of the misopatrist Qur'an, to answer the question with a "No."
Which brings us to the question the prophet Malachi then asked: "Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?" (Malachi 2:10) By rejecting God as Father, Muhammad broke faith with the Jew and the Christian, and therefore profaned the covenants of our fathers, both in the Old and the New Testaments.
By rejecting both God the Father and God the Son, Muhammad did more than break faith. He made himself antichrist: "Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist." (1 John 22)
And by his deceit he imperiled the souls of his followers: "If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. I write you these things about those who would deceive you." (1 John 24-26).
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
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