Al Fazl, 22 December 1921 & 2 January 1922
An eminent European Christian by the name of K Nick came to me and said that he wanted to enquire about something. He was asked to query whatever he pleased. The discussion took place in the Creole language. It is as follows:
Christian friend: Do you believe in Jesus?
Missionary of Islam: Yes, we believe Jesusas to be a prophet.
Christian friend: Do you consider him a saint (wali)?
Missionary of Islam: We consider him more than a saint.
Christian friend: Can a saint be a liar?
Missionary of Islam: No.
Christian friend: Then why don’t you consider him a god.
Missionary of Islam: He never said that he was a god.
Christian friend: He had said [that he was a god].
Missionary of Islam: Have you ever heard him say that he was a god?
Christian friend: No, but it is written in the Gospel.
Missionary of Islam: Not at all. Can you show me [where is it written]?
Christian friend: I will get the reference from the Gospels, but I don’t have the book right now.
Missionary of Islam: Sure, we are always ready to hear the Gospels. It is nowhere in the Gospels that Jesus said he was a god.
Christian friend: When [Jesus] got baptised by John, a voice was heard from above, “He is my dear son.”
Missionary of Islam: In that way, we are all sons [of God]. Don’t you always say, “O Father Who art in heaven!” The Bible says that Jacob was the firstborn child [of God]; rather, every prophet was called a son [of God].
Christian friend: Jesus had no father, so God is his father.
Missionary of Islam: Adam also had no father, so is God his father?
Christian friend: There is no doubt that God created Adam, so He is the father of Adam. In the same way, He created Jesus, so He is his father.
Missionary of Islam: Since God created us all, God is everyone’s father. If a person born from a woman’s womb can be a god, then all those born from a women’s womb must be considered gods. How did an infinite god fit into a limited womb?
Christian friend: God can do whatever He wills. It is a mystery and a secret. We cannot explain it.
Missionary of Islam: If we accept the mystery as an argument, then we will have to believe Ram, Krishna and even stones to be gods.
Christian friend: God has no beginning, nor end. Anything without a beginning or an end is inconceivable.
Missionary of Islam: Jesus had a beginning, as he was born from the womb of Mary, and an end, because he passed away. Thus, it is proof he was not a god; rather, he was a creation [of God].
Christian friend: When God is everywhere, why can’t he be in Mary’s womb?
Missionary of Islam: When God was in Mary’s womb, was He not outside as well?
Christian friend: Yes, He was outside as well.
Missionary of Islam: It shows that all of God had not entered Mary’s womb, but only a part of Him was there.
Christian friend: Don’t you believe the Gospels?
Missionary of Islam: Where the Gospels are contrary to the Torah, we do not believe in them. It is written in the Torah that there is one God, so how can we believe that there are three gods. Moreover, Prophet Jesusas said that he had come to fulfil the Torah, not abrogate it.
Christian friend: There is only one God, but He has three entities.
Missionary of Islam: Is that [written] in the Gospels? And if one [of the gods] dies, do all three die?
Christian friend: Yes, it is in the Gospels, and God does not die. Jesus did not die as a god, but he died as a person.
Missionary of Islam: If Jesus did not die as a god, then the concept of atonement is invalid.
Christian friend: He died for our sins.
Missionary of Islam: The death of one person can probably result in the forgiveness of the sins of only one person and not the whole mankind.
Christian friend: What is death to you? [Death is] separation of the soul from the body.
Christian friend: So, the divine spirit was separated from the human body of Jesus.
Missionary of Islam: In this way, both god and man died, so how can you say that death did not come upon him as a god?
Christian friend: The Gospels say that he died on the cross.
Missionary of Islam: We do not believe that because it is written in the Torah that whoever dies on the cross is cursed.
Christian friend: This is not true. Would you be cursed if your enemies killed you on the cross?
Missionary of Islam: I am not a prophet. This is the condition for the prophet.
Christian friend: Alright, it is time now, I will get the reference from the Gospels and then talk to you.
Missionary of Islam: Very well then, I will be very happy if you would do that.
Christian friend: I used to wonder if Muslims believed in Jesus or not. I asked a prominent Muslim about it and he said that Muslims considered him a great prophet. I then asked him if a prophet could be a liar and a slanderer. He said “no”. I thus said to him, “Then why don’t you believe him when he claimed to be a god?” He had no answer to that. I always wondered if Muslims believed in Jesus and then considered him a liar and a slanderer. However, today, I learned from you that Jesus never claimed to be a god.
Missionary of Islam: Prophet Jesusas was placed on the cross, but he did not die on it. He was taken off from it while unconscious. Then, he was placed in a room-like tomb. Joseph Arimathea applied various kinds of ointments to his wounds. He recovered and came out of the tomb on the third day. He ate and drank with the disciples, dressed as a gardener and stayed with them for 40 days.
Christian friend: It is too late. I will get back to you with those references from the Gospels that say Jesus is a god.
Missionary of Islam: Sure, very well.
From, Ghulam Muhammad Ahmadi (Missionary of Islam), Rosehill, Mauritius
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 22 December 1921 issue of Al Fazl)