Knowledge, Humanity, Religion, Culture, Tolerance, Peace



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  “By the soul and Him Who perfected it and inspired it with knowledge of what is wrong for it and what is right for it: indeed successful will be the one who keeps it pure, and indeed failure will be the one who corrupts it!”(Qur’an;91:7-10);“And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Serve Allah and shun false gods. After that, Allah guided some of them while deviation proved true against the others….”(Qur’an;16:36)
God has created the mankind, to live in this world for the trial, which he (or she) undergoes by either leading the life in accordance with the commands of God hence becoming His obedient servant by totally surrendering to the will of God (in Arabic known as Muslim) or follow the footsteps of Satan by disobeying his Creator: “God has created the heavens and the earth to manifest the truth, and to reward each human being according to its deeds, and none of them shall be wronged.”(Qur’an;45:22); “He who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best In deed: and He is the Exalted In Might, Oft-Forgiving;”(Qur’an;67:2). He has not left the humanity in lurch, He has provided the guidance and freedom of choice resulting in individual responsibility and accountability. God has provided the guidance essentially through three ways: Firstly; the natural Guidance (instinctive cognition). Secondly; through grant of intellect and providing Signs (ayah). Man is endowed with forms and faculties exactly suited to what is expected of him, and to the environment in which his life will be cast, giving due order and proportion to everything. He has ordained laws and decrees, by which human can develop themselves and fit into His whole scheme of progression for all His Creation. Thirdly; direct guidance through His Messengers and scriptures. However being Merciful, He forgives the minor sins: “Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults; Verily Thy Lord is ample In Forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, and when ye are hidden In your mothers' wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil.”(Qur’an;53:32 also 4:31). Each mode of guidance needs some elaboration.
Natural Guidance:
Much earlier than the creation of humanity, God first created all the spirits of humanity, which testified Him to be their Lord, this was the ‘First Covenant’, which is binding accordingly on each individual, then they were put to sleep. Allah says: “O Prophet, remind mankind about incident when your Lord brought into existence the offspring from the loins of Adam and his descendants (virtually each single individual of mankind) and made them testify about themselves. Allah asked them: "Am I not your Lord?" They all replied: "Yes! We bear witness that You are." This We did, lest you mankind should say on the Day of Resurrection: "We were not aware of this fact that You are our Lord and that there will be a Day of Judgment.”(Qur’an;7:172). He brings the humankind into this world in succession, each one at appointed time, spirit is breathed in to him. This spiritual heritage, the individual covenant with God, is part of his nature of every human being as human consciousness. The Quality or state of being aware is termed as consciousness. As applied to the lower animals, consciousness refers to the capacity for sensation and, usually, simple volition. In higher animals, this capacity may also include thinking and emotion. In human beings, ‘consciousness’ is understood to include “meta-awareness,” awareness that one is aware. The term also refers broadly to the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware, as contrasted with unconscious processes. Levels of consciousness (e.g., attention vs. sleep) are correlated with patterns of electrical activity in the brain (brain waves). The three states of the development of the nafas  (human soul, conscious) are: Firstly Nafs Ammara (Qur’an;12:53), which is ‘Prone to Evil’, if not checked and controlled, will lead to perdition; Secondly; Nafs Lawwama: (Qur’an;75:2) which feels ‘Conscious of Evil’, and resists it, seeks   Allah's grace and pardon after repentance and tries to amend with the hopes to attain salvation; Thirdly; Nafs Mutmainna (Qur’an;89:27), the highest stage of all, when it achieves ‘Full Rest and Satisfaction’. The second stage Lawwama may be compared to Conscience, except that in English usage Conscience is a faculty and not a stage in spiritual development. Allah has granted certain powers and faculties (intellect) to the human, which stipulate special spiritual obligations, they must faithfully discharge: “Say: "It is He Who has created you (and made you grow) and made for you the faculties of hearing seeing feeling and understanding: little thanks it is ye give.”(Qur’an;67:23). The Covenant is fulfilled by human to acknowledge that Allah is the Creator, Cherisher, and Sustainer, therefore they should acknowledge their duty to Him. When people so testify concerning themselves, the obligation is as it were assumed by them; for it follows from their very nature when it is pure and uncorrupted. Knowledge of right and wrong is ingrained in human nature, Allah says: “by the soul and Him Who perfected it and inspired it with knowledge of what is wrong for it and what is right for it: indeed successful will be the one who keeps it pure, and indeed failure will be the one who corrupts it!”(Qur’an;91:7-10). Some remain conscious of it while others tend to suppress this awareness.
In addition to giving form and nature, Allah has also given guidance to all the creations (Qur’an;20:50). The humanity is expected to be steadfast in the belief of natural faith, part of human conscious. Allah says: “Therefore, stand firm in your devotion to the upright faith - the nature made by Allah, (hanefa fitr’ah) the one on which mankind is created - and the laws of Nature ordained by Allah cannot be changed. That is the ‘Standard True Religion’, but most among mankind do not know.”(Qur’an;30:30). The ‘True Nature’ (hanefa fitr’ah),  "true" is used in the sense in which it is said, "the magnetic needle is true to the north", the ‘First Covenant’ is part of human nature. Those who have been privileged to receive the ‘Truth’ should never hesitate or swerve but remain constant, like the men of knowledge. As turned out from the creative act of Allah, man is innocent, pure, true, free, inclined to right and virtue, and endowed with true understanding about his own position in the Universe and about Allah's goodness, wisdom, and power. That is his true nature, just as the nature of a lamb is to be gentle and of a horse is to be swift. But man is caught in the webs of customs, superstitions, selfish desires, and false teachings. This may make him pugnacious, unclean, false, slavish and hankering after what is wrong or forbidden, thus getting deflected from the love of his fellow-men and the pure worship of the One True God. The problem before the messengers and prophets had been to cure this crookedness, and to restore, (hanefa fitr’ah) human nature to what it should be under the Will of Allah; the uncorrupted pure nature. The "standard True Religion," or the ‘Straight Way’ is thus contrasted with the various human systems that conflict with each other and call themselves separate "religions" or "sects". Allah's standard Religion is the one, based upon total surrender to the Will of God (Islam).
The man has been endowed with the intellect so that he could used this faculty to differentiate between right and wrong; truth and falsehood. If some one does not make use of this God gifted power, then the position of such a person is no better than that of the animal. The main difference between human and animal is that human has the capacity to raison d'être and ponder. An animal cannot argue, it behaves by instinct. Ability to think and reason are the main faculties which differentiate man from the animals. Even the existence of God, the Truth may be arrived at through a process of reasoning. The case of Prophet Abraham [PBUH (peace be upon him)] is point in case (Qur’an;6:74-79). Blind Faith, can not stand the test, the blind fumble and does not know the way. Only those who have eyes, can enjoy the colour and beauty of their surroundings. This is the essential difference between those who adhere blindly to their creed and refuse to see the light of reason, and those whose ‘eyes of reason” are wide open and can judge truth from falsehood.
The human intellectual power of rational thinking and reason is further facilitated by the teachings of the great Messengers or teachers sent to every nation. Allah says:"…And there never was a people, without a Warner having lived among them (in the past)."(Qur’an;35:24). Where such teachers do not come into direct contact with an individual or a generation, their revealed scripture is available to them which is conveyed by the preachers (dai). Even if some one does not receive the message through direct means then the true faith can be revived through means of the ‘Intellect and Reason’, His ‘signs’ spread all around and true nature (hanefa fitr’ah) part of human conscious (the 1st Covenant). This is the reason that even some of African tribes cut off from the civilized world worship One God without images. It is the failure to follow a man's ‘inner light’ sincerely that leads to his degradation and destruction. And yet, such is the human self-will, who use these faculties for wrong purposes and thus show ingratitude to Allah, resultantly he would find himself in hell, but his repentance will then be of no vain. Allah says: “For those who reject their Lord (and Cherisher) is the penalty of Hell: and evil is (such), destination. When they are cast therein they will hear the (terrible) drawing in of its breath even as it blazes forth, almost bursting with fury: every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask, "Did no Warner come to you?" They will say: "Yes indeed; a Warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said, '(Allah) never sent down any (Message): ye are nothing but an egregious delusion!'". They will further say: "Had we but listened or used Our intelligence, we should not (now) be among the companions of the Blazing Fire!". They will then confess their sins: but far will be (Forgiveness) from the companions of the Blazing Fire! As for those who fear their Lord Unseen, for them is forgiveness and a great reward.”(Qur’an;67:6-12). Hence whoever disbelieves is therefore rebellious by not responding to all modes of guidance, even his own conscious, primordial nature. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith Number; 298, volume 4, linked with Qur’an;30:30). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been reported to have mentioned that every human child is born in true nature (Al-Fitra ) which is obedience to Allah (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian. The scholars stipulate that, if the message of ‘true faith’ (complete obedience, surrender to God - Islam) does not reach to some one, then in hereafter he will be judged by the (hanefa fitr’ah), the human nature conscious of One God (monotheism- Tawhid). Allah says: “We charge no soul with more than it can bear; We have a Book of record which shall clearly tell the truth, and they shall not be treated unjustly.”(Qur’an;23:62).
Signs and Miracles:
Something that suggests the presence or existence of a fact, condition, or quality is called ‘sign’. Sign could also be in the form of miracle as evidence of existence of supernatural power or authority. Miracle is an extraordinary event attributed to a supernatural power. The ancient people considered Miracle as an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes, acting with or without them. God ordinarily effects. His purpose through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also of effecting his purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to one who believes in all powerful Supreme God, who in his wisdom may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles are not impossible, nor are they incredible. Belief in miracles exist in all cultures and nearly all religions. The Upanishads assert that the experience of religious insight and transformation is the only “miracle” worth considering, but popular Hinduism attributes miraculous powers to the ascetic yogis. Confucianism had little room for miracles. Daoism, however, mingled with Chinese folk religion to produce a rich crop of miracles. Though Buddha Gautama deprecated his own miraculous powers as devoid of spiritual significance, accounts of his miraculous birth and life were later woven into his legend and into those of later Buddhist saints. Miracles are taken for granted throughout the Hebrew scriptures and were fairly common in the Greco-Roman world.
Bible mentions that the Miracles are performed with the power of God: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:”(Acts;2:22); “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.”(John;10:25);“The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”(John;3:2, also Exodus; 8:19; Act; 14:3; 15:12; 19:11). The miracles are not the final test, to establish the truthfulness of claimant, Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) said: “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”(Mathew;24:23). Bible mentions that the wonders can also be performed through the power of the devil (2Thessolosions; 2:9; Revelation; 16:14); Wrought in support of false religions (Deuteronomy;13:1-2); By false prophets (Revelation;19:20). The examples of the Witch of Endor (1Samuel;28:7-14); Simon Magus (Acts;8:9-11) and Magicians of Egypt (Exodus;7:11; 8:7) have been mentioned.
Islamic Perceptive:
The peculiar feature of Muslim theology is that, it does not accept the idea of nature as an entity operating according to fixed laws ONLY, as against Deists, who assert that God had created the world and then left it to operate under the natural laws He had devised. The laws do exist, as ordained by Him, but being the Supreme Creator He is not bound, though the creatures adhere to His laws. Allah says: “So, from this creation, He formed the seven heavens in two periods and to each heaven He ordained its laws…”(Qur’an;41:12). God is actively involved in the affairs of His creations: “… We are never unmindful of Our creation.”(Qur’an;23:17), He may do what ever He Wills (Qur’an;3:189, 82:2). The universe is constantly being re-created by Allah in successive time atoms, natural regularity is nothing but the regularity of Allah's practice in re-creating the universe. Thus, a miracle is the omnipotent Allah's departure from his practice but no different, in principle, from the latter. It was generally believed that when people see a miracle, they were more likely to believe in God and the messenger. Therefore, a miracle may be the short cut for making people believe in Allah and implement His law. However, historical facts show otherwise. When miracles were given to earlier prophets, their communities accused them of sorcery and were even more determined to reject the faith preached by those prophets. Allah says: “To Moses We did give nine Clear Signs: ask the Children of Israel: when he came to them Pharaoh said to him: "O Moses! I consider thee indeed to have been worked upon by sorcery!”(Qur’an;17:101); “They said: Moses, have you come to us with your sorcery to drive us out of our land? We will certainly come up with sorcery equal to yours. Fix, then, a date for us to be attended by us and you in a mutually suitable place."(Qur’an;20:57-58). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was also not accepted by his people: “.. (Jesus said to Israelites) I have brought you signs of my appointment from your Lord. I will make for you the likeness of a bird from clay; I will breathe into it and, with Allah's leave, it will become a living bird. I will heal the blind and the lepers, and raise the dead to life, by Allah's leave. Furthermore, I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. Surely these are the signs to convince you if you are believers. I am appointed to confirm that which is before me from the Torah and to make lawful to you some of the things forbidden to you. Now I have brought you the signs from your Lord, therefore fear Allah and obey me.”(Qur’an;3:49-50). Despite all these wonderful miracles the Israelites declined to believe in Prophet Jesus calling the miracles as sorcery, they even tried to kill him but (according to Islamic traditions) Allah saved him: “…How I protected you from the violence of the Children of Israel when you came to them with clear signs and the unbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but a clear sorcery." (Qur’an;5:110).
In many places the Qur’an stresses the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), despite his being the last Messenger of God, was not empowered to perform miracles similar to those with which the earlier prophets are said to have reinforced their verbal messages. Allah says: “They swear their strongest oaths by Allah that if a miracle (sign) were shown to them, they would indeed believe in this (divine writ). Say (O’ Muhammad): Miracles are in the power of God alone. And for all you know, even if one should be shown to them, they would not believe.”(Qur’an;6:109). Being the last messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), has been provided with the ever living miracle, The Qur’an - a message perfect in its lucidity and ethical comprehensiveness, destined for all times and all stages of human development, addressed not merely to the feelings but also to the minds of men, open to everyone, irrespective of race or social environment, and bound to remain unchanged forever. While the earlier prophets invariably appealed to their own community and their own time alone, their teachings were, of necessity, circumscribed by the social and intellectual conditions of that particular community and time. Moreover the people to whom they addressed themselves had not yet reached the stage of independent thinking, those prophets stood in need of symbolic portents or miracles in order to make the people concerned realize the inner truth of their mission. The message of the Qur’an, on the other hand, was revealed at a time when mankind (and, in particular, that part of it which inhabited the regions marked by the earlier, Judaeo-Christian religious development) had reached a degree of maturity which henceforth enabled it to grasp an ideology as such without the aid of those persuasive portents and miraculous demonstrations which in the past, only too often gave rise to new, grave misconceptions as Allah points out: “We refrain from sending signs (miracles) only because the men of former generations treated them as false. For example, We sent the she-camel to the people of Thamud - a manifest sign - but they laid violent hands on her. We send the signs only by way of warning, and if people reject the sign after receiving it, they are doomed.”(Qur’an;17:59). The miracles therefore are not the answer for people's rejection of the faith. The history proves that while the people were shown the clearest of signs and miracles and yet they continue to deny Allah and His message. According to tradition of Allah, when ever a community was shown a miracle through their Messenger ‘on their demand’ but they continue to disbelieve, that community was destroyed. That was because they actually condemn themselves to destruction by their continued rejection, there are examples found in history of nations: “Hath not the fame of those before them reached them the people of Noah, A’ad, Thamud, the people of Abraham, the dwellers of Median and the disasters (which befell them)? Their messengers (from Allah) came unto them with proofs (of Allah's sovereignty). So Allah surely wronged them not, but they did wrong themselves.”(Qur’an;9:70).
There are various arguments as proof for the existence of God i.e. ‘Cosmological’, that there must be a First Cause of all things; ‘Teleological’, or the argument from ‘Design’ seen all around the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature; ‘Ontological’, that proceeds from the idea of God to the reality of God. The Moral Argument also called the ‘Anthropological Argument’ is based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose, which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. The Religious experience of existence of God must be understood against the background of a general theory of experience, the reports of the world received through the senses. Qur’an emphasizes the Signs (ayah) of Allah, present all around the world in at every moment in life. One need only to open his mind to observe, what takes place in the universe, in human life, and within himself, but only the people who think and ponder can benefit from them. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Verily in the heavens and the earth are Signs for those who believe”(Qur’an;45:3). Galileo (1564-1642, the Italian mathematician, astronomer, physicist and philosopher, who due to his scientific views was tried through Church), said in 1623: “Philosophy is written in that great book which always lies open before our eyes, the universe. But it cannot be understood unless one learns to understand the language and to know the letters in which it s written. It is written in mathematical (scientific) language and its letters are triangles, circles and other figures. Without these means, it is humanly impossible to understand a word of it and it remains but and idle roaming through an obscure labyrinth”. The faith and reason are inextricably linked, Faith reinforced by reason and reason is propelled by faith. Science is the link between the seen and the unseen between known and the unknown. The unknown cannot be understood without firmly grasping the known. The birth of every child reflect on the process of conception, creation and development of a human being from the moment a female egg is fertilized by a male's sperm to the moment of birth, it continue reflection to encompass human life in this world. The miraculous aspects are so numerous and clear in other aspects of human existence and the world around them that, any one using his intellect is bound to acknowledge them, as the work of God. The fine balance, which Allah has created to make sure that the life continues without one side overwhelming the rest, all this is miraculous! Through the last Messenger (peace be upon him), Allah has provided an extended chance to believe in Him. The means to win over humanity to faith are already in place. He has provided the humanity with perfect guidance embedded in the Qur’an, the miracle of miracles. People only need to approach the Qur’an with clear and open mind to ponder over it rationally, they are bound to accept the logical argument and believe in the message. At any time in man's life there are moments of clear vision. If a person makes use of such a moment, he is sure to accept Allah's guidance and believe in Him.
The Muslims believe that , the miraculous signs (mu’jizat) bestowed on the Prophets are established as true, (they are the works of God, Qur’an;29:50 & 6:109). Ennobling wonders (karamat) are reportedly made manifest through the genuinely pious people (auliya). As for apparently miraculous and wondrous deeds performed by Allah’s enemies, like Iblis, the Pharaoh and the Dajjal, (anti Christ) whatever is mentioned in tradition as having been performed by them in future, is neither miraculous nor wondrous. Rather it is a question of their needs being fulfilled by Allah Most High; this is done in order to lead them toward destruction and to chastise them, they increase in rebelliousness and unbelief. All of the foregoing is possible and contingent upon Allah’s will.
Apart from natural instinctive guidance, Allah due to His Mercy and Justice, bestowed His guidance to the people: “It is not the way of Allah to confound people after He has guided them, until He makes clear to them what they should guard against; surely Allah has the knowledge of everything.”(Qur’an;9:115);“..God draws unto Himself every one who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him”(Qur’an;42:13). The guidance has been provided in the form of Revelations through especially chosen men, the Messengers (Rasool or Nabi). The Hebrew word for prophet is navi`, usually considered to be a loan word from Akkadian nabu, naba`um, "to proclaim, mention, call, summon": The title has a general application to all who have messages from God to men. Some scholars describe that, a Rasool (Messenger) is the Nabi who has delivered the written revelations (scripture). Every Rasool (Messenger) is aslo Nabi, where as every Nabi is not necessarily Rasool. Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been addressed as Rasool (Qur’an;3:144) as well as Rasool and Nabi (Qur’an;7:157,33:40). The English words; ‘Messenger’ and ‘Prophet’ has been used here for both i.e. Rasool or Nabi. The messengers and prophets were sent throughout the history for the guidance of mankind. Allah says: “For We assuredly sent amongst every People a Messenger (with the Command) "Serve Allah and eschew Evil"..”(Qur’an;16:36);“To every people (was sent) a Messenger: when their Messenger comes (before them) the matter will be judged between them with justice and they will not be wronged.”(Qur’an;10:47). Allah says: “And there never was a people, without a Warner having lived among them (in the past)”(Qur’an;35:24). Beginning with the first human and prophet Adam (peace be upon him), there has been many messengers and prophets from Noah (peace be upon him) through Abraham (peace be upon him) for their respective nations. According to Muslim traditions there has been more than 1,24,000 prophets sent to different nations at different times, it includes 315 Rasool (Messenger) granted scriptures (law). Allah says: “We did aforetime send Messengers before thee (O’ Muhammad) : of them there are some whose story We have related to thee and some whose story We have not related to thee” (Qur’an;40:78). Some of the well known Messengers mentioned in Bible and Qur’an are: Adam, Salih (Methuselah), Noah, Idris (Enoch), Hud (Heber), Lut, Abraham (early 2nd Millennium BC), Isma'il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya'qub (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses, 14-13th Century B.C), Harun (Aaron), Shu'aib (Jethro), Shammil (Samuel, 11th Century B.C), Dawud (David, died 962 B.C), Sulaiman (Solomon, 10th Century B.C), Al-Yas'a (Elisha, 9th Century B.C), (Elijah, 9th Century B.C), Shia (Isaiah, 8th Century B.C), Yunus (Jonah, flourished around 785 B.C at Nineveh), Aramaya (Jeremiah, 7-6th Century B.C), Ayyub (Job, the Book of Job, 6-4th Century B.C), Elias, Dhul Kifl, Hizqeel (Ezekiel, 6th Century B.C), Daniel (6th Century B.C), 'Uzair (Ezra, 5th Century B.C, also considered a saint), Zechariah, Yahya (John the Baptist, 1st Century C.E), 'Isa (Jesus, 4 B.C-28-30 C.E) and Muhammad (571-632 C.E) (peace be upon all of them). The status of three pious respectable persons i.e. Luqman (The Wise, sage), Dhul Qarnain (Two Horned Conqueror) and the one, referred as ‘one of his servants’ (Qur’an;18:65), customary called Khizar is unknown.
All the Messengers conveyed good news to mankind and admonished them so that, after conveying the message through the Messengers, people should have no excuse to plead against Allah.(Qur’an;4:165). The Muslims do not discriminate against anyone of His Messengers (Qur’an;2:285) and follow the eternal guidance provided to all of them being the same. Allah says: “(O Muhammad) those were the (prophets) who received Allah's guidance: Follow then their guidance;..”(Qur’an;6:90). The Revelations were protected from the tempering of Satan in transmission (Qur’an;22:52). The Revelations were given in different ways: “it is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration of from behind a veil or by the sending of a Messenger to reveal with Allah's permission what Allah wills: for He is Most High Most Wise”(Qur’an;42:51). Three ways are mentioned: (1) Inspiration (Wahyun); (2) from behind a veil; and (3) by the sending of a Messenger. Angel Gabriel has been mentioned in Bible and Qur’an as messenger (courier) of Revelations: “And the angel answering said unto him (Zechariah), I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.”(Luke;1:19, similarly in Qur’an;2:97, 3:39,81:19; also Daniel; 8:16; 9:21-23; 10:11 & 12:6-7; Isaiah;42:19; Haggai;1:13). It was Gabriel, who announced the birth of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) to the Mary (Luke;1:26-35, Qur’an;3:45 mentions him as an angel). Inspiration, is interpreted to be of two kinds: (1) a suggestion thrown by Allah into the heart of man, by which man understands the substance of the Message, whether it is a command or prohibition, or an explanation of a great truth; and (2) verbal or literal inspiration, by which the actual words of Allah are conveyed in human language. Vision (dream) is also an other method (Qur’an;17:60, 48:27), which is also mentioned in Bible: “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.”(Numbers;12:6);“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram (Abraham) in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”(Genesis;15:1); “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,”(Hebrews;1:1). It is through these forms that God revealed His scriptures to the messengers and prophets, which remained available for the guidance even after the messengers, had left this world. Bible is the sacred book of Christianity, including the books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The first of the two main divisions of the Christian Bible, corresponding to the Hebrew Scriptures, the covenant of God with Israel which is also the sacred book of Judaism containing remnants of Torah, (Law of Moses). As distinguished in Christianity, the New Testament forms the record of the new dispensation belonging to the Church. The gospels are claimed to contain the reveled scripture to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Even the Biblical traditions accept the doubtful authenticity of these books. Previously the messengers were sent for the particular nation or community for particular time. Once a new messenger or prophet came it was obligatory to follow him, denying one messenger means denying all the messengers. Once Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) came, he showed the way to the God, when Jesus (peace be upon him) came, he provided the way. However this system of messengers came to end with the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Muslims while believing in all the previous messengers of God and scriptures, adhere to the message preached by the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and The Qur’an as the final uncorrupted holy scripture not restricted to any particular race but for the guidance of whole humanity, while superceding all the previous scriptures.
Sphere & Traits of Messengers:
Chosen People: The messengers were chosen people of God, who were men of high virtue and character. They remained steadfast in their duties towards Allah and fellow human. They bravely faced opposition and even some times it cost them their lives. They did not err in conveying the message of God to their people and practically demonstrated the implementation of message, thus they were the role model for their respective communities
Messengers are not restricted to a particular race:Contrary to the belief of Israelites, Allah may choose any one as His Messenger whom He may like: “Do not follow anyone except the one who follows your own religion." (O Muhammad), tell them: "The only true guidance is the guidance of Allah." These (people of the Book - Jews & Christians) do not believe that revelation could be sent to anyone besides themselves, like that which has been sent to you; or that they will ever argue with you in the presence of your Lord. Tell them: "For sure, grace is in the hands of Allah: He bestows it on whom He pleases; Allah has boundless knowledge." He chooses for His mercy whom He pleases, Allah is the Owner of mighty grace.(Qur’an;3:73-74); “Possessor of the Highest Rank, the Master of the Throne of Authority sends down the Spirit by His command on those of His servants whom He chooses, that he (the Prophet who received the revelations) may warn mankind of the Day when they shall meet Him.”(Qur’an;40:15 and similarly also at 28:68, 42:13, 16:2).
The messengers were required to convey the message; they were not required to force the people. Allah says: “Obey Allah and obey His messenger; but if ye turn away, then the duty of Our messenger is only to convey (the message) plainly.”(Qur’an;64:12 also 36:17); “O children of Adam! Whenever there come to you Messengers from among you and recite to you My revelations, those who will become righteous and mend their ways will have nothing to fear or to regret;”(Qur’an;7:35). This aspect is further highlighted in Qur’an: "Mankind was one single nation and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book (Jews & Christians) after the clear Signs came to them did not differ among themselves except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace guided the believers to the truth concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guides whom He will to a path that is straight.”(Qur’an;2:213). There are glad tidings for the believers and warning of punishment in hell for disbelievers. 'Who so shall follow My Guidance, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who will disbelieve and treat Our Signs as lies, they shall be the inmates of the fire and they shall abide therein.” (Qur’an;2:39, 40). There is freedom of choice available to man; as such he can not blame any one but himself for making a choice of evil against truth: “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from (way of) error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all hearing, all-knowing”(Qur’an;2:256). The Qur’an alludes to the inevitability of dissension among human beings: in other words, it is the will of God that their way to the truth should be marked by conflicts and trial by error: Allah says: “If We had so Willed We could certainly have imposed Our guidance upon every soul but (We have not willed it thus-and so, to let them exercise freedom of choice) that word of Mine has come true: “Most certainly will fill hell with jinns as well with humans, all together!”. (Qur’an;32:13); “If We wanted, We could send down upon them a sign from the heaven before which they would bend their necks in submission, but that is not what We want.”(Qur’an;26:4); "And if it were Our Will We could make angels from amongst you succeeding each other on the earth.”(Qur’an;43:60); “And Allah doth advance In guidance those who seek guidance..”(Qur’an;19:76);“to you be your religion (Din), and to me mine.”(Qur’an;109:6).
Leaders as Role Model for the Believers: While messengers conveyed the message of guidance, their life was a role model for the believers in execution of commands of God. Mere conveying of revelations are not sufficient, the practical performance of good deeds and worship by a human messengers prove the practicability of the faith. Allah says: “And We made them leaders guiding (men) by Our Command and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds to establish regular prayers and to practice regular charity; and they constantly served Us (and Us only)”( Qur’an;21:73).
Surrendered to God: All the Messengers and Prophets of Allah are to be believed by a faithful Muslim, without any discrimination (Qur’an; 2:136).They preached same religion from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus and by Muhammad (peace be upon them all). They remain steadfast in religion and make no divisions therein. All Messengers came with the same message and the same teachings. It came from one and the same source; the One Allah, and It requires the people to submit to His will, worship no one but Him alone, not to associate partners with Him and to obey His law. Hence they had surrendered themselves to the will of God (in Islam). Later with the passage of time the people misunderstood, misinterpreted and corrupted the Divine message of guidance and got divided in to various groups and sects.
Messengers were mortal humans: Historically there is tendency among the followers of Messengers to exalt the messengers to the level of supernatural being, even sharing divinity thus becoming unbelievers (kafir). This has mainly been due to many factors like, ignoring and misunderstanding the teachings of their Messenger, over enthusiasms in displaying the love and affection to the Messengers. The example of Christians is well known, who made Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Mary as son of God and then a Divine, part of Trinity. The Messenger were endowed with Divine revelations and appointed by Allah to guide their communities among the mankind. They did not possess any divine qualities, however at times they performed miracles (super natural acts) with the grace of Allah as His signs. They were chosen and exalted among the human being as Messenger of Allah, He tells His prophet; “Say: "I am but a human (ana bashar um misl u kum) like yourselves (but) the inspiration has come to me that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord let him work righteousness and in the worship of his Lord admit no one as partner."(Qur’an;18:110). Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) told his people: "I do not say to you, 'I possess the treasures of Allah.' I do not know the unseen, and I do not say 'I am an angel"(Qur’an;11:31). Allah says: “And they (pagans) say: What sort of Messenger (Muhammad) is this who eats food and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him?”(Qur’an;25:7). Allah directed Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is the last among them, to say: "I do not say to you I possess the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say to you I am an angel"(Qur’an;6:50); "I have no power to hurt or benefit you. Say none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge besides Him" (Qur’an;72:91-2). Islam dispels the mythological tendency in strictest terms and declares that all messengers were mortals, human beings: “We did not give them (messenger) bodies which could survive without food, nor were they immortal.”(Qur’an;21:8). Death is inevitable, every human has to die one day, even the prophets were not exempt from bodily death, much less the righteous, but they live in their beneficent work and the memories they leave behind. Allah says: “Every human being is bound to taste death”(Qur’an;3:185,21:35); “Every soul shall taste death, then to Us you shall all return.”(Qur’an;29:57);"We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return."( Qur’an;2:156); “Whosesoever you may be, death will overtake you, even though ye were in lofty towers…”(Qur’an;4:78);“O Prophet (Muhammad), you shall die and they too shall die.”(Qur’an;39:30). During the battle of Uhad (625 C.E), the Muslims got demoralized and started dispersing in panic on hearing the rumor that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been martyred, God declared: “Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain will ye then turn back on your heels? ..”(Qur’an;3:144). The incident which took place at the time of death (632 C.E) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) further elaborate the reality of death and human nature of Prophets. Narrated by Aish’a: Abu Bakr came from his house at As-Sunh on a horse. He dismounted and entered the mosque, but did not speak to the people till he entered upon 'Aish’a and went straight to Allah's Messenger who was covered with Hibra cloth (i.e. a kind of Yemenite cloth). He then uncovered the Prophet's face and bowed over him and kissed him and wept, saying, "Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you. By Allah, Allah will never cause you to die twice. As for the death which was written for you, has come upon you." Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Abu Bakr went out while Umar bin Al-Khattab was talking to the people. Abu Bakr said, "Sit down, O 'Umar!" But 'Umar refused to sit down. So the people came to Abu Bakr and left Umar. Abu Bakr said, "To proceed, if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but if (anyone of) you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die. Allah said: “Muhammad is no more than a Messenger of Allah, like the Messengers that have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed will you turn back on your heels (become unbelievers)? He that turns back on his heels will do no harm to Allah; but Allah will reward the thankful.”(Qur’an;3:144).By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this Verse before till Abu Bakr recited it and all the people received it from him, and I heard everybody reciting it (then). Narrated Az-Zuhri: Said bin Al-Musaiyab told me that 'Umar said, "By Allah, when I heard Abu Bakr reciting it, my legs could not support me and I fell down at the very moment of hearing him reciting it, declaring that the Prophet had died."(Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith: 5.733).
The messengers are among God's blessed servants: He blessed them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of praising and honoring them. He says: “.. Noah, he was a truly thankful servant”(Qur’an;17:3). Allah said about the last messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Blessed be He who sent down the Qur’an to His servant, that he may warn mankind”(Qur’an;25:1). As for some other messengers, he said: "And mention Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might and vision" (Qur’an;38:45); "And remember Our servant David, who was a mighty and penitent man" (Qur’an;38: 17); "And to David, We gave Solomon, he was an excellent and penitent servant" (Qur’an;38:30)."He (Jesus, son of Mary) is only a servant whom We blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel"(Qur’an;43:59). Allah concluded the process of revelations with the final message for the humanity through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah commanded him: “Say, 'O mankind, I am Allah's Messenger to you all. To him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth; there is no god but He. He ordains life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet who believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided”(Qur’an;7:158);“he is also sent for others of them who have not yet joined them (including who live in other ages). He is the Mighty, the Wise”(Qur’an;62:3). There is an implied covenant on all created things to follow Allah's Law, which is the law of their being; But there is a special implied covenant with all prophets, strict and solemn, that they shall carry out their mission, proclaim Allah's Truth without fear or favour, and be ever ready in His service in all circumstances. Allah says: “O Muhammad, remember the Covenant which We took from all the Prophets - from you as well as from Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary-We took from them a solemn Covenant:” (Qur’an;33:7). That gives them their position and dignity, and their tremendous responsibility in respect of the people for whom they came to instruct and lead to the right path.
Endowed with gifts, some above others: Different gifts and different modes of procedure are prescribed to Messengers in different ages. [Perhaps their degrees are different though it is not for mortal human, with their imperfect knowledge to make any difference between one and another of God's Messengers;Qur’an;2:136, 4;152]. Allah says: “Those Messengers we endowed with gifts, some above others: to one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary we gave Clear (Signs), and strengthened Him with the holy spirit. if Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. if Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah fulfilled His plan.”(Qur’an;2:253). Three illustrations are given from the past, how it affected God's Messengers. To Moses God spoke in clouds of glory; he led his men for forty years through the wilderness, mainly fighting against the unbelief of his own people; he organized them to fight with the sword for Palestine, but was raised to God's mercy before his enterprise ripened, and it fell to Prophet Joshua (peace be upon him) to carry out his plan. Prophet David (peace be upon him), though a mere shepherd boy, was chosen by God. He overthrew the greatest warrior of his time, became a king, and waged successful wars. Besides being a prophet, poet and sage, he was an excellent vocalist in reciting the hymns. Prophet Jesus was "strengthened with the holy spirit": he was given no weapons to fight and his mission was of a more limited character. In the mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) all these characters were combined. Gentler than Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), he organized on a vaster scale than Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and from Medina he ruled and gave laws, and the Qur’an has far reaching scope than the Psalms of David (peace be upon him).
Belief in the Messengers of Allah and His revelations in the form of scriptures is appreciation of Allah's mercy and care for His people for sending those great messengers to guide them to the straight path. The prophets, peace and blessings be upon them, are free of all sins, major and minor, of unbelief, and of all that is repugnant. It may be, however, that they apparently commit insignificant lapses and errors in secular matters but not in spiritual matters or faith (din). It is reflection of love and respect of the prophets and their praise what they deserve, because they are Allah's messengers and His choice among His people. They worshipped Allah according to the best of their abilities, conveyed His message to mankind, gave sincere advice to the people, and bore patiently whatever hurt they received. A glance at the life of some prominent messengers of God would further elucidate this aspect.
Prophet Adam (peace be upon him):
Adam and Eve, in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, is the original human couple, parents of the human race. Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was the first human being, who was created from clay to be God's vicegerent on earth, he was exalted by imparting the faculty of wisdom and knowledge. Allah says: “It is we who created you and gave you shape; then we bade the angels bow down to Adam, and They bowed down; not so Iblis; He refused to be of those who bow down. (Allah) said: "What prevented Thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than He: Thou Didst create me from fire (as Jinn), and Him from clay."(Allah) said: "Get Thee down from this: it is not for Thee to be arrogant here: get out, for Thou art of the meanest (of creatures)."He said: "Give me respite till the Day They are raised up." (Allah) said: "Be Thou among those who have respite. "He (Iblis) said: "Because Thou hast thrown me out of the way, Lo! I will lie In wait for them on Thy straight way: "Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor wilt Thou find, In Most of them, gratitude (for Thy mercies)."(Allah) said: "Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. if any of them follow thee,- Hell will I fill with you all.”(Qur’an;7:11-18). Subsequently Iblis tempted Adam and his "wife" in the Garden to eat of the forbidden fruit. Allah then sent them down on earth, where their progeny were doomed to live as enemies; but, being Merciful, Allah offered Adam and his progeny eternal guidance if they would follow only Him, not Satan. The total submission and obedience to Allah (Islam) would be rewarded on the Day of Judgment. Christian theologians developed the doctrine of original sin based on the story of their transgression; in contrast, the Qur’an teaches that Adam and Eve’s sin was their individual act, which was forgiven by God due to their repentance, hence it did not make the humanity as sinners by birth. Adam taught his progeny to obey and worship one God. According to Islamic traditions, Adam built the first house of worship of Allah at Ka’ba. The Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) had left his progeny in a state of social and moral health but gradually they began to forget the teachings of Allah and adopted the evil path of Satan and indulged in corruption and depravity. They became mean, evil-doers and greedy. They cheated and hurt one another, began to worship idols and forgot to pray to Almighty Allah. The entire society had been split up into different sections and this state of affairs gave birth to oppression and injustice. The Iblis (Satan) continue to misguide the people who follow him, however Satan does not have any authority over the devotees of God (Qur’an;15:42).
Prophet Noah (peace be upon him):
Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) is the well known Messenger of God after Adam. Qur’an refers to the narrative of Noah at many places to serve as a warning and lesson for the rebellious non believers: “We sent Noah and Abraham, and bestowed among their descendants Prophethood and the Book. Some of them adopted the right guidance, but most of them were transgressors. After them We sent other Messengers, one after the other, and followed them with Jesus the son of Mary. We gave him The Gospel, and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers…... Yet We rewarded those among them who were true believers, but most of them are transgressors.”(Qur’an;57:26-27). Qur’an gives account of Noah at Chapter;11:25-49 and at other places. Allah, the Most Merciful, wanted the people to be guided on true path. According to the Qur’anic narrative Noah, was sent as a messenger for the guidance of his nation: “We sent Noah to his people. Noah said: "I have come to warn you plainly,”(Qur’an;11:25, also at 11:30, 38:12, 71:1). He preached the obedience and worship of one God to this people for very long period but few followed him, the majority ridiculed him. Consequently Almighty Allah destroyed the unbelievers through great floods except Noah and few believers, rescued in the ark along with pairs of animal species. Thus Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) becomes the father of larger part of humanity after prophet Adam (peace be upon him).
According to Bible, Noah appears in Genesis;5:29 as the son of Lamech and ninth in descent from Adam. After destruction of rebellious people through great floods, the entire surviving human race descended from Noah's three sons; Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After the floods, God renewed His commands given at creation but with two changes: man could now kill animals and eat meat, and the murder of a man would be punished by men. The Biblical version is almost identical to the Islamic account with some exceptions of blasphemous narratives which have been usually incorporated by the Israelites to degrade most of the pious messengers and prophets of God (Genesis;Chapter5-15, likewise Prophet Lot has been dishonored shamefully at Genesis;19:30-38). The cultivation of the vine is attributes, to Noah, and the shameless drunkenness of Noah does not accord well with the character of the pious Messenger of God. Noah's drunkenness and the disrespect it provokes in his son Ham, (or Canaan) result in Noah's laying of a curse on Ham and his descendants(Geneses;9:20-27) is nothing but character assassination of Noah. The messengers are not ordinary people, they are specially chosen by God to deliver and practically demonstrate the implementation of message, thus they are the role model for their community. Any indecent act does not behoove well with their sacred assignment.
Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim, peace be upon him) is estimated to have lived in early 2nd Millennia B.C (around 1800 BC) at Ur (Mesopotamia) Iraq. He is the common ancestor and spiritual leader of Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, also revered by people of other faiths. He discovered the existence of One God through his intellect, thought process and with grace of God. Allah says: “So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth that he might (with understanding) have certitude. When the night covered him over he (Abraham) saw a star: he said: "this is my Lord!" But when it set he said: "I love not those that set." When he saw the moon rising in splendor He said: "This is my Lord!" but when the moon set he said: "Unless my Lord guide me I shall surely be among those who go astray." When he saw the sun rising in splendor he said: "This is my Lord! this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set he said: "O my people! I am (now) free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah. "For me I have set my face firmly and truly toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."(Qur’an;6:75-79);“And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.”(Genesis:15:6). Once he was appointed the Messenger of Allah, he was blessed with special favours. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) invited the people to Islam (submission to one God):" When his people started arguing with him, he told them: "Will you argue with me about Allah, whereas He Himself has guided me? I do not fear those whom you take for gods besides Him, none can harm me unless my Lord so wills, the knowledge of my Lord encompasses everything, why don't you get admonition?(Qur’an;6:80). Allah says: "It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong that are (truly) in security for they are on (right) guidance. That was the reasoning about Us which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.”(Qur’an;6:82-83).
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was successful in the trial, he was childless, he was granted sons at old age, Ishmael, from his second wife Hager, and later Isaac (Ishaq) from his first wife Sara. According to an Islamic tradition he left Ishmael at Makka while he was older enough. The other tradition narrates that he had to leave the infant Isma’il and his mother at a far off place in desert (Makka). They miraculously survived due to water of spring (Zamzam). Abraham's faith was so great that later he went to obey God's com­mand to sacrifice his only son (Ishmael), however at the last minute; God permitted him to substitute a ram. Muslim tradition identifies the son to be sacrificed as Ishmael (Biblical traditions claim, Isaac). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) again came to Makka to rebuilt the first house of Allah, Ka’ba with Isma’il as a sign of God's covenant with them and established the rituals of pilgrimage (Hajj). Allah says: “And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower.”(Qur’an;2:127).
A controversy has raged between the followers of the Bible and the adherents of Islam as to which of the sons of Abraham, Ishmael or Isaac was offered as a sacrifice. It is important to note that, a peculiar sanctity was attached to the first-born both of man and of cattle among people right since the time of Adam, it was especially of great importance among the Israelites. God claimed that the first-born males of man and of animals should be consecrated to him, the one as a priest (Exodus;19:22,24), representing the family to which he belonged, and the other to be offered up in sacrifice (Geneis;4:4). The laws concerning this redemption of the first-born of man are recorded in Exodus;13:12-15; 22:29; 34:20; Numbers;3:45; 8:17; 18:16 and Leviticus;12:2,4. Even the first-fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the first-born of man and animals. Ishmael, without any doubt was first born son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). The Bible is quite clear in designating the offering: “He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."(Genesis;22:2). If at anytime, an offspring of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) can be described as "thine only son: it could only be Ishmael, because for more than thirteen years, he was the only son and seed of Abraham. God Almighty acknowledges Ishmael as the "son and seed" of Abraham in no less than twelve places in the Book of Genesis alone. At no time was Isaac the only son and seed of Abraham. The false pen of the scribe was in the hand of the Hebrews who edited the Books of Moses, as the prophet Jeremiah lament: “How do ye say, We are wise, and the law (the Torah) of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribe is in vain.”(Jeremiah;8:8). When the Hebrews are found to convert an Israelite into an Ishmaelite when no motives are involved, then how much easier for them to change the word "you only son Ishmael" to : your only son Isaac!"
Covenant and Iniquitous Decedents: Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is the original monotheist in the known history, purifier of God's house, builder of the Ka’ba, and a Muslim (having surrendered to the will of God), who preached against idolatry and sin. The scripture of revelations to Abraham is mentioned in Qur’an;53:36-37 & 87:18-19, which is now extinct, though ‘Testament of Abraham’ had been popular among Christians. He destroyed the idols and survived attempt by the king to burn him alive. After successful trials he was rewarded by God for his faith and given a position of spiritual lead­ership of the mankind, to be passed down to his descendants, excluding the wrong doers (Qur’an;2:124). Allah says: “Do they, perchance, envy other people for what God has granted them out of His bounty? But then, We did grant revelation and wisdom unto the House of Abraham (aal Ibraahem- Descendants), and We did bestow on them a mighty dominion:”(Qur’an;4:54). The descendants obviously include the progeny of Ishmael and Isaac (peace be upon them). The claim of the children of Israel as “Chosen People of God” by virtue of their decent from Abraham, who was made “a leader of mankind” by God, was totally negated. God makes it clear that the exalted status of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was not something that would automatically confer a comparable status on this physical descendants, and definitely not on the sinners among them. God also took solemn pledge from the Children of Israel and those call themselves as Christians, but they broke it. Allah says: ““Remember Allah's favor to you and the covenant by which He bound you to Himself when you said: "We hear and we obey." Have fear of God; surely God knows the secrets of your hearts.”(Qur’an;5:7); “God accepted a covenant from the Children of Israel and appointed twelve chieftains from among them and said: "I am with you; if you establish Prayers (Salah) pay Alms (Zakah), believe in My Messengers, support them and give a generous loan to Allah (spend in charity), I will wipe out from you your evils and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; However, if any one of you, after this, violates this covenant, he will indeed go astray from the Right Way. Even after that, they broke their covenant; as a result, We laid on them Our curse and hardened their hearts. They tempered with words out of their context and neglected much of what they were enjoined. You will always find most of them deceitful except for a few of them. Yet forgive them and overlook their misdeeds. Allah loves those who are kind to others.”(Qur’an;5:12-13). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) settled at Palestine, he died at very old age and was buried in Hebron, near Jerusalem.
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was the true faithful, Allah says: “And who, unless he be weak of mind, would want to abandon Abraham's creed, seeing that We have indeed raised him high in this world, and that, verily, in the life to come he shall be among the righteous? When his Sustainer said to him, "Surrender thyself unto Me!"-he answered, "I have surrendered myself unto [Thee,] the Sustainer of all the worlds." And this very thing did Abraham bequeath unto his children, and [so did] Jacob: when he said: "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you this way of life (Deen), therefore, die not unless you have surrendered yourself un to Him. “Nay, but you [yourselves, O children of Israel,] bear witness that when death was approaching Jacob, he said unto his sons: "Whom will you worship after I am gone?" They answered: "We will worship thy God, the God of thy forefathers Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, the One God; and unto Him w1ll we surrender ourselves.”(Qur’an;2:130-133).
The Biblical Account:
The narrative of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is given in the book of Genesis, chapter 12 to 36. The childless septuagenarian receives promises. He gets a son, Ishmael, by Hagar, given to him as his wife by his wife Sara: “And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.”(Genesis:16:3). Out of jealously Sara forces her to leave with young son Ishmael in to wilderness, where angel appears to tell her: “Arise, lift up the lad (Ishmael), and hold him in thy hand. For I will make him a great nation.”(Genesis:21:18). (According to a Muslim traditions, infant Ishmael along with his mother Hagar was left in the wilderness at Makka, an uninhabited place at that time, who subsequently become the ancestor of Arabs. Muhammad, peace be upon him, the last Prophet, belongs to the progeny of Ishmael.) 
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is awarded with a covenant from God that his "seed" will inherit the land and become a numerous nation: “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.”(Genesis;17:7-10); “And God said, Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Genesis;17:19-22).
At the age of 100 years, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) gets a son Isaac, by Sarah, who is to be the heir of the promise. Yet Abraham is ready to obey God's command to sacrifice Isaac, a test of his faith, which he is not required to consummate in the end because God substitutes a ram. [Muslim traditions and internal evidence from Bible about age of child and timings support that it was Ishmael not Isaac]. At Sarah's death, he purchases the cave of Machpelah near Hebron, together with the adjoining ground, as a family burying place. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) dies at the age of 175 and buried in the cave of Machpelah (Genesis;25:9). This place is venerated today in Hebron, at the Haram al-Khalil (Holy Place of the Friend), under the mosque. Abraham is pictured in Bible with various characteristics: a righteous man, with wholehearted commitment to God; a man of peace (in settling a boundary dispute with his nephew Lot), compassionate (he argues and bargains with God to spare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah), and hospitable (he welcomes three visiting angels); a quick-acting warrior as he rescued Lot and his family from a raiding party, however on his return from this expedition, Abraham is honored by Melchizedek, a personality with unique characteristics, portrayed by Bible, even superior to Adam and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him): “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever. See how great he is! Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of the spoils.”(Hebrews;7:1-4); “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”(Genesis;14:18-20). “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”(Psalms;110:4). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is also depicted as giving wrong statement to save his own skin: “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister. And Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”(Geneses;20:2). The incidence of Abraham passing off Sarah as his sister and letting her be picked by the Egyptian pharaoh for his harem, but she miraculously returns unmolested due to her piety and prayers accepted by God, with Hagar given as gift, has also been Narrated by Abu Hurairah in Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith 3.420 & 4.578. Overall Abraham appears as both a man of great spiritual depth and strength and a person with common human weaknesses and needs.
Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him):
According to Islamic traditions, Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him), the first born son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was left in wilderness (now known as Makka), as an infant along with his mother Hagar. Abraham invoked Almighty Allah: “0 our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House (the Ka’ba at Mecca); in order, 0 our Lord, that they may offer prayers perfectly , so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (0 Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. 0’ our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah.”(Qur’an;14:37-38). The biblical narrative is some what different, but it mentions: “And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was eighty-six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.”(Genesis;16:15-16), “And the angel of the LORD said unto her (Hager), I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.”(Genesis;16:10-11). “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”(Genesis;13:18), “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” (Genesis;17:20), “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”(Genesis;16:12).
The whole land of Arabia appears (Genesis;10:1-32) to have been inhabited by a variety of tribes of different lineage, Ishmaelites, Arabians, Idumeans, Horites, and Edomites; but at length becoming amalgamated, they came to be known by the general designation of Arabs. The modern nation of Arabs is predominantly Ishmaelite (decedents of Ishmael or Isma’il), their language Arabic, is the most developed and the richest of all the Semitic languages, and is of great value to the student of Hebrew. Isma’il was also a messenger of God (Qur’an;19:54). He willingly offered himself to be sacrificed in obedience to the command of Allah to his father Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), who was asked to offer the sacrifice of his ‘only son’ as mentioned at Genesis;22:2. Isaac was 13 years younger to Ishmael, hence he can not be called as only son of Abraham. Allah accepted the gesture of Abraham and substituted ram instead (Qur’an;37:102-107). Ishmael helped his father Abraham in building the Ka’ba (Qur’an;2:127). He called the people around (Arabia) to prayer and charity. Isma’il became the ancestor of Arabs. Allah says: “We blessed him (Abraham) and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.”(Qur’an;37:1130). Once the progeny of Abraham through his second son Isaac deviated from the faith of Abraham, after two and half millennium, God shifted the honor of “Leadership of Mankind” to the decedents of Ishmael by appointing Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His last messenger (610 C.E).
Prophet Isaac (peace be upon him):
Prophet Isaac (Ishaq, peace be upon him) the second son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was born from his first wife Sarah at the old age, as special blessings from God. He was father of Esau and Prophet Jacob (Yaqub, peace be upon him), who is also known as Israel. Twelve Hebrew tribes, descended from the twelve sons of Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him), and they became to be known as the Israelites. Prophet Jacob had settled at Hebron (Palestine) where his father Prophet Isaac and before him Prophet Abraham lived. For almost next fifteen hundred years God kept on sending messengers in the progeny of Jacob (Israel), Jesus (peace be upon him) being the last. As mentioned above the Biblical traditions attribute the offer of sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, where as Islamic traditions ascribe it to Ishmael.
Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him):
Jacob (called Ya'aqov in Hebrew and Ya'qub in Arabic, also called Israel) was a great messenger of Allah, Hebrew patriarch who was the grandson of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), the son of Isaac and Rebekah. He is the traditional ancestor of the people of Israel. Allah says: “And we gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation, and We granted him his reward in this life; and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the Righteous.”(Qura’n;29:27). Stories about Jacob in the Bible commence at Genesis;25:19. Jacob was the younger twin brother of Esau, who was the ancestor of Edom and the Edomites. It is narrated in Bible that Jacob, by means of an elaborate double deception, managed to obtain his older brother's birthright from their father Isaac. Jacob then fled his brother's wrath, during journey Jacob received a special revelation from God; God promised Jacob lands and numerous offspring that would prove to be the blessing of the entire Earth. Jacob named the place where he received his vision Beth-el ("House of God"). Then is the story of his love with cousin Rachel and substitution of her elder sister Leah, for Rachel by their father Laban at the wedding ceremony. Thus he was compelled to serve Laban for another seven years to get his beloved Rachel as his wife. Jacob then set out with his wives and children to return to Palestine. On the way Jacob wrestled with a mysterious stranger, a divine being, who changed Jacob's name to Israel, Bible narrates: “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, said he, I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”(Genesis;32:24-30) [Jacob wrestling with God and prevailing, is inconceivable!]
The story continues in Bible, Jacob then met his brother Esau, reconciled and settled in Canaan. Jacob had 13 children, 10 of whom were founders of tribes of Israel. Leah bore him his only daughter, Dinah, and six sons--Reuben, Simeon, Levi (who did not found a tribe, but was the ancestor of the Levites), Judah (from whom a tribe and the Davidic monarchy were descended), Issachar, and Zebulun. Leah's maidservant, Zilpah, bore him Gad and Asher, and Rachel's maidservant, Bilhah, bore him Dan and Naphtali. [The children born through maidservants of wives of Jacob are not dealt with contempt in line with the prevalent custom, where as in case of Ishmael, born from Hager, the prejudice and dichotomy of Israelites is too palpable.] Rachel's sons were Benjamin and Joseph (who did not found a tribe, but whose sons founded the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim). The story of Jacob's later years more properly belongs to the story of Joseph, who became a virtual ruler of Egypt under the King. Late in his life, a famine prompted Jacob and his sons to migrate to Egypt, where he was reunited with his son Joseph, who had disappeared some years before, due to mischief of his jealous brothers. According to Bible, Jacob (Israel) died in Egypt at the age of 147 years and was buried in Canaan at Hebron. The stories about Jacob's birth and his acquisition of the birthright (Genesis 25:19-34; 27) provide a thinly veiled apology for the relation between Edom (Esau) and Israel in Davidic times. Edom, the older nation, was made subject to Israel by David (2 Samuel;8:8). The stories of Jacob assume and emphasize that all things occur by divine design. The divine objective is of overriding significance; it is God's will that Esau (Edom) shall live in the desert and be subject to Israel. Qur’an addresses his decedents as ‘Children of Israel’. Like Abraham, Jacob also advised his progeny to be obedient to God: “And this was the Legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "O my sons! God hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the state of submission (to God).”(Qura’n;2:132).
Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him):
Prophet Joseph (Yusuf), peace be upon him, was the favorite son of Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him). In the early age Joseph was cast into slavery due to jealousy of his brothers. The Hebrews version of narrative of Joseph is given at in Bible (Genesis;Chapters:37-50). Qur’an mentions about his story at Chapter 12, named as ‘Yousaf’ (Joseph). According to Qur’an: “There is a lesson in these stories of former people for the men of understanding. This story of Joseph revealed in the Qur’an is not an invented tale, but a confirmation of previous scriptures - a detailed exposition of all things, and is a guidance and blessing for the people who believe.”(Qura’n;12:111).The Qur’anic story is similar to but not identical with the Biblical story however the atmosphere is widely different. The Biblical story is like a folk tale in which morality has no place. Its tendency is to exalt the clever and financially minded Hebrew against the Egyptians, and to explain certain ethnic and tribal peculiarities in later Israeli history. Joseph is shown as buying up all the cattle and the land of the poor Egyptians for the state under the stress of famine conditions, and making the Israelites “rulers” over Pharaoh’s cattle [Historically it is proved that they were Hyksos Kings, of Semites origin and not Egyptian Pharaohs: Qur’an rightly mentions them as king, and in case of Moses Pharaohs.] The Qur’anic story on the other hand is less a narrative than a highly spiritual sermon of allegory explaining the seeming contradictions in life, the enduring nature of virtues in a world full of flux and change, and the marvelous working of God’s eternal purposes in His Plan unfolded on the wide canvas of history.
Allah says: “Verily in Joseph and his brethren are Signs (or Symbols) for Seekers (after Truth).”(Qura’n;12:7), “When Joseph attained his full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.”(Qura’n;12:22). Joseph was a handsome man, the wife of his master, (Egyptian high official-Aziz) tried to seduce him but being a chosen servant of God, he remained steadfast, and did not give in to evil temptations. Despite his innocence he had to spend years in jail, till taken out honorably. Through God gifted ability of interpretation of dreams, prophesies, prophetic wisdom, honesty, chastity and good management abilities he became trusted ad­viser of Hyksos King of Egypt: “Thus did we give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of Our mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.”(Qura’n;12:56). He saved the people from starvation during the famine with good management. Joseph adhered to the faith of his ancestors and preached to his people as a prophet. He forgave his brothers and used his ac­quired position in Egypt to save them and his father from famine. He is quoted as an example of generosity, mercy, patience, chastity, compassion, and faith in God's control over events in life. Some Israelites settled in Egypt during this period. The Hyksos kings belonged to the Arab race, but had migrated from Palestine and Syria to Egypt in or about 2000 B.C. and taken possession of the country. Being aliens, they were not hostile to the Israelis. Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him) and his sons went down into Egypt (Genesis;45:17-25). This immigration took place probably about 350 years before period of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) (may be, around 1650 B.C). The Israelis prospered until the Hyksos Kings were deposed in Egypt (1570 BC), thereafter once their influence in the court diminished, Israelites were persecuted as aliens and forced into slavery. It was Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), who delivered his people from Egyptian slavery in 13th Century B.C to be later reunited with other Hebrew tribes with whom they retained a sense of kinship.
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is among the most prominent great prophets of Allah, He says: “Also mention In the Book (the story of) Moses: for He was specially chosen, and He was a Messenger (and) a prophet.”(Qur’an;19:51). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) who lived around 13th century B.C. played an important role to keep the torch of Monotheism (tawhid) alight after Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). He was named Moshe or Moses, being "Saved from the water" (Exodus;2:10), as his mother had to put him in water to save his life from being killed by soldiers of Pharaoh, who oppressed and persecuted the Israelites. The lives of Israelites were made bitter with hard bondage, and "all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor" (Exodus;1:13-14). Allah says: “Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our Signs and authority manifest”(Qur’an;23:45). Prophet Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) had a dual mission: Firstly for Pharaoh and his Court, which failed because of their rebelliousness, Secondly to the Israelites, for whom the Law was received on Mount Sinai, but they repeatedly rebelled against Allah. “And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the criterion (between right and wrong) there was a chance for you to be guided aright.”(Qur’an;2:53). Qur’an, directly referrers to Moses at least seventy two times. Nine miracles were awarded to him by Allah: “And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses.”(Qur’an;17:101). In both cases there were miracles ("Clear Signs") and other proofs which showed that they came at Allah's command and were inspired by His authority.
Narrative in Qur’an:
The Qur’an records that Moses, in infancy having been placed in a basket in the Nile, to save his life, because the male children of Israelites were killed on the orders of Egyptian Pharaoh (Qur’an;20:39). He was picked up by wife of Pharaoh, she adopts him, hence he is brought up in the house of Pharaoh, while his mother was employed to suckle the child (Qur’an;28:9, 28:7, 13);“When He reached full age, and was firmly established (in life), we bestowed on Him wisdom and knowledge: for Thus do we reward those who do good.”(Qur’an;28:14);“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.”(Acts;7:22). One day he unintentionally killed an Egyptian who was involved in a scuffle with an Israeli. He repented, and was forgiven by God (Qur’an;28:16) He had to escape to Median to save himself. In the wilderness he helped two women to water their flock. Later their old father offered one of his daughters for marriage, if Moses serve him for 8 or ten years, which he accepted. (Qur’an;28:27,28). Upon completion of stipulated period of service, while traveling with his family in the wilderness, Moses saw bushfire, (Qur’an;28:29) where God spoke to him (Qur’an;27:28, 20:12) and chose him as His messenger (Qur’an;20:13, 17:21). God granted him miracles like staff turning to serpent (Qur’an;20:20, 31:28) and shining hand (Qur’an;20:22, 28:32). Moses was asked to go to Pharaoh, the people of iniquity (Qur’an;26:10,11) who had transgressed the bounds (Qur’an;76:17,20:24) and ask him if he wish to be purified (Qur’an;79:18). Moses was afraid and hesitant (Qur’an;20:45), God assured him that He was with him (Qur’an;20:46). Moses accepted the assignment with request for assistance from his brother Aaron (Qur’an;20:29, 20:30,28:34), which was granted (Qur’an;20:36,42, 28:35). God asked them: “So go ye both to him (Pharaoh) and say, 'Verily we are Messengers sent by Thy Lord: send forth, therefore, the Children of Israel with us, and afflict them not: with a Sign, indeed, have we come from Thy Lord! and peace to all who follow guidance! 'Verily it has been revealed to us that the penalty (awaits) those who reject and turn away.'"(Qur’an;20:47-48). They went to Pharaoh and invited him to the way of Lord (Qur’an;20:49,50, 20: 53, 40: 41,43). Pharaoh demanded token (miracle), (Qur’an;7:106) Moses showed him the miracle of staff turning to serpent and shining hand (Qur’an;7:107) but Pharaoh argued, he denied the Miracles, calling them sorcery (Qur’an;10:76,17:101,27:13), he also called Moses as mad man (Qur’an;26:27). In a public gathering Moses encountered with the court magicians, their tricks failed miserably in front of the miracles performed by Moses (Qur’an;20:58, 59,26:38,39, 7:115-119, 20:66, 26:45). The magicians believed in Moses despite threats by Pharaoh (Qur’an;7:120-121, 20:70). Even after repeated calamities like spread of plagues, famine, floods, locusts, vermin, frogs, blood, Pharaoh did not let the Israelites go. (Qur’an;7:103,130, 133). They deserved to be destroyed, Allah says: “We sent an inspiration to Moses: "Travel by night with My servants, and strike a dry path for them through the sea, without fear of being overtaken (by Pharaoh) and without (any other) fear." (Qur’an;20:77). Finally God miraculously created passage through the sea for the Israelites, but when Pharaoh followed them, the sea closed (Qur’an;20:78) destroying Pharaoh's and his army (Qur’an;2:50,7:136). Pharaoh believed in the God of Moses when he saw death, but it was too late (Qur’an;10:90). His body was preserved as a sign, (Qur’an;10:92, 69:12) which was discovered intact during last century and is lying in museum. [This motivated Dr.Maurice Bucaille, a French medical doctor, to study Qur’an and then writing his famous book: ‘The Bible, The Qur’an and Science’].
The Israelites after having lived under slavery for long were influenced by the paganism, Allah says: “We took the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea. They came upon a people devoted entirely to some idols which they had. They said: "O Moses! Fashion for us a god like unto the gods they have." He said: "Surely ye are a people without knowledge.”(Qur’an;7:138). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) spent forty days on the mountain in the worship of Lord, before leaving he said to his brother Aaron: “take my place among the people. Do right, and follow not the way of mischief makers.”(Qur’an;7:142). But the Israelites started worship of calf during this period (Qur’an;51:2), though Aaron opposed it (Bible blames Aaron as well) but they did not listen : “Aaron had already, before This said to them: "O My people! ye are being tested In this: for Verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey My command." They had said: "We will not abandon This cult, but we will devote ourselves to it until Moses returns to us." (Qur’an;20:90-91). “When Moses came back to His people, angry and grieved, He said: "Evil it is that ye have done In My place In My absence: did ye make haste to bring on the Judgment of your Lord?" And he cast down the tablets, and he seized his brother by the (the hair of) head, dragging him toward him.
Aaron said: "Son of My mother! The people did indeed reckon me As naught, and went near to slaying me! make not the enemies rejoice over My misfortune, nor count Thou me amongst the people of sin." Moses prayed: "O My Lord! Forgive me and My brother! Admit us to Thy mercy! For Thou art the Most Merciful of those who Show mercy!" (Qur’an;7:150-151). It is mentioned that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) put down the Tablets, it is not told that the Tablets were broken: “When Mosses’ anger calmed down he took up the Holy Tablets in whose writing there was guidance and mercy for those that fear their Lord” (Qur’an;7:154). This verse indicates that the Tablets were intact. They contained Allah's Message. There is a touch of disrespect (if not blasphemy) in supposing that Allah's Messenger broke the Tablets in his incontinent rage, as is stated in the Old Testament: "Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and brake them beneath the Mount." (Exodus;32:19). On this point and also on the point that Aaron (in the Old Testament story) ordered the gold to be brought, made a molten calf, fashioned it with a graving tool, and built an altar before the calf (Exdodus;32:2-5, Psalms;106:19).
The Qur’anic version differs from that of the Old Testament. The Qur’an does not accuse Aaron of having actually participated in making or worshipping the golden calf; his guilt consisted in having remained passive in the face of his, people's idolatry for fear of causing a split among them (Qur’an;20:92-94). It is un-believable that Aaron, who was appointed by Allah to assist Moses as Allah's Messenger, could descend so low as to seduce the people into idolatry, whatever his human weaknesses might be. Moses was but human remembering the charge he had given to Aaron (Qur’an;7:142) he had a just grievance at the turn events had taken. But he did not wreak his vengeance on the Tablets of Allah's law by breaking them. He laid hands on his brother, and his brother at once explained. Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) fulfilled his duty as messenger of God, Allah says: “We gave Moses the Holy Book (Torah) and the criterion of right and wrong so that you might be rightly guided. Remember when Moses returned with the Divine Book he said to his people: "O my people! You have indeed grievously wronged yourselves by taking the calf for worship; so turn in repentance to your Creator and slay the culprits among you; that will be best for you in His sight." He accepted your repentance; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur’an;2:53-54).
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) desired to see God: “When Moses came to the place appointed by us, and His Lord addressed him, He said: "O My Lord! Show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee." Allah said: "By no means canst Thou see me (direct); but look upon the mount; if it abide In its place, then shalt Thou see me." when His Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it As dust and Moses fell down In a swoon. When He recovered His senses He said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn In repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (Allah) said: "O Moses! I have chosen Thee above (other) men, by the mission I (have given thee) and the words I (have spoken to thee): take then the (revelation) which I give thee, and be of those who give thanks.” (Qur’an;7:143-144). The Israelites also insisted to see God: “And remember ye said: "O Moses! we shall never believe In Thee until we see Allah manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting Even As ye looked on.” (Qur’an;2:55); “And Moses chose seventy of His people for Our place of meeting: when They were seized with violent quaking, He prayed: "O My Lord! if it had been Thy will Thou couldst have destroyed, long before, both them and Me: wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? This is no more than Thy trial: by it Thou causest whom Thou wilt to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thou wilt into the right path. Thou art Our Protector: so forgive us and give us Thy mercy; for Thou art the best of those who forgive.” (Qur’an;7:155); “Then we raised you up after you had been as dead: so that you might have cause to be grateful.” (Qur’an;2:56).
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) lead the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai. They received Manna and Salwa, the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness (Exodus;16:15-35, Qur’an;2:57) and water for each tribe (Qur’an;2:60). The Israelites got fed up with Manna-Salwa and demanded the fresh vegetables (Qur’an;2:61) Moses asked; 'Would you exchange the better for the worse? If that's what you want go back to some city; there you will find what you have asked for. Moses, continued to lead his people and urged them to conquer the promised land (Qur’an;5:21,23). The spies informed about the strong people there, but the God fearing among them urged to attack from front for victory and put trust upon Allah, but Israelites refused to proceed against the strong opponents : “They said: "O Moses! While they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and Thy Lord, and Fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch). He (Moses) said: "O My Lord! I have power only over Myself and My brother: so separate us from This rebellious people!" Allah said: "Therefore will the land be out of their reach for forty years: In distraction will They wander through the land: but sorrow Thou not over these rebellious people.” (Qur’an;5:24-26). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) died until they reached the edge of Canaan, however as directed by God, Moses, before his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with authority over the people as his successor (Deutronomy;31:23).
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) has the great honour and privilege, God revealed Torah to him:“ Moses Allah spoke direct” (Qur’an;14:164) , hence he is also referred as (Kaleem Allah). Almighty God told Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) about coming of Muhammad (peace be upon him): "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not harken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him" (Deuteronomy;18:18,19). Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have many common aspects. With the spread of Islam, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) became admired figure throughout the Muslim world. Today, some thirty three centuries after he lived, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is honored by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, and is even respected by many agnostics.
How much Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was revered by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is evident from a Tradition, Narrated by Abu Hurairah: “Two persons, a Muslim and a Jew, quarreled. The Muslim said, "By Him Who gave Muhammad superiority over all the people!" The Jew said, "By Him Who gave Moses superiority over all the people!" At that the Muslim raised his hand and slapped the Jew on the face. The Jew went to the Prophet and informed him of what had happened between him and the Muslim. The Prophet sent for the Muslim and asked him about it. The Muslim informed him of the event. The Prophet said, "Do not give me superiority over Moses, for on the Day of Resurrection all the people will fall unconscious and I will be one of them, but I will be the first to gain consciousness, and will see Moses standing and holding the side of the Throne (of Allah). I will not know whether (Moses) has also fallen unconscious and got up before me, or Allah has exempted him from that stroke."(Sahih, Al-Bukhari Hadith:3.594).
In general, there are three major achievements attributed to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). First, it is quite clear that the monotheism (Islam-submission to One God) preached by Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), would have diminished had it not been for Moses, and he unquestionably played the crucial role in its preservation and transmission. Second, the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), which are often referred to as the “Five Books of Moses”, and which constitute the Jewish Torah attributed to Moses (the original scriptures are believed to be divinely revealed).
These books include the Mosaic Code, the set of laws which in principle governed the conduct of the Israelites in biblical times, and which include the Ten Commandments. The Torah as a whole and the Ten Commandments in particular have had the enormous influence on the three Abrahamic faiths. However, most biblical scholars agree that the books as available at present were apparently written by several authors, and the great bulk of the material was not put into writing until considerably after Moses’ death. Third, he is credited with being the political figure who led the Jews in the Exodus from Egypt. He could not lead them to enter the holy land (Jerusalem) because the people of Israel lacked in courage and faith, Moses remonstrated with them. The rebellious Israelites after having spent forty years in he wilderness crossed the Jordan opposite what is now Jericho, but by that time Prophet Moses, Aaron (peace be upon them) and the whole of the elder generation had died. If Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had not taken them out of Egypt, they would have continued to suffer the humiliation of slavery.The idea of one true God, which Moses believed in and preached so passionately, has eventually spread through a large part of the world. In this, of course, lies his greatest importance, since Christianity and Islam, the two largest religions in the world, are both rooted to Abrahamic monotheism.
Biblical Narrative:
Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is the central figure, not only of the Pentateuch (Five books of Torah) but of the Old Testament. The Hebrews version of narrative of Moses mentioned in Bible is generally identical; mostly it is in the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy with some distortions. He is the central figure because he stands at the source that became the norm for the whole religion of Israel. This central importance however has not served to keep a clear picture of his person and work. Rather it has been obscured in history. There seems to be a paradox under his name, authority and personal achievements, which placed the whole later development of the religious institutions of Israel, the law and the cult; but from strictly historical point of view, it appears that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is not the author of the Pentateuch as available now. The originals seem to be lost in the long checkered history of Israelites. He is called the ‘Servant of God’ not simply in the sense being a loyal adorer of Yahweh, but above all because he was chosen instrument of God, the realization of His design for salvation. Numbers;12:6-8 underscores the more direct link that God wished to create with Moses and which is not seen in other personages who might have the same title: “My servant Moses, throughout my house he bears my trust, face to face I speak to him (Number;12:7,8). In this too lies the distinction between Moses and the other prophets through whom the word of God comes. Because of his constant intercession on behalf of the people Moses is also listed in the category of priests (Psalms;99:6-8, 106:23, Jermiah;15:1). Finally as legislator he appears above all in the post–exilic books with evident reference to the Pentateuch.
In the New Testament Moses is seen in the light of Christ. He prefigured Christ, but because of the debates that arose with the Jews who claimed Moses as the intangible and insuperable of foundation of their existence, Christ is compared with Moses very often to underline the differences between them, which in turn lead to a re-evaluation of this importance. Moses is considered as inferior to the Christ, Hebrewes;3:2-6 underscores the differences between them; “Moses too , was faithful in all God’s household, but Jesus is more worth of honour than he…”. [Muslims do not make any distinction among the prophets, Qur’an;2:136] The Christian realities then have their counterpart in the Old Testament traditions on Moses and the Exodus, but they achieve their effective realization on the level of God’s free self-giving and divine life: law and grace (John;1:17), “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,”(John;3:14), the manna and the Eucharist (John;6:32), Exodus through the water and baptism (1Corinthians;10:2), the Old and New Testament (Hebrews;8:8-10). This correspondence is considered by Christian theologians to attest the unity of God’s design throughout history.
Hebrews after Prophet Moses (peace be upon him):
The next generation after Prophet Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) was ruled by Prophet Joshua (peace be upon him), who crossed the Jordan and settled the tribes in Palestine. Having thus subdued the Canaanites, Prophet Joshua (peace be upon him) divided the land among the 12 tribes. His rule lasted for 25 years, after which there was a period of 320 years when the Israelites had a checkered history. They were not united among themselves, and suffered many reverses at the hands of the Midianites, Amalekites and other tribes of Palestine. They frequently lapsed into idolatry and deserted the worship of the true God. From time to time a leader appeared among them who assumed dictatorial powers. These dictators are called Judges in the English translation of the Old Testament. Acting under a sort of theocratic commission from God, the Judges pointed out their backsliding, re-united them under His banner, and restored, from time to time and place to place, the power of Israel. Though many such leaders are mentioned, the Book of Judges focuses attention upon only few that are singled out as especially significant: Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, and Samson. The last of their line was Prophet Samuel (peace be upon him), who marks the transition towards the line of Kings on the one hand and of the later Prophets on the other. He may be dated approximately about the 11th century B.C. During the period of Samuel, Saul, and David (the 11th-10th century B.C), the Israelites were still threatened by various local enemies. The Israelites became truly united under Saul, as a political entity and established in the Promised Land with him as the first Israelite king (11th Century B.C). (Also narrate in Qur’an;2:246-251). Saul defended Israel against numerous enemies, especially the Philistines.
Prophet David (Dawud, peace be upon him) succeeded King Saul after his death. He reigned for about forty years (1000 to 962 BC), he established a united kingdom over, all the Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital. The Jews and Christians consider him a king, despite clear indications of him being a king, messenger of God and Muslim [Muslim: who will do all My (God’s) will] in the Bible: “.. the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart; and the LORD has appointed him to be prince over his people ..(1Sameul;13:14);“..he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, `I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.”(Acts;13:22);“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”(1Samuel;16:13). David communicated with God (2 Samuel;2:1) and God to him (1Chronicles;28:3). The last words of David were: “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.”(2Samuel;23:2).
According to the Islamic traditions he was a prophet (Qur’an;6:84,17:55) and a king, who was given scripture: “..unto David We gave the Psalms.”(Qur’an;17:55). God made him a vicegerent in the earth: “We said: "O’ Dawud! We have made you a vicegerent in the earth, so rule among the people with justice and do not follow your own desires lest they mislead you from the Way of Allah. As for those who go astray from the Way of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment because of forgetting the Day of Reckoning.”(Qur’an;38:26); “We strengthened his kingdom and gave him wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision.”(Qur’an;38:20); Allah says: “And We verily gave knowledge unto David and Solomon, and they said: Praise be to Allah, Who hath preferred us above many of His believing slaves!”(Qur’an;27:15). Prophet David (peace be upon him), was a worthy and successful king, who, against great odds, founded the Judean dynasty and carved out an empire from the border of Egypt to the EuphratesRiver. He was the shepherd, warrior, king, wise man, prophet and poet.
He was tested, (details not mentioned) repented and forgiven by God, the incidence is allegorically narrated in Qur’an, Allah says: “Have you heard the story of the two litigants who made an entry into his private chamber through climbing over the wall? When They entered the presence of David, and He was terrified of them, They said: "Fear not: we are two disputants, one of whom has wronged the other: decide Now between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, but guide us to the Even Path. "This man is My brother: He has Nine and ninety ewes, and I have (but) one: yet He says, 'commit Her to My care,' and is (moreover) harsh to me In speech."(David) said: "He has undoubtedly wronged Thee In demanding Thy (single) ewe to be added to His (flock of) ewes: truly many are the partners (in business) who wrong Each other: not so do those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and How few are they?"...and David gathered that We had tried him: He asked forgiveness of His Lord, fell down, bowing (in prostration), and turned (to Allah In repentance).So we forgave Him This (lapse): He enjoyed, indeed, a near approach to us, and a beautiful place of (final) return.”(Qur’an;38:21-25).
Prophet David (peace be upon him) was Israel's first successful king. He united all of the Israelite tribes, became the effective ruler over all of them, and was the founder of an enduring dynasty. Thus, he succeeded where King Saul had failed and attained a unique place in Israel's history and tradition. He established the city of Jerusalem as the centre both of Israel's political power and of its worship. David as a youth killed the giant Goliath with three pebbles and a slingshot: “So they routed them by Allah's leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He wills. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.”(Qur’an;2:251). Used as a par­adigm as his story shows the faith, determination, and God's blessing are more important than size and strength: “And assuredly We gave David grace from Us, (saying): O ye hills and birds, echo his psalms of praise! And We made the iron supple unto him”(Qur’an;34:10).
The Biblical account of the era of Prophet David (peace be upon him) is covered in the First and Second Book of Samuel. The Book of I Kings, chapter 1, to chapter 2, verse 11 cover the last years of David and Solomon's succession to the throne. The biblical account is distorted, tarnishing the image of David, as normally done by the Israelites with the messengers. A shameful story is ascribed to David whereby he commits adultery (2 Samuel;11:4) with Bathsheba, the wife of David's Hittite general, Uriah and then wickedly caused the death of her husband (2 Samuel;11:6-25). She bore Prophet and King Solomon. David is also accused of shamelessly dancing naked: “How glorious was the king of Israel (David) to day, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovers himself”(2 Samuel;6:20).
In Israel's religious tradition the royal line, or ‘House of David’ became a primary symbol of the bond between God and the nation; the king was the mediator between the deity and his people. The English word messiah is derived from hameshiach ("the anointed one"), the title of the kings of the line of David. Thus, in later times of disaster, Israel began to wait for a messiah, a new mediator of the power of God that would redeem the people and its land. By designating Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as the son of David (peace be upon him), Christianity adhere to the conviction that this hope had been fulfilled. David lived in the memory of his people in a double way: as the great founder of their political power and as the symbol of a central facet of their religious faith. He was succeeded by his son Solomon who was also an obedient servant and prophet of God.
Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him): 
Prophet & Great King: Prophet Solomon (Suleiman, peace be upon him), was heir to his father Prophet David (peace be upon him) as prophet (Qur’an;6:84) and king, he had been endowed with the speech of birds (Qur’an;27:16). The biblical traditions project him as a king, who ruled the united kingdom of Israelites from 961 to 922 B.C. His name ‘Solomon’ is derived from Hebrew word; ‘Shalom’ means ‘peace’. Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) was put on trial, then he turned to God in repentance, and prayed for forgiveness and grant of unique kingdom unmatched in history (Qur’an;38:34). Allah granted his wish. Allah says: “We bestowed knowledge (spiritual insight) on David and Solomon. They both said: "Praise be to Allah Who has exalted us above many of His believing servants."(Qur’an;27:15). He is also traditionally regarded as the greatest king of Israel, renowned for his wisdom, and builder of the FirstTemple in Jerusalem (Al-Aqsa Mosque, highly revered by Muslims as the 2nd holiest site after Ka’ba at Makka).
He maintained his dominions with military strength and established Israelite colonies outside his kingdom's borders. He in­herited both his father's kingdom and his spiritual insight and prophetic office. Legend makes much of a romance between the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, for his granting her "all that she desired, whatever she asked"(1Kings;10:13) has been interpreted to include an offspring. No one in the history has been blessed with the Kingdom like his. God had given him command even over the special creatures like jinns, the animal world, winds and molten copper.(Qur’an;34:12-13). Palestine was destined to be an important centre because of its strategic location for trade by land and sea. Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) fulfilled the commercial destiny of Palestine and brought it to its greatest heights. The nature of his empire was predominantly commercial; it served him and friendly rulers to increase trade by land and sea. The joint merchant-marine expeditions of Solomon and the Phoenician king Hiram of Tyre, sailed practically to the ends of the known world. The demand for fortresses and garrison cities throughout his homeland and empire made it necessary for Solomon to embark on a vast building program; the prosperity of the nation made such a program possible. He was especially lavish with his capital, Jerusalem, where he erected a city wall, a construction called the Millo, the royal palace, and the famous FirstTemple.
The construction of the FirstTemple was started during the reign of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him), and completed in 957 BC. He also employed jinns in this construction. After building the House of Worship of God, as fulfillment of desire of his father David, Solomon said: “..I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel”(1Kings;8:20), “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven;” (1Kings;8:22), he prayed: "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of thy servant and to his supplication, O LORD my God, hearkening to the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prays before thee this day; that thy eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which thou hast said, `My name shall be there,' that thou mayest hearken to the prayer which thy servant offers toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant and of thy people Israel, when they pray toward this place; yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place; and when thou hearest, forgive.”(1Kings;8:27-30). Solomon's Temple which was to assume an importance far beyond what its dimensions might suggest, for its site became the only central shrine for Judaism, early Christianity and sacred to Islam being the first Qibla (prayer direction) and starting point for the mystic night journey (maira’j) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to heavens.
Wisdom and Justice: Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) also became famous as a sage. Allah says: “at that time We gave Suleiman insight to arrive at the right decision, although We had given wisdom and knowledge to both of them (David and Solomon)...” (Qur’an;21:79). There are numerous traditions which highlight his sense of wisdom and justice. Solomon was deemed wiser than all the sages of Egypt and the Middle East even wiser than some ancient paragons of wisdom. Solomon was also famed as a poet who composed 1,005 songs. The Biblical ‘Song of Solomon’ is attributed to him: “The song of songs, which is Solomon's.”(Song of Solomon;1:1). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon,: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is Muhammad-im (altogether lovely, im is added for respect in Hebrew). This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."(Song of Solomon; 5:16). [In Hebrew:"Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammad-im Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem."].
Distorted Biblical Account: The Bible narrate the reign of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) especially in 1 Kings 1-11 and 2 Chronicles 1-9. The biblical account of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) has inherent distortions, which tarnish the image of this great prophet and king, as normally done by the Israelites with their messengers. A shameful story is ascribed to Solomon whereby he is blamed to have committed idolatry by worshiping other gods. Consequently the dismemberment of the united monarchy was to be brought about by God: “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ash'toreth the goddess of the Sido'nians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done."(1 Kings;11:4-7); And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.” (1 Kings;11:9-11). Solomon is cleared of any evil acts by Qur’an: “And follow that which the devils falsely related against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babylon, Harut and Marut…”(Qur’an;2:102). He was an obedient servant of God, he prayed: “My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous servants.”(Qura’n;27:19).
Hebrews after Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him):
The kingdom got divided after the death of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him). Two independent Jewish kingdoms were established in Palestine after 930 BC, the ten northern tribes constituting the Kingdom of Israel were known as Israelites to distinguish them from Jews in the southern Kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 BC, which led to the partial dispersion of the 10 northern tribes and their gradual assimilation by other peoples. (Legends thus refer to them as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel). Thereafter, the name Israelite referred to those who were still distinctively Jewish, namely, descendants of the Kingdom of Judah. Allah sent many prophets for their guidance, some are mentioned by name like; Elisha, (9th Century B.C), Elijah,(9th Century B.C), Isaiah, (8th Century B.C), Jonah, (flourished around 785 B.C at Nineveh), Jeremiah,(7-6th Century B.C), Job (Book of Job written around 6-4th Century B.C), Elias, Ezekiel, (6th Century B.C) and Daniel (6th Century B.C).
The history of the Israelites from 721 BC time forward is predominantly the history of the tribe of Judah (hence called Jews). The southern Kingdom of Judah thrived until 587-586 BC, when it was overrun by the Babylonians, who destroyed the FirstTemple and carried off many of the inhabitants into exile, it was beginning of ‘Diaspora’(Greek “dispersion”). [ The dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian Exile (586 BC), or the aggregate of Jews outside Palestine or present-day Israel is called ‘Diaspora’. Hebrew Galut (“Exile”)  The term also carries religious, philosophical, political, and eschatological connotations, inasmuch as the Jews perceive a special relationship between the land of Israel and themselves. Interpretations of this relationship range from the messianic hope of traditional Judaism for the eventual “ingathering of the exiles” to the view of Reform Judaism that the dispersal of the Jews was providentially arranged by God to foster monotheism throughout the world.
During the Babylonian exile, the Jewish though , specially the oral traditions were influence by Zoroastrianism, the prevalent faith of Babylonian. Historically, Diaspora Jews outnumbered the Jews in Palestine even before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Thereafter, the chief centers of Judaism shifted from country to country (e.g., Babylonia, Persia, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the U.S.), and Jewish communities gradually adopted distinctive languages, rituals, and cultures, some submerging themselves in non-Jewish environments more completely than others. While some lived in peace, others became victims of violent anti-Semitism. While the vast majority of Jews have supported Zionism [An organized movement of world Jewry that arose in Europe in the late 19th century with the aim of reconstituting a Jewish state in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the development and support of the state of Israel.], some Orthodox Jews go so far as to oppose the modern State of Israel on the grounds that it is a godless and secular state defying God's will to send his messiah at the time he has preordained.
When the Persians conquered Babylonia in 538 BC, Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, where they soon set to work to replace the magnificent Temple of Jerusalem that the Babylonians had destroyed. The 2nd Temple was completed from 520-515 B.C. Ezra (Uzair, peace be upon him) returned to Jerusalem in 458 B.C to reform the society according to Mosaic law. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 440 B.C. Ezra has been called the father of Judaism; i.e., the specific form the Jewish religion took after the Babylonian Exile. It was he who restored and codified the Torah after it had been lost during the Babylonian Exile, and "edited" it in more or less the form which it has today; and thus "he promoted the establishment of an exclusive, legalistic type of religion that became dominant in later Judaism". So important was he in the eyes of his people that later tradition regarded him as no less than a second Moses.
The 7th century C.E Jewish tribes in Arabia, even revered him by calling him son of God (Qur’an;9:30). In 331 BC, Greek culture was introduced into the Middle East with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Ptolemy I (367-283 B.C), a general in Alexander the Great's army who succeeded him as ruler of Egypt, established an Egyptian dynasty of Macedonian kings (323-30 B.C). Palestine was ruled by the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt throughout the 2nd century B.C. In 198 B.C Palestine fell to the Seleucids (a Hellenistic dynasty founded by Seleucus I after the death of Alexander the Great. It ruled much of Asia Minor from 312 to 64 B.C.). Maccabean were a family of Jewish patriots of the second and first centuries B.C., who were active in the liberation of Judea from Syrian rule. The Maccabean revolt (165-142 B.C); ended as a successful war for Judean political independence from Syria. The Jews were ruled by the high priests like Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C), Alexandra (76-67 B.C), Aristobulus II (67-63 B.C) and Hyrcanus (63-40 B.C) Pompey, conquered Palestine for Rome in 63 B.C. [Pompey (106-48. B.C.) was a Roman general and political leader, with Caesar and Crassus he formed a ruling triumvirate (60-50 B.C) but was later defeated by Caesar and murdered in Egypt.] Pompey, also seeing in Hyrcanus a means of controlling Judaea, restored him to the high priesthood and some semblance of civil authority. Herod was appointed king of Judaea (37-4 BC) by Romans. Hyrcanus was allowed by Herod to return to Jerusalem; six years later, he had him executed. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the last messenger for the Israelites was born in 5 B.C. Herod Antipas became the ruler of Judea and tetrarch in Galilee (4 B.C.- 40 C.E).
Prophet Zechariah & John The Baptist (PBUT): 
In Hebrew Zechariah; means ‘Jehovah (God) is renowned or remembered’. In Bible this has been mentioned as the name of twenty-nine Israelites, which include king, prophets, priests and others. ‘Zechariah’ the book of the Bible is attributed to the Hebrew prophet of the sixth century B.C. Prophet Zechariah (peace be upon him) was an illustrious Prophet of the Israelites (Qur’an;6:83-87) in 1st century C.E, he is mentioned as high priest in Bible (Luke;1:5, 12-17). His life narrative here is mostly based on Bible. His wife Elizabeth, was of the daughters (descendant) of Aaron (Luke;1:5), considered a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Zechariah was also the patron of Mary. He kept the torch of Mosaic Law burning. Prophet Zechariah (peace be upon him), was issueless and old, he prayed to God for the successor for the priesthood of the house of Jacob (Qur’an;3:39, 19:5-6). Allah accepted his prayers and gave him tidings of a son who was named as Yahya (John) by God (Qur’an;19:7).
He was given token of speechlessness for three days. (Qur’an;3:41, Luke;1:64). Yahya (John) was born six months before Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke;1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke;1:15; Numbers;6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Mathew;3:1-12). At length he came forth into public life, and great huge numbers from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Mathew;3:3; Isaiah;40:3; Malachi;3:1). In accordance with his father's prayer John (Yahya), and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) for whom he prepared the way, renewed the Message of God, which had been corrupted by the Israelites.
The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Jewish sects Sadducees (who denied the resurrection and the existence of angels) and Pharisees (extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the law of Moses, noted for their self-righteousness and pride) as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke;3:8)."As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. He cautioned the publicans against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked on the banks of Jordan river where he baptized thousands unto repentance.
The fame of John reached the ears of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) in Nazareth (Mathew;3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfill all righteousness"(Mathew;3:15). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod Antipas, the provincial ruler under the Roman Empire (4 B.C to 40 C.E), whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke;3:19). He was shut up in a fortress near the Dead Sea, where he was beheaded after Herod's stepdaughter, Salome, demanded his head as a reward for dancing for the king's guests. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Mathew;14:3-12). Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John;5:35). Even in his young life, he was granted: ‘Wisdom’ by Allah, for he boldly denounced sin; ‘Gentle pity and love’ for all Allah's creatures, for he moved among the humble and lowly, and despised "soft raiment"; and ‘Purity of life’, for he renounced the world and lived in the wilderness. His grave still exist in Umayyah Mosque in Syria
Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary (peace be upon him), the last in the series of messengers for the children of Israel was miraculously born without father to the Virgin Mary in 5 B.C.E. The mission of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is summed up in Qur’an, Allah says: “And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those (earlier prophets), confirming the truth of what ever there still remained of the Torah; and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein there was guidance and a light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God conscious.”(Qur’an;5:46).
Gospel and Qur’an are unanimous on the apostolic mission of Jesus (peace be upon him): "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."(Acts;2:22). Allah says: “The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how we make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!”(Qur’an;5:75);“He was no more than a servant: We granted Our favor to him (miracles, wonders and signs) and We made him an example to the Children of Israel.” (Qur’an;43:59). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself said: “I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(Mathew;15:24). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) strictly forbade preaching to Gentiles: “These twelve (disciples) Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(Mathew;10:5-6).
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew;5:17-20). [Pharisees; was a Jewish sect, extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the Law of Moses]. After Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), Paul, the self appointed 13th disciple of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), deviated from the prophetic mission and teaching of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) by systematically canceling the Law of Moses, by declaring: “But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”(Romans; 7:6). The message of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was altered, he was declared as son of God, part of divine, one of three in the doctrine of Trinity. The word Trinity does not exist in Bible, the only verse in the whole of Bible which, is interpreted by the supporters of Trinity is: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one."(The first Epistle of John;5:7,8). (in some volumes this verse is changed as : “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree”. In the foot not of this verse in ‘New International Version Bible’ it is written; ‘not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteen century. Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.'s in a footnote to this verse opine: "It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted. "The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged. 
The terms ‘Father’ and ‘son of God’ have been abhorrently misused to support the doctrine of Trinity and divinity of Jesus Christ.The Hebrews believed that God is One, and had neither wife nor children in any literal sense. The God has been addressed as Father because he is the Creator: “Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?”(Deuteronomy;32:6);“Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?”(Malachi;2:10). Like the Father, He has a concern and care for His creatures: “As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear him.” (Psalms;103:13). Consequently it is obvious that the expression “son of God” frequently used in Bible (both in Old & New Testaments) merely meant to them “Servant of God”; one who, because of his faithful service, was close and dear to God, as a son is to a father, as used for Prophet Jacob, David & Solomon in the Bible. (2 Samuel 8:13-14, Psalms;2:7,89:26-27: Job;1:6, Psalms 2:7, Luke;3:38, 4:41, 9:22, Hosea;1:10, Jeremiah;31:9, Job;2:1,38:4-7, Genesis;6:2, Deuteronomy;14:1, Exodus;4:22-23). The Christians who came from Greek and Roman background, later misused this term. In their heritage, “son of God” signified an incarnation of a ‘god’ or someone born of a physical union between male and female gods. When the Church cast aside its Hebrew foundations, it adopted the pagan concept of “son of God”, which was entirely different from the Hebrew usage. Consequently, the use of the term “son of God” should not be understood in the pagan sense of a literal offspring of God, but from the Semitic symbolic sense of a “servant of God” or near to God, In the Gospels, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is recorded as saying: “Blessed are the peace-makers; they will be called sons of God.”(Mathew;5:9), “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”(Romans;8:14). According to the Bible of King James Version of 1611 : “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only ‘begotten’ Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”(John;3:16). The word ‘begotten’ used here (John;3:16) has been expunged in the Bible- Revised Standard Version, being wrongly added because word ‘begotten’ does not exist in the original Greek script. In the Gospels Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is reported to have repeatedly called himself “Son of man”(Mathew;9:6, Luke;9:22). At eighty five places “Son of man” has been mentioned in New Testament. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) even rejected being called “Son of God”: “And demons also came out of many, crying, ‘You are the Son of God!’   But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.”(Luke;4:41). God says: “Further to warn those who say "God has begotten a son." They have no knowledge, nor do their forefathers. Dreadful is the word that comes from their mouths. They speak nothing but a lie.”(Qur’an;18:4-5). Even according to the Christian scriptures Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unambiguous statement in the entire Bible where Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself says, "I am God" or where he says, "worship me". Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) preached supremacy, obedience and worship of God: (John;5:30, 10:29, 14:28, Mathew;12:28,19:16-17, Luke;11:20); “..Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”(Mathew;4:10, Luke;4:8).
The Jews often persecuted their prophets: “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.” (2 Chronicles; 36:16 also Mathew;5:12). They often imprisoned them (1Kings; 22:27, Jeremiah; 32:2,37, 15-16), put them to death (1Kings;8:13,19:10, Mathew;23:34-37) and repeatedly left without, on account of sin(1Sameul;3:1, Amos;8:11-12). Instead of following to the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the Jews rejected and humiliated him. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) continued preaching and performed numerous miracles, particularly the raising of Lazarus in Bethany (John;11:1-44).
During final days, he disputed with the chief priest. The scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees (Jewish sects) questioned about his authority, tribute to Caesar, and the resurrection. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the Jewish priests and scribes were apprehensive that the activities of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) would turn the Romans against them and the Jewish people. Hence they conspired with Judas Iscariot, one of disciples of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), to arrest and kill him by stealth, “for they feared the people”(John;11:47-53);“Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.”(Luke;22:3-5). A crowd led by Judas Iscariot was sent by the religious authorities to arrest him in Gethsemane.
The supreme council of the Jews, the Sanhedrin condemned Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) to death for false accusation of blasphemy in 30 C.E. Pontius Pilate (the Roman governor of Judea who ordered Christ's crucifixion) sent Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) for judgment to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee (4 BC–AD 39).
The alleged crucifixion and resurrection of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) is a mystery, with divergent views with in the disciples and the followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) was neither killed nor was he crucified, as alleged by most of the Christians and the Jews, but that he was Alive. Ahmed Deedat, the renowned authority on Bible, in his book ‘Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction’ has deliberated on this aspect through references and internal evidence from Bible. Jesus was reluctant to die! since he had worked out a strategy of defence to repel the Jews, because he wanted to remain Alive! (Matthew 26:37-38). He beseeched God for help: With strong crying and tears for God Almighty to keep him Alive!( Luke 22:44 Matthew 26: 37-39). God "Heard" his prayers: Which means that God accepted his prayers to keep him Alive! (Hebrews;5:7). An angel of God came to strengthen him: In the hope and belief that God will save him Alive!(Luk;22:43).
Jesus was supposed to be on the cross for only three hours: According to the system in vogue, no man could die by crucifixion in such a short time which means that even if he was fastened to the cross — he was Alive. The Jews doubted his death: They suspected that he had escaped death on the cross — that he was Alive!(Matthew;27:62-64). Jesus ate food again and again in his post ‘crucifixion’ appearances: Food is only necessary if he was Alive! (Luke;24:30), the spirit is not in need of food. Jesus had himself foretold that his miracle will be the miracle of Jonah: “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him (Jesus), "Teacher, we wish to see a sign (miracle) from you. But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign (miracle) of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man (Jesus) be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”(Mathew;38-40).
According to the ‘Book of Jonah’, Jonah was Alive, when we expected him to be ‘Dead’; similarly when we expect Jesus to be DEAD, he should be Alive. Hence the internal evidence from Bible conforms to the Qur’anic narrative. Allah says: “And (then Children of Israel) plotted and planned and Allah too planned and the best of planners is Allah.(Qur’an;3:54). “That they said (in boast) "We killed Jesus Christ the son of Mary the Messenger 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 Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power Wise. (Qur’an;4:157,158).
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is the only messenger of God who has been raised to the level of divinity by most of his followers. The real message, which he preached, has been distorted and corrupted, the authenticity of the four Gospels (claimed to contain his teachings) remains questionable even among many Christians. Lot of mysteries and controversies exists about his life, preaching and departure. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was prophet for the Israelites and not gentiles. The new doctrines of Original Sin and Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost, three, part of One God) were evolved much later and the Law of Moses was cancelled to make the new faith acceptable to the pagans of Greco-Roman world, a separate subject of detailed study.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said; “I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”(John;5:30); “Thy will be done”.(Mathew; 6:10,26:42). Hence Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is a Muslim because by definition the; ‘Muslim is a person who submits his will to God’. Muslims worship the same one God, worshiped by Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), they are required to offer obligatory prayers (salah), keep fast (saum) and spend on charity (zakah) practice humility which was also practiced and preached by Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him)(Mathew;17:21, 23:23-24, 26:36, 1 Peter;4:8). Muslims are circumcised as was Jesus (Luke;2:21-24), they greet in the same manner as Jesus (peace be upon him) greeted in Hebrew; ‘Sholam alay kum(Luke;24:36), the Islamic greeting in Arabic is also same: “Assalaamu alai kum” both meaning ‘Peace be on you’. Muslims also do not eat pork nor indulge in intoxicants. Attire and appearance of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) with a beard is same as of faithful Muslims.
Mary (Allah be pleased with her), the mother of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is highly respected by Muslims. Allah accords her highest status among women: “AND LO! The angels said: "O Mary! Behold, God has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the world.”(Qura’n;3: 42); “We made her and her son a sign for the whole world.”(Qura’n;21:91). While she is cursorily mentioned in Bible, Qur’an names Chapter Number 19 after her and mentions her by name at least thirty three times. In the Christian iconology she is seen modestly dressed with her head covered, the Muslim women and Christian nuns are also dressed modestly like Mary. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was the last Hebrew prophet, who was sent by God to preach the implementation of the Law of Moses to the Jews (Mathew;5:17-20) and make lawful some of that which was forbidden to them(Qur’an;3:49,50).
Muslims believe in Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as messenger of God (Acts;2:22), his miraculous birth without father (Qur’an;19:16-40, Matthew;1:18-25 & Luke;1:28-35) and the miracles performed by the will of God (Qur’an;3:49, Mathew;4:23,9:35, Luke; 4:22, 9:11, 3:8 and Acts:4:16). They further believe in the revelations (scripture) he received from God, who saved him and raised him up to Himself, to be sent back to this world before the end of time. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) prophesized the advent of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.(John;14:16,15:26,16:7,12-14, Qur’an;6:20). According to Bible Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said: “Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Islam: Surrender to will of God). On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’.”(Methew;7:21-23).
If Christian is the one who follows the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), then Muslims are more Christians than those who call themselves Christian. Most of the present Christians have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), they follow the doctrines of Paul. Islamic and Christian traditions are synonymous that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) will return in this world again before end of time. According to Islamic traditions, Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) will dispel all the controversies about him in his second coming. He will rule the world as just ruler according to Shari’a (Islamic law) and die natural death. Allah says: “Every human being is bound to taste death..”(Qura’n;3:185).
Development after Prophet Jesus Christ (PBUH):
Christianity was originally a movement of Jews who accepted Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as the prophet and messiah, but the movement quickly became predominantly Gentile (non-Jewish) with change in the doctrine acceptable to the Greco-Roman pagans. The early church was shaped by St. Paul and other Christian missionaries and theologians; who declared Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) to be the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, that God's love for the world is the essential component of his being, and that Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) died to redeem humankind from the Original Sin (sin committed by Adam by disobeying God). Those who followed the teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) were persecuted and marginalized. The Christians were persecuted under the Roman Empire but by winning over Constantine I, the Emperor of Rome (306-337 C.E) who adopted the Christian faith and suspended the persecution of Christians the situation was reversed. In 313 C.E he issued, with Licinius, the Edict of Milan, granting tolerance to Christians; he also gave land for churches and granted the church special privileges. He opposed other groups, notably following Donatism (Fourth century C.E, North Africa sect, which believed in sanctity as requisite for church membership and administration of all sacraments) and Arianism (The doctrines of Arius, denying that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was of the same substance as God and holding instead that he was only the highest of created beings.), and convoked the important Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. He rebuilt Constantinople (now Istanbul) as the new Rome (330 C.E).
Jews after Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him):
After Pontius Pilate, Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I the Great was appointed the king of Judea (41-44 C.E) by Roman Emperor. He displayed great acumen in conciliating the Romans and Jews. Herod Agrippa II , a great-grandson of Herod I the Great, was the king of Chalcis in southern Lebanon and south Syria from 53 C.E, who unsuccessfully mediated with the rebels in the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 C.E. The entire kingdom passed under Roman rule in 44 C.E and was reconstituted as the procuratorial province of Judea. Disturbances were frequent, caused by maladministration. The incompetence and anti-Jewish posture led in 66 C.E to the decisive and final outbreak of revolt. The Greeks massacred the Jews in many towns of Palestine. In turn, the Jews responded by slaughtering Gentiles in Samaria, Galilee, and elsewhere. The Jews were successful in an early engagement against the governor of Syria, In 67 C.E, however, Vespasian, the future emperor, with his son Titus, arrived with force and the war became increasingly bitter. By the end of 67 C.E Galilee was captured, and Judea was reduced in three campaigns, which ended with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The Temple was destroyed, and the city became the permanent garrison town of a Roman legion. By 73 C.E all the Jewish resistance had ceased.
After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews, deprived of the Temple, founded a new religious centre in the rabbinical school of Jamnia (Jabneh). The revolt in 115 C.E was put down. In 132 C.E the emperor Hadrian decided to build a Roman colony, Aelia Capitolina, on the site of Jerusalem. The announcement of his plan, as well as his ban on circumcision (revoked later, but only for the Jews), provoked a much more serious revolt, led by Bar Kokhba. It was ruthlessly repressed by Julius Severus, more than half a million people were killed. In Judea proper the Jews seem to have been virtually exterminated, but they survived in Galilee. Tiberias in Galilee became the seat of the Jewish patriarchs. No Jew was thenceforth allowed to set foot in Jerusalem or the surrounding districts. This prohibition apparently was relaxed some time later to permit Jews to enter Jerusalem once in an year, on the Day of Mourning.
While this ban was officially still in force as late as the 4th century C.E, there is some evidence that Jews visited the city at certain festival times. About the time the Bar Kokhba revolt was crushed (135 C.E), Hadrian (Emperor of Rome) proceeded to convert Jerusalem into a Greco-Roman city. He also erected temples dedicated to Jupiter and himself on the site of the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem. The Jewish presence however remained strong in Galilee. The Jews have flourished financially all over the Christendom for centuries, however they were ill treated as hated community branded as killers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and money lenders. They were confined to ghettos. Jews enjoyed freedom in the Islamic world, especially in the Muslim Spain, till expelled by Christians only to be welcomed again by Muslims in Ottoman Turkey. 
With the conversion of Constantine I to Christianity early in the 4th century C.E, a new era of prosperity began for Palestine. The emperor himself built a magnificent church on the site of the Holy Sepulcher, the most sacred of Christian holy places; his mother, Helena, built two others, at the place of the Nativity at Bethlehem and of the Ascension in Jerusalem and his mother-in-law, Eutropia, built a church at Mamre. Palestine began to attract floods of pilgrims from all parts of the empire. It also became a great centre of the eremitic life; men flocked from all quarters to become hermits in the Judaean wilderness, which was soon dotted with monasteries. Eventually, Juvenal, bishop of Jerusalem from 421 to 458 C.E, achieved his ambition and was recognized by the Council of Chalcedon (451 C.E) as patriarch of the three provinces of Palestine.
There was a revolt of the Jews in Galilee in 352 C.E, which was suppressed by the Caesar Gallus. Under Marcian (reigned 450-457 C.E) and again under Justinian I (reigned 527-565 C.E) the Samaritans revolted. Palestine, like Syria and Egypt, was also troubled by the Monophysite Controversy (a debate among Christians who disagreed with the Council of Chalcedon's assertion that the person of Prophet Jesus Christ comprised two natures, human and divine). Gradually, however, the Chalcedonian doctrine gained ground, and Palestine became a stronghold of orthodoxy.
Apart from these disturbances the country enjoyed peace and prosperity until 611 C.E, when Khosrow II, king of Persia, launched an invasion. His troops captured Jerusalem (614 C.E), destroyed churches, and carried off the True Cross. Earlier Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the descendent of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) had already received the first revelation in 610 C.E at Mecca Arabia. In 615 C.E, when total destruction of Byzantine Empire seemed imminent, the victory of Christians over Persians in the coming years was prophesied in Qura’n;30:2-4. Accordingly in 628 C.E the Byzantine emperor Heracles recovered Palestine, and he subsequently restored the True Cross to Jerusalem, not knowing that 10 years later Jerusalem was to fall to the Muslim Arabs.
Under Muslims, Jerusalembecame their second most holiest site being the first Qibla (prayer direction) for Muslims, and its connection with the Mairaj [Night journey of Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him), to heaven]. From 637 C.E Jerusalem was ruled by various Muslim dynasties, except for short periods during the Crusades, which left deep scars. Rule by the Ottoman Empire ended in 1917, and the city became the capital of the British mandate of Palestine. In 1948, the state of Israel, a homeland for Jews was created, after centuries of oppression of Jews by European Christians (lastly holocaust by Hitler). This was done at the cost of Palestinians through oppression, forced expulsion by terror which still continues unabated. Israel claimed the city as its capital after the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 and took the entire city during the Six-Day War of 1967. Its status as capital of independent state of Palestine or Israel is one of main points of contention.
-------------------------------------------------------------CHAPTER- 7: PROPHET MUHAMMAD ((PBUH)
Prevalent Environment:
During end of 6th century after Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was born at Makka in 571 C.E (according to research by Dr.Hamidullah, the date is 17 June 569 C.E). He was chosen to be the last messenger of God for the guidance of humanity till eternity. He was not from the progeny of Israel (Jacob) but from the progeny of Ishmael, the eldest son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). Ishmael has been mentioned in Bible to be leader of a nation being the seed of Abraham (Genesis;13:18, 16:12, 17:20). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was chosen by God to revive the original faith of Abraham in its true form, for the humanity, which over the time had been distorted and corrupted by the decedents of Prophet Israel (Jacob) and followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as the fulfillment of prayer, of Prophet Abraham and Ishmael, who while raising the foundations of House of Lord (Kabah) around 1800 B.C, had prayed: "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them In Scripture and Wisdom, and sanctify them: for Thou art the Exalted In Might, the Wise." (Qur’an;2:129).
Prophesied In Bible:
The advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been foretold to the previous messengers. Allah says: “Behold! Allah took the Covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe In Him and render Him help." Allah said: "Do ye agree, and take This My Covenant As binding on you?" They said: "We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses."(Qur’an;3:81). The Old Testament as well as New Testament still contain these prophesies . Allah says: "Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom They find mentioned In their own (scriptures). In the law and the Gospel;- for He commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; He allows them As lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. so it is those who believe In him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is They who will prosper."(Qur’an;7:157).
According to Old Testament, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was told by God: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him"(Deuteronomy;18:18,19). Christians relate this prophesy with Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) which is not correct as the critical analysis reveal that this prophesy is about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): Among the prophets which followed Prophet Moses, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is most like Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) where as Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) had nothing common with Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) except being a Jew and prophet, (Though among the Christians, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is believed to be Son of God, one of the three persons of the Trinity). Prophet Muhammad and Moses (peace be upon them) had a normal birth through father and a mother, while Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was miraculously born without any male intervention.(Mathew; 1:18 and Luke; 1:35 and also Qur’an;3:42-47).
Prophet Moses Muhammad (peace be upon him) were both married, had children and died natural deaths. Muhammad (peace be upon him) is from among the brethren of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) being descendent of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) through his son Ishmael (peace be upon him), whereas Moses was descendent of Isaac (through his son Jacob) the younger brother of Ishmael. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was unlettered, hence in verbatim repeated the revelations conforming phrase; “Words in the mouth”. Prophet Moses & Muhammad (peace be upon them) brought new laws and new regulations for their people, besides, both were accepted as messengers of God by their people in their lifetime. They ruled over their communities (as kings), they could inflict capital punishment.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John;18:36). Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was not accepted by most of his people in his life time: "He came unto his own, but his own received him not."(Gospel of John;1:11) and he (Jesus) did not bring any new law, Jesus said; “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. . . ;”(Mathew;5:17-18). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned by name in the Old Testament: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely (Muhammadim). This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."(Song of Solomon;5:16): “Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem.” In the Hebrew language ‘im’ is added for respect. Similarly ‘im’ is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to make it Muhammadim. [According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary of Bible: Hebrew word; makh-mawd'; means delightful; hence, a delight, i.e. object of affection or desire: beloved, desire, goodly, lovely, pleasant (thing)]. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as "altogether lovely", but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is present till now.
While prophesizing, about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (referring to Muhammad) is come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me"(John; 16:12-14); "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever."(John;14:16);“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;”(John;15:26); “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”(John;16:7).
Ahmed" or "Muhammad" meaning "the one who praises" or "the praised one" is almost the translation of the Greek word ‘Periclytos’. In the Gospel of John;14:16, 15:26, and 16:7, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) actually prophesized “Ahmed” by name, word 'Comforter' in Greek ‘Paracletos’ or ‘Periclytos’ refers to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says in Qur’an: “Those to whom We have given the Scripture (their scholars) recognize this (Muhammad) as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their own souls refuse therefore to believe.” (Qur’an;6:20); "And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, 'O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.' But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, 'This is evident sorcery!”(Qur’an;61:6); “Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while ye have knowledge?”(Qur’an;3:71).
Prophesied in Other Scriptures:Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also been prophesized in the Zoroaster, Buddhist and Hindu Scriptures: ‘Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8’; Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 10 to 27; Bhavishya Purana, Parv - III Khand 1 Adhay 3 Shloka 21-23; and Samveda Book II Hymn 6 verse 8.
Early life, Prophethood 10 years at Makkah:
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (571-632 C.E) was born as orphan in the ruling tribe (Quraysh), descendent of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) at Makka Arabia. This tribe was the custodian of Ka’ba, the house of worship of Allah, originally rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael but, during 7th century C.E, it was packed with idols. He was initially brought up by his grandfather and later by his uncle Abu Talib. He was illiterate but extremely honest and trustworthy. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one of few among pagan Arabs known as hanafi who, did not worship idols and believed in only one God. At the age of forty he started meditation in cave Hira where in 610 C.E he was visited by the angel Gabriel, to deliver the first revelation from God. He continued to receive the Revelations during next 23 yeas (till his death) which were promptly and accurately recorded by scribes, which is known as Qur’an, the basis of Islam. The mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was striking, Allah says: “It is He who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the way of life (Din) of truth, to proclaim it over all (false) way of life (Din), however much the idolaters may be averse. They desire to extinguish the light of God with their mouths but God will not allow it to happen, for He seeks to perfect His light even though the disbelievers may dislike it. (Qur’an;9:32-33, similarly at 61:8-9 & 48:28 ).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began to preach publicly in 613 C.E. He was urging the rich to give to the poor and calling to worship and obey Allah (one God, the God of their ancestors Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and all) instead of idols. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not invent any new religion but was sent to revive Islam (surrender to the will of One God) the original faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham (the common ancestor of Israelites, Christians and Arabs) Moses and all other messengers up to Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon them all). The restrictions imposed upon Children of Israel due to their hardness of heart and rebelliousness were to be relaxed, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last messenger of God for all the humanity till eternity. Allah says: “We have not sent you (O’ Muhammad) but as a universal (Messenger) to the entire mankind giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin) but most men understand not.” (Qur’an;37:28). “O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe a Guidance and a Mercy.”(Qur’an;10:57). Hence being a messenger of God for the mankind, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached to all without discriminating to any race, group or clan. Hence among his first ‘companions’ and converts, beside the Arabs can be counted Bilal the Abyssinian, Salman the Persian and Abdullah Bin-Salaam the Jew. 
Migration to Medina & Establishment if First Heterogeneous Multi-Religious State at Medina:
He gained disciples who suffered worst oppression, from Quraysh, his kinsmen. They planed to murder him, consequently he had to migrate from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E, where a warm welcome awaited. This migration is known as the Hijrah, which marks the beginning of the Islamic era. He established the first ever Islamic State at Medina, having first ever written constitution, conceding equal rights to all the people including Jews and Christians. Muslims thwart an offensive by forces of polytheists and idolaters of Mecca in 624 C.E at Badar; they suffered partial reverses in 625 C.E at Uhad but repelled a Meccan siege of Medina in 627 C.E in the Battle of Trench. The ‘Truce of Hudabia’ in 628 C.E, with polytheists of Makka provided peace and expansion of Islam among many Arabian tribes.
Expansion of Islam in Arabia and Around:
Ultimately Mecca peacefully fell to Muslims in 630 C.E and by 631 C.E Muslims were in control of almost all of Arabia (estimated total area of about three million square kilometers) at the total loss of 240 enemies, the Muslim losses were even lesser. People started embracing Islam in large numbers. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continued to stay at Medina, he made his last journey to Mecca in 632 C.E, establishing the rites of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca as tradition of Abraham) and purged it of pagan rituals. The Messenger (peace be upon him) completed his mission; he was commanded to deliver the complete message of guidance, in unambiguous terms. Allah says: “O Messenger! Deliver the message which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you are not doing justice to your mission. Allah will protect you from the mischief of the people. Rest assured that Allah will not let the unbelievers succeed against you”(Qur’an;5:67). Any laxity in conveyance of message by hiding or concealing result in curse of God: “Those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance, after We have made it clear in the Book for mankind, will have Allah's curse and that of those who are entitled to curse;”(Qur’an;2:159).
Mission Accomplished:
The Messenger (peace be upon him) did not conceal any thing and completed his mission, which is further confirmed, Allah says: “..This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion AL- ISLAM..”(Qur’an;5:3). He died later that year, and buried at the Prophet’s Mosque at Medina; the second holiest site along with Al-Aqsa Mosque (1st Temple at Jerusalem) after Ka’ba at Makka. He left Qur’an the living miracle full of wisdom (hikmah) and his Traditions (Sunnah) for the guidance of humanity for ever.
Islam Established as a Universal Faith:
Within few years after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his devout followers brought major parts of neighboring empires under their influence as far as up to southern France, through Spain, central Asia, India to the Atlantic Ocean. Islamic rule and political influence continued to expand, in the intervening centuries, far beyond the borders of the original Muslim conquests. Renowned scholar Michael Hart, in his famous book, placed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at the top of the list of hundred most influential men in history of mankind. According to him, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached and promulgated one of the world’s great religion, and became an immensely effective political leader. Even fourteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive; there are around 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. The majority of influential men of history had the advantage of getting born and raised in centers of civilization, highly cultured or politically pivotal nations, while Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born and raised at Mecca, the most remote and isolated corner of the world. He single-handedly accomplished the great mission with almost no means and resources. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was also an ideal leader who lead from front and left the land marks for the Muslims in all secular and spiritual spheres. He is the legislator-jurist who defined ritual observance and Islamic law in the light of Qur’an i.e. Allah repeatedly ask the believers to offer prayers (salah), but how to offer the prayers? The jurists find in the traditions (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Role Model as Best Human Being:
He is the ideal seeker of spiritual perfection for the mystics. Philosophers and statesman find a role model of both as conqueror of hearts and just ruler in him. The ordinary Muslims can find a model of God’s grace and salvation in him. He was an effective administrator, legislator, judge and military commander as well as teacher, preacher and prayer leader of the Muslim community. At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O’ People, no messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people.” History is witness to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did convey the Message very effectively and successfully.
Before his demise Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being universal messenger of God for the humanity, extended the invitation of Islam to the neighboring Kings and rulers through epistles and emissaries. The most prominent are, Hercules the Eastern Roman Emperor (610-641 C.E), Khusro Parvaiz of Persia, Najashi, the King of Habsha (Abyssinia), rulers of Bahrain and Oman. He died in 632 C.E at Medina and was buried at the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjad-I-Nabwi).
Islam for the Humanity:
All previous messengers and scriptures were meant for the guidance of specific nations and that period, where as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Qur’an is the guide for the humanity for ever. Hence it is now mandatory for all the humanity, including the Jews and Christians to believe and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Qur’an, to attain salvation. Allah says: “As for those who are bent on denying the truth and on barring (others) from the path of God - all their (good) deeds will He let go to waste; whereas those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds, and have come to believe in what has been bestowed from on high on Muhammad - for it is the truth from their Sustainer – (shall attain to God’s grace) He will efface their (past) bad deeds, and will set their hearts at rest”.(Qur’an;47;2-3); “If instead of this rebellious attitude the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had believed and become God fearing, We would certainly have removed their iniquities and admitted them to the gardens of Bliss”(Qur’an;5:65).
The sacred writings of religions, comprising a large portion of the religious literature of the world. The sacred scriptures containing the message of guidance are available to the people after the messengers are gone. Allah says: “He has spelled out His revelations for people who want to understand.”(Qur’an;10:5). Scriptures vary in form, volume, age, and degree of sacredness. Nearly all scriptures were originally oral and were passed down as memorized texts through several generations before being put in writing except Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam, which beside being memorized was also written down at the time of revelation under direct supervision of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Qur’an, the latest scripture mentions Torah, Zabur (Psalms) and Injeel (Gospel) by name, the scriptures revealed to Prophet Moses, David and Jesus Christ (peace be upon them all) respectively, however this does not preclude existence of other scriptures, like the one to Abraham (peace be upon him), now extinct. Allah says: “We have sent thee (O’ Muhammad) inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the prophets after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham Ishmael Isaac Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus Job Jonah Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some Messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not; and to Moses Allah spoke direct.”(Qur’an;4:163-164). None of the present books of the Bible have reached through the manuscript of its author. The available manuscripts date from several centuries after the original books were written. The books of New Testament lack conformity, there are more than 5000 manuscripts, written during different periods by different authors mostly unknown. Hence the Muslims, while believing in all the previous prophets and ‘original scriptures’ adhere to Qur’an, the final preserved revelations, ‘The Last Testament’ available for the guidance of humanity which abrogated all the previous scriptures.
Testament of Abraham:
Qur’an mentions that the law of righteousness and godliness is not a new law, the spiritual truths have been renewed and reiterated again and again in the previous scriptures from Abraham to Moses: “And This is In the Books of the earliest (Revelation),The Books of Abraham and Moses.”(Qur’an;87:18-19); “Or has he not been notified about what was in the books of Moses and of Abraham who always kept his word:”(Qur’an;53:36-37). There is a book in Greek, which has been translated by Mr. G.H. Box, called the ‘Testament of Abraham’ (published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, London, 1927). It seems to be a Greek translation of a Hebrew original. The Greek Text was probably written in the second Christian century, in Egypt, but in its present form it probably goes back only to the 9th or 10th Century. It was popular among the Christians. Perhaps the Jewish Midrash also refers to a ‘Testament of Abraham’.
The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is the scripture of Judaism; the Bible (Old and New Testaments together) is the scripture of Christianity. Word ‘Bible’, is derived from Greek biblos ("book") can be compared with byblos ("Papyrus": The writing material of ancient times and also the plant from which it was derived). In the fifth century after Christ, name ‘Bible’ began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books, the "Library of Divine Revelation." The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came gradually into use in the English language. Interestingly the word ‘Bible’ does not exist in the text of Bible. The order as well as the number of books differs between the Jewish Bible, the Protestant and Roman Catholic versions of the Bible. The sixty-six different books of the Bible were composed by many different writers, in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the long period spread over 1600 years. No original manuscripts exist. There is probably not one book which survives in anything like its original form. There are hundreds of differences between the oldest manuscripts of any one book. These differences indicate that numerous additions and alterations were made to the originals by various copyists and editors. The earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures from the original Hebrew is known as Septuagint. Presumably this translation was made for the use of the Jewish community in Egypt when Greek was the lingua franca. The Pentateuch was translated near the middle of the 3rd century BC; the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures were translated in the 2nd century BC. The name Septuagint was derived from a legend that 72 translators worked on the project. Its influence was far-reaching. The Septuagint rather than the original Hebrew Bible was the main basis for the Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and some Arabic translations of the Bible.
The Old Testament:
The Bible comprise of Old Testament and New Testament. The word, ‘Testament’ comes fro the Latin ‘testamentum’, translating the Greek ‘diatheke’, the word chosen by Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word, ‘berith’, which strictly speaking means ‘Covenant’ or the covenant between human beings and God’. The Jewish Bible, which include the Hebrew scripture, the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, forming the covenant between God and the Jewish people that is the foundation and Bible of Judaism while for the Christians it constitute the Old Testament. The New Testament comprising the Gospels, Acts, Pauline and other Epistles, and the Book of Revelation, together viewed by Christians as forming the record of the new dispensation belonging to the Church. The authenticity, accuracy and originality of presently available Torah, Psalm, Gospel and other books as revealed scriptures is doubtful, which is also evident from the long history and complex process of compilation, transmission, revisions, translations and canonization.
The Old Testament, containing thirty-nine books, (Appendix III) and the New Testament, contains twenty-seven books. There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The sixty-six books of Bible which include 39 books of Old Testaments and 27 books of New Testaments were chosen, after a bit of haggling, by the Catholic Council of Carthage in 397 C.E; almost four hundred years after the time of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). The Bible of Protestants consists of total 66 books and the Bible of Catholic has 73 books. The literature of the Bible has played a special role in the history and culture of the Western & Christian world.
Torah is often restricted to signify the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the ‘Law’ or the ‘Pentateuch’. These are the books traditionally ascribed to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), the recipient of the original revelation from God on Mount Sinai. Jewish, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant canons all agree on their order as: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The written Torah, in the restricted sense of the Pentateuch, is preserved in all Jewish synagogues on handwritten parchment scrolls that reside inside the ark of the Law. They are removed and returned to their place with special reverence. Readings from the Torah (Pentateuch) form an important part of Jewish liturgical services. The term Torah is also used to designate the entire Hebrew Bible. Since for some Jews the laws and customs passed down through oral traditions are part and parcel of God's revelation to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and constitute the "Oral Torah," Torah is also understood to include both the Oral Law and the Written Law. Rabbinic commentaries on and interpretations of both Oral and Written Law have been viewed by some as extensions of sacred oral tradition, thus broadening still further the meaning of Torah to designate the entire body of Jewish laws.
Torah comprise of those commandments and instructions raveled to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) starting with his appointment of Messengers-ship till his death, spread over forty years. Allah says: “We gave Moses the Holy Book (Torah) and the criterion of right and wrong so that you might be rightly guided”( Qur’an;2:53). It include the Ten Commandments given by God on the stone tablets, while Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) got the remaining commandments written, twelve copies were prepared and handed over to each of the twelve tribes. One copy was given in the protective custody to the Levite, which is called Torah. This was intact in the form of Book till the first destruction of Jerusalem (586 B.C). The Levite’s copy of Torah along with stone tablets was kept in the box of covenant. It was so much ignored that during repairs of Temple the Hilki'ah, the chief priest found it and presented to king. It is due to this apathy that few copies of Torah lying in the Temple were lost for ever, during destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. After a captivity of many years, this restoration was begun (536 B.C.), Ezra (Prophet Uzair, peace be upon him) with the help of other notables arranged the entire history of Children of Israel which is now available in the form of first seventeen books of Old Testament.
In the broadest sense Torah (Taurat) is claimed to be the substance of divine revelation to Israel, the Jewish people: God's revealed teaching or guidance for mankind. The actual Torah revealed to Moses is scattered in the books, which can be identified to begin with the phrases, where ever the writer writes; “the God said to Moses” or” Moses said, the Lord your Lord says” and ends with other events. Wherever the author gets in to his explanations and exegesis, it becomes difficult for normal reader to distinguish the Torah from the exegesis. However the experts of ‘revealed scriptures’ can distinguish the divine revelations with some accuracy. Qur’an considers these scattered phrases as Torah and verifies them. If these scattered phrases are compiled and compared with Qur’an, it may be found that apart from some differences in parts, there is no difference in their basic teachings. Allah says: “And, verily, (the essence of) this (revelation, i.e. Qur’an) is indeed found in the ancient books of divine wisdom (as well) (Qur’an;26:196,link 2:42, 61:6); “(O Children of Israel) Believe in My revelations, which are confirming your scriptures; do not be the first one to deny My revelations, and do not sell them for a petty price, fear Me and Me alone”( Qur’an;2:41). Hence it becomes evident that the original source of both the books (Bible and Qur’an) is the same. Allah says: “We have sent thee inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham Ishmael Isaac Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus Job Jonah Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms.”(Qura’n;4:163).
The book of Psalms in the Bible, is widely known for the sacred song or poems. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), in the original Hebrew text the book had no name, it was titled Psalterion, referring to a stringed instrument that would accompany such songs. The collection contains much devotional poetry of a high order. Its 150 psalms, ranging in subject from songs of joyous faith and thanksgiving to songs of bitter protest and lamentation, rank among the immortal poems of all time. They have had a profound influence on the liturgies of Judaism and Christianity. Their dating and authorship are highly problematic. The distinction of King and Prophet David (peace be upon him) was the Zabur (Psalms), some of which are still extant. Though their present form is different from the original and they do undoubtedly also include Psalms not written by David.
Apart from Hebrew’s Bible, Talmud (in Hebrew: Study, or Learning) is the intellectual work, it comprise the scholarly interpretations, systematic amplification and analysis of passages of the Mishna (Oldest authoritative collection of Jewish oral law, supplementing the written laws in the Hebrew Scriptures), the Gemara (commentary on Mishna), and other Oral Law, including the Tosefta (supplements to the Mishna, compiled around 300 C.E). The Talmud is, first and foremost, a legal compilation, although it deals with the matters of almost all areas of human interest. Two types of Talmuds exist, which have been produced by two different groups of Jewish scholars: the Babylonian Talmud (600 C.E) and the Palestinian Talmud (400 C.E). The Babylonian Talmud is more extensive and thus more highly esteemed. Both Talmuds formulate their own hermeneutics to convey their theological system by defining the Torah and by demonstrating its perfection and comprehensive character. The Talmud remains a text of central importance, particularly in Orthodox Judaism. Intensive modern Talmudic scholarship is pursued in Israel and the U.S.The religious study of the Torah in search of the God who makes Himself known in that work is called ‘Talmud Torah’. It focuses on learning God's message for contemporary times through inquiry into the books of Hebrew scripture or those that record the original oral Torah of Sinai, the Mishna, Midrash (large collection of writings that examine the Hebrew Bible in the light of oral tradition), and Talmuds. Talmud Torah is also the name given to an elementary school under Jewish auspices that places special emphasis on religious education.
The New Testament is the second, later, and smaller of the two major divisions of the Christian Bible, and the portion that is canonical (authoritative) only to Christianity (Appendix III). It recounts the life and ministry of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and interprets their meaning for the early church, focusing especially on the new covenant created between God and the followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Like the Old Testament it contains a variety of writing, there are 27 books in the New Testament: four Gospels, or stories of the life and teachings of Christ; the Acts of the Apostles, a historical narrative of the first years of the Christian church; 21 epistles, or letters of advice and instruction to early Christians; and the Book of Revelation, a description of the coming apocalypse: “I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”(Revelations;22:18-19). Most books were written in the later 1st century AD, though none can be dated precisely. Only two authors are known for certain: Paul, credited with 13 epistles (some make it 14); and Luke, writer of the third gospel and the Book of Acts. Attributions of other authors range from highly likely (for the other three gospels) to completely unknown (for the Epistle to the Hebrews). These documents circulated among the early churches and were used as preaching and teaching sources.
Saint Paul- The Main Writer of New Testament:
 (10-67 C.E), The real founder of Christianity as religion and alleged author of most of books of New Testament is the early Christian missionary and theologian, Saint Paul (10-67 C.E), also known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. His original name was Saul, born as a Jew in Tarsus, Asia Minor. Like many of the Jews there he inherited Roman citizenship, probably granted by the Romans as a reward for mercenary service in the previous century. He used his Jewish name, Saul, within the Jewish community and his Roman surname, Paul, when speaking to Greeks. He was trained as a rabbi but earned his living as a tentmaker. He never met Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) while in Jerusalem.
A zealous Pharisee, (the ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic Law in both its oral and written form) he enthusiastically participated in the persecution and killing of the early Christians. When one of them, Stephen, was stoned to death, the murderers "laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul"(Acts;7:58). Later he converted to Christianity claiming to have experienced a vision of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), while on the road to Damascus. Three years later he met St. Peter and James and was henceforth became to be known as the 13th Apostle. From his base in Antioch, he traveled widely, preaching to the Gentiles (non Jews). [Antioch was an ancient town of Phrygia,a city of southern Turkey on the OrontesRiver near the Mediterranean Sea. Founded around 300 B.C. by Seleucus I, it was an important military and commercial center in the Roman era and an early center of Christianity.It was a center of Hellenistic influence located north of present-day Antalya,Turkey.]
By asserting that non-Jewish disciples of Christ did not have to observe Jewish law, he helped to establish Christianity as a separate religion rather than a Jewish sect. On a journey to Jerusalem, he aroused such hostility among the Jews that a mob gathered, and he was arrested and imprisoned for two years. The circumstances of his death are unknown. Paul's ministry and religious views are known largely from his letters, or epistles, collected in the New Testament, which are the first Christian theological writing and the source of much Christian doctrine.
Paul, all but totally obliterated the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) based upon the authority of his alleged "visions". Paul’s teachings were based more upon his personal philosophy and beliefs than any attempt to cite words or actions of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself (e.g. Galatians 2). His followers slaughtered all Christians who would not forsake the teachings of the apostles for his teachings and he was later made the "majority author" of the New Testament (14 out of 27 books) and countless authentic gospels were burned and labeled apocrypha (Writings or statements of questionable authorship or authenticity) by his followers.
It can be seen that the current religion of "Christianity" is based more on the doctrines and writings of Paul than anything else. The Gospels which are popularly believed to have been written first, were in actuality written long after the writings of Paul. It was due to Paul more than anyone else that Christianity became a world religion.
The Gospels:
The word ‘gospel’ is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term ‘god-spell’, meaning ‘good story’, a rendering of the Latin ‘evangelium’ and the Greek ‘euangelion’ (Arabic; Injil), meaning ‘good news’ or "good telling". The 73 or 66 books of New Testament include four Gospels. The Gospel, is any of four biblical narratives covering the life, the person, death (according to Christian belief) and the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), as he was remembered by the Christian community. Traditionally their authorship (highly speculative) is attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (the four evangelists), they are placed at the beginning of the New Testament and make up about half the total text.
Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) conveyed orally to the people what God had originally revealed to him. His disciples, too, propagated it among the people by the spoken words in such a manner that they presented an admixture of their Prophet's life-story and the verses revealed to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). None of this material was put into writing during the lifetime of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) or even in the period immediately following him. It fell to the lot of the Christians whose vernacular was Greek to transform the oral traditions into writing. It must be borne in mind that Christ's native tongue was Syriac or Aramaic and his disciples, too, spoke the same language. Most Greek-speaking authors heard these traditions in the Aramaic vernacular and committed them to writing in Greek. The oral traditions have been put into writing from Aramaic to Greek from 50-70 C.E.
Ever since the period of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), there have been people who tried to follow the message preached by Prophet Jesus i.e. To worship one God, adhere to the basic teachings of Moses and follow the Law (Torah). They considered Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as a human, Messenger of God, not God. These groups survived in good numbers up to 4th Century, after Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) till the Trinitarians got upper hand by winning over Emperor Constantine of Roman Empire in early 4th century C.E.
The Council of Nicaea (Iznik-Turkey) in 325 C.E, besides declaring these groups illegal, selected four Gospels out of a minimum of three hundred available and the rest, including the Gospel of Barnabas (most authentic), were ordered utterly destroyed. However amazingly some copies of Gospel of Barnabas survived, one recently discovered from a cave in Oloderay, a village of Turkey. A copy is also reported to have been found at the Vatican’s library. It has been prohibited by the church, because it is against the doctrine of Christianity which contradict the teachings of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him) and the unambiguous prophecies mentioned in his Gospel regarding the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). All Gospels written in Hebrew were also ordered to be destroyed.
Council of Laodicea (364 C.E) added six books as believable, later in 397 C.E another conference at Carthage, added six more Books. Three more conferences were held after this in Trullo, Florence and Trent (1545-63 C.E). They confirmed the decision of the Council of Carthage and included nearly all the previously doubtful books in the list of acknowledged books. The status of these books remained unchanged until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
The Protestants repudiated the decisions of the councils and declared that there are only 66 truly "inspired" books of God, and not 73 as claimed by the Catholics. If it is blasphemy to take even a word from the Bible (Revelations:22:18-19), who is blaspheming? Those who added these seven books from the very beginning or those who expunged them.
Since the late 18th century the first three gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) have been called the Synoptic Gospels, because the texts, set side by side, show a similar treatment of the life of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). The four New Testament Gospels compiled as a single narrative by Tatian about 150 C.E is called Diatessaron. It was the standard Gospel text in the Syrian Middle East until about 400 C.E, when it was replaced by the four separated Gospels. Quotations from the Diatessaron appear in ancient Syriac literature, but no ancient Syriac manuscript now exists. A 3rd-century Greek papyrus fragment was discovered in 1933 at Doura-Europus, northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. Whether the original writing was done in Greek or Syriac is unknown. There are also manuscripts in Arabian and Persian and translations into European languages made during the Middle Ages.
The Christian scholars, with extensive research are uncovering extensive evidence that these Gospels were not even written by their claimed authors. Bultmann, Rudolf (1884-1976), a German Protestant theologian and New Testament scholar carried out the analysis of the Gospels in ‘History of the Synoptic Tradition’(1921). He also examined the New Testament using historical criticism to demythologize it. He held that Christian faith should focus less on the historical Jesus and more on the transcendent Christ. John Biddle (1615-62 C.E), an English theologian was involved in English translation of Bible from Greek. His knowledge of the Greek text of the New Testament convinced him that the doctrine of the Trinity was not of scriptural origin, he published his Unitarian convictions in ‘Twelve Arguments Drawn out of Scripture’ . . . (1647 C.E). He was repeatedly imprisoned and persecuted. Even the Popes themselves would sometimes recognize the falsehood about the dual nature of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and the fact that it was a later fabrication. One of these popes, Honorius I (Pope from 625 to 638 C.E), was officially cursed due to similar views forty eight years after his death by the Synod (council) which was held in Constantinople (Istanbul) in 680 C.E.
The first English version of the Scriptures made by direct translation from the original Hebrew and Greek, and the first to be printed, was the work of William Tyndale(1490-1536 C.E). He was of the view that the Bible alone should determine the practices and doctrines of the church and that every believer should be able to read the Bible in his own language. Fearing as an effort to undermine their monopoly and deceit, the church authorities in England prevented him from translating the Bible, thus he went to Germany. His New Testament translation was completed and printed in 1525, which was ordered to be burnt. He was finally betrayed into the hands of his enemies, and in October 1536, was publicly executed and burned at the stake.
Tyndale's work became the foundation of subsequent English translations, beginning with the King James Version of 1611. Ever since the Bible has been translated in almost all the languages of the world. Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manu­scripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision of the English translation. The task was undertaken, by authority of the Church of England, in 1870. The English Revised Version of the Bible was published in 1881-1885; and the American Standard Version, its variant em­bodying the preferences of the American scholars associated in the works was published in 1901. Thirty-two scholars have served as members of the Committee charged with making the revision, and they have secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations. If in the judgment of the Committee the meaning of a passage is quite uncertain or obscure, either because of corruption in the text or because of the inadequacy of present knowledge of the language, that fact is indicated by a note. It should not be assumed, however, that the Committee was entirely sure or unanimous concerning every rendering not so indicated.
The Revised Standard Version Bible Committee is a continuing body, holding its meetings at regular intervals. It has become both ecumenical and inter­national, with Protestant and Catholic active members, who come from Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.There are over forty different major versions of Bible, suitable to the doctrine of different followers, one claiming to be batter and more accurate than other. The main versions are: The King James (Authorized) Version, The English Revised Version, The American Standard Version, The Revised Standard Version, Jewish Versions, The New English Bible and The Catholic Versions. Encyclopedia Britannica, mentions that; There is no reliable evidence of any pre-Islamic Arabic translation of Bible. Only when large Jewish and Christian communities found themselves under Muslim rule after the Arab conquests of the 7th century did the need for an Arabic vernacular Scripture arise. The first and most important was that of Sa'adia ben Joseph (892-942 C.E), made directly from Hebrew and written in Hebrew script, which became the standard version for all Jews in Muslim countries.
The Gospel (Injeel) - IslamicPerception:
According to Islamic traditions, Injeel(Gospel) is the name given to those revealed discourses and sayings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) during the last two and half or three years as prophet of God for the Israelites. There is no authentic information available about their recording and compilation before his accession. The Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are not actually Gospels but Gospel (Injeel) is the sayings and discourses of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) recorded in these books in uncorrupted form. The only method to distinguish them from other narratives, comments and exegesis is that wherever the author writes, “Jesus said…” or “Jesus taught..” may help to extract part of Gospel i.e. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”(Matthew;22:37); “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. . . . Whoever thenrelaxes one of the least of these Commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;” (Gospel-Mathew;5:17-20).
Qur’an calls the original revelations (now almost extinct, distorted) of God to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as Injeel (Qur’an;5:46). Hence some parts of original Injeel (Gospel) may be retrieved through critical comparison of selected sayings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) matching with the narratives in Qur’an on similar subject being the standard Criterion (Al-Furqan) (Qur’an;25:1, 2:185, 3:4)
Inconsistencies, Violence and Obscenities in Bible:
Despite all the revisions, the Bible is still full of contradictions, violence, obscenities and interpolations; many volumes are required to explain them; only few examples are mentioned here; First; the doctrinal aspects: God dwells in light (1Timothy;6:16); God dwells in darkness (1Kings;8:12, Pslams;18:11). God is all powerful (Jeremiah;32:27,17, Mathew;19:26); God is not all powerful (Judges;1:19). God is not author of evil (Psalms;19:7-8, Deuteronomy;32:4); God is the author of evil (Ezekiel;20:25, Lamentations; 3:38, Jeremiah;18:11, Amos;3:6). God is peaceful (Romns;15:33, 1Corrintihans;14:33), God is warlike (Exodus;15:3, Isaiah;51:15). God cannot lie (Numbers;23:19, Hebrews;6:18), God lies (Jeremiah;4:10, 2 Thessalonians;2:11, 1Kings;22:23, Ezekiel;14:9). Heaven, no man hath ascended (John;3:13) contradicted by 2Kings;2:11, Elijah ascended, and Genesis;5:24 Enoch ascended. Judas (treacherous disciple of Jesus) hanged himself (Mathew;27:5), he did not hang himself but died other way (Acts;1:18). Mission of Jesus was to implement the Law of Moses (Mathew;5:17-19), Law superseded by Christian dispensations (Luke;16:16, Ephesians;2:15, Romans;7:6). Man is Not justified by faith alone (James;2:21,24, Romans;2:13), man is justified by faith alone (Romans;3:20, Galatians;2:16, 3:11-12). Jesus lost "None" of his disciples (John;18:9) contradicted by, he lost only "One" (John;17:12). All are sinners (2Chronicles;6:36) contradicted by: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin" (1John;3:9).
Unscientific Narratives & Contradictions in Bible:
Secondly; the Biblical narrative of Creation is unscientific, replete with contradictions: On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness (Genisis;1:3-5) where as the sun (which separates night and day) wasn't created until the fourth day (Genisis;1:14-19); trees were created before man was created.(Genesis;1:11-12,26-27), Man was created before trees were created.(Genesis;2:4-9); birds were created before man was created.(Genesis;1:20-21, 26-27), man was created before birds were created.(Genesis;2:7, 19). God was pleased with his creation (Genesis;1:31), God was not pleased with his creation (Genesis;6:5-6).
Thirdly; Contradictions in the history and statistics, which are glaring, The story of flood at Genesis 6-9 contradicts with Genesis 7:2-3. The "Lord" tempted David (2Samuel;24:1) or "Satan provoked David (IChronicles;21:1), David’s fight with Goliath differs with one an other (1Samuel;17:56, 16:18-23 & 16:18-19). The number 700 or 7000? "Horsemen" or "Footmen"?(2 Samuel;10:18) viz (1Chronicles;19:18). Solomon had 2000 baths or 3000 baths?(1Kings;7-26 viz 2Chronicles;4:5). Solomon had 4000 stalls of horses or 40000? (2Chronicles;9:25 viz 1Kings;4:26). Did Saul enquire of the Lord or didn't he? (1Samuels;28:6 viz 1Chronicles;10:13-14).
Bible does not mince words for the violent, ruthless and indiscriminate wars of extermination: "Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and Kill every woman (female) that hath known man by lying (having sex) with him. "But keep Alive for yourselves all the Girls and all the women who are Virgins."(Numbers;31:17-18); “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”(1Samel;15:3); 'And they Utterly Destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep, and Ass, with the edge of the sword"(Joshua;6:21); “slay utterly the old man, the young man and the virgin, and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark: and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the old men that were before the house.”(Ezakhel;9:6); “and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him.”(Numbers; 31:35). “But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes,(Deuteronomy;20:16);"He (Joshua) let None remain alive." (Joshua;10:28). “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm;149:6-9). 
In the New Testament the Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) says: “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.”(Luke;19:27); “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”(Mathew;10:34), “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled?” (Luke;12:49),“Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division.”(Luke;12:51); “And, behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his Sword, and struck a servant of the high priests, and cut off his ear.”(Mathew;26:51). Saint. Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions the warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals: “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets -- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews; 11: 32-34). The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian in the history. The Crusades (1095-1291 C.E), Spanish inquisition against Muslims, Jews and Church inquisitions against different Christian sects on the pretext of heresy resulted in the death and destruction of millions.
There are many obscene and blasphemous narratives in the Bible, some of the obscene narratives in Bible can not be narrated here due to the vulgarity; hence only references are mentioned: Judges;19;16:30, Genesis;9:20-27, 19:30-38, Genisis;19:8, Ezekiel; 23:1-4, 4:12-15, Isaiah;20:2-4, 2 Samuel; 6:20, 11:4, 11:6-25; 1Kings;11:4-7 & 11:9-11. Due to the contradictions, inaccuracies, interpolations, violence and obscenities one may then only accept the Bible as a faulty, inaccurate conglomeration of pseudo-historical and religious records that various chronicles have collated under the illusion of divine inspiration, which can not be taken as the authentic word of God to form basis of doctrines for a sound faith.
The Corruption of The Scripture:
The corruption and non adherence to the Old and New Testaments by Jews and Christians respectively forms the basis of their replacement with the Final Testament. God says: “God accepted a Covenant from the Children of Israel and appointed twelve chieftains from among them and said: "I am with you; if you establish Prayers (Salah) pay Alms (Zakah), believe in My Messengers, support them and give a generous loan to Allah (spend in charity), I will certainly forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which the rivers flow. However, if any one of you, after this, violates this Covenant, he will indeed go astray from the Right Way. Even after that, they broke their covenant; as a result, We laid on them Our curse and hardened their hearts. They tempered with words out of their context and neglected much of what they were enjoined. You will always find most of them deceitful except for a few of them. Yet forgive them and overlook their misdeeds. Allah loves those who are kind to others. Likewise We also made a Covenant with those who call themselves Christians, but they too have neglected much of what they were enjoined. As a result, We stirred among them enmity and hatred, which will last till the Day of Resurrection and soon God will inform them all of what they have done. O followers of Bible (People of the Book i.e. the Jews and Christians)! Now Our Messenger (Muhammad) has come to you to reveal much of what you have concealed from the Holy Books and to pass over much which is no longer necessary. There has come to you from God a new Light and a clear Book (Qur’an), with which God will guide to the ways of peace all those who seek His good pleasure and bring them out of the depth of darkness into the light of His grace and guide them to the Right Way.” (Qur’an;5:12-15).
Qur’an (literally means; ‘Recitation’), the sacred scripture of Islam, the infallible word of God, a perfect transcription of an eternal tablet preserved in Heaven and revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his 23 years of his apostolic mission (610-632 C.E) for the guidance of humanity (Qur’an;12:104, 25:1, 38:87, 68:52, 81:27, 73:19). God says: “Blessed is the One Who has revealed Al-Furqan (the criterion to distinguish right from wrong: The Qur’an) to His servant, that he may be a Warner to the worlds”(Qur’an;25:1); “O Prophet, surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, for the instruction of Mankind. He who follows the Right Way shall follow it for his own good; and he who goes astray shall do so at his own peril. You are not set up as a guardian over them.”(Qur’an;39:41); “This is nothing but a reminder and a plain Qur’an to warn those who are alive (in heart) and to establish the charge against the disbelievers (on the Day of Judgment)” (Qur’an; 36:69-70). Qur’an is simple and straight message of God (Qur’an;69:40-3,6.153, 18:1-3). It is part of articles of faith of a Muslims to believe in all the previous messengers of God and the scriptures; in the original form in which they were revealed upon them. Allah says: “ (Qur’an is a guide for those) who believe in this Revelation (The Qur’an) which is sent to you (O Muhammad) and the Revelations which were sent before you (Torah, Psalms, Gospel...) and firmly believe in the Hereafter.”(Qur’an;2:4).
The Previous Scriptures for Limited Period:
The revelations received by the earlier messengers, some available in the form of books in Bible (Torah, Psalms, Gospel etc) were meant for specific people for specific time, besides not being in the original revealed form, their authenticity can not be established due to variant versions. Allah says: “He has revealed to you this Book (Qur’an) with the Truth, confirming whatever there still remains of the scripture which preceded it, as He revealed the Torah and Gospel, aforetime as a guidance unto mankind, and it is He who has bestowed (upon man) the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Behold, as for those who are bent on denying God’s messages- grievous suffering awaits them: for God is Almighty, an avenger of evil.”(Qur’an;3:3-4); "Truth has come and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood by its nature is bound to perish.”(Qur’an;17:81). Allah says: “And, verily, (the essence of ) this (revelation, i.e. Qur’an) is indeed found in the ancient books of divine wisdom (as well) (Qur’an;26:196,link 2:42, 61:6), Qur’an was foretold in Bible, Deutronomy;18:15 &18. Hence to discern the true from the false the previous scriptures have been abrogated and replaced with the final revelation.(Qur’an; 2:106-107, 16:101, 5:48). Hence it is obligatory for the humanity to now follow it.
Flawless System of Recording and Preservation:
The Qur’an consists of 114 chapters (sūrahs) of varying length, revealed in Arabic language. The Qur’an, comprising 6236 verses (ayah) is unrivalled in its recording and preservation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) not only orally passed the Qur’an to the people of Arabia, he also made elaborate arrangements to ensure that its contents are preserved. The companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) participated in this preservation process in large numbers, through writing and memorizing the text and safely transferring to the next generation. The Qur’an is not like the writings of the New Testament, where as per Christian traditions, God inspired a scribe to write down the scripture; the idea and words were those of the scribe while God only supervised the scribe. In other cases, the Christians would like to say that the scribe was inspired by God and revealed a certain idea to him. The scribe then wrote it down in his own words.
In case of the Qur’an, the words and ideas are both Divine. The words and verses of the Qur’an were preserved, through the oral as well as the written traditions, in the lifetime of Prophet (peace be upon him), as also evident from the internal evidence from Qur’an, which repeatedly mentions itself as ‘al- kitaab’ (The Book) from the very beginning: “This (Qur’an) is the Book; in it is guidance sure without doubt to those who fear Allah.”(Qur’an;2:2);“Recite from this Book (Qur'an) which has been revealed to you”(Qur’an;29:45); “And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.”(Qur’an;18:27). Allah says: “By no means (should it be so)! For it (Qur’an) is indeed a Message of instruction: Therefore let who will keep it in remembrance. It is written in scrolls, which are honored, exalted, purified, and which remain in the hands of scribes, who are noble and virtuous.”(Qur’an;80:11-16).
Abdullah Yousaf Ali explains that: “At the time when this Sura Abasa (Chapter Number: 80) was revealed, at Makka; there were perhaps only about 42 or 45 Suras (Chapter) in the hands of the Muslims. But it was a sufficient body of Revelation of high spiritual value, to which the description given here could be applied. It was held in the highest honor; its place in the hearts of Muslims was more exalted than that of anything else; as Allah's Word, it was pure and sacred; and those who transcribed it were men who were honorable, just and pious. The legend that the early Suras were not carefully written down and preserved in books is a pure conjecture.
The efforts made later in the time of the first and the third Caliph were merely to preserve the purity and safeguard the arrangement of the text at a time when the expansion of Islam among non-Arabic-speaking people made such precautions necessary”. The details of the process of compilation of the Holy Qur’an is found in the books of history and exegesis, a glimpse here provide the insight to the process of its preservation and dissemination. Initially (while at Mecca) Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to read out the revealed passages to the small group of his followers who besides committing the revelation to their memory also used to write it down on available writing material. Subsequently, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) himself unlettered, constituted a committee of more than forty of his literate companions, who were assigned the task of writing the Holy Book.
On receiving a verse or verses from Allah through revelation, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) used to call one of the members of the committee and dictated it. At this time, the Holy Prophet also used to instruct the scribe as to where the newly revealed verse or verses were to be placed in the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Prophet thus not only used to dictate scattered verses but also give a divine order of arrangement of each verse. Zaid bin Thabit (one of scribes) reports that after having dictated the verse, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would ask the scribe to read it out. Errors if any were rectified and the final draft was approved. Although the Qur’an had been compiled in the lifetime of the Prophet (died 632 C.E), yet need of preparation of official copy was felt during the reign of Abu Bakar, the 1stCaliph (632-634 C.E), for preservation of standard text to meet the requirements of ever expanding global Muslim community.
Abu Bakar constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Zaid bin Thabit. All the companions assisted him and the volume thus compiled was attested by hundreds of companions. During the period of 3rd Caliph (644-656 C.E) Uthman, a large number of non-Arabs also embraced Islam, who were found to be reciting Qur’an in varied dialects. Uthman in consultation with all the companions, got the copies of Qur’an written in accordance with the dialects and calligraphic style of the Quraysh, and these copies were placed in the major cities of the Muslim Caliphate, the expert reciters (Qari) to elucidate and teach the correct recitation were also made available. These copies served as the master copies for all the Muslims and numerous copies were prepared and circulated. Two of the master copies prepared by Uthman are still available in museums at Tashkent, and Istanbul, which are identical to any copy of Qur’an found in Indonesia, China, America, Australia, Morocco, France, Nigeria or any other part of the world. Thus the contribution of Uthman is not that he compiled the Qur’an for the first time, as is generally misunderstood, he in fact united the Muslims on one standard recitation of the Qur’an. (Details are narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.709, Narrated by Anas and Hadith, 6.510 Narrated by Anas bin Malik).
The Qur’an is the central to the life of Muslims, which is recited to the new born and to the one breathing his last. The devout Muslims routinely recite part of Qur’an daily, some completing one recitation in a month. Those who can not read are content to listen quietly. Every year in the month of fasting (Ramadan), recitation of complete Qur’an is completed by the prayer leaders (Hafiz) in (taraweeh) prayers. Every Muslim has to memorize some parts or chapters of Qur’an, as it is obligatory for every Muslim to recite some verses of Qur’an, in the original Arabic (not translation), in the five daily prayers at least seventeen times (in obligatory, faradh). Besides availability of written script, Muslims feel greatly honored all over the world to memorize the Qur’an word by word as a whole; they are called-Hafiz (Protector). At any one time there are Protectors (Hufaz) among all age groups in every village, town, city and country. Hence there are millions of Protectors (Hufaz) the world over, who are continuously being replaced by new one’s as the elders die in natural process.
This process of preservation of Qur’an in the memory and hearts of Muslims is in line with Allah’s saying: “And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?”(Qur’an;54:17); “Surely We have revealed this reminder (Qur’an); and We will surely preserve it Our self”.(Qur’an;15:9). This is how Qur’an is transferred from ‘generation to generation’ through the process of Historical Continuity (Twater) in its original form without any distortion. Hence amazingly this scripture has remained unchanged over the past fourteen hundred years.
Main Thames:
The earliest sūrahs (revealed during initial 13 years of prophethood, from 610 to 622 C.E known as Makkan period) call for strict monotheism, worship and obedience to Allah (One God), the moral and religious obedience in light of the coming Day of Judgment; the ones revealed later (10 years of Madni period from 622 to 632 C.E) generally provide directives for the creation of a social structure that will support the moral life called for by God. The Qur’an also provides detailed accounts of the joys of paradise for pious believers and the terrors of hell for sinners and disbelievers. The God who conveyed the revelations to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), through archangel Gabriel, is the same God, worshiped by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and all other prophets mentioned in Bible. The stern justice of God is emphasized in Qur’an along with frequent references to his mercy and compassion for the repentant believers.
The Qur’an demands absolute submission (Islam) to God: "Surely Allah’s religion is (Man’s) self surrender to Him (Islam).”(Qur’an;3:19).Both Qur’an and Traditions (Sunnah) of Prophet (peace be upon him) serve as the primary source of Islamic law (Shari’a). Qur’an is immutable in both form and content; the translations are just paraphrases to facilitate understanding of the actual scripture, in no way substitute to the original Arabic script (Appendix I). Qur’an is eternal guide for those who ponder. Allah says: “This Book (Al-Qur’an) which we have sent down to you (O Muhammad) is highly blessed, so that they may ponder upon its verses and the men of understanding may learn a lesson from it.”(Qur’an;38:29).
Some Qur’anic verses, draw the attention of humanity towards scientific phenomena, as His signs, related with Astronomy, Physics, Geography, Geology, Oceanology, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Medicine, Physiology, Embryology as well as General Science, mostly un known to humanity fourteen centuries ago, discovered recently proving miraculous nature of Qur’an as the word of God. The world's leading authority on orientalism and Middle East, Princeton Professor Philip K. Hitti, in his book ‘Islam, a Way of Life’, writes; “The Koran is dictated (by Allah). Any quotation from the Koran can be introduced with ''saith Allah”. It is now for the mankind to make their own choice; weather to follow the distorted and corrupted ancient scriptures or the Last Testament, the message of divine guidance available in its pure form- The Qur’an! Backed up with practical demonstration of its application by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) available in the form of written and oral record of Traditions (Hadith and Sunnah).
The Traditions (Sunnah) of The Prophet (PBUH):
Qur’an, reveled through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) provides the basic guide lines, the details of its explanation, the way of living acceptable and pleasing to Allah are provided through the practical life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He received the inspiration (wahi) of two categories, Wahi Matlu, the exact words of God, Qur’an also to be recited in prayers and ‘Wahi Ghair Matlu’, not to be recited but practiced as told and demonstrated by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the matters of faith and Din.“And (O Muhammad) follow that which is inspired in thee, and forbear until Allah give judgment. And He is the Best of Judges.”(Qur’an;10:109); “… O Muhammad, tell them: "It is not possible for me to change it myself. I follow only what is revealed to me…”(Qur’an;10:15); “nor does he speak out of his own desire.” (Qur’an;53;2).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the role model, Allah says: “You have indeed, in the life of Messenger of God, the 'Best Model' for him whose hope is in God and the Day of the Hereafter, and who engages himself much in the remembrance of God.”(Qur’an;33:21). Allah says: “O ye who believe! obey Allah and obey the Messenger and make not vain your deeds!”(Qur’an;47:33); “We sent not a messenger, but to be obeyed, In accordance with the will of Allah…”. (Qur’an;4:64). Obedience of Messenger has been repeatedly emphasized in Qur’an; 3:31,32,132, 4:59, 5:92, 8:20, 9:71, 12;8, 24:52, 54, 33:21, 33:71, 47:33, 48:28, 64:12. The Messenger (peace be upon him) practically demonstrated to lead the life according to Qur’an, therefore Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is also referred as living Qur’an. Prophet (peace be upon him) had been entrusted with great responsibility; Allah says: “We sent those Messengers with clear signs and scriptures; and now We have sent down the reminder (Qur’an) to you (O Muhammad), so that you may explain clearly to mankind as to what was sent to them so that they may think about it”(Qur’an 16:44).
The term Hadith derives from the Arabic root hdth, meaning "to report," "to happen," and so, "to tell a happening," to speak of” or "to have, or give, as news." Hence the traditions are seen as narrative and record. From it comes Sunnah (literally, a "well-trodden path," i.e., taken as precedent and authority or directive), to which the faithful conform in submission to the sanction that Hadith possesses and that legalists, on that ground, can enjoin. Tradition in Islam is thus both content and constraint, Hadith as the biographical ground of law and Sunnah as the system of obligation derived from it.
The Sunnah (Traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a broader term which include his sayings, actions, approvals and disapprovals. Even if some action was performed in the presence and knowledge of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he kept quite; then it is considered as his approval, because he would not tolerate wrong. There are repeated commands in Qur’an, for the believers to offer Prayer and pay charity: “Therefore establish Salah (prayer), pay Charity (Zakah) and obey the messenger, so that you may be shown mercy.”(Qur’an;24:56). But the detailed procedure to offer the Salah (prayer) and details for payment of obligatory Charity (Zakah) are not found in Qur’an; but in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He laid down exceptions as elaborations of Qur’anic injunctions; for example it is prohibited to eat dead animals (Qur’an;5:3); Prophet (peace be upon him) specified the exception of fish and locust. Prohibition of donkey meat is not mentioned in Qur’an, but in Sunnah it is found to be prohibited and zebra as permissible. Marriage with aunt of wife is not mentioned in Qur’an, but Sunnah prohibit it. It is normal to say Prayer Call (Adhan) for Salah, but in Sunnah it is found that there is no Adhan for Eid and some other types of prayers. The authentic (Sahih) Hadith do not conflict with Qur’an, any apparent conflict could be due to misunderstanding by an individual, which will get reconciled if one goes in to the details and background.
The Traditions (Hadith and Sunnah) have been protected from corruption through record of continuous chain of reliable authentic narrators. It is through Hadith, that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has shaped and determined the behaviour patterns of the household of Islam by the posthumous leadership his personality exercised and will continue to exercise till eternity, Allah says in Qur’an: “It is He who has sent His Apostle with Guidance and the Religion of Truth to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.”(Qur’an;48:28).
While the Qur’an was being received, there had been reluctance and misgiving about recording the words and acts of the Prophet, lest they be confused with the uniquely constituted contents of the divine scripture. At times Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited some thing, which was later permitted; like initially women were prohibited to visit graves, as they used to make a lot of hue and cry but with more maturity they were later allowed. Although there was no formal system of recording of Hadith like the one followed for Qur’an, but there is also no authentic prohibition: Abu Saed Khidhri was reportedly prohibited by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to write Hadith along with Qur’an, to keep Qur’an pure. This incidence appears to have been quoted out of context, because some companions had been writing the sayings of Prophet (peace be upon him) in his lifetime with his permission; like Abdullah bin Umro bin Al As, Abu Rafi, Anas Bin Malik, Abu Hurairah; who had kept written record of Hadith in the form of many books, from which he used to teach many of his pupils. Humam bin Minbah being one of them, the book named after him; translated by Dr.Hamid Ullah.
The 1st Caliph Abu Bakar wrote 500 Traditions on request of his daughter Aysha, but washed them fearing that some of them which he had listened from others might not be accurately narrated, he did not want to be accused for any doubtful Hadith. Aysha (the mother of believers) herself a great scholar, used to refer Traditions in her correspondence on theological matters.
Umar, the 2nd Caliph discussed the writing of Traditions but discarded due to the fear, people mixing it up with or relegating Qur’an as done by the Jews and Christians with their scriptures. The 3rd Caliph Ali is reported to have asked the people to bring paper (costing one Dinar), then he dictated the Traditions. This is sufficient to establish that there were no prohibitions of writing of Traditions, which were transferred from father to son and from teacher to the pupils. The huge record of written letters and instructions of Prophet (peace be upon him) has been preserved in the books of history. The oldest collection of Hadith ‘Sahifa Hamam bin Manba through Abi Hurairah’ have been researched and authenticated by Dr.Hamidullah, has now been published.
The Science of Attestation of Traditions (Sunnah):
A tradition had to be sustained by an expert "The Science of Attestation” be able to satisfy rigorous formal criteria of their connection with the person of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through his "companions," by an unbroken sequence of "reportage". This science became so meticulous that there was no possibility of any error. Among the pioneers in Hadith in second century Hijra were historian Ibn Ishaq (died AH 150/C.E 767) and Malik ibn Anas, (died AH 179/C.E 795): The most revered of all traditionalists was Muhammad ibn Isma'il al- Bukhari (AH 194-256 /C.E 810-870 ), His Sahih occupied 16 years of editorial pains and scrutiny. He collected 300,000 Ahadith, and he memorized 200,000 of which some were unreliable. He included approximately 7,275 traditions with full isnad. Allowing for repetitions, the net total was 2,230, for which there was no doubt about their authenticity. He arranged the whole into 97 books and 3,450 chapters or topics, repeating the traditions that bore on several themes.
The others compilers of Hadith are Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (AH 202-261/C.E 817-875), Abu Da`ud al-Sijistani (AH 202-275/C.E 817-889), Abu 'Isa Muhammad at- Tirmidhi (died AH 279/C.E 892), Abu' Abd ar-Rahman an-Nasa’i (AH 216-303 /C.E 830-915]) and Abu 'Abdallah ibn Maja (AH 210-273/C.E 824-886). Nor did they oust the earlier collection of Malik ibn Anas, but they formed the sources of later popular editions, intended to conflate material for didactic purposes. One such was the work of Abu Muhammad al-Baghawi (died AH 516/C.E 1122) called Masabih as-Sunnah ("The Lamps of the Sunnah"). Commentaries on all these classical musannafat, or compilations, were many, and important in education and piety. The Shi’a collection of Traditions was prepared by Abu Ja'far Muhammad al-Qulini (died AH 328/C.E 939) with the tilte of Kafi fi 'Ilm ad-Din (All You Need About the Science of Religious Practice).
There are special Ahadith attributed to Allah, called Hadith Qudsi, in which the Prophet says, “Allah says so and so”. The meaning of these Hadith was revealed to the Prophet but he put them in his own words, unlike the Qur’an which is the direct word of Almighty Allah and the Prophet conveyed it exactly as it was revealed to him. To quote one as an example, the Prophet says the Allah says: “I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else's sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.”(Hadith Qudsi 5). The status of Hadith Qudsi is next to Qur’an but they can not be recited in prayer (salah). Thus along with Qur’an, the Traditions (Hadith &Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are the source of guidance for the humanity for ever. After Qur’an the authenticity of Hadith literature is doubtless, compared to any religious scripture, including the Bible, where even the names of authors are not known what to talk of the chain of transmission.
Contribution of Islamic Civilization for Humanity:
Besides acquiring the religious knowledge through study of Qur’an and Traditions (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the pursuit of other branches of knowledge is also considered necessary for good living and better understanding of the message of Islam. Qur’an does not draw any dividing line between the spiritual and the worldly concerns of life but, rather, regards them as different aspects of one and the same reality. In many of its verses, the Qur’an calls upon the believer to observe all nature and to discern God’s creative activity (Qura’n;10:5, 2:164, 30:46, 40:57, 50:7 & many more) in its manifold phenomena and ‘laws’ , as well as to mediate upon the lessons of history (Qura’n;22:46,27:69,29:20, 30:9) with a view to gaining a deeper insight into man’s motivations and the innermost sprigs of his behaviour; and thus, the Qur’an itself is characterized as addressed to ‘those who think’ (Qura’n;47:24, 38:29). The contributions in the advancement of knowledge by the Islamic scholars, scientists and philosophers are enormous, which have been summed up in Encyclopedia Britannica:- 
“The madrasahs (shools) generally offered instruction in both the religious sciences and other branches of knowledge. The contribution of these institutions to the advancement of knowledge was vast. Muslim scholars calculated the angle of the ecliptic; measured the size of the Earth; calculated the precession of the equinoxes; explained, in the field of optics and physics, such phenomena as refraction of light, gravity, capillary action, and twilight; and developed observatories for the empirical study of heavenly bodies. They made advances in the uses of drugs, herbs, and foods for medication; established hospitals with a system of interns and externs; discovered causes of certain diseases and developed correct diagnoses of them; proposed new concepts of hygiene; made use of anesthetics in surgery with newly innovated surgical tools; and introduced the science of dissection in anatomy. They furthered the scientific breeding of horses and cattle; found new ways of grafting to produce new types of flowers and fruits; introduced new concepts of irrigation, fertilization, and soil cultivation; and improved upon the science of navigation. In the area of chemistry, Muslim scholarship led to the discovery of such substances as potash, alcohol, nitrate of silver, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and mercury chloride. It also developed to a high degree of perfection the arts of textiles, ceramics, and metallurgy.”
While Muslims were excelling in the field of knowledge and learning of science and technology, the conditions of Christendom at this period was deplorable. Under Constantine and his orthodox successors the Aesclepions were closed for ever, the public libraries established by liberality of the pagan emperors were dispersed or destroyed. Learning was branded as magic and punished as treason, philosophy and science were exterminated. The ecclesiastical hatred against human learning had found expression in the patristic maxims; “Ignorance is the mother of devotion” and Pope Gregory the Great the founder of the doctrine of ‘supremacy of religious authority’; gave effect to this obscurantist dogma by expelling from Rome all scientific studies and burning the Palatine Library founded by Augustus Caesar. He forbade the study of ancient writers of Greece and Rome. He introduced and sanctified the mythological Christianity which continued for centuries as the predominating creed of Europe with its worship of relics and the remains of saints. Science and literature were placed under the ban by orthodox Christianity and they succeeded in emancipating themselves only when Free Thought had broken down the barriers raised by orthodoxy against the progress of the human mind.
The influence of Islamic learning on the West has been phenomenal; an extract from Encyclopedia Britannica is an eye opener for those questioning the backwardness of Islamic civilization: “Thedecline of Muslim scholarship coincided with the early phases of the European intellectual awakening that these translations were partly instrumental in bringing about. The translation into Latin of most Islamic works during the 12th and 13th centuries had a great impact upon the European Renaissance. As Islam was declining in scholarship and Europe was absorbing the fruits of Islam's centuries of creative productivity, signs of Latin Christian awakening were evident throughout the European continent. The 12th century was one of intensified traffic of Muslim learning into the Western world through many hundreds of translations of Muslim works, which helped Europe seize the initiative from Islam when political conditions in Islam brought about a decline in Muslim scholarship. By 1300 C.E when all that was worthwhile in Muslim scientific, philosophical, and social learning had been transmitted to European schoolmen through Latin translations, European scholars stood once again on the solid ground of Hellenistic thought, enriched or modified through Muslim and Byzantine efforts.” It continues: “Most of the important Greek scientific texts were preserved in Arabic translations. Although the Muslims did not alter the foundations of Greek science, they made several important contributions within its general framework. When interest in Greek learning revived in Western Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries, scholars turned to Islamic Spain for the scientific texts. A spate of translations resulted in the revival of Greek science in the West and coincided with the rise of the universities. Working within a predominantly Greek framework, scientists of the late Middle Ages reached high levels of sophistication and prepared the ground for the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries.” According to Will Durant, the Western scholar, “For five centuries, from 700 to 1200 (C.E), Islam led the world in power, order and extent of government, in refinement of manners, scholarship and philosophy”. The Muslims can restore and regain their lost glory through adhering to the teachings of Islam and its true spirit, reviving the moral values and culture of learning, scholarship, tolerance and moderation.
The guidance is an important constituent of the process of creation, trial, justice and reward. God guides the humanity through different means. Firstly; Much earlier than the creation of humanity, God first created all the spirits of humanity, which testified Him to be their Lord, this was the 1st Covenant, then they were put to sleep. He brings the humankind into this world in succession, each at appointed time, spirit is breathed in to him, true nature (hanefa fitr’ah), the ‘First Covenant’ is part of human consciousness. This is the reason that even some of African tribes cut off from the civilized world worship One God without images. However majority of human, under the influence of Satan, are caught in the webs of customs, superstitions, selfish desires, and false teachings, thus getting deflected from the true nature. Man is endowed with instincts, forms and faculties exactly suited to what is expected of him. Through these faculties and instincts man can know about existence of God by observing His signs, thus reverting to the true nature. Finally He gives guidance, through His messengers and scriptures. The messengers convey the message, people are not coerced, they use their intellect for reason and exercise their will. Finally God has reward for those who made right choice and punishment for those who fell pray to evil.
God sent messengers to every community; some are mentioned by name in Bible and Qur’an. The message of all the massagers sent to different nations at different times had been basically same, to worship One God and follow His guidance for success in this life and hereafter. The messengers were required to convey the message only, they were not required to force the people. Allah says: “Obey Allah and obey His messenger; but if ye turn away, then the duty of Our messenger is only to convey (the message) plainly.”(Qur’an;64:12). Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), the great patriarch asserted the strict monotheism, God chose him as a leader of the mankind after success in trials, which was conditional to the obedience of God and not applicable to the evil doers among his progeny. His son Ishmael and Isaac were granted prophethood. After Abraham God continuously appointed messengers like Ishmael, Isaac his son Jacob (also known as Israel and his decedents as Israelites or Children of Israel), Joseph, Moses, Elisha, David, Solomon up to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them all) being the last among Israelites. Torah was revealed to Moses, Palms (Zabur) to David and Gospel (Injeel) to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) for the guidance of Israelites. These scriptures are part of Bible but in corrupted form.
The Israelites repeatedly disobeyed the commandments of God, altered the scriptures, and even killed the prophets. They did not believe in Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and even tried to kill him, but Allah raised him to Himself. His followers deviated from the monotheism of Abraham, Jacob and Moses (peace be upon them all), invented a different religion known as Christianity based on the concepts of Original sin and Trinity, disregarding the Law. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had settled his eldest son Ishmael at Makka, a deserted place which became a town on the main trade route. Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) became the ancestor of Arabs. His descendents also corrupted the original teachings of Abraham and Ishmael (peace be upon them), they became polytheists and Idolaters. For nearly over next 2000 years no messenger was sent to them.
 Due to the persistent disobedience and rebelliousness of the Children of Israel, and corruption of original message of God; He changed the leadership role from the Children of Israel to the Children of Ishmael (peace be upon them), by appointing Muhammad, peace be upon him (an Arab, from the progeny of Ishmael) as His last messenger in 610 C.E. He reveled to him, Qur’an; the last book of guidance for the humanity and named the faith as Islam (surrender to will of Allah), the faith of all previous messengers.
Allah Himself took the responsibility to protect His last scripture. He says: “We have without doubt sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”.(Qur’an;15:9);“No falsehood can approach it from before or from behind. It is a revelation from the One Who is Wise and Praiseworthy.”(Qur’an;41:42). Qur’an is the final and the Last Testament, which supercedes the Old and New Testament. Now it is obligatory for the humanity including Jews and Christians to follow the guidance of Qur’an. Many Jews and Christians have reverted to Islam while others decline. The message of truth was spread all over the world. Presently there are around 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. Miraculously during last fourteen centuries, Qur’an is available in its original form and will continue to guide the humanity till eternity. Allah says: “Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah? Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah? But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!”(Qur’an;2:140). While Jews and Christians claim to be heirs of Abraham, but only Muslims can strongly claim to be followers of the true legacy of Abraham - Tawheed (monotheism).
Practical implementation of Qur’anic teachings was demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which is also available in the form of the traditions of Prophet (Sunnah). After Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last messenger, Muslims are responsible for preaching of this Message to the mankind? Allah says: “We have given the Book (Qur’an) as an inheritance to those of Our servants (Muslims) whom We have chosen...”(Qur’an;35:32). At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
O’ People, no Messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.”
The custodians of the Qur’an after the holy Prophet are the People of Islam. They are chosen for the Book, not in any narrow sense, but in the sense that the Book is given for their age and they are charged to believe, read, understand, obey, preserve and propagate it, so that all mankind should receive the Message. In this present era of high-tech communications and media, with the efforts of believers this guidance is available to the ever increasing numbers of people, who are embracing Islam in great numbers. There is no doubt that this Message will remain available to the humanity till the Day of Judgment. The legacy of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon them) continues.
Aftab Khan, is a freelance researcher and writer. The research work has been compiled. Books are freely made available for the benefit of people of all faiths & cultures:
  1. The Creator  
  2. The Creation  [Why We Exist?]
  3. The Guidance   
  4. Islam:Broader Perspective
    More books :
Humanity, Religion, Culture, Ethics, Science, Spirituality & Peace

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