Shi'i Islam and Christianity
"A man from
This is interesting to note that the Asha`irah made a similar allegation against the Mu`tazilah and dubbed them as the greatest of atheists (kafirun). They argued that whosoever maintains emphatically that the Qur'an is created comes closer to the views of the atheists, since the atheists said that the Qur'an was a creation of the Prophet's mind. To support their argument they site a verse from the Qur'an, in which Allah Himself explains the unbelievers' faith by saying:
"This (the Qur'an) is saying of man." (25:74)
"Anybody who maintains that Qur'an is created, verily believes that Qur'an is man's words. Such idea is like the ideas of unbelievers."
The criticism of the Mu`tazilah seems to be a criticism far from truth. They say that the Asha`irah, supported by some orientalists, borrowed this doctrine of the eternity of the Qur'an and its uncreatedness from Jewish or Christian interpretation of the term "Logos".
As the Asha`irah have based their doctrine on the apparent meanings of some of the Qur'anic verses per se, they may not be blamed for adopting this view from alien sources and then reconcile it with the Qur'anic verses. But we have to concede to some extent that the issues concerning the Divine Attributes in general, and the controversy regarding the Qur'an in particular, have emerged and developed in the course of controversies and discourses among mutakallimun of Islam and the use of other religions, during which they came in contact with the works of each other. The same is applicable in the context of the medieval Christian scholasticism and the role of Descartes, and in the context of Medieval philosophy of Judaism and its impact on the modern philosophy of
6-- The word of God (Kalimat Allah): It may be said that the image of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (s) bin `Abdullah in Muslims' view and the Christian view of the personality of Christ (`a) may not be compared reasonably, since the concept of prophethood of `Isa bin Maryam (`a) in the Christian milieu and the concept of the Prophet (s) in Islam is also different. Whenever we want to compare and contrast some sacred things in Islam and Christianity, we should try to compare the image of Christ in the Christian view with the words of the Qur'an and their nature, because both the Qur'an and `Isa Masih are called Kalimat Allah (The Word of Allah). It occurs in the Qur'an:
"When the angels said: O Mariam surely Allah gives you good news with a word from him (of one) whose name is the Messiah `Isa son of Mariam, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah)." (3:44)
In Christianity `Isa Masih is the embodiment and incarnation of the "Word of God" (Kalimat Allah). His embodiment and anthropomorphisation is similar to what is meant by the revelation and descent and consequently written form of the Qur'an.