Change of Leadership of Mankind:
The Chosen Race:
The concept of a chosen race for all times is against the spirit of justice and fairness, as God says: “Remember that when Abraham was tested by his Lord with certain commands, he fulfilled them. God said: “Surely, I will make you the leader of mankind.” “What about my offspring?” Asked Abraham. “My Covenant,” said God, “will not apply to the evil doers.”(Qur’an;2:124). Here 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, has been totally negated. The God makes it clear that the exalted status of Abraham was not something that would automatically confer a comparable status on this physical descendant, and definitely not on the sinners among them. God also took solemn pledge form the Children of Israel and those call themselves as Christians, but they broke it, God says: ““Remember God’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 form 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 Apostles, support them and give a generous loan to God (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. God loves those who are kind to others.” (5:12-13).
Israeli Transgression &Covenant Violation:
The Leadership and Prophethood in the progeny of Israel (Jacob) had continued for almost fifteen hundred years.However once the Israelites transgress the limits and violated the Covenant pledged with God by becoming proud, considering that; as Chosen People of God, their mistakes would be forgiven, hence they may indulge in non adherence to Commands of God, they killed their prophets, inserted changes in the scriptures, God says in Qur’an: “After them succeeded an (evil) generation: they inherited the Book but they chose (for themselves) the vanities of this world saying (for excuse): “(everything) will be forgiven us.” (Even so) if similar vanities came their way they would (again) seize them. Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not ascribe to God anything but the truth? And they study what is in the Book. But best for the righteous is the home in the hereafter: will ye not understand?(Qur’an;7:169).
Jesus is mentioned in the Bible as saying: “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did.” (Jhon;8:39). “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”(Mathew;3:9-10).
The Children of Israel (Jews) deviated from their Covenant, and those who followed Jesus Christ completely changed his message by incorporating the pagan concept of ‘Son of God’ and ‘Trinity’, hence the special status which was granted to them was withdrawn by God: “From those too who call themselves Christians We did take a Covenant but they forgot a good part of the Message that was sent them: so We estranged them with enmity and hatred between the one and the other to the Day of Judgment. And soon will God show them what it is they have done.”(Qur’an;5:14). Ultimately the Jews humiliated and planned to kill the Messenger of God, Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Marry, this act of theirs put an end to the Covenant. After Jesus his followers transgressed all the limits and declared him Son of God and God, part of trinity. God says: “They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! God is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say : Who then can do aught against God, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? God’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what He Will. And God is Able to do all things.”(Qur’an;5:17)
Shift of Leadership to Progeny of Ishmael:
The Last Messenger:
The prophesies of coming of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the Bible were materialized six centuries after Jesus (peace be upon him), God shifted the leadership of humanity and Prophethood to the progeny of Ishmael (Arabs) the elder son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) to revive ‘obedience to God’ (Arabic: Islam), the original faith of Abraham, God says: “O people of the Book (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;5:15). Thus Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (571-632 C.E) the descendent of Isma’il was declared as the last prophet of God. He revealed Qur’an, the last Message of guidance upon Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Himself took the responsibility to guard it against corruption: “Surely We have revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and We will most certainly guard it (from corruption).” (Qur’an;15:9). Consequently from last 1400 years Qur’an is available to the mankind in its original form and will remain as such till eternity. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached the true religion of God which was sent down upon Abraham, Noah, Jacob, Isaac, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them all).
Denial by Some Jews and Christians:
Most of the Jews and Christians responded negatively on the pretext that Muslims, the ignorant savages had concocted their own religion by copying Judaism and Christianity, and only an insane person would ever make such allegations. The truth obviously stands out, God says : “And when there came to them a messenger from God, Confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the book (Jews and Christians) threw away the book of God behind their backs as if (it had been something) they did not know” (Qur’an;2:101). “O Messenger! (Mohammad) Do no be grieved by those who vie with one another in the race to disbelief, of such as say with their mouths: “We believe” but their hearts believe not, and of the Jews: of them are those who listen eagerly to lies-listener to others who have not come to you. They change the words from their places; they say: If you are given this then take it, but if you are not given this then beware! He whom God dooms unto sin, you (by your efforts) will avail him naught against God. Those are they for whom the will of God is that He cleanse not their hearts; for them there is a disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a great torment”. (Qur’an;5:41);”Then woe to those who write the book (of God) with their own hands and then say: ‘This is from God’, to traffic with it for a miserable price. Woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make thereby” (Qur’an;2:79).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was commanded by God: “And strive for God with the endeavor which is His right. He hath chosen you (Muhammad) and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship; the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He hath named you Muslims of old time and in this (Scripture; Qur’an), that the messenger may be a witness against you, and that ye may be witnesses against mankind. So establish worship, pay the poor due, and hold fast to God. He is your Protecting Friend. A blessed Patron and a blessed Helper!”(Qur’an;22:78).“O People of the Scripture(Jews & Christians)! Why will ye argue about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have ye then no sense?”(Qur’an;3:65). “Abraham was neither a “Jew” nor a “Christian”, but was one who turned away form all that is false, having surrendered himself unto God; and he was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.”(Qur’an;3:67).“Lo! those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who believe (with him); and God is the Protecting Friend of the believers.” (Qur’an;3:68).
Palestine including Jerusalem fell to the Muslim Arabs in 638 C.E. It was during the Muslim rule that a small permanent Jewish population was allowed to return to Jerusalem after absence of 500-years. The periods of Crusades witnessed massacres of Muslims and Jews alike during period of Christian occupation of Jerusalem. Jews enjoyed religious freedom, respect and authority in Muslims rule. Taking advantage of soft approach of the Ottomans and weakening of empire, in nineteenth century the numbers of Jews started to increase. Through intrigue, conspiracy, terrorism and active Englo-American and Western support, Zionist Jews have been able to establish their own state ; “Israel” in 1948 at the expense of Palestinians by expelling them from their native place. Qur’an mentions: “That is because God has never changed the blessings which He has bestowed on a people until they themselves changed the condition of their souls; verily God hears all and knows all.”(Qur’an;8:53). “Humiliation is pitched over them (like a tent) wherever they are found except when under a covenant (of protection) from God and from men; they draw on themselves wrath from God and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the signs of God and slew the prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds.”(Qur’an;3:112). “As to those who hold fast by the Book and establish regular prayer; never shall We suffer the reward of the righteous to perish”(Qur’an;7:170).
The simple fact is even clearly evident from the canonical Bible, that Jesus Christ was the human, a Prophet, miraculously born to the Virgin Mary for the guidance of children of Israel. God granted him miracles, but he was rejected by majority of Jews. They tried to kill him through conspiracy but they failed because God saved His Prophet by raising Jesus Christ to Himself. The different stories about his death on the cross and resurrection are based on conjecture, marred with mystery. Simple followers of Jesus continued to adhere to the monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ. However the later entrants like Paul, in order to attract the pagans of Greco-Roman empire incorporated the new doctrines like divinity of Jesus. It was opposed by true disciples like Barnabas, who were sidelined. The fierce struggle of survival between Christian groups continued till 325 C.E and later resulting in killing of millions.
The Trinitarians influenced Emperor Constantine, but, he was later inclined towards the monotheistic doctrine of Arius, finally he was baptized by Arian bishop. Thus Monotheism became the official religion. Constantine died in 337 C.E followed by Emperor Constantanius, he also accepted the faith of Arius (monotheism). Conference of Antioch (341 C.E) was the first of several 4th-century councils that attempted to replace orthodox Nicene theology with a modified Arianism. This view was confirmed by another Council held in Sirmium in 351 C.E. As a resultArianism was accepted by an overwhelming majority of Christians. St. Jerome wrote in 359 C.E that ‘the whole world groaned and marveled to find itself Arian’. Indeed, for more than 40 years after the death of Constantine, Arianism continued to be the official orthodoxy of the Eastern Empire.
However by the end of 4th century Trinitarians again gained ascendancy and monotheist were banished but they continue to survive even till present era (like Unitarians).The prophesies of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) can clearly still be found in the Bible despite consistent efforts to obliterate them. (Deuteronomy; 18:18,19, Mathew; 1:18, Luke; 1:35, Qur’an; 3:42-47 linked with John;18:36, 1:11 & Mathew;5:17-18).
Qur’an urges Muslims to invite the Christians and Jews (People of the Book) towards the commonalties: “Say: “O people of the Book! Let us get together on what is common between us and you: that we shall worship none but God; that we shall not associate any partners with Him and that we shall not take human beings for our lords besides God;” If they turn away then tell them: “Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves un to Him (in Islam).”(Qur’an;3:64). The Jews, Christians and Muslims claim to be the followers of Abraham, who preached the pure monotheism. Moses and Jesus said: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad“; “Hear, O Israel : The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5,46:9 & Mathew;19:17). Qur’an says: “Your God is one God; there is no one worthy of worship except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” (Qur’an;2:163). The focus on common aspects will help in developing batter understanding of each other and can become basis for dialogue. The faith in Islam is based upon belief in One God, His angels, His Scriptures (like Torah, Psalms, Gospel), His messengers, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be His Last Messenger, Resurrection after death, Destiny, Trial, Hell and Paradise.
One of the significant developments in the last century, however, was some shift of the views of the Holy See on Muslims; it should hopefully work as a catalyst for better understanding between Muslims and Christians. The previous Pope, John Paul II was instrumental in developing new approach of Vatican towards Muslims. It is important that for the sake of world peace and freedom of humanity, the Christian West and Zionist Jews should treat the Muslims with fairness, justice, respect and dignity which they deserve and stop oppression and exploitation, the common roots should form the basis of friendship and dialogue not confrontation to eradicate the menace of violence and terrorism which has caused immense damage to the peace and stability of the world, it as an attempt to tarnished the image of Islam, the ever growing religion of peace.