“My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam”

by Simon Alfredo Caraballo

Comparative Religion

Quote of the day

"I learned to love Jesus more than my own parents." "That is Jesus, the son of Mary the word of truth about which they are in dispute" (Quran 19:34)

The Original Sin

According to the explanation of this dogma, Adam sinned when he disobeyed God by eating from the forbidden tree (the tree of the knowledge of good from evil, as in Genesis 2/17).[1] As a result, and according to Christian theology, all descendants of Adam inherit the sin of Adam, which means that all human beings are born with this original sin. And according to Christianity, for God's justice to be satisfied, a price must be paid for every sin that has been committed.

In other words, God will not let any sin go unrequited and cannot even forgive a simple sin! Accordingly, the only thing that can wipe out sins is the shedding of blood. According to Paul, "And without shedding of blood there is no remission."[2] (Hebrews 9/22) This blood, however, must be perfect, sinless and incorruptible. Therefore, Jesus, alleged to be the son of God, shed his sinless blood, suffered indescribable agony, and died to pay the penalty for the sins of men. Because he was the infinite God, he alone could pay the infinite price of sin. Therefore, no one can be saved unless he accepts Jesus as his personal savior![3] Moreover, everyone is condemned to suffer eternal torment in Hellfire because of his or her inherent sinful nature unless he or she accepts atonement for his or her sins made by Jesus with his blood!

This dogma can be divided into three distinct parts: (1) the original sin, (2) the belief that God's justice requires that the penalty for sin must be paid for by blood, and (3) the belief that Jesus has paid the price for the sins of men by his death on the cross and that salvation will only be granted to those who believe in his vicarious sacrifice.[4]

Regarding the first part, Reverend J. F. de Groot writes, "Scripture teaches us that Adam's sin passed unto all men (our Blessed lady exempted). For in the words of St. Paul: 'Therefore, as by the offence of one [Adam] all men were taken to condemnation; so also by the Justice of one [Christ] many shall be made just.'"[5] These words make it plain that all people inherited Adam's sin. Like many other Christian beliefs, the doctrine of "inherited sin" finds no support in the words of Jesus or of the prophets who came before him, who all taught that every man is accountable for his own actions and that children will not be punished for the sin of their parents.

No human being is born sinful, and Jesus himself regarded children as innocent and pure and that they were not born sinners. As he said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." (Mark 10/14-15)

Rationally considered, it would be the height of injustice to condemn the entire human race for the sin committed thousands of years ago by our first parents. Sin is a willful transgression of the law of God or the law of right and wrong; hence, the responsibility or blame for it must lie only on the person committing it and not on his children. It is a grave injustice to consider a person sinful at birth. How unreasonable and hardhearted a person can become by believing in the dogma of the inherited sin as shown by the theological dictum of Saint Augustine that all unbaptized infants are doomed to burn Hellfire for all eternity?! Until recently, unbaptized infants were not buried in consecrated grounds in Christendom because they were believed to have died in "original sin".

Islam vehemently condemns the dogma of original Sin and regards children as pure and sinless at birth. Sin, it states, is not inherited but is something that is committed only by doing what one should not do and by not doing what one should do.

The second part of the Christian doctrine of atonement is that God's justice requires that a price be paid for the original and all other sins of man. If God were to pardon a sinner without punishment, it would be a denial of His justice. Reverend W. Goldsack (1871–1957), an Australian Baptist Missionary Society missionary, writes in this connection, "It should be as clear as daylight to anyone that God cannot break His own law: He cannot forgive a sinner without first giving him an appropriate punishment. For if He did so, who would call Him 'Just' and Equitable?"[6]

This view shows complete ignorance of God's justice. God is not a mere judge or king. He is, as the Qur'an (1/3-4) describes Him, "The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Master of the Day of Recompense." He is not only Just but also Most Merciful and Forgiving, "Allah will forgive you; and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful." (Qur'an 12/92) Indeed, if a person is sincerely repentant, having a real urge to conquer the evil within himself, Almighty God will certainly forgive his failings and sins altogether.

After all, the only proper motive for punishment is to check evil and reform the offender. To punish a person for his past sins, even after he has repented and reformed himself, is a sign of vengeance, not justice. By the same token, forgiving a person after punishing him or her, or after inflicting punishment on someone else instead, cannot be considered forgiveness by any stretch of the imagination.

Allah, the Creator, is All-Merciful. If He prescribes a law and demands obedience, this will not be for His own benefit but rather for the benefit of humankind. Besides, if He punishes a person for his sins, He does not do so for His own satisfaction or compensation, as the Christian dogma proclaims, but for curbing evil and purifying the sinner. God forgives the faults and sins of those who turn away from their sins and reform themselves. He does not punish them or inflict punishment on others on their behalf, and this does not go against God's justice. As the Qur'an (6/54), states, "Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself—indeed, He is Forgiving, Most Merciful."

The third part of the Christian doctrine of atonement is that Jesus paid the penalty for the original and other sins of people by his death on the cross at Calvary and that salvation cannot be obtained without belief in the saving power of his blood. As J. F. de Groot states, "Since Christ, God Incarnate, has taken upon Himself our sins in order to atone for them by giving satisfaction to God's demand for justice, He is the mediator between God and man."[7] This dogma denes not only God's mercy but also His justice.[8]

To demand the price of blood in order to forgive people's sins demonstrates complete lack of mercy, and to punish a guiltless person is undoubtedly the height of injustice.

A number of refutations have been put forward to confirm the falsity of the belief in atonement and crucifixion. The following are only a few:

First: The dogma of crucifixion of Jesus Christ to atone for the original sin is based on a flawed foundation, and anything built on flawed foundation is itself flawed. The idea that Adam's sin was passed on to his offspring contradicts the verses in the Torah which, according to the New Testament, Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill. In Deuteronomy 24/16, we also read, "The fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." In Ezekiel 18/20 we also find, "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son." According to Matthew 16/27, Jesus himself said, "Then He will reward each according to his works." This is in agreement with the Qur'an (53/38-40) which states, "…That no soul shall bear the burden of another, and that man shall have nothing but what he strives for, and that [the fruit of] his striving shall soon be seen."

Second: According to Genesis 5/5, "All the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died." This proves the falsehood of Genesis 2/17, which states, "For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die," because this did not occur. This also indicates that Adam repented of his sin and sought forgiveness, undertook his religious duties, and God pardoned him. Ezekiel 18/21-22 states, "But if a wicked man[9] turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live."

Therefore, because Adam and his wife "lived", they must have "turned from all the sins they had committed." This means that the original sin was not inherited, and thus there was no reason for Jesus to die for the sins of anyone. This fact is in total agreement with the Qur'an, which states: "And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred. Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him]." (20/121-122)

Third: According to the Bible itself, it is not correct to say that Jesus had come to die willingly and deliberately for the sins of humankind. We read in the Bible that he did not wish to die on the cross, and that when he learnt that his enemies were plotting against his life, he declared, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death." (Mark 14/34) After that he prayed to God, saying, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." (Mark 14/36) He also asked his disciples to buy swords (Luke 22/36) and keep watch over him at night to protect him from his enemies.

Fourth: The Bible tells us in Mark 15/34 that the person crucified "cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is translated, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" Such desperate cries – if we accept for the sake of argument that they did occur – prove that the person crucified was not willing to die on the cross. More importantly, the passage contains clear evidence that the person crucified could not possibly have been Jesus Christ, as such desperate cries and panic do not befit a prophet of God, let alone one who is claimed to be God.

Fifth: According to Mark 14/50, the crucifixion was not witnessed by anyone of the disciples of Jesus as "they all forsook Him and fled."[10] Also, none of the Gospel and Epistle writers witnessed the crucifixion; in other words, there were no credible eyewitnesses. Thus, the sources of the story are doubtful, especially considering that the Canonical Gospels themselves differ as to the exact details of the crucifixion from beginning to end.

Sixth: The idea that shedding of blood is necessary to appease the wrath of God came into Christianity from the primitive image of God as an all-powerful demon. There is no logical connection between sin and blood. What wipes away sins is not blood but remorse, sincere repentance, persistent resistance to evil inclinations, and constant struggle to carry out the will of God as revealed to us by the prophets. Furthermore, when Jesus was asked about the way to eternal life, his reply was not belief in him as the savior through the shedding of his blood. Instead, it was: "But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19/17) This means, obey God's law.

The Christian scheme of salvation not only is morally and rationally unsound but also contradicts the words of Jesus, who came to rescue men from sin by his teachings and the example of his godly life rather than by deliberately dying on the cross for them and offering his blood for their sins. His mission was also to call sinners to repent, as was the case with all prophets throughout the ages. He never said that he came to take the punishment for humanity's sins (the so-called penal substitution). This is emphasized in Matthew 4/17, as we are told about Jesus: "From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Deplorably enough, the present-day Bible goes as far as abusing Jesus by describing him as becoming a curse. Paul says, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.')" (Galatians 3/13)

Similarly, the doctrine of atonement originated from ancient pagan religions. According to Arthur Findlay in Rock of Truth, 16 names of 'pagan saviors' were believed by their peoples to have come for their salvation. These include Osiris in Egypt (1700 BC), Baal in Babylon (1200 BC), Krishna in India (1000 BC), Andhra in Tibet (725 BC), Buddha in China (560 BC), Prometheus in Greece (547 BC), and the Persian Mithra (400 BC).

The doctrine of atonement and crucifixion not only contradicts rational thinking but also encourages people to abandon good deeds and commit evil acts, such as murder, theft, rape and adultery. Paul underestimates the importance of the commandments preached by Jesus. As he states, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law." (Romans 3/28) He even mentions that Abraham's deeds were of no benefit to him. As he states, "For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. (Romans 4/2) Paul's statements make salvation attainable only through by belief in Christ's crucifixion. What would then be the state of mankind if people were to believe in this concept?

The answer to Paul's claim was made by Jesus himself: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5/19)

Islam rejects the doctrine of atonement. It declares that the forgiveness of sins cannot be obtained by the suffering and sacrifice of any other person but only by the grace of God and one's own sincere repentance, giving up sins immediately, feeling remorse for committing them, resolving not to commit them again, and trying one's best to do good deeds. Furthermore, if the sins are committed against others, by taking their rights or saying unkind words about them in their absence for instance, another condition must be met, in addition to those mentioned above, namely, to give the rights back to their rightful owners and to ask those against whom one has sinned for forgiveness as far as possible.

The Qur'an (2/112) promises salvation to all those who believe in the oneness of God and do good deeds, "Indeed, those who submit themselves to Allah and act righteously shall be rewarded by their Lord: they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve." The Qur'an (18/110) also says, "Say [O Muhammad], 'I am only a human being like yourselves. It is revealed to me that your God is One God; so let him who hopes to meet his Lord do good deeds and let him associate no one else in the worship due to his Lord.'"

James's Epistle (2/14) is in total agreement with both Islam and the commandments: "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not works?Can faith save him?" We also read in James 2/17, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."


[1]A question arises here: How could Adam possibly be punished for his deed if he did not know right from wrong?

[2]This very text is in contradiction with other Biblical texts which state that atonement could be made through the offering of flour (as in Leviticus 5/11), money (as in Exodus 30/15) or "of ornaments of gold: armlets and bracelets and signet rings and earrings and necklaces," as in Numbers 31/50.

[3]Isaiah 43/11 reads, "I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior." This verse clearly states that God is the only savior.

[4]If belief in the crucifixion of Jesus were the only way to salvation for those living in his time and those who believe in him afterward, what would be the case of the sinners who died before Jesus and never had the chance to know him or believe in the crucifixion?

[5]Catholic Teaching, p. 140. The Biblical reference is Romans 5/18-19.

[6]The Atonement, p. 5.

[7]Catholic Teaching, p. 162.

[8]An interesting question arises here: Was Adam's remorse and repentance, his expulsion from Paradise, the Great Flood and the numerous sacrifices made to God not a price enough for salvation? What about the sins that are far more horrendous than Adam's eating of the tree? And how could this mystery of salvation have remained unknown to all the prophets only to be later discovered by the Church?

[9]If this is the case of a "wicked" person, what would be the case of a righteous person who commits a sin, like Adam? Would it not be the case that he is more entitled to have his sin forgiven once he seeks repentance?

[10]The fact that we ought to think well of the disciples of Jesus leaves us with two conclusions: either this text is another interpolation and was not part of the original text, or (if it was correct) the disciples run away when they realized that he person to be crucified was not Jesus himself but rather the person made to look like him.

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