Prophet Muhammad Is The Son-Of-Man
In the previous discourse, we perused and commented upon the marvelous vision of the Prophet Daniel (Daniel vii). We saw how the four beasts that represented the four kingdoms succeeding one another were the Powers of Darkness and how they persecuted the Jews and the early Church of Jesus, which was constituted of true believers in the One God. We also remarked that those Powers were pagan and allegorically described as ferocious brutes. Further, we saw that the "Eleventh Horn," which had eyes and mouth, which uttered blasphemies against the Most High had fought and overcome His Saints had changed the times and the Law of God, could be no other than the Emperor Constantine, who in 325 AD, promulgated his imperial rescript (decree) proclaiming the creed and the decisions of the Nicene General Council.
In this article let us follow our researches patiently with regard to the glorious BAR NASHA, or the "Son-of-Man," who was presented-upon the clouds to the Most High, to whom was given the Sultaneh (Sholtana in the original text, i.e. "dominion" or "empire") honor and kingdom for ever, and who was commissioned to destroy and annihilate the terrible Horn.
Now let us proceed forthwith to establish the identity of this "Bar nasha."
Before finding out who this Son-of-Man is, it is but essential that we should take into consideration the following points and observations:
(a) When a Hebrew Prophet predicts that "all the nations and peoples of the earth shall serve him" (i.e. the Bar nasha) or "the people of the Saints of the Most High," we must understand that he means thereby the nations mentioned in Genesis xv. 18-21, and not the English, the French, or the Chinese nations.
(b) By the phrase "the people of the Saints of the Most High" it is understood to mean first the Jews and then the Christians who confessed the absolute Oneness of God, fought and suffered for it until the appearance of the Bar nasha and the destruction of the Horn.
(c) After the destruction of the Horn the people and the nations that will have to serve the Saints of God are the Chaldeans, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and the Romans - the four nations represented by the four beasts that had trod upon and invaded the Holy Land.
From the Adriatic to the Walls of China all the various nations have either as Muslims received the homage or as unbelievers served the Muslims, who are the only true believers in the One God.
(d) It is remarkable to realize the significant fact that God often allows the enemies of His true religion to subdue and persecute His people because of two purposes. First, because he wants to punish His people for their lethargy, drawbacks and sins. Secondly, because He wishes to prove the faith, the patience and the indestructibility of His Law and Religion, and thus to allow the infidels to continue in their unbelief and crime until their cup is full. God in due time Himself intervenes on behalf of the believers when their very existence is on its beam-ends. It was a terrible and most critical time for all Muslims when the Allied Forces were in Constantinople during those awful years of the Armistice. Great preparations were made by the Greeks and their friends to take back the Grand Mosque of Aya Sophia; the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople went to London carrying with him a precious ancient patriarchal cope set in gems and pearls for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was strenuously advocating the restoration of Constantinople and the grand edifice of St. Sophia to the Greeks. On the eve of the celebration of Prophet Muhammad's night journey to Heaven - called al-Mi'raj - the sacred building was crammed with a great multitude of the suppliant faithful who till the dawn most earnestly supplicated the Almighty Allah to deliver Turkey, and particularly the Sacred House, from those who "would fill it with ugly idols and images as before!" In connection with that patriarchal mantle or cope, I wrote an article in the Turkish paper the Aqsham, showing the existence of a schism between the Greek Orthodox and the Protestant Anglican Churches. I pointed out that the cope was not meant as a pallium of investiture and recognition of the Anglican orders, and that a reunion between the two Churches could never be accomplished unless one or the other of the parties should renounce and abjure certain articles of faith as heretical and erroneous. I also pointed out that the cope was a diplomatic bribe on behalf of Greece and its Church. The letter ended with these words: "All depends upon the grace and miracle which this bakhskish of a pontifical cope is expected to work!"
The result is too well known to be repeated here. Suffice it to say that the Patriarch died in England, and the Almighty, who sent the Bar nasha to crush the Horn and chase out the legions of Rome from the East, raised Mustapha Kamal, who saved Turkey, his country !
(e) It is to be noted that the Jews were the chosen people of God until the advent of Jesus Christ. In the eyes of the Muslims neither the Jews nor the Christians have a right to claim the title of "the People of the Saints of the Most High," because the former reject Jesus altogether, while the latter insult him by deifying him. Moreover, both are equally unworthy of that title because of their refusing to recognize the Last Prophet who has completed the list of the Prophets.
We shall now proceed to prove that the Bar nasha - the Son-of-Man - who was presented to the "Ancient of Days" and invested with power to kill the monster, was no other than Prophet Muhammad, whose very name literally means "the Praised and Illustrious." Whatever other person you may try to invent in order to deprive the august Messenger of Allah of this unique glory and majesty bestowed on him in the Divine Court, you will only make yourselves ridiculous; and this for the following reasons: -
1. We know that neither Judaism nor Christianity has any particular name for its faith and its system. That is to say, neither the Jews nor the Christians have any special name for the doctrines and forms of their faith and worship. "Judaism" and "Christianity" are not Scriptural nor authorized either by God or the founders of those religions. In fact, a religion, if true, cannot properly be named after its second founder, for the real author and founder of a true religion is God, and not a Prophet. Now the proper noun for the laws, doctrines, forms and practices of worship as revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad is "Islam," which means "making peace" with Him and among men. "Muhammadanism" is not the proper appellation of Islam. For Prophet Muhammad, like Prophet Abraham and all other Prophets, was himself a Muslim, and not a Muhammadan! Judaism means the religion of Judah, but what was Judah himself? Surely not a Judaist! And similarly was Christ a Christian or a Jesuit? Certainly neither of them! What were, then, the names of these two distinct religions? No names at all!
Then we have the barbarous Latin word "religion," meaning "the fear of the gods." It is now used to express "any mode of faith and worship." Now what is the equivalent word for "religion" in the Bible? What expression did Moses or Jesus use to convey the meaning of religion? Of course, the Bible and its authors make no use of this word at all.
Now the Scriptural term used in the vision of Daniel is the same as applied repeatedly by the Qur'an to Islam, namely, "Din" (and in the Qur'an, "Din"), which means "recompense on the Day of Judgement." And the tribune is the "Dayyana" or the "Judge." Let us read the description of this celestial Court of Judgement: "the tribunes are set, the books are opened, and the 'Dina' - recompense of judgment - is established." By the "Books" is to be understood the "Preserved Tablets" wherein the decrees of God are inscribed from which the Qur'an was revealed by the Angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad; and also the books of accounts of every man's actions. It was according to the decrees and laws of God contained in that "Preserved Tablet," and the wicked actions of the Horn, that the Great "Dayyana" - the Judge condemned it to death and appointed Prophet Muhammad to be "Adon," i.e. "Commander" or "lord," to destroy the monster. All this language of Daniel is extremely Qur'anic. The religion of Islam is called "Dinu 'I-Islam." It was according to the decrees and laws of this "Dina" that the "Bar nasha" destroy- ed the Devil's religion and his lieutenant the Horn. How can it, then, be at all possible that any man other than Prophet Muhammad could be meant by the appearance of a "Son- of-Man" in the presence of the Most High? Islam is, indeed, a "judgment of peace," because it possesses an authenticated Book of Law, with which justice is administered and iniquity punished, the truth discerned and the falsehood condemned; and above all, the Oneness of God, the eternal rewards for good deeds, and eternal damnation for wicked actions are clearly stated and defined. In English a magistrate is called "Justice of Peace;" that is to say, a "judge of peace." Now this is in imitation of a Muslim Judge, who settles a quarrel, decides a case, by punishing the guilty and rewarding the innocent, thus restoring peace. This is Islam and the law of the Qur'an. It is not Christianity nor the Gospel, for the latter absolutely forbids a Christian to appeal to a judge, however innocent and oppressed he may be (Matt. v. 25, 26, 38-48).
2. The Son-of-Man, or Bar nasha, is certainly Prophet Muhammad. For he came after Constantine, and not before him as Jesus or any other Prophet did. The Trinitarian regime in the East represented by the Horn, which we rightly identify with the Emperor Constantine, was permitted to fight with the Unitarians and vanquish them for a period described in the figurative, prophetical language as "time, times and half a time," which phrase signifies three centuries and a half, at the end of which all the power of idolatry on the one hand and the Trinitarian dominion and tyranny on the other were eradicated and swept away entirely. There is nothing more absurd than the assertion that Judah the Maccabaeus (Maqbhaya) was the Bar nasha on the clouds, and the Horn Antiochus. It is alleged that (if I remember aright) Antiochus, after desecrating the Temple of Jerusalem, lived only three years and a half - or three days and a half - at the end of which time he perished. In the first place, we know that Antiochus was a successor of Alexander the Great and King of Syria, consequently one of the four heads of the winged Tiger and not the eleventh Horn of the fourth Beast as stated in the vision. In the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel, the Ram and the He-goat are explained by a Saint as representing the Persian and the Greek Empires respectively. It is expressly explained that the Greek Empire immediately succeeded the Persian and that it was divided into four kingdoms, as stated in the first vision. Secondly, the Horn with the speech indicates that the person who blasphemed and changed the Law and holy days could not be a pagan, but one who knew God and associated with Him purposely the other two persons whom he had equally known, and perverted the faith. Antiochus did not pervert the faith of the Jews by instituting a trinity or plurality of Gods, nor did he change the Law of Moses and its festival days. Thirdly, it is childish to give such a magnitude and importance to local and insignificant events which took place between a petty king in Syria and a small Jewish chief, so as to compare the latter with the glorious man who received the homage of the millions of angels in the presence of the Almighty. More- over, the prophetical vision describes and depicts the Bar nasha as the greatest and the noblest of all men, for no other human being is reported in the Old Testament to have been the object of such honor and grandeur as Prophet Muhammad.
3. It is equally futile to claim for Jesus Christ this celestial honor given to the Son-of-Man. There are two main reasons to exclude Jesus from this honor; (a) If he is purely a man and prophet, and if we consider his work a success or failure, then he is certainly far behind Muhammad. But if he is believed to be the third of the three in the Trinity, then he is not to be enlisted among men at all. You fall into a dilemma, and you cannot get out of it; for in either case the Bar nasha could not be Jesus. (b) If Jesus was commissioned to destroy the fourth Beast, then instead of paying poll-tax or tribute to Caesar and submitting himself to be bastinadoed or whipped by the Roman governor Pilate, he would have chased away the Roman legions from Palestine and saved his country and people.
4. There has never lived upon this earth a Prince - Prophet like Muhammad, who belonged to a dynasty that reigned for a long period of about 2,500 years, was absolutely independent and never bent its neck under a foreign yoke. And certainly there has never been seen on earth another man like Prophet Muhammad, who has rendered more material and moral service to his own nation in particular and to the world in general. It is impossible to imagine another human being so dignified and so worthy as Prophet Muhammad for such a magnificent glory and honor as depicted in the prophetical vision. Let us just compare the great Prophet Daniel with the Bar nasha he was beholding with awe and wonder. Daniel was a slave or captive, though raised to the dignity of a vizier in the courts of Babylon and Susa. What would, in the presence of the Almighty, be his position when compared with Prophet Muhammad, who would be crowned as the Sultan of the Prophets, the Leader of mankind, and the object of the angels' homage and admiration? Small wonder that the Prophet David calls Prophet Muhammad "My Lord" (Psa, c. 10).
5. It is no wonder to find that on his night journey to Heaven Prophet Muhammad was received with the highest honors by the Almighty and invested with power to extirpate idolatry and the blasphemous Horn from countries given by God to him and to his people as an everlasting heritage.
6. Another most amazing feature in this prophetical vision is, according to my humble belief, that the sight of a Barnasha upon the clouds and his presentation to the Almighty corresponds with and is simultaneous with the Mi'raj - or night journey of the Prophet Muhammad; in other words, this second part of the vision of Daniel is to be identified with the Mi'raj ! There are, indeed, several indications both in the language of Daniel and in the "Hadith" - the quotations of the Prophet of Allah - which lead me to this belief. The Qur'an declares that during that night- journey God transported His worshiper from the Sacred Mosque at Mecca to the Father Temple of Jerusalem. He blessed the precincts of that Temple, then in ruins, and showed him His signs (chap. xvii).
It is related by the Holy Prophet that at the Temple of Jerusalem he officiated in his capacity of the Imam, and con- ducted the prayers with all the company of the Prophets following him. It is further related that it was from Jerusalem that he was carried up unto the Seventh Heaven, being ac- companied by the spirits of the Prophets and Angels until he was taken to the presence of the Eternal. The modesty of the Prophet which forbade him to reveal all that he saw, heard and received from the Lord of Hosts is made good by Daniel, who narrates the decision of Gods Judgement. It appears that the Spirit which interpreted the vision to Daniel was not an Angel, as thoughtlessly remarked by me else- where, but the Spirit or the Soul of a Prophet, for he calls "Qaddish" (in the masculine gender) and "Qaddush" (iv. 10; viii. 13 ), which means a Saint or a Holy Man - a very usual name of the Prophets and Saints. How glad must have been the holy souls of the Prophets and the Martyrs who had been persecuted by those four beasts especially more so when they saw the decree of death being pronounced by the Almighty against the Trinitarian regime of Constantine and the Seal of the Prophets being commissioned to kill and annihilate the uttering Horn! It will also be remembered that this vision was seen as well during the same night in which took place the journey of the Son of Man nasha from Mecca to the heavens!
From the testimony of Daniel we, as Muslims, must admit that Prophet Muhammad's journey was corporeally performed - a thing of no impossibility to the Omnipotent.
There must exist a law in physics according to which a body is not controlled by the main body to which it belongs, or by the law of gravitation, but by the law of velocity. A human body belonging to the earth cannot escape from it unless a superior force of velocity should detach it from the force of gravitation. Then there must also exist another law in physics according to which a light body can penetrate into a thick one and a thick body into an even still thicker or harder one through the means of a superior force, or simply through the force of velocity. Without entering into the details of this subtle question, suffice it to say that before the force of velocity the weight of a solid body, whether moved or touched, is of no concern. We know the rate of the velocity of the light from the sun or a star. If we discharge a bullet at the rate, say, of 2,500 meters a second, we know it penetrates and pierces a body of iron plate which is several inches thick. Similarly, an angel, who can move with an infinitely greater velocity than that of the light of the sun and even the thought in the mind, could, of course, transport the bodies of Prophet Jesus, to save him from the crucifixion, and Prophet Muhammad in his miraculous challenge of the Ascent Journey (Miraj) with an astounding facility and rapidity, and set at nought the law of gravitation of the globe to which they belonged.
Paul also mentions a vision he had seen fourteen years before of a man who had been taken up into the third heaven and then unto Paradise, where he heard and saw words and objects that could not be described. The Churches and their commentators have believed this man to be Paul himself. Although the language is such as to convey to us the idea that he himself is the man, yet out of modesty it is that he keeps it a secret lest he should be considered a proud man! (2 Cor. xii. 1-4). Although the Qur'an teaches us that the Apostles of Jesus Christ were good people, their writings cannot be relied upon, because the wrangling and disputant Churches have subjected them to interpolations. The Gospel of St. Barnabas states that Paul afterwards fell into an error and misled many of the believers.
That Paul does not reveal the identity of the person seen by him in the vision, and that the words which he heard in Paradise "cannot be spoken and no man is permitted to speak them," shows that Paul was not himself the person who was taken up to Heaven. To say that Paul, for reason of humility and out of modesty, does not praise himself is simply to mis- represent Paul. He boasts of having rebuked St. Peter to his face, and his epistles are full of expressions about himself which do rather confirm the idea that Paul was neither humble nor modest.
Besides, we know from his writings to the Galatians and the Romans what a prejudiced Jew he was against Hagar and her son Ishmael. The glorious person he saw in his vision could be no other than the person seen by Daniel! It was Prophet Muhammad that he saw, and dare not report the words which were spoken to him because on the one hand he was afraid of the Jews, and because on the other he would have contradicted himself for having glorified himself so much with the Cross and the crucified. I am half convinced that Paul was allowed to see the Barnasha whom Daniel had seen some six centuries before, but "the angel of Satan who was continually pouring blows upon his head" (2 Cor. xii 7) forbade him to reveal the truth! It this an admission by Paul that "the angel of Satan," as he calls him, prohibited him from revealing the secret of Prophet Muhammad, whom he had seen in his vision. If Paul was a true righteous worshiper of God, why was he delivered into the hands of the "angel of the Devil" who was continually beating him on the head? The more one reflects on the teachings of Paul, the less one doubts that he was the prototype of Constantine the Great!
In conclusion, I may be permitted to draw a moral for the non-Muslims from this wonderful vision of Daniel. They should take to heart a lesson from the fate which befell the four beasts, and particularly the Horn, and to reflect that Allah alone is the One True God; that the Muslims alone faithfully profess His absolute Oneness; that He is Aware of their oppressions, and that they have their Caliph of the Prophets near to the Throne of the Most High.
"The Son Of Man," Who Is He?
The Holy Qur'an presents to us the true Jesus Christ as "the Son of Mary;" and the Holy Gospels, too, present him to us as "the Son of Mary;" but that Gospel which was written on the white tablets of the heart of Jesus and delivered to his disciples and followers orally, alas was soon adulterated with a mass of myth and legend. "The Son of Mary" becomes: 1. "the Son of Joseph," having brothers and sisters.
2. Then he becomes "the Son of David;"
3. "the Son of Man;"
4. "the Son of God;"
5. "the Son" only;
6. "the Christ;" and
7. "the Lamb".
1. Matt. xiii 55,56; Mark vi 3; iii 31; Luke ii 48; viii 19-21; John ii 12; vii 3, 5; Acts i 14; I Cor. ix. 5; Gal. i 19; Jude i
2. Matt xxii 42, Mark xii 35, Luke xx 41, Matt. xx 30; ix 27; xxi 9; Acts xiii 22, 23; Apoc. v 5; Rom. xv 12; Heb. vii 14, etc.
3. About eighty-three times in the discourses of Jesus this appellation is repeated.
4. Matt. xiv 32, xvi 16; John xi 27; Acts ix 20; I John iv 15; v 5; Heb. i 2, 5, etc.
5. John v 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, etc.; and in the Baptismal formula, Matt. xxviii. 19; John i. 34, etc.
6. Matt. xvi. 16, and frequently in the Epistles.
7. John i. 29, 36; and often in the Revelation.
----------- end of footnotes
Many years ago, one day I visited the Exeter Hall in London; I was a Catholic priest then; "Nolens Volens I" was conducted to the Hall where a young medical gentleman began to preach to a meeting of the Young Men's Christian Association. "I repeat what I have often said," exclaimed the doctor, "Jesus Christ must be either what he claims to be in the Gospel or he must be the greatest impostor the world has ever seen!"
I have never forgotten this dogmatizing statement. What he wanted to say was that Jesus was either the Son of God or the greatest impostor. If you accept the first hypothesis you are a Christian, a Trinitarian; if the second, then you are an unbelieving Jew. However, we who accept neither of these two propositions are naturally Muslims. We, Muslims, cannot accept either of the two titles given to Jesus Christ in the sense which the Churches and their unreliable Scriptures pretend to ascribe to those appellations. Not alone is he "the Son of God," and not alone "the Son of Man," for if it be permitted to call God "Father," then not only Jesus, but every prophet and righteous believer, is particularly a "son of God." In the same way, if Jesus were really the son of Joseph the Carpenter, and had four brothers and several married sisters as the Gospels pretend, then why alone should he assume this strange appellation of "the Son of Man" which is common to any human being?
It would seem that these Christian priests and pastors, theologians and apologists have a peculiar logic of their own for reasoning and a special propensity for mysteries and absurdities. Their logic knows no medium, no distinction of the terms, and no definite idea of the titles and appellations they use. They have an enviable taste for irreconcilable and contradictory statements which they alone can swallow like boiled eggs. They can believe, without the least hesitation, that Mary was both virgin and wife, that Joseph was both spouse and husband, that James, Jossi, Simon, and Judah were both cousins of Jesus and his brothers, that Jesus is perfect God and perfect man, and that "the Son of God," "the Son of Man," "the Lamb," and "the Son of David" are all one and the same person! They feed themselves on heterogeneous and opposed doctrines which these terms represent with as greedy an appetite as they feel for bacon and eggs at breakfast. They never stop to think and ponder on the object they worship; they adore the crucifix and the Almighty as if they were kissing the bloody dagger of the assassin of their brother in the presence of his father!
I do not think there is even one Christian in ten millions who really has a precise idea or a definite knowledge about the origin and the true signification of the term "the Son of Man." All Churches and their commentators without exception will tell you that "the Son of God" assumed the appellation of "the Son of Man" or "the Barnasha" out of humility and meekness, never knowing that the Jewish Apocalyptical Scriptures, in which Jesus and his disciples heart and soul believed, foretold not a "Son of Man" who would be meek, humble, having nowhere to lay his head, and be delivered into the hands of the evildoers and killed, but a strong man with tremendous power and strength to destroy and disperse the birds of prey and the ferocious beasts that were tearing and devouring his sheep and lambs! The Jews who heard Jesus speaking of "the Son of Man" full well understood to whom he was alluding. Jesus did not invent the name "Barnasha," but borrowed it from the Apocalyptical Jewish Scriptures: the Book of Enoch, the Sibylline Books, the Assumption of Moses, the Book of Daniel, etc. Let us examine the origin of this title "the Barnasha" or "the Son of Man."
1. "The Son of Man" is the Last Prophet, who established "the Kingdom of Peace" and saved the people of God from servitude and persecutions under the idolatrous powers of Satan. The title "Barnasha" is a symbolical expression to distinguish the Savior from the people of God who are represented as the "sheep," and the other idolatrous nations of the earth under various species of the birds of prey, ferocious beasts, and unclean animals. The Prophet Hezekiel is almost always addressed by God as "Ben Adam," that is "the Son of Man" (or of Adam) in the sense of a Shepherd of the Sheep of Israel. This Prophet has also some Apocalyptical portions in his book. In his first vision with which he begins his prophetic book he sees besides the sapphire throne of the Eternal the appearance of "the Son of Man." (l) This "Son of Man" who is repeatedly mentioned as always in the presence of God and above the Cherubim is not Hezekiel (or Ezekiel) him- self (2). He is the prophetical "Barnasha," the Last Prophet, who was appointed to save the people of God from the hands of the unbelievers here upon this earth, and not elsewhere!
------------- Footnotes: 1. Ezek. i. 26. 2. Ezek. x. 2. ------------- end of footnotes
(a) "The Son of Man" according to the Apocalypse of Enoch (or Henoh).
There is no doubt that Jesus Christ was very familiar with the Revelation of Enoch, believed to be written by the seventh patriarch from Adam. For Judah, "the brother of James" and the "servant of Jesus Christ," that is the brother of Jesus, believes that Enoch was the real author of the work bearing his name (l). There are some dispersed fragments of this wonderful Apocalypse preserved in the quotations of the Early Christian writers. The book was lost long before Photius. It was only about the beginning of last century that this important work was found in the Canon of the Scriptures belonging to the Abyssinian Church, and translated from the Ethiopic into the German language by Dr. Dillmann, with notes and explanations (2). The book is divided into five parts or books, and the whole contains one hundred and ten chapters of unequal length. The author describes the fall of the angels, their illicit commerce with the daughters of men, giving birth to a race of giants who invent all sorts of artifices and noxious knowledge. Then vice and evil increase to such a pitch that the Almighty punishes them all with the Deluge. He also relates his two journeys to the heavens and across the earth, being guided by good angels, and the mysteries and wonders he saw therein. In the second part, which is a description of the Kingdom of Peace, "the Son of Man" catches the kings in the midst of their voluptuous life and precipitates them into hell (3). But this second book does not belong to one author, and assuredly it is much corrupted by Christian hands. The third book (or part) contains some curious and developed astronomical and physical notions. The fourth part presents an Apocalyptical view of the human race from the beginning to the Islamic days, which the author styles the "Messianic" times, in two symbolical parables or rather allegories. A white bull comes out of the earth; then a white heifer joins him they give birth to two calves: one black, the other red; the black bull beats and chases away the red one; then he meets a heifer and they give birth to several calves of black color, until the mother cow leaves the black bull in the search the red one; and, as she does not find him, bawls and shrieks aloud, when a red bull appears, and they begin to propagate their species. Of course, this transparent parable symbolizes Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Sheth, etc., down to Jacob whose offspring is represented by a "flock of sheep" - as the Chosen People of Israel; but the offspring of his brother Esau, i.e. the Edomites, is described as a swarm of boars. In this second parable the flock of sheep is frequently harassed, attacked, dispersed, and butchered by the beasts and birds of prey until we come to the so-called Messianic times, when the flock of sheep is again attacked fiercely by ravens and other carnivorous animals; but a gallant "Ram" resists with great courage and valor. It is then that "the Son of Man," who is the real master or owner of the flock, comes forth to deliver his flock.
------------- Footnote: (1). Judah i. 14. In the Gospels he is mentioned as one of the four brothers of Jesus, Matt. xiii. 55, 56, etc. (2). It has also been translated into English by an Irish Bishop Laurence. (3). Enoch xlvi. 4 - 8. ------------
A non-Muslim scholar can never explain the vision of a Sophee - or a Seer. He will - as all of them do - bring down the vision to the Maccabees and the King Antiochus Epiphanes in the middle of the second century B.C., when the Deliverer comes with a tremendous truncheon or scepter and strikes right and left upon the birds and the beasts, making a great slaughter among them; the earth, opening its mouth, swallows them in; and the rest take to flight. Then swords are distributed among the sheep, and a white bull leads them on in perfect peace and security.
As to the fifth book, it contains religious and moral exhortations. The whole work in its present shape exhibits indications which show that it was composed as late as 110 B.C., in the original Aramaic dialect, by a Palestinian Jew. At least such is the opinion of the French Encyclopedia.
The Qur'an only mentions Enoch under his surname "Idris" - the Arabic form of the Aramaic "Drisha" being of the same category of simple nouns as "Iblis" and "Blisa" (l) "Idris" and "Drisha" signify a man of great learning, a scholar and an erudite, from "darash" (Arabic "darisa"). The Qur'anic text says: "And mention in the Book Idris; he too was a man of truth and a Prophet, whom We exalted." Ch.19:56-57 Qur'an.
------------- Footnote: (1). "Iblis," the Arabic form of the Aramaic "Blisa," an epithet given to the devil which means the "Bruised One." ------------- end of footnote
The Muslim commentators, Al-Baydhawi and Jalalu 'd-Din, seem to know that Enoch had studied astronomy, physics, arithmetic, that he was the first who wrote with the pen, and that "Idris" signifies a man of much knowledge, thus showing that the Apocalypse of Enoch had not been lost in their time.
After the close of the Canon of the Hebrew Scriptures in the fourth century or so B.C. by the "Members of the Great Synagogue," established by Ezra and Nehemiah, all other sacred or religious literature besides those included within the Canon was called Apocrypha and excluded from the Hebrew Bible by an assembly of the learned and pious Jews, the last of whom was the famous "Simeon the Just," who died in 310 B.C.
Among these Apocryphal books are included the Apocalypses of Enoch, Barukh, Moses, Ezra, and the Sibyline books, written at different epochs between the time of the Maccabees and after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. It seems to be quite a la mode with the Jewish Sages to compose Apocalyptical and religious literature under the name of some celebrated personage of antiquity. The Apocalypse at the end of the New Testament which bears the name of John the Divine is no exception to this old Judeo Christian habitude. If "Judah the brother of the Lord" could believe that "Henoh the Seventh from Adam" was really the author of the one hundred and ten chapters bearing that name, there is no wonder that Justin the Martyr, Papias, and Eusebius would believe in the authorship of Matthew and John.
However, my aim is not to criticize the authorship of, or to extend the comments upon these enigmatic and mysterious revelations which were compiled under the most painful and grievous circumstances in the history of the Jewish nation; but to give an account of the origin of this surname "the Son of Man" and to shed some light upon its true signification. The Book of Enoch too, like the Apocalypse of the Churches and like the Gospels, speaks of the coming of "the Son of Man" to deliver the people of God from their enemies and confuses this vision with the Last Judgment.
(b) The Sibylline Revelation, which was composed after the last collapse of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, states that "the Son of Man" will appear and destroy the Roman Empire and deliver the Believers in One God. This book was written at least fourscore years after Jesus Christ.
(c) We have already given an exposition of "the Son of Man" when we discussed the vision of Daniel, (l) where he is presented to the Almighty and invested with power to destroy the Roman Beast. So the visions, in the
"Assumption of Moses," in the Book of Baruch (or Barukh), more or less similar in their views and expectations to those described in the above-mentioned "Revelations," all unanimously describe the Deliverer of the people of God as "Barnasha" or "the Son of Man," to distinguish him from the "Monster;" for the former is created in the image of God and the latter transformed into the image of Satan.
------------ Footnotes: 1. Dan. vii. See the article, "Muhammad in the Old Testament," in the Islamic Review for November, 1938. ------------
2. The Apocalyptic "Son of Man" could not be Jesus Christ.
This surname, "Son of Man," is absolutely inapplicable to the son of Mary. All the pretensions of the so-called "Gospels" which make the "Lamb" of Nazareth to "catch the kings in the midst of their voluptuous life and hurl them down into the Hell;" (1) lack every bit of authenticity, and the distance separating him from "the Son of Man" marching with the legions of angels upon the clouds towards the Throne of the Eternal is more than that of our globe from the planet of Jupiter. He may be a "son of man" and a "messiah," as every Jewish king, prophet, and high! priest was, but he was not "the Son of Man" nor "the Messiah" whom the Hebrew prophets and apocalyptists foretold. And the Jews were perfectly right to refuse him that title and office. They were certainly wrong to deny him his prophethood, and criminal to have shed his innocent blood - as they and the Christians believe. "The Assembly of the Great Synagogue," after the death of Simeon the just in 310 B.C., was replaced by the "Sanhedrin," whose president had the surname of "Nassi" or Prince. It is astonishing that the "Nassi" who passed the judgment against Jesus, saying: "It is more profitable that one man should die rather than the whole nation should be destroyed," (2) was a prophet (3)! If he were a prophet, how was it that he did not recognize the prophetic mission or the Messianic character of "the Messiah"?
------------- Footnotes: (1). Enoch xlvi. 4 - 8. (2). John xi. 50. (3). Idem, 51. ------------- end of footnotes
Here are, then the principal reasons why Jesus was not "the Son of Man" nor the Apocalyptic Messiah:
(a) A messenger of God is not commissioned to prophesy about himself as a personage of some future epoch, or to foretell his own reincarnation and thus present him- self as the hero in some great future drama of the world. Jacob prophesied about "the Prophet of Allah," (1) Moses about a prophet who would come after him with the Law, and Israel was exhorted to "obey him; (2) Haggai foretold Ahmad (3); Malachi predicted the coming of the "Messenger of the Covenant" and of Elijah; (4) but none of the prophets ever did prophesy about his own second coming into the world. What is extremely abnormal in the case of Jesus is that he is made to pretend his identity with "the Son of Man," yet he is unable to do in the least degree the work that the foretold "Son of Man" was expected to accomplish! To declare to the Jews under the grip of Pilate that he was "the Son of Man," and then to pay tribute to Caesar; and to confess that "the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head;" and then to postpone the deliverance of the people from the Roman yoke to an indefinite future, was practically to trifle with his nation; and those who put all these incoherences as sayings in the mouth of Jesus only make idiots of themselves.
------------- Footnotes: (1) Gen. xlix. 10. (2) Deut. xviii. 15 (3). Hag. ii. 7. (4) Mal. iii. 1, iv. 5. ------------- end of footnotes
(b) Jesus knew better than everybody else in Israel who "the Son of Man" was and what was his mission. He was to dethrone the profligate kings and to cast them into the Hell-fire. The "Revelation of Baruch" and that of Ezra - the Fourth Book of Esdras in the Vulgate - speak of the appearance of "the Son of Man" who will establish the powerful Kingdom of Peace upon the ruins of the Roman Empire. All these Apocryphal Revelations show the state of the Jewish mind about the coming of the last great Deliverer whom they surname "the Son of Man" and "the Messiah." Jesus could not be unaware of and un- familiar with this literature and this ardent expectation of his people. He could not assume either of those two titles to himself in the sense which the Sanhedrin - that Supreme Tribunal of Jerusalem - and Judaism attached to them; for he was not "the Son of Man" and "the Messiah," because he had no political program and no social scheme, and because he was himself the precursor of "the Son of Man', and of "the Messiah" - the Adon, the Conquering Prophet, the Anointed and crowned Sultan of the Prophets.
(c) A critical examination of the surname "Son of Man" put three and eighty times in the mouth of the master will and must result in the only conclusion that he never appropriated it to himself; and in fact he often uses that title in the third person. A few examples will suffice to convince us that Jesus applied that surname to someone else who was to appear in the future.
(i) A Scribe, that is a learned man, says: "I will follow thee wheresoever thou goest." Jesus answers: "The foxes have their holes; the birds of heaven their own nests; but the Son of Man has no place where to lay his head." (1) In the verse following he refuses one of his followers per- mission to go and bury his father! You will find not a single saint, father, or commentator to have troubled his head or the faculty of reasoning in order to discover the very simple sense embodied in the refusal of Jesus to allow that learned Scribe to follow him. If he had place for thirteen heads he could certainly provide a place for the fourteenth too. Besides, he could have registered him among the seventy adherents he had (2). The Scribe in question was not an ignorant fisherman like the sons of Zebedee and of Jonah; he was a scholar and a practiced lawyer. There is no reason to suspect his sincerity; he was led to believe that Jesus was the predicted Messiah, the Son of Man, who at any moment might summon his heavenly legions and mount upon the throne of his ancestor David. Jesus perceived the erroneous notion of the Scribe, and plainly let him understand that he who had not two square yards of ground on earth to lay his head could naturally not be "the Son of Man"! He was not harsh to the Scribe; he benevolently saved him from wasting his time in the pursuit of a futile hope!
------------- Footnote: (1). Matt. viii. 20 (2). Luke x. 1 ------------- end of footnote
(ii) Jesus Christ is reported to have declared that the Son of Man "will separate the sheep from the goats." (1) The "sheep" symbolize the believing Israelites who will enter into the Kingdom but the "goats" signify the unbelieving Jews who had joined with the enemies of the true religion and were consequently doomed to perdition. This was practically what the Apocalypse of Enoch had predicted about the Son of Man. Jesus simply confirmed the revelation of Enoch and gave it a Divine character. He himself was sent to exhort the sheep of Israel (2) to remain faithful to God and await patiently the advent of the Son of Man who was coming to save them for ever from their enemies; but he himself was not the Son of Man, and had nothing to do with the political world, nor with the "sheep" and "goats" which both alike rejected and despised him, except a very small number who loved and believed in him.
------------- Footnotes: (1). Matt. xxv. 31 - 34. (2). Matt. xv. 24 ------------- end of footnotes
(iii) The Son of Man is said to be "the Lord of the Sabbath day," that is, he had the power to abrogate the law which made it a holy day of rest from labor and work. Jesus was a strict observer of the Sabbath, on which day he used to attend the services in the Temple or in the Synagogue. He expressly commands his followers to pray that the national collapse at the destruction of Jerusalem should not happen on a Sabbath day. How could, then, Jesus claim to be the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath day, while he was obliged to observe and keep it like every Jew? How could he venture to claim that proud title and then predict the destruction of the Temple and of the Capital City?
These and many other examples show that Jesus could never appropriate the surname of "Barnasha" to himself, but he ascribed it to the Last Powerful Prophet, who really saved the "sheep," i.e. the believing Jews; and either destroyed or dispersed the unbelievers among them; abolished the day of Sabbath; established the Kingdom of Peace; and promised that this religion and kingdom will last to the day of the Last Judgment.
We shall in our next essay turn our attention to find all the marks and qualities of the Apocalyptic "Son of Man" which are literally and completely found in the last Prophet of Allah, upon whom be peace and the blessing of God!
By The Apocalyptical "Son Of Man," Prophet Muhammad Is Intended
In my previous article, I showed that "the Son of Man" foretold in the Jewish Apocalypses was not Jesus Christ, and that Jesus never assumed that appellation for himself, for thus he would have made himself ridiculous in the eyes of his audience.
There were only two courses open to him: either to denounce the Messianic prophecies and the Apocalyptical visions about the Barnasha as forgeries and legends, or to confirm them and at the same time to fill, if he were that lofty personage, the office of the "Son of Man." To say: "The Son of Man came to serve and not to be served," (l) or "The Son of Man shall be delivered unto the hands of the Chief Priests and the Scribes" (2) or "The Son of Man came eating and drinking [wine]" with the sinners and the publicans, (3) and at the same time to confess that he was a beggar living on the charity and hospitality of others, was to insult his nation and its nation and its holiest religious sentiments! To boast that he was the Son of Man and had come to save and recover the lost sheep of Israel, (4) but had to leave this salvation to the Last Judgement, and even then to be cast into the eternal flames, was to frustrate all the hopes of that persecuted people, who alone in all mankind had the honor of being the only nation that professed the faith and religion of the true God; and it was to scorn their prophets and Apocalypses.
Could Jesus Christ assume that title? Are the authors of the four Gospels Hebrews? Could Jesus conscientiously believe himself to be what these spurious Gospels allege? Could a Jew conscientiously write such stories which are purposely written to disconcert and foil the expectation of that people? Of course, other than a negative answer cannot be expected from me to these questions.
Neither Prophet Jesus nor his apostles would ever use such an extravagant title among a people already familiar with the legitimate owner of that surname. It would be analogous to putting the crown of the king upon the head of his ambassador, the latter having no army to proclaim him king. It would be simply an insane usurpation of the rights and privileges of the legitimate Son of Man. Consequently, such an unjustifiable usurpation on the part of Jesus would be equivalent to the assumption of the epithet of "the Pseudo Son of Man" and of the Antichrist! The very imagination of a similar act of audacity on the part of the Holy Christ Jesus makes my whole nature revolt.
The more I read these Gospels the more I become convinced to believe that they are a production - at least in their present shape and contents - of authors other than the Jews. These Gospels are a counterpoise to the Jewish Revelations - particularly as a counter-project against the Sibyllian Books. This could only be done by Greek Christians who had no interest in the claims of the children of Abraham.
The author of the Sibyllian Books places side by side with the Jewish prophets Enoch, Solomon, Daniel, and Ezra, the names of the Greek sages Hermes, Homer, Orpheus, Pythagoras, and others, evidently with the object of making propaganda for the Hebrew religion.
These books were written when Jerusalem and the Temple were in ruins, some time before or after the publication of St. John's Apocalypse. The purport of the Sibyllian Revelation is that the Hebrew (l) Son of Man or the Messiah will come to destroy the power of Rome and to establish the religion of the true God for all men.
We can produce many sound arguments to prove the identity of "the Son of Man" with Prophet Muhammad only, and shall divide these arguments as follows: ARGUMENTS FROM THE GOSPELS, AND FROM THE APOCALYPSES
In the most coherent and significant passages in the discourses of Jesus where the appellation "Barnasha" - or "the Son of Man" - appears, only Prophet Muhammad is intended, and in him alone the prediction contained therein is literally fulfilled. In some passages wherein Jesus is supposed to have assumed that title for himself, that passage becomes incoherent, senseless, and extremely obscure.
Take for instance the following passages: "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they said, Behold." (1) John-Baptist was a teetotaler, he fed himself only on water, locusts, and wild honey; they said he was a demoniac; but "the Son of Man," Jesus, who ate and drank wine, was branded as "the friend of publicans and sinners"!
To blame a prophet for his fasting and abstinence is a sin of infidelity or of gross ignorance. But to reproach a person who claims to be a Messenger of God of frequenting the banquets of publicans and sinners, and for being fond of wine, is a very serious charge against the sincerity of that person who pretends to be a spiritual guide of men. Can we Muslims believe in the sincerity of a Khawaja or Mullah when we see him mixing with drunkards and prostitutes? Could the Christians bear with a curate or priest of a similar conduct? Certainly not.
A spiritual guide may have conversations with all sorts of sinners in order to convert and reform them, providing that he is sober, abstemious, and sincere. According to the quotation just mentioned, Christ admits that his behavior had scandalized the religious leaders of his nation. True, the officers of the Custom-house, called "publicans," were hated by the Jews simply because of their office. We are told only two "publicans" (2) and one "harlot" (3) and one "possessed" woman (4) were converted by Jesus; but all the clergy and the lawyers were branded with curses and anathemas (5). All this looks awkward and incredible. The idea or thought that a Holy Prophet, so chaste and sinless like Jesus, was fond of wine, that he changed six barrels of water into a most intoxicating wine in order to render crazy a large company of guests already tipsy in the wedding-hall at Cana, (6) is practically to depict him an impostor and sorcerer! Think of a miracle performed by a thaumaturgist before a rabble of drunkards! To describe Jesus as a drunkard, and gluttonous, and a friend of the ungodly, and then to give him the title of "the Son of Man" is to deny all the Jewish Revelations and religion.
Again, Jesus is reported to have said that "The Son of Man came to seek and recover that which was lost."(7)
The commentators of course interpret this passage in a spiritual sense only. Well, it is the mission and the office of every prophet and the preacher of the religion to call the sinners to repent of their iniquity and wickedness. We quite admit that Jesus was sent only to the "lost sheep of Israel," to reform and convert them from their sins; and especially to teach them more plainly concerning "the Son of Man" who was to come with power and salvation to restore what was lost and to reconstruct what was ruined; not to conquer and destroy the enemies of the true believers. Jesus could not assume for himself that Apocalyptic title "the Barnasha," and then not be able to save his people except Zacchaeus, a Samaritan woman, and a few other Jews, including the Apostles, who were mostly slain afterwards on his account. Most probably what Prophet Jesus said was: "The Son of Man will come to seek and recover what is lost." For in Prophet Muhammad alone, the believing Jews as well as the Arabs and other believers found all that was irremediably lost and destroyed - Jerusalem and Mecca, all the promised territories; many truths concerning the true religion; the power and kingdom of God; the peace and blessing that Islam confers in this world and in the next.
We cannot afford space for further quotations of the numerous passages in which "the Son of Man" occurs as either the subject or the object or the predicate of the sentence. But one more quotation will suffice, namely: "The Son of Man shall be delivered unto the hands of men," (Matt. xvi. 21; xvii. 12, etc.), and all the passages where he is made the subject of passion and death. Such utterances are put into the mouth of Jesus by some fraudulent non-Hebrew writer with the object of perverting the truth concerning "the Son of Man" as understood and believe by the Jews, and of making them believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Apocalyptical triumphant Savior, but he would only appear on the Day of the Last Judgement. It was a policy and a cunning propaganda of dissuasion, and then of persuasion, made purposely for the Jews. But the fraud was discovered, and the Jewish Christians belong to the Church which held these Gospels to be divinely revealed. For nothing could be more repugnant to Jewish national aspiration and religious sentiment than to present to them the expected Messiah, the great Barnasha, in the person of Jesus whom the Chief Priests and the Elders condemned to be crucified as a seducer! It is quite evident, therefore, that Jesus never appropriated the title of "the Son of Man;" but he reserved it only for Prophet Muhammad.
Here are a few of the arguments:
1. The Jewish Apocalypses ascribe the titles "the Messiah" and "the Son of Man" exclusively to the Last Prophet, who will fight with the Powers of Darkness and vanquish them, and then will establish the Kingdom of Peace and of Light on earth. Thus the two titles are synonymous; to disown either of them is to disown altogether the claim to being the Last Prophet. Now, we read in the Synoptics that Jesus categorically denied his being the Christ and forbade his disciples to declare him "the Messiah"! It is reported that Simon Peter, in reply to the question put by Jesus: "Whom say you that I am?" said: "Thou art the Christ [Messiah] of God." (l) Then Christ commanded his disciples not to say to anybody that he is the Christ. (2) St. Mark and St. Luke know nothing about the "power of the keys" given to Peter; they, not being there, had not heard of it. John has not a word about this Messianic conversation; probably he had forgotten it! St. Matthew reports (3) that when Jesus told them not to say that he was the Christ he explained to them how he would be delivered and killed. Thereupon Peter began to reprove and admonish him not to repeat the same words about his passion and death. According to this story of St. Matthew, Peter was perfectly right when he said: "Master, be it far from thee!" If it is true that his confession, "Thou art the Messiah," pleased Jesus, who conferred the title of "Sapha" or "Cepha" on Simon, then to declare that "the Son of Man" was to suffer the ignominious death upon the Cross was neither more nor less than a flat denial of his Messianic character. But Jesus became more positive and indignantly scolded Peter, saying: "Get thee behind me, Satan!" What follows this sharp rebuke are most explicit words of the Master, leaving not a modicum of doubt that he was not "the Messiah" or "the Son of Man." How to reconcile the "faith" of Peter, recompensed with the glorious title of "Sapha" and the power of the keys of Heaven and of Hell, with the "infidelity" of Peter punished with the opprobrious epithet of "Satan," within half an hour's time or so?
Several reflections present themselves to my mind, and I feel it my bounden duty to put them in black and white. If Jesus were "the Son of Man" or "the Messiah" as seen and foretold by Daniel, Ezra, Enoch, and the other Jewish prophets and divines, he would have authorized his disciples to proclaim and acclaim him as such; and he himself would have supported them. The fact is that he acted the very reverse.
Again, if he were the Messiah, or the Barnasha, he would have at once struck his enemies with terror, and by the aid of his invisible angels destroyed the Roman and Persian powers, then dominant over the civilized world. But he did nothing of the sort; or, like Prophet Muhammad, he would have recruited some valiant warriors like 'Ali, Omar, Khalid, etc., and not like Zebedees and Jonahs, who vanished, like a frightened specter when the Roman police came to arrest them.
There are two irreconcilable statements made by Matthew (or corrupted by his interpolator), which logically destroy each other. Within an hour, Peter is "the Rock of Faith," as Catholicism will boast, and, 'the Satan of Infidelity," as Protestantism will scout him! Why so? Because when he believed Jesus to be the Messiah, he was rewarded; but when he refused to admit that his master was not the Messiah, he was convicted!
There are no two "Sons of Man," the one to be the Commander of the Faithful, fight with sword in hand the wars of God, and uproot idolatry and its empires and kingdoms; the other to be an Abbot of the poor Anchorites on the summit of Calvary, fight the wars of God cross in hand, and be martyred ignominiously by idolatrous Romans and unbelieving Jewish Pontiffs and Rabbis!
"The Son of Man," whose hands were seen under the wings of the Cherubs by the Prophet Ezekiel (ii), and before the throne of the Almighty by the Prophet Daniel (vii), and described in the other Jewish Apocalypses was not predestined to be hanged upon Golgotha, but to transform the thrones of the pagan kings into their own crosses; to change their palaces into Calvaries, and to make sepulchers of their capital cities. Not Prophet Jesus, but Prophet Muhammad, had the honor of this title, "the Son of Man"! The facts are more eloquent than even the Apocalypses and the visions. The material and moral conquests achieved by Prophet Muhammad the Holy Messenger of Allah over the enemy are unrivalled.
2. "The Son of Man" is called by Jesus "the Lord of the Sabbath day." (1) This is very remarkable indeed. The sanctity of the seventh day is the theme of the Law of Moses. God accomplished the work of creation in six days, and on the seventh He rested from all work. Men and women, children and slaves, even the domestic animals were to repose from all labor under the pain of death. The Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue orders the people of Israel: "Thou shalt remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it." (2) The students of the Bible know how jealous God is reported to be concerning the strict observation of the Day of Rest. Before Moses there was no special law about this; and the nomad Patriarchs do not seem to have observed it. It is very likely that the Jewish Sabbath had its origin in the Babylonian Sabattu.
------------- Footnotes: (1). Matt. xii. 7. (2). Exod. xx. ------------- end of footnotes
The Qur'an repudiates the Jewish anthro-pomorphous conception of the Deity, for it means to say, as if like man, God labored six days, got fatigued, reposed and slumbered. The sacred verse of the Qur'an thus runs: "And verily We have created the heavens and the earth, and whatever is between them in six days; and no weariness affected Us".
The Jewish idea about the Sabbath had become too material and insidious. Instead of making it a day of comfortable rest and a pleasant holiday, it had been turned into a day of abstinence and confinement. No cooking, no walk, and no work of charity or beneficence were permitted. The priests in the temple would bake bread and offer sacrifices on the Sabbath-day, but reproached the Prophet of Nazareth when he miraculously cured a man whose arm was withered. (1) To this, Christ said that it was the Sabbath which was instituted for the benefit of man, and not man for the sake of the Sabbath. Instead of making it a day of worship and then a day of recreation, of innocent pleasure and real repose, they had made it a day of imprisonment and weariness. The least breach of any precept concerning the seventh day was punished with lapidation (stoning) or some other penalty. Moses himself sentences a poor man to lapidation for having picked up a few sticks from the ground on a Sabbath day; and the disciples of Jesus were reproached for plucking some ears of corn on a Sabbath day, although they were hungry.
It is quite evident that Jesus Christ was not a Sabbatarian and did not adhere to the literal interpretation of the draconic ordinances regarding the Sabbath. He wanted mercy or acts of kindness and not sacrifices. Nevertheless, he never thought of abrogating the Sabbath, nor could he have ventured to do so. Had he ventured to declare the abolition of that day or to substitute the Sunday for it, he would have been undoubtedly abandoned by his followers, and instantly mobbed and stoned. However, he observed, so to say, the Law of Moses to its title. As we learn from the Jewish historian, Joseph Flavius, and from Eusebius and others, James the "brother" of Jesus was a strict Ibionite and the head of the Judaistic Christians who observed the Law of Moses and the Sabbath with all its rigors. The Hellenistic Christians gradually substituted first the "Lord's Day," i.e. the Sunday; but the Eastern Churches until the fourth century observed both days.
------------- Footnote: Matt. xii 10-13 ------------- end of footnote
Now if Jesus were the Lord of the Sabbath day, he would have certainly either modified its rigorous law or entirely abolished it. He did neither the one nor the other. The Jews who heard him understood perfectly well that he referred to the expected Messiah as the Lord of the Sabbath, and that is why they kept their silence.
The Redactor of the Synoptics, here as everywhere, has suppressed some of the words of Jesus whenever "the Son of Man" forms the subject of his discourse, and this suppression is the cause of all these ambiguities, contradictions, and misunderstandings.
Unless we take the Holy Qur'an as our guide, and the Prophet of Allah as the object of the Bible, all attempts to find the truth and to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion will end in failure. The Higher Biblical Criticism will guide you as far as the gate of the sacred shrine of truth, and there it stops, stricken with awe and incredulity. It does not open the door to enter inside and search for the eternal documents therein deposited. All research and erudition shown by these "impartial" critics, whether Liberal Thinkers, Rationalists, or indifferent writers, are, after all, deplorably cold, skeptical, and disappointing.
Lately I was reading the works of the French savant Ernest Renan, La vie de Jesus, Saint Paul, and L' Antichrist. I was astonished at the extent of works, ancient and modern, which he has examined; he reminded me of Gibbon and others. But, alas, what is the conclusion of their inexhaustible research and study? Zero or negation!
In the domain of science, the marvels of Nature are discovered by the Positivists; but in the domain of Religion, these Positivists make hay of it and poison the religious sentiments of their readers. If these learned critics were to take the spirit of the Qur'an for their guidance and Prophet Muhammad as the literal, moral, and practical fulfillment of Holy Writ, their research could not be so desultory and destructive.
Religious men want a real and not an ideal religion; they want a "Son of Man" who will draw his sword and march at the head of his valiant army to pulverize the enemies of God and to prove by word and deed that he is the "Lord of the Sabbath day," and to abrogate it altogether because it was abused by the Jews as the "Fatherhood" of God was abused by the Christians. Prophet Muhammad did this!
As I have often repeated in these pages, we can only understand these corrupted scriptures when we penetrate, with the help of the light of Al-Qur'an, into their enigmatic and contradictory statements, and it is only then that we can sift them with the sieve of truthfulness and separate the genuine from the spurious. When, for example, speaking about the priests continually dissolving the Sabbath in the Temple, Jesus is reported to have said: "Behold, here is one that is greater than the Temple." (1) I can guess of no sense in the existence of the adverb "here" in this clause, unless we supply and attach to it an additional "t," and make it read "there." For, if Jesus or any other prophet before him should have had the audacity of declaring himself "greater than the Temple," he would have been instantly lynched or stoned by the Jews as a "blasphemer" unless he could prove himself to be the Son of Man, invested with power and greatness, as the Prophet of Allah was.
------------- Footnote: (1). Matt. xii 6 -------------
The abrogation of Saturday by the Prince of the Prophets - Prophet Muhammad - is hinted at in the LXII Sura of the Qur'an entitled "Al-Jumu'a" or "The Assembly." Before Prophet Muhammad, the Arabs called Friday "al A'ruba," the same as the Syriac Pshitta "A'rubta" from the Aramaic "Arabh" - " to set down (the sun)." It was so called because after the setting of the sun on Friday, the Sabbath day commenced. The reason given for the sacred character of Saturday is that on that day God "rested" from His work of creation.
But the reason for Islam's choice of Friday, as it can easily be understood, is of a double nature. First, because on this day, the great work of the creation, or of the universal formation of all the innumerable worlds, beings and things visible and invisible, planets, and microbes was completed. This was the first event that interrupted eternity, when time, space, and matter came into being. The commemoration, the anniversary, and the sanctity of such a prodigious event on the day on which it was achieved is just, reasonable, and even necessary. The second reason is that on this day prayers and worship are conducted by the faithful unanimously, and for this reason it is called the "Jumu'a," that is to say, the congregation or assembly; the Divine verse on this subject characterizes the nature of our obligation on Friday as: "O believers! When it is called to the prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of God and leave merchandise," etc.
The faithful Muslims are called to join in the Divine service together in a House dedicated to the worship of God, and to leave off at that time any lucrative work; but after the congregational prayers are over they are not forbidden to resume their usual occupations. A true Muslim within twenty-four hours worships his Creator five times in prayer and devotion.
3. We have already made a few remarks on the passage in St. Matthew (xviii. 11) where the mission of the "Son of Man" is "to seek and recover what was lost." This is another important prediction - though undoubtedly corrupted in form - about Prophet Muhammad, or the Apocalyptical Barnasha.
These "lost things" which the Barnasha would seek and restore are of two categories, religious and national. Let us examine them in detail:
1. The mission of the Barnasha was to restore the purity and the universality of the religion of Prophet Abraham which was lost. All the peoples and tribes descended from that patriarch of the believers were to be brought into the fold of the "Religion of Peace," which is no other than the "Dina da-Shlama," or the Religion of Islam. The religion of Moses was national and particular, and therefore its hereditary priesthood, its Levitical sacrifices and pompous rituals, its Sabbaths, jubilees, and festivals, and all its laws and corrupted scriptures would be abolished and substituted by new ones having a universal character, force, and durability. Prophet Jesus was a Jew; he could not have accomplished such a gigantic and stupendous undertaking because it was materially impossible for him to do it. "I came not to change the law or the prophets," (l) said he. On the other hand, the rank idolatry, with all its abominable pagan practices, superstition, and sorcery, to which the Arab nationalities were addicted, had entirely to be wiped out, and the Oneness of Allah and of religion to be restored under the flag of prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, bearing the Holy Inscription: "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except God; and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." (1)
------------ Footnote (1). Matt. v.17-19 ------------ end of footnote
2. The unification of the nations descended from Prophet Abraham, and their dependencies were to be restored and accomplished. Of the many corrupted, selfish, and unjustifiable silly notions the Hebrew Scriptures contain there is the indiscriminate bias they entertain against the non-Israelite nations. They never honor the other descendants of their great progenitor Prophet Abraham; and this antipathy is shown against the Ishmaelites, Edomites, and other Abrahamite tribes even when Israel had become the worst idolator and heathen. The fact that besides Prophets Abraham and Ishmael, about three hundred and eleven male slaves and warriors in his service were circumcised (1) is an incalculably forcible argument against the Jewish attitude towards their cousin nationalities. The kingdom of David hardly extended its frontiers beyond the territory which in the Ottoman Empire formed only two adjacent "Vilayets," or Provinces. And the "Son of David," whom the Jews anticipate to come with the attribute of the "final Messiah," may or may not be able to occupy even those two provinces; and besides, when will he come? He was to have come to destroy the Roman "Beast." That "Beast" was only mutilated and slaughtered by Prophet Muhammad!
What else is expected? When Prophet Muhammad, the Apocalyptic Barnasha, founded the Kingdom of Peace (Islam), the majority of the Jews in Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, etc., voluntarily rushed to the greatest shepherd of mankind when he appeared with the terrific blows which he struck at the "Brute" of paganism. Prophet Muhammad founded a universal Brotherhood, the nucleus of which is certainly the family of Prophet Abraham, including among its members the Persians, the Turks, the Chinese, the Negroes, the Japanese, the Indians, the English, etc., all forming one "ummat" (Arabic) or "Umtha da-Shlama," i.e. the Islamic Nation!
------------- Footnote (1). Gen. ------------ end of footnote
3. Then the recovery of the promised lands, including the land of Canaan and all the territories from the Nile to the Euphrates, and gradually the extension of the Kingdom of Allah from the Pacific Ocean to the eastern shores of the Atlantic, is a marvelous fulfillment of all the prophecies about the Holiest and the Greatest of the Sons of Man!
Considering the stupendous work accomplished by Prophet Muhammad for the One True God, the brief time spent by him and his brave and devoted companions in its accomplishment, and the ineffaceable effects that the work and the religion of Prophet Muhammad have left upon all the kingdoms and the thinkers of mankind, one is at a loss to know what tribute to pay to this Prophet of Arabia, except the wish to behold him shining in redoubled glory before the Throne of the Eternal as Daniel saw in his vision!
The Son Of Man According To The Jewish Apocalypses
From what has been already discussed in these pages it will have been that the appellation "Barnasha," or "the Son of Man," is not a title like "Messiah," that could be applied to every prophet, high-priest, and legally anointed king; but that it is a proper noun, belonging exclusively to the Last Prophet. The Hebrew Seers, Sophees, and the Apocalyptists describe the Son of Man, who is to come in due time as appointed by the Almighty to deliver Israel and Jerusalem from the heathenish oppression and to establish the permanent kingdom for "the People of the Saints of the Most High." The Seers, the Sophees, foretell the advent of the Powerful Deliverer; they see him - only in a vision, revelation, and faith - with all his might and glory. No Prophet or Sophee ever said that he himself was "the Son of Man," and that he would "come again on the Last Day to judge both the quick and the dead," as the Nicene Creed puts it on the pretended authority of the Sayings of Jesus Christ.
The frequent use of the appellation in question by the evangelists indicates, most assuredly, their acquaintance with the Jewish Apocalypses, as also a firm belief in their authenticity and Divine origin. It is quite evident that the Apocalypses bearing the names of Prophets Enoch, Moses, Baruch, and Ezra were written long before the Gospels; and that the name "Barnasha" therein mentioned was borrowed by the authors of the Gospels; otherwise its frequent use would be enigmatic and an incomprehensible - if not a meaningless - novelty.
It follows, therefore, that Prophet Jesus either believed himself to be the Apocalyptic "Son of Man," or that he knew the Son of Man to be a person distinctly other than himself. If he believed himself to be the Son of Man, it would follow that either he or the Apocalyptists were in error; and in either case, the argument goes most decidedly against Jesus Christ. For his error concerning his own personality and mission is as bad as the erroneous predictions of the Apocalyptists, whom he believed to be divinely inspired. Of course, this dilemmatic reasoning will lead us to a final conclusion unfavorable to himself. The only way to save Prophet Jesus from this dishonor is to look upon him as the Qur'an pictures him to us; and accordingly to attribute all the contradictory and incoherent statements about him in the Gospels to their authors or redactors.
Before discussing further the subject, "the Son of Man" as depicted in the Jewish Apocalypses, a few facts must be carefully taken into consideration:
First, these Apocalypses not only do not belong to the canon of the Hebrew Bible, but also they are not even included among the Apocrypha or the so-called "Deutro-canonical" books of the Old Testament.
Secondly, their authorship is not known. They bear the names of Enoch, Moses, Baruch, Ezra, but their real authors or editors seem to have known the final destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews under the Romans. These pseudonyms were chosen, not for fraudulent purposes, but out of a pious motive by the Sophees or Seers who composed them. Did not Plato put his own views and dialectics into the mouth of his master, Socrates?
Thirdly, "these books," in the words of the Grand Rabbin Paul Haguenauer, "in an enigmatical, mystical, supernatural form, try to explain the secrets of the nature, the origin [sic] of God, the problems of good and evil, justice and happiness, the past and the future. The Apocalypse makes upon all these questions some revelations which surpass human understanding. Their principal personages are Enoch, Moses, Baruch, Ezra. These writings are evidently the product of the painful and disastrous epochs of Judaism." (1) Consequently they cannot be fully understood any more than the Apocalypse which bears the name of St. John the Apostle.
Fourthly, these Apocalypses have been interpolated by the Christians. In the Book of Enoch, "the Son of Man" is also called "the Son of Woman" and "the Son of God," thus interpolating the Church theory of incarnation; surely no Jewish Seer would write "Son of God."
Fifthly, it would be noticed that the Messianic doctrine is a later development of the old prophecies concerning the Last Prophet of Allah, as foretold by Jacob and other Prophets. It is only in the Apocrypha and the Apocalypses, and especially in the Rabbinical writings, that this "Last Deliverer" is claimed to descend from David. True, there are prophecies after the Babylonian captivity, and even after the deportation of the Ten Tribes into Assyria, about a "Son of David" who would come to gather together the dispersed Israel. But these predictions were fulfilled only partly under Zorobabel - a descendant of King David. Then after the Greek invasion the same predictions were preached and announced, and we only see a Judah Maqbaya fighting with a slight success against Antiochus Epiphanes. Besides, this success was temporary and of no permanent value.
The Apocalypses, which carry their visions down to the time after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and Vespasian, foretell "the Son of Man" who will appear with great power to destroy the Roman power and the other enemies of Israel. Twenty centuries had to elapse before the Rome Empire was destroyed in the fifth century A.D. by a Turkish Emperor, Atilla - a pagan Hun - and finally by a Muslim Turk, the Fatih Muhammad II. But that power was completely destroyed, and for ever, in the lands promised to Ishmael by the Sultan of the Prophets, Muhammad.
------------- Footnote: 1. Munuel de Litterature Juivre Nancy, 1927. ------------ end of footnote
There remain two other observations which I cannot ignore in this connection. If I were a most ardent Zionist, or a most learned Rabbi, I would once more study this Messianic question as profoundly and impartially as I could. And then I would vigorously exhort my co-religionist Jews to desist from and abandon this hope for ever.
Even if a "Son of David" should appear on the hill of Zion, and blow the trumpet, and claim to be the "Messiah," I would be the first to tell him boldly: "Please, Sir! You are too late! Don't disturb the equilibrium in Palestine! Don't shed blood! Don't let your angels meddle with these formidable aeroplanes! Whatever be the successes of your adventures, I am afraid they will not surpass those of your ancestors David, Zorobabel, and Judah Maccabaeus (Maqbaya)!"
The great Hebrew conqueror was not David, but Jesus bar Nun (Joshuah); he was the first Messiah, who instead of converting the pagan tribes of the Canaan that had shown so much hospitality and goodness to Prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, mercilessly massacred them wholesale. And Joshuah was, of course, a Prophet and the Messiah of the time. Every Israelite Judge during a period of three centuries or more was a Messiah and Deliverer.
Thus, we find that during every national calamity, especially a catastrophe, a Messiah is predicted, and as a rule, the deliverance is achieved always subsequent to the disaster and quite in an inadequate degree. It is a peculiar characteristic of the Jews that they alone of all the nationalities aspire, through the miraculous conquests by a Son of David, for a universal domination of the inhabitants of the globe. Their slovenliness and inertia are quite compatible with their unshaking belief in the advent of the "Lion of Judah." The Jews are awaiting for the Moshiakh referred to in Islam as "Massieh Ad-Dajjal" (meaning the Anti-Christ or the False Messiah).
And that is, perhaps the reason why they have attempted to concentrate all, their national resources, energy, and force and make a united effort to become a self-governing people. This is the introduction of conclusion of the appearance of the Anti-Christ and also the appearance of the great grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Al-Mahdi, via his daughter Fatima, which both Sunni and Shi'a believe. Al Mahdi will fight the Anti-Christ, then Jesus will descend and kill the Anti-Christ under a tree facing the Lake of Tiberias which had been dry for a long time, but now it has been replenished.
Now to the Christians who claim Jesus to be the prophetical Son of Man, I would venture to say: If he were the expected Deliverer of Israel, he would have delivered that people from the Roman yoke, no matter if the Jews had believed in him or not. Deliverance first, gratitude and loyalty after; and not vice versa. A man must first be liberated from the hands of his captors by killing or frightening them, and then be expected to show his permanent attachment and devotion to the liberator.
The Jews were not inmates of a hospital to be attended by physicians and nurses; they were practically prisoners in bonds and needed a hero to set them free. Their faith in God and in His Law was as perfect as was that of their ancestors at the foot of Mount Sinai when He delivered it to Moses. They were not in need of a thaumaturgist prophet; all their history was interwoven with wonders and miracles. The raising to life of a dead Lazarus, the opening of the eyes of a blind Bartimaeus, or the cleansing of an outcast leper, would neither strengthen their faith nor satiate their thirst for independence and liberty.
The Jews rejected Jesus, not because he was not the Apocalyptic "Son of Man" or the Messiah - not be- cause he was not a Prophet, for they knew very well that he did not claim to be the former, and that he was a Prophet - but because they hated him because Jesus said: Messiah was not the Son of David, but his Lord. (1)
This admission of the Synoptics confirms the statement in the Gospel of Barnabas, where Jesus is reported to have added that the Covenant will be fulfilled with the "Shiloah" - the Prophet of Allah - who will come from the family of Prophet Ishmael. For this reason, the Talmudists describe Jesus as "the second Balaam" - that is, the Prophet who prophesies for the benefit of the heathen at the expense of the "Chosen People."
------------ Footnote: (1). Matt. xxii 44-46; Mark xii 35-37; Luke xx. 41-44. ------------ end of footnote
It is quite clear, therefore, that the Jewish reception to, or their rejection of, Jesus was not the condition sine qua non to determine the nature of his mission. If he were the Final Deliverer, he would have made the Jews submit to him, nolens volens, as Prophet Muhammad did.
The contrast between the circumstances in which each of those two Prophets found himself, and their work, knows no dimensions and no limits. Suffice it to say that Prophet Muhammad converted about ten million pagan Arabs into most sincere and ardent believers in the true God, and utterly uprooted idolatry in the lands where it had struck root. This he did, because he held in one hand the Law and in the other the Scepter; the one was the Holy Qur'an and the other the emblem of power and government. He was hated, despised, persecuted by the noblest Arab tribe to which he belonged, and forced to flee for his life; but by the Power of Allah, he accomplished the greatest work for cause of the true religion which no other Prophet before him had ever been able to do.
I shall now proceed to show that the Apocalyptic Son of Man was no other than the Prophet Muhammad al-Mustapha.
------------- Footnote: (1). I regret to say that the "Jewish Apocalypses" are inaccessible to me. The Encyclopedias given only a compendium of each book, which does not satisfy my purpose of examining the text. I know that the Irish Archbishop Laurence has translated this Apocalypse into English, but it is, unfortunately, beyond my reach. ------------ end of footnotes
This parabolical vision is transparent enough. From Prophet Jacob downwards, the "Chosen People" is represented symbolically by the flock of sheep. The descendants of Esau are described as boars. Other heathen people and tribes are represented in the vision, according to their respective characteristics, as ravens, eagles, vultures, and different species of brutes, all thirsty to suck the blood of the sheep or hungry to devour them.
Almost all Biblical scholars agree that the vision indicates the painful period of the Maccabees and their bloody struggles with the armies of Antiochus Epiphanes until the death of John Hurcanus in 110(?) B.C. This method of interpreting the vision is totally erroneous, and reduces the value of the whole book to nothing. That an antediluvian Prophet or a Seer should illustrate the history of the human race from a religious point of view, beginning with Adam, under the symbol of a White Bull, and ending with John Hurcanus or his brother Judah Maccabaeus (Maqbaya) as the Last White Bull, and then leave the flock of the "Believers" to be devoured again by the Romans, the Christians, and the Muslims to this very day, is ridiculous and shocking!
In fact, the wars of the Maccabees and their consequence are not of such great significance in the history of the religion of God as to be the terminus of its development. None of the Maccabees was a Prophet, nor the founder of the so-called "Messianic reign" which the Gospels name the "Kingdom of God."
Besides, this interpretation of the vision is inconsistent with the characters represented in the drama under the figurative symbols of the master of the flock, scepter in hand, the Ram, and the White Bull; and then with the large sword given to the shepherds with which they kill or drive away the impure animals and birds. Furthermore, this Christian interpretation of Enoch's Apocalypse does not explain the mystical transplantation or the transportation of the terrestrial Jerusalem into a country farther to the south; and what meaning can be given to the new House of God built on the spot of the old one, larger and higher than the former sacred edifice, to which flock not only the believing sheep - the faithful Jews - but also the various pagan nationalities that have embraced the religion of the Son of Man who destroyed the enemies with his Scepter or Rod! For all these particular acts and representations are seen and described in this dramatic vision.
The chain that links together the events depicted in this figurative language begins with Prophet Adam and ends in the person of the Prophet of Mecca! There are several cogent arguments to prove this assertion.
------------- Footnote: 1. Matt. xxv. 32 - 46, etc. ------------- end of footnote
------------- Footnotes: 1. Gen. xlix. 10. 2. Rev. vi. 9 - 11. ------------- end of footnotes
The other Apocalypses, those which bear the names of Moses, Baruch, Ezra, the Jubilees, and the Oracula Sibylliana, should be studied impartially, for it is then that they, like those of Daniel and Enoch, will not only be understood, but also prove to be fulfilled in Prophet Muhammad.