A dialogue between Imam Raazi and a Priest

Imam Raazi had a debate on the question of the trinity with a priest. He reported it in his commentary on the Holy Quran under the comments on verse 3:61:

"When I was in Khwarazim, I was told that a Christian had come there who claimed to have deep knowledge of Christianity. I went to him and a debate started between us. He demanded proof of the prophethood of Muhammad. I said that we have received authentic reports with regards to the miracles performed by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, just like the reports we have received with regards to the miracles performed by the prophet Musa  (Moses)and I`sa  (Jesus) peace be upon on them.

Now if we deny the authentic reports, or we accept them but the fact that miracles prove the truth of the prophets, this would necessarily deny the prophethood of all the Prophets of Allah. On the other hand if we accept the truth of the reports and also believe that miracles are such sure signs of the truth of the Prophets, and both these arguments are proved to be true for the Holy Prophet Muhammad,  the truth of his prophethood would be essentially proved.

The priest answered that he did not claim that Christ was a prophet but believed him to be God. I told him that first we should have the definition of God. We all know that God must be self-existent, first and prime cause, and beyond physical description. However, we find that Jesus had a human form, was born, and did not exist before, and then was apparently killed by the Jews. In the beginning he was a child and gradually grew into a youth. He needed food to live and used to eat and drink, and had all the characteristics of human being. It is obvious that an accidental being cannot be self-existent, and one who is subject to change cannot be eternal and everlasting.

Secondly, your claim is wrong on the ground that you say that Jesus was arrested by the Jews and then was crucified. He also made every effort to run away in order to save himself. He tried to hide himself before his arrest and then, before his death, he cried aloud. Now if he was God, or a part of God that was united with the God-head or God was in him, why could he not save himself from this persecution, and punish them for such a sacrilegious act. His weeping and crying, and making efforts to hide himself, is just as inconceivable. We are really surprised at how a man with ordinary common-sense could ever believe something which is so evidently irrational and contrary to human reason.

Thirdly, your hypothesis is impossible because we must agree with one of three logical possibilities in this matter. Either God was the same Christ who was visible to the people in human form, or God was fully united with him or some part of God was united to him. All three possibilities are equally irrational and logically impossible.

The first because if the creator of the universe was Jesus, it would require that the God of the universe was crucified by the Jews, in this case the existence of this universe would have ceased. The God of the universe being killed by the Jews, who are the most inconsiderate and disregarded nation of the world, is all the most ironical and unimaginable. He must be a most helpless God indeed!

The second possibility is also unacceptable, because if God is neither a body nor an essence, his presence and unification with form and body is rationally not possible. And if God has a form and is material, its unity with other substances would mean that the particles of Godís matter are separate from one another; if he is an essence, this would necessitate some other matter for its existence, which would imply that God was dependent on something outside Himself for his existence.

The third possibility that some parts of god were united with him is also absurd because if those parts were vital for God, it would require that God would have been without some of his vital parts after they were united with Jesus, and God would no longer be perfect. If those parts were not vital and God would lose nothing without them, such parts could not be parts of God.

The fourth argument, refuting this Christian claim, is that it has been proved that the Christ had extraordinary liking for worship and for obedience to God. Had he been the God Himself he would have not been involved in the worship of God. As God is not required to worship himself.

I asked the priest what arguments he had for his claim for the divinity of Christ. He answered that he performed great miracles like reviving the dead and healing lepers. These miraculous achievements are not possible without divine powers. I asked him if he agreed that an absence of predicate did not necessarily prove the absence of the existence of the subject. If you do not agree with it, it would demand that in the beginning when this universe did not exist, God also did not exist.

On the other hand, if you agree that the absence of a predicate does not necessarily prove the absence of the subject, I will ask you a question. How do you know that God is not united with me, with you or with any living creature as He was united with Christ? He answered that it was obvious that Christ performed miracles and wonders, while such wonders are not performed by any of us. This was enough indication that God was not united with us.

I said to him that this showed that he did not understand the premise that the absence of a predicate did not prove the absence of the subject, because if the performance of miracles is a predicate of Godís union with Christ, the only thing absent in our case, is the performance of miracles but this absence of predicate does not prove that God is not united with us or with other animals. I added, that any faith which requires us to believe that God can be united with animals cannot be acceptable to any sensible man.

Moreover, Moses miraculously turned his staff into a serpent. Logically speaking, making a wood into a living serpent is greater marvel than the revival of a dead man. Because the difference between a living man and a dead man is not as great as between a piece of wood and a living serpent. Now if Moses did not become God by performing this wonder how could a lesser wonder be an argument for Jesus being God or the Son of God? The Priest was spell-bound and gave up the discussion.

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