Blogging Theology: Paul Williams & Dr. Louay Fatoohi “but IT was made to appear to them”

“but it was made to appear to them so.” (Qur’an 4:157)

This entry is going to be written as regards my thoughts on the video: Does the Qur’an Deny the Crucifixion of Jesus? with Dr Louay Fatoohi.

First let me just say that Paul Williams has grown so much as a person and I have never met him but I find him a kindred spirit in many ways. I would have to say that his YouTube channel has to be among the top five for an English speaking audience.

Dr. Louay Fatoohi is an academic, and has contributed many works in the field of comparative religion to an English speaking audience. I would recommend a person become acquainted with his writings. He site can be found here: https://www.louayfatoohi.com/

Now let’s dive right into this! I want to start off by stating that there is no verse any where in the Qur’an that says, ‘No one ever killed Jesus.’ There is no such verse.

Does the Qur’an deny that a certain group of people killed Jesus? Yes it does. The Qur’an 4:157 is very clear that the Jews did not kill Jesus.

My thoughts on watching this particular edition of Blogging Theology is that it left the audience wanting closure. It was like watching ‘Star Wars, A New Hope‘, ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘ and not giving us ‘The Return of the Jedi‘. I really do hope that Dr. Fatoohi comes back for a part two in the future.

For Dr. Louay Fatoohi to argue that the text is plain and clear is not really the whole picture.

If the matter was clear and straight forward we would not have debate over the text.

Over all their were some interesting assertions. Definitely many are curious as to why Dr. Fatoohi went with the majority narrative half way; but didn’t commit to the majority narrative concerning Jesus.

  1. Majority narration is that Jesus did not die on a cross. Louay Fatoohi is in agreement here.
  2. Majority narration is that Jesus was not impaled. Louay Fatoohi is in agreement here.
  3. Majority narration is that Jesus did not die at all. Louay Fatoohi is in disagreement here.
  4. Majority narration is that Jesus will return again. Louay Fatoohi is in disagreement here.

Where I agree/disagree with the majority narrative and where I agree/disagree with Dr. Louay Fatoohi

  1. Majority narration is that Jesus did not die on a cross. I am in agreement here with majority narrative and Louay Fatoohi.
  2. Majority narration is that Jesus was not impaled. I am in disagreement here.
  3. Majority narration is that Jesus did not die at all. I am in agreement with Louay Fatoohi and in disagreement with the majority narrative.
  4. Majority narration is that Jesus will return again. I am in agreement with Louay Fatoohi and in disagreement with the majority narrative.

So why would those who write exegesis of the Qur’an read the text in a way to suggest that Jesus did not die?

Well, Dr. Louay Fatoohi because they had oral reports with broken chains that suggested that Allah (swt) made some random person look like Jesus and that person was “made to appear to them so”.

The second reason is that they have oral traditions that state that Jesus will return at the end of time. Oral reports that you yourself must question since you believe that Jesus is dead and he will not return.

@ 4:45 Dr. Fatoohi is talking about the consensus and the methods and motives for those who go against the consensus. Dr. Fatoohi has gone against the consensus as well. For example the consensus believe that Jesus will return. However, Dr. Fatoohi believes that Jesus is dead and will not return.

As to those who are wondering where did I get the idea that Dr. Louay Fatoohi believes that Jesus is dead and will not return. First of all that is stated in his book: ” The Crucifixion of Jesus: Faithful History or Historical Faith?

He also stated as much recently in the comment section.

What the Qur’an itself says about the crucifixion?

Exegetical issues: “made to appear to them so

@ 7:38 Dr. Fatoohi says that ‘on the face of it it denies the crucifixion. nobody would deny that on the face of it.’

@7:58 Dr. Fatoohi rightly states: “The Jews have made the claim, ‘WE have killed the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary.” THEY did not kill him (wa ma qatalahu), nor did THEY crucify him (wa ma salabuhu),…”

My comments:

Notice how: “But IT was made to appear so to them.” That no attempt is made to interact with this verse of the text. Why is that? Insh’Allah we will come back to this latter.

MUSLIM CONSENSUS:

Sunni:-Tabari, Mawardi, Qurtubi, Baydawi, Sayyid Qutb

@10:19 “They base their interpretation on that particular verse (4:157) as well as other references in the Qur’an and I have to add, other extra Qur’anic material, hadith, some other stuff.

Shi’i -Tulsi, Tabresi, Tabataba’i

Mu’tazili -Abd al-Jabbar Ibn Ahmad & Zamakhshari.

Sufi -Qushayri, Najm al-Din Kubra

“Sometimes exegetes will differ on a single word At times exegetes will differ even on a single word. So one word in a verse and you have multiple opinions on that.” As soon as you move to verse 158 the consensus breaks down, What happened exactly when Jesus was ‘spared‘ the ‘crucifixion‘ than you have a variety of interpretations.’ – Dr. Fatoohi

My comments:

There are two points I would like you the reader to remember or to write down seperately as you continue to read this entry.

  1. They base their interpretation on that particular verse (4:157) as well as other references in the Qur’an and I have to add, other extra Qur’anic material, hadith, some other stuff.
  2. What happened exactly when Jesus was ‘spared‘ the ‘crucifixion‘ than you have a variety of interpretations.’

Dr. Fatoohi continues…

@14:15 “Most Muslims over the centuries believe that Jesus did not die and he was raised alive to heaven and there are stories about what is going to happen afterwards.”

My comments:

Sahih hadith = ‘stories’ ?

@14:56 He quotes how the reformist in the 20th century went against the consensus and hold that “Jesus actually died on earth.” Even this group who believe that Jesus died on the Earth still do not believe that Jesus was crucified.

“I am not somebody who argues that consensus itself is an argument.” Dr. Fatoohi

This can be seen by his own belief that Jesus is not coming back which the consensus is in agreement upon.

Exegesis Versus Eisegesis.

My comments on this section of the video:

I do not believe that Dr. Fatoohi adequately explained in the case of Eisegesis on how the “other extra Qur’anic material, hadith, some other stuff” informed the view of Muslim exegetes in regards to” ” (wa ma qatalahu), nor did THEY crucify him (wa ma salabuhu)”

If you have for example stories saying that some random person was put on the ‘salb‘ or as is commonly translated ‘cross‘, it becomes a forgone conclusion at that point.

Questioning the Consensus

Sayyid Ahmad Khan -Suggested that Jesus was crucified but he did not die. (Substitution theory)

My comment:

Which becomes the argument of the Ahmadiyyah movement (Qadiani/Lahori) and by extension one of the main arguments used by Muslim debaters such as: Ahmed Deedat and Shabir Ally.

Geoffery Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’an, 1965.

Mahmoud Ayoub, Toward an Islamic Christology 11, 1980 (2007).

Todd Lawson, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an, 2010 (1990/1980)

4th century + Ismaili theology +non-exegetical + contradictory. Abu Hatim Ar Razi 4th century

My comments:

I felt that Dr. Louay Fatoohi and Paul Williams attempted to marginalize the Ismaili. Look at the Fatmid Dynasty (an Ismaili’ Shia) dynasty. I would hardly call them insignificant.

When talking about the theological justifications for coming up with this conclusion. Dr. Fatoohi offers that Abu Hatim Ar Razi when debating when an Atheist wanted to prove to him that it is possible to show thematic unity between all religious traditions. Dr. Fatoohi than claims that Dr. Todd Lawson left out of his book, another book written by Abu Hatim Ar Razi in which he claims that the Qur’an denies the crucifiction.

@36:08 Paul Williams offers a very pointed and sharp question. “Why would Ismailli theology have an issue with Jesus crucifixion? What’s the theological motivation behind this novel interpretation?”

You can see Dr. Fatoohi struggle giving a cohesive response to this when he says:

“It has something to do with, I mean I can’t speak with allot of detail about it. But it is something to do with their cosmology and topology and the 7 kinda of the number 7 and their return and the concept of the return of their Imam and it’s interesting if you look at it that way. If you look at one of these books let’s say Sijistani’s work, which again, it’s another kind of more or less contemporary to Abu Hatim Ar Razi and if you look at it it’s quite, it’s a difficult kind of complex umm piece of work pretty sure someone else who is more kinda of umm accomplished when it comes to the theologic and presenting and explaining better. (Hmm says Paul)… But what I can say about it it’s clearly linked to their theology. Second their inconsistent in that view. So that is found in works that are not exegetical. Their actually not where if you want to read about uh what Muslim the interpretation of the Qur’an you don’t usually pick a book on let’s say general fiqh or jurisprudence, or you know jurisprudence. You pick a book that deals with the ah interpretation of the Qur’an, exegesis. Tabari or someone else.” -Dr. Fatoohi

@40:38 “Did the Prophet Muhammad speak about the crucifixion?”

Dr. Louay Fatoohi says @42:15 ,There is no trace or reference of the Blessed Messenger (saw) talking about this any where. “That surely if there was any doubt, controversy or discussion it would have come up in some form. “

My comment:

This is really a huge assumption. Because we do not see the Blessed Messenger (saw) engaging with Christians on a wide variety of possible theological issues. Where was his discussion with any Christian sect concerning the hypostatic union of divinity and flesh? Where is the discussion about the Christian concept of the ‘godhead‘, or Jesus as ‘the word‘? Where are all those discussions?

Paul Williams than pivots back to John of Damascus. However, note what John of Damascus is reported to have said:

“And he says that the Jews wanted to crucify Him in violation of the law, and that they seized His shadow and crucified this. But the Christ Himself was not crucified, he says, nor did He die, for God out of His love for Him took Him to Himself into heaven.”

John of Damascus is claiming in his understanding of the Qur’an 4:157. The following:

  1. The Jews wanted to ‘crucify‘ Jesus.
  2. In violation of the law.
  3. They seized his shadow and crucified this (SOMETHING was indeed crucified)
  4. Christ himself was not ‘crucified‘, and he did not die.
  5. God took him into heaven.

John of Damascus is making a powerful argument and one we are trying to warn Muslims from falling into. That is the author of the Qur’an is ignorant about Jewish law.

We need to ask where in Jewish Law would an apostate, blasphemer, sorcerer, magician be ‘crucified‘?

Source: https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9985/jewish/Chapter-21.htm

Notice that John of Damascus states: “THEY seized his shadow and crucified this (SOMETHING was indeed crucified)

Now how John of Damascus or anyone could walk away with the understanding that the Qur’an is blaming the Jews for anything in Qur’an 4:157 is beyond me. Especially since everyone (regardless of interpretation) state: THEY did not kill him (wa ma qatalahu), nor did THEY salabuhu (wa ma salabuhu),

and he did not die.” Which of course even Dr. Louay Fatoohi is not in agreement with.

@44:00 Dr. Louay Fatoohi makes a powerful point. That even if the Qur’an did say that Jesus was crucified (presumably on a cross-beam) it would not have an impact on Islamic theology. @44:45 Paul Williams agrees: That the Qur’an, New Testament, and the TNCH concur, that Prophets indeed were killed.

The Christian agenda and the Islamic agenda: To say that Jesus was ‘crucified‘.

@53:09 Dr. Louay Fatoohi is commenting on Mahmoud Ayoub. “What he is talking about is the general kind of widely excepted interpretation among Muslims is that Jesus, there was a crucifixion but it wasn’t Jesus, it was someone else was crucified.

My comments:

This is very important because if we are talking about majority view and consensus. The majority view and the consensus is that THERE WAS A CRUCIFIXION . It just wasn’t Jesus.

@57:27 “The Qur’an claims to be reporting history not making some general theological statement, that have the appearance of history to it.” At this point brother Paul Williams comments: “yeah, very strange.”

My comments:

Two quick points here.

The Qur’an claims to be reporting history.“- Dr. Louay Fatoohi.

“What he (Mahmoud Ayoub) is talking about is the general kind of widely excepted interpretation among Muslims is that Jesus, there was a crucifixion but it wasn’t Jesus, it was someone else was crucified.” -Dr. Louay Fatoohi

Now think about this.

What are these historical documents we can reference from Christian sources that say someone else was ‘crucified‘?

Where are the documents from the Jews, Romans, Greeks?

Why didn’t John of Damascus reference this?

Especially, if the Qur’an is not “not making some general theological statement.”

In fact with all due respect to Paul Williams and other brothers who use Bart Ehrman when trying to bolster Islamic view points they certainly shy away from Professor Bart Ehrman’s position on the crucifixion of Jesus. Wonder why that is?

No Muslim (to my knowledge) has ever invited Bart Ehrman on to have a chat about the crucifixion. You have to wonder why that is. The reason being is because it doesn’t help to sell the main stream narrative that is admittedly influenced by “other extra Qur’anic material, hadith, some other stuff..”

Just to jog the memory Professor Bart Ehrman has stated:

“The crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans is one of the most secure facts we have about his life.   Whenever anyone writes a book about the historical Jesus, it is really (really, really) important to see if what they say about his public ministry can make sense of his death.” -Professor Bart Ehrman

Source: https://ehrmanblog.org/why-was-jesus-crucified/

@ 1:00:25 Dr. Louay Fatoohi makes another tenuous claim: “Everybody he knew, every Jew, Every Christian believed that Jesus was crucified.”

My comment:

Really? Every Jew knew this?

Now, Dr. Louay Fatoohi and Paul Williams believe that there is no connection between the above oral tradition of the Jews (b. Sanhedrein 43a) and anything in the Qur’an. Yet, it has to be asked: On what basis is the claim made: “Everybody he knew, every Jew, Every Christian believed that Jesus was crucified.” ?

Yet, Dr. Fatoohi is not bringing us evidence from Jewish sources for this at all! We are also told that the Qur’an is reporting history. Well, for some reason the All-Knowing Creator of the universe saw fit to include a double denial statement: (wa ma qatalahu), (wa ma salabuhu).

So what is it interacting with here?

This is why John of Damascus was scoffing:

“And he says that the Jews wanted to crucify Him in violation of the law.”

In my view both Dr. Fatoohi and Paul Williams were too dismissive of the Jewish oral traditions regarding Jesus or whom they think to be Jesus (at the very least).

Neither of them are interacting with what the Jews believe about these events. Yet the passage of the Qur’an in 4:157 is speaking about the Jews specifically!

” That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”

Notice there is no following claims by the Jews:

“That they said (in boast), “We stoned Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”

“That they said (in boast), “We crucified Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”

“That they said (in boast), “We drowned Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”

None of the above. The statement again is: “That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”

Listen carefully to what Dr. Fatoohi says here: @1:13:38

“Now the concept or the belief that Jesus was not born of virginal conception. That Jesus was crucified by the Jews. Clearly these are beliefs that the Jews at the time held about Jesus. All the Talmud did was to document those beliefs. So the passages in the Talmud about Jesus and Mary, the earliest ones are believed to go back to the 1st century. So you have 1st century there is no one. No one would say that those beliefs started at the time of the Talmud. So when the Qur’an was engaging with those beliefs, it was, it was engaging with what Jews believed over the centuries. The Talmud was effectively irrelevant to this discussion. Rather it was written not written. How many of these Jews actually had access to the Talmud, that’s different story. But it was just engaging with the belief itself.”

My comments:

That Jesus was crucified by the Jews. Clearly these are beliefs that the Jews at the time held about Jesus.”

No. It is not clear! Again we ask where in Jewish Law would an apostate, blasphemer, sorcerer, magician be ‘crucified‘?

Dr. Fatoohi did not bring a single piece of evidence to show that the Jews at that time believed that they killed Jesus by ‘crucifixion‘. This is a clear case of Eisegesis and theological imposition rather than a statement supported by documented evidence. Because the one piece of evidence that he did bring did not even have a whiff of Jews claiming culpability in crucifying Jesus. (presumably with a double cross beam)

Let’s look again at the text that was brought forth.

The Qur’an’s “Direct access to history.”

Misusing Verses to Refute the Consensus.

Here Dr. Fatoohi quotes verses that he feels are misused to support the idea that Jesus was ‘crucified‘.

“And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 8:17)

Dr. Fatoohi is stating that the above is a metaphor.

Qur’an 8:17 -The Metaphor (“You did this but I took the action”) The Metaphor does not exist in the Qur’an 4:157. This act in Qur’an 8:17 is theologically good. The act in Qur’an 4:157 is theologically evil.

My comments:

This is also more theological speculation on behalf of Dr. Louay. When Allah (swt) says, “But IT was made to appear to them so.” Are we to attribute to Allah (swt) evil in this? Authubilllah min dhalik.

Dr. Fatoohi brings another verse.

Qur’an 19:33 amatu (I will die).

“Peace be upon me the day I was born and the day I will die, and the day I will be raised up alive.” (Qur’an 19:33)

Similar verse is stated about Yahya (John the Baptist).

“Peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day he will die, and the day he will be raised up alive.” (Qur’an 19:15)

Yet, many Muslims believe that John the Baptist (Yahya) was killed.

Dr. Fatoohi makes the comment: “The Qur’an distinguishes between death and murder.” The verse does not say: “The day I was born the day I will be killed.” (Qur’an 19:33)

My comments:

I think this is another weak argument. We have already seen where killed does not mean murder. Would we say that Allah (swt) murdered these people in the following verse:

“And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 8:17)

“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except by right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (Qur’an 6:151)

Now here is a theological question? When does Allah (swt) not have the right to take anyone of his slaves lives, when, where and how he chooses? Who imposes this upon Allah (swt)?

Dr. Louay Fatoohi than brings the following verse:

“And do not say of those who are killed in the way of Allah that they are dead; they are alive even though you have no knowledge of their life.” (Qur’an 2:154)

He claims that this argument is weak.

My comment:

Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.” (Qur’an 9:111)

Comment: Out of all the teachings that Allah could inform us about concerning what Jesus taught in the Injil, why did Allah mention the teaching concerning martyrdom? Why would Jesus teach about ‘killing and being killed’ if he was simply a pacifist?

Than Dr. Fatoohi brings the following verse:

“And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.” (Qur’an 3:54)

@1:29:00 He states: “This is a reference, indirect admittedly that Allah (swt) foiled the plan of the Jews.” -Dr. Fatoohi

“Now think about it what sense would it make if God would was going to allow Jesus to be tortured and put through that ordeal but than to console him by telling him I will raise your dead body to me. Even if you were Jesus I don’t think that would be much consolation.” Dr. Fatoohi

My comments:

Really? More speculation on behalf of Dr. Fatoohi. How about instead of Allah (swt) saying, “I will raise your dead body” which is a forced reading of the text, and instead, Allah (swt) saying, “I will raise you to myself.” which is actually in the Qur’an.

Why is not the idea of a servant returning to his Lord not the ultimate prize? How would that not consul any believer?

Dr. Fatoohi continues…

“Cleansing of you of those who disbelieve in what sense? The body would have been already tortured, damaged, what is left? What does it mean actually to take that body and cleanse them of those who disbelieve. It can only mean that he was being taken away from them and if you link this to the earlier statement that Allah is the best of planners as a reply to their plan then it can only mean he saved him some how.” -Dr Louay Fatoohi.

Hmmm…

It can only mean he saved him some how.” – Dr. Louay Fatoohi.

Dr. Fatoohi continues:

“[The Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.” (Qur’an 5:110)

“How can Allah remind Jesus of his favour to him when he is shortly going to allow him to be tortured on the cross? What sense would that make?”- Dr. Louay Fatoohi.

My comments:

Now remember that Dr. Louay Fatoohi himself said that the majority of scholars believe that the above verse is talking about the hereafter. However, Dr. Fatoohi is in the minority that does not believe this. Yet, it has to be asked: Is this a case of exegesis or eisegesis?

Now let me ask you the reader in what context does the verse above make sense.

  1. Allah asking these questions of Jesus on the day of judgement In front of the whole mankind?
  2. Allah asking these questions of Jesus after his great escape. And what was supposed to be Jesus response, “Yeah I remember.” Very anti-climatic.
  3. Read Qur’an 5:117-118 and you will understand why this is referencing the day of judgement.

There is no verse any where in the Qur’an that says, ‘No one ever killed Jesus.’ There is no such verse.

Does the Qur’an deny that a certain group of people killed Jesus? Yes it does. Does it say that Allah (swt) restrained the children of Israel from killing him. Yes it does.

Dr. Louay Fatoohi says: @ 1:40:02 “As an Arab how can this be read other than denying the crucifixion?”

The closing statement is interesting:

@1:44:30 “And that is what underlies that consensus not because Muslim scholars hated the concept of the crucifixion; they knew that prophets were killed. Not for any other reason other than they simply had a clear statement alternative to which never existed so nobody actually propagated the alternative view and that’s why we have this consensus. And thank you very much Paul.” Dr. Louay Fatoohi.

My comments:

Remeber Dr. Fatoohi also said:

@10:19 “They base their interpretation on that particular verse (4:157) as well as other references in the Qur’an and I have to add, other extra Qur’anic material, hadith, some other stuff.” -Dr. Louay Fatoohi.

“so nobody actually propagated the alternative view and that’s why we have this consensus.” Dr. Louay Fatoohi.

My comments:

Except of course the Ismaili, Abu Hatim Ar Razi, Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Mahmoud Ayoub, and Ahmed Deedat, and Shabir Ally.

Now let us pivot back to a slide that Dr. Fatoohi put up and commented upon.

Where does the balance of arguments lie?

Is the Qur’an clear or ambiguous about the crucifixion? What should we expect it to be?

Which view is more of an interpretation of the text and which view is more of an interpretation despite the text?

Is the Qur’an supposed to be intelligible?

My comments:

Point 1. Well, Dr. Fatoohi, did exactly what Todd Lawson did not do. We are going to throw around words like crucifixion and crucify and yet we are not going to talk about the phrase: “wa ma salabuhu.”

How does the Qur’an use the word salb?

He (Pharoah) said: ‘Have you believed in him before taking my permission? He is surely your great one who has taught you magic. So, I will cut off your hands and feet from alternate sides, (wala usallibannakum) , and you will come to know which of us is greater in retribution and more lasting!’ ” (Qur’an 20:71)

The majority interpret (wala usallibannakum) as: I will crucify you on the trunks of the palm trees.

So how does this work? “I will cut off your hands and feet from alternate sides and I will crucify you on the trunks of the palm trees. ” Imagine the above picture but instead of two hands you just have one hand nailed and a body just dangling…

Point 2. “Is the Qur’an clear or ambiguous about the crucifixion? What should we expect it to be?” Great question. Simply tell us what “but IT was made to appear to them so” means. Use only the Qur’an to explain this.

By the way anyone from the Qur’an Only Religion reading this you tell us what that means: “But IT was made to appear to them so.” Use only the Qur’an to explain this.

Point 3. “Is the Qur’an supposed to be intelligible?” Great question. Simply tell us what “but IT was made to appear to them so” means. Use only the Qur’an to explain this.

By the way anyone from the Qur’an Only Religion reading this you tell us what that means: “But IT was made to appear to them so.” Use only the Qur’an to explain this.

Point 4. “Which view is more of an interpretation of the text and which view is more of an interpretation despite the text?” Again another great question! So let ask the following: Suppose those early Muslim exegetes, came to the same conclusion that Dr. Fatoohi did that Jesus is dead and he is not coming back. Let us also suppose that these same Muslim exegetes were not influenced by “other extra Qur’anic material, hadith, some other stuff.” Let us suppose that those same Muslim exegetes than had to make sense of ‘But IT was made to appear to them so‘ -armed with the knowledge that Jesus died. That he is not coming back, that some random dude was made to look like Jesus and put on this ‘salb‘. What conclusion would they come to indeed?

Point 5. Again we ask where in Jewish Law would an apostate, blasphemer, sorcerer, magician be ‘crucified‘? No religious Jew would ever proclaim: “We crucified Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.” The Qur’an does not claim that they did either. The Qur’an claims that they said: “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”

Point 6. “And the answer of Ibrahim’s people was not but that they said, “Kill him or burn him,” but Allah saved him (fa-anjaynāhu) from the fire. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” (Qur’an 29: 24)

Why don’t we see that language, ‘Allah saved him (fa-anjaynāhu) from ‘crucifixion‘ ? The phrase is used many times in relation to Allah (swt) saving Moses, Noah and Abraham.

Point 7. Your statement: “It can only mean he saved him some how.” is a statement of ambuiguity. It goes against your rhetorical question: “Is the Qur’an clear or ambiguous about the crucifixion? What should we expect it to be?”

May Allah (swt) continue to bless Dr. Louay Fatoohi, and Brother Paul Willilams. May Allah (swt) guide us to what is beloved to Allah (swt).

To read more I would encourage you to continue here:

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Blogging Theology: Paul Williams & Dr. Louay Fatoohi “but IT was made to appear to them”

  1. Toby

    Dear Sir-Alas at the moment my YouTube is not functioning properly, so I cannot watch the discussion. May I ask, how would you summarise the opinion of Dr Louay Fatoohi regarding the fate of Christ ? Is he alive or dead ? And, if so, how does this impact the Sunni consensus of mysterious substitution ?

    • Greetings. Toby

      As you have seen in the article, Dr Fatoohi has stated that Jesus is dead and that he will not be coming back. It impacts this so called “consensus” in that it leaves unanswered the key verse ‘But IT was made to appear to them so.’. The Sunni consensus is that a “crucifixion” did happen, just that Jesus was not crucified. The so called “consensus” also holds that Jesus did not die and that he is alive (bodily) in heaven. So as stated imagine that those exegetes he quoted were not informed by hadith stating Jesus was coming back, extra Quranic material and “stuff”. So how would that shape their view point? One has to presume that Dr. Fatoohi view that Jesus is dead is shaped by the Qur’an itself, if not what shapes that view?

      Hopefully, Dr. Fatoohi and Paul Williams will have a part 2 in the future.

  2. No one of any importance

    Dear sir- may I ask how you would summarise the opinion of Dr Fatoohi regarding the fate of Christ ? Is Christ in fact dead according to his view of the matter, and is this opinion part of a growing intellectual trend in the modern Muslim world?

    • Greetings. No one of any importance

      As you have seen in the article, Dr Fatoohi has stated that Jesus is dead and that he will not be coming back. It impacts this so called “consensus” in that it leaves unanswered the key verse ‘But IT was made to appear to them so.’. The Sunni consensus is that a “crucifixion” did happen, just that Jesus was not crucified. The so called “consensus” also holds that Jesus did not die and that he is alive (bodily) in heaven. So as stated imagine that those exegetes he quoted were not informed by hadith stating Jesus was coming back, extra Quranic material and “stuff”. So how would that shape their view point? One has to presume that Dr. Fatoohi view that Jesus is dead is shaped by the Qur’an itself, if not what shapes that view?

      Hopefully, Dr. Fatoohi and Paul Williams will have a part 2 in the future.

      As far as a growing intellectual trend in the modern Muslim world I do not have enough data to form a conclusive opinion on that.

  3. Toby

    I hear that Dr. Fatoohi and Paul Williams have finished the second portion of this discussion.

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