A Word to a Muslim Scholar on Christmas Day Part 1
by Mark Frank
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Whenever a critic makes some claim about Mithraism somehow being parallel to Christianity. Check their sources carefully. Often it is out-dated. There scholarship cannot be trusted….
Merry Christmas to all Muslims and to you Mohammed.
And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples. (Surah Al Anbiyaa 91) compare Luke 2:28-32
Among all the prophets ever sent to this earth, only Jesus Christ has been given the following titles in the Quran:
‘Kalimatullah’ – ‘The Word of God’ (Surah 4:171; cf. Revelation 19:13 & John 1); it is identical with God.
‘Ruhullah’ – ‘A Spirit from God’ (Surah 4:171).
‘Al Masih’ – ‘The Messiah’ (Surah 4:171; cf. Matthew 16:16); he was promised as the Saviour of mankind.
Christmas is celebrated annually to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. The Quran confirms many aspects of that very special event. His mother was a virgin. The miraculous birth was announced by angels and has worldwide significance. It seems fitting, therefore, to wish Muslims a Merry Christmas too.
The Bible clearly says that God is uniquely One and that He became a human being in Jesus (Deut 6:4-5, Zech 14:9, John 1). This is a central teaching held by all major groups in Christianity.
Another important detail mentioned in the Bible and the Qur’an is the fact that the baby was given a special name – Jesus Christ (Al Masihu Isa in Arabic) For some special reason God decided to choose the name and reveal it through an angel. The meaning of the name, ‘Jesus’ has generated some discussion but moderate Muslims are inclined to make allowances which give the impression they are agreeable. One case in point is Mufti Muhammad Imraan Ashraf Usmani who acknowledged that ‘Jesus’ corresponds to Yeshua in Hebrew and it means "God is salvation" (page 77, Islamic Names, revised edition).
Firstly I would like to mention something concerning your thoughts on
Mithra. Your investigation is clearly out-dated and it shows your lack of research. From the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century there was only one person in the world who could be regarded as any sort of authority on Mithraism—Franz Cumont.
The First remaining record of a god named Mithra appears as a deity invoked in a treaty dated 1400 B.C. Therefore he is one of several Indo-Iranian gods. This is important because when we look at the pagan attachment of Allah and his three daughters it will become clear. Mithra was responsible for bringing rain, vegetation and health.[Mithraic Studies, John R Hinnells, p27-51]
The ancient Mithra was Lord of the Contract and under Zoroastrianism underwent some major changes. I am mentioning this because it really becomes ridiculous with your assumption that Jesus is likened unto Mithra. However Franz Comont lacked the essence of truth—For you see the Roman Mithra was best known for his act of slaying a bull [Porphyry]. The Roman Mithra dressed really sporty, with a phrygian cap(typical headgear for Orientals of the day) and a flowing cap. He slew a cosmic bull and earned the worship of the sun god.
One scholar of Mithraism lamented that their facts were based on conjectures. [Mithraic Studies, John R Hinnells, p437]
Mohammad—Mithraism is not parallel to Christianity. Obviously you did not do enough research and your scholarship is weak. You have conjectured many things…Ironically Mithraic scholars do not believe the thesis that Christianity borrowed anything philosophically from Mithraism [but of course some Muslims do]. Mithraic scholars do not see any evidence of such borrowing.
Mithra was not born of a virgin in a cave; he was born out of solid rock and if Mithra is associated with December 25—it is of no importance. Ultimately, Mithra was born a grown-up. How far is this from Jesus Christ etc?
Part 2 will follow then we will look at the rest of your argument.
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