On May 10, 2008, in Hyderabad, one of the largest ever Christian Muslim debate was held. Bro. Jerry was the Christian speaker (From Sakshi: An Apologetics Network in India) and Bro. Imran (Founder President, IREF and International Islamic Scholar) was the Muslim speaker. The topic of debate was- Divinity of Jesus and Messengerhood of Muhammad: Separating Falsehood from Truth. Following is the transcript of the Question and Answer Session.
QUESTION 1 TO BR. IMRAN
Question: You took somebody’s criterion. You said somebody said Mohammed is the greatest because he produced maximum results. I think you don’t know the facts. Unfortunately, today Christians are 2.3 billion out of 6.4 billion human beings. At least, if I follow your criterion, Jesus is the greatest religious phenomenon in the entire history. What is your answer?
Answer: Brother has asked a question. That today in the world there re 2.1 billion Christians whereas Muslims are only 1.2 billion. So Jesus is the greatest. I was not talking about Muslims and Christians, who are maximum in number. When Jesus worked, how many disciples. Only 11. When Muhammad (saaw) worked, how many? 1 lakh 40 thousand. Between the, who is the greatest. Simple commonsense applied.
I forgot one point. He said there is no Tawheed mentioned in the Quran. Grammar problem Sir. Wahad and ahad are the root words for Tawheed. Entire Quran has it several times. Allah is wahad. Allah is ahad. Ahad is the root word for tawheed. For Trinity, is there any root?
Coming back again to this brother, you see Christian missionaries killed a Hyderabadi boy. They forced Islam upon him. Wallah, give me one example where we Muslims can do it. We can never. Why? Because the Bible told them which Jesus never got a chance, the Prince of Peace, He never got the chance. What was the chance? Jesus says in Gospel of Luke chapter 19 verses 27, chapter 29 verse 51, He says “if somebody does not believe Me to be ruler, bring him in front of Me and slay.”
(Sakshi comment: We encourage Muslims to read the Holy Bible and see how Bro. Imran is misleading. This speaks about the final judgment and not about Jesus having a chance in the earth.)
Jesus says in Gospel of Matthew chapter 10 verse 34, “I have not come to spread peace on earth, but a sword.” What is happening in Iraq? There was a report in Hyderabadm newspaper dated 3 may, 2008, Saturday, page 4. In Iraq, the Christian missionaries are kidnapping orphans and converting them to Christianity. This way you are 2.1 billion, Sir. I hope I have answered that question.
Question 1 to Jerry
Question: In James 1:13, it says that God cannot be tempted by evil. But in Gospel of Matthew 4:1 to 11, Jesus was tempted by devil for 40 days and the same thing Br. Imran asked and quoted. But you haven’t explained it. So how can Jesus be God, when He was not tempted by God but was tempted by the father of evil, the devil?
Answer: I thank Brother for raising that question. During the 15 minutes, I had few other things to clarify with him because he spoke on many things apart from the topic. But since you raised the question, I thank you because I have time to clarify it. The Bible says ‘God cannot be tempted in James 1:13 as you quoted. Yet Jesus was tempted by devil in Matthew 4:1.
But let me read James 1:13-15: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
First, James is telling that you are tempted from inside.
Let me tell you in another sense, Prophet Moses believed that God can be tempted.
I read the verse for you.
Exodus 17:1-2: So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?”
Why do you tempt the LORD?
Again, Numbers 14:22: "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt (Yehovah, the Holy God is speaking) he and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;"
Yehovah says in exodus to Prophet Moses, in Numbers to Prophet Moses that the Israelites have tempted Him. Now that temptation and James temptation is different.
That temptation is form the outside and James temptation is from the inside. Jesus would never have been tempted from inside because He is Holy and pure. He was tempted from outside and He won over the temptations, brother. That makes Jesus’ nature pure and holy, as the God of Moses’ nature. Thank you.
I think I have answered your question. How much more time do I have, brother? 2 minutes 40 seconds.
Bro said Jesus says that He has come to spread sword and. Brother, your problem is you do not know the Books of the Prophets, although you, by your lips, pay lip service to the prophets.
Jesus was quoting Micah 7:4- 7 where God says in those days just before the salvation is brought forth, there will be division among the father and the mother, among brother and sister.
Jesus was quoting the prophetical books and I do not blame you for misunderstanding it because you do not know the book of the prophets.
Question No.2 to Jerry
Question: It is mentioned in the Bible in Gospel of Luke chapter 2verse 21 that Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day. I would like to know from Br Jerry, was the foreskin, after circumcision was thrown away or is it preserved? If thrown away, was that unholy part of God and if preserved, where is it now?
Answer: Thanks sister for raising that question. Sister has asked the question that Br. Imran has also asked. And at time, as I said, because he was going on speaking on every other thing in the world except the topic, I had to bring him back to the topic.
Now since you have asked the question, I thank God that I can answer it.
In Genesis 17:9-14, God when He first instituted the circumcision to Prophet Abraham, He told this is a sign. This was a sign of the covenant. To separate His people, Israelites from the Gentiles, that was the sign. That had nothing to do with holy or unholy. I will explain to you why.
Abraham himself got the promise of God before his circumcision. Abraham was counted righteous before his circumcision. So circumcision was only a sign and has nothing to do with sinfulness. It was a sign to separate the clean from the unclean, in the sense of Israelites from the Gentiles at that time.
Now, let me give you the spiritual meaning of that. Prophet Moses; this is the problem. They say that they read the books of the prophets but yet they do not know what the Prophets have said about it. Prophet Moses said that the circumcision was given as a sign and was in itself not a reality. It was a shadow of the things to come.
In Deuteronomy 10:16 Prophet Moses said: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.”
And specifically in Deut 30: 6, Prophet Moses said And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your descendants.”
This is not established by Christians, but this is established by Prophet Moses. In other word, Prophet Moses understood it as a sign; Prophet Abraham understood it as a sign.
If Br. Imran and other Muslim brothers and sisters do not understand, it is only because of their lack of understanding about the Holy Scriptures and not the problem with the Holy Scriptures. In that way, removing the circumcision doesn’t make a difference. It only shows that Jesus was under the sign.
And now, as Prophet Moses prophesized, it is fulfilled in the heart of every Christian; not outside, but inside as Prophet Moses told. I welcome you to have that circumcision in the heart which Jesus Christ offers to each and every one of you from your sinful nature. Come to the feet of Jesus.
How much more time left, brother? 2 minutes.
Because I get some time like this, I can answer some of Br. Imran’s questions. Otherwise, he will go back and say,” Br. Jerry has not answered my questions”. Although I have given him 21 questions, he hasn’t answered them yet. Please pass on this to Br. Imran. I thought he has an amazing memory, but if he needs, he can take it.
Br. Imran quoted Song of Solomon 5:16 and said about Mohammadim. Brother, you lack the understanding of the Scriptural languages. I accept I do not know Arabic, but I check with the scholars. At least you should have had the courtesy to check with the scholars.
In Ezekiel 24:16, this same word “Mohammadim” is used for Ezekiel’s wife. Will you accept that Muhammad was Ezekiel’s wife, if you have to use the same criteria?
And now, by following the same criteria, I can say that Sri Ram is mentioned in Quran. How? Surah Rum is mentioned in Surah chapter 30. If I pronounce it as Sri Ram, who can object me? And then, Surah 30 speaks about Victory. I say, it speaks about Sri Ram’s victory. Will you accept? No! In the same way, we will also not accept your arguments.
QUESTION 2 TO BR.IMRAN
Question: Why did Muhammad (attempt to kill himself? What made him do that according to S.Bukhari Vol 9:111, Ibn Ishq page 106, Tabari, Vol 9, page 167; even in Urdu Vol 1, page 75, 78?
Answer: Brother has asked a question which was br. Jerry is along with this. All members of the team are habituated to misinterpret, misquote, change it and then immediately put it on paper, present it. This is what I said, and nothing came from there. Anyway, that’s a good tactic of cheating the people. The Hadith he is quoting, he said, “Why did Muhammad (saaw) want to commit suicide?” See, selective. He has come up with a question. The answer is in the Hadith itself. He doesn’t want to read it. The Hadith is not like the Bible. We don’t say, “if it is in S.Bukahri, it is assumed that the Prophet said this”. Anything in S.Bukhari is confirmed that it is said by Mohammad. The S. Bukhari he quoted, the prophet has answered very clearly when the wahi( Angel) came to him for the very first time, when he was in the Hira cave, as a normal human being, he was a little disturbed.” What is happening to me?” And when he stopped coming for a short while, he was worried, “why is this happening to me? Is it that something is threatening me? So I should commit suicide”
That was only for the first time when the wahi came and there was a gap. After that, when the wahi started coming to him… when? The answer is in the hadith. “When I was climbing up the mountain to commit suicide, feeling like committing suicide, I found the same archangel Gabriel and afraid of him, I came down. “ So what is the question? Suppose Muhammad (saaw) felt that he should commit suicide, does that disclaim him to be a messenger of Allah. Is that the criteria that a prophet of God should not ever think of committing suicide? That is a natural phenomenon. If 40 days being tempted by shaitan still doesn’t matter, only because he thought he should commit suicide, they want to disprove him.
And coming to the word “Mohammadim”, I challenge you to show from the Greek text that the wife of Ezekiel is called Mohammadim. I challenge you. Nobody knows Greek here. He just gave the answer.
(Sakshi comment: Jerry corrected Imran from stage that it is not Greek but Hebrew, then immediately Imran changed it. The Holy Bible is all Greek to Bro. Imran)
Second point: The word Mohammadim is clear in the Greek text, Hebrew text. Mohammadim, in Ezekiel that he is quoting, it is the wife. He himself knows it is a metamorphical talk. Even in the metamorphical talk, I never said that prophecy of Muhammad (saaw) is mentioned in Songs of Solomon 5:16. Did I say that Songs of Solomon 5:16 says that Muhammad (saaw) is said to be messenger? I only said he was prejudiced. He got trapped. I only said the name Muhammad (saaw) comes in the Bible. I didn’t say there it is mentioned as prophet. Where is Parakletos or Perekletos that he quoted? Gospel of John Chapter 16 verse 7, for Comforter of Truth, we say it should have been Perikletos so that Mohammad’s name comes there. Muhammad (saaw) means one who has been praised.
In that way, if it has been perikletos, it would have been Mohammad. But, he said, “No. It is Parakletos”, meaning, the Comforter of Truth. Even that still fits Mohammad. And he said, I spoke out of the topic. I didn’t speak out of the topic. You were worried. What should I answer? You thought I was Speaking out of the Topic. What should I speak on the topic I don’t know?
I spoke for 50minutes +15 minutes giving him so many questions and he didn’t answer them. 21 questions that he has brought out.
One of them is “How would you explain the words of Jesus in John 10:28 where Jesus says “I give unto them eternal life”. When we know only God has that Power”? I give eternal life. So that means Jesus is God? You are quoting out of context to everybody. John10:29, Jesus says God gave then to Me and no one can pluck them out of My hands. It is because of God, I give them eternal life. I and My Father are one because God sent ME”. It is very clear. Every prophet gives eternal life to his people. The mission of the prophet is to give eternal life. But how can prophet become a god after that. This is not there.
Coming to 21, how would you explain Surah 57:3 where Allah says Allah is both visible and invisible? Show me from the Arabic text of Ayat where Allah said “I am visible”. I challenge you.
In Surah 6:3, Allah said “there is no vision that can see Allah.” Wrong question! And still you didn’t answer 1 of them. IRE website says Allah is not omnipresent, or everywhere. Brother, please explain. I don’t need to explain. If you read Quran, Allah says “this Quran was asked to. Fine! Time is out. I will come in next chance, Insha’Allah.
QUESTION NO 3 TO IMRAN
Question: You had said there are 50000 errors in the Bible, quoted in Awake magazine by Jehovah Witnesses. Unfortunately, Jehovah Witnesses are a cult and they do not believe in the Word of God. So you have quoted a wrong information. Thank you. The question is that you have not looked at the right word. The Word, which is the Bible. The Jehovah Witness, which are not a part of Christianity. So the question is are they a part of Christianity? Do you know that?
Answer: Sister has asked the question that Jehovah Witnesses are not a part of Christianity. Sister, this is what you said. I never heard this from any scholar of Christianity. But, I agree with you, for argument’s sake. I agree. They are not a part of Christianity according to you. For the sake of argument, I agree with it. Still the 50000 errors they have quoted, whether it is quoted by Jehovah Witness or some other Swamiji, if the error is from the Scriptures, it is wrong. It has got nothing to do whether they are Christians or non-Christians. Error is from them. And at the same time, sister, in the entire talk, when he quoted Gospel of John chapter 16 verse 7, he said when Jesus says, “I will go to the Father and send Him, “ it means the Comforter of Truth should come after Jesus Christ is gone. Ask them who is that Comforter of Truth. So they say it is the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit was already there before Jesus.
It was there at the time of Jesus. It has to be someone who will come afterwards. If you read the Bible Gospel of John chapter 16 verse 13 and 14, you will find Jesus is directly prophesying about Mohammad (saaw).
He says: “I have yet many things to say unto you. But you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak on Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear that He shall speak
5 times the word “He” has come. Then it says:
“He will show you the things to come. He will glorify Me, and at the same time, He will, in My name give you the things.
Who is that He, 8 times? Is the spirit a masculine gender? It has to be Muhammad (saaw) because the only person who came after Muhammad (saaw) and confirmed that Mohammed is an article of faith to be believed in. It is only Mohammad (saaw). And imagine God incarnate has unfulfilled mission. God says,” I want to do many things but I can’t fulfill it.” Why did He come then? He came in the wrong time. And then He says, “After Me another will come to guide you into all truth. 2008 years have passed, where is it? Jesus says. You gave me a standard. You shall not believe in every spirit. Absolutely true! I will put your Bible to the criteria. Gospel of Matthew chapter 7 verse 15, 16, 17,18,19,20, Jesus says, “many false prophets will come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them.” The world knows today that the least suffering people from AIDS:Muslim community. By their fruits you shall know them. The prophet said, “Don’t commit fornication”. Least fornicators!
Then Jesus says, “Does man grow grapes upon thorns? Do grapes grow on thorns and figs on the thistle?” No. It doesn’t happen like that. Jesus says, by their fruits you should know them. The least alcoholic community on the face of the earth is we Muslims. Muhammad (saaw) once he said, “No alcohol”. Thrown out of the streets of Medina forever! Never to be filled back. By their fruits you shall know them. See sir, who are the best. You are saying Matthew chapter 10 verse 34, I quoted out of context. You are quoting out of context. Jesus is clearly saying “I have not come to spread peace on earth, but sword.” He is not referring to some other.
About the circumcision part, I don’t know which foreskin do we have in our heart. He says in the heart, we should be circumcised. I don’t know what circumcision. And I told you he said “you shouldn’t give an explanation”. About the circumcision, it was his own explanation.
Did the Bible say circumcision means that? Did the Bible say circumcision means that? And if the Bible said that, what is the authenticity that whoever wrote it was directly inspired by God? So many mistakes in the Bible! Where does it say that circumcision is a sign, even if it is a sign, was Jesus not circumcised? You should be the first Christian to say that Jesus was not circumcised. It was metamorphical. See, you are trying to misinterpret the people. In a short time, you are trying to misinterpret everyone. See, on the website, you go tomorrow, “I spoke this, I spoke this”; you have one-sided information and “I won the debate”. Don’t do that. Be honest. Insha’Allah, we will bring out all the videotapes so that people honestly see what you have spoken and what we have spoken. And from the Bible, he gave me 21 questions, Insha’Allah, if I get more time, I will answer them. 3 already answered. 1 he did not.
Master of Conduct: I have been given an ultimatum by the police authorities to end the session at 10.30. So we will take whatever we can.
We will take a question from brothers to Mr. Jerry.
QUESTION NO 3 TO BRO JERRY
Question: My question is from the Book of Job chapter 25 verse 4 to 6. Well, this is a falsification test. The question goes very straightforward. How can man be compared with God? The similitude that has been given is “man is like a maggot”, that is a worm, that is an insect, “and the Son of Man”, you very well know it is Jesus Christ (PBUH), has been compared as a worm. So, does Christianity teach to call human beings as a maggot and Jesus Christ, a worm? And for the sake of argument, I just discount the part of human beings. Does Christianity teach to call Jesus Christ (PBUH) a maggot, a worm?
Answer: Thanks brother for raising that question. I hope that everybody heard that question. Brother asked, “In Job it is quoted lik
e this, what you say about it?” I ask only my brother to read Job completely.
And when you come to Job chapter 42, that is friends of Job have spoken, and in Job 42: 8 God says “They have not spoken of Me what is right”. You have quoted Job’s friend and God Himself has said “they have not spoken of Me what is right”. God has answered that.
Now coming to Bro. Imran’s question. Bro Imran, you asked me, where did Jesus in the entire Bible, for one single time, in His direct speech ever say, “I am the second person of Trinity”. Question no. 9.
Question no. 10: where did Jesus in the entire Bible for one single time in His direct speech say, “Holy Ghost is the third person of trinity”?
I ask you a question back: where is it in the Quran, it says: this is the first classification of Tawheed; second classification of Tawheed, third classification of Tawheed? I have answered it.
Now question no. 7 and question no. 8, “where did Jesus say: I am God? Revelation chapter 21, I quoted you and you didn’t listen.
Where did Jesus say: Worship Me? I told the testimony of the Father is sufficient, and I don’t need your criteria.
Now question no. 3: Is Jesus the firstborn of God? Brother, you please read where it says about the firstborn. Now I am going to read it. I am answering. I already answered 4 or 5 questions. I am answering it. I want to answer all of his questions and tell him that none of his questions are so tough. All of them can be easily answered, if only you know the Bible.
Colossians 1:15-18 It speaks about Jesus as the firstborn of creation. And it says, firstborn can mean 2 things: it can mean literally firstborn or it can mean preeminence. I will show it from the Scripture. Not my interpretations.
First, Colossians 1:18. “Firstborn from the dead that in all things He may have preeminence. So the author says, firstborn is used as preeminence.
Now Jesus has preeminence over the creation. For by Him, I am quoting the Scripture, For by Him,
Colossians 1:15, for By Him, all things were created, and all things were created through Him and for Him and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. When the Bible uses the firstborn, we must ask in what context. Do not quote out of the context. Don’t quote my Bible in front of me out of context. You will not escape!
Now, brother has spoken about “begotten”. “Begotten” is not a mistake of us. We don’t have the misunderstanding. It is your Quran which has the misunderstanding and you have the misunderstanding. In the Bible, when the “begotten” is used, it is “the monogenes”, “one of its kind”, “the only”, “the unique”.
And according to C.S. Lewis, since he was quoting many scholars, let me also take the liberty to quote one scholar: C. S. Lewis, the English professor at the Oxford University and the Cambridge, said,” what is begotten is identical in language what is begotten is identical, what is created is not.” So, begotten can have two meanings: one is the literal meaning of the physical begotten; another is the meaning of the exact identity. Now when Bible speaks about the exact identity, Bible has already clarified it. If you read John chapter 1 verse 1 to 14,” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. He clarified already that the Word has the exact identity of God. Then it says begotten. So it can only mean begotten in identity. However, if you take things literally, I have some questions for you.
In Surah 43: 4, it says “Quran is the mother of Books”. Brother, is it biological?
In Surah 33:6, it says “Mohammad sahab’s wives are mothers of all believers”. Is it biological?
Quran’s usage of son.
In Surah 2:117, it says “travelers are road’s sons”. Is it biological?
Can God have a son without a partner?
Again is it biological? Again your Quran.
Mary had a son without a partner, in Surah 19: 19-21. Who is more powerful? Allah or Mary.
Can Allah have a son?
Surah 39:4 says “if Allah wished to take a son, he could have.”
And in Surah 43:81, it says “if Allah had a son, Mohammad sahab would have been the first one to worship him”.
We would not do that. We would not worship a creation. We would only worship the Creator, the Lord Jesus.
Jerry to Master of Conduct: I have one more question, right?
Master of Conduct: But the authority gives, he has given me the cap for
Jerry: Ok (Then Jerry goes back to seat)
Master of Conduct (Muslim moderator) to Bro. Imran: 2 minutes to respond. Just 2 minutes.
Sakshi Comment: Christian moderator objects at this point as this is a clear violation by IREF of the agreement signed between IREF and Sakshi. Both the speakers according to the agreement signed by Sakshi and IREF should get only equal time. However, IREF violated the agreement. Christian moderator at this point insisted that Bro. Jerry should be given equal time. Muslim moderator tried to negotiate it to one minute. However, immediately after Bro. Imran’s two minutes, Islamic moderator asked Bro. Imran whether Bro. Jerry should be given an equal time of two minutes. Bro. Imran said No. Is it honesty to violate the agreement? Or is Bro. Imran afraid to give Bro. Jerry more time?
Bro. Imran’s Extra Time After Three Questions: Violation of the Agreement:
Bro. Imran to the Christian Moderator: Don’t worry. I will not do anything to you.
He doesn’t want me to answer.
Jerry, he gave the book. I asked him, where did Jesus in the entire Bible, in His direct speech say “Worship Me”. He didn’t come to that. He said “4 or 5 questions, I have answered”. How? Everybody is hearing. How did you answer? So he brought about “begotten”. Sir, if “begotten” means such a good thing, then why did your scholars of Bible throw it out as concoction and corruption? It has been thrown out into footnote. Not the Word of God! Then, I didn’t interrupt you like that! And begotten, according to scholars’ interpretation, it means that, according to Oxford dictionary, it means the result of a sexual act. About Mariam, he quoted, Allah had begotten Jesus, Allah never said, “I begot Jesus”. Allah made it clear in Surah 3 ayat number 59 that the similitude of Isa is like Adam. Like we created Adam from mud, we created Isa also. If Allah can create one Adam without a Father and Mother, what is the problem to create one Jesus without a father?
And as he said that throughout my talk, he was giving so many references from the Bible to explain it, who is writing that Bible? Did God speak all these explanations to you? Some historian writes it. Somebody writes it: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He quoted John 1:1,” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. I will put it like this. According to him Word is Jesus, God is God. So Word and God are equal. So, it means” In the beginning was the God, and the God was with God, and the God was God”. Does it make sense? Illogical!
If I say, in the beginning was the dog, and the dog was with Jerry the mouse, and the dog was Jerry”. Does it make any sense? Not true. I hope because of the restraining in the time and everything, see, being the organizers, we have more right, we are being justified, we are not extending anything, we are not abusing anybody. I heartily welcome him. This was just a discussion, an academic discussion. Nothing more than that.
And Alhamdulillah, whatever has been discussed throughout, mashallah, is nothing to provoke anybody against each other. it is an academic discussion. I hope everybody will take it in the right sense.