Is the Quran or Bible the Word of God? Christianity or Islam?

Eid al-Adha and Abraham

Eid al-Adha, The Feast of Sacrifice, Abraham’s Offering

Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice Commemorating Abraham's offering up of his beloved sonThis week, Muslims on hajj will be celebrating Eid al-Adha (عيد الأضحى), the Feast of Sacrifice.  Tens of thousands of sacrificial victims, mainly sheep and goats, are sacrificed in memory of Abraham’s offering up his beloved son (Genesis 22).  It is usual after the sacrifice to have the head ritually shaved or the hair cut short.  This hajj feast is mentioned in the Quran:

Quran 2:196
And accomplish the pilgrimage and the visit for Allah, but if, you are prevented, (send) whatever offering is easy to obtain, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination; but whoever among you is sick or has an ailment of the head, he (should effect) a compensation by fasting or alms or sacrificing, then when you are secure, whoever profits by combining the visit with the pilgrimage (should take) what offering is easy to obtain; but he who cannot find (any offering) should fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days when you return; these (make) ten (days) complete; this is for him whose family is not present in the Sacred Mosque, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that Allah is severe in requiting (evil).

Thinking about Eid al-Adha and the meaning of Abraham’s offering

Muslims should stop and take the time to read the account of Genesis 22 which records Abraham’s offering up of Isaac.1  This is an important account for many reasons and raises questions such as:

  • Why would God command Abraham to sacrifice his son, his only son, the son he loved?
  • Why was sacrifice so important in the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures?
  • Why did Abraham name the place, “The LORD will provide”? (Genesis 22:13-14)
  • What is the relationship between what Abraham did with his beloved Son to the death of God’s beloved Son, Jesus? (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 John 4:9,10,14,19)

Thinking Biblically and Historically about Abraham and Eid al-Adha

Why would God command Abraham to do something that is seemingly immoral? 

The answer is to be found in understanding that child sacrifice was an integral part of Israel’s redemption and Old Testament worship.  It is found in such places as:

  1. The Passover (Exodus 13:2,11-12,13-16; Numbers 3:12,13,40-43; 8:17)
  2. The Mosaic covenant and the sacrificial system (Exodus 22:29)
  3. In the law, God graciously provided a substitute for Israel’s firstborn (Exodus 34:20; Numbers 18:15).

The sacrifice of one’s beloved Son, was ultimately a picture of what God Himself would do (see Genesis 15:8-21 with 22:15-18).

Jesus teaching about Abraham and Eid al-Adha

Lastly, consider Jesus’ teaching about Abraham,

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad (John 8:56)

The Good News of the Gospel is that just as God provided a substitute for Abraham and Isaac; He has provided a substitute for all who believe in Jesus (see Genesis 22:13-14; Isaiah 52:13-53:12).

 Muslim festival commemorating Abraham's sacrifice

 

Following Abraham’s Example is More than Sacrificing Animals; it Involves Studying and Sharing God’s Word

Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt, said exerting your effort, exhausing your body, studying day and night is a command of Allah. Why not follow Allah’s command and Abraham’s example?  Exert yourself mentally and think more carefully about God’s work and word by buying the English or Arabic,

  Book cover for Is the Quran the Word of God? Emails from Muslims to a ChristianPrice: $4.95


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  A book containing Christian and Muslim dialogue about the Bible and Quran.
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“لقد وجدت في هذا الكتاب معالجة أمينة ومستقيمة للمواضيع المعلقة بين المعتقدات المسيحية والإسلامية، وقد أحسن القس غورنر عملا بالحفاظ على بساطة الموضوع. لا تنبع معظم حالات سوء الفهم عن الله وكلمته وعالمه من حصولي على إجابات خاطئة، بل من طرحي الأسئلة الخاطئة من الأساس. ستجد في هذا الكتاب أكثر الأسئلة أهمية ومعها إجاباتها. لا تخشى المسيحية الاستقصاء وتقف قوية أمام أي تحد ظهر أمامها منذ يوم العنصرة. لا يسعني وأنا مسلم سابق ومدافع عن المسيحية إلا أن أتمنى لو كنت قد حصلت على هذا الكتاب عندما كنت أبحث عن الحقيقة!”

 -يوسي كاباكسي؛ مسلم سابق ومدافع عن المسيحية

 

 

 

 

Footnotes

  1. The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam says, “It is usually accepted in Islam that the sacrifice was to be of Ishmael.” However, the Quran is not clear as to who was offered up (Quran 37:107) and dozens of early Quranic interpreters conclude that Abraham offered Isaac. []

2 Responses to “Eid al-Adha and Abraham”

  1. Ali Ismael says:

    Salaam,

    I personally not celebrate any Eids. But when those who are apparently Bible followers don’t follow the Bible properly, then why find faults in ISLAM ?
    There is not a single word of Jesus or God in the Bible. It is man made. Written over the course of almost a century after Jesus’ death, the four gospels of the New Testament, though they tell the same story, reflect very different ideas and concerns. A period of forty years separates the death of Jesus from the writing of the first gospel.
    If the Bible is not the word of Jesus, then what is Christianity ?

    Go deep inside, find the truth. The days are ending. If we are wrong, Hell is waiting ….
    Even for muslims and jews, when we wrong our own, we are wrong. While we could be friends, at least in common causes.
    Take care.

    Ali

    • agoerner says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. How did you come to the conclusion that there “is not a single word of Jesus…” in the Bible”?
      Even if I were to agree with your statement that “A period of forty years separates the death of Jesus from the writing of the first gospel”, so what? What does this prove?
      If you are a Muslim, please tell me how many years separate the Quran’s denial of Jesus’ death on the cross from the first century? How many years separate the Quran’s many discussions about Jesus, such as His miracles and Virgin Birth, from the actual events? If you reject the gospels because they were allegedly written over the course of a century after Jesus’ death, then shouldn’t you dismiss the Quran’s discussions about Jesus for the same reason, since it is hundreds of years after Jesus’ death?
      Aaron

What is your opinion?

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