Mustafa Akyol – The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) invited Mustafa Akyol on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, to deliver a talk on his newly published book, The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews became a Prophet of the Muslims. Mustafa Akyol is currently a visiting fellow at Wellesley College and an opinion writer for the International New York Times.

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Categories: Bible, Christianity, God, History, Islam, Quran

22 replies

  1. Very interesting! The last section of this lecture summarizes the whole picture of that man’s project. Islam is not judaism. Islam’s destiny is to be superior. All those who call for similar projects – including Muhammed Abdu- have ended up with a big failure.
    Quran and hadith both in our hand, and they are shouting against this project.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Abdullah,

    I disagree. I respect your passion but you do not seem to really want to search out the truth clearly.

    Brother, please keep your analyses restricted to Biblical studies.

    You are much too intoxicated with sectarian lust in order to start on the journey of widening your knowledge and thus you have put yourself in a box attempting to make pious, accurate, or valid judgements.

    May you read the Qur’an with an open mind and open heart and be blessed with more knowledge and more wisdom and more maturity. Ameen.

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    • “May you read the Qur’an with an open mind and open heart and be blessed with more knowledge and more wisdom and more maturity. Ameen.”
      What do you mean by open mind? By rejecting the teaching of the prophet peace be upon him ?
      I will not ever reject the prophet’s teachings for the sake of christians’ shoes. Ever!

      “Allah would not leave the believers in that [state] you are in [presently] until He separates the evil from the good. Nor would Allah reveal to you the unseen. But [instead], Allah chooses of His messengers whom He wills, so believe in Allah and His messengers. And if you believe and fear Him, then for you is a great reward.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I mean your self-serving restrictions have seriously limited your ability to make pious, accurate, or valid judgements based on those who are beyond your sectarian confines which make caricatures, red herrings, and a biased interpretation of early Muslim history.

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  4. I am not writing too fast since I am busy with other errands…your sectarian confines are leading you to make caricatures, red herrings, and a biased interpretation of early Muslim history.

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  5. Brother, I agree with you that our deen of Islam is not reducible to only the Qur’an. It also includes the established regular sunnah that has marched down through numerous families down the generations from our noble Prophet to us.

    And the hadith is a vital part that informs our interpretation of the Qur’an.

    But it is only a part. And it is not a protected part. Allah (swt) commands us to understand the hadith, including almost all the “sahih” hadith are not protected (Surah Al-Baqara, verse 282).

    We can either believe God or follow our filthy lusty self-serving sectarian desires. The choice is ours.

    This is not to say that we must throw away that which is not protected. But we must use our reason to benefit from it and keep it in its proper secondary position.

    Since the time that the Ahl hadith had the supremely wicked caliph Mutawakkil support their cause and attack the Mutazilite Muslims, the party of unity and justice, then the mind of the Muslims were damaged.

    Allah (swt) commands us to interpret the Qur’an with our reason.

    Allah says this many, many, many times.

    But we have thrown away our reason and replaced it with traditions.

    This is a crucial part of why the Muslim population around the world is in such a sad, sad, state.

    Of course, there are those who want to discard the hadith for their liberal desires.

    But I ask you brother out of love for your eternal hereafter to not generalize and make the filthy mistake you are addicted in doing which is to label all those who have a more scholarly, nuanced approach based on reason, evidence, and sincerity as liberals and those who want to be accepted by Westerners, and so on.

    And then you get upset when Westerners generalize Muslims as extremists.

    You make this nickname of liberal, modernist, etc. ad nauseum to silence others. Truth is inconvenient and must be silenced to indulge in sectarian lusty behavior.

    There are many in certain narrow sects who do this. They are threatened by a scholarly approach.

    I ask you brother to fear Allah (swt).

    As your Creator commands you, do not use nicknames (Surah Hujurat).

    I have been generous to spend my time to advise you brother.

    Take it or leave it.

    I do only to help others and I rely on Allah (swt) for the reward of giving advice which will come regardless of whether it is accepted or not.

    Salam Alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

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    • “Since the time that the Ahl hadith had the supremely wicked caliph Mutawakkil support their cause and attack the Mutazilite Muslims, the party of unity and justice, then the mind of the Muslims were damaged.”
      This is a big lie! You know what Mu’tazilites had done before Al Mutawakkil, don’t you? Why do you keep lying!
      Then could you give us what Mutazilites believe regarding the governments, and how to bring justice? I bet that you’ve no idea otherwise you will not dare bringing their names in this topic. Many muslims today try to bring Mutazilites’ thoughts because they think they match more with the zionists, christians, jews, and secularism world. However, I’m sure that they have no idea.

      And Yes, Believing in Islam involves trials and tests. It’s not easy,and that what make muslims be superior.
      “Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried.
      But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.”

      Since you coudn’t prove your lies agianst me, then sorry! I’ve no time for you. Many christians’ shoes are waiting for you.

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  6. I forgot to add “that” in the comment above.

    Allah (swt) commands us to understand ***that*** the hadith, including almost all the “sahih” hadith are not protected (Surah Al-Baqara, verse 282).

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  7. Seems like you translate “insidious” as inconvenient to one’s sectarian lusts?

    Qur’an says of the encounter of Mary with the holy spirit, was she afflicted?

    If you were born in an evangelical family, you would be blind to Quran and rationality.

    God not only knows how we think and believe and act in our given situation but He knows how we would have acted in all situations given different scenarios like if we were born in other faiths and we were fanatical in our convenient beliefs and did not want to be sufficiently open minded to other perspectives.

    So, be careful brother.

    Yes, it is not explicit in the verse but with logical thinking, the import is all too apparent when brought to the attention to those who abstain from letting sectarian desires to overcome rationality and justice.

    Excerpt from

    http://www.islamicperspectives.com/SingleNarrator.htm

    In cases in which the Qur`an specifies the number of witnesses – financial deals involving credit or establishing guilt for illegal sex — it requires more than one witness. Starting from Shafi‘i some scholars have made a distinction between being a witness in a court of law and being a narrator of a hadith, but in both cases it is important to establish facts. And if two or more witnesses are needed to establish facts in law, then it is all the more necessary to require multiple witnesses to establish facts about law, that is, facts such as the authenticity of a hadith that would determine what law is. Shafi‘i notes that the Qur`an does not establish an absolute minimum for witnesses and therefore one witness can be enough. But this ignores the fact that the more important the facts to be established the more important it is to have multiple witnesses. Clearly it is more important to establish the authenticity of a hadith than to establish the terms of financial deal, since the acceptance of a false hadith can have far reaching negative consequences for billions of Muslims till the day of resurrection whereas a mistake in accepting false testimony in case of a particular financial deal will have very limited consequences.

    The Qur`an does not regard the testimony of a single person reliable beyond a reasonable doubt even if the person himself is considered trustworthy. Thus in 24:6-9, it is said that if through li‘an a husband accuses his wife of adultery, his accusation will not be accepted if his wife refutes him by similar oaths. This is so even if he can be proved to be trustworthy and his wife can be proved to be a liar and a flirt. The reason the character of the husband or the wife does not matter here is that the testimony of the husband alone is not sufficient to establish her guilt no matter how trustworthy he may be or how untrustworthy she may be. Her guilt is established only when the husband’s word is corroborated by her silence or her confession. This shows that the Qur`an admits reasonable doubt in the testimony of a single person even if the person is muttaqi and trustworthy and even when he testifies by four solemn oaths and one declaration that the curse of God be on him if he was lying.

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  8. We will all be held personally accountable for our selves. We don’t believe in vicarious atonement or so on.

    Thus, the important thing is for you to know who you are.

    That is what is vital for each of us to know…know thyself….our inner desires…our weaknesses…our tendencies…our confirmation biases…our social networks that has programmed us since our impressionable childhood.

    The reason why I use the word lust is that many people get a spiritual high and spiritual high can be more intoxicating than other desires.

    After all, quite likely satan has in a sense a spiritual high in terms of his arrogance over humans.

    He a sectarian in some sense.

    I notice that on both of your posts, you are using ad hominem attacks instead of addressing the issue with an open mind and an open heart and real thirst for the truth and goodness wherever it leads.

    You should read Surah Hujurat that says not to be suspicious of others, not to throw out abusive nicknames (therefore do not generalize)….and so on.

    We need to read Qur’an every day.

    You can read the surah below.

    https://quran.com/49

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  9. We will all be held personally accountable for our selves. We don’t believe in vicarious atonement or so on.

    Thus, the important thing is for you to know who you are.

    That is what is vital for each of us to know…know thyself….our inner desires…our weaknesses…our tendencies…our confirmation biases…our social networks that has programmed us since our impressionable childhood.

    We should not fool ourselves into thinking that we know who we are when there is tremendous amount to know through struggle of the nafs in all destructive desires…not just ones that some point out and leave out others.

    The reason why I use the word lust is that many people get a spiritual high and spiritual high can be more intoxicating than other desires.

    After all, quite likely satan has in a sense a spiritual high in terms of his arrogance over humans.

    He a sectarian in some sense.

    I notice that on both of your posts, you are using ad hominem attacks instead of addressing the issue with an open mind and an open heart and real thirst for the truth and goodness wherever it leads.

    You should read Surah Hujurat that says not to be suspicious of others, not to throw out abusive nicknames (therefore do not generalize)….and so on.

    We need to read Qur’an every day.

    You can read the surah below.

    https://quran.com/49

    Like

  10. BTW, there’s no concept of (waiting) in Islam. Waiting Mahdi or Messiah. This idea has no base in Islam whatsoever. Our religion is perfectly complete. The second coming of Jesus is something will happen in the future, but the prophet peace be upon has never commanded us to delay something till Jesus will come. Allah will ask us about what we do in our lives.
    Ironically, Christians, Jews, and the cult of twelver Shia have this concept of (waiting), yet they reject it since they know it doesn’t work. They are commanded or they understand that they should be passive till that redeemer will come, yet they say implicitly this concept is a joke, so we see them involve in the depth of all aspect of this life, especially the political one. They are hypocrites.
    Yet Mustafa and other who adopt this project want muslims to be passive, and they think muslims should dissolve in the culture of secularism. What a shame!
    Didn’t Mustafa learn the lesson from the Turkish example? What did Kamal gain from fighting Islam? He gained the cures from both the Islamic world and the western one.
    ” [The hypocrites are] like the example of Satan when he says to man, “Disbelieve.” But when he disbelieves, he says, “Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I fear Allah , Lord of the world’s.
    So the outcome for both of them is that they will be in the Fire, abiding eternally therein. And that is the recompense of the wrong-doers. “. Surah 59:16-17

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  11. Wow. Excellent.

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  12. In watching the video lecture above, I agree with most of what Akyol says in regard to the historical Jesus and comparisons with Islam etc. But…..

    I think he starts getting into some controversial issues in his the last chapter of his book entitled,”What Jesus can teach Muslims today.” He seems to be calling on Muslims to take the example of Jesus in finding a “third way” somewhere between the libertarian Herodian imitation of the west, and the zealotry of fundamentalism and strict adherence to the law of Shariah. That is fine, but it is really nothing new, since it is also what Muslims have always been trying to do anyway. In this, Muslims do not require Jesus, when they have the example of Prophet Muhammad who said Islam is the religion of the “middle way” and the path of moderation. Although some Muslims may have lost their way in the current political context, it does not mean that, if given the chance, moderate mainstream traditional Islamic orthodoxy does not have, or cannot provide the answers and solutions required to navigate the Muslim community into a more peaceful future. If Muslims are to maintain the true nature of their religion it is important to find the answers within tradition Islamic theology, as that has more credence amongst the majority of worldwide Muslims.

    Although Akyol makes an interesting argument for learning from the historical Islamic Jesus he is really pointing to the Biblical Christian Jesus as his example. For instance in his New York Times article he suggests that the Caliphate could be established “not within any earthly polity, but within our hearts and minds.” This could be compared to Paul’s NT reinterpretation of OT Law, reducing the commandments of the law to spiritual suggestions, (Circumcision of the heart, Gospel of freedom from the Law, etc.) In studying Christianity we can see what innovations and confusion to which this kind of thinking leads. Akyol seems to be preaching the “Gospel of Freedom from Islamic Law” the results of which would eventually be a neutered, watered down version of Islam.

    Also Akyol, states that “…no Muslim religious leader has yet stressed the crucial gap between divine purposes and dry legalism as powerfully as Jesus did.” I don’t agree with that assessment, Imaam Al-Ghazali, was very famous for doing just that in many of his literary works the most famous of which was, “Al-Ihya Uloom Ad-Deen” which was summarized and improved upon by Ibn Jawzi’s “Minhaj al Qasideen.” There are also many other Muslim scholars and teachers from various sects, groups, and schools, who have discussed the concern between following the divine law, while at the same time maintaining the spiritual essence and purpose of the revelatory message and religion as well.

    I have not read the book, but based on Akyol’s summary in the above video, I do give him credit and kudos for laying out the Muslim viewpoint in regard to the comparisons between the historic Jesus and Islamic Jesus of Qur’an. However, the thought of Jesus “teaching” Muslims sounds great to a western audience and sells a lot of books but Mustafa Akyol’s “third way” based upon the teachings of the Biblical Jesus is not going to sell in the Muslim community. Not only is such an idea controversial and slightly condescending, but it is also redundant and unnecessary since Islam was and is in essence the “third way” of moderation from its very beginnings.

    As Muslims we just need to recall the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, who warned us not to go to extremes in either direction, to far liberal or to far Conservative. We must always be somewhere in the middle and moderate range in order to be successful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Akyol wants you to be passive, and let the liberty of the western culture invade your religion by the name of our religion which is a deceptive way. He associates himself with the fundamental zionist christians. He should’ve advised those hypocritical chritisans to learn from their Jesus not muslims!
      Isn’t it irony that christians themselves have realized that teachings of Jesus as they are presented in NT are just fantasy, yet some muslims want us to retaurn to that square?
      I’m not gonna put my perfect religion under the scalpel of westerners to make it fit with their perspective for this life.

      Akyol has said it explicitly in his some lecture that we should follow christians and jews in the sense of how to deal with modern world. In other words, by rejecting teachings of Islam and by being hypocrites under the name of “reformation or tajdeed” .
      Has he not known that the prophet pbuh commanded us to do quite the opposite?
      Then I’ve no idea what reformation Eropeans still need from Turkey?

      BTW, he is not the first one in this deceptive field. Muhammad Arakon, sir Ahmed Khan, and Muhammed Abdu were all before him. It’s interesting since this kind of approach has begun, emerged and thrived for the first time only on colonial period banks. What is the secret?

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