The Islamic sources could not completely get rid of the concept of sacrifice, ransom, or substitutionary atonement in their texts of the Qur’an nor Hadith collections, because it was so clearly taught in the Old Testament, the Jewish Scriptures.
Muslims like Paul Williams, Shabir Ally, and Jamal Badawi say, that the Christian idea of substitutionary atonement is wrong and unjust and does not make sense.
“The Christian idea that guilt can be removed from a wrongdoer by someone else being punished instead is morally grotesque.” Paul Williams writes that here, called “The Supreme Maxim of Christianity”. (No longer there. Paul Bilal Williams keeps changing his website/blog and now has a new one that he started in 2015 “bloggingtheology” dot net (that one also later changed) – he claims he is not being as polemic as he was before against Christianity(but even that post is no longer there), but recently his emphasis on Bart Ehrman’s attacks on the Bible seem to suggest that Paul Bilal Williams cannot shake off his obsession with using liberal scholars to seek to cause Christians to doubt the Bible. As a Muslim, he has to spend his time doing this, spending his energy “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18), because the Qur’an affirms the Bible, the Torah, the Psalms, the Prophets, and the Injeel (The Gospel), and yet also contradicts the Bible in content on the most important doctrines about Christ and Salvation. )
Then why do these Islamic Hadiths clearly say that Allah will forgive the sins of Muslims and save them from hell by punishing Jews and Christians in their place?
“Abu Musa’ reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.” (Hadith, Sahih Muslim, Book 37, no. 6665)
“Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire. ‘Umar b. Abd al-‘Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him).”
(Hadith, Sahih Muslim, Book 37, no. 6666.)
“Abu Burda reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with as heavy sins as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians. (As far as I think), Abu Raub said: I do not know as to who is in doubt. Abu Burda said: I narrated it to ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, whereupon he said: Was it your father who narrated it to you from Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him)? I said: Yes. ” (Hadith, Sahih Muslim, Book 37, no. 6668.)
And Muslims have problems with Jesus as the innocent Messiah, the sinless prophet (for us the eternal Son of God) dying for the sins of others! They say, “it is unjust” !!
These Hadith are worse, because the sins of Muslims are put on other sinners. That is injustice indeed. But it was not unjust for Jesus to die for our sins, because He did it voluntarily, and He is perfect and sinless. He voluntarily died for sinners out of love and compassion. Jesus said, “No one takes My life from Me, I lay it down voluntarily on My own initiative, and I take it up again on My own authority.” John 10:18
And why does the Qur’an also mention the idea of substitutionary sacrifice in Surah Al Saffat 37:107 ?
“We have ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice”
وَفَدَيْنَـهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ
“We have ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.”
فَدَيْنَـهُ = “we ransomed him”
بِذِبْحٍ = بِ =b = “with” or “by”;
ذِبْحٍ = sacrifice, slaughter, slain victim
(The cognate Hebrew word for sacrifice is similar, ZBH, זֶבַח
عَظِيم = “great”, “mighty”, “tremendous”
which is about the innocent ram being substituted for Abraham’s son, and comes from Genesis 22, and is also taught in the Jewish scriptures and in history in Exodus 12 (Passover) and Leviticus (chapters 1-7, 16-17) and the temple sacrifices (1 Kings 8) and the prophesies of the suffering Servant/ Messiah (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22) ?
Jesus, Al Masih عیسی المسیح was the final perfect sacrifice. Al Masih fullfilled all the OT sacrifices and system.
Yahya یحیی (Prophet John the Baptizer) said, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
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