Living The Quran
From Issue: 982 [Read full issue]
Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 51
This represents the correction of the oft-repeated phrase "my father and your father" used in the Gospels. The Quran corrects this mistake and explains what Jesus had stated was in fact "Allah alone is my Sustainer and your Sustainer, so worship Him and Him alone." But instead of following this clear and explicit teaching, the Christians put on it an essentially allegorical and unclear interpretation. The word ab in Hebrew is used both for father and sustainer or nourisher and the word ibn is used both for son and for abd meaning a servant or a slave. Obviously, when a word is thus used in a possible dual sense, its actual sense at a specific place can be determined in the light of its context alone.
When the Christians adopted the creed of the divinity of Jesus, they used whatever material they could lay their hands on to support their creed, ignoring its context and original signification. Later, when the original Injil was lost and was replaced with translations only, the meaning and interpretation of everything underwent a drastic change and distortion. However, despite all these distortions, there are still in the Injil indications that clearly show that whenever Jesus uses the word ab for Allah, he invariably means rabb or Sovereign Sustainer. In fact at some places, by using other synonyms of this word, he makes his message amply clear. For instance, he is reported to have said: "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'" (John 20: 17).
From this statement, it is quite clear that Jesus uses the word ab for Allah in order to emphasise Allah's providential care and compassion for His creation and definitely not to trace his lineage to Him. Moreover, Jesus also states that Allah is his God as well as the God of all.
The straight path to Allah is to accept Him as the Sovereign Sustainer of all, ours as well as of all others and to worship and adore Him alone. Those who have introduced crookedness in it and have consequently strayed into labyrinths of error, polytheism and unbelief - are lost. There is no crookedness in this path and it leads directly to Allah. The use of the indefinite form - siratun mustaqimun (straight path) - underlines the importance and pre-eminence of this natural path.
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah Ali Imran" - Amin Ahsan Islahi