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I Never Knew You, Part 3: from the Qu’ran

Christians should know that “I never knew you” is from the Bible, but is it really in the Qur’an as well?

I never knew you?

I never knew you - it's in here somehwere[2:165] Yet, some people set up Idols to rival GOD, and love them as if they are GOD. Those who believe love GOD the most. If only the transgressors could see themselves when they see the retribution! They will realize then that all power belongs to GOD alone, and that GOD’s retribution is awesome.
[2:166] Those who were followed will disown those who followed them. They will see the retribution, and all ties among them will be severed.
[2:167] Those who followed will say, “If we can get another chance, we will disown them, as they have disowned us now.” GOD thus shows them the consequences of their works as nothing but remorse; they will never exit Hell.  1)Khalifa Ph.D., Dr. Rashad. Quran – The Final Testament – Authorized English Version of the Original (Kindle Locations 629-634). . Kindle Edition.

Did you see it?  Did you find, “I never knew you” in those verses from the Qur’an?

Yes?  Are you sure?

No? How about in this second translation?

(165) And yet there are people who choose to believe in beings that allegedly rival God, loving them as [only] God should be loved: whereas those who have attained to faith love God more than all else. If they who are bent on evildoing could but see – as see they will when they are made to suffer [on Resurrection Day] – that all might belongs to God alone, and that God is severe in [meting out] punishment!
(166) [On that Day] it will come to pass that those who had been [falsely] adored shall disown their followers, and the latter shall see the suffering [that awaits them], with all their hopes cut to pieces!
(167) And then those followers shall say: “Would that we had a second chance [in life], so that we could disown them as they have disowned us!” Thus will God show them their works [in a manner that will cause them] bitter regrets; but they will not come out of the fire.145  2)Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Qur’an (Kindle Locations 1094-1107). The Book Foundation. Kindle Edition.

Does this affect your choice of whether or not you noticed, “I never knew you”?  I’m guessing not.

How about a third translation?

165. And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah. But those who believe, love Allaah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allaah and that Allaah is Severe in punishment.
166. When those who were followed, disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them.
167. And those who followed will say: “If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us.” Thus Allaah will show them their deeds as regrets for them. And they will never get out of the Fire . 3)Khan, Dr Muhammad Muhsin. English Translation of the Qur’an (Kindle Locations 325-330). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

Still no change of opinion?

What do these verses mean?

I’m not going to use three translations of the Qur’an all the time.  The main reason for doing it here is to show that it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is the interpretation of the verse

The author of the first translation has the following commentary to go with the verses, which he subtitled “The Idols Disown Their Idolizers“.

2:165-166 Jesus, Mary, Muhammad, Ali, and the saints will disown their idolizers on the Day of Resurrection. See also 16:86, 35:14, 46:6, and the Gospel of Matthew 7:21-23. 

First, let’s look at the Bible verses that were cited.

Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Clearly, Jesus says, “I never knew you“.  
There’s a lot of other stuff in here as well, but for now, let’s focus on just that one phrase – I never knew you.  It’s directed at many of the people who claim to be followers of Jesus.  Jesus is disowning those people and calling them evildoers.

There’s a problem though.  The intent of the passage in the Qur’an is to say that everyone who followed the false idols – including Jesus – will be disowned by their idols – again including Jesus.  But, this is not what Jesus says.  Jesus says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’“.  Not all of them, but many of them.  There are some among the followers of Jesus who He will not disown.

What’s the difference between all and many?

Why the discrepancy?  Why does Jesus say many, while the Qur’an says all?
To find out, let’s look at what Jesus said in context, rather than just pulling out a few verses.

A Tree and Its Fruit

Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

We see that Jesus is talking about two very different types of people.  He is warning people to watch out for false prophets.  False prophets may talk like they are good – but their actions show something quite different.  That’s what Jesus means by His statement on a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

We’ll get more into this in later articles, but notice that Jesus also says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  The Qur’an very clearly says, many times, that Jesus is not the Son of God – that God has no son.

Question – is it more than irony that this verse in the Qur’an is used to say the true followers of Jesus are idol worshipers?  

It’s convenient for the Qur’an to pull a couple verses from the Bible, out of context, and draw a conclusion.  However, it’s also dangerous.  In this case, it’s not only inaccurate, it’s completely backwards.

Other Qur’an verses

The first verses we looked at were a complete “section” of the Qur’an.  Just as the NIV adds subtitles to sections of the Bible, the author of the first translation added subtitles to the Qur’an.  We looked at the entire section – not just part of it.  Since the author also referred to other Qur’an verses, let’s look at them as well.

The Idols Disown Their Idolizers

[16:86]  And when those who committed idol worship see their idols, they will say, “Our Lord, these are the idols we had set up beside You.” The idols will then confront them and say, “You are liars.”
[16:87]  They will totally submit to GOD on that day, and the idols they had invented will disown them. [16:88] Those who disbelieve and repel from the path of GOD, we augment their retribution by adding more retribution, due to their transgressions.
[16:89]  The day will come when we will raise from every community a witness from among them, and bring you as the witness of these people. We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything, and guidance, and mercy, and good news for the submitters.
[16:90] GOD advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed.

Next, more on the idols.

The Idols Utterly Powerless

[35:14]  If you call on them, they cannot hear you. Even if they hear you, they cannot respond to you. On the Day of Resurrection, they will disown you. None can inform you like the Most Cognizant.

*35:14 People idolize Jesus, Mary, Muhammad, Ali, and/or the saints; such idols are unaware and utterly powerless. Even when they were alive on this earth, they were powerless.

[35:15]  O people, you are the ones who need GOD, while GOD is in no need for anyone, the Most Praiseworthy.
[35:16]  If He wills, He can get rid of you and substitute a new creation.
[35:17]  This is not too difficult for GOD.
[35:18]  No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. The only people to heed your warnings are those who reverence their Lord, even when alone in their privacy, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat). Whoever purifies his soul, does so for his own good. To GOD is the final destiny.
[35:19]  The blind and the seer are not equal.
[35:20]  Nor are the darkness and the light.
[35:21]  Nor are the coolness of the shade and the heat of the sun.
[35:22]  Nor are the living and the dead; GOD causes whomever He wills to hear. You cannot make hearers out of those in the graves.
[35:23]  You are no more than a warner.

And more on idols disowning their worshipers.

The Idols Disown Their Worshipers

[46:6]  And when the people are summoned (on the Day of Judgment), their idols will become their enemies, and will denounce their idolatry.

*46:6 See also Matthew 7:21-23: Jesus clearly disowns those who call him “Lord.”

[46:7]  When our revelations were recited to them, perfectly clear, those who disbelieved said of the truth that came to them, “This is obviously magic!”
[46:8]  When they say, “He fabricated this,” say, “If I fabricated this, then you cannot protect me from GOD. He is fully aware of everything you scheme. He suffices as a witness between me and you. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.”
[46:9]  Say, “I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a profound warner.”

And more …

The commentary calls out three Qur’an verses.  In fact, just searching for the words “idols disown” turns up seven verses.  There are other variations.  For instance, just searching for “disown” turns up 34 different verses.

What’s in a number?

Quite a bit, actually.  You might expect that Sura #2, which appears second in the Qur’an, is also second in terms of chronological order.  Think again.  Sura #2 was the 87th one to be revealed.

#16 was the 70th.

#35 was the 43rd.

#46 was the 66th.

Out of a total of 114 Suras.

So – we see the correct order in which to read these Sura’s is actually not the assigned number, but the revelation number.  That means we should read in the following order: #35, #46, #16, and then #2.  We’ll get more into this in later articles, but it can make a huge difference in understanding what’s going on, depending on the order in which the Suras are read. 

For instance, notice that the very first one in reading / printed order is #35 – the 43rd one on chronological order.  It’s reasonable to ask – why so late?  It’s nearly 1/3 of the way through the Qur’an.  That’s a long time before saying that idols are powerless.

There’s a reason for that.  We’ll get more into it later articles, but for now consider the following Sura.

Sura 112: Absoluteness (Al-Ikhlaas)
Number of verses in sura: 4
Order of revelation: 22

[112:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[112:3]  “Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten.
[112:4]  “None equals Him.”

This is the first instance of any statement that is anti-Christian.  It doesn’t mention Jesus by name.  However, it does say that God “never begot“.  Clearly, this is aimed as the Christian statement that Jesus is the Son of God.  Sorry to go back to the Old English of the King James Version of the Bible, but we need to actually have the word “begotten”.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  4)The Holy Bible: King James Version. (1995). (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version., Jn 3:16). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

We’ll see in later articles that the Qur’an uses half of what’s said here, but not the other half.  Resurrection and eternal life are important parts of Islam.  However, Jesus, the one who actually proved by His example that both are well within the power of God, is not accepted as the Son of God.  As we’ll also see in later articles, the Qur’an also teaches that Jesus wasn’t resurrected, since He never died.  Fascinating.

Who never knew who?

It’s beginning to look like the “author” of the Qur’an doesn’t really know Jesus.  I put “author” in quotes for a reason.  We’ll get into that in later articles as well.  As the Qur’an is a revelation to Muhammad, it would seem that he is not the author.  But the question of who was the author is rather complicated and has a few twists.

For now, let’s assume that it was given to Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.  The key there is – let’s assume – not let’s accept.  Under that assumption, we’d expect complete consistency throughout the Qur’an.  After all, as one of God’s Archangels, Gabriel should be in a position to accurately portray exactly what God wanted to have revealed.

We’ve already seen one section where the Qur’an says Jesus is not the Son of God.  Let’s look at another.

From a section subtitled To Resurrect the Dead, we read this.

[16:50] They reverence their Lord, high above them, and they do what they are commanded to do.
[16:51] GOD has proclaimed: “Do not worship two gods; there is only one god. You shall reverence Me alone.”
[16:52] To Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth and therefore, the religion shall be devoted absolutely to Him alone. Would you worship other than GOD?
[16:53] Any blessing you enjoy is from GOD. Yet, whenever you incur any adversity you immediately complain to Him.
[16:54] Yet, as soon as He relieves your affliction, some of you revert to idol worship.
[16:55] Let them disbelieve in what we have given them. Go ahead and enjoy temporarily; you will surely find out.
[16:56] They designate for the idols they set up out of ignorance, a share of the provisions we bestow upon them. By GOD, you will be held accountable for your innovations.

This was the 70th Sura in terms of chronological order.

Here’s a question for you.

If the God was giving this message to His Archangel, Gabriel, and if Jesus was trying to pass Himself off as the Son of God – but He really was an impostor – wouldn’t this be something that God would want to reveal right away?  It’s odd enough that God waited about 600 years for a prophet to reveal this, but once the process of revelation of what’s supposed to be the truth got started, wouldn’t someone trying to falsely pass themselves off as the Son of God be really high on the list of things to correct?  Like at least in the top 5, if not number one?  And yet, when it finally does happen, it’s in a vague reference, and it’s in the 22nd revelation?  Doesn’t that seem odd?

Now, pair that with this often repeated passage from the Qur’an.

The Quran Consummates All Scriptures

[2:89] When this scripture came to them from GOD, and even though it agrees with, and confirms what they have, and even though they used to prophesy its advent when they talked with the disbelievers, when their own prophecy came to pass, they disbelieved therein. GOD’s condemnation thus afflicts the disbelievers.
[2:90] Miserable indeed is what they sold their souls for – rejecting these revelations of GOD out of sheer resentment that GOD should bestow His grace upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. Consequently, they incurred wrath upon wrath. The disbelievers have incurred a humiliating retribution.
[2:91] When they are told, “You shall believe in these revelations of GOD,” they say, “We believe only in what was sent down to us.” Thus, they disbelieve in subsequent revelations, even if it is the truth from their Lord, and even though it confirms what they have! Say, “Why then did you kill GOD’s prophets, if you were believers?”

Notice that first verse – it agrees with, and confirms what they have.  Even from the little bit of the Bible and the Qur’an that we’ve seen so far, it’s very obvious that the Qur’an does not agree with or confirm the Scriptures that we already have.  In fact, in many cases, it’s very much opposite of the existing Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

Surely, both God and Gabriel know this.  Why then, would Gabriel deliver these verses to Muhammad?

In apparent attempt to explain why God wouldn’t have a son, we read this section from the Qur’an.

No Partners With God

[16:71] GOD has provided for some of you more than others. Those who are given plenty would never give their properties to their subordinates to the extent of making them partners. Would they give up GOD’s blessings?

*16:71 If the humans would not give up their power to that extent, why do they expect God to do this, and create partners for Himself?

[16:72] And GOD made for you spouses from among yourselves, and produced for you from your spouses children and grandchildren, and provided you with good  provisions. Should they believe in falsehood, and turn unappreciative of GOD’s blessings?

Isn’t God greater than us?  How can we look at an example of the way we live, and apply it so directly to God?  To be sure, I expect a whole lot more from God than I myself can do, and I expect that His ways of doing things are far different from mine.  Would God really have Gabriel tell us to look at ourselves as a way of explaining Himself? 

I don’t think so.  I look at this, from the Bible, as something much more appropriate for defining God, as compared to us.

Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.

Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.

Isa 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

This is the way the God of the Hebrew Scriptures spoke to people through the prophet Isaiah.  It’s very different from what we read in the Qur’an.  It’s also far more believable, in terms of comparing the things we do versus the things God does – and the reasons why these things are done.  This is a God that does things His way – and doesn’t need to explain them to us.  On top of that, we wouldn’t understand them anyway.

Fire and Brimstone?

By the time we get to Sura 19, the 44th in chronological order, the statements about Jesus have turned into what we would call Fire and Brimstone – or Hell and Damnation.

Gross Blasphemy

[19:88] They said, “The Most Gracious has begotten a son”!
[19:89] You have uttered a gross blasphemy.
[19:90] The heavens are about to shatter, the earth is about to tear asunder, and the mountains are about to crumble. [19:91] Because they claim that the Most Gracious has begotten a son.
[19:92] It is not befitting the Most Gracious that He should beget a son.
[19:93] Every single one in the heavens and the earth is a servant of the Most Gracious.
[19:94] He has encompassed them, and has counted them one by one.
[19:95]  All of them will come before Him on the Day of Resurrection as individuals.
[19:96] Surely, those who believe and lead a righteous life, the Most Gracious will shower them with love.
[19:97] We thus made this (Quran) elucidated in your tongue, in order to deliver good news to the righteous, and to warn with it the opponents.
[19:98] Many a generation before them we annihilated; can you perceive any of them, or hear from them any sound?

We’ve now gone from miserable souls in Sura 2, to the heavens shattering and the earth about to tear asunder, because of Jesus being called the Son of God.  Adding on to the previous question of why wait so long to bring up Jesus, we can now also ask why it was so “gentle” in the 22nd revelation, and so disastrous in the 44th?  Honestly – why wait?  Why not get right to the point?

The Gospel of Matthew, in the New Testament, records the first things Jesus said when beginning His ministry on earth.

Mt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Jesus didn’t mince words.  Jesus didn’t wait until the 22nd time He spoke up right away to bring up the fact that people were on the wrong path.  And He certainly didn’t wait until the 44th time to clarify just how bad things were.

When Jesus said “repent”, here’s what the word meant.

to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins  5)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Abhorrence for one’s past sins.  Getting right to the point.  That’s not saying a little change is needed.  That’s like you’ve totally messed up your life – get it together!  And, it’s so bad, you’d better start changing Right Now!

Again – which of those sounds more like God.  Especially which sounds like a God that cares about His people?  One wants change.  Now.  Drastic change.  Now.  Because we’re completely messed up.  The other says things aren’t so good.  Then says things are pretty bad.  Then says things are really bad.  Then says things are so bad the world’s going to end.  It’s like one gets right to the heart of the matter – while the other one leads people on, not really telling the truth until it’s pretty much too late.  Which one says God cares?

Conclusion – more on “I Never Knew You”

There is more.  So much more.  This is only the beginning.

For about ten years, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this.  I shouldn’t have tried so hard.  A few weeks back, I wrote something called “I Never Knew You, Part 2“.  If there’s a Part 2, there must also be a Part 1.  “I Never Knew You” is from Feb 2011 – almost seven years ago. While writing Part 2, I believe at the prompting of the Holy Spirit (agreed on by both Christians and Muslims, oddly enough), it hit me that “I Never Knew You, Part 3” would be the perfect way to introduce this series on The God of Christianity and The God of Islam.  

It’s very difficult to approach.  There are so many similarities.  At the same time, there are so many conflicts.  There are so many questions.  And there are way too many answers.  I say too many answers, because they conflict.  In some cases, even from Sura to Sura, the answers conflict.

The Qur’an is also very difficult to read.  Reading it in printed order is extremely confusing. 

While the Bible is separated into Old and New Testament, providing clear break points in time, the Qur’an is not.  While the Old and New Testaments are written in a narrative style that makes it relatively easy to figure out points in time, parallel periods between books, Etc., the Qur’an is not. 

The Qur’an is printed entirely based on the length of each Sura – in Arabic.  There’s no timing involved at all.  It’s not in a narrative form – it’s more like free flow thoughts.  Reading in chronological order does reveal things that are totally hidden when reading it in printed order.  We’ve already seen a little bit of that, with the way the Qur’an treats Jesus.  As time progresses, we can more clearly see changes.  More changes in the treatment of Jesus.  Changes in the treatment of Jews and Christians.  Changes in whether or not to fight and go to war.  And more.

These are the kinds of things we’ll look at in this series.

Referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus said this.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

Jn 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Islam teaches about Jesus and about the Holy Spirit.  Islam also teaches that Christians and the Bible are wrong about both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  

However, the Qur’an also says this.

Maintaining the Status Quo: A Human Tragedy

[2:170] When they are told, “Follow what GOD has revealed herein,” they say, “We follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if their parents did not understand, and were not guided? 

The verses that follow occurrences of the one above also tend to be very insulting.  I’m not going to include them here, because I want to make a similar statement about following your parents to Muslims who are reading this.  What if your parents are wrong?  The Qur’an assumes knowledge of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.  When reading it in chronological order, and certainly as it was being revealed, there are most certainly things that could not be understood without turning to both the Hebrew and the Christian Scriptures. 

I’m going to show you all three – the Old Testament (which includes the Torah and Psalms), the New Testament (which includes the Gospels), and the Qur’an.  I’m going to ask you to ask questions.  Read what I have to offer, and then ask those questions – and others that may come to you.  But ask Jesus.  Ask the Holy Spirit.  They will answer, if you honestly ask.  Here’s something Jesus said.

Rev 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Rev 3:21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Yes – that’s Jesus, calling out to you, asking you to open the door.  That’s Jesus offering to eat with you.  You know what that means.  It’s an opportunity too good to pass up.  

Don’t blindly follow anything.  Not even me.  Ask.  Please ask.

References   [ + ]

1. Khalifa Ph.D., Dr. Rashad. Quran – The Final Testament – Authorized English Version of the Original (Kindle Locations 629-634). . Kindle Edition.
2. Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Qur’an (Kindle Locations 1094-1107). The Book Foundation. Kindle Edition.
3. Khan, Dr Muhammad Muhsin. English Translation of the Qur’an (Kindle Locations 325-330). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
4. The Holy Bible: King James Version. (1995). (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version., Jn 3:16). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
5. Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

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I Never Knew You, Part 3: from the Qu’ran


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