Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ
قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ
Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari
by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley
1. Honouring Parents: The Words of Allah Almighty: "We have instructed man to honour his parents." (29:8)
1. Abu 'Amr ash-Shaybani said, "The owner of this house (and he pointed at the house of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud) said, "I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which action Allah loves best. He replied, 'Prayer at its proper time.' 'Then what?' I asked. He said, 'Then kindness to parents." I asked, 'Then what?' He replied, 'Then jihad in the Way of Allah.'" He added, "He told me about these things. If I had asked him to tell me more, he would have told me more."
2. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The anger of the Lord lies in the anger of the parent."
2. Dutifulness to One's Mother
3. Bahz ibn Hakim's grandfather said, "I asked, 'Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then to whom should I be dutiful?' 'Your father,' he replied, 'and then the next closest relative and then the next.'"
4. 'Ata' ibn Yasar said that a man came to Ibn 'Abbas and said, "I asked a woman to marry me and she refused to marry me. Another man asked her and she agreed to marry him. I became jealous and killed her. Is there any way for me to repent?" He asked, "Is your mother alive?" "No," he replied. He said, "repent to Allah Almighty and try to draw near Him as much as you can."
'Ata' said, "I went to Ibn 'Abbas and asked him, 'Why did you ask him whether his mother was alive?' He replied, 'I do not know of any action better for bringing a person near to Allah than dutifulness to his mother.'"
3. Dutifulness to One's Father
5. Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet was asked, 'Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' He replied, 'Your father.'"
6. Abu Hurayra reported: "A man came to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, 'What do you command me to do?' He replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' Then he asked him the same question again and he replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' He repeated it yet again and the Prophet replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' He repeated the question a fourth time and the reply was, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' Then he put the question a fifth time and the Prophet said, 'Be dutiful towards your father.'"
4. Dutifulness to Parents, even if they are unjust
7. Ibn 'Abbas said, "If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him." He was asked, "Even if they wrong him?" "Even if they wrong him" he replied.
5. Gentle words to Parents
8. Taysala ibn Mayyas said, "I was with the Najadites [Kharijites] when I committed wrong actions which I supposed were major wrong actions. I mentioned that to Ibn 'Umar. He inquired, 'What are they?" I replied, 'Such-and-such.' He stated, 'These are not major wrong actions. There are nine major wrong actions. They are: associating others with Allah, killing someone, desertion from the army when it is advancing, slandering a chaste woman, usury, consuming an orphan's property, heresy in the mosque, scoffing, and causing one's parents to weep through disobedience.' Ibn 'Umar then said to me, 'Do you wish to separate yourself from the Fire? 'By Allah, yes!' I replied. He asked, 'Are your parents still alive?' I replied, 'My mother is.' He said, 'By Allah, if you speak gently to her and feed her, then you will enter the Garden as long as you avoid the major wrong actions.'"
9. Hisham ibn 'Urwa related this ayat from his father, "Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility." (17:24)
6. Repaying Parents
10. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A child cannot repay his father unless he finds him as a slave and the buys him and sets him free."
11. Sa'id ibn Abi Burda said, "I heard my father sat that Ibn 'Umar saw a Yamani man going around the House while carrying his mother on his back, saying, 'I am your humble camel. If her mount is frightened, I am not frightened.' Then he asked, 'Ibn 'Umar? Do you think that I have repaid her?' He replied, 'No, not even for a single groan.'
"Ibn 'Umar did tawaf and came to the Maqam and prayed two rak'ats. He said, 'Ibn Abi Musa, every two rak'ats make up for everything that has happened between them.'"
12. Marwan used to make Abu Hurayra his agent and he used to be located in Dhu'l-Hulayfa. His mother was in one house and he was in another. When he wanted to go out, he would stop at her door and say, "Peace be upon you, mother, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing." She would reply, "And peace be upon you, my son, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing." Then he said, "May Allah have mercy on you as you raised me when I was a child." She answered, "May Allah have mercy on you as you were dutiful to me when I was old." Whenever he wanted to go inside, he would do something similar.
13. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and made a pledge to him that he would do hijra. He left his parents who were in tears. The Prophet said, 'Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them weep.'"
14. Abu Hazim reported that Abu Murra, the mawla of Umm Hani' bint Abi Talib had told him that he rode with Abu Hurayra to his land in al-'Aqiq. When he entered his land, he shouted out in his loudest voice, "Peace be upon you, mother, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing!" She replied, "And peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessing." He said, "May Allah have mercy on you as you raised me when I was a child." She replied, "My son, may Allah repay you well and be pleased with you as you were dutiful towards me when I was old."
7. Disobedience to Parents
15. Abu Bakra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I tell you which is the worst of the major wrong actions?" "Yes, Messenger of Allah," they replied. He said, "Associating something else with Allah and disobeying parents." he had been reclining, but then he said up and said, "And false witness." Abu Bakr said, "He continued to repeat it until I said, 'Is he never going to stop?'"
16. Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba, said, "Mu'awiya wrote to al-Mughira, saying, 'Write down for me what you heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say.'" Warrad said, "He dictated to me and I wrote out, 'I heard him forbid asking too many questions, wasting money and chit-chat.'"
8. "Allah curses whoever curses his parents"
17. Abu't-Tufayl said, "'Ali was asked, 'Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, give you something special which he did not give to anyone else?' He replied, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not give me anything special which he did not give to everyone else except for what I have in my sword scabbard.' He brought out a piece of paper. Written on that paper was: 'Allah curses anyone who sacrifices an animal to something other than Allah. Allah curses anyone who steals a milestone. Allah curses anyone who curses his parents. Allah curses anyone who gives shelter to an innovator.'"
9. Being Dutiful to Parents as long as that does not entail disobedience to Allah
18. Abu'd-Darda' said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recommended nine things to me: 'Do not associate anything with Allah, even if you are cut to pieces or burned. Do not abandon a prescribed prayer deliberately. Anyone who abandons it will forfeit Allah's protection. Do not drink wine - it is the key to every evil. Obey your parents. If they command you to abandon your worldly possessions, then leave them for them. Do not contend with those in power, even if you think that you are in the right. Do not run away from the army when it is advances, even if you are killed while your companions run away. Spend on your wife out of your means. Do not raise a stick against your wife. Cause your family to fear Allah, the Almighty and Exalted.'"
19. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'I have come to make you a pledge that will do hijra although I have left my parents in tears." The Prophet said, 'Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them cry.'"
20. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanting to do jihad. The Prophet asked, 'Are your parents alive?' 'Yes,' he replied. he said, 'Then exert yourself on their behalf.'"
10. The One who Fails his Parents will not enter the Garden
21. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Disgrace! Disgrace! Disgrace!" They said, "Messenger of Allah, who?" He said, "The one who fails his parents or one of them when they are old will enter the Fire."
11. Allah prolongs the life of someone who is dutiful towards his parents
22. Mu'adh said, "Bliss belongs to someone who is dutiful towards his parents. Allah Almighty will prolong his life."
12. One does not ask forgiveness for his father if he is an idolater
23. Ibn 'Abbas mentioned the words of the Almighty, "When one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say 'Ugh!' to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: 'Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small." (17:23-24) He said, "This was abrogated in Surat at-Tawba: 'It is not right for the Prophet and those who have iman to ask forgiveness for the mushrikun even if they are close relatives after it has become clear to them that they are the Companions of the Blazing Fire.' (9:113)"
13. Dutifulness towards a parent who is an idolater
24. Sa'id ibn Abi Waqqas said: "Four ayats were revealed about me. The first was when my mother swore she would neither eat nor drink until I left Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Allah Almighty revealed, 'But if they try to make you associate something with Me about which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. Keep company with them correctly and courteously in this worldÉ' (31:15) The second was when I took a sword that I admired and said, 'Messenger of Allah, give me this!' Then the ayat was revealed: 'They will ask you about booty.' (8:1) The third was when I was ill and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to me and I said, 'Messenger of Allah, I want to divide my property. Can I will away a half?' He said, 'No.' 'A third?' I asked. He was silent and so after that it was allowed to will away a third. The fourth was when I had been drinking wine with some of the Ansar. One of them hit my nose with the jawbone of a camel. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Allah Almighty revealed the prohibition of wine."
25. Asma' bint Abi Bakr said, "In the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, my mother came to me hoping (I would be dutiful). I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'Do I have to treat her well?' 'Yes,' he replied."
Ibn 'Uyayna said, "Then Allah revealed about her, 'Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the deen.' (60:8)"
26. Ibn 'Umar said, "'Umar saw a silk robe for sale. He said, 'Messenger of Allah, would you buy this robe and wear it on Jumu'a and when delegations visit you?' He replied, 'Only a person who has no portion in the Next World could wear this.' Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was given some robes made of the same material. He sent one of the robes to 'Umar. 'Umar exclaimed, 'How can I wear it when you said what you said about it?' The Prophet replied, 'I did not give it to you so that you could wear it. You can sell it or give it to someone.' 'Umar sent it to a brother of his in Makka who had not yet become Muslim."
14. A person should not revile his parents
27. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Reviling one's parents is one of the great wrong actions." They asked, "How could he revile them?" He said, "He reviles a man who then in turn reviles his mother and father."
28. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man's reviling his father is one of the major wrong actions in the sight of Allah Almighty."
15. The punishment for disobeying parents
29. Abu Bakra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is no wrong action more likely to bring punishment in this world in addition to what is stored up in the Next World than oppression and severing ties of kinship."
30. 'Imran ibn Husayn said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'What do you say about fornication, drinking wine and theft?' 'Allah and His Messenger know best,' we replied. He stated, 'They are acts of outrage and there is punishment for them, but shall I tell you which is the greatest of the great wrong actions? Associating with Allah Almighty and disobeying parents.' He had been reclining, but then he sat up and said, 'and lying.'"
16. Making Parents weep
31. Ibn 'Umar said, "Making parents weep is part of disobedience and one of the major wrong actions."
17. The Supplication of Parents
32. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Three supplications are answered without a doubt: the supplication of someone who is oppressed, the supplication of someone on a journey, and the supplication of parents for their children."
33. Abu Hurayra reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "No human child has ever spoken in the cradle except for 'Isa ibn Maryam, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the companion of Jurayj." Abu Hurayra asked, "Prophet of Allah, who was the companion of Jurayj?" The Prophet replied, "Jurayj was a monk who lived in a hermitage. There was a cowherd who used to come to the foot of his hermitage and a woman from the village used to come to the cowherd.
"One day his mother came while he was praying and called out, 'Jurayj!' He asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He concluded that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted to him a second time and he again asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He thought that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted a third time and yet again he asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He again concluded that he should prefer the prayer. When he did not answer her, she said, 'Jurayj, may Allah not let you die until you have looked at the faces of the beautiful women.' Then she left.
"Then the village woman was brought before the king after she had given birth to a child. He asked, 'Whose is it?' 'Jurayj's,' she replied. He asked, 'The man in the hermitage?' 'Yes,' she answered. He ordered, 'Destroy his hermitage and bring him to me.' They hacked at his hermitage with axes until it collapsed. They bound his hand to his neck with a rope and took him along to the king. When he passed by the beautiful women, he saw them and smiled. They were looking at him along with the people.
"The king asked, 'Do you know what this woman claims?' 'What does she claim?' he asked. He replied, 'She claims that you are the father of her child.' He asked her, 'Where is the child?' They replied, 'It is in her room.' He went to the child and said, 'Who is your father?' 'The cowherd,' he replied. The king said, 'Shall we build your hermitage out of gold?' 'No,' he replied. He asked, 'Of silver?' 'No,' he replied. The king asked, 'What shall we build it with?' He said, 'Put it back the way you found it.' Then the king asked, 'What made you smile.' 'Something I recognised,' he replied, 'The supplication of my mother overtook me.' Then he told him about it."
18. Offering Islam to a Christian mother
34. Abu Hurayra said, "Neither Jew nor Christian has heard me and then not loved me. I wanted my mother to become Muslim, but she refused. I told her about it and she still refused. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Pray to Allah for me.' He did so and I went to her. She was inside the door of the house and said, 'Abu Hurayra, I have become Muslim.' I told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I asked, 'Make supplication to Allah for me and my mother.' He said, 'O Allah, make people love Abu Hurayra and his mother.'"
19. Dutifulness towards Parents after their Death
35. Abu Usayd said, "We were with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man asked, 'Messenger of Allah, is there any act of dutifulness which I can do for my parents after their death?' He replied, 'Yes. There are four things: Supplication for them, asking forgiveness for them, fulfilling their pledges, and being generous to friends of theirs. You only have ties of kinship through your parents."
36. Abu Hurayra said, "The dead person can be raised a degree after his death. He said, 'My Lord, how is this?' He was told, 'Your child can ask for forgiveness for you.'"
37. Ibn Sirin said, "We were with Abu Hurayra one night and he said, 'O Allah, forgive Abu Hurayra and his mother and whoever asks for forgiveness for both of them.'" Muhammad said, "We used to ask for forgiveness for them so that we would be included in Abu Hurayra's supplication."
38. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When a person dies, all action is cut off for him with the exception of three things: sadaqa which continues, knowledge which benefits, or a righteous child who makes supplication for him."
39. Ibn 'Abbas reported that a man said, "Messenger of Allah, my mother died without a will. Will it help her if I give sadaqa on her behalf?" "Yes," he replied.
20. The Dutifulness of someone who maintains what his father loved
40. 'Abdullah ibn Dinar reported that Ibn 'Umar passed by a bedouin during a journey. The bedouin's father had been a friend of 'Umar's. The bedouin said, "Am I not the son of so-and-so?" He said, "Yes, indeed." Ibn 'Umar ordered that he be given a donkey which was following him. He also took off his turban and gave it to him, One of the men with him said, "Wouldn't two dirhams be enough for him?" He replied, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Maintain what your father loved. Do not cut it off so that Allah puts out your light."
41. Ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The strongest form of dutifulness is when a man maintains relations with the people his father loved."
21. Do not cut off someone with whom your father maintained ties
42. Sa'd ibn 'Ubada az-Zurqi reported that his father said, "I was sitting in the mosque in Madina with 'Amr ibn 'Uthman when 'Abdullah ibn Salam walked by, leaning on his nephew. 'Amr left the assembly and showed his concern for him." Then Ibn Salam returned to them and said, "Do what you like, 'Amr ibn 'Uthman," (and he said it two or three times) By the One who sent Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with the Truth, it is in the Book of Allah Almighty (and he said it twice), 'Do not cut off those your father has joined so that that extinguishes your light.'"
22. Love is inherited
43. Abu Bakr ibn Hazm reported that one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is enough that I tell you that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Love is inherited.'"
23. A man should not call his father by his name nor sit down before him nor walk in front of him
44. Abu Hurayra saw two men and said to one of them, "Who is this man in relation to you?" He is my father," he replied. He said, "Do not call him by his own name nor walk in front of him nor sit down before him."
24. Can a man call his father by his kunya?
45. Shahr ibn Hawshab said, "We went out with Ibn 'Umar and Salim said to him, 'Peace, Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman.'"
46. 'Abdullah ibn Dinar said reported that Ibn 'Umar said, "But Abu Hafs 'Umar decided..."
[Taken from Introduction to Islam by Muhammad Hamidullah (Centre Culturel Islamique, Paris, 1969), with some changes to make it more readable. The changes are marked by pairs of brackets like around this paragraph.]
IN the annals of men, individuals have not been lacking who conspicuously devoted their lives to the socio-religious reform of their connected peoples. We find them in every epoch and in all lands. In India, there lived those who transmitted to the world the Vedas, and there was also the great Gautama Buddha; China had its Confucius; the Avesta was produced in Iran. Babylonia gave to the world one of the greatest reformers, the Prophet Abraham (not to speak of such of his ancestors as Enoch and Noah about whom we have very scanty information). The Jewish people may rightly be proud of a long series of reformers: Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, and Jesus among others.Read more...
Taken from "The Life of Muhammad" by Muhammad Husayn Haykal,
translated by Dr. Ismail Ragi A. al Faruqi
The Holy Qur'an presents to us the true Jesus Christ as "the Son of Mary;" and the Holy Gospels, too, present him to us as "the Son of Mary;" but that Gospel which was written on the white tablets of the heart of Jesus and delivered to his disciples and followers orally, alas was soon adulterated with a mass of myth and legend. "The Son of Mary" becomes "the Son of Joseph," having brothers and sisters (1). Then he becomes "the Son of David;" (2) "the Son of Man;" (3) "the Son of God;" (4) "the Son" only;(5) "the Christ;" and "the Lamb" (7).
------------ Footnotes: 1. Matt. xiii 55,56; Mark vi 3; iii 31; Luke ii 48; viii 19-21; John ii 12; vii 3, 5; Acts i 14; I Cor. ix. 5; Gal. i 19; Jude i 2. Matt xxii 42, Mark xii 35, Luke xx 41, Matt. xx 30; ix 27; xxi 9; Acts xiii 22, 23; Apoc. v 5; Rom. xv 12; Heb. vii 14, etc. 3. About eighty-three times in the discourses of Jesus this appellation is repeated. 4. Matt. xiv 32, xvi 16; John xi 27; Acts ix 20; I John iv 15; v 5; Heb. i 2, 5, etc. 5. John v 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, etc.; and in the Baptismal formula, Matt. xxviii. 19; John i. 34, etc. 6. Matt. xvi. 16, and frequently in the Epistles. 7. John i. 29, 36; and often in the Revelation. ----------- end of footnotes
Many years ago, one day I visited the Exeter Hall in London; I was a Catholic priest then; nolens volens I was conducted to the Hall where a young medical gentleman began to preach to a meeting of the Young Men's Christian Association. "I repeat what I have often said," exclaimed the doctor, "Jesus Christ must be either what he claims to be in the Gospel or he must be the greatest impostor the world has ever seen!" I have never forgotten this dogmatizing statement. What he wanted to say was that Jesus was either the Son of God or the greatest impostor. If you accept the first hypothesis you are a Christian, a Trinitarian; if the second, then you are an unbelieving Jew. But we who accept neither of these two propositions are naturally Muslims. We Muslims cannot accept either of the two titles given to Jesus Christ in the sense which the Churches and their unreliable Scriptures pretend to ascribe to those appellations. Not alone is he "the Son of God," and not alone "the Son of Man," for if it be permitted to call God "Father," then not only Jesus, but every prophet and righteous believer, is particularly a "son of God." In the same way, if Jesus were really the son of Joseph the Carpenter, and had four brothers and several married sisters as the Gospels pretend, then why alone should he assume this strange appellation of "the Son of Man" which is common to any human being?
It would seem that these Christian priests and pastors, theologians and apologists have a peculiar logic of their own for reasoning and a special propensity for mysteries and absurdities. Their logic knows no medium, no distinction of the terms, and no definite idea of the titles and appellations they use. They have an enviable taste for irreconcilable and contradictory statements which they alone can swallow like boiled eggs. They can believe, without the least hesitation, that Mary was both virgin and wife, that Joseph was both spouse and husband, that James, Jossi, Simon, and Judah were both cousins of Jesus and his brothers, that Jesus is perfect God and perfect man, and that "the Son of God," "the Son of Man," "the Lamb," and "the Son of David" are all one and the same person! They feed themselves on heterogeneous and opposed doctrines which these terms represent with as greedy an appetite as they feel for bacon and eggs at breakfast. They never stop to think and ponder on the object they worship; they adore the crucifix and the Almighty as if they were kissing the bloody dagger of the assassin of their brother in the presence of his father!
I do not think there is even one Christian in ten millions who really has a precise idea or a definite knowledge about the origin and the true signification of the term "the Son of Man." All Churches and their commentators without exception will tell you that "the Son of God" assumed the appellation of "the Son of Man" or "the Barnasha" out of humility and meekness, never knowing that the Jewish Apocalyptical Scriptures, in which Jesus and his disciples heart and soul believed, foretold not a "Son of Man" who would be meek, humble, having nowhere to lay his head, and be delivered into the hands of the evildoers and killed, but a strong man with tremendous power and strength to destroy and disperse the birds of prey and the ferocious beasts that were tearing and devouring his sheep and lambs! The Jews who heard Jesus speaking of "the Son of Man" full well understood to whom he was alluding. Jesus did not invent the name "Barnasha," but borrowed it from the Apocalyptical Jewish Scriptures: the Book of Enoch, the Sibylline Books, the Assumption of Moses, the Book of Daniel, etc. Let us examine the origin of this title "the Barnasha" or "the Son of Man."
1. "The Son of Man" is the Last Prophet, who established "the Kingdom of Peace" and saved the people of God from servitude and persecutions under the idolatrous powers of satan. The title "Barnasha" is a symbolical expression to distinguish the Savior from the people of God who are represented as the "sheep," and the other idolatrous nations of the earth under various species of the birds of prey, ferocious beasts, and unclean animals. The Prophet Hezekiel is almost always addressed by God as "Ben Adam," that is "the Son of Man" (or of Adam) in the sense of a Shepherd of the Sheep of Israel. This Prophet has also some Apocalyptical portions in his book. In his first vision with which he begins his prophetic book he sees besides the sapphire throne of the Eternal the appearance of "the Son of Man." (l) This "Son of Man" who is repeatedly mentioned as always in the presence of God and above the Cherubim is not Hezekiel (or Ezekiel) him- self (2). He is the prophetical "Barnasha," the Last Prophet, who was appointed to save the people of God from the hands of the unbelievers here upon this earth, and not elsewhere!
------------- Footnotes: 1. Ezek. i. 26. 2. Ezek. x. 2. ------------- end of footnotes
(a) "The Son of Man" according to the Apocalypse of Enoch (or Henoh).
There is no doubt that Jesus Christ was very familiar with the Revelation of Enoch, believed to be written by the seventh patriarch from Adam. For Judah, "the brother of James" and the "servant of Jesus Christ," that is the brother of Jesus, believes that Enoch was the real author of the work bearing his name (l). There are some dispersed frag- ments of this wonderful Apocalypse preserved in the quotations of the Early Christian writers. The book was lost long before Photius. It was only about the beginning of last century that this important work was found in the Canon of the Scriptures belonging to the Abyssinian Church, and translated from the Ethiopic into the German language by Dr. Dillmann, with notes and explanations (2). The book is divided into five parts or books, and the whole contains one hundred and ten chapters of unequal length. The author describes the fall of the angels, their illicit commerce with the daughters of men, giving birth to a race of giants who invent all sorts of artifices and noxious knowledge. Then vice and evil increase to such a pitch that the Almighty punishes them all with the Deluge. He also relates his two journeys to the heavens and across the earth, being guided by good angels, and the mysteries and wonders he saw therein. In the second part, which is a description of the Kingdom of Peace, "the Son of Man" catches the kings in the midst of their voluptuous life and precipitates them into hell (3). But this second book does not belong to one author, and assuredly it is much corrupted by Christian hands. The third book (or part) contains some curious and developed astronomical and physical notions. The fourth part presents an Apocalyptical view of the human race from the beginning to the Islamic days, which the author styles the "Messianic" times, in two symbolical parables or rather allegories. A white bull comes out of the earth; then a white heifer joins him they give birth to two calves: one black, the other red; the black bull beats and chases away the red one; then he meets a heifer and they give birth to several calves of black color, until the mother cow leaves the black bull in the search the red one; and, as she does not find him, bawls and shrieks aloud, when a red bull appears, and they begin to propagate their species. Of course, this transparent parable symbolizes Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Sheth, etc., down to Jacob whose offspring is represented by a "flock of sheep" - as the Chosen People of Israel; but the offspring of his brother Esau, i.e. the Edomites, is described as a swarm of boars. In this second parable the flock of sheep is frequently harassed, attacked, dispersed, and butchered by the beasts and birds of prey until we come to the so-called Messianic times, when the flock of sheep is again attacked fiercely by ravens and other carnivorous animals; but a gallant "Ram" resists with great courage and valor. It is then that "the Son of Man," who is the real master or owner of the flock, comes forth to deliver his flock.
------------- Footnote: (1). Judah i. 14. In the Gospels he is mentioned as one of the four brothers of Jesus, Matt. xiii. 55, 56, etc. (2). It has also been translated into English by an Irish Bishop Laurence. (3). Enoch xlvi. 4 - 8. ------------
A non-Muslim scholar can never explain the vision of a Sophee - or a Seer. He will - as all of them do - bring down the vision to the Maccabees and the King Antiochus Epiphanes in the middle of the second century B.C., when the Deliverer comes with a tremendous truncheon or scepter and strikes right and left upon the birds and the beasts, making a great slaughter among them; the earth, opening its mouth, swallows them in; and the rest take to flight. Then swords are distributed among the sheep, and a white bull leads them on in perfect peace and security.
As to the fifth book, it contains religious and moral exhortations. The whole work in its present shape exhibits indications which show that it was composed as late as 110 B.C., in the original Aramaic dialect, by a Palestinian Jew. At least such is the opinion of the French Encyclopedia.
The Qur'an only mentions Enoch under his surname "Idris" - the Arabic form of the Aramaic "Drisha" being of the same category of simple nouns as "Iblis" and "Blisa" (l) "Idris" and "Drisha" signify a man of great learning, a scholar and an erudite, from "darash" (Arabic "darisa"). The Qur'anic text says: "And mention in the Book Idris; he too was a man of truth and a Prophet, whom We exalted." Ch.19:56-57 Qur'an.
------------- Footnote: (1). "Iblis," the Arabic form of the Aramaic "Blisa," an epithet given to the devil which means the "Bruised One." ------------- end of footnote
The Muslim commentators, Al-Baydhawi and Jalalu 'd-Din, seem to know that Enoch had studied astronomy, physics, arithmetic, that he was the first who wrote with the pen, and that "Idris" signifies a man of much knowledge, thus showing that the Apocalypse of Enoch had not been lost in their time.
After the close of the Canon of the Hebrew Scriptures in the fourth century or so B.C. by the "Members of the Great Synagogue," established by Ezra and Nehemiah, all other sacred or religious literature besides those included within the Canon was called Apocrypha and excluded from the Hebrew Bible by an assembly of the learned and pious Jews, the last of whom was the famous "Simeon the Just," who died in 310 B.C. Now among these Apocryphal books are included the Apocalypses of Enoch, Barukh, Moses, Ezra, and the Sibyline books, written at different epochs between the time of the Maccabees and after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. It seems to be quite a la mode with the Jewish Sages to compose Apocalyptical and religious literature under the name of some celebrated personage of antiquity. The Apocalypse at the end of the New Testament which bears the name of John the Divine is no exception to this old Judeo Christian habitude. If "Judah the brother of the Lord" could believe that "Henoh the Seventh from Adam" was really the author of the one hundred and ten chapters bearing that name, there is no wonder that Justin the Martyr, Papias, and Eusebius would believe in the authorship of Matthew and John.
However, my aim is not to criticize the authorship of, or to extend the comments upon these enigmatic and mysterious revelations which were compiled under the most painful and grievous circumstances in the history of the Jewish nation; but to give an account of the origin of this surname "the Son of Man" and to shed some light upon its true signification. The Book of Enoch too, like the Apocalypse of the Churches and like the Gospels, speaks of the coming of "the Son of Man" to deliver the people of God from their enemies and confuses this vision with the Last Judgment.
(b) The Sibylline Revelation, which was composed after the last collapse of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, states that "the Son of Man" will appear and destroy the Roman Empire and deliver the Believers in One God. This book was written at least fourscore years after Jesus Christ.
(c) We have already given an exposition of "the Son of Man" when we discussed the vision of Daniel, (l) where he is presented to the Almighty and invested with power to destroy the Roman Beast. So the visions, in the
"Assumption of Moses," in the Book of Baruch (or Barukh), more or less similar in their views and expectations to those described in the above-mentioned "Revelations," all unanimously describe the Deliverer of the people of God as "Barnasha" or "the Son of Man," to distinguish him from the "Monster;" for the former is created in the image of God and the latter transformed into the image of Satan.
------------ Footnotes: 1. Dan. vii. See the article, "Muhammad in the Old Testament," in the Islamic Review for November, 1938. ------------
2. The Apocalyptic "Son of Man" could not be Jesus Christ.
This surname, "Son of Man," is absolutely inapplicable to the son of Mary. All the pretensions of the so-called "Gospels" which make the "Lamb" of Nazareth to "catch the kings in the midst of their voluptuous life and hurl them down into the Hell;" (1) lack every bit of authenticity, and the distance separating him from "the Son of Man" marching with the legions of angels upon the clouds towards the Throne of the Eternal is more than that of our globe from the planet of Jupiter. He may be a "son of man" and a "messiah," as every Jewish king, prophet, and high! priest was, but he was not "the Son of Man" nor "the Messiah" whom the Hebrew prophets and apocalyptists foretold. And the Jews were perfectly right to refuse him that title and office. They were certainly wrong to deny him his prophethood, and criminal to have shed his innocent blood - as they and the Christians believe. "The Assembly of the Great Synagogue," after the death of Simeon the just in 310 B.C., was replaced by the "Sanhedrin," whose president had the surname of "Nassi" or Prince. It is astonishing that the "Nassi" who passed the judgment against Jesus, saying: "It is more profitable that one man should die rather than the whole nation should be
destroyed," (2) was a prophet (3)! If he were a prophet, how was it that he did not recognize the prophetic mission or the Messianic character of "the Messiah"?
------------- Footnotes: (1). Enoch xlvi. 4 - 8. (2). John xi. 50. (3). Idem, 51. ------------- end of footnotes
Here are, then the principal reasons why Jesus was not "the Son of Man" nor the Apocalyptic Messiah:
(a) A messenger of God is not commissioned to pro- phesy about himself as a personage of some future epoch, or to foretell his own reincarnation and thus present him- self as the hero in some great future drama of the world. Jacob prophesied about "the Prophet of Allah," (1) Moses about a prophet who would come after him with the Law, and Israel was exhorted to "obey him; (2) Haggai foretold Ahmad (3); Malachi predicted the coming of the "Messenger of the Covenant" and of Elijah; (4) but none of the prophets ever did prophesy about his own second coming into the world. What is extremely abnormal in the case of Jesus is that he is made to pretend his identity with "the Son of Man," yet he is unable to do in the least degree the work that the foretold "Son of Man" was expected to accomplish! To declare to the Jews under the grip of Pilate that he was "the Son of Man," and then to pay tribute to Caesar; and to confess that "the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head;" and then to postpone the deliverance of the people from the Roman yoke to an indefinite future, was practically to trifle with his nation; and those who put all these incoherences as sayings in the mouth of Jesus only make idiots of themselves.
------------- Footnotes: (1) Gen. xlix. 10. (2) Deut. xviii. 15 (3). Hag. ii. 7. (4) Mal. iii. 1, iv. 5. ------------- end of footnotes
(b) Jesus knew better than everybody else in Israel who "the Son of Man" was and what was his mission. He was to dethrone the profligate kings and to cast them into the Hell-fire. The "Revelation of Baruch" and that of Ezra - the Fourth Book of Esdras in the Vulgate - speak of the appearance of "the Son of Man" who will establish the powerful Kingdom of Peace upon the ruins of the Roman Empire. All these Apocryphal Revelations show the state of the Jewish mind about the coming of the last great Deliverer whom they surname "the Son of Man" and "the Messiah." Jesus could not be unaware of and un- familiar with this literature and this ardent expectation of his people. He could not assume either of those two titles to himself in the sense which the Sanhedrin - that Supreme Tribunal of Jerusalem - and Judaism attached to them; for he was not "the Son of Man" and "the Messiah," because he had no political program and no social scheme, and because he was himself the precursor of "the Son of Man', and of "the Messiah" - the Adon, the Conquering Prophet, the Anointed and crowned Sultan of the Prophets.
(c) A critical examination of the surname "Son of Man" put three and eighty times in the mouth of the master will and must result in the only conclusion that he never appropriated it to himself; and in fact he often uses that title in the third person. A few examples will suffice to convince us that Jesus applied that surname to someone else who was to appear in the future.
(i) A Scribe, that is a learned man, says: "I will follow thee wheresoever thou goest." Jesus answers: "The foxes have their holes; the birds of heaven their own nests; but the Son of Man has no place where to lay his head." (1) In the verse following he refuses one of his followers per- mission to go and bury his father! You will find not a single saint, father, or commentator to have troubled his head or the faculty of reasoning in order to discover the very simple sense embodied in the refusal of Jesus to allow that learned Scribe to follow him. If he had place for thirteen heads he could certainly provide a place for the fourteenth too. Besides, he could have registered him among the seventy adherents he had (2). The Scribe in question was not an ignorant fisherman like the sons of Zebedee and of Jonah; he was a scholar and a practiced lawyer. There is no reason to suspect his sincerity; he was led to believe that Jesus was the predicted Messiah, the Son of Man, who at any moment might summon his heavenly legions and mount upon the throne of his ancestor David. Jesus perceived the erroneous notion of the Scribe, and plainly let him understand that he who had not two square yards of ground on earth to lay his head could naturally not be "the Son of Man"! He was not harsh to the Scribe; he benevolently saved him from wasting his time in the pursuit of a futile hope!
------------- Footnote: (1). Matt. viii. 20 (2). Luke x. 1 ------------- end of footnote
(ii) Jesus Christ is reported to have declared that the Son of Man "will separate the sheep from the goats." (1) The "sheep" symbolize the believing Israelites who will enter into the Kingdom but the "goats" signify the unbelieving Jews who had joined with the enemies of the true religion and were consequently doomed to perdition. This was practically what the Apocalypse of Enoch had predicted about the Son of Man. Jesus simply confirmed the revelation of Enoch and gave it a Divine character. He himself was sent to exhort the sheep of Israel (2) to remain faith- ful to God and await patiently the advent of the Son of Man who was coming to save them for ever from their enemies; but he himself was not the Son of Man, and had nothing to do with the political world, nor with the "sheep" and "goats" which both alike rejected and despised him, except a very small number who loved and believed in him.
------------- Footnotes: (1). Matt. xxv. 31 - 34. (2). Matt. xv. 24 ------------- end of footnotes
(iii) The Son of Man is said to be "the Lord of the Sabbath day," that is, he had the power to abrogate the law which made it a holy day of rest from labor and work. Jesus was a strict observer of the Sabbath, on which day he used to attend the services in the Temple or in the Synagogue. He expressly commands his followers to pray that the national collapse at the destruction of Jerusalem should not happen on a Sabbath day. How could, then, Jesus claim to be the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath day, while he was obliged to observe and keep it like every Jew? How could he venture to claim that proud title and then predict the destruction of the Temple and of the Capital City?
These and many other examples show that Jesus could never appropriate the surname of "Barnasha" to himself, but he ascribed it to the Last Powerful Prophet, who really saved the "sheep," i.e. the believing Jews; and either destroyed or dispersed the unbelievers among them; abolished the day of Sabbath; established the Kingdom of Peace; and promised that this religion and kingdom will last to the day of the Last Judgment.
We shall in our next essay turn our attention to find all the marks and qualities of the Apocalyptic "Son of Man" which are literally and completely found in the last Prophet of Allah, upon whom be peace and the blessing of God!