Eesa Never Claimed He is God; He Invited People to Tawheed
لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَابَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ رَبُّى وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّـلِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam.’” But the Messiah said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala begins this ayah by saying, “laqad kafara” meaning certainly they have disbelieved i.e. there’s no doubt they have committed kufr. Who are these people? These are the people who say that Allah is the Messiah or God is Messiah.
They made this claim in spite of the fact that Eesa made it known that he was the servant of Allah and His Messenger. The first words that Eesa uttered when he was still a baby in the cradle were:
إِنِّى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ءَاتَانِىَ الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيّاً
“Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” [Surah al-Mariam ayah 30]
وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
“And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the straight path.” [Surah ale-Imran ayah 51]
We see that Eesa aalyhi salaam clearly conveyed the message that Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. He didn’t claim divinity. He didn’t demand the people to worship him, but Allah. In the ayah, the term “Rabb” has been used. Rabb denotes the Owner, Sustainer, Provider, Planner, and Creator. Eesa aalyhi salaam was not a sustainer, provider, planner or creator. He was created himself. If he was the owner of the world, he would not have faced opposition when he came.
Whoever says Allah has a partner, He has a child or there’s someone else who should be worshipped along with Allah, such a person is not going to enter paradise. His entry into Jannah is forbidden. He will be sent to the Fire. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Shirk is the greatest injustice. Allah created us and we worship or obey someone else?
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala clearly says that those people who believe in the divinity of Eesa aalyhi salaam are not believers. The usage of “laqad” in the beginning of the ayah lays emphasis on the matter.
– All the messengers of Allah brought the message of tawheed. They didn’t claim to worship themselves or someone other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
– Eesa aalyhi salaam has no share in “uloowiya” of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala meaning he doesn’t deserve worship. He called himself Abdullah, a slave of Allah. Slaves are not worshipped.
– If Eesa aalyhi salaam doesn’t have divinity then the same rule applies to other messengers and pious people. If a Prophet of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala doesn’t deserve worship then what about those lesser than him? Why do people go to graves and pray for intercession? Why do people prostrate graves, scholars or pious people?
– Anyone who commits shirk will not enter Jannah. He will become the fuel for HellFire. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah an-Nisa Ayah 116, “Indeed, Allah does not forgive that you associate partners with Him, but He forgives other than that for whom He wills. And whoever associates partners with Allah, then surely he has lost the way, straying far away.”
It is recorded in the saheeh that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam had someone proclaim to the people,
إِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ لَا يَدْخُلُهَا إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَة
“Only a Muslim soul shall enter Paradise.” Does that mean someone who claims to be Muslim only he will enter Paradise? No. But:
Only a believing soul shall enter Jannah. This believing soul is a Muslim with the right aqeedah and righteous deeds. This includes believers from the time of Musa aalyhi salaam and Eesa aalyhi salaam. As long as anyone followed his messenger correctly he was on the right path. A Muslim is the one who submits to Allah and worships Him alone.
– It is a mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that He is informing us beforehand that these actions will lead to the HellFire. It is our responsibility to go out to the people who take Eesa to be Allah, those who worship graves, or those who prostrate to scholars and inform them that this is shirk. These actions will make them fuel for fire. If we don’t tell them then we are concealing the truth.