The Antichrist in Muhammad: God the Father
One would think that the beautiful revelation of God as Father, both in its general sense in Judaism and in its "unheard-of sense" in the Christianity, is something that would have been embraced by Muhammad had his ear been attuned to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most lovely and comforting of truths. In fact, the exact opposite is to be found in Muhammad's supposed revelations.
As revealed, the Fatherhood of God is twofold. First, it involves Jesus' unique relationship to God the Father as the eternally-begotten Son of God. Second, it involves our adoption as sons of God the Father, in other words, our participation by grace in Christ's own Sonship as "sons in the Son," fillii in filio. In this article we will deal with the first aspect. In a subsequent article, we will deal with the second.
Jesus' relationship with God the Father defined who he was, and is central to understanding the life of grace he promised to those who believed in him.
"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) "[T]he Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10:38) "He who has seen me has seen the Father," he told the Apostle Philip. (John 14:9) To the Jews who questioned him, he stated tersely: "'I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.' They said to him, 'Where is your father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'" (John 8:18) Jesus spoke of returning to "my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (John 20:17). In his high priestly prayer, which is nothing but a prayer of intimacy with God the Father, Jesus prayed: "I pray not only for them [his disciples], but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." (John 17:20-21).
It follows from the centrality of that revelation in Scripture that the doctrine of God's Fatherhood would be a defined dogma. And so it is. The Fatherhood of God relative to the eternally-begotten Son of God is found in the Nicene Creed, which refers to "one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." It is the counterpart to the belief in "one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages."
The Catechism is succinct: "Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense (sensu inaudito): he is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father in relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his Father." (CCC §240)
While the notion of God as Father as a positive revelation of who God is in himself (ad intra) is not found expressly Judaism, the notion of God as Father as he relates to his people (ad extra) is not entirely foreign. True, the notion of God's fatherhood in the Old Testament is metaphorical, and, not except perhaps by implicit suggestion looking backwards from the Christian revelation, Trinitarian.
For example, we might point to Isaiah 63:16: "For you, O Lord, are our father (avinu), our redeemer, from everlasting is your name." "Is this way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?" (Deut. 32:6) God refers to Israel as his "firstborn son," which suggests that he sees himself in the position of Father. (Ex. 4:22) And this concept is touchingly repeated in Hosea 11:1, a scripture which the evangelist Matthew uses as a prophecy of Jesus: "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." (Cf. Matt. 2:15) It would not offend the sensibilities of the Jew to refer to Yahweh as "Father." Indeed, in many of their prayers, the Jews refer to God as "our Father," Avinu, for example in the prayer Avinu Malkeinu, "Our Father, Our King," the Jewish prayer recited to during services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
One would think that the beautiful revelation of God as Father, both in its general sense in Judaism and in its "unheard-of sense" in the Christianity, is something that would have been embraced by Muhammad had his ear been attuned to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most lovely and comforting of truths.
But that is not the case. In fact, the exact opposite is to be found in Muhammad's supposed revelations. Moved by the spirit of antichrist, Muhammad rejected virulently, and in no uncertain terms, the central revelation of Jesus Christ that God is "Father." Indeed, the rejection is so absolute, so emphatic, so uncompromising that one has to wonder whether Allah is God--as ...
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