8. Final Differences Between Christ and Adam
In this final step I studied additional Koran verses about Christ and Adam, trying one last time to vindicate in the Koran the equality in nature between Adam and Christ, which my Muslim teachers had taught me. But to no avail. On the contrary, I found that there were additional irreconcilable contrasts between Christ and Adam in our central Muslim book. I sum them up in the following differences, citing the relevant Koran verses under each difference.
DIFFERENCE 33 : Adam confessed his sin and asked Allah for forgiveness. Christ, however, did not ask Allah for forgiveness, because he had no sin to confess and was pure from his infancy. In this Adam and Christ are fundamentally different.
About Adam we read just after he and his wife had eaten of the forbidden tree and Allah had reproached them for this, because he had forbidden that tree for them:
They (both) said (i.e. Adam and his spouse), “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves . And if you will not forgive us and have mercy on us , we will (truly) be among the losers.” (Sura al-A'raf 7:23)
قَالا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِن لَم تَغْفِر لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَن مِن الْخَاسِرِينَ (سُورَة الأَعْرَاف ٧ : ٢٣)
Here it is clear that Adam confessed before Allah that he had sinned and that he needed the forgiveness of Allah. But nowhere in the Koran can we find a verse, in which Christ asked Allah for forgiveness for any sin he might have committed. Rather we read about him in the words of the Spirit of Allah, who declared to Mary about Christ:
He (i.e. the Spirit of Allah appearing to Mary as a man) said, “But (truly) I am the messenger of your Lord to grant you a pure (or faultless) boy .” (Sura Maryam 19:19)
قَال إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُول رَبِّك لأَهَب لَك غُلاَما زَكِيّا (سُورَة مَرْيَم ١٩ : ١٩)
So the difference between Adam and Christ is clear: Adam sinned, but Christ did not sin. Also Adam asked God for forgiveness, because he had sinned, but Christ never asked God for forgiveness, because he never sinned. In this Adam and Christ are irreconcilably different.
DIFFERENCE 34 : Christ was obedient to Allah and therefore Allah raised Christ from earth to himself in heaven. But Adam was disobedient to Allah, and therefore Allah degraded him from heavenly Paradise down to earth. In this Christ and Adam are so different that they are again the opposite of each other.
Concerning Christ we read what he said after his death in a conversation with Allah, after having been raised to Allah in heaven:
116 (It was) when Allah said, “ 'Isa, Son or Mary! Did you say to the people, ‘Regard me and my mother as (being) two gods in addition to Allah?’ ” He (i.e. Christ) said, “Praise (be) to you! It is not possible for me to say, what I have no right to say . (And even) if I should have said it, so, truly, you (would) have known it. You know what is in my soul and I do not know what is in your soul. Truly, you are the (intensive) knower of things unseeably hidden. 117 I did not tell them except what you commanded me (to say ), that, ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord!’ And you (Allah) were a witness over them, while I was (still) among them. But when you caused me to pass away (i.e. to die), you were the watcher over them and you are witness to everything.” (Sura 5:116+117)
١١٦ وَإِذ قَال اللَّه يَا عِيسَى ابْن مَرْيَم أَأَنْت قُلْت لِلنَّاس اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّي إِلَهَيْن مِن دُون اللَّه قَال سُبْحَانَك مَا يَكُون لِي أَن أَقُول مَا لَيْس لِي بِحَق إِن كُنْت قُلْتُه فَقَد عَلِمْتَه تَعْلَم مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلا أَعْلَم مَا فِي نَفْسِك إِنَّك أَنْت عَلاَّم الْغُيُوب ١١٧ مَا قُلْت لَهُم إِلا مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِه أَن اعْبُدُوا اللَّه رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُم وَكُنْت عَلَيْهِم شَهِيدا مَا دُمْت فِيهِم فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنْت أَنْت الرَّقِيب عَلَيْهِم وَأَنْت عَلَى كُل شَيْء شَهِيدٌ (سُورَة الْمَائِدَة ٥ : ١١٦ و ١١٧)
Here Christ described to Allah in heaven his attitude towards him as God: It was not possible for Christ to say anything except, what he had a right to say from Allah, and Christ only said, what Allah commanded him to say. Now since Allah knows everything and did not object to this description of Christ about himself, it became clear to me that this self-description of Christ was true and that Christ therefore was completely and totally obedient to Allah. This is the reason why Allah raised Christ from earth to himself in heaven, as we have already seen in a passage from Sura Al 'Imran 3:55 quoted above in Chapter 4. To this I add this reference:
But Allah raised him (i.e. Christ) to himself . And Allah was mighty and wise. (Sura al-Nisa' 4:158)
بَل رَفَعَه اللَّه إِلَيْه وَكَان اللَّه عَزِيزا حَكِيما (سُورَة النِّسَاء ٤ : ١٥٨)
By contrast, we find the disobedience of Adam is testified here:
So (in spite of Allah's interdiction,) they (both, i.e. Adam and his spouse) ate from it (i.e. the forbidden tree). Then (both) their shame (i.e. private parts) appeared to them and they (immediately) began to sew (garments) upon themselves from the leaves of the Jannah (Garden of Paradise). And Adam disobeyed his Lord , so he went astray. (Sura Ta Ha 20:121)
فَأَكَلا مِنْهَا فَبَدَت لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَان عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَق الْجَنَّة وَعَصَى آدَم رَبَّه فَغَوَى (سُورَة طَه ٢٠ : ١٢١)
This clear testimony to the disobedience of Adam against Allah was the reason, why he was degraded by Allah from heavenly Paradise down to earth, as we have seen above in Sura al-Baqara 2:36 (see Chapter 4 above).
So here again we have an irreconcilable contrast between Christ an Adam: Christ obeyed Allah unconditionally, while Adam fundamentally disobeyed Allah.
Now I come to the final and most mind boggling difference between Christ and Adam.
DIFFERENCE 35 : Allah confirmed Christ with the Spirit of Holiness to perform divine miracles and therefore Satan had no power over him. But the Koran never mentions that Adam was confirmed by Allah with the Spirit of Holiness or that he performed any divine miracle, and therefore Adam fell as a prey to Satan. In this Christ and Adam are fundamentally different.
In the following three Koran verses we can read about a unique cooperation between Allah, the Spirit of Holiness and Christ:
And truly, we (Allah) have caused the Book to come to Moses. And after him we (Allah) have caused the Messengers to follow after him. And we (Allah) have caused the (evident) proofs (i.e. miracles) to come to 'Isa, the Son of Mary, and we (Allah) have confirmed him (i.e. Christ) with the Spirit of Holiness . Is it not that every time messengers came to you with what your souls did not like, that you became proud, so (that) you accused a part (of them) of lying and (another) part (of them) you killed? (Sura al-Baqara 2:87)
وَلَقَد آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَاب وَقَفَّيْنَا مِن بَعْدِه بِالرُّسُل وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْن مَرْيَم الْبَيِّنَات وَأَيَّدْنَاه بِرُوح الْقُدُس أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءَكُم رَسُول بِمَا لا تَهْوَى أَنْفُسُكُم اسْتَكْبَرْتُم فَفَرِيقا كَذَّبْتُم وَفَرِيقا تَقْتُلُون (سُورَة الْبَقَرَة ٢ : ٨٧)
Those (are) the Messengers, among whom we (Allah) favored some (of them) above others (of them). From them there are those who spoke with Allah (directly), and he (i.e. Allah) raised some of them (by) degrees. And we (Allah) have caused the (evident) proofs (i.e. miracles) to come to 'Isa, the Son of Mary, and we (Allah) have confirmed him (i.e. Christ) with the Spirit of Holiness . And if Allah had wanted, those after them would not have killed each other after the (evident) proofs had come to them. But they disagreed. So from them there are those, who believed, and from them there are those who disbelieved. And if Allah had wanted, they would not have killed each other, but Allah does what he wants. (Sura al-Baqara 2:253)
تِلْك الرُّسُل فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُم عَلَى بَعْض مِنْهُم مَن كَلَّم اللَّه وَرَفَع بَعْضَهُم دَرَجَات وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْن مَرْيَم الْبَيِّنَات وَأَيَّدْنَاه بِرُوح الْقُدُس وَلَو شَاء اللَّه مَا اقْتَتَل الَّذِين مِن بَعْدِهِم مِن بَعْد مَا جَاءَتْهُم الْبَيِّنَات وَلَكِن اخْتَلَفُوا فَمِنْهُم مَن آمَن وَمِنْهُم مَن كَفَر وَلَو شَاء اللَّه مَا اقْتَتَلُوا وَلَكِن اللَّه يَفْعَل مَا يُرِيد (سُورَة الْبَقَرَة ٢ : ٢٥٣)
(It was) when Allah said, “O 'Isa, Son of Mary! Remember my grace upon you and upon your mother, when I (Allah) confirmed you (Christ) with the Spirit of Holiness to (miraculously) speak with the people in (earliest) infancy and (later on) as an adult; and when I taught you the Book and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you create out of clay (something) like the form of birds, with my (i.e. Allah's) permission, then you breathe into it, so it becomes a bird, with my (i.e. Allah's) permission; and you cleanse the blind and the leper, with my (i.e. Allah's) permission, and when you cause the dead to come out (of their graves), with my (i.e. Allah's) permission; and when I restrained the Sons of Israel from (harming) you, when you came to them with (evident) proofs, so that those who disbelieved from them said, ‘This is nothing but evident sorcery.’ ” (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:110)
إِذ قَال اللَّه يَا عِيسَى ابْن مَرْيَم اذْكُر نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْك وَعَلَى وَالِدَتِك إِذ أَيَّدْتُك بِرُوح الْقُدُس تُكَلِّم النَّاس فِي الْمَهْد وَكَهْلا وَإِذ عَلَّمْتُك الْكِتَاب وَالْحِكْمَة وَالتَّوْرَاة وَالإِنْجِيل وَإِذ تَخْلُق مِن الطِّين كَهَيْئَة الطَّيْر بِإِذْنِي فَتَنْفُخ فِيهَا فَتَكُون طَيْرا بِإِذْنِي وَتُبْرِئ الأَكْمَه وَالأَبْرَص بِإِذْنِي وَإِذ تُخْرِج الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِي وَإِذ كَفَفْت بَنِي إِسْرَائِيل عَنْك إِذ جِئْتَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَات فَقَال الَّذِين كَفَرُوا مِنْهُم إِن هَذَا إِلا سِحْر مُبِينٌ (سُورَة الْمَائِدَة ٥ : ١١٠)
In these three unique verses of the Koran we have a cooperation of God, the Spirit of Holiness and Christ, the Son of Mary. Through this cooperation Christ performed divine miracles: speaking as an infant, creating living beings, cleansing the sick and even raising the dead. Who is this Spirit of Holiness, whom God used to confirm or endorse Christ to perform his divine miracles with God's explicit permission? The only one, who is holy, is God himself. God is called “the holy king” (al-malik al-qudduus) twice in the Koran (Suras al-Hashr 59:23 and al-Jumu'a 62:1). And holiness is what makes God holy. So the Spirit of Holiness must be an expression of God's divine nature. Also Christ performing divine miracles, with the explicit permission of God, was also expressing God's divine nature, because only God can create and raise the dead, which Christ did. So it became clear to me from my analysis of these three verses, that the Koran teaches a cooperation of three persons, who each share in divine nature: a) God, because he defines what is divine; b) the Spirit of Holiness, because he shares in the divine nature of God being holy; and c) Christ, who shares in the divine ability to create and raise the dead. And all this not as a usurpation by Christ or the Spirit of Holiness against God, but by the express will of God. For it was God who confirmed or endorsed Christ with the Spirit of God's Holiness, and it was God who expressly permitted Christ to create, to heal and to raise the dead, deeds that only God can do, which are therefore divine! So I discovered a divine cooperation in perfect harmony with God's will, at work in Christ's divine miracles of creating, healing and raising the dead. For me this was why Satan had no power over Christ and this was the reason, why Christ remained pure like God without sin. And this was the basis for Allah raising Christ to himself and Christ living today close to God as his “relative” in heaven!
Christ is utterly unique in the Koran by being actively endorsed by God with the Spirit of Holiness. But, nowhere in the Koran do we find mentioned that Allah confirmed or endorsed Adam by the Spirit of Holiness to perform divine miracles. Rather we are taught that Satan had power over Adam, which was why he succumbed to sin and dropped out of heavenly Paradise. So here I discovered the pinnacle of differences between Christ and Adam: Christ was actively supported by God with the Spirit of God's Holiness to perform divine miracles, while this active support by God was totally absent from Adam, wherefore Adam did not perform any miracle, rather he rebelled sinfully against God and lost his state of bliss in the Garden of Paradise.