Tag Archives: Christianity

Ch 19: Islam, the Perfect and True Religion

Isabella did not say anything after this and all those present were struck dumb. The Christian women put their heads down in humility, while Muslims seemed to be pleased in their minds. The Christian woman herself sat silent and found no word to say. When Isabella noticed her helplessness she spoke again.

Isabella: Well, you must be tired now. Let us put off the discussion till tomorrow. Now, say at what time will you be able to come?

Christian woman: I will not rise without finally deciding about truth and falsehood right now. But probably you are tired.

Isabella: From me you are at ease to continue the talk day and night and do not go till truth and falsehood are sorted out. What I said was for your convenience.

Christian woman: In fact, I am resolved to carry the discussion till the last point. Now, just say what was the need of Islam when Christianity prevailed.

Isabella: If Islam had not come, truth would not have been brought here to the world. It was Islam which revived the teachings of Apostles and taught people purity and cleanness. I tell you briefly a few reasons for the coming of Islam :

(1) Islam by its advent perfected religion, for teaching of previous revealed Books were suited for their own time and had no universal appeal. The Quran filled the gap.

(2) True teachings of Prophets were corrupted by their followers which the Quran purified. For instance, Christians, by deifying Jesus Christ, had built up the rotten structure of assigning partners to Allah which was pulled down first. Islam brought the light of the sun of God’s unity and presented the true form of God’s Glory and Mercy to the world.

(3) Ahl-i-Kitab (People of the Book) had attributed many shameful acts to Prophets, calling some of them liars, cheats and adulterers and thus making all Prophets sinners. Islam strongly refuted these charges and restored the real nobility and dignity of Prophets.

(4) Ahl-i-Kitab (People of the Book), by interpreting their sacred Books, had manipulated them and so people’s trust on all revealed Books was lost. The Quran exposed their mischief and fraud and presented all the real teachings of previous Books anew, and now we have no need of any other book as the Quran includes teachings of all the Books revealed to Prophets.

(5) Since previous Prophets and their revealed Books were for particular periods and particular people, so they did not contain laws which were needed by men till the last day. The gap was filled by the Quran and, after completing the code of religion, proclaimed that needs of all humanity are served in it by which men will be benefited till the Day of Judgment.

Do you now realise why Islam came to the world?

Christian woman: All these are mere claims without arguments, you neither mentioned any miracle of your Prophet nor proved his Prophet-hood. The question of his teachings comes after these problems are resolved.

Isabella: You asked me to say what was the need of the advent of Islam and I briefly narrated some of the needs. Now it is for you to meet these arguments. I have already given you the proof of miracles and have put up to you such a living miracle which can be seen by all the world today, that is, the Quran and its challenge. If the Quran is not the” Word of Allah, then bring just one verse to compare with it. But it is just this which the world could not accomplish. As to the Prophet being a Messenger of Allah its proof is in this very miracle. When not even one verse can be produced to compare with it, then it is established that it is the Word of Allah and the person who brought it can only be True Apostle of Allah. Another proof is that the Prophet, after his getting Prophethood, gave such a reform to the world and in his own lifetime made entire Arabia to bow before Allah. Can an example of this type be found in any false prophet? Just name even one fraudulent man who would have performed this great reforming task.

Christian woman: Whatever you say, your Prophet is not fit to be obeyed. How can a person who had shed blood all his life and married so many women be ever a reformer? Look at the purity of our Lord, that he never married all his life.

Isabella: Well, your lord was God and did not need married life, for it is man who needs marriage. As our Prophet was a human being like others, he contracted marriages. But just name any other Prophet who, in spite of being a human being, had not married.

Christian woman: The perfect man is one who is distinguished from others.

Isabella: But you believe your Lord to be God, Son of God.

Christian woman: But along with this our Lord was also a perfect man.

Isabella: Did he eat and drink ?

Christian woman: Why not? His eating and drinking was not in his capacity of God but in the capacity of man.

Isabella: Then, how was your Lord distinguished? What is the definition of perfect man?

Christian woman: The perfect man is one in whose obeying there is no difficulty.

Isabella: Quite right. Now, you yourself have clarified the point. How can a Christian who has wife and children follow his Lord in his home life? Similarly, how can Christians who are fighting against Muslims and idolaters follow their Lord in military matters?

Christian woman: Our Lord neither fought any battle nor married. So the question does not arise.

Isabella: You have defined perfect man as one in following whom no difficulty arises. But here a great difficulty has arisen, for a man with a wife and children has no model for him in your Lord because he remained unmarried all his life. In the same way for the man staking his life in a battle, for him Christ cannot be a model.

Christian woman (after some silence): Our Lord is the model for spiritual life. What concern he has with physical life?

Isabella: Quite right, Jesus Christ can be a model in spiritual life and not in physical life. So for physical life another guide should be found. In this aspect your Lord is wanting. But the being who can be a model both for spiritual and physical life is only one. Man is neither only physical that he needs just a worldly guide. Just as man is a combination of spirit and body, he needs a guide who can rightly guide him in both the spheres of life and whose life can be a model in the whole life of man. There is no doubt that Prophet Moses’ life was of Dignity, while the life of Jesus Christ was of Grace, but the life of the Last Prophet, Muhammad, was of Perfection. Just as his life was a model for the prayerful, pious and for sufi, so also for a man of the world, a merchant and even for a king, The Prophet Muhammad grazed goats in early life, then retired to the seclusion of the cave of Hira for meditation.

He traded in Syria, then married Khadijah and, taking to household life, preached from the top of mount Faran and in the lanes of Mecca, went to preach in Taif and among the tribes of Hejaz and suffered at the hands of enemies and opponents, served the starving people, looked after orphans and widows of the community, migrated from Mecca to Medina, made pacts with Jews of Medina, built mosques, settled disputes between parties, led prayers, delivered speeches at different places, trained armies in the battles of Badr and Uhud and led them as a commander, exhibited the highest military skill, and then prayed at night and for so long a time that his feet swelled and cracked. So, in fact, all the ways and means and models of life’s requirements are found in the sacred, perfect life of our Holy Prophet Muhammad. Just as for one who grazes goats as well as for a great trader his life is a model, so also for a preacher and for a traveller and an emigrant his sacred life is worth following, so also for a retired devotee he is a good guide and his teaching a model for worldly men of homely life.

And his teaching provides perfect regulations, for international life as also for the need of the dweller of forests. Just as his plan of work is a guide in the battlefield, so also he is a good model for people in the days of peace and security. In short, in household life, preaching, trading, leadership, sermonising and leading prayers, retired life, tending cattle, formulating laws, ruling as king, and in happiness and mourning, marriage and divorce, life and death, teaching and training children and whatever tasks come in man’s civilised life there is nothing for which there is not a model in the perfect life of the Prophet. Thus perfection of life and all embarrassing needs of life are found neither in the life of Prophet Moses, nor in Prophet Jesus. So in justice and honesty we are bound to say that the Last Prophet Muhammad embodies in him all spiritual and physical codes of human life and of glory as well as grace. Any man of the world who is in search of a correct plan of actions for this world or the next for him in all honesty there is no other course but to take cover under the vast and merciful shade of the Last of the Prophets, Muhammad, and his sacred and complete life, his code of conduct.

The entire assembly was struck dumb after this speech of Isabella and even the Christian woman with all her claim of performing miracles was entranced. When Isabella found the Christian woman sunk in humility and remorse, she apologised to all guests and said good-bye to them.

It is reported by Abu Hafs that the effect of this speech was that many of the Christian women present at the meeting accepted Islam and after some years even that Christian woman also accepted Islam at the truthful hands of Isabella. But it did not happen all at once ; it took a few years for the amenable souls to come under the shade of Divine Grace and Mercy.

So long as Isabella lived she continued to render magnificent services to Islam. On the one hand she silenced Christians and on the other hand poured an ocean of learning in traditions and interpretation of the Holy Quran, and thousands of Muslim divines were benefited by her learning. She lived up to the age of eighty. All Spain mourned her death and millions offered her funeral prayer.

THE END

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain

Ch 18: A White Lie

The light of guidance of Islam is the greatest boon of Allah which He confers from His unknown treasure on whomsoever He likes. Isabella is the daughter of a great Christian priest, was a strict Christian herself and a scholar of Christian theology, but now she is a Muslim saint, a traditionist, a devotee and a perfectly disciplined Muslim lady. Eminent Muslim divines and jurists are proud of being her disciples and she is famed all over Spain for her learning and piety. She could solve at a moment’s notice the most complicated problems of Muslim law.

She had been a Muslim for ten years and in this period the attacks of Christians had subsided. Hundreds of Christian men and women got right guidance of Islam through her and by Allah’s grace she won laurels in many learned discussions.

Just at that time the news spread that a Christian woman of Toledo was highly learned in the Quran and the Traditions and earlier revealed books and she had such convincing arguments on the truth of Christianity that even the greatest divine could not refute. Besides, the fame of her miracles gave her a position among Christians which even the Pope did not enjoy. Christian men and women from far-off places came to touch her apparel to acquire blessings and it was said that she cured the most dangerous diseases just by her look. This woman knew that Isabella had accepted Islam ten years ago; she publicly proclaimed that if Isabella came to her she would reconvert her to Christianity by her miracles and force of her arguments, but said that Isabella would never come to her as during the last ten years she must have known the “fraud” which made her to give up Christian religion. This proclamation again created a stir all over Spain and Christians started mischief-making. At last one day in her study circle a learned man addressed her.

The learned man : Have you heard of a new proclamation ?

Isabella: What is it ?

The learned man: A Christian woman has challenged you to debate and has proclaimed that in the first place you will not come to her, and if you came she will not leave you without reconverting you to Christianity both by her miracles and arguments.

Isabella: La haula wala quvvata ilia billah [All power and authority is with Allah]! A Christian woman and her assumption that she can convert a true Muslim to Christianity by her arguments! In fact, I have lost interest in such things. It seems that this Christian woman is greedy of fame.

The learned man : She has her fame since long, but now she aspires to confront you. There is a talk of it all over the city and Christians.. .. Isabella, this is what I have heard that she is very learned and scholarly and Christians even claim that no Muslim divine can beat her in the knowledge of the Quran and the Traditions.

Isabella: Very good. If she is fond of confrontation, let her come here with her associates and ask any question she wants.

On the sixth day after this Isabella received a letter from this woman which said: “Will you have a talk with me on Islam and Christianity? If you allow me to come to you I will gladly try to resolve your doubts.” Isabella wrote in reply: “Not for idle talk or wasting of time but for search of truth, you are welcome to my house at any time.” Immediately on getting Isabella’s reply the Christian woman made it known publicly and next day with about a hundred Christian women she came to Isabella’s house which was in fact a centre of Quranic studies. Isabella cordially welcomed all guests and the talk was initiated by the Christian woman.

Christian woman: It is said that you gave up Lord Jesus and all the saints and accepted a spurious religion like Islam. It is better that after having this experience you come back to Christianity.

Isabella: Even if anyone burns me alive I cannot give up Islam, nor can I accept multi-divinity and shameful creed of Christianity, yet I have a right to ask why you have come here to invite me to Christianity. It is nowhere written in your Bible to invite other communities to Christianity; on the other hand, it is written there that Jesus Christ was the Prophet of Israelites (Jews) only and he was sent to preach to them alone.

Christian woman: But is it written in the Bible that the doors of Christian religion be closed to humanity? Is this your research that made you renounce Christianity?

Isabella: Yes, it is written in the Bible and is also proved by the Quran which says: Wa Rasulan ila Bani Isra’il, that (Jesus Christ) was sent as an apostle to the Israelites (Jews), and at another place: Waj’alnahu mithlan Bani Isra’il [And We have made Jesus Christ a model for the Israelites (not for the whole world)].

Christian woman: We do not believe in the Quran; why do you put it to me?

Isabella: I mentioned the Quran because you may know that in this matter the Quran and the Bible are one. Now listen! It is written in the Book of Matthew 10 : 5: “These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Look, it has been proved from your Bibles also that Jesus Christ did not come as a prophet for us but only for the Israelites and it is better for you to obey your Lord. To convert us to Christianity is to act against the injunction of your Lord and to rebel against him.

Christian woman: What do you know about the Bible? Ask from me the meaning of these verses. Is it not written in the Bible that the Bible may be proclaimed everywhere?

Isabella: Not at all !

Christian woman : Do not speak a white lie, Isabella. At least before this assembly you should refrain from lies. See, it is written in Mark 16:15= 16: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth shall be saved.” Look, how clear is the injunction to make all the world Christian.

Isabella: These are verses 15 and 16 of chapter 16. Probably you do not know that the real Bible ended at verse 8 only and the remaining twelve verses are later additions. So you cannot put forth in argument this manipulated gospel.

Christian woman: How do you know that these verses are later additions?

Isabella: From the researches of Christians themselves, for by comparison with older copies it was found that twelve verses of the last chapter were not in the earlier copies. [In the Urdu edition of the Bible this manipulation is indicated in the margin.]

Christian woman: As we do not have original copies of the Bible I cannot say anything in reply. Let me consult the original copies. But just what teaching of the Quran is not in the Bible?  Then why did you accept Islam?

Isabella: On this subject I had had detailed discussion with the priests. So you just enquire from them and then ask this question.

Christian woman: How do I know what reply you gave to the priests. But just tell me what superiority you found in Islam. Tell me any superiority of Islam.

Isabella: Do you think I accepted Islam with eyes closed? At least there is something which made me disgusted with Christianity and made me a lover of Islam.

Christian woman: Why do you not mention the superiority of Islam? In fact, there is no superiority in it. Look here, Isabella! There is no one in Spain equal to me in learning and you have not the least inkling of things that I know Anyway, I am asking you just one question which will make clear the truth and untruth like the bright day. Just tell me which of the qualities of justice is superior to the law of grace or the law of grace is superior to the creed of justice.

Isabella: Both are superior in their proper places and defective when out of place.

Christian woman: Did you understand what I said ? Look ! the law of Taurat is justice as in this punishment is specified for every transgression, but the Bible is the law of grace in which only Lord Jesus Christ has been specified as atonement for sins. Now, say if you reject the law of grace.

Isabella: I have already said that both are correct in their proper places. If any transgressor is forgiven with a view that he will reform himself, then forgiveness and grace will be followed, but if it is feared that the transgressor will be emboldened in transgression and even then he is forgiven, then this forgiveness will be criminal and injustice to the transgressor.

Christian woman: Now just say whether the Quran is the law of justice or of grace.

Isabella: According to your view, Taurat is the law of justice and not of grace, while the Bible is the law of grace and not of justice. So both of them are defective in their places, while the Quran covers both justice and grace and has taught correct ways of the use of both. For instance, the Quran says that “the return of evil is evil.” This is the law of justice. It further says that “if anyone forgives and there is better in it, then he will be rewarded” (xlii. 40). This is the law of grace.

At another place it says: “If you have been wronged, then retaliate according to the wrong done.” This is justice and : Walan sabartum fa huwa khairul Sabirin [If you be patient, then that is also good for those who are patient]. This is grace. At a third place it says: Wa in kana dhu ‘usratin fa naziratun ila maisaratin [If the debtor is in strained circumstances then give him time till it is easy for him to repay (ii. 280)]. This is justice. But Wa in tasaddaqu khairul lakum [If you forgo it, this is better for you (ii. 280)]. This is grace. Thus the Quran comprehends both justice and grace.

Christian woman: The Quran orders retaliation but the Bible prohibits retaliation and orders forgiveness. Thus the superiority of the Bible has been proved.

Isabella: It does not prove superiority but a defect. If mischief-makers and criminals are forgiven on every occasion, mischief will spread in the world and order of the world will be disrupted, but the Quran has allowed the use of both, forgiveness and retaliation, in their proper places. Besides, the teaching of the Bible also casts aspersion on God as to why He created the quality of anger and excitement in men. Has the quality of anger been created uselessly? Never. God has never created any of the capabilities of men without merit. So the Quran has taught proper use of the qualities of mercy and anger and forgiveness and retaliation and does not allow any branch of human capabilities to wither away.

Christian Homan: Look ! how unjust it is that you are rejecting every good quality of ours. Our Lord never fought with anyone but forgave his enemies and bore their oppression patiently, while your Prophet took revenge from his enemies and never forgave anyone. Thus it is proved that it is the example of the Bible and our Lord which will lead to salvation.

Isabella: Patience, forgiveness, firmness, bravery and justice, etc., are such qualities whose merits are known to every man but few of them know their real significance. Every moral quality is good or bad according to its use in its proper place, otherwise in themselves patience and forgiveness, etc., have no merit. Look, forgiveness and overlooking will be at their best when the forgiver has the power to retaliate. If a helpless and weak person has no power to retaliate, his overlooking and forgiveness will not be considered a merit but just his helplessness. Our Prophet possessed this moral power of forgiveness and overlooking in the highest degree. Thus when after the victory of Mecca cruel unbelievers were brought to him he let them free, saying : La tasriba alaikum al-yauma [There is no charge against you today]. Although if he wanted he could have cut them to pieces, because he was in power and his Companions awaited his orders. Now, tell me what was the position when your Lord forgave his enemies. Obviously he was oppressed, had no one to help him nor had he the power to take revenge ; what else could he do but to forgive? If he were in power and then had forgiven his enemies it would have been a matter of pride for you. Patience in the state of helplessness is not at all forgiveness.

Christian woman: Fie ! Isabella, you call sanguinary men moral and do not give any merit to the person who never shed a drop of blood.

Isabella: It is your faulty understanding that you take obvious things in perverse light. I now put it to you. Do you see any good in bravery and whether you regard justice good or bad ?

Christian woman: Both these qualities are excellent; who can deny it ?

Isabella: Very good. Now, tell me if the quality of bravery can be manifested except in battle and justice can be at its best without the establishment of a government. Never! Thus Allah had provided both these opportunities to our sacred Prophet. That is, he waged war against non-believers and also acquired the ruling power so that on the occasion of fighting, his quality of bravery is manifested and with the establishment of a government the quality of justice comes to the fore. Can you show both these qualifications in your Lord?

Christian woman: You think fighting is also a great merit. Our Lord brought the message of peace and security and not of fighting.

Isabella: But in our Prophet both these qualities were combined. On the one hand he was a mercy for the worlds and kind and forgiving and on the other hand a champion fighter in the cause of Allah, so that he may be an example and good model in all aspects of life.

Christian woman: How perverse is your talk, Isabella? Can you compare favourably a fighting man with a man of peace?

Isabella: If fighting the enemies and suppressing their mischief is a great crime, then what do you say about Prophet Moses, whole life was spent in fighting against enemies and of which the Old Testament is witness? It is true that Jesus Christ was an apostle of peace and security and he never fought in his life. But our Prophet was an Apostle of Dignity as well as of Grace. If on the one hand he fought against enemies like Moses, on the other hand, like Christ, he gave the message of peace and security to the world. Thus he was the most perfect example of both Prophets Moses and Jesus.

Christian woman: It seems that you have become very clever, but I will not leave you till I have defeated you completely. I want to talk to you frankly so that all the women present here may follow it as two and two make four. Just think after comparing the Quran and the Bible so that the truth becomes quite clear to you at once.

Isabella: I will promptly answer whatever question you ask.

Christian woman: Look here, unless the apostleship of your Prophet is proved all this talk is useless. First you prove the truth and prophethood of Prophet Muhammad and then the talk may proceed.

Isabella: What is the test of Prophethood according to you?

Christian woman: If you can prove two things about Prophet Muhammad, then Islam is true, otherwise false. Firstly, that some previous Prophet has foretold about him and, secondly, that he should have performed miracles. For every Prophet these two things are essential.

Isabella: Was Adam a Prophet according to you?

Christian woman: Why not ?

Isabella: Did any previous Prophet foretell about him ?

Christian woman: There was no Prophet before him, so how could anyone have foretold about him?

Isabella: So your criterion is obviously wrong and mischievous that it is necessary for every Prophet that some previous Prophet should have foretold about him, otherwise Adam would be excluded from Prophethood. As to the performance of miracles, that is also not necessary for prophethood, as it is written in your own Bible, that false prophets will perform greater miracles than Jesus.

Christian woman: You do not agree to anything. After all, will you prove the Prophethood of your Prophet or not?

Isabella: This is the very question I am asking you. On what ground Christians believed in Prophets Moses, David, Solomon, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Noah, Abraham? Just let me hear that argument and on the same ground, Inshallah (God willing), the Prophethood of the Last Apostle will be proved to your entire satisfaction and you shall have no reason to reject.

Christian woman: We have accepted every Prophet by his acts.

Isabella: What acts! Just give their details so that there remains no difficulty in establishing the basis of argument.

Here the Christian woman became thoughtful keeping her head bowed for a long time, while the women present there felt that it was difficult for her to escape the strong grip of Isabella and that she would certainly become the cause of humility and degradation of the Christians. Then the Christian woman raised her head and spoke.

Christian woman: We do not know about other Prophets, we are only concerned with our Lord Jesus Christ and through him we believe in all Prophets.

Isabella: So you should come forward with the criterion of the truth of your Lord so that on the same criterion the Prophethood of Muhammad may be proved.

Christian woman: The greatest proof of the Prophethood of our Lord is that he revived the dead, gave sight to the blind, cured the leper and saved people from the grip of Satan.

Isabella: What is the proof that your Lord did all this? Where are those dead whom Jesus Christ revived? Where do those blind and lepers live whom your Lord gave sight and cured? As against this I present to you a miracle of our beloved Prophet which is as alive today as it was in his lifetime and will live for ever. This is the miracle of the Holy Quran which challenged the whole world, that, if it is the invention of the Prophet’s mind, to bring forth any such work: just ten verses, a few verses, only one verse like it, but so far no Christian, no Jew, no idol-worshipper, nor anyone else has taken up the challenge. This is the living miracle which will keep helpless the whole world till the Day of Judgment. As against this the miracles of other Prophets were transitory, timely and made to die out, of which there is no proof except hearsay.

Christian woman: You have started irrelevant talk. Can such a book be a miracle which orders four marriages? Look here! our Lord had said that he was the path of truth and life and without him no one could reach God, the Father.

Isabella : The Quran never ordered four marriages. It has just given permission for it under certain conditions. But if multiple marriages are any crime what would you say about Prophet David and Solomon who, according to Old Testament, had hundreds of wives? As to your Lord saying that he was the path of truth and life, how can this be a refutation of the Quran? Every Prophet came to the world with the path of truth and life. Your Lord said that he was the path of truth and life, but the Quran says about our Prophet that not only he was on the right path but he also showed the path of truth to others : “Innaka la-tahdi ila siratin mustaqim” [Surely thou guidest to the right path (xliii. 52)}. The Quran says our Prophet was not only himself life but he came to give life to the world : “Ya ayyuhalladhina amanustajibu lillah wa lir Rasuli idha da’akum lima yuhyikum” [O ye who believe, when Allah and His Apostle call you then you should respond to the call so that he may give you life (viii. 24)].

The proof of it is that the Holy Prophet converted the barbarians, cruel, oppressive, ignorant, thieves, murderers, adulterers and idolators into moral, Allah-worshippers and pious men and hundreds of thousands of Companions flocked to his standard. That is, he gave life to the Arabs in his very lifetime. As against this, your Lord made just twelve Disciples in his whole life and even to them he did not give full life, as Christ himself called some of them dishonest, some accursed and some thieves.

Christian woman: You talk a lot, but so far you have not proved what miracle your Prophet performed.

Isabella: My advice to you is that you give up logical talk but try to convince me by your miracle, as your miracles are widely known and people come to take your blessing from long distances. You are not apt in logical talk.

Christian woman: You are not competent enough that miracles may be performed before you.

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain
Next Chapter

Ch 17: Duty of Islamic Government

The Muslims had learnt the details of the secret meeting which was convened by Christians and that Isabella’s letter had cooled down all their ambitions. After four or five days in the company of Ziad b. Umar eminent exponents of Islam and divines assembled. Isabella and her friends were also present there when one of them said.

A person: Respected sir! the Christians have been secretly trying to defraud Isabella and reconvert her to Christianity, but the Muslim government has not taken any action in this respect so far. When Isabella has become a Muslim it is the duty of the Muslim government to release her from the clutches of Christians, but it did not do that. Even now Christians are’ doing mischief but the Muslim government is taking no action against them.

Ziad b. Umar: All the efforts of the Christians have so far been secret, so how could the Muslim government take cognizance of it? Then there is another thing. It is true that when anyone becomes a Muslim it is the duty of the Muslim government to protect him from the oppression of the non-Muslims and stand by anyone openly declaring Islam. But we deliberately prevented the Muslim government from taking such action for we thought the persecution suffered by Isabella and her friends will make them used to suffer troubles in the path of truth and their belief and faith will be put to the test. If we wanted we would have openly released Isabella from their clutches.

The same man: But for the future, the Christians should have been warned to refrain from doing this in the case of anyone else.

Ziad b. Umar: You need not worry. In future the government will be more active to support freedom of conscience. In this connection we have informed Christian priests about all the details of Isabella and her whereabouts and told them that we do not in the least want to conceal Isabella as the government is responsible to take action against anyone trying to make her an apostate and that if they took any action in future against Isabella they will be liable to answer before the government.

Umar Lahmi: Respected sir, Isabella’s friends request that they may be taught the tenets of Islam and converted to Islam.

Ziad b. Umar : Well, do it in the name of Allah and convert them.

Umar Lahmi: Have Mirano, Mertha and Hanana any doubt about any tenet of Islam? Mirano for her own satisfaction wants to clarify some points. We do not want to stop her from further inquiry and not to answer her questions.

Ziad b. Umar : Very well. Ask Mirano to put up questions and I depute you to answer her.

Mirano: Respected sir, first let us be converted to Islam and then I will ask one or two questions just because I wish I could give silencing answer to Christians. God forbid! I do not have the least doubt in my mind about Islam.

Then the three girls were converted to Islam and all those present congratulated them and after accepting Islam they covered their faces while Mirano proceeded to ask her questions.

Mirano: According to the Christians, Taurat is the law and Bible the perfection. Obviously after the law and perfection there is no need of anything else, so the Quran was also not needed. Since the Quran has confirmed Taurat and the Bible, the objection gains further strength.

Umar Lahmi: If Christians attribute certain qualities to their books, how does it become necessary to believe that they are actually so? This claim must be proved by argument. But taking for granted that Taurat is the law and Bible the prefection, then the Quran is the preserver. As a preserver the Quran covers both the law and the perfection. The word preserver the Quran itself has used. It says in Surah Maidah (v.), verse 48 : “(0 Prophet!) this Book (the Quran) has been revealed to you with the Truth which confirms previous books and is their preserver.” But the Bible, never uses the word perfection for itself. It is thus proved that the Quran covers both the law and the perfection.

Mirano: The Taurat and the Bible have been mentioned in the Quran and it is necessary for every Muslim to accept them. Then why do not the Muslims believe in them?

Umar Lahmi: Because Christians do not have the real Taurat and Bible with them.

Mirano: If Taurat and Bible do not exist, why does the Quran confirm them ?

Umar Lahmi: The Quran has confirmed the original Taurat and Bible and not these forged and manufactured ones.

Mirano: Christians say that these are the very Taurat and Bible which the Quran confirms.

Umar Lahmi: Well, now I will ask the Quran itself whether it confirms the existing Taurat and Bible or considers them false. The Quran says that Allah is one Who created the earth and the sky .. . and was not fatigued in creating them. But Taurat says that God created everything in six days and on the seventh day he rested.! Rest is taken by one who is fatigued So by Taurat it is proved that God fatigued, but the Quran says Allah is never fatigued. Now say whether the Quran confirmed or rejected the previous books. The Taurat says that the Prophet Solomon worshipped idols, but the Quran says Solomon never committed unbelief. Now is it confirmation or rejection of Taurat ?
Now take the Bible. In all the four Bibles it is said that Jesus Christ died crying on the cross, that he was actually crucified, but the Quran says that the Jews neither killed nor crucified Christ. Then the Bible says that Jesus Christ claimed to be God, but the Quran says that those who call Jesus son of Mary God are rejectors. Now let any Christian priest say with justice whether the Quran confirmed or rejected the Bible.

Mirano: No doubt, it is proved from the Quran that It does not confirm the existing Taurat and Bible but rejects them.

Umar Lahmi: It is now clear that the Quran does not at all confirm the existing Taurat and Bible but rejects them strongly and has called their statements and facts and beliefs as assigning partners to God and apostasy. Now I am giving a general principle from the Quran by which every book can be tested, as if the Holy Quran had given us a touchstone by which we can judge every book. The Quran says that if the Quran were not from Allah you would have found in it many contradictions. This verse of the Holy Quran asserts that except the Book of Allah no other book is free from contradictions, because man is not immune from errors and lapses and howsoever care a man takes in writing a book there must be some contradictions in it and a book which has contradictions cannot be from Allah, otherwise Allah will be taken to be committing lapses and lies. Can anyone dispute this principle?

Mirano: The principle is quite just and natural. Surely any book containing contradictions cannot be from perfect God. But are there contradictions in Taurat and Bible?

Umar Lahmi: Many, so many that the reader’s mind is puzzled. Now I test Christian books by this principle so that you may also see reality. Now, sister Mirano, tell me what is your age.

Mirano : Between twenty-one and twenty-two, say twenty-two.

Umar Lahmi: Very good. Now if you say that your age is twenty-two and an hour later that it is forty-two. Will both the statements be correct?

Mirano: How can both be correct? My statement that my age is forty-two will be quite wrong, twenty-two will be correct.

Umar Lahmi: Now, see it is written in 2 Chronicles 21:20. that Ahaziah’s age was thirty-two when she was enthroned, but in 2 Kings 8 :26 it is written that at the time that Ahaziah began to rule her age was twenty-two. Can both these statements be correct?

Mirano : Never, one of them will be correct and the other wrong.

Umar Lahmi: Now the question which of the statements is correct can never be solved and so both the books of the Bible have become doubtful and the seal of falsehood is affixed to both. Now see further. It is written in 2 Samuel 24:9 that there were eight lakhs of Israelites and five lakhs of Jews who took up swords, but in 1 Chronicles 5: 1’8 it is written that Israelites were eleven lakhs and Jews 440700. Now say if both the figures are correct.

Mirano : Never, one of them is incorrect.

Umar Lahmi: And can the book which gives such incorrect figures be from God?

Mirano: Never, God forbid ! God protect, fie, fie ! God’s honour is damaged by this and so it is better not to attribute them to God.

Umar Lahmi: Now, see further. It is written in 2 Kings 24 : 8 that at the time of coronation Jehoiachin was only of eighteen years. As if coronation was a miracle that his age was at the same time eight and eighteen. In the presence of these contradictions, can anyone call Taurat and the Psalms revelations from God ? Can (Allah forbid!) such inaccuracy be attributed to God ?

Mirano : Subhan Allah (Glory to God)! These are such patent arguments of unreliability of Christian Books which cannot be explained away. Even a child can understand it as two and two are four.

Umar Lahmi: In 2 Samuel 23 : 8 it is written about an incident that Adino the Eznite killed eight hundred enemies and against this in 1 Chronicles 11:11 it is written about the same incident that he killed only three hundred, and, strangely, both are about the same incident. In 2 Samuel 24:13 it is said : “Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land?” but in 1 Chronicles it is said that the famine would be sent for three years. Probably in those days, there was no difference between the figures three and seven, as Christians did not discriminate between one and three Gods!

Those present: Surely, it looks like this.

Mirano: It is strange that Christians did not notice such errors.

Umar Lahmi: They could notice these errors if they had made enquiries and had resolved to reject inaccurate statements and confirm what is correct. But they hold on to these errors as one would adhere to the truth. And see in 1 Kings 4:46 where it is written that there were forty thousand stables for horses and carriages of Prophet Solomon and twelve thousand horsemen, but against this in 2 Chronicles 9 :25 it is written that there were just four thousand stables for horses and carriages of Prophet Solomon. Is there no difference between four thousand and forty thousand ? One book says forty thousand and the other book deducts thirty-six thousand from it and is contented with just four thousand, and what is strange is that both the books are regarded as revealed and from God. Did the Quran say it wrongly that there can be no contradictions in a book of God?

Isabella: Subhan Allah (Glory to God)! How great is the Quran! If this book had not come Christian books would have never been shown in their true colours.

Umar Lahmi: Now just see another interesting reference. It is written in 2 Samuel 10:18 that Prophet David cut down men of seven hundred carriages and forty thousand horsemen. Just keep in mind the figures of seven hundred and forty thousand horsemen. But against this it is written in I Chronicle 19:18 that Prophet David cut down seven thousand men mounted on carriages and forty thousand footmen. Both the books are said to be revealed and from God and both are supposed to be from men’s manipulation and satan’s interloping, but one book says men on seven hundred carriages and the other book says seven thousand men on carriages and forty thousand footmen, not horsemen. These books are said to be revealed and it is to these books that Muslims are called. Are these the books which God revealed to Prophets?

Mirano: Fie, fie! so many contradictions in these books! God forbid! How can they be accepted in Islam? The fact is that so thick curtains are drawn against the wisdom, conscience and love of unbelief that they do not see while they have eyes and do not hear while they have ears. May Allah give them guidance!

Umar Lahmi: So much about contradictions of Taurat and Old Testament which can admit no compromise. Now let us have a look at the Bibles. It appears after careful consideration that the condition of all the existing four Bibles is worse still. In the first place the Bibles were composed and written in different languages. The Bibles which were in olden times regarded as divine revelation are today regarded as apocryphal (of doubtful origin) and, instead of these, other Bibles came into use. As if Bibles were just school text-books which could be changed at will according to prevailing conditions and a new series of text-books introduced. Besides, different Bibles were used at the same time, such as the Bibles of the Eastern Church are different from the Bibles of the Western Church. Councils were held at various times in which different Bibles were chosen as if God’s revelation and word is dependent on the judgment of the Church.

Mirano: Yes, I also once heard from my father. (Michael) that in one of the Councils some of the revealed books were excluded from the list of revealed books.

Umar Lahmi: Now let us test the Bibles on the Quran and its principles and standard so that the unstability and unreliability of Bibles may be established. It is written in the Book of Matthew 27 : 3-8 that a disciple of Christ (Judas) taking a bribe of thirty pieces of silver surrendered Jesus Christ to the government and when (God forbid!) Jesus Christ was killed on the cross, Judas was very repentant and went to the chief of fortune-tellers and left after throwing the thirty silver pieces before them and committed suicide on reaching home. But in the Bible of Acts it is written that Judas purchased a field with the bribe money and, while he was going to this field, stumbled and his entrails came out. In the first Bible it was said that Judas returned the thirty pieces to the chief of fortune-tellers and committed suicide on returning home, while the Bible of Acts says that Judas purchased a field with the bribe money and while going to it he stumbled there and his entrails came out.

These are two different statements of the different Bibles both of which are accepted as revealed by Christians, and the Holy Ghost got them written according to revelation. That is when the Holy Ghost went to the author of the Book of Matthew he dictated one thing, and something quite different when he went to the author of Acts. Now either you should take the Holy Ghost as a liar and cheat or refuse to take the books as revealed. It is, however, preferable that, instead of accusing the Holy Ghost, you should declare all these Bibles as forged and false, otherwise neither God nor the Holy Ghost can be exonerated from evils.

Mirano: Obviously it is the existing Bibles which are forged and false and the enemies of Christ have forged them to serve their ends.

Umar Lahmi: This was the contradiction of two different Bibles, but let us see the contradiction in one and the same Bible. The story of the conversion to Christianity of Saint Paul, who, inventing the creed of Trinity, made all Christians guilty of assigning partners to God, is mentioned in three places in the Book of Acts and all the three are different. How strange that (God forbid!) the Holy Ghost lies at three places in the same book about the same incident. In chapter 9 verse 3 of the Book of Acts it is written that Saint Paul was going somewhere with his companions when he saw a light in the heaven and heard a voice on which he fell on the ground, but the companions remained standing. The companions heard the voice but did not see anything, while in chapter 22, verse 4 of the same book it is written that the companions saw the light but did not hear the voice and in the same Bible, chapter 26, verse 13, it is written that Saint Paul and all his companions fell on the ground. Now just fancy in one Bible three lies have been told about the same incident at three places. Can all these three be correct?

Mirano: Never. All the three are false and if anyone is correct it cannot be specified.

Umar Lahmi: You have seen contradictions in two different Bibles and contradictions in the same Bible. Now see the wonder of contradiction in one and the same verse. In Luke, chapter 21, verse 16, Jesus says to his disciples that men will kill them and drive them out of their homes but they will not be able to injure them in the least. It means that enemies will kill the disciples but would not cause any injury, as if killing is not contradictory of not causing any injury. One may wonder whether the compilers of Bibles had any sense. In one and the same verse there is such a ridiculous contradiction.

Isabella: After all, how do the unlucky Christians explain this?

Umar Lahmi: What explanation can they give ? They evade the question by irrelevant talk and attribute the error to the copyist. This does not lessen the importance of the matter. Even if this answer is taken for granted the question remains as to what the real passage was and which are the errors of the copyist? For instance, the age of a person is said to be twenty-two years and forty-two years at one and the same time; which of them is the copyist’s error and what is the correct figure ? No Christian can say now that the real passage was this but the copyist made it thus. And when the copyist’s error cannot be located, then the explanation and the reply are nonsense. So it proves that even according to Christians these books are suspicious. When at one place the copyist’s error has been admitted, there could be no belief or faith in the whole book.

Isabella: Is it not possible to correct these errors of the copyist’s by a comparison with the original?

Umar Lahmi: Had the original books been available, why should have there been all this trouble? Original books do not exist; only the translations from translations and copies from copies are relied upon. And what is more strange is that it has not yet been ascertained about these Bibles as to when they were written or who were their authors. Some say that the original Bibles were written in the Greek language which was current in Palestine at that time. Some say they were written both in the Greek and the Hebrew languages. But in whatever languages they were written they should have been available, but they are not found anywhere ; the translations from translations cannot be trusted. Then there is also the difference of opinion about the period during which they were written, nor is anything known about their authors. Some say that the Disciple Jonah wrote his own Bible and some say it was written by another person whose name was also Jonah. What is worse is that there is no internal evidence in the books about their authors; in the Bible of Matthew his name is mentioned in absentia.

Mirano: Christians say that whichever books have been certified by the Church they alone are Books of God and revealed ones.

Umar Lahmi: So for the book to be taken as revealed we have to depend on the Church and the books themselves are deaf and dumb.

Isabella: Christians assert that the decision of the Church is free from errors and so their decision is also revealed.

Umar Lahmi: If the decisions of the Church are free from error, why then are there differences in the decisions of different Churches. In the Council of Nice held in Constantinople some of the Books were treated as revealed ; these were excluded from the revealed books by the Councils of Trent and Philadelphia, while some books which were excluded from the list of revealed books were again included in the revealed books by the Council of Trent. As if the revealed books are noses of wax which may be turned to any side.

After this meeting the participants dispersed. Arrangements were made for the training of Isabella and her friends and they all devoted themselves in acquiring religious knowledge. Four years later all the girls began to speak Arabic fluently and gained direct knowledge about Islam. Isabella after some time became the refuge of women of Cordova after acquiring religious knowledge. She became a model of Islamic injunctions and she was taken as a Muhaddithah (Traditionist) in Cordova as she became an expert in the knowledge of Traditions and the related matters and she continued to advance in piety, prayerfulness and attachment to Allah, and many women were benefited by her vast learning.

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain
Next Chapter

Ch 16: A Secret Meeting

Before giving proceedings of this and other meetings let us have a look at the Church of Saint Peter and the monastery and see what happened to the monk of the monastery and its nun, and how the head priest (Isabella’s father) and Michael (Mirano’s father) received the news and what situation was created among the Christians of Cordova.

It so happened that when these four girls left the Church of Saint Peter, the poor monk was lying bound up and since he was gagged by a wad of rags he could not speak. The nun took out the rags from his mouth and released his hands and feet. But even after release he continued to be out of his senses and the nun ran about for help.

Pilgrims, living in chambers, on hearing the noise, wrung their hands and, as usual, began to cry before the skeletons of saints. When the mourning ended and the monk and the nun composed themselves they took two donkeys of pilgrims and rode to the monastery. On reaching the monastery all the monks and nuns of the monastery came out to receive them, but when they found marks of humility, repentance and defeat on their faces they were thunder-struck. One of those present, however, taking courage, came forward and spoke to the monk.

The man: Respected sir, the holy father (head priest) has sent this letter and directed that it should be replied at once.

Monk (beating his breast): Alas ! how can I show my face to the holy father. Alas! the accursed satan has deceived me: the satan who did not spare even the Lord without putting him to trial. Wretched Isabella and O accursed girls abomination on you and O daughter of satan! You yourself became an apostate and put us also to shame. O God! Thou seest what treatment has been meted out to Thine devoted servants.

All the monks of the monastery were struck dumb on hearing this and looked at one another speechless The monk then with trembling hands opened the letter of the holy father and read. It said: “In order to persuade Isabella her three friends have gone to the monastery as I had informed you. I think the reconversion of Isabella is difficult. If her condition is yet unchanged, then hand her over to the Inquisition for this purpose. I will send to you some men in the evening to whom you should hand over the girl. Now you should send back the other three girls lest the devil may mislead them also and they fall not into the trap of Isabella.”

On reading this the monk began to weep and cry loudly. After some time he spoke: What reply can I give to this letter? I will myself go to the holy father and tell him how satan has put pious people to trial. So saying he stood up and walked out and took with him the saintly nun of France. Meeting the holy father at his house, he narrated the whole episode which the head priest quickly heard and then asked.

Head priest: When I had directed you to keep a careful watch on Isabella, why did you fall in the trap of the girls and believing in their false revelation left the monastery? If such a situation had arisen, why did you not inform me?

Monk: What reply can I give? Surely I have been at fault and fell into satan’s trap.

Head priest: But tell me now what other monks were in conspiracy with the girls.

Monk: No one else was in the conspiracy and as a precaution I did not tell anyone. Only this nun whose piety is well known was invloved in this episode.

Head priest (to his servant): Just go and bring Michael and Peter and tell them they should stop all other work and come to me at once.

The servant left and shortly after Michael and Peter arrived with three other priests, holding their hands on their chests. The head priest spoke, addressing Michael.

Head priest: Your daughter Mirano has gone away with my daughter Isabella.

Michael: What, holy father! What are you talking?

Head priest: Not only Isabella and Mirano, Hanana and Mertha also gave a slip to the people of the monastery.

Michael: Holy father! just say what happened.

The head priest asked the monk to narrate to him the whole episode. The monk with tearful eyes narrated what had happened on which Michael and Peter also wept.

Head priest: Why weep! Curse these filthy souls. The only regret is that Isabella escaped the grip of Inquisition.

Michael: Holy father, this is not an ordinary matter. Christians will be humiliated all over Cordova and we will not be able to face the people.

Head priest: Anyway, try to find out where these girls are now. We will set to work about it very soon.

Three days later after one-third of the night had passed all the other priests of Cordova and zealous Christians began to gather in the great Church of Cordova. They were secretly directed to assemble in the great Church. Apparently there was no sign of a large gathering as there was no indication of any preparations for the meeting. People came and quietly and soberly sat in the large hall of the Church in front of the holy altar. This showed that for this special meeting people were secretly invited.

A large cross was fixed on the altar over which Christ hung and below it Virgin Mary sat on her knees demonstrating her obedience. All the walls of the great Church were painted with the figures of saints and disciples, looking like pictures from Roman and Egyptian mythology. Under these walls all those who came took their seats. Nuns, virgins, who where entertainers of pious priests, were also seen in the crowd. The head priest who was chief of this Church and father of Isabella was very cordially receiving all those who came.

With all this there was such silence and solemnity that no one outside of the Church could know what was happening inside. But the Muslims were informed even of this secret meeting and this secrecy of priests could not remain a secret. The head priest and Michael, standing at the gate, were directing zealous Christians with gestures to keep silence. But people were coming in streams. Several thousands of Christians had already collected in the Church, but the head priest was waiting for others to come. Under the statue of the crucified Christ, a man said quietly to another near him: Brother, Lord’s name be glorified! Here is an envelope which I have to give to the head priest before the meeting begins, but Michael has ordered me to go and bring such and such a person soon. Now I have to carry out this order and so if you take the trouble to give this letter to the head priest as soon as he comes it will be very kind of you.

The other person replied: With great pleasure. You may rest assured that this envelope will be handed over to the holy father the moment he arrives.

The first man said: Thank you very much. And now I am going to do my duty. So saying the man avoiding the look of others quickly went out of the Church.

Now the Church was full of Christians and priests and no others were expected. When all were seated it was ascertained that there was no Muslim in the assembly. Several priests went round and looked carefully at everyone and made sure that there was no Muslim. It was then ordered that all the doors of the Church should be closed and the proceedings of the meeting should begin. Enthusiasm of the Christians was such that if they had not been strictly directed to remain calm and silent, they would have raised a storm. For greater precaution some people were stationed outside so that no one could hear the proceedings of the meeting. When all arrangements were complete the head priest and Michael with ten or twelve priests stood at an elevated place. Just then a man from the front row got up and quietly handed over to the head priest the envelope which a person had given him to be put up to the head priest. Before opening the envelope and reading the letter the head priest spoke in a sober tone: My sons and daughters! Today you have been given the trouble to come here for a very important business which father Michael will put up to you and you should listen to his speech calmly and patiently.

So father Michael stood up to make his speech and at the same time the head priest opened the envelope. But when he had read only a few lines he screamed and began to shake all over in anger. All those assembled began to look anxiously at the head priest and father Michael had to stop his speech. After a brief respite the head priest spoke: Look here! A man has just given me a letter from Isabella in which she has invited all of us to become Muslims. Who has given this envelope tome?

A Christian: Holy father, it was I. A person handed it over to me to put it up before you…

The poor man had not yet completed his sentence when there was a storm in the meeting and the man was hit with fists and kicks from all sides. The poor man made every effort to explain that he had no concern with the letter and was innocent, but no one heeded him and at last by so much beating he fell down senseless and was dragged out and shut up in the closet of the Church. The confusion took a long time to subside and with great difficulty.

Then the head priest came forward and spoke: This man appears to be a Muslim who has made his appearance like us and, putting on our holy dress, has come here to spy. Anyway his case will be taken up tomorrow. Now we have to see that the girls about whom this meeting has been held have preached to us a bloody and barbaric [God forbid] religion like Islam. Tell us how we can succeed in bringing them back and what could be done in this connection.

Thereupon Michael came forward and said: Brethren! the purpose for which this secret meeting was held has been made purposeless after this letter of Isabella. What can we do now except to bear it with patience and pray to God that either she comes back to the fold of the Lord or sent to Hell.

The head priest came forward again and said: Anyway just bring this man here. Possibly by being pressed he may reveal some other things, although we know the Muslims are very hot-headed and they do not easily give out their secrets. Yet he is now in our hands and we may possibly force him to speak out.

So the poor man was brought out from the closet of the Church to the stage. The man was not in himself being badly wounded. The head priest on looking at him cried out: O, this is the priest of the northern church and my own nephew. God forbid, he is yet breathing.

So when the poor wounded man was identified all the priests were very sorry. Next day when the man came to himself he told them that a man brought a letter, gave it to him and quickly went out of the Church. After hearing this, all the priests decided that it was a “mischief” of the Muslims and so they lost hope of Isabella and her friends and the secret night meeting was unsuccessful as nothing could be decided in the confusion.

The letter which Isabella had written to her father read as follows :

“All praise to Allah, the Fosterer of the worlds, Who created the earth and the sky and everything in the universe with His absolute power. Thousands of thousands of greetings to that holy and chaste Prophet who came to the world and took out the world from misguidance and darkness to the bright scene of spiritualism and guided us to the right path which was taken by all Prophets and whose adoption leads us to the nearness of Allah and everlasting peace and security.

“O, my respected father! be it known to you that I have accepted Islam which, according to my deep study, is the only religion which is free from excesses and defects and is the giver of right guidance and salvation. I gave up the Christian religion because it is full of excesses and defects and a contradiction of teachings of all Prophets. Briefly, the following comparison will make the truth clear to you.

“(1) According to Islam, Allah in His Person and Qualities is One without any partner. He is unique and is all goodness and perfection. The Quran says that Allah is one, neither he is the son of anyone, nor has He any son, neither is anyone equal to Him. He is living and will live for ever and is free from sleep, drowsiness or fatigue or any human want. To enumerate His good qualities you should study the Quran.

“(2) On the other hand, Christian religion believes that God is not one but three, Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ is the only Son of God and he is creator and everlasting like his father, although the Bible says that Jesus ate and drank, slept and woke and was dependent on water, air and everything that a human being requires and had in him all human wants. If God is also dependent on all things like man, then how can He be fit to be God and what difference remains between God and man? The Quran has clearly declared that those who call Christ God or Son of God assign partners to Allah and are unbelievers. Christians by making Christ son of God are traducing God. The Quran has taught that Christ, like Moses, David, Solomon, Job, Hud, Noah and other Prophets, was an apostle and prophet and just a man and created and not creator. Now think yourself how clear and acceptable is this declaration of the Holy Quran and how the Christian creed is complicated and unacceptable.

“(3) According to Islam, every man is born pure and free from sins and on attaining maturity, others lead him astray. Further, Allah has given man the capacity to obey the laws of Allah and avoid prohibited things. The Quran says that Adam did not commit any sin and all Prophets were innocent and free from sins, and so the question of inherited sin is satan’s invention. The Christian creed, on the other hand, says that every man is a sinner, born so much so that even Prophets committed sins and Adam’s sin has made all men sinful. It is obvious that this belief is illogical, unnatural and contrary to the evidence of intuition that while Adam commits sin (which is also not proved) all humanity suffers punishment for it. So in this respect also the teaching of the Quran is just and right and its decision is logical, natural and according to the usage of Prophets.

“(4) The emphasis which the Quran lays on conduct and on the sublimity and superiority of morals is not found in any other religion. Islam says that man will succeed by his own efforts and will be rewarded by his own good actions. It says that this was the teaching of all Prophets (see Surah Najm, Section 6).

“No one can bear the burden of another, but every man will be responsible for his own actions. It is this chaste teaching which gives man the lesson of nobility and urges him to do good.

“On the other hand, the Christian teaching is that Jesus Christ, taking the load of the sins of all sinners, was crucified and he atoned for the sins of all. Sins were committed by thousands and millions of men but punishment was given to an innocent person, the only Son of God! This teaching, on the one hand, makes man worthless and insolent and, on the other hand, one loses confidence in oneself, and so his worth and value fall in his own eyes. Further, this creed is a great derogation of God’s Holi-ness.

‘ “(5) When the Quran came to the world, it revealed all the truths, the truths which had been long forgotten; even their sources were polluted. Islam re established the nobility of all Prophets and refuted the false allegations made against them. It exposed man’s interpolation made in their revealed books and clarified the reality by this exposition. Islam refuted false and base-less charges against Prophet Jesus which some enemies and false friends had made against him, and it is in fact the beneficence of Islam that it represented Prophet Jesus in his true colour and cleared him of the accusations of the Jews and the so-called Christians.

“As against this Christians have accused the Prophets with falsehood, fornication and murder and presented the character of Christ also in such a mutilated form that if Islam on its advent had not clarified the truth” no one would have taken him even as a man of morals. This is an obligation of Islam which Christians can never repay. Christians not only manipulated their books but also compiled hundreds of Bibles in the name of Christ. Today the same compiled, fraudulent and false Bibles are put before us which do not have the remotest concern with Christ. The Quran claims that all revealed books have been fully and completely preserved in it. So I invite you and all Christians to this Quran which maintains the honour of Christianity in the world and which presents to us all at a time the teachings of all Prophets.

“(6) Islam specifies the rights of women, issues orders for the liberation of slaves, infuses the spirit of equality and brotherhood among mankind and establishes contact between man and God.

“But in Christianity there is not even a hint at women’s rights. Only men have been told that they can divorce their wives on adultery but said nothing as to what the wife could do on husband’s going bad. There is not a word of liberation of slaves in Christianity.

“(7) Islam fertilised human morals and provided a regular code of conduct for humanity. By following it man can utilise moderately his inner faculties. The Holy Quran says (see Part 2 5, Section 4): ‘The return of evil is evil, but who forgives for the sake of reforming them, its reward and credit is with God.’

“But Christianity emphasises only one aspect if it that the offender may not be punished, but if anyone strikes on one cheek the other cheek should also be presented to him. How can anyone in the world follow this teaching and how can world order be maintained by it? If it were the intention to show mercy and kindness on every occasion, then why did He create the quality of anger in man and then why did He allow His part of human instinct to wither away.

“These are a few points as an illustration on understanding. I have accepted Islam and so for you also if there is any straight path it is only one, that is you should accept Islam at the earliest and express penitence on such multiplication of Divinity in Christianity which are contrary to all qualities of God and an obstacle in the path of human progress. May God grant you the privilege of accepting the truth ! I am also praying for your right guidance and may God give it to you soon! Amen !

Ch 15: Princess of France

Soon after Isabella was taken to the large room in which her friends were sitting and the monk informed them that Princess Arkia would come shortly after finishing her preliminary prayer and then he left. Now Mirano, Mertha and Hanana found the opportunity to talk secretly to Isabella. They had full talk about their present situation and various plans were discussed about releasing Isabella. It was put to Isabella that, in order to be relieved of her permanent troubles, she should temporarily become a Christian. But Isabella spurned at the suggestion and said that whatever trouble came to her in connection with Islam they would Insha Allah (God willing) be an atonement for her sins and strengthen the faith, and if God wanted her to be released from the clutches of these oppressors, He will provide means for it, otherwise God’s Will be done. After full discussion a plan was thought out on which all agreed and, after making up their minds, the girls engaged in prayer. Isabella’s prayer was simply this verse of the Quran: “My Fosterer, take me in with truth.” Mirano began to recite salutations to the Prophet and other girls recited prayer appropriate to the occasion. Then the door opened and the Princess of France came in. She was welcomed by all.

Arkia: I am very sorry that Isabella has left the fold of the Lord and has allied herself with apostasy. I wonder why Satan has possessed her. Just last night I have seen in my dream that eminent Muslim divines were burning in Hell and this unlucky girl also wants to join them. If she takes up the Cross of the Lord again on her shoulders and lives with me just for a few days I will let her see the Lord.

Mirano: Surely it is most shameful that the daughter of the spiritual father has thus become an apostate. This is why we have brought her to you today that you may influence her with your spiritual powers, and bring her back at the feet of the Lord. She could not be silenced by argument, but now it is necessary to convert her by spiritual influence.

Arkia: Very well. Just today an effort will be made by prayer and austerities to turn Isabella towards Virgin Mary and I am sure that she will come round by the morning. I quite see that the Lord is waiting for Isabella with open arms and Isabella is also ready to go into his arms. You may not worry. Just see what happens by the morning. (Here Isabella wanted to say something but Mertha beckoned her to keep quiet.)

When Arkia had spoken of her miracles, the door opened again and the same chief monk entered and, addressing Mirano, asked her if she needed some more nuns. Mirano thanked him and said that she did not need any more but requested him that if he could come once or twice in the night and give them his advice it will be very good of him. The monk promised to look them up after every two hours and would carry out all their requests, and then left and the door was closed.

Now there was just half an hour for the midnight and the girls sat down for prayer along with Arkia who sat before the statue of Virgin Mary. The girls took their places ten paces apart from one another. Mirano took up her seat near Isabella so that if she wanted to convey something important she could do that easily and others might not know it.

After an hour was spent in prayer Mirano whispered to Isabella: Look here. You should not interrupt me whatever I say, but just listen quietly and accept what I say. Arkia in her zeal of sainthood did very curiouss things, sometimes she extended her hands as if trying to take someone in her arms, sometimes she wept and sometimes cried painfully and uttered again and again: Yes, yes. Your Lord may bless you. The Holy Ghost may soon help us. At about one in the night Mirano raised an outcry and feigned faint. Isabella sat stiffly at her seat, but Arkia, Mertha and Hanana rushed to Mirano and wanted to revive her by sprinkling water but Arkia stopped them saying that Mirano had certainly seen the Lord and their prayer of that day would surely end in success

Do not worry, she said, it is our good fortune that the Lord has come to our monastery. (Going near Isabella) Well, Isabella, do you still hesitate in lifting the Cross of our Lord ? Isabella did not reply and continued to listen in silence. Isabella’s silence further convinced Arkia that the Lord had surely descended there and cast his blessing eyes on Isabella. Mirano still continued in her swoon when the chief monk entered the room and was perturbed to see Mirano faint and cried : Oh! what has happened? Arkia promptly narrated the story of her superstition and said with firm faith that the Lord had descended on Isabella which the monk immediately confirmed as he already believed in the saintliness of Arkia. At last with great effort Mirano was revived and regained her senses.

Chief monk: Well, Mirano, how are you? Give us some good tidings.

Mirano (pointing to Arkia): It is all the manifestation of her saintliness and blessing. With her attention she made me see the Lord.

Arkia: Lord be glorified! Blessed be the name of crucified Christ!

Monk: Well, well! What did you see?

Mirano: I was absorbed in prayer when I saw a very handsome and graceful person rushing towards me and he looked in truth at Isabella and smiled.

Monk: Congratulation, congratulation.

Mirano: I was intently looking at the person when he turned towards me. I saw a mark on his face on which was written “The Holy Ghost” with light letters. (Here Isabella was suddenly forced to laugh but she suppressed it
by coughing.)

Arkia: O Lord ! Glorified be Thy Name!

Mirano: Then he took out a phial and poured a few drops on the head of Isabella.

Monk: Surely, they were drops of faith. Isabella, your luck has brightened.

Mirano: Thereafter the Holy Ghost told me two things…

Monk: Say what these two things were.

Mirano: He said that there is a sacred Church in the southern part of Cordova which is now-a-days deserted and in which bones of holy saints are preserved for pilgrims and seekers of blessings. I am going there. Look, the Lord is waiting for you there with extended arms to confer blessings.

Arkia: Crucified Lord! Thy Name be glorified. By holy Mary! how lucky is the revelation. And I had seen the Lord the moment I came here. Do you see how Mirano’s revelation has confirmed what I said.

Monk : Now say what was the other thing which the Holy Ghost said.

Mirano : The other thing…

Monk: Yes.

Mirano: The other thing is not to be told here, as I have been so enjoined.

Monk: Did the Holy Ghost ask you not to reveal it ?

Mirano: Yes, He told me not to reveal it before others.

Monk: At least tell me if it was about some person or some work?

Mirano: I can say this much that it was about you, holy father. How could I know that your position is so exalted before the Lord?

Since the monks and Roman Catholic Christians are very superstitious and easily led to believe, the monk believed it at once and jumped in joy and on hearing from Mirano “How could I know that you have so exalted a position before the Lord?” Arkia fell at the feet of the monk and began to rub her forehead on them while the monk in the ecstasy of joy stood motionless and could only say to her: Daughter, have patience! You will also be with me in
Paradise.

So two hours passed in this demonstration of jubilations when Arkia addressed the monk. Arkia: What should we do?

Monk: To seek our Lord we should go to the place indicated to Mirano. (To Isabella:) Look, O girl, truly it is due to you that the Holy Ghost has descended on us today. Surely just on meeting the Lord you will become a saint and kings will seek blessing at your feet.

Mirano: Is it necessary for us to go to that old Church indicated by the Holy Ghost ?

Monk: Simple girl, have you still any hesitation when the Holy Ghost has ordered that we should reach there before morning.

Mirano: Well, then, lock up Isabella in the underground chamber and prepare to start.

Monk: Why ! Should we leave the very person behind for whom the Holy Ghost has descended here and given us the honour of seeing the Lord? Look, Isabella has received a special grace of God, just as Holy Peter, despite being the bitterest enemy of the Lord, was the recipient of a special grace. So get up, take Isabella with you and go to the Church.

Hanana: If Isabella slips away on the way? Monk (laughing) : Strange! Has the Lord called us to his presence for nothing? As if he is not aware of even this that the person whom he has called will slip away.

Arkia: I think we should not delay now for the Holy Ghost has directed that we should reach there soon. (Looking at the sky:) See I am already seeing the Holy Ghost. O Lord ! glory to thy Name ! (All join in a loud cry): O Lord! glory to thy Name!

Monk: Well, I am asking the donkeys of the monastery to be brought and you prepare in the meantime. The donkeys are very fast runners and will take you to the Church in half an hour.

The monk then called some servants and ordered them to bring the donkeys. The order was promptly carried out, but he kept his departure a secret. The monk was very happy that Isabella, immediately on reaching there, on seeing the Lord would lift up the Cross of Christ and the holy father (Isabella’s father) would be struck with wonder on seeing this miracle. Now, they were all ready to start and Isabella, Hanana, Mertha, Mirano, Arkia and the monk mounted on fast running donkeys and, at the instruction of Mirano, Isabella was kept in the middle as a precaution. In a quarter of an hour’s time they reached the Church of Saint Peter. In this Church the bones of the martyrs, renowned in Christianity, were preserved and Christian women from distant places came on pilgrimage to receive blessings.

There was yet a long time for the dawn to appear and the awesome atmosphere of the Church filled the hearts of all with awe. Immediately on entering the Church Arkia and the monk prostrated before a large skeleton and began to cry aloud as they hoped that before the morning they will see the Lord and the Holy Ghost will embrace them.

While there was weeping in the dead of the night on the one side, Isabella and her three friends were devising their own plans. Suddenly all the four fell upon the monk who was prostrating and weeping before a skeleton and two of them caught his hands and the other two his feet and taking out a rope and rags concealed in their pockets tightly bound the monk’s feet and thrust rags in his mouth. On this sudden and unexpected attack the poor fellow could not even cry for help. Arkia was prostrating before another skeleton, hoping to see the Lord. After securing safely the monk they went to Arkia and whispered in here ear: Come, holy sister! we will show you the Lord.

Arkia, full of zeal, at once rose and when she approached the helpless monk, she cried in anguish: What is this?

Isabella: This is your Lord to see whom you came here.

Then the girls warned Arkia of her future and preached Islam to her and said that if she wanted to see the soul of truth and the perfect man she should recite, La ilaha ill Allah Muhammad Rasulullah [There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Apostle]; otherwise she would never be able to see her imaginary Lord till the Dooms Day. So saying the four girls mounted on the fast running donkeys and quickly left the Church.

After their departure Arkia stood transfixed as if she had lost her wit and senses. At last in the dim light of candles, the monk beckoned to her of his plight and Arkia first took out the rags from his mouth and released his hands and feet.

Hearing his outcries other pilgrims also came up, but Isabella and her friends were nowhere to be seen.

Isabella with her three friends (Mertha, Hanana and Mirano) coming out of the Church of Saint Peter mounted their fast running donkeys and driving them with all speed soon reached Umar Lahmi’s house and informed him and other Muslim divines of all that had happened. Ziad b. Umar was also intimated of these interesting details. All the Muslims were astonished on the wisdom and tact of Mirano and congratulated the four guests on their release from Christian oppression.

The four girls came to the meeting of Ziad b. Umar which assembled after early night prayer at which other eminent divines, philosophers, medical practitioners, interpreters of the Holy Quran, traditionists, and historians were present. As nearly all Muslims were aware of the affairs of Isabella and every second or third day Umar Lahmi was informed of the day-to-day happenings, all with great joy were anxious to hear their stories.

Ch 14: A Complete Change

One day Mirano, Mertha and Hanana went to the head priest and told him that as Isabella was their classmate and was also amenable to their advice, so if they were permitted to talk to her they might be able to bring her back to the Christian fold. This last chance of persuasion might be given them and they had ninety-nine per cent hope that they would succeed. Holy father, they said : Isabella is a piece of our heart and we will not spare any effort to
persuade her. So let us go to the monastery and talk to her.

Head priest: Let that accursed girl go to hell. She has become very hard-hearted and Lord Jesus Christ has cut her off. I am afraid she may not lead astray even you.

Mirano; Well, there is no harm in making a last effort of persuasion. If she comes round, well and good, otherwise you may give her whatever punishment you like.

Head priest: Very well, I give you permission to go to the monastery on condition that you should talk in the presence of two monks so that the accursed may not misguide you, and you may not be influenced by her apostasy. Now go and tomorrow evening you may go to the monastery. I am writing to the monk for it today.

After getting permission Mirano, Mertha and Hanana returned pleased and began to make preparations to leave their homes for ever, as the plan they had conceived was such that they would also have to leave their homes along with Isabella. Anyway they prepared for their permanent departure with great care and precaution and before the time of their leaving for the monastery they informed Ziad b. Umar and Umar Lahmi asking for their help in that enterprise.

After all preparations had been made the three friends came out of their houses and met at an appointed place and at the time given by the head priest they started for the monastery. The head priest had written to the manager of the monastery that these friends of Isabella were going to make a last effort to reconvert Isabella at a specified time and they should be allowed to enter the monastery and given necessary help. Maybe by persuasion of her friends Isabella might see the light. So when these girls reached the monastery the monks and nuns welcomed them cordially and thought that to give guidance to Isabella Jesus Christ had sent his Virgin Mother in the form of these girls and that the help of all saints was with them. Entering the monastery the three girls sat down before the statue of Virgin Mary and a group of monks surrounded them.

A nun (to Mirano): Blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ may be with you and God may give you success in your mission. You know that some devil has misguided this unlucky girl, Isabella. How good and learned was the girl! May God destroy the devil, what pious people he has seduced!

Another nun: Virgin Mary’s shadow be over you. By the Deliverer, you will certainly succeed in your mission. Your beautiful faces assure your success. If Lord Jesus Christ’s grace again supports Isabella it will be a great feat of yours. The news has spread all over Cordova and all Christians have been humbled.

Third nun: By God, just last night I saw girls of your features in my dream who were sitting in the lap of Virgin Mary and on the other side Lord Jesus Christ was indicating by gestures that the honour of the church will be established through these girls. When the monks heard of this dream they cried: It is these girls.

Chief monk: Isabella is locked up in the underground chamber and her hands and feet are chained. The accursed girl is so hard-hearted that the severer the punishment, the more she applauds Islam and in this condition she does not hesitate even to preach to us. Now when do you propose to go to her?

Mirano: Our idea is to talk to her calmly and explain to her the truth of Christian creed, but on condition that except one or two monks none others should be with us. Now that the sun is about to set, after three hours of the night you may bring her here so that we may induce her to pray and practise austerities. Possibly there will be no need thereafter to persuade her and by the blessing of Virgin Mary (pointing to the statue) her heart will be opened for the crucified God.

Chief monk: Whatever you order we are ready to carry out. I am directing all the monks not to interfere in your prayers and keep away from you.

Mirano : Thank you very much, but first let us meet Isabella in the underground chamber and after some usual talk exclusively on personal matters bring her here. (Pointing to the statue of Virgin Mary) Look, the Mother of our Lord is quite ready to take Isabella in her arms and it is hoped that Isabella will not refuse to go to her arms.

Thereafter the monk and the three girls went towards the underground chamber, the lock was opened and all were lost in darkness.

Hanana: Oho ! How dark !

Monk: I am lighting the lamp. You just go a little ahead, but be careful not to stumble for many skeletons are scattered all over here.

The monk lighted the lamp. When Isabella saw her three friends she was overjoyed. While Mirano, Mertha and Hanana had not yet seen her, Isabella loudly called the Muslim salutation of peace.

Monk: O unlucky accursed girl! Just yesterday you got so much beating for it, yet you do not take lesson and reform yourself.

All the girls suddenly laughed on hearing the call of Muslim salutation of peace, but when they came nearer their eyes became wet on seeing Isabella bound in chains.

Mirano: How do you do, Isabella? How is life here? Did you realise what is the punishment of rejecting the truth?

Isabella (smiling): You are right, sister, for the sake of truth people have even gone to the gallows.

Mirano: We have not come here to discuss with you but to adopt your creed.

On this all the girls laughed loudly and the two monks also could not suppress their laughter.

Mirano: Isabella, after all how long you will continue to remain in the grip of satan? Just see how the Christians all over Cordova are perturbed on your apostasy!

Isabella: There is no other way of protection from satan except by accepting Islam. It is only this strong fort from the cover of which man can successfully confront all satanic powers. It is a vain thought that only by becoming a Christian one can save oneself from the grip of satan. You have read the Bible and should know that even holy Disciples could not escape satan’s grip and even Jesus Christ called some of his Disciples satan. When these Disciples who, according to you, were trained under the direct supervision of Jesus Christ, could not escape from satan’s strong hold, how can Christians of today save themselves from satan? But the Quran says that satan cannot even touch the devoted servants of Allah.

Mirano: You have again started the same discussion in which you have been defeated by the priests (laughing) and by God’s grace we have emerged successful. So you should stop this religious discussion and just look to your tortures. O Isabella! It is God’s punishment to you that now, being the daughter of the head priest of Cordova, you sleep on the bed of thorns and your hands and feet are chained. For God’s sake, take pity on yourself.

Isabella: If truth could be given up to avoid troubles, then early Christian martyrs would not have tasted martyrdom. If troubles come only on untruth, then most of the Christians who were the pride of the church would be counted to be on the wrong. In fact, your talk has tortured me more than what I suffer on the bed of thorns and grip of chains. Did you come here to give me torture over torture?

Mirano (to the monk): Isabella can never be defeated by discussion. Her only remedy is that tonight we include her in our prayer and devotion before the idol of Virgin Mary. You will see that this very night she will be completely transformed and her heart will be turned towards crucified Christ.

Monk : May Lord Jesus accomplish this, but apparently Isabella’s turning to the truth seems to be very difficult.

Mirano: It is the rule that one who is more hard-hearted will come to the faith more with reality. Just see how unbending the enemy of the Lord Saint Paul was and what tortures the believers suffered at his hands, but this very Saint Paul became the pillar of Christianity and was the greatest recipient of Lord’s grace.

Monk: You are right. May Lord Christ may do the same for Isabella and she also joins our fold !

Mirano: Well, now we should go from hers and prepare for the prayer in the same large room. (To the monk :) See, after three hours of the night you should bring Isabella to our room and also depute a nun to be with us to keep a watch over Isabella.

Monk: Very well. Isabella will be brought to you at the appointed time.

Mirano: Can you or any other monk also take the trouble of remaining with us for the night ?

Monk: Most surely. But you know that all the night we are engaged in prayer and remembrance of God.

Mirano: Well, just as you like, and there is no need either. But at the time of the morning talk as arranged, you will be with us.

Monk:  In the morning not only myself but other monks also will listen to your talk.

Mertha: If Lord Jesus wills, the object will be gained during the night and there will be no need of any talk.

Mertha said this in a tone that, except the monk, all others understood its implication.

Thereafter Mertha, Hanana and Mirano along with the monk came out of the underground chamber and reached the large room of the monastery. The monk locked the underground chamber. After dinner and toilet Mirano, Mertha and Hanana took another round of the monastery and talked to monks and nuns who began preparations for the night vigil. These girls returned to their room. The purpose of the round of the monastery and talk to monks and nuns was to find out a nun who was the greatest devotee and they found out a nun of this type and also the time of the night when she used to engage herself in prayer. Now three hours of the night were about to pass and these girls were talking quietly. At last the door of the large room opened and the same chief monk entered when the girls stood up to pay him respect as he was chief of the monks. The monk informed the girls that Isabella was being taken out of the underground chamber and brought to them as arranged and soon a nun would also be sent to them.

Mirano: Please send here the nun who is most devoted to prayer in the night and is also saintly. Is there any such nun in the monastery?

Monk: All the nuns that are here are devotees and practise all kinds of austerities for the sake of Lord Jesus, but there is one among them whose name is Arkia who is the most pious devotee, recipient of Divine revelations and performer of miracles. About her family it is enough to say that she is a Princess of France and has given up her riches and royalty for the sake of Virgin Mary.

Mirano: So our object is gained. We needed such a nun who could influence Isabella with her spirituality. Does she also perform miracles?

Monk: Her miracles are known far and wide. Have you never heard about it ? You may just take this that she drinks the cup of poison and is not at all affected. Once a very dangerous and poisonous snake entered the monastery and fell at the feet of Arkia. This I saw myself.

Mirano: God’s name be glorified! The work is done. Now, you please go and send Isabella to us.

Ch 13: A Conspiracy

While Isabella was in her room, a maidservant gave a letter in her hand which read: “Sister Isabella, I have to talk to you on some important things, so be kind to take the trouble of coming here at once. The matter is very important. You should not delay at all. Just now I am waiting for you anxiously in another house. Please come along with this maidservant. Your sister, Mirano.”

Isabella immediately got up to follow the maidservant while suspecting that the letter was not from Mirano, but was a secret conspiracy of the priests. She followed the maidservant on the road which, rounding from the Palace of Martyrs, went straight to Rabat Ramani. At some distance the maidservant turned to a lane and entered a grand house and as soon as she entered all the doors were closed and unsuspecting Isabella was taken to another room whose doors were also closed and Isabella was taken to another room whose doors were also immediately closed. Here Isabella suspected that she probably had been taken prisoner. Then two or three monks pushed Isabella to the stairs leading to the underground room. Isabella was perturbed and she realised that she was in the grip of the Inquisition. When she put her feet on the stair a monk gave a hard blow on the back of the poor, delicate girl, and said. O accursed one! why do you not go ahead? See that the fire of Lord Jesus Christ’s anger is ready to burn you up. Unlucky girl! you have defamed Christianity and dragged the honour of your father, the head priest, into the mire.

Poor Isabella was silent. Shivering and suffering blows on her back she got down to the underground chamber where human skeletons were lying here and there in all corners and human craniums were hanging on the walls. Going inside the monk lighted a lamp and said to Isabella: Now you have to live here so that you may know the consequences of hostility to Lord Jesus Christ. Unluckily girl (pointing to the skeletons), these have been deputed to chastise you.

Isabella kept silence and felt as if she was in a dream. In the meantime all the monks went out of the cell after locking it and engaged themselves in prayer and devotion in other rooms. After some time Isabella came to her senses and soon realised that she was put to the tortures of being shut up in this chamber of ghosts because of her acceptance of truth.

The day passed somehow and darkness of the night enveloped the world. After eighth part of the night Isabella was taken out of the chamber and was given some parched and ground grain with water to drink. The monks even now continued to snub her. Then Isabella was taken to different rooms of the house where monks were engaged in various devotional exer-cises. The object of this round was to frighten Isabella by the austerities of monks which might appeal to her conscience. Isabella watched all this with great interest. One person was lying bound up in chains and another person was striking him with a lash. Isabella was terrified at this sight and thought that probably he was also a guilty one like herself. She soon found that it was a method of subduing the self, and self-torture was voluntarily taken up by monks. In the large room of the house there was an idol of Virgin Mary, around which monks and nuns were sitting in meditation. Some monks were lying along the wall with faces downward and some were sobbing in a corner ; for subduing the self they had not taken food for the last twenty or twenty-one days. Isabella was aware of these things but had not yet actually witnessed these scenes with her own eyes.

An elderly monk said to Isabella: O abandoned girl, if you want to gain salvation, practise such austerities and by these achieve the pleasure of Lord Jesus Christ.

Isabella laughed at it and said : Why does God need such austerities ? The purpose of religion is that one should perform the duties which a man has towards other men and serve men, not that he should hang himself in a corner like abat. Further, when, according to you, Jesus has atoned for all Christians, then such austerities are useless.

On this the monk’s eyes became red with anger, and he struck a fist on the chest of Isabella with full force saying : Hellish girl, you can never be reformed. Go away, sit at your place. You will get your full treatment there.

So the monk again opened the door of the underground chamber and forced poor Isabella inside.

Isabella sat in a corner of the chamber where tons of human bones were scattered and human skeletons all around were creating an awesome spectacle. In the beginning Isabella’s mind was somewhat perturbed but soon her senses revived and she was able to think about her past and future affairs. In this fearful and silent house of the dead if there was a slightest sound Isabella looked around perturbed and worried, but soon she brought herself up and began to recite prayers. At last the night ended and in this dark and closed chamber some rays of light entered through some holes. After some time the door of the chamber was opened and a monk brought her out in the large hall of the house here twelve idols of the Disciples of Christ and other martyrs were stalled. Isabella was taken where two very famous priests were sitting, Isabella sat before them. At first a great deal of anger and fire was demonstrated and then preaching began.

They said : Have you become a Muslim? Isabella: Thank Allah, Who gave me the great boon of Islam.

Priest: Leave out the praise of Islam. Just tell me if you want to die an obnoxious death, or do you want to become again worthy of God’s grace?

Isabella: After accepting Islam any person becomes worthy of God’s grace and no one is more fortunate than the one who is given the luck to accept Islam as this religion alone is the source of God’s pleasure and love.

Priest: Do not praise before me a bloody religion like Islam. I just want a reply in two words, whether you like to die or to live a Christian. Reply at once for your fate is to be decided today.

Isabella: What tribulations Christian martyrs had not suffered in the very beginning, but did they renounce the truth? They were burnt alive, thrown before tigers and lions, cut into two by saw and yet they held on to the truth.

If for the sake of truth anyone has to meet death, it will be the means of having God’s pleasure and satisfaction of his conscience. Since I am on the right, nothing on earth, even death, can make me deviate from it. The Holy Quran has taught me that “My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are surely for Allah, the Lord of the worlds—no associate has He.”* I have been enjoined to remain firm on it, and I am among those devotees.

Priest: That is, you do not want to give up Islam and enter into the grace of Lord Jesus Christ, Well, then your fate will be decided today.

Isabella: Whatever decision you like you may make about me with your heart’s content. The utmost you can do is to take my life, but you do not know that the Being to Whom I am related is Allah, Who lives for ever.

Priest: When death will confront you, you will forget all these verses of the Quran and Allah, etc. We shall see if the Quran or Prophet Muhammad saves you from death.

Isabella: The same problem was put by the Jews before Jesus Christ that if he was on the right, he should come down from the scaffold and save his life. Now either (Allah forbid!) Christ was wrong that, according to you, he could not save himself from death, or you are in the footsteps of Jews.

Priest: O devil, hellish, evil-minded, worthless, unlucky! You call me a Jew! Now keep quite and wait for your end.

Isabella: It will be better if you also keep quiet and leave me alone and do yourself whatever you please.

Priest (to monks): Lock up this girl in the underground chamber, do not give her any food or drink. Holy Father (Isabella’s father) has ordered that she should be given over to the Inquisition and her fate will be decided tomorrow.

On this the monks caught hold of Isabella forcefully pushing and beating her, and carried her out of the room. Outside the room the beating was harder and numerous. Isabella fell and got up. At last she was thrown in the underground chamber and locked up.

Now three days had passed in this confinement and Isabella was not even once taken out. But she was so happy and complacent as if angels of firmness and stability were deputed for her. In the solitude of the night human skeletons made the atmosphere quite fearsome, while monks and nuns were engaged in austerities ; their weeping and cries reached Isabella’s ears.

In the meantime Isabella’s friends (Mirano, Mertha and Hanana) had also learnt that Isabella had been fraudulently called and thrown into the underground chamber of a monastery and was being subjected to great tortures. Then they consulted together and decided to inform Umar Lahmi and Ziad b. Umar. One night they went to the assembly of Ziad b. Umar and narrated the whole episode which greatly excited the Muslims who were present there.

One person: By Allah, if we continue to remain so tolerant Christians will put great obstruction in the propagation of Islam. Isabella is now our sister in Islam and it is the duty of every Muslim to release her from the grip of Christians at whatever cost.

Another person (drawing his sword): By your permission I can go at once and release Isabella. It is a pity that while our sister is under such tortures we sit silent even now which is a great injustice.

Umar Lahmi: Brothers, excitement and outbursts will not do. The case is now before Hazrat Ziad b. Umar and we shall do whatever he orders.

All (to Ziad b. Umar): Well, sir, whatever you order we are ready to carry it out.

Ziad b. Umar : My advice to you is that you should not show any excitement as it will cause the death of poor Isabella. If we like we can get her released by sending a contingent of our army, but it is expedient to take a strategic action. If Isabella is in trouble it will InshaAllah (God willing) strengthen her faith and the fact is that the worth of Islam is realised in the taste of tribulations.

Umar Lahmi (to Mirano, Mertha and Hanana): Now say what is your opinion and how far you can help our sister Isabella.

Mirano: If we are allowed and the matter is left to us we can easily relieve Isabella from the trouble.

Umar Lahmi: Thank you very much.

Ziad b. Umar: You have our permission to do whatever you can in your own way to get Isabella released.

The three girls, making firm promises, sought permission to depart. They left and went to their respective homes. The plan of releasing Isabella remained under discussion all the way.

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain
Next Chapter

Ch 12: Isabella’s Prayer

Evening came after anxious waiting and Isabella started for the garden of Cordova well in time. On the way she met Michael’s daughter, Mirano, who also accompanied her and her other two friends, who had listened to the talk at Michael’s house, also joined them in the garden.

Mirano: Isabella, there is great sorrow on your face. Why? You have to part some day from your relatives.

Isabella: I was in great plight after I parted from you. But luckily my mother, being engaged in other things, could not come to me, otherwise Heaven knows what trouble she would have caused. But now by Allah’s Grace I am not worried but prepared to bear all troubles for the sake of truth.

Mirano: But, sister, you were wonderful today, you gave such crushing replies to priests that they were flabbergasted and could not reply, and moreover whatever you argued was from the Bible.

Mertha (the other friend): But what is strange is that despite being silenced they do not confess.

Mirano: They may not confess by mouth but their hearts do believe. After you left my father Michael said to Peter: It is true that the divinity of Christ is not proved by the Bible, but anyway we have to abide by the judgment of the Church. Father Peter was convinced of the weight of your arguments and said that your arguments were not weak.

Mertha: But today’s discussion proved that Islam is a true and firm religion while in Christianity there is nothing but misguidance.

Mirano (to Isabella): Would you like to leave your parents, brothers, sisters and relatives, and the life of ease and comfort? And what will you do if your father is strict on you and gives you up to the Inquisition?

Isabella: I have now freed my mind from all these worries. Allah Who has conferred on me the boon of Islam will also help me in future and will not discard my good cause. I find great solace in the verse of the Quran which says: “Whosoever has fear of Allah in him, then Allah will provide for him the means to find the path of salvation and give him sustenance from quite unexpected quarters.”

Mirano: Well, when shall we go to meet Ziad b. Umar and his company? Isabella : We have to go there a little early so as to benefit by the company of respected Ziad as much as possible and return home in time. Mirano: Will you report to respected Ziad the events of today?

Isabella : Why not? But let us go now so that we may reach there at the time of isha (early night prayer) and return after staying there for an hour.

Coming out of the garden of Cordova Isabella, accompanied by her friends, took her way to the’ great Mosque of Cordova and on the way Isabella informed her friends that, although in her heart she has become a Muslim, she has not been formally converted. She would now take the pledge at the blessed hands of Ziad b. Umar, so that Allah may grant her more courage and firmness and take in her heart the full measure of Allah’s help. All her friends congratulated her on her good intention and expressed their pleasure also.

Half an hour after this, the girls entered the inner part of Umar Lahmi’s house, which adjoined the house of Ziad b. Umar, who had already been informed of their visit by Umar Lahmi. So after isha prayer divines, devotees, traditionists, poets, men of letters, academicians and eminent scholars assembled there. After formal talk Umar Lahmi asked Ziad b. Umar’s permission to bring the girls to his presence, and on getting permission the girls were called from Umar Lahmi’s house.

As soon as the girls arrived Ziad asked about their welfare. Isabella narrated to him the happenings of the last two days with her father, the head priest, and other priests and also the talk she had had with Michael and Peter on different subjects and also the arguments which she had put before them. The learned men present there applauded her achievement and greatly encouraged her. All were impressed by the profound knowledge of Isabella.

Isabella (to Ziad b. Umar): Respected sir, this has all passed and whatever comes after will be seen, but now my request is that you formally convert me to Islam and include me in the universal brotherhood of the believers of one God. So Ziad b. Umar formally converted her and all those present prayed sincerely for her firmness.

Ziad b. Umar: Daughter Isabella, now that you have formally embraced Islam, you should put a veil on your face as Islam enjoins concealment of the woman’s face. In future you should always be veiled. At the same time five times of prayer are incumbent on you and see that it is never missed as this is the only door to felicity. Well, are these girls with you the same whom you had mentioned ?

Isabella: Yes, one of them is the daughter of Michael, whose name is Mirano, and the other two are my friends and confidantes. Their names are Mertha and Hanana.

Ziad: Have they any doubt about Islam?

Isabella: They have no doubt about the truth of Islam and, like me, they believe in it and when Allah wishes they will formally declare their Islam, yet Mirano has some doubts which my spiritual father, Umar Lahmi, will resolve. She will come here some time and present her doubts and have satisfaction.

Umar Lahmi: It appears from your father’s attitude that he will be strict with you and it will not be surprising if he secretly hands you over to the Inquisition. By the morning Michael and Peter will report to him the details of your debate after which he is sure to antagonise you. Now, what remedy have you thought of it ?

Isabella: Allah knows better what is going to happen in future. I have submitted my case to Allah. Yet I have resolved that if he is more oppressive I will come over to your house.

Umar Lahmi: You may do this whenever you like; anyway you have to do this sometime, for Christians are not so broadminded as not to oppress you and leave you free when they find that you have accepted Islam.

Isabella (to Zia’d b. Umar): Respected sir, you pray for me that Allah may grant me endurance and firmness. Now permit us to leave.

Ziad b. Umar and others present said goodbye to the girls and, after leaving the place, Isabella and her three friends got to their respective homes.

Isabella slept in a corner of her house and, long before dawn, when she woke up, she could not leave her bed. While still in bed the voice of Allah-o-Akbar reached her ears and made her quite restless, while the idea of Glory and Grandeur of Allah and His Awe and Might filled her eyes and tears began to fall from them. Getting some solace after weeping she fell in prostration and with all humbleness prayed to the Creator of the earths and heavens: “O Allah! grant me Thy love and Thy most loved one. O Allah ! fill my heart with the light of Islam and Tauhid (Unity) and make the obedience of Thy Apostle my fate in life. O Allah! I am so grateful to Thee for conferring on me the honour of following the Mercy of the Worlds.O Allah! grant my parents, my relatives and all Christians and the misguided ones the blessings of Islam and let us all live and die on Islam. O my Lord! just grant this humble prayer of the oppressed one, for Thou art the hearer and the seer.”

After concluding this prayer Isabella felt that her soul had got solace and a great load had been lifted from her mind. She found that a treasure-house of endurance, firmness and elation had been installed into her heart. She was very happy as she had secured a great wealth like Islam. She was now fearless and bold, for the Tauhid had cast off from her all fears except the fear of Allah.

Isabella’s mother was in an unusual great rage. It appeared that Peter and others had conveyed all their talk to her parents and convinced them that she had become an apostate and all the doors of persuasion had closed on her.

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain
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Ch 11: Test of Faith

Continuing her talk Isabella said: Christ has no power to perform miracles as it has been proved from the Bible. Now I say that Jesus Christ was as powerless in everything as any other man. If he were God he could not have been so helpless and he would have been free to do anything like the Almighty God and could not have felt the need of seeking the help of others. (Opening the Bible) Jesus Christ says: “Foras the Father has life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to exercise judgment also, because he is the Son of man.”[ John, 5 : 26-27.] That is even the life of Jesus Christ was not his own but given by God and it was He Who gave him authority to do justice. Without God’s grace he could not do even justice and the argument given was that Jesus was human and a human being could not do anything without the help of God. Christ also says: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge and my judgment is just.” [Ibid., 5:30] Further he said: “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.”[Ibid. 6:38] Thus it is proved that Christ was quite powerless like other men, and who is dependent on others cannot be God, and so Jesus also was not God.

Peter (to Michael): Do you see how unbending is this girl ? Muslims have taught her well to become so talkative. Now, can you believe that she will come to the right path? I think it is useless to have any further talk with her as she has lost faith and has become very disobedient.

Michael: I am also convinced that she is wholly under the control of Satan. (To Isabella :) All the arguments produced by you have obvious replies and you have also read them in the lessons on theology. There are also other replies which you cannot understand at all. Now, instead of replying to you, I should like to hear your ideas so that we can come to the decision easily about you. You have clearly stated your views about the Divinity of Christ and Atonement. Now what have you to say further?

Isabella: I have neither denied the Bible nor Jesus Christ. But what I say is that, according to the teaching of the Bible, neither Christ is proved to be God, nor any basis of atonement. All this is the invention of Christians.

Michael: It means that all Christians are liars and all Christians have united against the Holy Bible. Accursed and hellish girl, if you cannot understand anything, just accept the judgment of your elders. Does your father, who is the head priest and has full authority to pardon sins, also consider these things wrong 7 Are all his popes, monks, Christian divines and savants of Christianity on the wrong path?

Isabella: Just as the Bible does not prove the Divinity of Christ and Atonement, in the same wav the Christianity of the so-called Christians of today is not established according to the Bible and so their opinions cannot be my guide.

Michael: Wonderful! That we are unreal and false Christians, and you are a real and true Christian. Unlucky girl, what has become of your senses? You have discarded even your elders. After all what is your proof that we are not true Christians?

Isabella: There is no reason for losing temper. The matter is quite obvious. If you could prove from the Bible that modern Christians are true Christians, then I will wholeheartedly accept their decision and will not press any argument against them from the Bible. So, you just prove from the Bible that Christians of today are true Christians.

Michael: There are Christians all over the world, and you say that they are not Christians according to the Bible. What is its proof? Is it not proof enough that we believe in the Bible, in the Divinity of Jesus and his crucifixion?

Isabella: Do not Muslims believe in the Bible? Can you call them Christians? As to believe in the Divinity of Christ and Atonement, it is not any argument for Christianity. On the other hand, it proves that such persons are not at all Christians as there is no trace of such beliefs in the Bible.

Peter : O worthless girl, why are you doubting our Christianity? If we are not Christians, then it is for you to give proof of true Christians. Just say where in the world do real and true Christians live.

Isabella : You may be as much angry as you like, but the truth cannot be concealed. If you want the proof from me, then I declare candidly that Christians of today are not at all followers of Christ, and who can be a true Christian I am prepared to prove from the Bible itself.

Michael: O accursed girl, why talk and talk? Why not come out with your proof?

Isabella : Well, then, listen. The signs of the true Christians are mentioned in the Bible as follows: “And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” [Mark, 16 : 17-18.] At another place the sign of the believing Christian is stated as follows: “Then came the disciples to Jesus and said, Why could we not cast him [evil spirit] out ? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief, for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say upon this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place ; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” [Matthew. 17 : 19-20.]

Now, from these two passages of the Bible, the following six signs of Christians have been established:

(1) driving out evil spirits
(2) speaking new languages without learning them
(3)lifting up poisonous snakes
(4) taking the cup of poison without injury
(5) curing the sick by the touch of their hand and
(6) moving away mountains.

So, anyone who claims to be a Christian must first prove these six signs in him. You are also a Christian. Leave aside all the six signs and cure a sick man with your touch; mountain, of course, you cannot move. Here is just a stone; move it away only ten or twenty yards, so that your Christianity is proved by the Bible.

Michael: True, it is all in the Bible, but where is it written that anyone who is unable to do such miracles is not a Christian? Besides, all these signs are peculiar to Disciples and not to Christians in general

Isabella : Both these statements are wrong. The Bible clearly says that any Christian who has an atom of faith in him will move away the mountain by his bidding. It follows that anyone who has not even an atom of faith in him will not be able to move the mountain. Then it is also wrong to say that these signs are for the Disciples only as it is clearly said in the Bible that these miracles will be among the believers. If these signs are intended for the Disciples only, then belief is also for the Disciples only which means that no true Christian was born after the Disciples.

Peter: Unlucky girl, that is why I say that you cannot understand the mysteries and inner meanings of the Bible. Foolish girl, these miracles relate to spiritual matters, that is, by Illness is meant spiritual illness, poison means disbelief which means that Christians, even if they are attacked by unbelievers, will not degrade from faith and so on.

Isabella: Just think before you reply. You call me foolish; the cap may fit on you. Look, Jesus Christ says: “He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also.”[ John, 14 : 12.] If by miracles Is meant spiritual matters, then it will follow that Christ neither revived a dead, nor did he give sight to the blind, nor cured a sick, but he just cured spiritually dead, exorcised the evil spirits, and created in them the light of faith. But you people will never admit this interpretation about Christ. Then why do you concoct this new rule for others ? Christ said: “the works that I do,” so whatever he did and in whatever manner, believers should also do and in the same manner, otherwise they will not be believers.

Peter: It is difficult to make this unbelieving girl understand. Her remedy is not exhortation but the same punishment which the Inquisition decides (after whose decision the guilty is tied to the stock). (To Michael.) You turn her out of the house and tell holy father (the head priest) that she is past remedy and some other device must be adopted.

Michael and Peter then rose and went to another room and consulted among themselves. Michael’s daughter Mirano told Isabella to leave at once otherwise there might be trouble for her there. But it was agreed that Isabella and her friends must assemble at the famous garden of Cordova in the evening and think about the future. Isabella went out of Michael’s house and took the way to her home. But although she was going to her house her steps faltered and she pondered as to what was she going to meet at her home.

Anyhow she reached her home and, on the insistence of her mother, also ate something, but in the worried state of her mind she could not decide about her future and, waiting for the evening, she retired to her room. She looked at her library and other things and cast gloomy eyes at every corner of the house fearing that she might have to leave it. Who will use her things and read her books, she thought. So thinking she abruptly alerted and said: Let anyone live in this house and use my things and read my books. I was in search of truth, which I have got. My Allah has guided me. Thousands of thanks to Him Who has granted me the wealth of truth and nothing could be greater than it. Thousands of such houses may be sacrificed for the boon of Islam. So saying she fell down to prostrate and thank the Almighty Allah.

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain
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Ch 10: Inside Knowledge

Next morning a maid-servant brought a note from Michael to Isabella which said : Daughter Isabella ! I have to talk to you on something; you should come to me at once leaving all other work. I am waiting for you. Isabella realised that it was in continuation of the previous day’s plan. Informing her mother she left for Michael’s house, where Peter and another well-known monk, highly popular and famous throughout Spain for his ascetic life, were also present. Michael’s daughter Mirano hurriedly dispatched a messenger to call her other friends and very soon all the friends collected there. Michael then addressed Isabella.

Michael: Yesterday, you put off the matter by giving ambiguous answers to our questions. Today I want to talk to you very frankly. Now say, will you answer my questions correctly?

Isabella: In the first place, I am not so able as to respond to your questions and, secondly, there is no such matter as to need interrogation. But you may ask and I will try to answer according to my understanding.

Michael: Have you become a Muslim?

Isabella: I answered this question yesterday and do not want to say anything more.

Michael: Well, now say if you believe in the holy divinity and in Jesus Christ being “God” with his necessary existence.

Isabella: I do believe God as God, not any man as God.

Michael: So it is clear that you do not believe in the divinity of Lord Jesus Christ. Now what is left there in your being a confirmed Muslim?

Isabella: I mean that there is no proof anywhere in the Bible that Jesus was God.

Michael: For God’s sake, do not calumniate the Holy Bible. Have you not read in the Bible that he was the “Son of God”?

Isabella: There have been other “sons” of God also and so they should also be called “God”.

Michael: Never. Except Lord Jesus Christ, no other man was a true “son” of God.

Isabella (holding the Bible in her hand): Well, please explain to me the meaning of this passage : “The Jews again lifted stones to strike Christ who told them: I have shown you many good things from the father; on which of these you are stoning me? The Jews said: We are not stoning you on good acts but on your infidelity that being a man you call yourself God. Christ said: Does not your creed say that you are God ? When it calls those God to whom divine revelations came, then the person whom God sent to the world after glorifying him, how can you say that he talks infidelity. This is why I said that I am son of God.” [ Jonah, chapter 1, verses 31-36,]

Now the question is what previous Apostles have been called God? Christians believe that these predecessors were called God metaphorically and in love. I say the same. Jesus Christ is also called God in the metaphorical sense and in love, and not because he was really God as alleged.

Michael: Accursed girl! you have become very talkative. Having studied from me you venture to ask the meaning of these verses from me as if we are ignorant and you are learned. But just see, each of the previous Prophets could not be God in the real sense, because they were not innocent while our Lord Jesus Christ was sinless and innocent and therefore he was also God.

Isabella: We are not talking of sin or innocence. The question is that Jesus Christ called himself God as other Prophets were called. If Jesus Christ was really God, then we have to admit that every other Prophet was also God. Besides, in these verses Jesus Christ was replying to the accusations of the Jews. If he were really the son of God, he would have accepted the accusations of Jews.

Michael: Oh! How great! you are such a great scholar that you slight us. It is now clear that you have been well grounded. If Jesus Christ was not God but just a man, how could he constitute atonement for our sins. And is any man free from sins?

Isabella: I do not understand how you concoct the rule that no one among men can be innocent, although even in the Bible a man says about Malik Sidq Shalem : “He without father, without mother, without genealogy. Neither is there beginning of his life nor its end. but just as kin to the son of God.” [ Ecclesiaites, chapter 7, verse 3]. Then in the Bible it is written about Zacharias and his wife: “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” [Luke, chapter 1, verse 6.]

So it is clear that Malik Sidq Shalem, Zacharias and his wife were certainly innocent, otherwise the words “just as kin to God” and “blameless” would be meaningless. So innocence of Christ is not unique but he was innocent like other innocent men. As to the case of Atonement this is also not proved from the Bible, for no man can take the load of other man’s sins and least of all taking the load of men’s sins on his head and dying on the cross. In fact, Jesus has declared in the Bible that salvation will be on the basis of acts and not by atonement, as it is written: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; then he shall reward every man according to his works”[Matthew, chapter 16, verse 27.]; “And, behold, one came and said unto him: Good what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life. Christ said:… If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false-witness.” [Ibid., chapter 19. verses 1618. t 2 ]. It is proved from these verses that salvation is by acts alone. Christ did not tell the man that he did not need do anything as he (Christ) would be atonement for him.

Michael: Girl, you seem to have come to teach me. Do you not trust me? I am your teacher. Whatever I say you must believe. By your own wisdom you cannot comprehend the delicate problems of religious law. The question of atonement comes later. First the question of the divinity of Jesus Christ should be settled. See Christ was taken to heaven in life which Muslims also believe. Is it not the proof of his divinity? Jesus Christ exhibited great miracles. He revived the dead, gave sight to the blind. Do not these things prove his divinity? First you must believe or reject divinity of the Lord and then talk of other things.

Isabella: It was you who raised the question of Atonement. So I began to discuss it. If Jesus Christ can be God by being raised to heaven alive, then Eli should also be God as he was also, according to the Bible, raised alive to heaven [Kings, chapter 14, verse 12]. As to the Christ reviving the dead and giving sight to the blind, that also does not prove his divinity as other Prophets had also demonstrated miracles as is clearly mentioned in the Bible. If these miracles can make anyone God, then other Prophets were also God.

Peter: See, how this girl confuses us! O, foolish girl! The miracles shown by other Prophets were not by their own power but by the power of God, while Christ did miracles by his own power, which proves that he was God.

Isabella: In the first place miracles are not proofs about prophethood, to say the least of divinity. That according to the Christian creed it is not necessary that anyone who does miracles is a prophet and when he cannot be even a prophet, how can he be God? Jesus has said: “… I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater work than these shall he do.” [2 Kings, chapter 2, verse 12.]

As to your claim that the miracles of Christ were by his own authority while those of others they were by constraint, this is also wrong for the Bible proves that not only in performing miracles but in everything else Jesus was as powerless as other Prophets. And whenever Jesus performed any miracle he first prayed for the help of God. In his miracle of bread and fish he sought the help of God and at another place he said to the Disciples that taking out of souls depended on prayer. Christ revived a dead by praying to God.[See Matthew, 12 : 16 ; Mark. 9 : 29 ; Jonab, 11 : 41]

Isabella – A girl of Islamic Spain
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