By Editorial Staff
The names and attributes of God include the “Life-giver” and “Death-causer”. The Lord and Creator of this universe surely has the ability to cause His Creatures to die and bring them back to life just as He had already created them. It is He Who gives life to others, causes them to die and brings them back to life. Moreover, He is the Self-existent Who was not given life, cannot be caused to die or brought back to life by anyone else.
Life-giver & Death-causer in Islam
In the Qur’an, God (called “Allah” in Arabic) is often described as the “Life-giver”, i.e. the One Who gives life and “Death-causer”, i.e. the One Who causes death. For example, we read:
How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned? (Al Baqarah 2:28)
We also read:
Say, [O Muhammad], “O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, [from Him] to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death.” So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be guided. (Al-A`raf 7:158)
God is also described as the One Who begins creation (the Creator) and repeats creation (Re-creator). We read:
To Him is your return all together. [It is] the promise of Allah [which is] truth. Indeed, He begins the [process of] creation and then repeats it that He may reward those who have believed and done righteous deeds, in justice. But those who disbelieved will have a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment for what they used to deny. (Yunus 10:4)
We also read:
Say, “Are there of your ‘partners’ any who begins creation and then repeats it?” Say, “Allah begins creation and then repeats it, so how are you deluded?” (Yunus 10:34)
God is also described as “the Resurrector”, i.e. the One Who resurrects living beings after their death. We read:
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths [that] Allah will not resurrect one who dies. But yes – [it is] a true promise [binding] upon Him, but most of the people do not know. (An-Nahl 16:38)
We also read:
O People, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then [consider that] indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed – that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then [We develop you] that you may reach your [time of] maturity. And among you is he who is taken in [early] death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit [old] age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows [something] of every beautiful kind. That is because Allah is the Truth and because He gives life to the dead and because He is over all things competent. And [that they may know] that the Hour is coming – no doubt about it – and that Allah will resurrect those in the graves. (Al-Hajj 22:5-7)
Life-giver & Death-causer in Christianity
In the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament describe God as the “Life-giver” and the “Death-causer”. In the Old Testament, we read:
“Do you see it now? Do you see that I’m the one? Do you see that there’s no other god beside me? I bring death and I give life, I wound and I heal— there is no getting away from or around me! I raise my hand in solemn oath; I say, ‘I’m always around. By that very life I promise: When I sharpen my lightning sword and execute judgment, I take vengeance on my enemies and pay back those who hate me. I’ll make my arrows drunk with blood, my sword will gorge itself on flesh, Feasting on slain and captive alike, the proud and vain enemy corpses.’” (Deuteronomy 32:39-42)
In the New Testament, we read:
“I command you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and Christ Jesus, who made the good confession when testifying before Pontius Pilate.” (1 Timothy 6:13)
However, the current Christian belief system is based on belief in the killing of Jesus at the hands of the Romans and Jews. In fact, this belief contradicts the very divinity of Jesus for God is supposed to be the “Life-giver” and the “Death-causer”, that is to say able to give life to others and cause them to die, but he was not given life and cannot be caused to die by anyone else. The one who dies or is killed cannot be God for he was given life and is caused to die by someone else.
In the New Testament, about the alleged killing of Jesus, we read: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, this man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (Matthew 27:46-50)
Who Gives Life and Brings Death to Jesus?
With the biblical allegation of Jesus’ death in the New Testament in mind, the verses of the Qur’an and the New Testament agree to the fact that Jesus is given life and caused to die by God. About giving life to Jesus and causing him to die by God, the Qur’an says:
And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east, And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man … He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy … So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.'” Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented … So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” [Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet … And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.” (Maryam 16:19-33)
In the above verses, the Qur’an indicates that it is God Who had already given life to Jesus without a father, it is He Who will cause him to die towards the end of the world and it is He Who will resurrect him on the Day of Judgment.
As for the New Testament, it tells us that it is God who had already given life to Jesus through the Holy Spirit. We read:
“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18)
The New Testament also informs us that it is God Who brought death to Jesus. We read: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46)
The New Testament also relates to us that it is God Who resurrected and raised Jesus from the dead. We read: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11)
We also read: “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.” (Acts 2:32)
We further read: “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” (Acts 2:23-24)
Did Jesus Raise the Dead with Innate Power?
The verses of the Qur’an and the New Testament concur that Jesus could bring some dead people back to life. However, the Qur’an emphasizes that Jesus could raise the dead only with God’s permission (i.e. power) rather than his innate power. The Qur’an cites the text of the glad tidings brought to Mary when Jesus was foretold. We read:
She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel – And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. (Aal `Imran 3:47-49)
The Qur’an also quotes the conversation which will take place between God and Jesus on the Day of Judgment. We read:
[Be warned of] the Day when Allah will assemble the messengers and say, “What was the response you received?” They will say, “We have no knowledge. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen” – [The Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:109-110)
In the New Testament, the Bible corroborates and upholds the fact stressed by the Qur’an. The story of Lazarus tells us that his sister Martha asked Jesus to bring him back to life for she knew that God would give Jesus whatever he asked Him to give.
Actually, Jesus asked God to bring Lazarus back to life so that the standing crowd would believe that he was a messenger sent by God.
We read: Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you.”… So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me.” Having said this, Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” (John 11:21-44)
The most conclusive evidence of the fact that God is the true “Life-giver” and “Death-causer” and that Jesus did not raise the dead with his power but with God’s permission and power is that, in the New Testament, the Bible itself quotes Jesus as charging his disciples with raising the dead. This means that raising the dead is possible by Jesus and others according to the Bible.
Consequently, Jesus cannot be considered God, “the Life-giver” and “the Death-causer”, otherwise his disciples would have been also considered gods because they, according to the Bible, could be such life-givers who could raise the dead as well.
We read: Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.” (Matthew 10:5-8)
Thus, it becomes quite evident now that God is the true “Life-giver”, “Death-causer”, “Creation-beginner” (Creator), “Creation-repeater” (Re-creator), and Resurrector according to the verses of the Qur’an and the Bible. There is no denying that Jesus is not the “Life-giver” or “Death-causer” and that it is God Who gave life to him, will cause him to die and will resurrect him like all other creatures. The reported raising of the dead by Jesus was just a miracle which God enabled Jesus to perform just as He enabled other prophets to perform other miracles as evidence of his prophethood as a messenger of God to the Children of Israel.
1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)
2- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)