By Editorial Staff
The names and attributes of God include “the High” and “the Most High”. God should be described as “the Most High” for He is higher than all of His creatures and none is higher than Him.
The Most High in Islam
In the Qur’an, God (called “Allah” in Arabic) is often described as “the Most High”. We read:
Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High (Al-A`la 87:1)
We also read:
So I have warned you of a Fire which is blazing. None will [enter to] burn therein except the most wretched one, Who had denied and turned away. But the righteous one will avoid it – [He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself. And not [giving] for anyone who has [done him] a favor to be rewarded But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High. (Al-Layl 92:4-20)
In the Qur’an, God is also called “the High”. We read:
His Kursi (throne) extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the High, the Most Great. (Al-Baqarah 2:255)
We also read:
That is because Allah is the Truth, and that which they call upon other than Him is falsehood, and because Allah is the High, the Grand. (Al-Hajj 22:62)
We further read:
Thus does Allah, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal to you, and (thus He revealed) to those before you. His is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, and He is the High, the Great. (Ash-Shura 42:3-4)
The Most High in Christianity
In the Bible, God, the Creator, is often described as “the Most High”. For example, in the New Testament, we read: “But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest? Was it not My hand that made all these things?” (Acts 7:47-50)
Is Jesus the “Most High”, “Son of the Most High” or “Prophet of the Most High”?
We observe that Jesus is described in the Bible sometimes as “the prophet of the Most High” and sometimes as “the son of the Most High”.
As for Jesus’ description as “the prophet of the Most High”, the Bible quotes Zechariah as describing Jesus as “the prophet of the Most High”. In the New Testament, we read: “And you, little one, shall be called a prophet of the Most High; for you shall go on before the face of the Lord to make ready His ways” (Luke 1:76)
As for Jesus’ description as “the son of the Most High”, we read: “And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David.” (Luke 1:31-32)
However, the following questions may be asked: is Jesus “the prophet of God” or “the son of God”? Are those two descriptions literal or metaphorical?
It is quite safe to say that Jesus’ description as “the prophet of God” is a literal one, for Jesus is given this description in other positions in the absence of any indication going against understanding this usage as a literal one.
For example, in the New Testament, we read: “And He said to them, What [kind of] things? And they said to Him, About Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a Prophet mighty in work and word before God and all the people.” (Luke 24:19)
As for Jesus’ description as “the son of the Most High”, it is a metaphorical rather than literal one. It cannot be understood as a literal one simply because this description is given to other people.
For example, the Bible quotes Jesus as saying: “Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people.” (Luke 6:35)
The above verses confirm that the description of “the son of the Most High” may be given to Jesus and other people which prove that his sonhood of God is a metaphorical rather than literal one.
In the above verses from the New Testament (Luke 1:31-32), we notice that Jesus is described as “the son of the Most High” and “the son of David” at the same time, which means that he is a literal son neither of God nor of David. Since Jesus is referred to as a prophet of God and a son of David, he cannot be God. God is the Most High Himself, and Jesus is not the Most High but the prophet of the Most High.
1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)
2- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)