Oneness Of God, The Ultimate Solution To The Trinitarian ControversyWritten by: by Mamarinta-Umar P. Mababaya :: (View All Articles by: Mamarinta-Umar P. Mababaya)
For those who seek knowledge, truth and guidance
- THE HOLY QUR'AN AFFIRMS THE UNITY OF GOD AND REFUTES THE DOCTRINE OF TRINITY
This book traces the historical background of the Trinitarian doctrine. The historical facts presented here show how controversial this fundamental doctrine of Christianity has been. This book likewise digs into the influences of Athanasius, Constantine and Paul on today's Christianity. Furthermore, it presents the concept of One God in Islam as the ultimate, perpetual solution to the Trinitarian controversy.
This work should serve as an eye-opener for Christians who seek guidance and Truth, hoping that it will help them revert to the original teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him) - particularly the belief in One God, which is fundamentally Islamic. The mysterious nature of the Trinitarian doctrine has led many Christians into confusion. Many of them who really seek Truth discovered that this doctrine was an explicit innovation contrary to the teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him). Those of them who have had the opportunity to study the concept of God in Islam have already become Muslims. As many more non-Muslims (especially Christians) are reverting to the path of Allah (the One and Only True God), Islam will certainly sustain its current position as the world's fastest growing and Number One religion - although it is 600 years younger than Christianity. This will be so, because the Unity of God in Islam is absolutely unquestionable - a divine concept that was professed by all the prophets, including Adam, Noah. Abraham, Moses, David. Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
As for the rest of Christians who still blindly adhere to the Trinitarian doctrine, the time is ripe for them to open their minds to the fundamental Truth that verily there is no god worthy to be worshipped, except the One and Only True God, Allah.
I am very pleased to thank Dr. Maneh Al-Johani, Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), for his positive remarks on my proposed Wisdom Enrichment Forum. Under the aegis of Wisdom Enrichment Foundation, the forum aims, among others, at encouraging young Muslim intellectuals to participate in Islamic research and propagation. Along this line, Dr. Al-Johani has, indeed, inspired me to start writing on Islam and other related issues.
Another WAMY official, brother Husain Zulqarnain, has also encouraged me (during our meeting in Dhahran) to pursue my plans related to Dawa. His challenging words "if not now, when shall we ever implement our noble plans" are still fresh in my mind. I sincerely thank him and I pray that he and the rest of WAMY Staff will always remain instrumental in the propagation of the true message of Islam and the development of Muslim youth worldwide.
I am very pleased to thank my brother in Islam from New York, Ahmad Nuroddin (Lecturer of English Language at the Institute of Public Administration and one of the prime movers of the Nasiriah Islamic Propagation Committee, both in Dammam, Saudi Arabia), for proof-reading and making constructive comments on this work. I would like to thank also the other members of Nasiriah Islamic Propagation Committee, especially Hussain Ali and Khalid AI-Dossary, for encouraging me to put into writing my lecture delivered at Nasiriah Mosque on the 24th of December 1987 on the same subject. This book is, in fact, an expansion of that lecture, hoping that it will be of interest to others. Moreover, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Salim Awath Bin Silim, Sub-Branch Manager of A.S Bughsan & Bros. Co. (Komatsu Division) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, for encouraging me to undertake further research into the subject.
Special acknowledgment goes to my wife, Dr. Norlain D. Mababaya, for her very valuable comments and suggestions as well as unyielding patience while I was writing this work. I pray that our children, Maryam and Ahmad, will in the future carry on the plans and projects of our own Wisdom Enrichment Foundation, which are all geared towards active service to Allah.
Above all, I thank Allah the Almighty for making this book a reality. Indeed, this book would not have been realized without His Grace and Guidance.
I pray to Allah the Almighty that He will bless this work and become a source of enlightenment to those who seek knowledge, truth and guidance. Ameen.
M. P. Mababaya
May 1988 (Ramadan 1408)
Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Are you aware of the historical controversy between the Trinitarian and the Unitarian doctrines? Are you also aware that Islam offers the ultimate solution to such controversy?
The Trinitarian controversy is one of the most crucial events in the annals of Christendom. World renown Christian historian Edward Gibbon points out that the Trinitarian controversy, which raged particularly during the fourth century, has successively penetrated every part of the Christian world.
On one hand, the Pauline Church (currently known as the Roman Catholic Church) has for centuries fought for the global acceptance of the Trinitarian doctrine. The concept of Trinity is the nucleus of the Athanasian Creed which states that:
"There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal... The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God ... For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods, or three Lords."
The nature of this creed has for centuries been so controversial and mysterious that even its own author, Athanasius of Alexandria, one of the principal leaders of the Pauline church, failed to comprehend it. This champion of Trinity himself confessed that, "Whenever he forced his understanding to meditate on the divinity of the Logos, his toilsome and unveiling efforts recoiled on themselves; that the more he thought, the less he comprehended; and the more he wrote, the less capable was he of expressing his thoughts."
The nature of the Trinity is so mysterious that, as Edward Gibbon remarks, "as often as we deduce any positive conclusions from a negative idea, we are involved in darkness, perplexity, and inevitable contradiction."
On the other hand, the Apostolic Church has over the years advocated the belief in the Unity of God, and as such ruled out the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him). Among those who originally opposed the Trinitarian doctrine were the so-called Ebionites of Nazarenes. They considered Jesus as the greatest of the prophets, endowed with supernatural virtues and power.
The mysteries of the Christian faith were dangerously exposed to public debate when Arius, the champion of Apostolic Church, popularly confronted Bishop Alexander, the champion of the Pauline Church. These two were in hot theological dispute for a period of six years - from 318 A.D. through 325 A.D. Arius, the disciple of Lucian of Antioch, the greatest critic of the Trinitarian doctrine, strongly advocated the view that God is absolutely One and alone Eternal. Such Unitarian view, which conformed to the original teachings of Jesus and all other prophets (peace be upon them all), had definitely exposed the Trinitarian doctrine to a critical, controversial state. This, however, did not stop the Pauline Church from gaining control of large part of Christendom. This happened for known reasons discussed elsewhere. The next section presents the historical background of the Trinitarian controversy.
The Trinitarian view of Christianity came into being many years after the disappearance of Jesus (peace be upon him). Undoubtedly, it was not professed by Jesus nor by the other prophets (peace be upon them all). As a matter of fact, the true followers of Jesus (peace be upon him) continued to affirm the Oneness of God until about 90 A.D. This belief in the Unity of God was manifested in the Shepherd of Hermas, which was written during this period and regarded as a book of revelation by the earlier Christians. Aside from its precept on the Oneness of God, this scripture also contains other related commandments on sincerity, truthfulness, purity, patience, uprightness, piety and self-control. More specifically, the first of these commandments states:
"First of all, believe that God is One and that He created all things and organized them out of what did not exist made all things to be, and He contains all things but alone is Himself uncontained. Trust Him therefore and fear Him and, fearing Him be self-controlled. Keep this command and you will cast away from yourself all wickedness, Put on every virtue of uprightness, and you will live to God if you keep this commandment."
The Apostles' Creed "I believe in God the (Father) Almighty" began to be known to the earlier Christians in 120 A.D. The word father was, in fact, added to this creed only between 180 A.D. and 210 A.D. A number of the Apostolic Church leaders condemned this innovation, for they found it abominable to inject new ideas into the original teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him).
One of the early leaders of the Apostolic Church was Iranaeus, who succeeded Bishop Pothinus of Lyons in 177 A.D., after the latter's brutal murder. In 190 A.D., Iranaeus wrote to Pope Victor to stop the massacre of dissenting Christians whose belief did not agree with the doctrine of the Rome-based Pauline Church. Iranaeus believed in One God and supported the doctrine of the manhood of Jesus.
Iranaeus and the rest of the early Unitarians abhorred the Trinitarian dogma, being a deviation from the pristine teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him). Prior to 200 A.D. the term "Trinity" (which is now the nucleus of the Christian tenets) was not at all known to the Pauline Church. "Trinity" was derived from the Latin word Trinitas, which was first used by Tertullian in 200 A.D. to explain in Latin ecclesiastical writings the strange doctrine of the Pauline Church. Tertullian belonged to the African Church. He believed in the unity of God and identified Jesus with the Jewish Messiah. He opposed Pope Callistus for teaching that capital sin could be forgiven after doing canonical penance. Tertullian was the one who opened the way for a doctrine of salvation, at least partly by 'good works'.
Indeed, those who belonged to the Apostolic Church accepted the plain meaning of the words spoken by Jesus (peace be upon him), as embodied in the earlier scriptures. Without resorting to mysterious dogmas, they continued to uphold the article of faith ‚ÄúI believe in God, the Almighty" until 250 A.D. In his attempt to refute the Trinitarian view of Christianity, Lactaneus (orthodox father) wrote in 310 A.D. that "Christ never calls himself God." In 320 A.D., Eusebius of Nicomedia wrote, "Christ teaches us to call his father the true God and to worship Him".
These early Unitarian leaders were courageous enough to expose their views to refute the Trinitarian dogmas, in spite of the persecution campaign against them. Their real champion, however, was Arius who in 318 A.D. popularly opposed the Pauline view that Jesus was in reality the "Son of God" and "consubstantial and coeternal with the father". One of the arguments propagated by Arius was: "If Jesus was in reality the 'Son of God', then it followed that the father must have existed before him (the son). Therefore, there must have been a time when the son (Jesus) did not exist. Therefore, it followed that the son was a creature composed of an essence or being which had not always existed. Since God is in essence Eternal and Ever-existent, Jesus could not be of the same essence as God." In 321 A.D., Arius popularly confronted Bishop Alexander the forerunner of the Pauline Church. In refuting the Trinitarian belief, Arius argued that "God is absolutely One... God is alone Ingenerate, alone Eternal, alone without beginning, alone Good, alone Almighty, alone Unchangeable and Unalterable, and that His being is hidden in eternal mystery from the outward eye of every creature.‚ÄĚ Four years later (in 325 A.D.), Emperor Constantine convened the First General Council at Nicea, now called Iznik, a Turkish village in north-west Asia Minor. This Council was attended by 318 bishops from Spain to Persia. Emperor Constantine allegedly aimed at reconciling the prelates (particularly Arius and Alexander) who were involved in the Trinitarian controversy. Bishop Alexander, however, could not attend this Ecumenical Council, so he delegated Athanasius to represent him and the Pauline Church. Although the Council ratified the Trinitarian Creed, the pro-Arians continued to practice their own Unitarian views.
In 380 A.D., Emperor Theodosius of Rome made the orthodox faith (the Trinitarian-based Catholic faith) obligatory for all his subjects, hence the state religion since then. By 381, the Council of Constantinople, the Second General Council which was attended by 186 bishops, gave the finishing touch to the doctrine of three persons in one God. Emphatically, this Council asserted the godhead of the Holy Spirit. By 383 A.D., Theodosius threatened to punish all who would not believe in the doctrine of Trinity. This threat, however, did not result in the total destruction of the Arian tenets; they have survived, and are still the foundation of the belief of many Unitarian Christians.
In the 16th century, L.F.M. Sozzini challenged John Calvin (the leader of the Protestant reformation in Switzerland) on the doctrine of Trinity. Sozzini denied the deity of Jesus and repudiated the original sin and atonement dogmas.
Another outspoken critic of the Trinitarian doctrine during the 16th century was Michael Servetus, who was regarded by many as "the founder of modern Unitarianism." He lived at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was in chaos. This situation brought about the emergence of the Protestant reformists such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. Servetus, however, found the reformists' views fundamentally at variance with the teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him) - particularly that of the belief in the Unity of God. So, in 1531 A.D., he published a book entitled "The Errors of Trinity", in which he writes: "The philosophers have invented a third separate being truly and really distinct from the other two, which they call the third Person, or the Holy Spirit, three beings in one nature... Admitting therefore these three, which after their fashion they call Persons, they freely admit a plurality of beings, a plurality of entities, a plurality of essences, a plurality of substances, and taking the word God strictly, they will have a plurality of Gods." Because of his relentless belief in the Oneness of God, Servetus was thrown into prison in Geneva on a charge of heresy. Subsequently, he was put to death slowly under the torment of fire. One of his followers, Castello, expressed his feeling ostensibly in a melancholic tone: "To burn a man is not to prove a doctrine."
In the 17th century, John Biddle (the leader of Unitarianism in England) published a pamphlet entitled: 'Twelve Arguments Refuting the Deity of the Holy Spirit." In 1645 A.D., Biddle was imprisoned for his Unitarian view. Later he was summoned to appear before the Parliament, but he firmly denied the deity of the Holy Spirit. In 1648A.D., a "severe ordinance" was passed stating that "anyone who denied the Trinity, or the divinity of Jesus, or the Holy. Spirit, would suffer death without the benefit of the clergy."
In today's modern world, those who cling to the Trinitarian doctrine identify themselves as Christians largely to quench their thirst for religion. Most of them do not deny the mysterious nature of the Trinity, which is devoid of human logic and scientific explanation. This emanates from the hard fact that it was the masterpiece of Athanasius! In other words, it was a human innovation of the worst kind, which is nothing but blasphemy against God and His Unitarian attribute. Unfortunately, most of the Christians are not even aware that such a mysterious doctrine was so controversial for many centuries, particularly during the reign of Emperor Constantine. Many Christians only know Constantine as a "hero". Let it be known, however, that Constantine ‚Äď largely due to political consideration - was merely one of those who played roles of various sorts on the Trinitarian controversy. As a matter of fact, other Roman emperors and key religious leaders in Christendom - particularly during the fourth century - were involved in the Trinitarian crisis in one way or another. How they got involved in this crisis is discussed in the next section.Top
The Roman political leaders, since the time of Emperor Nero, had played one role or another in the Trinitarian crisis. One obvious case in point was that of Emperor Constantine who ratified the Trinitarian doctrine more than three hundred years after the disappearance Of Jesus (peace be upon him). Constantine's role in the establishment of Trinity as a standard creed among Christians cannot be undermined. Digging into his connection with the Christian clergy will also help unravel the paradox underlying the existence of Rome as the capital of Christendom.
It is common knowledge that the Romans had for many years embarked on a persecution campaign against anybody who claimed to be a Christian, from the reign of Emperor Nero to that of Constantine. Gibbon says that "About fourscore years after the death of Christ, his innocent disciples were punished with death, by the sentence of a proconsul of the most amiable and philosophic character, and according to the laws of an emperor, distinguished by the wisdom and justice of his general administration. The cruel punishment meted out to Christians in the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Nero was described by Gibbon as follows:
They died in torments, and their torments were embittered by insults and derision. Some were nailed on crosses; others sewn up in the skin of wild beasts, and exposed to the fury of wild dogs; others again smeared over the combustible materials, were used as torches to illuminate the darkness of the night. The gardens of Nero were destined for the melancholy spectacle, which was accompanied with a horse race, and honored with the presence of the emperor, who mingled with the populace in the dress and attitude of a charioteer. The guilt of the Christians deserved, indeed, the most exemplary punishments, but the public abhorrence was changed into commiseration, from the opinion that those unhappy wretches were sacrificed, not so much to the public welfare, as to the cruelty of a jealous tyrant. Those who survey, with a curious eye, the revolutions of mankind may observe the gardens and circus of Nero on the Vatican, which were polluted with the blood of the first Christians, have been rendered still more famous by the triumph and by the abuse of the persecuted religion.
During the reign of Emperor Diocletian, at least four known edicts of persecution against Christians were issued and all their churches were ordered burned. Although the emperor abdicated his throne in 305, "the persecution of the Christians continued for 10 years, and nearly 2,000 of their leaders were executed‚ÄĚ.
With all the inhumane treatment by the Romans against the early followers of Jesus, it is ostensibly paradoxical that Rome became the center of Christendom. The Romans themselves were the worst enemies of Jesus Christ, and they were the ones who allegedly crucified him. Indeed the Romans, particularly Emperor Constantine, had played a vital role in the founding of Rome as the center of Christendom. This was a clear political move by the Romans to maintain and expand their own empire, with a vast base of subservient subjects that would include the Christians.
For the first time, in 308 A.D., the Roman world was divided in the hands of six emperors: in the West, Constantine and Maxentius affected to reverence their father Emperor Maximian; in the East, Licinus and Maximin honored with more real consideration their benefactor Galerius. During the reign of Emperor Constantine, therefore, the Roman world was plagued by internal civil strife, so he considered the quest for reunification of utmost importance. Moreover, his reign witnessed the disarray of the Christian world with respect to various conflicting dogmas. History shows that Constantine himself was a very controversial figure. The Christians considered him the deliverer of the church, hence a hero. Others compared "Constantine to the most abhorred of those tyrants, who, by their vice and weakness, dishonored the Imperial purple." It is worth noting that Emperor Constantine himself fled from Rome, not because he was a champion of the Christian cause, but because he feared that his life and empire were in danger. Why? He was at first reported to be jealous of his eldest son, Crispus, who was the direct heir to the throne. Crispus, who was invested with the title of Caesar at the age of seventeen, became so popular by virtue of his military prowess and leadership that he engaged the affections of the court, the army, and the people. This dangerous popularity of Crispus soon excited the attention of Constantine, who was impatient of a strong rival. Instead of securing the allegiance of his son, the emperor resorted to a satanic move. Crispus was subsequently put to death, either by the hand of the executioner or by the more gentle operation of poison.
Clearly, therefore, Constantine's lust for power led him to the extreme of committing a grievous crime by murdering his son. Prior to this, it was reportedly known that Crispus' stepmother, the Empress Fausta, had wanted one of her very own sons (namely: Constantine, Constantius and Constans) to succeed the emperor. These three, however, were not the direct heirs to the throne, so Empress Fausta had a motive to kill Crispus, "whom she considered with reason as the most formidable rival of her own children.‚ÄĚ Obviously cognizant of this motive, Emperor Constantine reportedly manifested his repentance "only in acts of blood and revenge; and that he atoned for the murder of an innocent son, by the execution, perhaps, of a guilty wife." One testimony, in this connection, states simply that "Constantine put to death his son and wife." Another testimony says that "Crispus was poisoned, Fausta suffocated by a hot bath.‚ÄĚ
After the tragic murder of Empress Fausta, however, the situation, turned to chaos, apparently beyond the expectation of Emperor Constantine. With his empire already on the brink of collapse because of civil war and external threats, Constantine fled to Byzantium (later named Constantinople), where he met with unexpected success from the Pauline church.
At Byzantium, Constantine was offered by the Pauline church to undertake penance, so he did. Such privilege offered to a tyrant only manifested the looseness of Christian theological norms. If such norms tolerate anyone to be absolved from murder simply by making confession (which should be the case if clergymen do not resort to discrimination), then anyone could kill anybody else without being punished; and, subsequently, the society would be in chaos. In other words, the community adhering to those norms would appear as a big penal colony, composed of former convicts and other criminals, who by the grace of clergy, carry the Christian identity. The churchmen, however, would certainly not welcome this view. But if Constantine escaped the penalty of his crimes, simply by accepting the clergymen's offer for public penance, why could not this hold true to others? The truth is that Constantine's penance was a special case and had, in fact, served a mutually dual purpose. On one hand, it apparently served the ulterior motive of the Pauline church in terms of imperial protection and peace with the Romans. On the other hand, as Emperor Constantine was worried not only about the repercussion of the crime he committed back home, but also about the problems devastating the Roman Empire (civil wars and the like), he collaborated with the Pauline clergymen, hoping that he would be able to win the loyalty of the Christians, which he needed most to unite his empire. Constantine was, in fact, so successful that the priests went further by carrying out very successful underground work for him, and they were indeed behind his success in reuniting the Roman Empire. Constantine, thus, exploited the golden opportunity whereby the prelate of Constantinople (overshadowed by the imperial courts and protected by the imperial armies) ‚Äútended to accept the claims of the emperors to control the church and to decide any dispute that arose in the ecclesiastical sphere." After all, those clergymen in the new city, the Constantinople, felt no better choice, because "the emperors of fourth century were men of autocratic disposition, and they expected everyone, including the leaders of the church, to obey them." Those emperors were concerned with maintaining "the unity of the public cult as the basis and guarantee of the unity of the empire.". By virtue of political consideration as well as his good control over the clergymen, Constantine, therefore, took advantage of having a united church which would be loyal to him and whose center would be based in Rome (not in Jerusalem!). This means that the whole of Christendom had to be under the realm of the Roman Bishop, who in turn was subservient to the emperor. Naturally, therefore, Christians' obedience to the Roman bishop meant allegiance or loyalty to the emperor. As such, the followers of the Apostolic church, particularly the Berber communities of North Africa under the leadership of Donatus, strongly suspected this move as a political strategy by a foreign ruler to subjugate them. They firmly believed that Jesus never said anything about Rome to be the center of his teaching. So, the Christian Berbers of North Africa remained under the leadership of Bishop Donatus who stood firm against the Bishop of Rome for forty years. They maintained for years their fundamental tenets, notably that of the belief in the Divine Unity of God, and Jesus as His prophet.
Constantine's leverage on Christianity does not suffice to prove that he himself was a devoted Christian. Historian R. Richter agrees with E. Gibbon that Constantine's Christianity was due entirely to political considerations. Another historian, Burckhardt, developed the view that Constantine was constitutionally indifferent to religion; and that "in his later years he exhibited personal inclinations rather towards paganism than towards Christianity." In fact, many of his subjects still believed in Roman gods (like Jupiter); and in order to please them, Constantine in his later years (and in collaboration with the clergymen) made some decisions in their favor, which quite proved that he also worshiped the Roman gods. One such decision, for instance, was the declaration of the Roman Sunday as the Christian Sabbath; another was the adoption of the Roman Sun-god's birthday (the twenty fifth of December) as the birthday of Jesus. These were just some of the decisions made during the Nicene Council, which was ratified by Emperor Constantine himself. In fact, it was when the old controversy between Arius and Bishop Alexander re-emerged that Emperor Constantine convened the Nicene Council.
So, the Pauline Church won in the end ! The Nicene creed was ratified by Emperor Constantine, whose religion was still a subject of doubt, and whose mind had not been enlightened either by study or by inspiration. This Council ultimately agreed to call Christ "the Son of God, only begotten of the Father... of the substance of the Father... very God of very God." It also officially declared the Trinitarian concept as the official doctrine of the Pauline Church; and ratified the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the only four canonical gospels.
The Nicene Council also decided to destroy all gospels written in Hebrew, resulting in the burning of nearly three hundred other accounts (many of them eye-witness accounts). The Pauline Church authorities went further by declaring possession of an unauthorized gospel a capital offense. This was part of Athanasius' all out strategy to unify Christendom, which resulted in the killing of over a million Christians in the years that followed the Nicene Council. The Gospel of St. Barnabas, however, reportedly survived until now as the only eye-witness account of the life and mission of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). It was accepted as a canonical scripture by the Christians of Alexandria till 325 A.D. This Gospel foretold the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
At this point, it is worth noting that three years after the Council of Nicea, Constantine's lack of objectivity in settling the dispute (being ignorant of the theological roots of the Trinitarian controversy) had surfaced. Constantine, influenced by his sister's pro-Arian inclination, soon protected Arius by repeatedly signifying his will that the latter be restored to the Catholic communion. Athanasius - a man who engineered the Athanasian creed - objected strongly to this idea. Constantine was, however, determined to solemnly admit Arius to the communion in the cathedral of Constantinople, but on the same day fixed for his triumph in 336 A.D., the latter died.
Athanasius was found to be responsible for the death of Arius. So, Constantine persecuted the former, and exiled him to the remote province of Gaul for about twenty-eight months. The Emperor was so greatly moved by the tragic death of Arius, and with the strong influence of his pro-Arian sister Constantina, he became a Christian. Just a year after his reported conversion, Emperor Constantine died in 337 A.D. as an Arian Christian. Ironically, the Emperor died in the faith of those he had persecuted and killed - the members and leaders of the Apostolic Church who affirmed the Divine Unity of God, with Jesus as His apostle.
After the death of Constantine, Athanasius had a not-too-long respite, when again he was subjected to persecution by the then Emperor Constantius, who was also pro-Arian. Athanasius, in fact, passed three years in the Vatican for his second exile from Alexandria around 339 A.D. Again, in 356 A.D he was expelled from Alexandria for the third 'time. His life was in most imminent danger as the conspiracy by those prelates who opposed his creed won the heart of Emperor Constantius, resulting in more terrible edicts against him. For instance, liberal rewards were promised, by Imperial edict, to the man who should produce Athanasius dead or alive; and the severe penalties were denounced against those who should dare protect the public enemy. So, Athanasius attempted to escape by embarking on several adventures, one of which led to an illicit, adulterous affair between him and a young lady, who was celebrated in the whole city for her exquisite beauty. During the six years of his exile and persecution, he continued to pay her visits. This disclosure of an immoral affair involving the founder of the Athanasian creed is not very surprising since many of the Christian clergymen have been involved in adultery and other major crimes. Considering the historical background pertaining to Athanasius' immoral conduct and pervasive personality, it is a pity that Christians nowadays still adhere to the Athanasian creed (the belief in Trinity!).
By the same token, although Emperor Constant ratified the Trinitarian doctrine, the fact that he died in the faith of those who opposed it (the Christians who believe in One God the Almighty) proves that he did not adhere to it. This confirmed the validity of the proposition that his mediating role in the Trinitarian controversy was politically motivated and not spiritually inspired. Unfortunately, the foundation and growth of Christianity have been largely influenced by politics and self-interests, rather than by the practical life and the authentic teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him). The influence of Paul on today's Christianity is another obvious case in point. This is thoroughly covered in the following section.
Paul was a self-proclaimed apostle to the Gentiles. References to his life and personality were partly based on primary source, notably his letters, and partly on the account given by Luke in Acts. The primary nature of Paul's life account (history), in fact, aggravates the suspicion that he tailored everything to suit his motive (apparently implicit) of getting to the top of Christendom power.
Indeed, the very foundation of Christianity today emerged through the great influence of Paul. As the founder of today's Christianity, Paul testifies:
‚ÄúAccording to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the Foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it."
Michael Hart, an American mathematician, historian and publisher, in his ranking of the 100 most influential persons in history places Paul (not Jesus Christ) as the second most influential person in history - next only to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In his ranking, Hart clearly recognizes the fact that Paul was the real founder of today's Christianity. Paul surprisingly outranks Jesus in Hart's listing, because he wrote more books of the Bible than those of its other authors, whereas Jesus did not write a single word in it. Surprisingly enough, the so-called epistles of Paul to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephiseans, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and to Philemon have virtually no reference to the true words uttered by Jesus (peace be upon him).
Except for four repugnant verses, which were allegedly attributed to Jesus (peace be upon him), virtually all of the more than two thousand verses of the epistles of Paul are his own fabrications. Christians should know that Paul himself mentions his own gospel, not Jesus', in his epistle to the Romans when he says "In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." (Romans 2:16). In fact, the Pauline Epistle to the Romans serves as the foundation of today's Christianity. Indeed, this is so strange and ironical, knowing that none of its more than 430 verses were ever formulated by Jesus. Paul should have made direct reference to the pristine teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him), if only the formers‚Äô claim for apostleship or divine inspiration was, indeed, true. Instead, large parts of his epistles' Biblical quotations (notably those in the Epistle to the Romans) were taken from the Old Testament - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Hosea. His epistles were, indeed, a product of tedious efforts, but that does not make Paul far better than any of the other men who authored the Bible.
It is worth noting that the Athanasian Creed, as mentioned earlier, was never taught by Jesus (peace be upon him). In fact, the word Trinity or the Athanasian Creed itself is nowhere found in the Bible.
Trinitarian dogma was merely deduced from I John 5:7, which states: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one". Christian scholars of the Bible later found that this dogma was an interpolation in the King James version. In fact, no less than a group of 32 Christian scholars of highest eminence, advised by a board of 50 representatives of various denominations came up in 1946 with a revised standard version of the New Testament, and of the whole Bible in 1952, discarding the foregoing passage.
One of the major innovations of the Pauline church is the blood atonement. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul says:
"Much more then, having now been justified by his Blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him".
Other related Biblical passages, wherein the Christian dogma of blood atonement or vicarious sacrifice is probably inferred from, are as follows:
"knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by your fathers", "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
"Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.‚ÄĚ
"This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
The foregoing verses, indeed, contradict the key teaching of Jesus, pertaining to salvation, which says:
"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
Christians, however, may always find ways to defend the Trinitarian heresy. They may, for instance, bank on Paul's baseless imagination concerning the role of Jesus:"... Christ came, who is overall, the eternally blessed God."
This is, however, absurd, knowing that there is no single, unequivocal statement in the Bible whereby Jesus himself declares: "I am God; therefore, worship me". Instead, he said: "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of My father who sent Me." "...My Father is greater than I.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúFor I have not spoken of my own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak." ‚ÄúAnd I know that his command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak." These are just few of the verses which explicitly prove that Jesus (peace be upon him) claimed that he was 'sent' by God. In this regard, A Doctor of Divinity and a noted Christian professor of Church History, A. M. Renwick, himself emphasizes that the one who is 'sent' is a messenger.
Paul‚Äôs explicit confession that he ‚Äúseparated to the Gospel of God‚ÄĚ should give Christians courage to doubt his self-made dogmas. Jesus and all the other prophets (peace be upon them all) taught the unity of God (as manifested, for instance, in Exodus 20:25; Isaiah 44:6; John 5:44, 17:3). They had never taught Paul's innovations. So, any reverence to Paul is, per se, a rebellion against Jesus himself.
Moreover, if Saul (the other name of Paul) had, indeed, heard in a vision: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?", he obviously deserved this humiliating remark, because he had, in real life, severely persecuted the true followers of Jesus. Paul himself testifies:
"Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
"This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
'And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.‚ÄĚ
"For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.‚ÄĚ
Indeed, Paul was an avowed enemy both of Jesus and his followers. Normative value judgment (let alone the Divine Law of God) would disqualify Paul from being an apostle, bearing in mind his known criminal background, particularly with respect to his persecution campaign against the real followers of Jesus. Ironically, his claim to apostleship brought him to prison in Caesarea, Ro, and during one of his trials, the then Governor of Caesarea, Festus, said to him with a loud voice "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad‚ÄĚ! In fact, he was slain for championing the cause of his self-made Christianity. Paul's criminal records, indeed, deserved capital punishment.
Other innovations by the Pauline Church include the adoption of the following: the Roman Sun-day as the Christian Sabbath; the traditional birthday of the Sun-god as the birthday of Jesus; the emblem of the Sun-god, the cross of light, to be the emblem of Christianity; and the incorporation of all the ceremonies which were performed at the Sun-god's birthday celebrations into their own rituals.
The Islamic concept of God is crystal clear, and it is purely of divine source- not human conjecture. Man, with all his senses, sees God's creation around him - both animate and inanimate objects. These include the heavens and the earth, and all between them - mankind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the rain, the mountains, animals, vegetables and all kinds of fruits, and many more. All these have the same patterns of creation, and are, therefore, clear signs that there is One and only True God - Allah the Almighty and the Supreme Creator. He has asked us to meditate on those signs, so we would be able to realize that every creation has a definite purpose - not accidental nor a mere idle sport. Allah says: "Not for (idle sport) did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!" Elsewhere in the Qur'an, Allah the Almighty likewise says:
"We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them, but for just ends.... For verily it is thy Lord Who is the Master- Creator, knowing all things.‚ÄĚ
"Your God is one God: as to those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts refuse to know, and they are arrogant.‚ÄĚ
In order to satisfy further those with inquisitive minds, they should ponder over the following explicit accounts of the Oneness of God, as stated in the Holy Qur'an:
"And your God is One God: there is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.‚ÄĚ
"God! There is no god but He, - the Living, the Self-subsisting Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. "Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitted ? He knows what (appeared to His creatures as) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass ought of His knowledge except as He willed. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and on earth, and He felt no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). "
"Verily, verily, your God is One!"
"Say. He is God the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him."
The foregoing verses are just some of the numerous Qur'anic injunctions, which clearly manifest the Oneness of God. But to rectify man's baseless conjectures, Allah the Almighty Himself explicitly brands those who adhere to Trinity and other strange polytheistic beliefs as blasphemers, as manifested in the following verse:
"They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.‚ÄĚ
The One and Only true God, Allah, has absolutely no partner. Indeed, He is self-sufficient. He does not need any associate. So, one should not venture into believing that God shares his divinity with anyone. Indeed, this is a blasphemous belief, which will only pave the way (for someone who cherishes it) to Hell-Fire. The following Qur'anic verses elucidate the nature of Allah, being the One and Only True God, who is absolutely devoid of any partner,
'Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
'Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection)' the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to God! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.
"One day shall We gather them altogether. We shall say to those who ascribed partners (to us): ‚ÄúWhere are the partners whom ye (invented and) talked about?"
"He knows what is hidden and what is open: too high is He for the partners they attribute to Him!"
‚ÄúHe is God, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praise and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, Wise."
Any rational human being who sincerely acknowledges the unique attributes of Allah, which are absolutely Divine and true to Himself alone, will never associate anything with Him. Allah, the one and only true God, is the sole Living God of the Universe. He is Eternal, Absolute, Most Compassionate, Most Gracious, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Most Powerful and Self- Sufficient. He is the Giver of Life, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and all between them. He is the best Disposer of Affairs. He is Most High, Great. He is Most Forbearing and the Best of Planners. He is quick in retribution, but forgiving and merciful. He is Exalted in power, Wise, free of all wants and worthy of all praise. He is the Lord of the Throne of Honor. To Him belong the End and the Beginning. He is above time and space; hence, no vision can ever grasp Him.
The Christian concept of God includes Jesus as one of three in a Trinity. This is obviously a sort of misconception, which is based on their allegation that Jesus is the "Only Begotten Son of God". Being All-Knowing, All Perfect and devoid of all animalistic qualities the Christians attribute to Him, God categorically rectifies such misconception as the following verses show:
"They say, 'God hath begotten a son! - Glory be to Him! He is self-sufficient! His are all things in the heavens and on earth! No warrant have ye to say this! Say ye about God what ye know not?"
"It is not befitting to (the majesty) of God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him!" When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‚ÄėBe and it is.‚Äô‚Äú
"They say: '(God) Most Gracious has begotten a son!‚Äô Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, that they should invoke a son for (God) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (God) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.
"No son did God beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!"
"Did He (then) choose daughters rather than sons.‚ÄĚ
The misconception that Jesus (allegedly being the "Only Begotten Son") has the same divine essence as the Supreme Creator is, indeed, a great unforgivable sin, should an individual die believing such. Every Christian knows that Jesus was a man; and as such, he does not possess any of the divine attributes of Allah. In fact, the Bible testifies that "God is not a man". With this alone, the Christians are either ignorant of their own scriptures or they are merely blind-followers of a false god. After all, their Bible tells them more than once that Jesus was a man. By the same token, the Bible mentions the weaknesses of Jesus. Just like any other man, Jesus felt the basic human needs of hunger and thirst. By the same token, like anyone who needs to rest when the day is gone, "Jesus also slept. The case of Allah is entirely different as "No slumber can seize Him nor sleep" and "there is nothing whatsoever like unto Him..." Thus, the Christian concept of the deity of Jesus absolutely contorted the Divine Unity of God. The Holy Qur'an states:
"They do blaspheme who say: 'God is Christ the son Of Mary.' But said Christ: 'O Children of Israel worship God, my Lord and your Lord.' Whoever joins other gods with God, - God will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong doers be no one to help."
"God has said: 'Take not (for worship) two gods: for He is just One God; then fear Me (and Me alone)."
The Christian doctrine that Jesus had to die on the cross (because nothing in this world is holier than his blood to atone for the sins committed by the entire human race) is so obscure. It is absolutely unthinkable, for instance, that those of the previous generations who received and followed the divine messages through the chain of former prophets (Noah, Abraham, Moses and the like) could not attain salvation simply because they did not affirm Jesus Christ as their savior. Thus, accepting this misconception would be against all laws ever known to man, let alone the Divine Law of Allah.
Allah the Almighty is All-Knowing, and for sure He is fully aware of how the Christian Church imposed their own fabricated dogmas (like the divinity of Jesus and blood atonement) on peoples worldwide. Such dogmas were not at all taught by any of the prophets, including Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). In refuting the Christian concept of salvation (through Jesus Christ), Allah the Almighty explicitly emphasizes that one's own sin is his sole responsibility, and should not be borne by another. The Holy Qur'an states:
"Say: "Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing "
For one to attain salvation (that is, for him to be saved from the torment of Hell-Fire), he has to firmly believe that there is no god but the One and Only True God (Allah). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:
‚ÄúThe key to Paradise is the testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah."
"He who died knowing (and acknowledging it) that there is no god but Allah, he is in fact entitled to get into Paradise."
By the same token, any person who deviates from the belief in Allah (the One and Only True God) will have Hell-Fire as his ultimate abode, as evidenced in the following saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be-upon him):
"Two things yield inevitable results. A person said. Allah's Messenger, what these two things are? He said. He who died associating anything with Allah would definitely enter into Hell-Fire and he who died without associating anything with Allah, he in fact entitled himself to go into Paradise."
The foregoing Hadith conforms to Allah's saying that He forgives sins other than that of associating other gods with Him, as the following Qur'anic verse manifests:
of) joining other gods-with Him; but He forgives whom He pleased other sins than this: one who joins other gods with God, hath strayed far, far away (from the right)."
"God forgives not (the sin
For anyone to strengthen his faith and attain salvation, he should, therefore, contemplate the foregoing verse. He should always bear in mind that, being the Wisest of Judges, "God is never unjust in the least degree..." Furthermore, the following verses, reflecting Allah's justice, should inspire every man to seek salvation through complete faith in Him, instead of irrationally seeking salvation through blood atonement.
"Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to-the best of their actions.‚ÄĚ
"He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof: and he that works a righteous deed - whether man or woman - and is a believer - such will enter the Garden (of Bliss): therein will they have abundance without measure."
"That man can have nothing but what he strives for."
"Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it."
Thus, complete faith in Allah (the One and Only True God) is essential for one's own salvation. Faith becomes meaningful only when it is translated into practice. So, fortunate is he whose belief and deeds are always meant for pleasing Allah alone.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS
This book has shown historical facts surrounding the Trinitarian controversy. It has shown that the Trinitarian doctrine was ratified only in the fourth century, proving that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not its own author. Christendom has for centuries been in disarray, and the real followers of Jesus (peace be upon him) found the Trinitarian doctrine very strange and abominable. They not only opposed it in words, but many of them also stood firmly in defense of the Divine Unity of God, a doctrine taught by Jesus himself and all other prophets (peace be upon them all). The leaders and members of the Apostolic church - a group of the real followers of Jesus (peace be upon him) - died in thousands as a result of persecution against them by the Romans in collaboration with those of the Pauline church. The Unitarian Christians preferred to die for a noble cause (i.e., in their great attempt to defend their monotheistic belief) rather than accept the mysterious doctrine of Trinity.
The Trinitarian school of thought dominated the Christian world only after the Pauline church imposed it by force on those who neither understood it nor sincerely accepted it as a divine precept. Such coercion was strongly condemned and resisted by those who believed that Jesus was a mere prophet of God, and not one of three in a Trinity. Politics, however, played a very significant role in selling the idea of Triune God to the Christian masses. In fact, it took Christendom more than three hundred years to ratify the Trinitarian doctrine. But even after ratification, the Unitarian Christians continued to defy it. Imposition of the death penalty for those who opposed the Trinitarian system had ultimately given it a clear commanding edge over the pristine tenets of the Apostolic church.
The book has likewise examined some of the controversial personalities behind the success of the Trinitarian doctrine. These include Athanasius, Constantine and Paul. These individuals were as controversial as the Trinitarian doctrine itself. For instance, Athanasius was considered by virtue of an Imperial decree as a public enemy who was wanted by the then Emperor Constantius "dead or alive", and this happened years after the ratification of the Trinitarian doctrine. In his attempt to save his life, he resorted to hiding from one place to another until he discovered a young woman who was known for her exquisite beauty. Their clandestine affair resulted in an illicit, adulterous crime by a man who had engineered the Athanasian creed (the Trinitarian doctrine).
By the same token, Emperor Constantine (who ratified the Doctrine of Trinity) was himself a tyrant and criminal who murdered his son, his wife and many more, because of his lust for political power. Neither did he understand the real theological foundation of Christianity nor was he himself a real Christian. His crimes, including the murder of thousands of innocent individuals, coupled with his paganistic belief, were grievous. Ironically, however, life was made easy for him by the Christian clergymen. They offered him forgiveness, despite the fact that only God can forgive those grievous sins! So, in return, Constantine gave them imperial protection; and, subsequently, he ratified for them their doctrine of Trinity.
Moreover, the very founder of today's Christianity (Paul) was himself very controversial. Christians' belief that he was a divinely inspired apostle is so obscure. First of all, Paul (who had never personally met Jesus) was not among the twelve disciples. Second, he had persecuted many of the real followers of Jesus. Third, Paul's teachings, in general, contradict those of Jesus (peace be upon him). In fact, large part of the New Testament, which was ratified by Emperor Constantine during the Nicene Council in 325 A. D., was Paul's own fabrications. Specific, Paul's letters to the Romans, the Galatians, the Philippians, and the like were his own making, which do not at all conform to the real teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him). In fact, this book has shown that virtually all of the Pauline epistles had no reference to the practical teachings, personal sayings and real personality of Jesus (peace be upon him).
Based on the historical facts presented in this book, Christians only need to use their objectivity and rational thinking to realize that the man-made Trinity that they have been worshipping all the years is nothing but a product of political and personal manipulations by such men as Athanasius, Constantine and Paul. Their criminal backgrounds or immoralities were enough grounds that they were devoid of any divine inspiration. It follows, therefore, that the Trinitarian doctrine is human and not divine in nature.
This book has also shown that the mysterious nature of the controversial Trinity can be solved through the concept of God in Islam. Several Qur'anic injunctions are presented, which explicitly refute the Trinitarian doctrine and the divinity of Jesus; affirm the Divine Unity of God; stress the fundamental Truth that God is self reliant, hence devoid of any partner; and highlight the belief in Allah (the One and Only True God) as the key to salvation. On the other hand, joining partners with Allah is the key to Hell-Fire, so He commands us not to worship anyone other than Him. Indeed, Allah Is self-sufficient; He does not have to share His Divinity with anyone else. Therefore, Christians who really seek Truth only need to revert to the belief in the absolute Oneness of God, for them to be able to avoid the confusion or mystery underlying the Trinitarian doctrine. After all, Jesus and all other prophets (peace be upon them all) taught the Divine Unity of God, which is the very creed of Islam - the peaceful submission to the Will of God.
Today, Islam has already surpassed Christianity as the Number One religion in the world. This is so, because the real seekers of Truth found Islam as the only religion that truly advocates the belief in the absolute Oneness of God. Furthermore, Islam is growing so fast, because many of those who embraced it as their new faith have played a very significant role in conveying its message to the rest of mankind.
Islam considers salvation as a personal responsibility, that is based on one's faith, piety, righteousness, steadfastness and noble service - not an object of blood atonement or vicarious sacrifice. It abolishes idolatry, a practice which is commonplace to all other religions. It is the only religion in the world that has upheld the absolute Oneness of God - a divine concept, which in every respect serves as the ultimate solution to the Trinitarian controversy.
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