The Facts about ‘The Original Sin; 20 Arguments Regarding the Doctrine of the ‘Original Sin’

16 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

Background

According to the explanation of this doctrine, Adam sinned when he disobeyed Allah and ate from the forbidden tree. According to the Christian theology, the following eight doctrines branch off the ‘Original Sin’ principle:

1. All Adam’s descendants inherit his sin, which means that all human beings are born with this Original Sin on their account.
2. For God’s justice to be achieved, a price must be paid as a penalty for every sin that has been committed, in order for that sin to be wiped out and the individual to be forgiven.
3. The only way to wipe out sin is to shed blood, and according to Paul, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
4. However, this blood must be perfect, sinless, and incorruptible.
74 Compiled from Caraballo, My Great Love for Jesus Led Me to Islam.
5. Christians believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) alone could pay the infinite price of sin; this is because they believe that his blood is perfect, sinless, and incorruptible, and he is the alleged son of God, the infinite God.
6. Christian theology says that Jesus shed his holy sinless blood, suffered indescribable agony, and died to pay for the sins of people. This concept is known in Christian theology as ‘atonement’.
7. Christians believe that nobody can be saved (attain salvation) unless he or she accepts Jesus Christ as his or her redeemer. In other words, salvation is restricted to those who believe that Jesus was willingly crucified, killed on the cross, and shed his blood as a price of that sin. Acceptance of this doctrine is the only way to attain ‘salvation’.
8. Otherwise, everyone is condemned to suffer eternally in hell because of his or her sinful nature and originally inherited sin from the father of humankind, Prophet Adam.

The doctrine of the Original Sin can be divided into six distinct parts:
1) The factuality of the existence of the Original Sin.
2) Humanity’s inheritance of the Original Sin.
3) Belief that God’s justice requires a penalty of blood which must be paid against that sin.
4) Belief that Jesus has paid the price for the sins of all humankind by sacrificing his blood and ‘dying on the cross’.
5) The rationality of ‘God’s sacrifice’ dogma.
6) Salvation from sin (original and newly attained) is only possible for those who believe in his vicarious sacrifice.

Analysis

Arguments against the six parts of the dogma of the ‘Original Sin’ are as follows:

Argument against the first part: the factuality of the Original Sin

1. There is no conflict between the Qur’anic verses and the Christian theology with reference to the fact that Adam committed a sin when he ate from the forbidden tree. However, Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that Prophet Adam repented after that and submitted himself completely to his Lord; consequently, he was forgiven by Allah for the sin he had committed. This is a tenet of Islamic belief and has been mentioned in three different chapters in the Qur’an (2: 37, 7: 24 and 20: 122). Based on Adam’s 171 repentance and Allah’s acceptance of his repentance, the sin of Adam was not inherited by his children. Hence, it did not require the suffering and death of Jesus Christ (or of anyone else) in order to be forgiven.

Argument against the second part: ‘All human beings inherited Adam’s sin’

2. The doctrine of the inherited sin has no support from the words of Jesus.

3. Indeed, Jesus himself regarded children as innocent and pure, not born in sin. This is clear from his reported saying:
Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the Kingdom of God. Verily, I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:14-15)

4. The doctrine of the inherited sin implies that all people after Adam and before Jesus were born with the Original Sin and died with the Original Sin on their account; hence, all of them will be cast into hellfire because they did not even know of this dogma, and thus could not profess it!

5. The doctrine of the inherited sin has no support in the words of the prophets who had come either before him or after him. If it was required by God, then they would have told their people about it and taught them to believe in it; this is because all prophets were sent to guide people towards the way of paradise and ward them away from sins and hellfire.

6. All the prophets taught that every human being is accountable for his or her own sins, and hence children will not be punished for the sins of their fathers. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an:
“That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.” (Qur’an 53: 38)

He has also said:
“Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained.” (Qur’an 74: 38)

7. Sin, as it is said, are not inherited; they are something which a person acquires for oneself by doing what one should not do or refraining from what one should do. Rationally considered, it would be the height of injustice to condemn the entire human race for a sin committed thousands of years ago by the first parents. Sin is a willful transgression of the law of Allah. The responsibility or blame for it must lie only on the person committing it, and not on his or her descendants. It is the height of misanthropy to even consider such a thing. How unreasonable and hard-hearted a person can become by believing that every baby is sinful at birth!

8. Saying that the Original Sin, committed by our father, Adam (peace be upon him), was inherited through humanity goes against the attribute of mercy which Allah attributes to Himself. With this, the creed of the inheritance of the Original Sin has no room whatsoever in Islamic teachings.

Argument against the third part: ‘Blood penalty’

The third part of the Original Sin doctrine says that God’s justice requires that a price must be paid for the sins of humankind (original and otherwise) and that if God were to pardon (forgive) a sinner without punishment, it would be a denial of His justice. The response to that has two points:

9. This view reflects complete ignorance of two of Allah’s attributes, namely mercy and forgiveness. To elaborate, if Allah finds some real good in you and sees that you are sincerely repentant, having a real urge to conquer the evil within you, then Almighty Allah will forgive your failings and sins, out of His loving mercy and forgiveness.

10. The God we worship (Allah) is the Most Strong and Most Rich; no one can harm Him. Consequently, if He prescribes a law and demands obedience, then it is not for His own benefit to abide by it; it is for the benefit of humankind. If we disobey Him, we are the losers, not Allah. If He punishes a person before death for his or her faults and sins, it is not for His own satisfaction or compensation, but in order to check evil and purify/reform the sinner, out of His mercy. Bearing these facts in mind, claiming that Allah’s justice requires a price to be paid for
the sins of others is not valid.

Argument against the fourth part of the ‘Original Sin’: Jesus (peace be upon him) was sacrificed for humanity.

The fourth part of the Original Sin doctrine says that Jesus (peace be upon him) paid the penalty for all the sins (the Original Sins and any others) by sacrificing his blood on the cross of Calvary. The response to this proposition has ten points:

11. The Christian concept of salvation has no support in the words of Jesus (peace be upon him). It is not historically correct to say that Jesus (peace be upon him) had come to die willingly and deliberately for the sins of all humanity. In reality, the present form of the Bible testifies that he did not wish to die on the cross. (See Mark 14:36)

12. Indeed, the Bible points to the fact that God (Allah), not Jesus (peace be upon him), is the ultimate saviour: You may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after Me. I, I am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Saviour. (Isaiah 43:10-11)

13. To punish a man who is not guilty for the sins of others is the height of injustice, harshness and lack of mercy, which cannot be attributed to the Almighty.

14. Rationally, we cannot accept that the suffering and death of one man can wipe out the sins of others. It is similar to a father, for example, removing one of his good teeth to relieve the pain of his child’s bad tooth. Hence, the idea of crucifixion is false and illogical.

15. Jesus (like all the other prophets) was sent to convey a message and to be an example for his followers during his time on the earth. He was not sent to deliberately die for them on the cross or offer his blood to absolve their sins.

16. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that He is the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate; He forgives the sinner no matter how many and how evil are the sins, once he or she repents. He may even forgive the sinner who does not repent, according to His will, mercy and favour.

17. The concept of atonement is false because it indirectly encourages people to sin, since their sins will be wiped out through someone else once they believe in him! Further, if someone died for another person’s sins, what is the point of adhering to good and forbidding evil?

Argument against the fifth part: the ‘sacrifice’ of Jesus (peace be upon him)

18. Christian doctrine states that Jesus (peace be upon him) was crucified by the administration of the Roman governor of Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate, with the cooperation of certain Jewish leaders. (Harrington, ‘Who Killed Jesus?’)However, the Qur’an has explained that Jesus did not die; rather, Allah raised him when they attempted to kill him. Allah replaced him with another person who resembled him, and it was this other person who was killed. To this day, the Christians believe that Jesus himself was the one who was killed on the cross. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: “And [for] their saying: Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Qur’an 4: 157-158)

19. Here is another proof that Jesus was not killed and is still alive. In the Islamic teachings, there is clear evidence indicating the second coming of Jesus before the final hour; this is an additional and final miracle for Jesus. He will return not as God, as the Christians believe, but as Jesus, Allah’s messenger and slave, as he has always been. The purpose of his coming will be to correct the misconceptions surrounding his message and mission. According to a statement of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), he will stay for forty years, and these will be the happiest years of life on this earth. During that time, those who had misconceptions about him will correct their understanding and believe in him as a messenger, not as the son of God (Allah). It was narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said:
“By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it will not be long before the son of Mary descends amongst you, a just judge and ruler. He will break the cross, kill the swine and abolish the tribute paid by Jews and Christians. Money will be so plentiful that no one will accept it. At that time, a single prostration will be better than this world and everything in it.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) then said: Read if you wish (the following verse of the Qur’an): {And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.} (Qur’an 4: 159)>> (Bukhari)
This ends the answer of the fifth part of the doctrine.

Argument against the sixth part: Salvation only possible via belief in Christ’s vicarious ‘sacrifice’

20. The Bible itself contradicts the notion of the ‘Original Sin’. In this regard, the Bible says about the dispute concerning the Original Sin: The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour. (I Corinthians 3:8)
Original Sin and atonement from an Islamic perspective

Islam declares that:
 People cannot transfer their responsibilities to saviours or saints. Each person’s redemption and salvation depends upon his or her own deeds.
 Forgiveness of sins (salvation) can only be attained through repentance to Allah and sincere and persistent efforts to fight off evil and do good. Allah forgives the faults and sins of those in whom He sees real goodness and those who have turned away from their sins and reformed themselves – without punishing them or any other person on their behalf.

In numerous verses in the Qur’an and statements of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), it is mentioned that those who repent are granted forgiveness from sins; furthermore, their sins are replaced with an equivalent reward, and:
{…And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.} (Qur’an 2: 112)
In many verses of the Noble Qur’an, Allah Almighty calls on people to repent sincerely.
{[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful and that it is My punishment which is the painful punishment.} (Qur’an 15: 49-50)
Here, Allah is inviting the sinners to repent; regardless of the magnitude of their sins, He will forgive them. At the same time, He is warning those who do not repent: no punishment can be compared to His punishment.

He has also said:
{Say: O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.} (Qur’an 39: 53-54)
See how beautifully, soundly and logically, the book of Allah, the Qur’an, addresses the issue of sinning and atonement.

It must be noted that Islam confirms that the Islamic approach to the subject was revealed in all the divine messages, including the message of Jesus Christ. May peace and blessings be upon
him and all the prophets!

Conclusion
By maintaining the concept of the Original Sin, the entire notion of justice in Christian theology becomes flawed. Having analyzed the six tenets of this doctrine and the arguments against them, the structure of the whole principle of ‘Original Sin and atonement’ is proven to be false. This is because it has no support either in the revealed sources or in logic; rather, its support lies only in the ideology of the Christian Church.

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