In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated about those Christians who deviated from the path of Messiah [peace be upon him] and fell into disbelief…..
Then when Allaah [The Exalted] sent Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], they disbelieved in him, so their disbelief and misguidance occurred in two ways- substitution of the religion of the first Messenger (i.e. the Messiah) and belied the second Messenger (i.e. Muhammad), just as the Jews substituted the rulings of the Torah before the Messiah was sent and then belied him. The Christians’ denial of Muhammad’s Messengership is a well-known belief of theirs to every Muslim, which is similar to the Jews’ disbelief in the Messiah. The Christians emphasise the disbelief of the Jews greater than what the Jews deserve, because the Jews claimed that the Messiah was a magician and a liar; rather they said that he is an illegitimate child, as Allaah informed us about them:
[وَقَوۡلِهِمۡ عَلَىٰ مَرۡيَمَ بُہۡتَـٰنًا عَظِيمً۬ا – And their speech against Maryam (Mary)- a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 156]; but the Christians claimed that the Messiah is Allaah, therefore the trial between them and the Jews regarding the Messiah involved a lot of contradictions, misguidance at similar levels and confrontation, and this is why both nations rebuked one another with something more than what each of them deserved, just as Allaah said:
وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَقَالَتِ ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَهُمۡ يَتۡلُونَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَۗ كَذَٲلِكَ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ مِثۡلَ قَوۡلِهِمۡۚ فَٱللَّهُ يَحۡكُمُ بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ فِيمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ
The Jews said that the Christians follow nothing; and the Christians said that the Jews follow nothing; though they both recite the Scripture. Like unto their word, said (the pagans) who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection about that wherein they have been differing. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 113]
Muhammad Bin Abee Muhammad the protege of Zaid Bin Thaabit reported from Ikrimah or Saeed Bin Jubayr, who reported from Ibn Abbaas that when the Christian delegation of Najraan came to Allaah’s Messenger, the Rabbis came and argued with them in the presence of the Messenger; so Rabee Bin Hurmilah said, “You are upon nothing” and thus he disbelieved in Eesaa and all the Injeel. Then a man from the people of Najraan said to the Jews, “You are upon nothing”, and thus he wilfully denied Musa’s [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] Prophethood and disbelieved in the Torah, so Allaah revealed:
وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَقَالَتِ ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَهُمۡ يَتۡلُونَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَۗ
The Jews said that the Christians follow nothing; and the Christians said that the Jews follow nothing; though they both recite the Scripture. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 113]
So each of them recited the affirmation of what they reject in their book- meaning, the Jews disbelieved in Eesaa whilst they had the Torah in which Allaah established the evidence against them through Musa that they should believe in Eesaa and the Injeel, and Eesaa confirmed Musa’s Messengership and what he came with. So, each one disbelieved in what was in the possession of the other. [Ibn Abee Haatim. 1/339]
[وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ – The Jews said that the Christians follow nothing]: Qataadah said regarding this Aayah, “Certainly, the early Christians were upon something, but they innovated and split”.
[وَقَالَتِ ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ – and the Christians said that the Jews follow nothing]: Qataadah said regarding this Aayah, “Certainly, the early Jews were upon something, but they innovated and split”. The Jews belied the religion of the Christians and said that the Christians were upon nothing; and the Christians denied everything through which the Jews were distinguished from them, even the laws of the Torah which the Messiah did not abrogate; rather he commanded them to act upon it. As for the Jews, they denied many of things through which others were distinguished from them, until they denied the truth brought by Eesaa.
So, even though the Christians – due to that which they innovated of exaggeration and misguidance – went into extremes in excommunicating the Jews and showed them enmity beyond what is obligated, however there is no doubt that the Jews disbelieved when they belied the Messiah, just as Allaah [The Exalted] said to the Messiah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]: [إِنِّى مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَىَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ وَجَاعِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوكَ فَوۡقَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ – I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that ‘Iesa (Jesus) is Allah’s son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad, ‘Iesa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Qur’an] till the Day of Resurrection. [Surah Aal Imraan. Aayah 55]
And Allaah [The Exalted] said:
قَالَ عِيسَى ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ لِلۡحَوَارِيِّـۧنَ مَنۡ أَنصَارِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِۖ قَالَ ٱلۡحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحۡنُ أَنصَارُ ٱللَّهِۖ فَـَٔامَنَت طَّآٮِٕفَةٌ۬ مِّنۢ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ وَكَفَرَت طَّآٮِٕفَةٌ۬ۖ فَأَيَّدۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ عَلَىٰ عَدُوِّهِمۡ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ ظَـٰهِرِينَ
Eesaa the son of Maryam said to Al-Hawariun (the disciples): “Who are my helpers (in the Cause) of Allah?” Al-Hawarieen (the disciples) said: “We are Allah’s helpers” (i.e. we will strive in His Cause!). Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved. So We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the uppermost. [Surah As-Saff. Aayah 14]
The disbelief of the Christians – due to their denial of Muhammad’s Messengership and – is greater than the disbelief of the Jews due to their denial of the Messiah’s Messengership, because indeed the Messiah only abrogated a little from the Torah and all the laws and acts of worship ordained for him could be traced back to the Torah; however the majority of the beliefs and practices of the Christians were innovated after the departure of the Messiah. That which is found in the Jews’ denial of the Messiah by opposing Allaah’s Sharee’ah is not the same as the Christians’ denial of Muhammad, who brought an independent book from Allaah, because nothing in the laws of the Qur’aan was ordained based on the law of another Messenger. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
[أَوَلَمۡ يَكۡفِهِمۡ أَنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبَ يُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَرَحۡمَةً۬ وَذِڪۡرَىٰ لِقَوۡمٍ۬ يُؤۡمِنُونَ – Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe]. [Surah Al-Ankabut. Aayah 51]
The Qur’aan is an independent book like the Torah of Musa, even though the Qur’aan is greater than it. And this is why the Christian scholars made a connection between Musa and Muhammad, just as when An-Najaashee [may Allaah have mercy upon him]- the Ethiopian king of the Christians- heard the Qur’an, he said, “Indeed, this and what Musa brought came from the same source”.
Also, when Waqarah bin Nawfil [may Allaah have mercy upon him] – who was one of Christian Arab scholars- heard the statement of the Prophet, he said, “Indeed, the Naamoos [i.e. Jibreel] who came to you was sent to Musa. I wish that I were young till when your people expel you”. Allaah’s Messenger asked, “Will these people drive me out?” Waraqah said, “Yes, because nobody brought the like of what you have brought, but was treated with hostility. If I were to remain alive till your day (when you start calling to Islaam), then I would support you strongly”. [Bukhaari]
And this is why Allaah mentioned the Torah and the Qur’aan together in His statement:
فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِنۡ عِندِنَا قَالُواْ لَوۡلَآ أُوتِىَ مِثۡلَ مَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰٓۚ أَوَلَمۡ يَڪۡفُرُواْ بِمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ مِن قَبۡلُۖ قَالُواْ سِحۡرَانِ تَظَـٰهَرَا وَقَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا بِكُلٍّ۬ كَـٰفِرُونَ
قُلۡ فَأۡتُواْ بِكِتَـٰبٍ۬ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ هُوَ أَهۡدَىٰ مِنۡہُمَآ أَتَّبِعۡهُ إِن ڪُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ
But when the truth (i.e. Muhammad with his Message) has come to them from Us, they say: “Why is he not given the like of what was given to Musa (Moses)? Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Musa (Moses) of old? They say: “Two kinds of magic [the Taurat (Torah) and the Qur’an] each helping the other!” And they say: “Verily! In both we are disbelievers.” Say (to them, O Muhammad): “Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these two [the Taurat (Torah) and the Qur’an], that I may follow it, if you are truthful.” [Surah Al-Qasas. Aayaat 48-49]
Allaah did not revealed books that were a better guide than the Tawraat and the Qur’aan. Then Allaah said:
فَإِن لَّمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَكَ فَٱعۡلَمۡ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهۡوَآءَهُمۡۚ وَمَنۡ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ ٱتَّبَعَ هَوَٮٰهُ بِغَيۡرِ هُدً۬ى مِّنَ ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَہۡدِى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? Verily! Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (wrong-doers, disobedient to Allah, and polytheists). [Surah Al-Qasas. Aayah 50] [An Excerpt from Al-Jawaabus Saheeh Liman Baddala Deenul Maseeh. 1/26-30. Slightly paraphrased]