Appendix A: “O Christ-Worshippers!”

o christ-worshippers

Ibn al-Qayy­im al-Jauziyyah was a promi­nent Mus­lim jurist dur­ing Islam’s Gold­en Age. Apart from his juris­dic­tion prowess, he was also com­pe­tent in com­pos­ing qasi­dah (Ara­bic poet­ry). Among his more famous works was the qasi­dah enti­tled A’ob­bad al-Maseeh Fi Naqd al-Nas­raniyyah (O Christ-Wor­ship­pers! In Refut­ing Chris­tian­i­ty). This qasi­dah is well-known in the Mus­lim world and has even been turned into a song.

The fol­low­ing is the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the poet­ry from the Ara­bic orig­i­nal.

O Christ-wor­ship­pers! We want an answer to our ques­tion [from your wise ones],
If the Lord was mur­dered by some peo­ple’s actions, what kind of god is this?
We won­der! Was He pleased by what they did to Him?
If yes, blessed be they, they achieved His plea­sure,
But if He was dis­con­tent­ed, this means their pow­er has sub­ju­gat­ed Him!

Was the whole enti­ty left with­out a Sus­tain­er, so who answered the prayers?
Were the heav­ens vacat­ed, when He laid under the ground some­where?
Were all the worlds left with­out a God, to man­age while His hands were nailed?
Why did not the angels help Him, when they heard him while he wailed?

How could the rods stand to bear the True Lord when He was fas­tened,
How could the irons reached Him and [had] His body pinned?
How could His ene­mies’ hands touch Him and slap His rear,
And was Christ revived by him­self, or was the Reviv­er anoth­er god?

What a sight it was, a grave that enclosed a god,
Stranger still is the bel­ly that con­fined Him!
He stayed there for nine months in utter dark­ness, fed by blood!
Then he got out of the womb as a small baby,
Weak and gasp­ing to be breast­fed!
He ate and drank, and did what that nat­u­ral­ly result­ed1,
Is this [what you call] a god?
High Exalt­ed be Allah above the lies of Chris­tians,
All of them will be held account­able for their libels!

O Cross-wor­ship­pers! For what rea­son is this exalt­ed
And blame [is cast upon those] who reject it?
Is it not log­i­cal to break and burn it, along with the one who inno­vat­ed it?2
Since the Lord was cru­ci­fied on it, and his hands were fas­tened to it?
That is real­ly a cursed cross to car­ry,
So dis­card it, do not kiss it!3

The Lord was abused on it, and you adore it?
So [it is clear that] you are one of His ene­mies!
If you extol it because it car­ried the Lord of the Worlds,
Why don’t you pros­trate your­self and wor­ship graves,
Since the grave con­tained your god in it?4

So Christ-wor­ship­per, open your eyes,
This is what the mat­ter is all about.

  1. Uri­na­tion and defe­ca­tion. []
  2. Paul of Tar­sus, founder of the Trini­tar­i­an faith. []
  3. i.e., don’t glo­ri­fy it. []
  4. i.e., since some­one who is a Chris­t­ian abhors the idea of wor­ship­ping a grave, how is it pos­si­ble for them to wor­ship the cross? []