Updated: Sep 21, 2019
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.
Though I have previously promoted an official Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at viewpoint on the verse [4:157], I realised that I needed to strengthen my understanding of the verse/s, more so after a debate with a famous christian polemicist (christian prince) around 2015:
christian prince frequently dots (i.e. forcibly takes the mic away from) other debators, as he usually sits in his den, not venturing out for fair debates in other chat rooms where he can't cover up his defeat. Whilst this its true, I still felt the need to familiarise myself with muslim-christian debates of our time. Though I felt I overcame him in arguments, despite the fact that he didn't stick to the original promise of giving more than equal time to me, nor did he stick to the agreed subject of the debate. This is not difficult for him to do, as he controls the mic in the room, which is clear evidence of his cowardice, something well known to people in the human rights section of Paltalk.
I began my own independent research on such issues after studying Nabeel Qureshi's narration of events that led to his leaving Islam and going towards the door of disbelief in true Islam. I also purchased his books against Islam, for possible future debate/s, something I was rather reluctant to do previously, though I still haven't studied them.
There is no hadith, weak or sound, in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. elaborates the meaning of [4:157], though other verses relevant to Jesus a.s. and Christian doctrines were brought up in a discussion/debate with a delegation of 60 Christians from Najran who visited the Prophet s.a. in Medina, according to Sirat Rasulullah by Ibn Hisham. Muslim scholars appear to have developed an erroneous understanding of the verse by relying on highly contradictory (therefore likely to be false) substitution legends which differ in the version given in different muslim tafasir on almost every detail, (such as differing even on the identity of the substituted person, who is said to be either a roman soldier, a passing Jew, Judas Iscariot, Simon of Cyrene, one of the disciples, Peter, or Sergius, or Tatianus) attributed mostly to unnamed Christian sources (which itself is highly suspicious, and a tell tale sign of 'fake news'), which appear to have originated in Iraq in the middle of the second century after Hijra ("Christ in Islam and Christianity: Representation of Jesus in the Qur'an and the Classical Muslim Commentaries", by Neal Robinson).
There is one narrator of substitution legends by the name of Wahb ibn Munabbih who may have been a Tabi'ee Muslim (possibly a Jewish convert), but there is no information given as regards where he obtained his information from. A grammatical objection relating to the pronoun against the notion of substitution was raised by the reknowned Arabic grammarian Zamakhshari (The Crucifixion and the Qur'an, by Todd Lawson), but he did not take it to it's logical conclusion of rejecting the notion of substitution in it's entirety, most probably because he did not have the far more sensible explanation of an 'apparent death theory' or 'swoon theory' to offer in his time. In any case, both these theories do not deny the historicity of the event of crucifixion, just the detail of what exactly happened on the cross, so the reported statement of the scholar Reza Aslan that "Islam doesn't believe that Jesus was crucified ... Jesus was most definitely crucified" is neither here nor there.
The suggestion that the hidden pronoun in the word 'shubbiha' in verse [4:157] refers to an unnamed substitute who was miraculously given the appearance of Jesus a.s. and crucified instead of Jesus a.s. is contrary to the basic rules of Arabic Grammar (and the rules in other languages, for that matter). A (hidden) pronoun (he) would be taken to refer to a person who has already been referred to in the verse (or in a previous verse/s), and the only person referred to in the verse is Jesus a.s. himself. Thus, the meaning of the verse would be that Jesus a.s. himself only appeared like a person who was killed, whereas he did not actually die, and it was not even certain that he had actually died. The hidden pronoun can be seen to be 'it' rather than 'he', in which case it would be taken to mean that 'it appeared like so to them' or 'it was made to appear like so to them', i.e. it appeared that Jesus a.s. had been killed on the cross. This itself would make it a rather weak case to argue that another person was made to resemble Jesus a.s.
Muslims need to improve on the ability to discern truth from falsehood, and discard 'fake news' (though this term is not always considered the best term by those in the field, it has recently become popular) which is a cause of much corruption in the religion of Islam due to the false labelling of books of hadith as 'sahih' (i.e. authentic). It is not enough to know that 'fake news' exists, as there are those who would condemn others for spreading 'fake news', but become guilty of doing so themselves. There not being any 'verifiable facts' is a tell-tale sign of 'fake news', as can be learnt by studying this research guide:
The Holy Qur’an informs us that Jesus a.s. was not killed on a cross, contrary to the common view, but only appeared to have died on it. Doubts arose in the minds of both the Jews as well as the Romans as to whether he had actually died on the cross or not; they did not have adequate (medical) knowledge of the signs of life and death, other than the pursuit of conjecture, to arrive at a certainty that Jesus a.s. had been killed on the cross. In the light of relatively far more advanced modern medical knowledge of the physical signs of life and death, medically trained experts are required by law to confirm death, except in cases when death is obvious, such as in cases of decapitation or marked decomposition. Confirmation of death was required in the case of Jesus a.s. because he was on the cross for only a few hours, whereas in Roman times, an individual could last several days, even up to 9 days on the cross, before eventually being killed on it 1 Outside of Roman times, crucifixions lasting up to a period of 14 days was reported by Felix Carey, a Baptist missionary stationed in Burma (from 1806–12) 2.
When the Biblical record is studied in the light of modern medical knowledge, it confirms that the verse of the Qur’an (4:157) is completely accurate. Muslims generally did not understand the verse correctly over the centuries because the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. had apparently not explained this verse to his Companions r.a. This actually serves as evidence that the Holy Qur’an was revealed by the All-Seeing and All-Knowing God, because the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. had not studied the Bible to formulate the verse (4:157), nor did he or anyone else at the time, whether Christian or otherwise, have adequate medical knowledge of the signs of life and death to be able to understand the verse (4:157) correctly on his own accord.
The Christian Claim:
In this article, I will examine the Christian claim that death of Jesus a.s. on the cross is certain and indisputable, contrary to what the Holy Qur’an states in (4:157), and so they claim is his resurrection from the dead just as certain and indisputable.
First of all, I will summarise the Christian argument in favour of the death and resurrection of Jesus a.s. They cite scholarly unanimity, both Christian as well as non-Christian, as evidence in favour of their case, and assert that their view of Jesus a.s. is what is established from the Bible as well as historical sources, whereas the Muslim case has little or no support other than from within Muslim circles. These arguments are weak however, for disputes should be settled on the basis of reason [Isaiah 1:18], for which principles of logic become applicable, such as the following logical fallacy:
"Argument From Authority:
This is the flip side of the ad hominem; in this case, the argument is advanced because of those advancing it. But arguments from authority carry little weight: the history of human kind is consistent in one fact: the frequency of human error."
Please note the words: 'frequency of human error', which is also applicable to the next logical fallacy in their argument, viz:
They argue that Muhammad s.a. came some 6 centuries after the events, and wasn’t an eyewitness to the crucifixion, so his testimony is not even worthy of consideration. One Christian scholar 3 questioned why he should believe in the 40 words (it's not actually 40) of (4:157) and discard his belief in the death of Jesus a.s. on the cross, which is supported by non-Christians, and the vast majority of the world doesn’t question it.
This argument is also weak, as it is an appeal to popularity, which is also flawed for the reason of the 'frequency of human error':
Argumentum ad Populum (popular appeal or appeal to the majority): ...
"Bandwagon": the fallacy of attempting to prove a conclusion on the grounds that all or most people think or believe it is true. ...
The basis of the ad populum appeal is the assumption that large numbers of persons are more likely to be right than a given individual is likely to be right. Also, in light of peer pressure, many persons feel it's better to be normal than to go against the crowd. Moreover, our social desire to be approved by others often results in our joining the "bandwagon" ..."
As I will demonstrate, the verse [4:157] provides undeniable proof that it is revealed by the All-Knowing God. My case for survival from the cross, which was, at least to start off with, indeed based that the Qur’an was revealed by the All-Seeing and all-Knowing God who fully knows the Unseen, but I will proceed to show how my faith in the what the Qur'an informs us of the reality behind the crucifixion reports, is consistent with the principles of logic.
The Qur’an is a clear Book, but just as partially sighted people can’t see everything clearly enough, humans have limited knowledge, however learned they may be in the religious and secular fields, and may improve in understanding as their study of the Word of God and the Work of God improves. Hence, the fact that Muslims did not properly understand the verse [4:157] for several centuries does not raise a valid question on the clarity of the Qur'an itself.
The Claim of the Holy Qur'an:
Let us first study carefully what the Holy Word of Allah states on the matter of the claimed crucifixion of Jesus a.s., and evaluate the misgivings of people concerning the meaning and interpretation of the verse:
Referring to some wrongs of the Jews (human beings may perpetrate some wrongs and may do some good things as well, and the Qur'an refers to both in the case of Jews, as it does with other people), the Qur’an states:
وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا
[4:157] “And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like so (one crucified); and those who differed therein were certainly in a state of doubt about it; they had no knowledge thereof, but only followed a conjecture; and they were not certain that they had killed him”
I will discuss some preliminary objections which arise in some people’s minds in the third part of this article. In this first part of the article, let us tackle a common misunderstanding of the wording “and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear to them like so”. Some people erroneously taking this to mean that they did not kill Jesus a.s., nor did they even put him a.s. on the cross, but another man appeared to be like, or resembled Jesus a.s., and he was the one who was nailed and killed on a cross instead of Jesus a.s.
Firstly, it should be pointed out that the correct meaning of the Arabic word salb as used in verses of the Holy Qur’an as well as in Classical Arabic literature, is to “put to death in a certain well known manner” 4. So what is being denied here is not mere hanging to a tree or nailing or fixing to a cross, but actual death by such means. This confuses some people, for they object as to why there was a need to deny killing twice, and this appears clumsy to them. However, there are other examples in the Qur’an where a word is mentioned in the general (aam) sense, and a more specific (khaas) application of the word is mentioned either before or afterwards (e.g. 4:163) 5. The best example in this regard that I have come across so far, is [29:24], where both the killing and burning of Abraham a.s. are mentioned (i.e. their desire to do so); burning is a specific (khaas) form of killing, which is general (aam).
Nevertheless, another way of understanding this wording can be suggested to help satisfy such objections, that upon denial of his killing, the objection would arise in the minds of various people that it is widely believed by Jews and Christians as well as many others, on the basis of historical statements 6,7 that Jesus a.s. was indeed put to death on a cross in Judea under the Roman Governor Pilate, and no one is known to have ever questioned this belief over the 6 centuries prior to coming into being of Islam and the Qur'an. The next statement i.e. 'nor did they crucify him' affirms that it is nevertheless an erroneous belief, and that they did not actually kill him on the cross, 'but he was made to appear to them like so'.
Events Recorded in the Bible:
Now that we have seen the claim made in the relevant verse of the Holy Qur’an, let us turn to a study of what the Bible tells us about the events under consideration, in the light of modern medical knowledge, for the issue is whether a human being died on a cross or not. Now, Christians could conceivably argue that he was God, or the son of God, and that knowledge of the signs of life and death as related to the human body would not apply to him. However, most if not all Christians claim to believe that Jesus a.s. was 100% human along with being 100% God, so the rules and principles of life and death would surely apply to him. Besides, when asserting his death, the Bible claims that ‘he gave up the ghost/spirit’, and we know that this is the wording that would be used for human beings who are thought to have died, whether it be certain or assumed. In any case, I have not yet come across a Christian who resorts to this apparently rather weak argument, so we will continue our analysis of the Bible on the basis of modern medical knowledge concerning the signs of life and death as applied to human beings.
For this purpose, we do not need to condemn the entire Bible as corrupted. Christian polemicists argue that the Qur’an (5:48)8 tells the People of the Gospel to judge according to what is in the Gospel. The verse actually states that they should judge according to “what Allah has revealed within it”, implying that they should judge the truth of Islam and Muhammad s.a. according to the prophecies which were revealed by Allah to Jesus a.s. and are contained within their “four gospels”, which might be referred to as the Injil or Gospel, but only in an allegorical rather than literal manner.
The Qur’an does not refer to the entire Christian ‘New Testament’, but we can consider it with some reservations and conditions, for most of it wasn’t even written by the disciples of Jesus a.s.9 who were under his guidance and training according to our understanding of the verses of the Holy Qur’an10. Pondering carefully over verses (4:159-160)11 shows that Christians were influenced by the teachings of Paul (being accursed is the opposite of being raised in nearness to Allah), who accepted the Jewish argument (see below) based on (their interpretation of) Deuteronomy (21:22,23)12.
Paul, like the Jews, applied this verse of Deuteronomy to the supposed death of Jesus a.s. on the cross, and accepted that he was accursed of God (Galatians 3:13)13, with none of the actual disciples of Jesus a.s. ever making such a statement.
The Jewish Argument:
The Jewish point of view in this regard is stated in the Jewish Encyclopaedia:
“This last utterance was in all its implications itself a disproof of the exaggerated claims made for him after his death by his disciples. The very form of his punishment would disprove those claims in Jewish eyes. No Messiah that Jews could recognize could suffer such a death; for “He that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deut.xxi, 23), “an insult to God” (Targum, Rashi). How far in his own mind Jesus substituted another conception of the Messiah, and how far he regarded himself as fulfilling that ideal, still remain among the most obscure of the historical problems.”14
This Jewish argument against Jesus a.s. being the true Messiah is also mentioned in a Bible Commentary:
“God’s providence ordered it so that to fulfil the prophecy of the curse and other prophecies, Jesus should be crucified, and so hang on the tree, though that death was not a Jewish mode of execution. The Jews accordingly, in contempt, call Him Tolvi, “the hanged one,” and Christians, “worshippers of the hanged one”; and make it their great objection that He died the accursed death [Trypho, in Justin Martyr, p. 249] (1Pe 2:24). Hung between heaven and earth as though unworthy of either!”15
It is regrettable that Paul didn’t argue against the Jewish assertion that Jesus a.s. had become accursed by dying on the cross. It is possible that the disciples of Jesus a.s. didn’t inform Paul that the rising from the dead was metaphorical and not literal due to their mistrust of him, for he was an active persecutor of Christians prior to his claim of having converted. Even if so, he could have pointed out that the Jewish charges against Jesus a.s. were false, and being an innocent man, he could not be considered accursed of God. Alas, he did not do so, which strengthens the case of those who claim that Paul is a corrupter of the message of Jesus a.s.
Christian Interpretation of the Gospels:
We are thus entitled to question the Christian interpretation of the gospels for very good reasons, such as other verses of their scripture which appear to contradict their interpretations, because we too have developed an understanding of how to interpret Scripture; or question their understanding of Scripture on the basis of God-given reason and logic, if we feel the need to do so. From what I have studied so far, it seems that a major issue is the Christian misinterpretation of the verses of the Bible, taking some verses literally when they should be understood metaphorically, and not interpreting the metaphorical verses in the light of the clear and decisive verses, and holding non-scriptural interpretations of some ambiguous statements, along with accepting the erroneous interpretations of Paul e.g. belief in the divine son-ship and divinity of Jesus a.s.16
Modern Medical Knowledge:
Let us now turn to the guidance given to police officers (and paramedics) with regards to determining life and death in our day and age, because in the normal course of their duty, they would be expected, from time to time, to determine whether someone had died, or was killed, whether by someone else, or themselves. We refer to police officers because they are not medical experts, thus being somewhat like personnel in the armed forces. Keep in mind that Roman soldiers were experts at killing or taking life, whilst medical doctors are experts at saving lives, and improving the quality of life.
So let us consult such guidance which is available online, which most if not all readers would be able to check for themselves in our day and age. The information given below is taken directly from handbooks of guidance for police officers (and paramedics):
“3.2.3 Police officers are able to verify death in cases where it is obvious that life is extinct. How-ever, this will be limited to cases of decapitation or extreme decomposition. In all other cases, a medical professional will be required to verify death to avoid the very real risk of making the wrong decision.” 17,18
Another document giving guidance to Police Officers states the following:
6.6 Obvious Death – The only circumstances where Police Officers may presume death is where there is decapitation, decomposition and decay, total incineration or significant mutilation as to make death indisputable and totally inconsistent with life, or following consultation with SAS (i.e. Scottish Ambulance Service).19,20
Another Police document states:
“342.2 INVESTIGATION CONSIDERATIONS
Death investigation cases require certain actions be taken. Paramedics shall be called in all suspected death cases unless the death is obvious (e.g., decapitated, decomposed).21,22
Yet another manual gives the following guidelines for paramedics:
2. a) Obvious Death – No Physician Present:
Upon completion of a thorough physical assessment and history taking, the paramedic may “presume” death has occurred if gross signs of death are obvious, i.e. by reason of decapitation, transection, visible decomposition, putrefaction or otherwise.
b) Obvious Death - “Otherwise”
Upon completion of a thorough physical assessment and history taking, the paramedic may presume death has occurred only in circumstances where the patient exhibits:
i) absence of vital signs, and
ii) obvious signs of death i.e. grossly charred body, open head or torso wounds with gross outpouring of cranial or visceral contents; gross rigor mortis.
Presumption of death is based upon knowledge, skills and training in patient assessment and care. Should there be any doubt that death has occurred, every effort must be made to resuscitate the patient.
1. Gross rigor mortis is defined as one or more of the following findings in a patient with absent vital signs:
• limbs and/or body stiff; • coldness and/or posturing of limbs, body; • lividity (liven mortis); • complete or partial corneal opacification associated with any of the above.23,24
As we can see, even with modern medical knowledge, policemen (and even paramedics on occasions) can only verify death if it is obvious. Two millenia ago, with far less medical knowledge, a soldier was not in a position to even check for the four primary vital signs: body temperature, blood pressure, pulse (heart rate) and breathing rate (respiratory rate), as such medical knowledge and training was completely lacking at the time. Infact, even a trained medical doctor at that time would most probably not have been able to certify death in any way near to what that which is done in our day and age. The process of confirmation of death involves the following ten steps in our day and age:
1. Wash hands 2. Confirm the identity of the patient – check the wrist band 3. General Inspection: skin colour/any obvious signs of life 4. Look for signs of respiratory effort 5. Does the patient respond to verbal stimuli: e.g. 'Hello Mr Smith, can you hear me?' 6. Does the patient respond to pain? - press on fingernail/trapezius squeeze/supraorbital pressure 7. Assess pupils using pen torch; after death, both pupils become fixed and dilated. 8. Feel for a central pulse – carotid artery in the neck. 9. Auscultation – heart sounds (at least for 2 minutes); respiratory sounds (at least for 3 minutes) 10. Wash hands and exit the room.25
Examination of the Gospel Accounts in the Light of Modern Medical Knowledge:
When we examine the gospel accounts about the supposed death of Jesus a.s. whilst on the cross, we find that he is assumed to have died because his head bowed after a few hours on the cross, immediately after finishing a drink which he was given (John 19:30).26 This in itself leads us to speculate whether there was something in the drink that caused the bowing of his head. It may for instance have been a drug which induced a loss of consciousness. In any case, the gospel writers assume that at this point, Jesus a.s. ‘gave up the spirit’. However, we know very well that the ghost or spirit is not normally visible to the human eye.
Moreover, one does not have to interpret this literally to its fullest extent. As we understand it, the soul is somewhat separated from the body at the time of sleep. This separation is more pronounced in a fainted person, and even more so in a coma, and all of these can be seen as lesser forms of death, or minor deaths. Hence, when discussing this matter with Christians who have a regard for the Bible, one can act with wisdom and suggest the possibility that the statement ‘gave up the spirit’ does not necessarily have to mean a complete and permanent separation of the soul from the body, because this is not expressly stated in the wording employed. It can be understood as a minor form of separation of the soul from the body, but not to the fullest extent of separation as happens in actual and literal death.
We are also told that after the bowing of the head and subsequent giving up of the ghost, the soldiers came to break the legs of the two men who were nailed to the cross along with Jesus a.s., but because they ‘saw’ that Jesus a.s. was already dead, they spared his legs (John 19:33).27 Again, the soldiers obviously did not actually see the soul permanently leaving the body of Jesus a.s., so they just assumed he had died, whereas he had only fainted. What would have obscured their sight of any signs of life or death would have been the darkness in the land reported by the Synoptic gospels (Mark 15:33, Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44).28,29,30 We cannot say that death was obvious either, for he was neither decapitated nor decomposed, nor were there any skeletal remains. There is no evidence from the Gospels that they checked for rigor mortis or blood-pooling. Thus, the Roman soldiers with scant knowledge of the signs of life and death, just thought he had died because he had fainted and was limp, and they may not have previous knowledge or experience of someone fainting on the cross. Nor is there any evidence from the Gospels that the vital signs of Jesus a.s. were checked.
We know that the only confirmatory check performed by a Roman soldier was to prick his side with a spear according to the Gospel of John (John 19:34)31, the intention apparently being the same as stated in step 6 above, i.e. to check for a response to a painful stimulus. The soldier however did not appear to take into account the possibility of Jesus a.s. having feinted as a result of a drugged drink, and erroneously appears to have assumed that Jesus a.s. had passed away.
He might however have suspected that Jesus a.s. might be feigning death, because he was only a few hours on the cross, whereas crucifixion normally took several days. The soldier then appears to spear him in his side to check for a response to a painful stimulus from a person who might have been feigning death in order to try to save his legs from being broken as per the reportedly usual Roman method of accelerating death on the cross because the body had to be removed before sunset as the sabbath was about to begin. This caused ‘blood and water’ to come out at once from the wound (John 19:34)31. Based on the passion narrative in the Gospels, Jesus a.s. did not react to the spear, and the Roman soldier appears to have assumed Jesus a.s. was dead, not taking into consideration the possibility that he could just as well have fainted, for he was not a trained medical expert.
Now, much is made of the coming out of ‘blood and water’ by some Christians, claiming this is a sure sign of death, for the spear was thrust into the heart.32,33 However, the Greek word used in the Gospel of John is enusen, which means a prick rather than the forceful thrust which would have been required to penetrate the heart.34 Moreover, this claim is at odds with the rather common knowledge nowadays as per the maxim that ‘dead men don’t bleed’, as there is no pumping heart to push the blood around the blood vessels in corpses. These Christians would claim that the maxim ‘dead men don’t bleed’ is not absolutely true, and they attempt to claim that there are exceptions to this generally accepted rule, citing bleeding from the wounds of victims of road traffic accidents.35 Firstly, if the roman soldier was not even aware of the basics of the circulatory system, how could he know of any exceptions to that rule, which Christians claim amounts to a definitive diagnosis of death?
The knowledge of the heart causing the blood to flow around the body was first published in the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 1800’s that this knowledge gained wide acceptance.36
Thus, the soldier being at the foot of the cross some 18 centuries before this knowledge became widespread, he would not even have known that the coming out of blood from a human body was actually a sign of life, let alone know any exceptions to this general rule if the blood was accompanied by water. Either way, he would be in no position to reach any conclusions from his observation of the ‘blood and water’ immediately coming out of the spear wound. Neither was the soldier in any position to verify death on its’ account, nor can we claim, on the basis of speculation about what may have happened within the body which has not even been reported to us.
Thus, I have established my statement that the Qur’an provides proof in this verse of being revealed by the All-knowing God, for the statement that ‘they did not have knowledge (about how to distinguish the signs of life and death), other than the pursuit of a conjecture’ is something which would not have been known to any Arab or non-Arab in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a., whereas medical doctors do have a great deal of knowledge of this matter in this day and age, a knowledge which might increase even further in the coming decades and centuries.
(Please also read the article entitled 'Crucifixion? Part 2')
1. Crucifixion and the Death Cry of Jesus Christ By M. D. Geoffrey L. Phelan, Appendix B. 2. “Six people were crucified in the following manner: their hands and feet nailed to a scaffold; then their eyes were extracted with a blunt hook; and in this condition they were left to expire; two died in the course of four days; the rest were liberated, but died of mortification on the sixth or seventh day. Four persons were crucified, viz. not nailed but tied with their hands and feet stretched out at full length, in an erect posture. In this posture they were to remain till death; everything they wished to eat was ordered them with a view to prolong their lives and misery. In cases like this, the legs and feet of the criminals begin to swell and mortify at the expiration of three or four days; some are said to live in this state for a fortnight, and expire at last from fatigue and mortification. Those which I saw were liberated at the end of three or four days.” [Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes; held in Philadelphia in May 1814, p. 100; The Baptist Magazine (1815), Vol-ume 7. London: Button & son. p. 67.] 3. James White 4. Lane’s Lexicon, page 1713. 5. [Qur’an 4:163] “But those among them who are firmly grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to thee and what was sent down before thee, and especially those who observe Prayer and those who pay the Zakat and those who believe in Allah and the Last Day. To these will We surely give a great reward.” 6. In Rome, in the year 93CE, Josephus published his lengthy history of the Jews. While discussing the period in which the Jews of Judaea were governed by the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, Josephus reportedly included the following account (which is embroiled in controversy as the statement is too ‘Christian’ in nature): “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.” [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63 (Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.] 7. “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.” [Tacitus, The Annals, passage (15.44); translation from Latin by A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, 1876) 8. [Qur’an 5:48] And let the People of the Gospel judge according to what Allah has revealed therein, and whoso judges not by what Allah has revealed, these it is who are the rebellious. 9. A Muslims Commentary of the Bible, Syed Ahmad, 2013, pp. 17-25 10. [Qur’an 5:111-112] “When Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favour upon thee and upon thy mother; when I strengthened thee with the Spirit of holiness so that thou didst speak to the people in the cradle and in middle age; and when I taught thee the Book and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when thou didst fashion (a creation) out of clay, in the likeness of a bird, by My command; then thou didst breathe into it (a new spirit) and it became a soaring being by My command; and thou didst heal the night-blind and the leprous by My command; and when thou didst raise the dead by My command; and when I restrained the children of Israel from (putting) thee (to death) when thou didst come to them with clear Signs; and those who disbelieved from among them said, ‘This is nothing but clear deception.’ And when I inspired the disciples of Jesus to believe in Me and in My Messenger, they said, ‘We believe and bear Thou witness that we have submitted.’ (The ‘birds’ fashioned by Jesus a.s. out of ‘clay’ were none other than the disciples in the sense that he nurtured them in faith such that a time came when they made great personal sacrifices for the cause of faith, overcoming material considerations and soaring towards the heavens above, like birds overcome gravity and fly towards the sky. It is therefore no surprise that the disciples are mentioned directly in 5:112 after a mention of the ‘birds’ in 5:111). 11. [Qur’an 4:159-160] On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. And there is none among the People of the Book but will believe in it before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) shall be a witness against them. 12. [Deuteronomy 21:22-23] If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.” 13. [Galatians 3:13] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14. Jewish Encyclopedia under Article ‘Jesus” sub heading ‘Crucifixion’ Vol 7, P 166 15. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (on Galatians 3:13) 16. A Muslims Commentary of the Bible, Syed Ahmad, 2013, pp. 58-60, 528-531 17. Hampshire Police Constabulary (UK), document: ‘01501 Procedure, Coroners and Sudden Deaths' 18. https://www.hampshire.police.uk/about-us/publications-and-documents/procedure-01501/ 19. Police Scotland, Investigation of Death, Standard Operating Procedure, p. 11. Version Number 3.00, Date Published 20/7/2017 20. http://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/151934/184779/investigation-of-death-sop 21. Riverside Police Department (California, USA) Policy Manual, p. 247. Copyright 02/08/2017] 22. https://riversideca.gov/rpd/ChiefOfc/manual.pdf 23. Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards, January 2007, Version 2.0, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Ontario (Canada), p 1-54, 55.] 24. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/ehs/edu/pdf/bls_patient.pdf 25. https://geekymedics.com/death-confirmation/ 26. [John 19:30] “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” 27. [John 19:33] “But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn't break his legs.” 28. [Mark 15:33] “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” 29. [Matthew 27:45] “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” 30. [Luke 23:44] “ It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour.” 31. [John 19:34] “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” 32. Zugibe, Fredrick ‘The Crucifixion of Jesus; A Forensic Enquiry’ 33. Qureshi, Nabeel A. ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, p. 151 34. A Muslims Commentary of the Bible, Syed Ahmad, 2003, pp. 738-740 35. Zugibe, Fredrick ‘The Crucifixion of Jesus; A Forensic Enquiry’ 36. https://wiki.geneseo.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=84479151