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Other Religions > Christianity > Articles on > The Two Epiphanies by Mirza Yaqoob Baig

The Two Epiphanies:
by Mirza Yaqoob Baig Sahib
Islamic Review,
August & September 1920 (Vol. 8, Nos. 8, 9) p. 290


RELIGION brings Epiphany, i.e. revelation of Divine attributes and His ways of working to humanity, in order to enable man to mould his conduct and character, after the Will of God. In this respect, Islam stands pole-apart from Paulinity, which in common parlance has wrongly been called Christianity. The new Epiphany which found its revelation at Calvary makes Divine mercy incapable of its exhibition without compensation. Father in Heaven could not forgive His children without seeing some one at the Cross. He is Love, they say, but His Love wants requital. In short, the whole church theology in the West finds its basis on the theory of "Mercy with compensation".

The Book of Islam, on the other hand, strikes quite a different note. "In the name of Allah the Beneficent and Merciful," are the beginning words of the Quran. They head every chapter of the Book. Rahman is the original word, which stands for Beneficent, in the text. It means one who shows his mercy without having any compensation for it. Comparative study of religion will show that the Quran is the first book in the category of revealed scriptures which speaks of such Divine attributes. God, no doubt, has been known to be merciful, from time immemorial, to every one, whatever his religion may be; but One whose love for man found its expression long before man came into existence in creating all his needful, and thus His mercy was shown without compensation, was really a new Epiphany taught by the Quran.

In the two churches, the Muslim and Christian, we stand face to face, and worship two contradistinct Gods -- One who shows His mercy without any compensation, and One who in doing so acts on the principle of "Give and take." It is not now difficult to make preference in the two -- Christian God decidedly is not an enviable ideal. Virtues shown on the principle of "Give and take" hardly deserve the name, and the worshippers of such a Deity cannot but follow the same principle.


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