Père Zakaria Boutros

The Concept of Redemption in the Bible and Quran

The author      : Father Zakaria Boutros
The publisher:

Is there, in the the Bible and Quran what affirms the concept of redemption?

- The whole Holy Bible is centered about the redemption

In 2 Corinthians 5:14:” that one person died for all people; therefore, all people have died”

In the quran:

The table chapter(Surat Al-Ma'idah') 32:” We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone revived him, it would be as if he revived the life of all mankind”
- “We ordained for the Children of Israel”: why specifically the Children of Israel? , as they were those who crucified the Christ
- “Anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder”: meaning an innocent man who didn’t kill anybody to be killed according to the law: soul for soul
- “To spread mischief in the land”: meaning that he is an immaculate and pure man not committing any transgression
- “And if anyone revived him”: who is the innocent man who was killed and was revived, and was killed by the people of Israel; he is no one but the Christ
We are talking to the people of the twenty first century; we want a contemporary exegesis for that
The concept of redemption exists in the quran

Imam Al-Nasfy says about the issue of the redemption of Abraham’s son “the redemption is the rescuing from slaughtering by a substitute” (1)
The ranks chapter (Surat As-Saffaat) 107:”And we redeemed him with a great sacrifice”
In the Holy Bible the redemption of Abraham’s son was by a ram, the same was mentioned also on the quran

- The people of God was in a state of slavery in the land of Egypt, and they exited from Egypt on that night of the last strike, which was the death of the first born ,as every first-born in the land of Egypt died, from the first-born of Pharaoh, till the first-born of animals., all the first born died except those of the people of God , God told them that the angel will pass to kill every first born, you should take a flock animal and slaughter it, And take some of the blood and strike on the two side posts and upon the upper door post of the houses And the blood shall be a sign to you, on the houses where you are. And the angel will see the blood, and he will pass over you
That was the ram of redemption or the pass over

So the first-born was redeemed by a ram

That’s the redemption concept in Islam, the same concept
Also The redemption of Abdullah Bin Abdul-Motaleb: as Abdul-Motaleb, the grandfather of the prophet vowed to God saying: “O God, if I was endowed ten children, I will slaughter on of them in Ka’aba”
Then when he was endowed ten children, he wanted to slaughter the one selected by lottery , he was Abdullah, the father of the prophet , so all the people of Quraish came out to stop him from slaughtering his son ,and he told them :what to do? I have vowed that, do I have to offer redemption? They consulted a soothsayer, she asked them: How much the blood money you made if you want to redeem a guilty person? They said: ten camels, she said: get them & if they were not accepted you will add ten by ten till your God is pleased
Then they made a lottery between Abdullah & the camels, it came to Abdullah, they added ten more, they repeated again the lottery it came once again to Abdullah, they continue to add more camels & lottery continues to be on Abdullah, till the camels slaughtered reached one hundred, then the lottery came to the camels, so the slaughtered camels  redeemed his son  (2)
-The issue of redemption was mentioned in the old testment as the sinner man who committed a sin was bringing his sacrifice as a redemption for himself , God made for them such legislation that each one should offer the sacrifice a ram, ox or dove according to his ability to offer as a redemption for his deserved death sentence
In Islam the Hajj and slaughtering of the sacrifices of Al-adhaa feast (the sacrifice feast):
the sacrifices slaughtered are for the purpose of redemption of man

- in The religion of Islam book (in Iran)” the sacrifice feast is called the feast of slaughtering, during that feast, they say: O God let this sacrifice be an expiation for my sins & take off evil from me” (3)

- Narrated Muslim from Anas bin malek:” the prophet peace upon him scarified by 2 horny & salted rams; he slaughtered them by his noble hands “(4)

- It was mentioned that the prophet while he was slaughtering the rams said: O God, this is for me & whosever made no sacrifice from my nation (5)

- Al-Baz & Abu-Al-sheikh narrated from Abi-Saeed:”the prophet peace upon him said, O Fatima, get your sacrifice & have a look on it as by looking at its first drop of blood you will get forgiveness for all your past sins “(6)

5) They said that:”The slaughtering of Hady (the sacrifice) is rapprochement to Almighty God so you have to finish the slaughtering of the sacrifice & ask God to grant you redemption so by each part of the sacrifice he redeems a part of you from the hell, so the bigger the Hady & its parts the bigger will be your redemption from the hell (6)

Prerequisites of the Redeemer

Who is the redeemer capable of redeeming the whole mankind

The sin gets its real value according to the one who was sinned to, also its punishment is measured by his position therfore its redemption is corrolated with his value , for exapmle if I mistaked to a simple man working under my comand ,my mistake will be limited & needs only an apology or a money compansation, but if I mistaked to a man of authority, my boss at work, then it is a grave mistake, I will deserve a great  punishment & the mere apology will not be enough,if I mistaked to the head of state , my mistake is an awful mistake ,therefore if I sinned to God so my sin will be unlimted as God is unlimted & I will deserve an unlimted  punishment, so my redemption needs unlimted expiation , so the redeemer who will expiate my sin must be also unlimted

The sin is a transgration against God, who is unlimited, so the punishment is also unlimited, that’s the eternal death, so the redeemer who will lift that punishemnt must be unlimited

So God, and only Him , is the unlimited who can redeem the whole mankind

In Islam ;

It was also said that God expiates our sins:

In the divorce chapter (Surat At-Talaaq) 5 :”whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate his sins “

In the table chapter (Surah Al-Ma'idah') 12:”I will expiate your sins and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow “

To Expiate is to cover for the sins, it is the redemption and sacrifice for the sinful man ,While the forgiveness is lifting of sins, so Expiation is different from forgiveness

When Adam and Eve sinned in the paradise , they were nacked, so trying to cover their nackedness, they sewed leaves of fig tree, and made girdles for themselves to cover their loins ,but when the sun raised up, the leaves dried up and they were exposed again, but God brought skin and covered them

From where that skin came?, it was a sacrifice that was slaughtered and its skin was taken to cover their nakedness

(1) Tafsir Al-nasty (Al-Nasfy exegesis) part 4, page 21

(2) The Mouled Book by Sheikh Mohammed bernak, page 17

(3) The religion of Islam , page 367

(4) Sahih Muslim,Al-Fikh (jurisprudence) book, part 1, page 711

(5) Mesh-Kat al-masabih page 42

(6) The revival of the religion sciences by Al-Gazaly, part 1, page 243

© pour la traduction française