An Islamic distortion of the Lord’s prayer

In my city’s main newspaper, The Islamic Awareness Centre in South Africa continues to distort their own beliefs and the Bible. Their topic title is one line from the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses,” which runs into the body of the advert to complete the sentence: “begged Jesus (pbuh) of His Lord…”

There is no passage in the Qur’an which speaks explicitly of Jesus’ sinlessness. The Qur’an does say in Surah 19:19 that the Angel said to Mary: He said, “I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure.” Jesus is called “a boy most pure”. It is not bodily purity that is meant here but purity of a sinless life. The Qur’an says that Muhammad prayed for the forgiveness of his sins (Surah 40:55 ; 47:19 ; 48:2 ). Concerning Jesus in the Quran, there is no praying for forgiveness. The Quran calls Jesus the “word of God.” Muslims say the word of God is the (uncreated) Quran. This means that the Quran, Jesus and Allah are eternal; a Muslim trinity? Eternal beings/persons don’t sin.

In the Bible we find clear testimonies of the sinlessness of Jesus. Jesus himself said:

Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? (John 8:46). In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read (what do Muslims read?). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” There are many other relevant biblical passages.

The excerpt “Forgive us our sins” is, of course, from the Bible, from “the Lord’s prayer.”

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts (trespasses, sins) as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Why is this called the Lord’s prayer? Because it is the Lord’s (Jesus’s) prayer to God? No, silly. It’s called the Lord’s prayer because it is the prayer that the Lord (Jesus) told his followers to pray. The prayer is contained in the verses Matthew 6:9b – 13. And here are the words of Jesus’s directive immediately prior to the (Lord’s) prayer:

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: (the prayer follows).

Muslims, let context, not pretext, be your guide.