In the predictions on the coming of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 7:10-16, 9:6-7 and Micah 5:2, God promised to send the Israelites a Messiah. As a result, the Arabs through whom Islam was introduced into the world had no problem with that, since Jesus was coming as a Saviour for the Israelites not everyone on earth.
But they did not and could not have accepted Jesus as the Son of God since that made him superior to Prophet Mohammed who was addressed as a Servant of God in the Qur’an. In 2009, I asked the Lord whether Christians and Muslims worshipped Him. His reply was those of you in the religion of my Son and those in that of my servant, Mohammed worshipped me.
As recorded in Genesis 16:12-15, God had told Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, that her son would live apart from other children of Abraham and would be against them and they too would be against him. In other words, the hostility between his descendants and the offspring of Isaac and other children of Abraham would be everlasting. This explains why the Israelites and Arabs have remained bitter enemies for close to four thousand years and the situation is likely to continue except the Heavenly Father changes His mind one day.
As shown in last week’s column till today, the majority of the people of Israel have not accepted Jesus as their promised Messiah and so do not regard him as the Son of God. Seventy-four point five per cent of them adhere to Judaism, the religion of Abraham and Moses, while only 1.95 per cent of the Israelis are Christians with the Muslims numbering 17.75 per cent.
If the majority of Jesus’ fellow Jews till now do not accept him as the Messiah and Son of God, how could the Arabs have embraced him and taken to the religion he brought? Hence, the Heavenly Father had to raise Prophet Mohammed, a citizen of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to bring Islam to the descendants of Ishmael.
This was because of the promise the Ancient of Days made to Abraham in Genesis 21:1-22 when He told him to send Hagar and her son, Ishmael away to Egypt. This was that Ishmael too was Abraham’s son and that he would give him many children and they too would become a nation like the descendants of Isaac, the covenant son He had promised him. In other words, since God sent Jesus to establish Christianity to save the Jews and other people of the world who did not embrace Judaism, He had to send Prophet Mohammed to save the offspring of Ishmael.
To be continued next Wednesday.
Gasali, see how Bola Ige eulogised me in 1986
God is great and wonderful. Three months ago, when I began the serial on Nurudeen Gasali on February 27, I did not know I still had the letter sent to me in November 1986 (32-and-a-half years ago) by Chief James Ajibola Idowu Ige (September 13, 1930 – December 23, 2001) fondly called Bola Ige and by those younger than him, Uncle Bola. For those who do not know, he was the Governor of Old Oyo State (split into Oyo and Osun States in 1991) from October 1, 1979 – December 30, 1983 and Minister of Power and Steel (1999 – 2000) and Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (2000 – 2001) during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007).
Uncle Bola, who had a B.A (Hon) degree in Classics (Latin and Greek) from the University of Ibadan in 1955 and a law degree from the University College, London in 1959, was also one of the most cerebral people Nigeria has ever produced. He belonged to the group of scholars like Professor Wole Soyinka, Nigeria’s only Nobel Laureate and his intimate friend, Professor Chinua Achebe and others. A linguist who spoke his native Ijesa, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and English, he was such a literary genius that he was nicknamed Cicero of Esa-Oke (his hometown) after Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher (January 3, 106 – December 7, 43 B.C).
My comments will come after Uncle Bola’s letter which I am publishing unedited from the address through the last sentence. NW5/198A Adekunle Fajuyi Road, Adamasingba, P.O.Box 3079, Ibadan. 10th November, 1986.
Mr. Sina Adedipe,
Editor, Sunday Concord
My dear Sina,
I just want to say how proud of you I am for your article yesterday in the SUNDAY CONCORD which is a rejoinder to my piece in the SUNDAY GUARDIAN of 2, November 1986. Your piece was well researched and elegantly written. Nigeria and all of us are lucky to have young men like you. It does not matter whether our views are different occasionally.
Please keep on writing well, with decorum and taste. It differentiates you from harshes like one Esther Ogunmodede of the SUNDAY TRIBUNE.
When are you visiting Ibadan? Please come and have a meal with us.
Cheers. Uncle Bola,
Yours sincerely, Bola Ige
Ps. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you write well.
Next week: My remarks.