Editor’s note: Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jauziyyah was a prominent Muslim jurist during Islam’s Golden Age. Apart from his jurisdistic prowess, he was also competent in composing qasidah (Arabic poetry). Among his more famous works was the qasidah entitled A’obbad al-Maseeh Fi Naqd al-Nasraniyyah (O Christ-Worshippers! In Refuting Christianity). This qasidah is well-known in the Muslim world and has even been turned into a song. The following is the English translation of the poetry from the Arabic original.
- O Christ-worshippers! We want an answer to our question [from your wise ones],
If the Lord was murdered by some people’s act, what kind of god is this?
We wonder! Was He pleased by what they did to Him?
If yes, blessed be they, they achieved His pleasure,
But if He was discontented, this means their power had subjugated Him!
Was the whole entity left without a Sustainer, so who answered the prayers?
Were the heavens vacated, when He laid under the ground somewhere?
Were all the worlds left without a God, to manage while His hands were nailed?
Why did not the angels help Him, when they heard him while he wailed?
How could the rods stand to bear the True Lord when He was fastened,
How could the irons reached Him and [had] His body pinned?
How could His enemies’ hands reach Him and slap His rear,
And was Christ revived by himself, or was the Reviver another god?
What a sight it was, a grave that enclosed a god,
Stranger still is the belly that confined Him!
He stayed there for nine months in utter darkness, fed by blood!
Then he got out of the womb as a small baby,
Weak and gasping to be breast-fed!
He ate and drank, and did what that naturally resulted,1
Is this [what you call] a god?
High Exalted be Allah above the lies of Christians,
All of them will be held accountable for their libels!
O Cross-worshippers! For what reason is this exalted
and blame [is cast upon those] who reject it?
Is it not logical to break and burn it, along with the one who innovated it?2
Since the Lord was crucified on it, and his hands were fastened to it?
That is really a cursed cross to carry,
So discard it, do not kiss it!3
The Lord was abused on it, and you adore it?
So [it is clear that] you are one of His enemies!
If you extol it because it carried the Lord of the Worlds,
Why don’t you prostrate yourself and worship graves,
Since the grave contained your god in it?4
So Christ-worshipper, open your eyes,
This is what the matter is all about.