Jesus said, "To this end was I born, and for this came I into the world, to bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice. Pilate then said unto him, What is truth?" (John 18:37-38)
Pilate's response is a fascinating one. "What is truth?" he says, but he does not voice the question as a genuine query - it is a rhetorical question, a statement describing Reality as Pilate observes it - there is no truth, there are only constructed ideologies and practical necessities and people act upon these and function within the social/economic/political realms generated by these constructs.
Right and wrong, truth and justice exist only within the relativistic confines and context of these constructs.
Pilate's response is a quintessential modern response - in a world of relativity, "what is truth?" In a world dominated by pragmatic realities, ideological loyalties, and political manipulation what, indeed, is Truth?
Jesus answers Pilate's question with silence.
And so perhaps it is presumptuous for us to seek an answer, or to listen for elucidation from within his quiescence. Yet this is a question which is a very human one - and one that every age has struggled with and sought to answer in different ways - some from the vantage of faith, some from philosophical logic, some from the rationalism of science, some from postmodern relativism, some from an individualistic mix of different avenues - it is a question which has been approached from every conceivable direction. Pilate asks the question cynically, rhetorically - seemingly not truly seeking an answer - and he receives only silence. But perhaps, in the case of Jesus, even his silence can become a potential exegesis, a speech of subtle elucidation - a pointer, not to a single answer, but to a direction which may take us to a mode of understanding.
Pilate's world is governed by ideological fealty to the empire and a path governed by pragmatic decision making. His choices hinge, not on any particular concern with distinguishing between Truth and untruth (he perhaps is unconcerned even to contemplate what these might mean), but on the weighing of threats and inconveniences to the empire, on the politics of dealing with the constituents of the empire, and on his ambitions within this milieu. Pilate acts and reacts, as we all tend to do, within the limits and parameters of the surrounding society and his ideological loyalties - juggling personal ambitions and personal compunctions with the realities of his time and his place within the Roman hierarchy. There, pragmatism and political and economic realism, not some "abstract" truth, carries weight.
For Pilate, as perhaps for many of us, existing worldly "realities" overwhelm truth rendering it irrelevant to immediate events.
Jesus' taciturn silence in response to Pilate's "What is truth?" is indicative of the vast gulf that stretches between someone like Jesus and someone like Pontius Pilate - a sign of the chasm between two modes of understanding, one mode being rooted in the mundane and the other rooted in deeper modalities - one mode bespeaking the cynicism inherent in Pilate who the world had bent to its connivance (and who in turn sought to further the empire's influence by his own exercise of authority), the other indicating the certainty of one who sees the world as only a passing shimmer rippling across the surface of Reality. Between these two viewpoints, there is an unbounded void.
Pilate's independence is no independence - it is action tightly bound within the confines of a limited and worldly set of controls and inputs - the rules of the empire he serves, the relationship with Herod and Tiberius, the local politics of the province he governed - Pilate no doubt weighed all these inputs and made decisions that best suited the current situation according to his own internal ranking of the hierarchy of importance of these inputs. This is human nature shaped and governed by worldly circumstances, unmoored from higher realities.
But Jesus speaks from an entirely different realm of inputs - between his world and Pilate's the gulf is so vast that Jesus' answer to "what is truth", can be nothing other than silence.
If the Truth is that which corresponds most fully to Reality, then the Truth Jesus acts upon stems from the realities that extend from the throne of God down to the earth of this world. These constitute the foundational metaphysical verities which encompass, penetrate, and underlie the worlds of the heavens and the worlds of matter - not the fabricated constructs of human power structures. Truth, in the sense that Jesus speaks of it, is found along the vertical dimension of Reality - that dimension that cuts through a hierarchy of existence that stretches from this world to God.
So Jesus acts upon a truth that goes so deep and that has such a powerful grounding in the foundations of Reality itself, that every word he speaks and action he performs has a solidity and deep resonance and spiritual potency arising from its integral connection to the throne from which the Reality of the world emerges and from which it draws its subsistence.
"For man does not live by bread alone but from every word that proceeds from God." (Matthew 4:4) God's words are the engendering, shaping, and sustaining commands which hold the world in existence, from instant to instant. These words are the Truth - they are the essential substance that shapes Reality.
The first Truth and the foundation of all Truth is God - "God is the Truth (the Real)" (Qur'an 22:6). His right over His creation is above all other rights.
And He has created in accordance with His nature "We created not the heavens and the earth and what is between them but through the Truth (the Real - Haqq); and the hour will most surely come, so turn away (from the ignorant and heedless) with kindly forgiveness." (Qur'an 15:85)
And He has placed within each creature's essence a truth and a nature that can connect it with other truths. "Our Lord is He who gave each thing its creation, then guided it...." (Qur'an 20:50)
Through this nature, the Truth can connect with Truth - "Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice." (John 18:37)
By this connection and attraction, He (God) makes possible the connection between the ones who bring the Truth (the Prophets) and the ones who accept the Truth - "And he who brings the truth and (he who) accepts it as the truth...." (Qur'an 39:33) Those whose hearts are on the paths of the prophets, whose beings have a resonant identity with them, whose spirits are seeking congruence with theirs - they are the ones who accept the Truth.
And He sends Truth in the form of revelation, as guidance - "And with truth have We revealed it, and with truth did it come...." (Qur'an 17:105). This is why there is the potential for revelation to enact an alchemical transformation in the one who approaches its Truth with their own intelligent and honest sincerity.
And the Truth overturns falsehood, revealing falsehood's self-seeking and ephemeral nature - "We cast the truth against the falsehood so that it demolishes it, and lo! it vanishes away...." (Qur'an 21:18)
In the Qur'an, Truth is repeatedly connected with Reality at its deepest and most profound levels. So Jesus' being is integrally connected to the realities which permeate and suffuse all aspects of creation from the heavens to the earth and all that is in-between. Jesus draws upon and manifests that Truth in each glance, in each word, and in each silence. He manifests the Truth in the most appropriate manner in each individual action, in each separate time and place, to each person and group - he gives to each aspect of creation he encounters that which is most appropriate to it. Sometimes he gives healing, sometimes an awakening, sometimes harsh words (to the hypocrites) and reprimands, sometimes specific guidance, sometimes silence, but always, it is Truth - conveyed in the most effective manner since its root is firmly established in the full depth of Reality. He is a Word from God - cast into Mary's womb. "...O Marium (Mary), surely Allah gives you good news of a Word from Him, who is the Messiah (Christ), Isa (Jesus) son of Marium, worthy of high honor in this world and the hereafter and is of those who are in near proximity (to Allah)." (Qur'an 3:45)
God's word is the Truth - so when Pilate asks, "what is truth", the answer is manifest before him. At that juncture, the silence of Jesus' presence was the most potent response.
Absolute Truth is only possible within the unknowable hidden essence of God - there all contradictions and oppositions find their termination and reconciliation. But here, in the world in which we presently dwell, the Prophets drew upon their profound connection with the unseen, they recognized the true nature of things, they understood the vast substance of the ocean of Reality upon whose surface the ephemeral world floats unaware "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes...." (James 4:14) They gave to each thing they encountered its rightful due, drawing out from each its unique Truth - the nature with which it was created - since it is by standing on Truth, by being true to one's profound metaphysical nature that one acquires substance, and gains a firm foothold in Reality. And it is from this acting on the Truth, from "...bearing witness to the truth." (John, 18:37) that the felicitous bond with the ultimate Truth, Al-Haqq, emerges. "God is the Truth (the Real - Al-Haqq)" (Qur'an 22:6)
Irshaad Hussain is a contemporary Islamic thinker and author of Islam from Inside.
The Counsellor, Advocate, Spirit of truth mentioned in the Bible do
not point to a man coming in future. Of the PRESUMPTUOUS MAN we are
rather warned against to watch against and beware. The Spirit of
truth is the Spirit of God Himself who teaches about God in the
person of man Jesus Christ the Lord.
We do not read our Bibles seeking to believe in the ADVERSARY that
ridicules and mocks against it instead of Submitting to the truth
between us and you,that we worship none but Allah (Alone) and
that we associate no partners with Him,and that none of us shall
take others as lords (be him Jesus,Abraham Muhammad or any of
His creations) besides Allah (Alone).Then if they turn away,say
"Bear witness that we are Muslims (who submitted to Him).That is
the truth as revealed by the the Quran in Sura Ali Imran Verses
64-68.The same verse concluded and challenged the people of the
Book (Jews and Christians) in these words; "O people of the
Scripture! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim (Abraham) while the
Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you
then no sense? Unfortunately you are those who have disputed
about that of which you have knowledge but why do you dispute
concerning that which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who
knows and you do not know. Subhanallah what a real challenge to
the people of Scripture especially those disputing without
knowledge!.Now who was Abraham?Can we say he was a Jew or a
Christian?Allah gave the answer to this question: Abraham was
neither a Jew nor a Christian,but he was true Monotheist Hanifa
Musliman who submitted to Allah and he was not of the
idolaters>So the question is who follows this friend of Allah
called Abraham respected by all the three Monotheist Religions
i.e Judaism,Christianity and Islam? Quran gave the answer.Verily
among mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who
followed him and this Prophet (Muhammad S.A.W) and those who
believed (i.e the Muslims) and Allah is the protector of the
believers. That is the message of the truth. May Allah guide us
and the whole humanity. It is only the media with the help of
some misguided brothers and sisters who are not good example
causing problem for the true Religion of Islam meant for the
May i suggest that you make available the right to post to the social
media sources....this offers and excellent opportunity for dawah. In
addition if offers insight to Islam, please consider in the future so
that we might share to a broader body of thought.
reveal the truth to the many. May God bless you!
You read the corrupted (written and fabricated by Men) Books that are derived from the Original Torah and Injeel that were renealed to Moses and Jesus from the same God of all Biblical and Quranic Prophets.
Even these corrupted books talk about Islam (SUBMISSION), One God and Prophet Muhammad. These basics were not taken out from both OT & NT of Bible. But you pick and choose from the Bible.
I can prove that Bible (even after Fabrication:Deletions-Additions) still talks about 5 pillars, 6 creeds and about the final Prophet-Muhammad and Testament-Quran.Read my article posted on Islamicity about Jesus.
I have much love and respect for the Muslim brethren that are
normal. Even in the wildest dream I do not intend to denigrate them.
But I must tell what I know with learning from the Holy Scriptures
to reply to persons like KHAN that declares Holy Bible, the Book of
God being useless thing to follow or even to quote accusing it as
word of men in comparison to Quoran.
The Quoran is opposed in major ways against the Bible and sets
conflict against the people of the Book. I know God has allowed it
to test whether they love His Son or some other false persons to get
appropriate rewards or punishment in the hereafter. I feel my nerves
when people make little of the Messiah the Saviour of world's
mankind. There is no other savious beside him and those who reject
choose doom. But let them not misguide mankind with other lies in
the name of another quarrelsome porphet or another god that want to
steal place in the lives of human beings.
My message is straightforward, simple and is the truth and I set no
other partner with the established truth about which prophets of God
in the olden times prophesied, Messiah spoke of their fulfilment and
apostles encouraged the believes to put the anchor of faith on Him
Please take the following Shahada and turn into GENUINE Muslim in
the manner the patriarchs were.
There is God and beside Him is there none.
Yehoshua Messiah is His beloved and only begotten Son.
Other confessions, understanding and acceptance of them lead the
soul to judgement. Peace.
approaches to destroy the progress of mankind under the guidance of
God. The certainty of his expressions do not hide his intention of
doing away with the Bible that hinders his progress with obscenity
in human societies to destroy either with false religions or with
suggestions for departure from practicing the truth. They both are
his Right and Left arms stretched out against mankind created in
God's own image.
Beware O mankind of the cult of Mohammad, the prophet of the devil
possessed by him to speak as his mouth piece! If he spoke by the
Spirit of God, he would not contradict His word, intending to
Guardian of previous books and the fundamentals in them are same/similar.
Quran 3:64: Say: O People of the Scripture! (Jews/Christians) Come to an agreement
between us & you: that we shall worship none but God (Allah), & that we shall ascribe no
partner unto Him, & that none of us shall take others for lords beside God (Allah...")
Hadith: Abu Namlah al Ansari (r.a.) narrated that Allh's Messenger (s.a.w.s.) said,
"Whatever the People of the Book tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: 'We
believe in Allh and His Messenger. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not
falsify it.'" (Abu Dawud 3637)
FAITH: Q 16:123 'So We have taught thee (O Muhammad) the inspired (Message), "Follow
the ways of Abraham the True in Faith, & he joined not gods with God
Genesis15:6 '... Lord regarded that faith to be his approval of Abram"--John 8:39: Jesus
said 'for if you are the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.']
MUHAMMAD-S Q7:157 "Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom
they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel; [[Deuteronomy
18:15 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own
brothers. You must listen to him."--John 16:13 '"When the Spirit of truth comes; he will
guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He
will tell you about the future.
Hence, Please stay away from the quotes of the Bible inserted by Men.
Any body want to know the real truth.. it goes thus;
THERE IS NO DIETY (WORTHY OF ANY FORM OF WORSHIP) EXCEPT ALLAH AND THAT PROPHET MUHAMMAD (the seal of all the previous Prophets (AS)) IS HIS MESSENGER.
How about all of us start from here, stay a while (or may be longer) ponder, do our best then may be at the end we might really see what the Almighty wants us to 'meditate' and act upon. Then and only then we shall come out from our dreams into reality known as ISLAM.
Oh Allah, answer the prayer of your beloved servant and Prophet Ibrahim (AS) for us and do not take our souls except as muslims submitting to your wills and in total obedience to your final Messenger Muhammad (SAW), ameem thumma ameen.
This is a well written article. My compliments to the writer.
It is awkward to say the least.
It is a waste of effort for the reader...
It quotes the Bible which then begs that if you accept one quote then why not the whole, as one does with the Quran.
He struggles immensely with language and can't face the challenges that complex concepts can be expressed simply.
Hence he loses his audience and like an Opera he enoys his musing himself. Others are lost in the words and get comfort that something profund must be going on and yet it as empty as can be..
your brother in Al-Islam
Kareem Adam Abdullah.
Quran is the holy in this world.Thank you