BISMILA-HIR RAHMA-NIR RAHIM
Dear friends I greet you in the name of Allah who is the most compassionate and merciful. In the Honored Qur’an it mentions the “Baptism or Colouring of Allah” Sura 2:138 Al-Baqara The Noble Qur’an, exactly what could this be?
We know the people of the Book, believe in Baptism…but what about Islam? What kind of baptism is this “Baptism of Allah”? Did Allah go through a Baptism? What is this Baptism of Allah? Please read on!
“(Our religion is) the Baptism of Allah: And who can baptize better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.” Sura 2:138 Al-Baqara
It is worth reading the commentary in the Yusef Ali version of the Honored Qur’an where it says of “Baptism” in Arabic is called “Sibghah”: “the root meaning implies that a dye or colour: apparently the Arab Christians mixed a dye or colour in the baptismal water, signifying that the baptized person got a new colour in life.”
Comment on Sura 2:137-138 Al-Baqara. The Honored Qur’an page 56.
Why would the Honored Qur’an mention this baptism? It is obviously important for it says the “Baptism of Allah is the best”!
What is it that Allah will do in this baptism? What is this colouring? Yes we can see why Yusef Ali mentions that the Arab Christians added a dye to the baptismal water. This is significant as this would show that the person who is baptized is coloured! Yes coloured for life, and this baptism is significant as when one submits to Allah, his whole life is changed or coloured!
We find that John or Yahya, the son of Zachariah who announced the coming of Isa al-Masih, was calling for people to renounce their lives of sinful living and be baptized. So at that time we find Yahya, preaching at the river Jordan and baptizing people. As a symbol of a change or colouring in life, baptism is an outward sign of that which has happened in the heart of man. In truth it is Allah who baptizes as only He can cleanse the soul of defilement. In baptism there is water involved. In Biblical baptism, a person who consents to baptism is immersed fully underwater and is again taken back up alive. This is done as a sign of submission to Allah and that this person has fully surrendered his or her life fully to Allah.
Baptism of water
There are three baptisms mentioned in the Holy Books. One is the baptism mentioned which Yahya (John the Baptist) was involved with, and that meant a total surrender to Allah. This is a baptism which results from a conviction upon the human heart of sin. There is a desire of the soul to repent of all sin and turn fully to Allah for forgiveness and cleansing from sin. The life is changed to one of obedience to God. Joy takes the place of sorrow and sadness.
“John [Yahya] came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Injeel Mark 1:4 Yahya was baptizing in the river Jordan.
In the Honored Qur’an, water is the agent used as the first recommendation for cleansing before prayer in Sura 5:6 Al-Maeda.
Since baptism is a sign of a complete change or colour in life, so it is fitting that the person be completely immersed in water as a sign of a complete surrender. The symbolism is that when a person has decided to follow Allah, he is under conviction that he is a sinner and need cleansing from sin. The person’s desire is to be cleansed from all sin and wickedness, and as a sign of his surrender and submission, he is baptized in water. This is a fitting sign of a complete surrender and submission to God. There is a death to self and as the person arises from the water, he arises in newness of life. Allah has pledged that all heaven would look after this person who has dedicated himself to Allah in this world of sin, suffering, and degradation.
Yahya preached... “the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.” Acts 13:24 Injeel
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The second baptism mentioned is of the Holy Spirit or Ruh Allah also known as the baptism by fire. That means a person who has come to complete submission to Allah receives not only water baptism but also is given the Holy Spirit and is ‘baptized’ or covered by the Spirit of Allah. As a sign of acceptance of God, the person is given the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Injeel Acts 2:38
Yahya mentions one who is coming after him who would baptize with fire or the Holy Spirit.
“John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Injeel Luke 3:16 Here Yahya mentions Isa al-Masih, as the One coming after him.
Baptism of Blood
There is yet a third baptism mentioned…it is the baptism not of water but of blood or suffering. This baptism as the others mentioned, includes a complete and total surrender to Allah and involves a self-renouncing love for perishing souls of earth. This baptism was consummated near Mount Moriah when Isa al-Masih gave His Holy life to ransom all sinners from earth. This was manifested by Isa al-Masih in totally giving of Himself for humanity.
In the last days of Isa al-Masih He was so cruelly abused by the temple priests, the official religious ones as well as the heathen Romans. All these were following the agenda of Iblis or Shatan.
Prior to His suffering and death, Isa al-Masih had told His followers:
“…can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: [referring to the baptism of suffering which He would have to endure] Injeel Mark 10:38-39
Isa al-Masih willingly took upon Himself the duty of paying the ransom for our sins. He willingly suffered the wrath of God on behalf of all sinners of earth. Hear Him while suffering upon the instrument of torture, while hanging upon the Roman cross crying to His Father... “and at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Injeel Mark 15:34
The Father hid His face from His beloved and Isa suffered the vengeance of an offended God. Isa willingly suffered this baptism of blood for all nations of earth. It matters not dear friend of Allah where you were born, Allah sees you and knows your state. He has already paid the redemption price for your soul and wants you in His eternal kingdom of bliss. Remember the sacrifice of Ibrahim’s son on Mount Moriah? Then how a substitute ram was found caught in the thicket? Sura 37:100-113. As-Saaffat
Today this occasion is yearly celebrated as Eid al-Adha! This event of the ancient past was a foreshadowing of the time in which God would send His own Beloved to the same area and perish for the sins of humanity. It is only infinite love who would attempt such a ‘baptism of blood’ and suffering. How easily Allah could have wiped out all of sinful humanity, but no…He would rather suffer on a much greater scale, the loss of His own dear Beloved than what Ibrahim suffered when called to sacrifice His son on Mount Moriah!
In Ibrahim’s case, his hand holding the knife was stayed from slaying his son on the altar of sacrifice on Mount Moriah.
This was not to be with Isa, His own Father had to allow the death of His Beloved. From the beginning they had been together, now He has to see Him perish. What profound love for humanity. Will you receive Isa who was sent down to us? So we see that Allah suffered immensely with His Son. We may truly say that Allah was baptized with suffering, He was coloured…such as we will never know throughout all eternity. We don’t understand what Allah gave when He gave Isa al-Masih to this earth. This was the most costly gift which heaven could bestow upon us. In this venture of Allah we see that Allah Himself submits to the baptism of blood or suffering for the sinful race of humanity. He would rather suffer the loss of His own dear Son, than see us perish for eternity! Words cannot describe accurately this thought. It will take all eternity to try to understand such deep and compassionate love of Allah for His creatures! Oh dear friends this is truly the “baptism [or colouring] of Allah”
Sura 2:138 Al-Baqara
Instead of vengeance upon the human race for their disobedience, He allows vengeance to fall upon His One and only Beloved. The thought is too much for us to grasp. All eternity is needed to take it in!
Baptism the sign of submission to Allah!
Now dear friend of Allah, will you make that decision to follow Allah in allowing yourself to be baptized by immersion of water? This is truly what God wishes for us to do as a sign that we have accepted the sacrifice of Isa al-Masih as our ransom from sin and paying our penalty for sin. He undertook this costly venture for you personally! To reject this is spurning infinite Grace!
Now Allah is asking you to believe and be baptized as a sign of your submission to Him.
“And He [Isa al-Masih] said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16
May we say with the eunuch… “See, here is water, what hinders me from being baptized? Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, it is lawful. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Acts 8:36-37
“The Baptism of Allah”