The Doctrine of Original Sin
By Khalid Sayfullah
"Say (O Muhammad): 'O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Exceed not the limits in your religion (by believing in something) other than the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the Right Path.'" [Qur'an 5:77]
The doctrine of original sin is one of the tenets of Christianity which was established in the 5th century A.D., under the influence of Augustine, by the Roman Catholic church. It must be understood from the beginning that this doctrine, is at best, only a theory!
Christians believe this theory to be a Bible doctrine. They reason that, since theologians and preachers teach this doctrine, then it must be true! This theory is not a Bible doctrine and nowhere in the Bible can there be found verses which give credence to it! Where, in the Bible, is it written that , "All men are guilty and condemnable for the depraved nature with which they are born"?
The fact that mankind has the boldness to propagate this (and other) theories as 'Bible truths', whilst being warned by God not to tamper with His Holy Word, by neither adding to or taking away from it, is surely one of mankind's greatest crimes!
"You must not add anything to my charge (to command, assign responsibility to), nor take anything away from it." (Deuteronomy, chapter 3, verse 4.)
"Verily, We did send down the Tauraat (to Musa), therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's Will, judged the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests (too judged the Jews by the Tauraat after those Prophets) for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me (O Jews) and sell not My Verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers." [Qur'an 5:44]
Church history records that from the 2nd and 3rd century A.C. onwards, both the practices and doctrines of Christ were increasingly corrupted by heathen philosophies complete with their pagan superstitions and sense of morality. This influence was extensive. On the one hand there was unrestrained sexual lust, and on the other extremes in asceticism; the veneration and worship of saints, relics, images, and pictures; the development of a priesthood with priestly rituals and ceremonies; magical and spiritual powers ascribed to water, sacred words, and signs; water baptism for the remission of sins; and the baptism of infants. Heathen mythology was introduced and branded 'Christianity'!
Many of the early theologians were converts from heathenism, who wedded their pagan philosophical concepts to Christianity. These were educated men who gave the concepts of their heathen beliefs to Christianity, thereby corrupting the purity of the teachings of Jesus. They believed, especially Augustine, that unbaptised infants are damned because of inherited sin and guilt, and that saints and martyrs could intercede in our favour.
It was from this soil of religious ignorance and superstition that the Augustinian theory of original sin arose. The Augustinian theory declares that since all of mankind is descended from Adam, then on that basis the morality of Adam was transferred to his descendants, and therefore, all of mankind is intrinsically corrupt.
In the Bible of today we can find nothing to substantiate the doctrine of the original sin, infact we are able to find denial of such a doctrine!
"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children for their fathers; a man shall be put to death only for his own sin." (Deuteronomy, chapter 24, verse 16.)
"It is the soul that sins, and no other, that shall die; a son shall not share a father's guilt, nor a father his son's. The righteous man shall reap the fruit of his own righteousness, and the wicked man the fruit of his own wickedness." (Ezekiel, chapter 18, verse 20.)
Allah explains in Al Qur'an:
"Say: 'Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.'" [Qur'an 6:164].