Jesus in Islam..

By Sami Zaatari

 

One common interest many Christians have is the position of Jesus in Islam. Many Christians are often curious as to see what the Quran says about him, whether good or bad, and to also see what are the differences between their view on Jesus. In this interesting article we shall examine who Jesus is according to the Quran, his mission, and who he truly was.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In Islam we the Muslims are commanded to believe in Jesus Christ, we are commanded to believe that he was a prophet of God, who was sent to the children of Israel, and that he was given the Gospel (injil). Us Muslims should also believe that Jesus was the messiah, al-masih as it is called in the Quran, any Muslim who rejects these points will be considered as a an unbeliever (kaffir).

 

Now our main point of difference with the Christian concerns the divinity of Jesus, and the crucifixion episode. We the Muslims do not believe Jesus is God, nor the son of God, we do not believe that Jesus has any divinity within him, he is a prophet like all other prophets and he was a man, nothing more and nothing less. Us Muslims also deny the crucifixion episode, by deny we do not say it did not happen, rather we say the event did happen, however so Jesus did not get crucified nor did he die. Since we deny the crucifixion and death of Jesus, this logically means that we also deny the supposed resurrection of Jesus, and the doctrine of Jesus dying for our sins.

 

These are the main two differences that Christians and Muslims have when we discuss Jesus. With all that said we can now proceed to see what Islam says about Jesus, specifically the Quran.

 

 

 

HIS BIRTH

 

Just like the Christians we the Muslims also believe and affirm the virgin birth of Jesus, this incident is mentioned quite a few times in the Quran:

 

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YUSUFALI: She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!

 

019.020
YUSUFALI: She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”

Here we see two verses from the Quran which show Mary the mother Jesus asking the angel how can she have a son when no man has touched her, and that she is a chaste lady.

 

The answer she gets is very simple, that Allah creates what he wills, all he says be and it is. The topic of the virgin birth and why it was done and the wisdom behind it from an Islamic perspective is a different topic alltogethor which we shall leave for now and discuss at a later time.

 

So therefore we the Muslims believe and affirm the virgin birth, anyone who does not is considered to be an unbeliever who reject’s God truth.

 

 

 

HIS MIRACLES

 

Many of Jesus’ miracles are recorded in the Quran, we produce the relevant passages:

 

 


“O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”  But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;  (19: 28-30)

 

Here we see an incident where Mary brings the baby Jesus to her people, and they suspect her to have committed fornication for how else did she conceive a child when she is not married? To clear herself from this falsehood and to show that she has done nothing wrong she points to the baby Jesus, and miraculously he speaks, telling them that he is a servant of Allah and that he is a prophet. This is the first miracle of Jesus to us Muslims, unlike the Christian view which is that the first miracle that was recorded was him turning water into wine recorded in the Gospel of John.

 

Other miracles performed by Jesus which are mentioned in the Quran are mentioned in another verse:

 

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YUSUFALI: “And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

 

The miracles which are recorded here is that he made the shape of bird from clay, and that he breathed into it and it became alive, another one is that raises the dead an heals the blind and the lepers.

 

Now some may get a false idea from these passages, primarily Christians, the Christian will say that since Jesus breathed into the clay bird and it became alive this means Jesus can create life, and secondly since he can raise the dead then this also means he is divine.

 

Anyone who makes such a claim from these passages would simply be abusing the text, and completely distorts it, when one reads the text one will notice the verse makes sure that no one can argue this point:

 


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YUSUFALI: “And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

 

 

The points I have bolded and underlined refute any idea of divinity, because as you can see even before Jesus performs the miracle he says that he comes with a sign from God, this means what he is about to do is not of himself but rather it is from God who has bestowed this miracle on Jesus as a sign for the people. Secondly, when Jesus does perform the miracle he says that the miracles happen only by Allah’s permission, this means that Allah allows such a thing to happen, and without his permission Jesus would not be able to do any of what he does.

 

So basically Allah gives Jesus the miracle, and Allah allows Jesus to perform the miracle, and Allah allows the miracle to pass, this all essentially proves that Allah is in complete control of what is going on.

 

 

JESUS’ POSITION IN ISLAM

 

Now as I said at the beginning of this article, we Muslims do not believe Jesus is divine, rather we believe he is a prophet and the Christ (al-masih), we now quote the relevant passages to establish the position of Jesus in Islam:

 

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YUSUFALI: Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;

Here we see Jesus being called the Christ, the messiah, it is a title of honour, and a title given to him because he was the last prophet to be specifically sent to the children of Israel.

 

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YUSUFALI:

He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;

 

 

Here we see that Jesus is a prophet of God, and this is the essential position of Jesus in Islam, that he is a messenger of God, not God.

 

And finally:

 

YUSUFALI:

The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was.

 

 

This verse is telling us that Jesus was a man just like Adam, and just like Adam Jesus too is a prophet, and just like Adam Jesus too was born without a father, Allah simply said be and he was, this was the case for both Adam and Jesus. This verse is to show that Jesus is not divine through his virgin birth.

 

 

HIS MESSAGE

 

In Islam we believe the message of Jesus was tauhid, which basically means he taught that there is one God and that that’s what the people should believe in. Jesus was given the Gospel (injil) as an instruction to the Children of Israel, the Quran tells us about his mission:

 


YUSUFALI: “‘(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me. “‘It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'” (3:50-51)

 

As the verses tell us, Jesus came to confirm the Torah, and to abrogate some of its rulings, Jesus then tells them to worship Allah who is his lord and their lord, and that is the straight path, the straight path which leads to heaven.

 

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YUSUFALI:

“And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;

 

 

Here Jesus says that Allah has commanded that Jesus prays and gives the zakat, this basically also means that Jesus taught his people on how to pray, and to give the zakat (money for the poor).

 

So the message of Islam is very simple, he is a prophet of God sent to the children of Israel, and his mission is to bring them back to God, and to abrogate some parts of the Torah. His mission was not to preach a trinity which was never preached by former prophets, nor was it to preach he was God, nor was it to die for the sins of man.

 

 

THE CRUCIFIXTION EPISODE

 

The Quran is clear that Jesus was not crucified nor did he die, rather he was raised to God:

 

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YUSUFALI:

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

 

 

 

And since Jesus was not killed, this means there was no resurrection, and since Jesus never died, this means there is no such doctrine of dying for sinners. And I say this all from an Islamic perspective.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

So it the position and message of Jesus in the Quran is very clear and very simple, the Quran does not insult Jesus, nor does it look down upon him as some Christian may have believed. We the Muslims love Jesus and we respect him a lot, as I said before, anyone who denies the prophet hood of Jesus will be thrown into the hell-fire for eternity.

 

And Allah knows best!

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