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What Does Islam Say About Jesus?

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In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Islamic view of Jesus (peace be upon him) is principally based on the many verses of the Holy Qur’an, which Muslims believe to be the absolute, unchanged and inerrant word of God. According to the holy Quran Jesus’ life and teachings could be summarized as follows:

1- The Virgin Birth

There is no doubt amongst any Muslim around the world that Jesus was born miraculously and without a father.  According to the Quran his mother Mariam (in Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic), Mary in Latin, was the purest woman since the creation and of Eve. It was precisely because of such purity Gabriel informed Mary that God had chosen her over women of all nations for her chastity, love and devotion to worshiping the one and true God – the creator of the universe.
Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations.  “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.”  This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Muhammad) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point).  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.  “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”
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!
(Quran, Chapter 3:42 – 47).

2A Prophet to all Muslims

All Muslims are required to believe in Jesus and to love him, accept his message an what he stood for. Muslims believe that he came confirming the Torah not denying it and his Prophet-hood was accompanied by the means of many miracles.
“And (appoint him) an apostle 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;
“‘(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.’”(Quran, Chapter 3:49 – 51)
The Quran beautifully connects Jesus to all the other prophets that came before in a chain of prophet-hood, bearing one message – worship of the one God – and asking for nothing in return.
Then We sent Our messengers following in their footsteps and sent ‘Jesus son of Mary after them, giving him the Gospel… (Qur’an, 57:27).

3Miracles of Jesus

When it comes to miracles, Muslims view of Jesus is not very different. The Quran tells us of numerous miracles performed by Jesus, some of which are even unknown to the Christians themselves. However, the Quran repeatedly stresses on the absolute oneness of God and the complete human nature of Jesus, and the fact that he, Jesus the Messiah, performed all such miracles by the decree, permission and leave of God, the Almighty.
Miracles unknown to most Christians.  Jesus spoke as an infant while still in the cradle
“He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity.  And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.” (Quran chapter 3:46)  The first of such incident happened upon arrival of Mary to her people after the birth of Jesus. Upon seeing Mary with a child at hand, her people, in particular the Jewish rabbis, started questioning and accusing her of adultery. However, by the command of God, the infant Jesus began to speak, defending her mother and proclaiming his prophet-hood even at such a young age.  At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
“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;
“And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;
“(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
“So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”!
Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.(Quran chapter 19:27 – 34)
God mentions in the Quran a miracle given to none other than Jesus, one which is quite parallel to how God himself created Adam. Creating the figure of a bird from clay and making it come alive is one that none could argue its greatness. While directing our attention to such a powerful miracle, the Quran, then repeats words of Jesus (pbuh) in which he stated that his miracles are done with “God’s permission”, indicating his absolute dependence on the Almighty creator:
“I create for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with God’s permission.” (Quran chapter 3:49)
Photo: source
This miracle is not found in the New Testament, however, amazingly it is found in the non-canonical Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which has been only recently discovered:
“When this boy, Jesus, was five years old, he was playing at the ford of a rushing stream… he then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve sparrows… but Jesus simply clapped his hands and shouted to the sparrows: “Be off, fly away, and remember me, you who are now alive!” And the sparrows took off and flew away noisily.” (Infancy Gospel of Thomas:2)
Miracles known to Christians
Healing the blind and the leper. The Jewish community and scientist during the time of Jesus were quite advanced in the science of medicine and were quite proud of their expertise. For this very reason and similar to how Moses came to the magicians of Pharaoh and his own time with “clear proofs” from God, miracles of Jesus were ones which the Jews could well understand and confirm that no force in nature could possibly perform its likes, except God.
Similar to the New Testament, The Quran also mentions Jesus to a have healed the blind and lepers.
“And (appoint him) an apostle 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; (Quran, chapter 3:49) and the Table of Food (aka the “last supper”). 

“And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Messenger. they said, ‘We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims’”.
Behold! the disciples, said: “O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?” Said Jesus: “Fear Allah, if ye have faith.”
They said: “We only wish to eat thereof and satisfy our hearts, and to know that thou hast indeed told us the truth; and that we ourselves may be witnesses to the miracle.”
Said Jesus the son of Mary: “O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – a solemn festival and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs).”
Allah said: “I will send it down unto you: But if any of you after that resisteth faith, I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on any one among all the peoples.”
(Quran, chapter 5:111 – 115).  As far as the “Resurrection of the dead” is concerned, refer to the verse,  “…and I quicken the dead, by Allah.s leave…” (Quran chapter 3:49)
This, similar to the creating of a bird out of clay, was a miracle of unparalleled quality, one which should have instigated, not some but all of the Jews to believe in his prophet-hood with no hesitation, but many were arrogant and did not.  In the New Testament, there are three cases where Jesus brought the dead back to life by God’s permission. These include the daughter of Jairus (Matt 9:18, 23; Mark 5:22, 35; Luke 8:40, 49), the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11), and Lazarus (John 11:43).  The provision of Today and what you store for tomorrow
By God’s permission, Jesus told people had just eaten, as well as what they had in store for the days to come. God quotes Jesus in the following verses:  “I inform you too of what things you eat, and what you store up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” (Quran, chapter 3:49).

4- His Teaching

When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said:  ‘Now I have come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which you dispute. Therefore, fear God and obey me. God, He is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him — this is a Straight Way.’ But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement. So woe to the wrongdoers, from the penalty of a Grievous Day!” (Quran, chapter 43:63-65).

5A spirit from God

The Quran confirms the existence of a “holy Spirit” as one that is said to be “proceeding from Him”.
“O People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah anything but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” (Quran, chapter 4:171)
The title “Spirit”, is widely accepted by Muslims to be no other than the Archangel Gabriel, who was sent to strengthen Jesus and allow him to perfume the supernatural miracles as he did
We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of apostles; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you an apostle with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?- Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay! (Quran, chapter 2:87)
Then will Allah say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’ (Quran, chapter 5:110).

6- Jesus a Word from God

“… Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles….”

7Jesus was neither crucified nor was he killed

It is the Quranic verses that tells us the Jews failed to crucify and failed to even kill Jesus Christ. We are told that they only “perceived” so and it only “appeared to them”.
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:- (Quran, chapter 4:157)
It is interesting to note that one of the main reasons the Jews wanted to crucify Jesus, was because according to their books he who claims to be the Messiah shall not be crucified and none can crucify him. Amazingly, the Quran in implicitly confirms this, that in fact they did fail to crucify or kill and in fact he was the true Messiah, sent by God, to revert the Jews back to the Truth.
Moreover, as the above verse tells us “those who differ therein are full of doubts…” the debate on the issue is still evident between the Christian biblical researchers and scholars.
Shortly after Jesus were many sects of Christianity fell into substantial quarrels over this matter. Some believed in the complete human nature of Jesus, some in his absolute divinity and some both. This was a multi-polar and a bloody struggle, which narrowed down to two doctrines of Pauline Christianity and the Judo-Christianity.
The struggle continued vigorously until in 314 BC, Emperor Constantine, won the battle of ideologies promoting Pauline Christianity and formulating the basis of the Catholic Church the Bible as we know today.

8Jesus has not died yet and was bodily raised into heaven

Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;- (Quran, chapter 4:158)
And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah. (Quran, chapter 3:54)
Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. (Quran, chapter 3:55)

9The Gospels and The Bible changed and corrupted

Muslims believe that, as the Quran informs us, the Gospels were indeed word of God, which were passed through Jesus to his disciples.
And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (Quran, chapter 5:46)
“And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Messenger (i.e. Jesus). they said, ‘We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims’”. (Quran, chapter 5:111)
However, other than the fact that we do not know who the actual authors of the Gospels were, the Quran directs our attention to an interesting argument, that the people of the book forgot “a good part” of their scripture.
Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: “This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby. (Quran, chapter 2:79)
Again the Quran reminds of the changed state of the Bible:
There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah. It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it! (Quran, chapter 2:79)
But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few – ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind. (Quran, chapter 5:13)
Similar to the Old Testament, it is a known fact that although the Gospels, which are attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, all four scriptures have been written by anonymous authors; unknown persons who heard of the disciples who were eyewitnesses of Jesus. This very fact, as well as numerous inconsistencies within the Bible itself, are enough of evidences to Muslims that they have surely been changed from what the apostles originally pass on.
From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them… (Quran, chapter 5:14)
God reminds us in the Quran that if only they (the people of the Book) had stood firmly by what was originally given to them they would have greatly benefited from the mercy of God.
If only they had stood fast by the Law, by the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course, but many of them follow a course that is evil. (Quran, chapter 5:66)
O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger (i.e. Muhammad), revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary). There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book,- (Quran, chapter 5:15)
Say: “O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by,- who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way. (Quran, chapter 5:77)

10The Second coming of Jesus Coming as judge

The second coming of Jesus is very clear in the Quran.  Once returned, Jesus will be recognized by both sincere Jews and Christians, who are alive and such will believe in him and will be able to see the Truth of Islam (meaning “submission to God in peace”). He will be Judge man and rule the earth according to the Quranic law.  And he (Jesus) shall undoubtedly be a sign for the coming of the Hour (of Judgment). Therefore, have no doubt about the Hour but follow Me. This is a straight way (Quran, chapter 43:61).  And prophet Muhammad said:
“By Him in whose hands my soul rests, surely Jesus, Son of Mary, will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind judiciously, by the law of the Quran, as an honest ruler.”

11- A witness against them on the Day of Judgment

On the day of Judgment, Jesus will stand firmly as witness against the people of the book. He will stand as a witness against the Jews for rejecting him and against the Christians for claiming that he was the “son of God”, as well as a witness against both groups for rejecting Muhammad and the message of the Quran.  Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;- (Quran, chapter 4:158).  And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;- (Quran, chapter 4:159)
And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah.?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.
“Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, ‘worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord’; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.
“If Thou dost punish them, they are Thy servant: If Thou dost forgive them, Thou art the Exalted in power, the Wise.”  Allah will say: “This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal Home: Allah well-pleased with them, and they with Allah. That is the great salvation, (the fulfilment of all desires).
To Allah doth belong the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, and it is He Who hath power over all things.  (Quran, chapter 5:116 – 120)

Conclusion

There is not a single Muslim that can deny Jesus, for if any person does not believe in Jesus, by definition he or she cannot claim to be a Muslim.  Muslims believe that Jesus told his people to follow him and that if they do and accept his message, he would guide them to God and the Truth. However, as in the case most prophets of God, including Moses, he was rejected by many, even though he showed “clear proofs” from God, in raising the dead and curing the leper.
On the other hand, no Muslim will accept the concept of Trinity as believed by the Christians. Muslims love Jesus as a prophet. They believe that the message he brought to the people of the book (Jews and Christians) was the same message of worshiping one God – creator of the heavens and earth – as Moses brought, however people changed the message – i.e. “the Book and the Wisdom” – and sough to corrupt, compromise and deviate from the Truth for their own earthly gain; to make lawful what God has forbidden and to make forbidden what God has deemed lawful.
Muslims believe that Jesus was sent by God, taken back by God alive, and believe in his second coming as a Judge between by criterion of right and wrong and a just ruler as God permitted him to do. They believe that every alive person at the time will see his return.
O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah anything but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.(Quran, chapter 4:171)

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