Jesus Christ in Islam
Jesus Christ is a Central and revered figure in the Islamic faith. A fundamental pillar of Islam involves the fundamental belief in all of God’s Prophets and Messengers, that He has sent down to relay His Message to humanity. Anyone who does not believe in any of God’s Messengers or Prophets is considered a disbeliever in Islam. Muslims hold all Prophets of God in high esteem, including Jesus peace be upon him. Muslims love and admire Jesus peace be upon him and will not speak the name of Jesus, or Isa in Arabic, without respectfully adding the words ‘peace be upon him’ following the reference.
Aside from Christianity, Islam is the only other religion that requires followers to believe in Jesus Christ. God’s last and final Prophet, Muhammad narrated, ‘He who bears witness that there is no true god except Allah, alone having no partner with Him, that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, that ‘Isa (Jesus) is His slave and Messenger, and he (Jesus) is His Word which He communicated to Maryam (Mary) and His spirit which He sent to her, that Jannah (Paradise) is true and Hell is true; Allah will make him enter Jannah accepting whatever deeds he accomplished.’ Jesus Christ is mentioned over 25 times in the Holy Quran.
The mother of Jesus is Mary (Mariam in Arabic). She was a very pious and righteous woman. According to the Quran, she is the holiest and greatest of all women that ever lived. Mary has the great honor to be the only female mentioned by name in the Holy Quran and even has a whole Chapter named after her.
“And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds” (Quran 3:42)
The mother of Mary, Hannah, was at one time a barren woman who longed for a child. She made a vow to God that if He gifted her with a child, then she would consecrate him to His service in the Holiest of all Temples, the Temple of Solomon, to be a scholar or a priest. God answered her prayers and gifted her with a girl child. Hannah was saddened at the child’s gender, as usually only male children were given in service. Following her promise to God, she instructed that Mary is raised at the Temple. Her Uncle Zechariah, who was a Prophet of God raised her. As Mary got older, Prophet Zechariah would visit her in her chamber at the Temple, where only he had access, and he would observe that she feasted on the best of foods and cold drinks. He would ask who had delivered these feasts when no one else had keys to the chamber. She then would respond, ‘Allah!’ She was blessed by miracles from God, even before the birth of Jesus Christ.
According to the Quran, Angel Gabriel walked into Mary’s chamber. Terrified that someone had come to harm her or to remove her chastity, she cried out, ‘I seek refused from Allah!’ Angel Gabriel responded, ‘I am not an enemy, I am Allah’s servant and a messenger who came to deliver glad tidings to you, that Allah would bestow upon you a child.’ She replied, ‘How can I have a child if I don’t have a husband, and no man has touched me?’ Angel Gabriel then responded:
“Allah creates what He Wills. If He decrees a thing, He says unto it only: Be! and it is.” (Quran 3:47)
Jesus’ real name is Esau (Hebrew) or Yeheshua (Classical). The Christians of the West gave the Latin name, Jesus,. The letter ‘J’ does not exist in Aramaic, so Jesus himself would not recognize the name, Jesus.
Mary gave birth to Jesus in the valley of Bethlehem, away from the people, after which she then returned. The Quran confirms that Jesus was born of a virgin woman. When they saw her with her newborn child Jesus, they said:
“…O Mary, you have certainly done a strange thing. O sister of Aaron, your father, was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste” (Quran 19:27–28)
Mary didn’t speak but pointed at her child.
“So she pointed to him. They said, ‘How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?’ [Jesus] said, ‘Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me Prayer and Zakah as long as I remain alive and [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born, and the day I will die, and the day I am raised alive’” (Quran 29–33)
The Quran references the miracles that Jesus performed by the power and will of God, even in his infancy, when he spoke in the cradle to defend his mother’s chastity and innocence.
The word Messiah is the title of Jesus. The word Messiah comes from the Arabic and Hebrew word mesaha, which means to rub, to massage, to anoint. In religious context, the word translates to mean ‘the one that has been anointed.’ It was common to appoint or anoint a King or Judge of Israel on the head with oil when taking office, as a sign of his inauguration. In the law of previous nations, they would rub a person’s head with special water when they converted to their religion. This practice lives on today, in the form of a Baptist ritual. Prophet Jesus was anointed as the next Prophet by his cousin, John the Baptist, the preceding Prophet. Jesus peace be upon him is called by four noble titles: The Messiah, the Messenger of Allah, A Word from Allah, and A Spirit from Allah.
Muslim’s belief and understanding of Prophet Jesus stands in accordance with God’s final Book, the Holy Quran, and narrations of God’s last Prophet, Muhammad peace be upon him. Jesus Christ was a mere prophet of God; whose mission was to confirm the Torah which was revealed before him. He did not come bearing a new law, but only abrogated some laws to make life easier for the Children of Israel — the nation that lived before us. Jesus was sent to teach the same general Message, which was taught by all the previous prophets of God; that we must worship and follow the One God and shun every false god.
God created Jesus Christ without a human father, just as Prophet Adam peace be upon him was born without either a human father or mother; Allah just said Be, and it Was. Declining to call Jesus the son of God is not done to belittle or insult Jesus; instead, it is done to Glorify and Magnify God. Allah is the One and Only, and He is far above having a child or a partner in His divinity.
One should realize that Jesus never claimed to be the son of God, let alone God Himself. Through a careful study of the Bible, one would conclude that Jesus never called himself a god or God’s son. Nowhere does it state in the Bible that Jesus proclaimed himself as God. Instead, others made that proclamation after Jesus’ departure. Jesus, peace be upon him, only preached the teachings he received from God the Almighty. Prophet Jesus was only a servant and slave of God. He is not the son of God in the sense he was the begotten Son of God, instead; he is — metaphorically -the son of God in the sense that all righteous people are the sons of God. Yet this title is not to be taken literally as many Christians have done in error. There are many individuals labeled ‘sons of God’ in the Bible including Prophet Jacob, Solomon, and Adam peace be upon them as this was a common saying amongst the children of Israel.
As Jesus Christ grew into adulthood, he began to travel and preach God’s Message throughout the land of Palestine to the children of Israel. He taught the scripture that God sent to him, known as the Injeel, which translates to mean ‘Good News’ or ‘Gospel’; confirming the truth of previous Holy Books of God.
“And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me”(Quran 3:50)
To reinforce his Message, God granted Prophet Jesus peace be upon him the ability to perform miracles; such as fashioning birds from clay, then blowing into them to turn them into real birds — healing lepers and the blind, and even resurrecting the dead, all by the will and power of God the Almighty. Never did Prophet Jesus peace be upon him take credit for performing the miracles by himself, without the power of God. According to the Bible, many verses show that Jesus never took credit nor stated that he could perform miracles on his own:
‘…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ (Matthew 28:18)
‘I can of mine own self do nothing …’ (John 5:30)
‘…I with the Finger of God cast out devils…’ (Luke 11:20)
Prophet Jesus peace be upon him preached and stressed that no deity is worthy of worship except the One true God; and only through Him (the One true God, Allah, which is the unique name of God) can one obtain salvation in the hereafter. Prophet Jesus peace be upon him attracted an inner circle of devoted followers who listened to his teachings with humility; a ring known as the disciples.
Jesus Christ peace be upon him preached the same general Message as the Messengers and Prophets before him. According to the Bible, ‘One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ “The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one’ (Mark12:28–29) Never did Prophet Jesus, nor any other Prophet, preach that God is part of a Trinity.
Because the Children of Israel had gone astray from the straight path of God,
Allah, the Glorious, sent them their final Prophet, Jesus Christ, to remind them that this is their last chance to fulfill God’s commandments. When Jesus Christ continued to preach God’s Message, commanding them to do certain things and to avoid certain things, instead of believing him and following him, they got frustrated by him; turning their backs on him and rejecting him, plotting against him. According to the new testament, a group of hypocritical and self-serving men of the Children of Israelites plotted against Prophet Jesus peace be upon him.
They complained to the Roman authorities, who were pagan idol worshipers who had political power at the time; this because the children of Israel were only a minority. The Children of Israel complained that Prophet Jesus peace be upon him was preaching something new, and they provoked the Romans to rise against him; making the Roman governor believe that the call of Jesus Christ conveyed direct threats against the Roman power. His people claimed that Jesus Christ was an agitator speaking against the emperor which was not true. The Roman governor issued an order that Prophet Jesus peace be upon him is arrested, then crucified by hanging him on a cross and starving him; a common form of shame killing.
According to the Christian narrative, which Muslims do not believe, the Roman authorities found Jesus Christ, arrested him, then put him on the Roman cross — where he died. They eventually buried him, only to see him resurrected and returned from the dead. He announced to everyone he was the son of God. However, in reality, according to the Holy Quran, God states:
“And [for] their saying (in boast), ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Quran 4:157–158)
So according to the Holy Quran, they neither killed nor crucified Prophet Jesus peace be upon him; rather, God placed a resemblance of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him on another person to make him like Prophet Jesus. The Christians were differing amongst themselves as to the truth of the matter, as they themselves were in doubt and had no certainty what happened. In all actuality, God rescued His Prophet by raising Prophet Jesus’ soul and body up to Himself. The Israelites and the Roman authorities never could harm him, crucify him or kill him; this version of events was only an assumption. According to some Islamic scholars, God punished Judas, the traitor by casting him in a resemblance to Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. So, they crucified him instead, assuming it was Jesus Christ.
According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ returned to his followers. Whereas Christians believe that he returned from the dead, Muslims believe that he never died. His followers were terrified at his reappearance, as they thought he had been crucified. Then Prophet Jesus said: ‘Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have’ (Luke 24:39) Jesus Christ then asked for food, so he could eat before them like a human being would, not a spirit or a ghost. After he proved his existence, he told them God had willed him to leave; and that in his absence they should preach and teach his Message and be faithful to God. He promised them finally that another would come after him. Whereas Christians believe that Prophet Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit in the context of this statement, Muslims believe that his words referenced the Prophet, Muhammad peace be upon him.
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is mentioned and prophesied in Scriptures of all major world religions. In the Old Testament, God the Almighty speaks to prophet Moses: ‘’I will raise up for them (the Israelites) a Prophet like you from among their brethren (the Israelites); I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them (the Israelites) everything I command him.’ (Deuteronomy 18:18) This verse is referencing Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, who came after Prophet Moses and after Prophet Jesus peace be upon them. Prophet Muhammad is also mentioned by name in Song of Solomon Verse 5:16 in Hebrew. The Hebrew word used there is ‘Muhammuddim.’ The letters ‘im’ in the end indicates a plural variation of a term that translates to mean respect majesty and grandeur. Without the ‘im’ suffix, the name would be ‘Muhamud’; translated to mean ‘the praised one’ or ‘altogether lovely’ in the Authorized Version of the Bible.
Gospel of John 16:12–14 Jesus Christ states: ‘I have much more to say to you, more than you can now them bear.’ God did not find it fit for mankind to receive the whole Message of Islam (the way of life of submitting fully to God) at that point, as they would not have been able to bear the Message in its entirety. So, Jesus Christ says: ‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me…” (Gospel of John 16:12–14) This Spirit of truth is none other than God’s last and final messenger of mankind, meant to be followed until the last day. Prophet Muhammad, who came after Jesus Christ, preached the same general Message as Prophet Jesus and every other Messenger and Prophet before him.
After the departure of Prophet Jesus, controversies sparked amongst his followers. They questioned whether the person who returned was really Jesus Christ. A severe split erupted in the Christian faith, revealing a broad spectrum of opinions regarding Prophet Jesus and his role in the world.
Prophet Jesus was a mighty messenger of God, but he was only a mortal human being. He was born from a mother; he ate and drank; he would sleep and use the bathroom; he suffered pain and emotions. This differentiates him from God the Almighty, as God need not eat, sleep, or drink. He was only a servant and slave of God. The Trinity — the father, the son, and the holy spirit — and the concept that Jesus died for our sins is firmly rejected in Islam.
“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So, believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, ‘Three’; desist — it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs” (Quran 4:171)
God makes it clear in the Quran that the act of ascribing a son to Him, angers him. Ascribing a son to God is beneath the Almighty. God states:
“And they say: ‘The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children)’ Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins. That they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Beneficent (Allah). But it is not suitable for (the Majesty of) the Most Beneficent that He should beget a son” (Quran 88–92)
According to the Holy Koran, the one that calls God part of the Trinity is a disbeliever who will face a painful punishment. The Quran states:
“They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the third of three’ And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment” (Quran 5:73)
The Quran then says:
“The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look at how they are deluded” (Quran 5:75)
It’s important to mention that Prophet Jesus peace be upon him did not come down with a new Law, nor did he come out to abolish the Old Testament (Torah); instead he came to affirm, teach and preach the previous law, the law of Moses. According to the Holy Koran and the Bible, the Children of Israel were veering away from the laws and disobeying the commandments of God. Prophet Jesus’ mission was to confirm the Torah that was previously sent, to render certain things lawful to facilitate life for the Children of Israel and to proclaim and re-affirm the belief in One God. Prophet Jesus peace be upon him was the last in a long line of Messengers sent to the Jewish people.
Prophet Jesus peace be upon him and the Book he came down with, the Injeel (Gospel), was not meant for non-Israelites. According to the Bible, Jesus states: ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of Israelites’ (Matthew: 15–24) In another verse, ‘These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’ (Mathew 10:5–6)
So, my dear Christian brother and sister, why are you spreading the Gospel to those for whom it was never meant? Jesus states he was sent ‘only to the Children of Israel’ and not for everyone else. God has sent another Book after the Gospel — his final Book, the Holy Quran — and his last and final Messenger — Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him — which is meant for our nation, the latest nation to exist on earth until the end of time.
Christians believe that every child is born with the taint of the original sin committed by our parents, Prophet Adam and Eve peace be upon them; a sin committed when disobeying our Creator and eating from the forbidden tree. According to Islam, the notion of the original sin is inconsistent with the concept detailing justice of the Almighty, the All-Merciful, the All-Loving How can God, the All-Just, make an innocent child responsible for or to bear the guilt of a sin committed by a distant ancestor? It is not just for one soul to carry the burden of another, and there is no justice to be found in one person being punished for saving another when they never committed the sin themselves. Islam teaches that everyone is responsible and will be held accountable for their own actions and that everyone is accountable for their own salvation. Salvation only comes from the act of Believing in the One God and following His commandments.
Christians believe that since all men are born in this sinful state, it is necessary that a Christian believes in the atonement; the idea that Jesus Christ died for our sins. However, nowhere in the Bible did Jesus explicitly state that he would die to save mankind from sin. According to the Holy Quran and the Bible itself, one can receive forgiveness of sins from God solely through sincere repentance sought directly from God. If God, the Almighty, wished and willed to forgive humanity, then he certainly could have done so without the need of sacrificing Jesus Christ, his supposedly ‘begotten son.’
The idea that all one has to do to attain salvation is to simply believe Jesus Christ died for their sins, without the need of any worship nor the need to follow the Holy Law because Jesus Christ fulfilled it for them, was never preached by Jesus Christ himself — nor is it even in the Bible.
Muslims believe that Jesus is still alive and that he will return to this world in the last days before the Day of Judgement. Muslims believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ. Muslims believe that Jesus Christ will return and preach the true Oneness of God as he has always done, and; he will not preach the trinity. Jesus Christ will prove to the Jews that he never was crucified and will prove to the Christians that they were wrong to ascribe him as divine. Imam Mahdi will be alive at the time of his return, also the time of the Battle of the Great Armageddon that Christians also predict. Muslims will fight on the side of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him, who will be their leader.
According to the Holy Quran, God will ask Prophet Jesus peace be upon him on the day of Judgement:
“…O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’ He will say, ‘Exalted, are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me — to worship Allah, my Lord, and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. If You should punish them — indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them — indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Quran 5:116–118)
Muslims are the true followers of Jesus Christ, following what Jesus Christ preached and taught. To my dear Christian brothers and sisters, it’s imperative you research and learn the real Message of Jesus Christ. God, the Almighty has distinguished man above His other creations, by providing him the gift of reason. One would not be considered a rational being if he or she believed in faith without using their intellect, without investigating, rationalizing, analyzing, examining, pondering, and reflecting over what he or she believes and just blindly following their Church and pastor. To my dear Christian brother or sister, take the time to research and think for yourself.
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Jesus Christ is a Central and revered figure in the Islamic faith. A fundamental pillar of Islam involves the…