𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐉𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐬 (𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐦 𝐛𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐞) 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐕𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐐𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧 (𝟑:𝟓𝟓) 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐐𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧 (𝟔𝟏:𝟏𝟒)?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
In the Qur’an, it mentions that the followers of Jesus (upon whom be peace) were made “above the disbelievers” (3: 55) and made “dominant” (61: 14)
𝐈𝐧 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐡, 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥, 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐲.
Thank you for your important question.
The verses in question are as follows:
‘[Mention] when Allah said, ‘O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection Qur’an (3:55).
‘And a faction of the Children of Israel believed and a faction disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant’ Qur’an (61:14).
Regarding the first verse (3: 55):
Baydawi mentions that “those who follow you” refers to the Christians who followed Jesus (upon whom be peace) and then, with the coming of Islam, the Muslims (Tafsir al Baydawi).
The idea that it means solely the Muslims is cited by Alusi as the position of many of the Early Muslims (Ruh al Maani, Alusi).
Qurtubi adds another possibility, namely that it means those who will follow Jesus when he returns. These followers will be both politically and religiously “superior” to those who disbelieve (Jami Ahkam al Quran, Qurtubi).
Regarding the second verse (61: 14):
Qurtubi and Alusi mention that “dominance” refers to the political power enjoyed by the Muslims (Jami Ahkam al Quran, Qurtubi; Ruh al Maani, Alusi). Another position that they both mention is that the “support” and “dominance” referred to did apply to the Christians but it happened later on by Allah sending the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Yet another position mentioned by both Qurtubi and Alusi is that their “dominance” was not political, but theological: they were theologically dominant in that the Apostles had clear proofs against the Jewish community.
Baydawi and Ibn Ashur opine that Allah has always given the Christians the political upper hand over the Jews (Tafsir al Baydawi; al Tahrir wa al Tanwir, Ibn Ashur).
These are [all authoritative opinions. The safest position in my humble opinion is that the “superiority” and “dominance” of “those who follow you” applies to the Muslims who follow Jesus (upon whom be peace) at the end of time. This is because we know that they are genuinely following him, and truly politically “dominant”. And Allah knows best.
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Allah knows Best.