The Status of Jesus Christ in Islam
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Maryam (Mary) the daughter of ‘Imran was a pious and righteous woman… She strove hard in worship until she had no peer in matters of worship… The angels gave her the glad tidings that Allah had chosen her:
“And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn) (of her lifetime).’
O Maryam! ‘Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allah, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with Ar-Raaki‘oon (those who bow down)’” [Al ‘Imran 3:42-43]
Then the angels gave Maryam the glad tidings that Allah would bestow upon her a child, whom He would create with the word “Be! And it is.” This child’s name was the Messiah ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus’ son of Mary) … He would be held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and he would be a Messenger to the Children of Israel…
He would teach the Book and wisdom, and the Tawraat (Torah) and Injil (Gospel) … And he would have attributes and miracles that no one else would have, as Allah says:
“(Remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [“Be!” — and he was! i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.
He will speak to the people, in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.’
She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.’ He said: ‘So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” and it is’” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:45-47]
Then Allah tells us the rest of the glad tidings of the angels to Maryam of her son ‘Eesa (peace be upon him), and of the honour of ‘Eesa, and how He would support him with miracles:
“And He (Allah) will teach him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom), (and) the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel).
And will make him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you if you believe.
And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawraat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So, fear Allah and obey me.
Truly, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path’ Qur’an [Al ‘Imran 3:48-51]
Allah is absolutely perfect in His powers of Creation. He creates what He wills, how He wills… He created Adam from dust without a father or a mother, and He created Hawwa’ from the rib of Adam from a father but without a mother. He has caused the descendants of Adam to have both a father and a mother, and He created ‘Eesa from his mother without a father… Glory be to the All-Knowing Creator.
Allah has explained clearly in the Qur’an how ‘Eesa was born. He says:
“And mention in the Book (the Qur’an, O Muhammad, the story of) Maryam (Mary), when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east.
She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Rooh [angel Jibril (Gabriel)], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.
She said: ‘Verily, I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.’
(The angel) said: ‘I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son.’
She said: ‘How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?’
He said: ‘So (it will be), your Lord said: ‘That is easy for Me (Allah). And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed (by Allah) Qur’an [Maryam 19:16-21]
·When Jibril told her that, she submitted to the will and decree of Allah, and Jibril breathed into the sleeves of her garment:
“So, she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place (i.e. Bethlehem valley about 4-6 miles from Jerusalem).
And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm. She said: ‘Would that I had died before this and had been forgotten and out of sight!’” Qur’an [Maryam 19:22-23]
Then Allah provided Maryam with water and food, and commanded her not to speak to anyone:
“Then [the babe ‘Eesa (Jesus) or Jibril (Gabriel)] cried unto her from below her, saying: ‘Grieve not: your Lord has provided a water stream under you.
And shake the trunk of the date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you.
So, eat and drink and be glad. And if you see any human being, say: “Verily, I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day” Qur’an [Maryam 19:24-26]
Then Maryam came to her people, carrying her child ‘Eesa. When they saw her, they thought that she had done a terrible thing and they denounced it, but she did not respond to them. She indicated that they should ask this infant, and he would tell them. Allah says:
“Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: ‘O Mary! Indeed, you have brought a thing Fariyy (a mighty thing).
O sister (i.e. the like) of Haroon (Aaron)! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.’
Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’” Qur’an [Maryam 19:27-29]
‘Eesa replied to them straight away, even though he was a child in the cradle:
“He [‘Eesa (Jesus)] said: ‘Verily, I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.
And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salaah (prayer), and Zakaah, as long as I live.
And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest.
And Salaam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!’ Qur’an [Maryam 19:30-33]
This is the information about ‘Eesa ibn Maryam, the slave and Messenger of Allah. But the People of the Book differed concerning him. Some of them said that he was the son of God, and some said that he was the third of three (“trinity”), and some said that he was God, and some said that he was a slave and Messenger of God.
This last view is the correct view. Allah says:
“Such is ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute).
It befits not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son [this refers to the slander of Christians against Allah, by saying that ‘Eesa (Jesus) is the son of Allah]. Glorified (and Exalted) be He (above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: “Be!” and it is.
[‘Eesa (Jesus) said]: ‘And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So, worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path. (Allah’s religion of Islâmic Monotheism which He did ordain for all of His Prophets).’
Then the sects differed [i.e. the Christians about ‘Eesa (Jesus)], so woe unto the disbelievers [those who gave false witness by saying that ‘Eesa (Jesus) is the son of Allah] from the Meeting of a great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection, when they will be thrown in the blazing Fire)”[Maryam 19:34-38]
When the Children of Israel deviated from the Straight Path and overstepped the limits set by Allah, they did wrong and spread corruption on earth, and a group among them denied the resurrection, Reckoning and punishment. They indulged in their desires and in physical pleasures without expecting to be brought to account.
At that point, Allah sent to them ‘Eesa ibn Maryam as a Messenger, and taught him the Tawraat and Injil as He says:
“And He (Allah) will teach him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom), (and) the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).
And will make him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel” Qur’an [Al ‘Imran 3:48]
Allah revealed to ‘Eesa ibn Maryam the Injil (Gospel) as guidance and light, confirming that which had come before it in the Tawrah:
“And We gave him the Injil (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Tawraat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” Qur’an [al-Ma’idah 5:46 – interpretation of the meaning]
‘Eesa (peace be upon him) foretold the coming of a Messenger from Allah after him, whose name would be Ahmad. This is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
“And (remember) when ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: ‘O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you, confirming the Tawraat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.’
But when he (Ahmad, i.e. Muhammad) came to them with clear proofs, they said: ‘This is plain magic’” Qur’an [al-Saff 61:6]
‘Eesa (peace be upon him) called the Children of Israel to worship Allah alone, and to obey the rulings of the Tawraat and Injil… He started to dispute with them and to explain the error of their ways. When he saw how stubborn they were and how the signs of disbelief were manifest among them, he stood among his people, saying, who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples believed in him, and their number was twelve. Allah says:
“Then when ‘Eesa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: ‘Who will be my helpers in Allah’s Cause?’ Al-Hawaariyyoon (the disciples) said: ‘We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah).’
Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger [‘Eesa (Jesus)]; so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth, i.e. Laa ilaaha illAllah — none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)” Qur’an [Al ‘Imran 3:52-53]
Allah supported ‘Eesa with great miracles which remind us of the power of Allah, lift the spirit and promote faith in Allah and in the Last Day. He made something like the shape of a bird from clay, and blew into it, and it became a bird, by Allah’s leave. He healed the blind and the leper, and brought the death back to life by Allah’s leave.
He told the people what they were eating and what they were storing in their houses. So, the Jews to whom Allah had sent ‘Eesa became hostile towards him and tried to guide the people away from him, so they disbelieved in him and accused his mother of immorality.
When they saw that the weak and poor believed in him, and were gathering around him, they formed a plot to kill him. So, they provoked the Romans against him, and they made the Roman governor think that the call of ‘Eesa contained a threat against (Roman) power.
So, he (the Roman governor) issued orders that ‘Eesa should be arrested and crucified. But Allah caused a hypocrite who had betrayed him to the Romans to look like ‘Eesa. The soldiers arrested him, thinking that he was ‘Eesa, and crucified him. But Allah saved ‘Eesa from the cross and from death, and Allah tells us about the Jews:
“And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed the Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,’ — but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them the resemblance of ‘Eesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)], and those who differ therein are full of doubts.
They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely, they killed him not [i.e., ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]:
But Allah raised him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All Powerful, All Wise” Qur’an [al-Nisa’ 4:157-158]
So Eesa (peace be upon him) did not die, rather Allah raised him up to Himself, and he will descend before the Day of Resurrection and will follow Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He will prove the Jews to be wrong in their claim to have killed ‘Eesa and crucified him. And he will prove the Christians to be wrong who exaggerated about him and said that he was God, or the son of God, or the third of three.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the son of Maryam will descend among you as a just judge.
He will break the cross, kill the pigs and abolish the Jizyah (tax paid my non-Muslims in an Islamic state), and money will become so widespread that there will be no one who will accept it.” (Agreed upon; narrated by Muslim, no. 155).
When ‘Eesa comes down before the Day of Resurrection, the People of the Book will believe in him, as Allah says:
“And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) but must believe in him [‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of Allah and a human being] before his [‘Eesa (Jesus) or a Jew’s or a Christian’s] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he [‘Eesa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them” [al-Nisa’ 4:159]
‘Eesa ibn Maryam is the slave of Allah and His Messenger. Allah sent him to guide the Children of Israel and to call them to worship Allah alone, as Allah says to the Jews and Christians:
“O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (‘Be!’ — and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him; so, believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not:
‘Three (trinity)!’ Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilaah (God), glory is to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs” Qur’an [al-Nisa’ 4:171]
Saying that ‘Eesa is the son of God is a monstrous saying and a great evil.
“And they say: ‘The Most Gracious (Allah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children) [as the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that He has begotten a son [‘Eesa (Jesus)], and the pagan Arabs say that He has begotten daughters (angels and others)].’
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 Gracious (Allah).
But it is not suitable for (the Majesty of) the Most Gracious (Allah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children).
There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious (Allah) as a slave Qur’an [Maryam 19:88-93]
‘Eesa ibn Maryam is a human being, a slave of Allah and His Messenger. Whoever believes that the Messiah son of Maryam is God is a disbeliever (kaafir).
“Surely, they have disbelieved who say: Allah is the Messiah [‘Eesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)’” Qur’an [al-Ma’idah 5:72]
Whoever says that the Messiah is the son of God or the third of three is also a disbeliever:
“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no Ilaah (God) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilaah (God —Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them” Qur’an [al-Ma’idah 5:73]
The Messiah son of Maryam was a human being. He was born from a mother; he ate and drank, got up and went to sleep, suffered pain and wept… and God (Allah) is far above all of that, so how could he be God? Rather he is the slave of Allah and His Messenger:
“The Messiah [‘Eesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddeeqah [i.e. she believed in the Words of Allah and His Books].
They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them; yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth)” Qur’an [al-Ma’idah 5:75]
The Jews, Christians, crusaders and their followers distorted the religion of the Messiah and deviated and changed it. They said that Allah sent forth his son the Messiah to be killed and crucified as a sacrifice for mankind – so it doesn’t matter if anyone does whatever he wants, because Jesus will carry all his sins for him…
And they spread that belief among all the Christian groups until it became a part of their beliefs. All of this is falsehood and is lies against Allah and speaking about Him without knowledge. Rather “every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds”. Man’s life cannot be sound or correct unless they have a path to follow and limits at which to stop.
Look at how they fabricate lies against Allah, and speak about Allah with no guidance:
“Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby”
Qur’an [al-Baqarah 2:79]
Allah has taken from the Christians the pledge that they will follow ‘Eesa and follow that which he brought, but they changed and distorted that; they differed then they turned away. So, Allah will punish them with enmity and hatred in this world, and with torment in the Hereafter, as Allah says:
“And from those who call themselves Christians, we took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So, we planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection (when they discarded Allah’s Book, disobeyed Allah’s Messengers and His Orders and transgressed beyond bounds in Allah’s disobedience); and Allah will inform them of what they used to do” Qur’an [al-Ma’idah 5:14]
On the Day of Resurrection, ‘Eesa will stand before the Lord of the Worlds, who will ask him before the witnesses what he said to the Children of Israel, as Allah says:
“And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?”’ He will say: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say).
Had I said such a thing, you would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden (and unseen).
Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: “Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.”’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, you were the Watcher over them; and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).
If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily, You, only You, are the All Mighty, the All Wise”’ Qur’an [al-Ma’idah 5:116-118]
Allah has created kindness and mercy among the followers of ‘Eesa and the believers. They are closer in friendship to the followers of Muhammad than anyone else, as Allah says:
“Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikoon (polytheists), and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud” [al-Ma’idah 5:82]
‘Eesa ibn Maryam was the last of the Prophets sent to the Children of Israel. Then after him Allah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), from among the descendants of Isma’il, to all of mankind. And he is the last of the Prophets and Messengers.