Jesus (pbuh) is also a revered prophet of Islam

By Fedwa Wazwaz

Jesus, son of Mary, peace and blessings upon them, is a revered religious figure and the bedrock of Christianity. He also is a venerated figure in Islam, the faith of some 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, said: “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary, peace and blessings upon him. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.”

Like Christians, Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, upon him be peace, and in his miracles. Jesus’ life and mission are mentioned in eleven chapters of the Qur’an. A few of the chapters are titled: Maryam (Mary the mother of Jesus); Imran (noble family of Jesus), and Ma’ida (the Last Supper). Jesus, upon him be peace, is glorified in the Qur’an and is referred to as “the Messiah,” “a Word of God,” and “a Sign of God.”

Muslims regard Jesus, upon him be peace, as one of the mightiest messengers of God. He and his supporter, John the Baptist, and John’s father, Zachariah, are two other prophets of God and are of an unbroken noble lineage going back to the patriarch of monotheism, Abraham. Peace and blessings upon them all.

His miraculous birth began when his maternal grandmother, Hanna, who was barren, prayed for a child to devote to God’s service. God answered her prayer by giving her Mary. The Quran calls Mary “the most honored woman among all nations.”

When Mary, upon her be peace, matured, Archangel Gabriel came to her and said: “‘O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter, and of (the company of) those nearest to God.’ ”

Being a chaste virgin, Mary could not comprehend this news.

Gabriel comforted her by explaining that, when God wishes to create anything, He says, “Be,” and it is. Muslims find similarities between Jesus’ birth and that of Adam, peace and blessings upon them, who was created without a father or mother. Jesus’ miraculous birth was a sign to people of the spiritual world who understood the spirit of the Divine Law. The Laws of God were not meant for those in power to dominate the weak, but to protect the weak from the exploitation of the strong. During Jesus’ time, the laws of God were divorced from the spirit of God. The Laws became an end instead of a means to nurture hearts and aid humanity in their worship of God.

Like every woman, Mary, upon her be peace, suffered during childbirth, but her suffering was compounded by her fear of how she would explain her pregnancy to her noble family. Muslims believe Jesus, peace and blessings upon him, performed his first miracle in the cradle by defending his mother’s honor to her family and people.

Muslims do not believe in original sin or that Jesus’ death was atonement for our sins. Rather, Muslims believe Jesus’ mission was to complement the legalism of the Torah and the prevalent materialism at the time with humility and spirituality, which were missing in his time.

In Islamic tradition, it is narrated that once Jesus, peace and blessings upon him, and his disciples were outside the temple of Solomon, and the disciples said, “O Messiah of God, look at the House of God! What could be finer?” Jesus replied, “Amen. Amen. But I say to you that God will not leave one stone of this House standing. Indeed, God will destroy it because of the misdeeds of its people. God does not build anything of worth with gold or silver, nor even with these stones. Righteous hearts are more beloved to God than these stones. For God cultivates the earth with righteous hearts; and, in their absence, the earth is destroyed.”

What are righteous hearts? Jesus was once insulted over and over but he replied with prayers and supplications every time. One of the disciples asked him, O spirit of God, you respond with goodness every time you are insulted! He replied, “A man can only spend from what he owns.”

Jesus, upon him be peace, confirmed the Torah, but he also emphasized the importance of compassion, mercy, love, humility and self-purification as vital in learning the words of God’s message and acquiring the wisdom to act upon it. His spirituality and words emphasized the merciful and loving attributes of God’s nature.

For example, when the priests brought before him an adulteress, and they asked him to enforce the Mosaic Law of stoning her to death, Jesus responded: “Whoever among you is sinless can stone her.” No one eligible arose. Jesus turned to the woman who knelt before him crying and told her to stand up, adding: “O Lord, forgive her sins.”

According to Islamic teachings, once Jesus, peace and blessings upon him, met IblÏs [Satan] and IblÏs said, “Is it not true that only what has been decreed will happen?” Jesus replied, “That is true.” Then IblÏs said, “So throw yourself down from the top of this mountain, and let us see if you live or not!” Jesus answered, “The servant does not test his master; rather, it is the master who tests his servant.”

Like many prophets who were empowered by miracles to suit their time and circumstances, Jesus, upon him be peace, was empowered by God to communicate divinity not only in words but by many miracles as well. Jesus, the son of Mary, upon him be peace, said, “God has given me the power to give life to the dead, sight to the blind, sound to the deaf; but He did not give me the power to heal the fool of his foolishness.”

During the last supper Jesus, upon him be peace, had with his disciples, he prayed for a “holy table” to be sent down from the heavens, so it fell before him, covered with a napkin. It is said that thousands of people ate from it, and yet never exhausted it.

Muslims believe after plots were made to kill Jesus, upon him be peace, he was not crucified but raised to the Heavens like the Biblical figures Enoch and Elijah. However, Jesus will come back again as a just ruler and this time, like Moses and Muhammad, peace and blessings upon them, he will marry, have children and lead a war against the oppressors on earth and die a natural death.

Although there are differences between the Muslim and Christian view of Jesus, upon him be peace, the Qur’an repeatedly guides Muslims not to dispute with other monotheists over matters of doctrine. Muslims must make known their faith, but only God guides people to Islam. “It is true you wilt not be able to guide whom you love; but God guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance. ”

For more quotes in Islamic tradition about Jesus, upon him be peace, read: Walking on Water on http://www.zaytuna.org.

Fedwa Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

About engagemn

A Voice for Minnesotan Muslims

Posted on December 26, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Great Article!
    This is one of the areas that many do not understand how similar Islamic beliefs are to Christian beliefs.

    Like

  2. Thanks for the article. A little knowledge goes a long way.

    Like

  3. This is a beutiful article, and is inspiring for the Muslim or non-Muslim to read. I hope, by reading this article non-Muslims can be brought closer to the idea of seeing us as brothers in faith because of our shared history and common values.

    Like

  4. Very informative article! I was a guest at an a church discussion a while ago and the people were very surprised to see the level of respect Muslims have for Prophet Jesus. I however do not take the mircles of Prophet Jesus literally and believe that he raised the spiritual dead to life, as all prophets did; raising the dead physically is a Divine quality and reserved for Allah. Muslims should be careful when they interpret the life of Prophet Jesus, to not ascribe things to him that support the Christian doctine of his divinity. I believe that Prophet Jesus died a natural death and now leads a heavenly existence like all the other prophets. I would be loathe to give Prophet Jesus superiority over Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in any way. Many pitfalls lie in a rigorous literal interpretation of the Quran and hadith. It often leads to concepts that are agains the core principles of the the Quran and we should be very careful about that.

    Like

  5. Salaam Zainab,

    The above article was researched heavily and is based on Islamic scholarship. The Arabic regarding these verses are very clear and precise – and you cannot say – you wish to extract a different understanding than the precise meaning. Based on what?

    There are disciplines on how to interpret the Quran and Hadith. It takes years to learn these disciplines and a thorough knowledge of Arabic and all its sciences. Some verses are not open to any meaning but their literal meaning.

    Check Sunnipath or any credible Muslim Scholar. Your understanding is not correct.

    wasalaam,
    Fedwa

    Like

  6. Salaam Fedwa,

    It is o.k. to have a difference of opinion. The Quran repeatedly asks us to think, ponder, understand and reflect. And when I do that I am entitled to come to a different conclusion than you. One of the causes of Muslim decline is the fact that freedom of thought is percieved at threatening.
    The Quran states clearly and categorically that the dead cannot come back to life till the Day of Judgement. The Quran also tells us about the Sunnat of Allah and that Allah does not go against His Sunnah or practice. If any prophet was to escape death for thousands of years, then why did our dear Prophet have to face death at the age of 63? A literal understanding leaves so many questions unanswered and creates a lot of confusion for me. It does not makes sense. I am entitled to my own opinion and to believe what makes sense to me. Blogs are about discussions and sharing ideas, are they not?

    Wassalam,
    Zainib

    Like

    • Salaam Zainab,

      This is not about a different opinion. The Quran is not open to personal opinions.
      While, you are entitled to your opinion, you are not entitled to reconstruct Islam.
      Our faith is based on Knowledge, facts, sciences of disciplines, etc..

      Allah says in the Qur’an “Nor does he (the Messenger of Allah) say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is no less than revelation (wahi) sent down to him” (al-Najm, 3-4). The statements and actions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, were thus meticulously preserved and passed on to those not present. “We have without doubt, sent down the Message; and we will assuredly guard it” (al-Hijr, 9), and the promise here refers to the preservation of both the Qur’an and the Sunna.

      Early Muslim scholars thus took to carefully examining and analyzing every utterance that came down to them, utterances attributed to the blessed Prophet, his companions, or other early Muslims. The science of hadith is not only unprecedented but also unmatched until today as a rational framework for the analysis of historical reports.

      Like

    • salaam,

      On a futher note, please read the below on who and how critical thinking is allowed in Islam…
      http://www.sunnipath.com/Academy/OnlineCourses/General/The-Muslim-Scholarly-Tradition.aspx
      “A scholarly tradition is considered to be authoritative, and while critical evaluation is encouraged, it must be done only by someone who has mastered the scholarly tradition first. Any claim to knowledge, criticism, or correction that doesn’t first demonstrate this mastery is considered to be worthless and usually dismissed without further consideration. ”

      Any criticism must have a foundation of knowledge and mastery of the sciences.
      salaam,
      Fedwa

      Like

  7. Assalam alaikum Fedwa,
    I am not reconstructing the religion of Islam by any means. I fail to understand why you are over reacting and threatened by my metaphorical interpretation of the miracles of Prophet Jesus. (The Christians have turned him into a god by their literal interpretation of his own metaphorical sayings!) I am not undermining the esteemed Prophet Jesus in any way. All interpreters of the Quran were human and could make mistakes just like us. I may not be an Islamic scholar, certified by Sunnipath, but I am a humble and earnest student of the Quran and hadith. I have no doubt of the preservation and authenticity of Hadith in general. However if and when the meaning of a hadith contradicts the clear meaning of the Quran, I will give preference to the Quran, as it rightfully deserves. Allah did not make us clones of one another in thought and understanding and He did that for a good reason. It is unwise to restrict others in their understanding when it does not contradict any core Islamic belief. No one has the authority to restrict my thinking when ALLAH encourages me to think, ponder and reflect. Our blessed Prophet said that “Ikhtilaf” will be a source of blessing in his Ummah, and I believe he meant that freedom of interpretation should be allowed in matters other than the basic five pillars of Islam. I have received much unsought advice from you, yet no reply to my question: Why do many Muslims interpret the Quran and hadith information on Prophet Jesus in a way that gives him divine qualities and superiority over Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?
    Wassalam,
    Zainib

    Like

    • salaam Sr Zainab,

      Can you take your question to a Muslim scholar. Because I do not read any contradiction.
      Moses upon him peace asked the Jews to strike the dead man with the calf to bring him to life
      so he can bear witness on who killed him. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, heard people
      being punished in their graves, and spoke to Quraish in their grave. All of this is with the power of God. These
      are sacred people. We do not pit them against each other. We revere ALL the Prophets.

      We do not give them divinity as Muslims, but we
      do not divorce them from the karamat or miracles God gave them because we cannot
      reconcile something we do not understand, and do not engage in a thorough body of knowledge to understand them
      in more light and detail.

      It was said – Prophet Solomon, upon him peace had a kingdom beyond any Prophet. What God bestows on any
      Prophet, is God’s right – we do not debate God with how He distributes His bounties and who He gives
      karamat or miracles through His leave to.

      wasalaam,
      Fedwa

      Like

  8. Salam sister Fedwa,
    Thank you for your reply. I can see your point of view and understand how that reasoning works. May Allah increase us all in knowledge and understanding of faith and accept our humble efforts to serve Islam. Ameen. I hope I did not offend you with anything I wrote. Please accept my apology if I did.
    Wishing you peace and happiness,
    Zainib

    Like

    • Salaam Zainib,

      No offense taken. I apologize I was not more easygoing to the questions. I was battling a bad virus that left me dizzy most of the time the past two weeks and the recent issue over seas made me irritable.
      No apologies necessary. I apology if I came on too strongly.

      wasalaam,
      Fedwa

      Like

  1. Pingback: Israel has no better friends in the world than Christian Zionists,but IT WAS THAT JEWS VILLAGERS CREATED THE STORY MOTHER MARRIE, HAD A BASTARD CHILD CALL UPON THEM TO CHASE HER OUT OF THE VILLAGE . « Muslim786malaysia’s Blog

  2. Pingback: Israel has no better friends in the world than Christian Zionists,but IT WAS THAT JEWS VILLAGERS CREATED THE STORY MOTHER MARY, HAD A BASTARD CHILD CALL UPON THEM TO CHASE HER OUT OF THE VILLAGE . « Muslim786malaysia’s Blog

  3. Pingback: Palestinian civilian did not deserve the fate imposed upon them by British should be allowed their own state, independence and their freedom. Until this endless hatred is removed, they will be no peace. Both has to learn to live and let live. « Musl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: