Jesus in Islam
In Islam, Jesus named as Isa (Arabic: عيسى ʿĪsā) is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel. The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus twenty-five times, more often, by name, than Muhammad. It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing the blind, bringing dead people back to life, etc.), all by the permission of God rather than of his own power. According to the popular opinion and Muslim traditions, Jesus was not crucified but instead, he was raised up by God unto the heavens. This “raising” is understood to mean through bodily ascension.
Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth near the day of judgment to restore justice and to defeat Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”, also known as the Antichrist).
Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Islam rejects the Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed any of these things, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him. The Quran emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human being who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God’s message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism (tawhīd).
Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the messiah). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming.
Jesus’s lineage, going back to his great-grandfather.
The Quranic account of Jesus begins with a prologue, which describes the birth of his mother, Mary, and her service in the Jerusalem temple, while under the care of the prophet and priest Zechariah, who was to be the father of John the Baptist. The Quran then goes on to describe the conception of Jesus. Mary, whom the Quran states was chosen by God over the women of all the worlds, conceives Jesus while still a virgin.
Annunciation of the birth of Jesus
Mary had withdrawn into the temple of prayer, where she was visited by the angel Gabriel (Arabic: Jibrail) to give the glad tidings of a holy son. The Quran states that God sent the message through the angel Gabriel to Mary that God had honoured Mary among the women of all nations. The angel also told Mary that she will give birth to a holy son, named Jesus, who will be a great prophet, to whom God will give the Gospel. The angel further told Mary that Jesus will speak in infancy and maturity and will be a companion to the most righteous. When this news was given to Mary, she asked the angel how she can to conceive and have a baby when no man has touched her? The reply of the angel to Mary was, ” “Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!”. The Quran, therefore, states that Jesus was created from the act of God’s will. The Quran compares this miraculous creation of Jesus with the creation of Adam (Adem), where God created Adam by His act of will (kun-fa-yakun, meaning “Be and it is”). According to the Quran, the same answer was given to the question of Zechariah, when he asked how his wife, Elizabeth, could conceive a baby as she was very old.
Birth of Jesus
Virgin Mary nurtured by a palm tree, as described in the Quran.
The Quran narrates the virgin birth of Jesus numerous times. The Quran states that, Mary was in the midst of the desert in Bayt Lahm (Bethlehem), when the pains of childbirth came upon her, amidst Mary’s agony, God made a small river run under Mary from which she could drink. Furthermore, as she was near a palm tree, Mary was told to shake the trunk of the palm tree so that moist dates would fall down from which she could eat and be nourished. Mary cried in pain and held onto the palm, at which point a voice came from “beneath her”, understood by some to refer to Jesus, who was yet in her womb, which said “Be not grieved; God has provided a rivulet under thee; and shake the trunk of the palm and it shall let ripe dates fall upon thee, ready gathered. And eat and drink and calm thy mind”. That day, Mary gave birth to her son Jesus while she was in the desert.
Forty days later she carried him back to her people. The Quran goes onto describe that Mary vowed not to speak to any man on that day, as God was to make Jesus, whom Muslims believe spoke in the cradle, perform his first miracle. The Quran goes on to narrate that Mary then brought Jesus to the temple, where immediately she began to be taunted by all the men, excluding Zechariah, who believed in the virgin birth. The Israelites accused Mary of being a loose woman and having touched another man whilst unmarried. In response, Mary pointed to her son, telling them to talk to him. They were angered at this and thought she was mocking them by asking them to speak with an infant. It was then that, God made the infant Jesus speak in the cradle, and he spoke of his prophecy for the first time. He said, which are verses 30-33 in the chapter of Mary in the Quran:
“I am a servant of Allah. He will reveal the Book to me and make me a prophet. He blessed me wherever I am. In the rules revealed to me there will be a special attention given to prayers and charity. Allah predestined that I will be kind to my mother and not a tyrant with a bad ending. Peace was on me the day I was born, peace will be on me on the day I will die, and on the day I am raised alive again!”
—Quran, sura 19 Maryam, ayat 30-33
The Jordan river, where some Muslim accounts narrate that Jesus met with Yahya ibn Zakariyya (otherwise known as John the Baptist).
According to Islamic texts, Jesus was divinely chosen to preach the message of monotheism and submission to the will of God to the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl).
Scripture given to Jesus
Muslims believe that God revealed to Jesus a new scripture, the Injīl (gospel), while also declaring the truth of the previous revelations – the Tawrat (Torah) and the Zabur (Psalms). The Quran speaks favorably of the Injīl, which it describes as a scripture that fills the hearts of its followers with meekness and piety. The Quran says that the original biblical message has been distorted or corrupted (tahrif) over time from what was revealed to the messengers. In chapter 3, verse 3, and chapter 5, verses 46-47, of the Quran, the revelation of the Injil is mentioned:
It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).
—Quran, sura 3 (Al-i-Imran) ayah 3
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 sura 5, (Al-Ma’ida), ayah 46-47
Disciples of Jesus
The Quran states that Jesus was aided by a group of disciples who believed in Jesus’ message. While not naming the disciples, the Quran does give a few instances of Jesus preaching the message to them. The Quran mentions in chapter 3, verses 52-53, that the disciples submitted in the faith of Islam:
When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims.
“Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Messenger; then write us down among those who bear witness.”
—Quran sura 3, (Al-i-Imran), ayah 52-53
The longest narrative involving Jesus’s disciples are when they request a laden table to be sent from Heaven, for further proof that Jesus is preaching the true message. This story features in chapter 5, verses 112-115:
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 sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayah 112-115
Main article: Islamic view of Jesus’ death
Islamic texts categorically deny the idea of crucifixion or death attributed to Jesus by the Bible. The Quran states that people (i.e., the Jews and Romans) sought to kill Jesus, but they did not crucify nor kill him, although “this was made to appear to them.” Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but instead, he was raised up by God unto the heavens. This “raising” is understood to mean through bodily ascension.
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 sura 4 (Al-Nisa النساء) ayah 157-158
Discussing the interpretation of those scholars who deny the crucifixion, the Encyclopaedia of Islam writes:
The denial, furthermore, is in perfect agreement with the logic of the Quran. The Biblical stories reproduced in it (e.g., Job, Moses, Joseph etc.) and the episodes relating to the history of the beginning of Islam demonstrate that it is “God’s practice” (sunnat Allah) to make faith triumph finally over the forces of evil and adversity. “So truly with hardship comes ease”, (XCIV, 5, 6). For Jesus to die on the cross would have meant the triumph of his executioners; but the Quran asserts that they undoubtedly failed: “Assuredly God will defend those who believe”; (XXII, 49). He confounds the plots of the enemies of Christ (III, 54).
In regard to the interpretation of the minority of Muslims who accept the crucifixion, Mahmoud Ayoub states:
The Quran is not here speaking about a man, righteous and wronged though he may be, but about the Word of God who was sent to earth and returned to God. Thus the denial of killing of Jesus is a denial of the power of men to vanquish and destroy the divine Word, which is for ever victorious.
While most Western Scholars Jews and Christians believe Jesus died, most Muslims believe he was raised to Heaven without being put on the cross and God transformed another person to appear exactly like Jesus who was crucified instead of Jesus. Jesus ascended bodily to Heaven, there to remain until his Second coming in the End days.
See also: Second Coming of Christ
Muslims believe that Isa (Jesus) will return at a time close to the end of the world. The Quranic verse they allude to as an indicator to Isa’ future return is as follows:
“And when the son of Mary is quoted as an example, behold! the folk laugh out,
And say: Are our gods better, or is he? They raise not the objection save for argument. Nay! but they are a contentious folk.
He is nothing but a slave on whom We bestowed favour, and We made him a pattern for the Children of Israel.
And had We willed We could have set among you angels to be viceroys in the earth.
And lo! verily there is knowledge of the Hour. So doubt ye not concerning it, but follow Me. This is the right path.
And let not Satan turn you aside. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.
When Jesus came with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), he said: I have come unto you with wisdom, and to make plain some of that concerning which ye differ. So keep your duty to Allah, and obey me.
Lo! Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is a right path.
But the factions among them differed. Then woe unto those who do wrong from the doom of a painful day.
Await they aught save the Hour, that it shall come upon them suddenly, when they know not?
Friends on that day will be foes one to another, save those who kept their duty (to Allah).”
—Quran sura 43 (az-Zukhruf), ayah 57-67
According to Islamic tradition which describes this graphically, Jesus’ descent will be in the midst of wars fought by the Mahdi (lit. “the rightly guided one”), known in Islamic eschatology as the redeemer of Islam, against the Antichrist (al-Masīh ad-Dajjāl, “False messiah”) and his followers. Jesus will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes – his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Antichrist. Jesus, considered as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Eventually, Jesus will slay the Antichrist, and then everyone from the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb, referring to Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam.
Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43: Kitab-ul-`Ilm (Book of Knowledge), Hâdith Number 656:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts)”
—Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari[
After the death of the Mahdi, Jesus will assume leadership. This is a time associated in Islamic narrative with universal peace and justice. Islamic texts also allude to the appearance of Ya'juj and Ma'juj (known also as Gog and Magog), ancient tribes which will disperse and cause disturbance on earth. God, in response to Jesus' prayers, will kill them by sending a type of worm in the napes of their necks. Jesus’ rule is said to be around forty years, after which he will die. Muslims will then perform the funeral prayer for him and then bury him in the city of Medina in a grave left vacant beside Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Umar (companions of Muhammad and the first and second Sunni caliphs (Rashidun) respectively).
Some Muslims also hold to the apocryphal prophecies regarding the coming of the Paraclete (Praiseworthy One), such as that in the Epistle of the Apostles, as referring to Muhammad.
Islamic texts regard Jesus as a human being and a righteous messenger of God. Islam rejects the idea of him being God or the begotten Son of God. According to Islamic scriptures, the belief that Jesus is God or Son of God is shirk, or the association of partners with God, and thereby a rejection of God’s divine oneness (tawhid) and the sole unpardonable sin. All other sins may be forgiven through true repentance: shirk speaks of associating partners with God after having received the Divine Guidance, as it is said in the Quran and Hadith that when one submits to God (i.e. embraces Islam), their “accounts” (of sins and righteous deeds used to determine the standing of a person on the Last Day) are numbered from that moment. A verse from the Quran reads:
In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every – one that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things.”
—Quran sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayah17
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is similarly rejected in Islam. Such notions of the divinity of Jesus, Muslims state, resulted from human interpolations of God’s revelation. Islam views Jesus as a human like all other prophets, who preached that salvation came through submission to God’s will and worshiping God alone. Thus, Jesus is considered in Islam to have been a Muslim by the definition of the term (i.e., one who submits to God’s will), as were all other prophets in Islam.
Precursor to Muhammad
Muslims believe that Jesus was a precursor to Muhammad, and that he announced the latter’s coming. They base this on a verse of the Quran wherein Jesus speaks of a messenger to appear after him named Ahmad. Islam associates Ahmad with Muhammad, both words deriving from the h-m-d triconsonantal root which refers to praiseworthiness. Muslims also assert that evidence of Jesus’ pronouncement is present in the New Testament, citing the mention of the Paraclete whose coming is foretold in the Gospel of John. Muslim commentators claim that the original Greek word used was periklutos, meaning famed, illustrious, or praiseworthy – rendered in Arabic as Ahmad; and that this was replaced by Christians with parakletos. The tree shown right depicts lineage.
Based upon several Hadith narrations of Muhammad, Jesus can be physically described thus (with any differences in Jesus’ physical description being due to Muhammad describing him when seeing him at different occasions, such as in a dream, during his ascension to Heaven, or when describing Jesus during Jesus’ second coming):
• A well-built man of medium/moderate/average height and stature with a broad chest.
• Straight, lank, slightly curly, long hair that fell between his shoulders.
• A moderate, fair complexion of red or finest brown.
• Of all the men, he had the nearest resemblance with ‘Urwa ibn Mas’ud al-Thaqafi.
Jesus in the Qur’an
The following is a short, and by no means comprehensive, selection of verses from
general, and some basic foundations of Islam:
Messiah (Christ) promised to the Jews..
2. Jesus (pbuh) is a mortal man and not a god or the son of God.
3. Jesus (pbuh) is one in a long and distinguished line of messengers of God. The holy
ghost was Gabriel.
described in the Qur’an as “Those of strong conviction” (46:35).
5. Jesus (pbuh) was not forsaken by God to the Jews to be killed on the cross. Rather,
God raised him up and made it appear that they had crucified him.
6. Mankind corrupted the religion of Jesus (pbuh) after his departure and took great
liberties with God’s scriptures, adding here, and changing there. They also took to
“diverting the words from their places.”
7. Jesus (pbuh) is alive with God and will return to earth just before the end of time.
8. God is ONE. He is indivisible and completely unique. His true form is unimaginable
by man. He does not tire nor sleep. He knows all things, is capable of all things, and
has created all things. He was not born nor does he beget.
First mention of Jesus (pbuh) in the Qur’an:
“And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to
follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear signs, and We supported
him with the holy Spirit. Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with that
which you yourselves desire not, you grow arrogant? Some you disbelieved, and some
you killed” Al-Bakarah(2):87.
After speaking about Abraham (pbuh) God says: “And We bestowed upon him Isaac and
Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed
(We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do
We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of
them) was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one of
them did We prefer above (Our) creatures” Al-Anaam(6):84-86.
The message of the prophets was ONE message:
and that which was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the
sons of Jacob, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from
their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have
surrendered. And whosoever seeks as religion other than Islam it will not be accepted
from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. How shall Allah guide a
people who disbelieved after their belief and (after) they bore witness that the
guides not wrongdoing folk.” A’al-Umran(3):84-86
What was this message?:
“And verily We have sent in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Worship Allah
(alone) and shun false gods. Then of them were some whom Allah guided, and of them
were some upon whom misguidance had just hold. So travel through the land and see
what was the end of those who denied (the truth)!” Al-Nahil(16):36
Summary of Allah’s message from Jews to Christians to Muslims:
“Indeed Allah made a covenant with the Children of Israel and We appointed among
them twelve chieftains: and Allah said: I am with you if you establish worship and pay
the poor due, and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend unto Allah a
good loan, surely I shall remit your sins, and shall admit you into gardens underneath
which rivers flow. But if any among you disbelieves after this has indeed gone astray
from the straight path. So because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed
them and made hard their hearts. They change words from their (correct) places and
forget a part of the Message that was sent to them. You will not cease to discover deceit
in them, except a few of them. But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily
Allah loves the good-doers. And from those who said: “We are Christians,” We made a
covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message which was sent to them. Therefore
We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, and
Allah will inform them of what they used to do. O people of the Scripture! Now has
Our messenger (Muhammad) come to you, explaining to you much of that which you
used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Indeed, there has come to you a
good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness by His will into
light, and guides them to a straight path. They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo!
He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on
earth? And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is
between them. He creates what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. The Jews
and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say; Why then does He
punish you for your sins? No, you are but mortals of His creating. He forgives whom
He will, and punishes whom He will. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the
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heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the return (of all).
O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad) come unto you to
make things plain after a break in (the series of) the messengers, lest you should say:
There came not unto us a messenger of cheer nor any Warner. Now has a messenger
of cheer and a Warner come unto you. And Allah is Able to do all things.” Al-
and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary. We took from them a
solemn covenant; That He may ask the truthful of their truth. And He has prepared for
the unfaithful a painful torment.” Al-Ahzab(33):7-8
“O you messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right. Verily! I am Aware of what
you do. And verily! this your religion is one religion and I am your Lord, so keep your
duty unto Me. But they (mankind) have broken their religion among them into sects,
each sect rejoicing in what is with them. So leave them in their error till a time. Do
they think that the wealth and sons that We provide them, We hasten unto them with
good things? Nay, but they perceive not. Verily! those who live in awe for fear of their
Lord, And those who believe in the signs of their Lord, And those who do not associate
partners with their Lord, And those who give that which they give with hearts afraid
because they are about to return unto their Lord, It is these who race for the good
things, and they shall win them in the race. And We task not any soul beyond its
capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.
Nay, but their hearts are covered (blind) of this (Qur’an), and they have other (evil)
works, besides, which they are doing;. Till when We grasp those of them who lead a
luxurious life with the punishment, behold! they supplicate loudly. Supplicate not this
day! Assuredly you will not be helped by Us. Indeed, My revelations were recited unto
you, but you used to turn back on your heels. In scorn thereof. Nightly did you reject
“He (Allah) has ordained for you that religion which He ordained unto Noah, and that
which We inspire in you (Muhammad), and that which We ordained unto Abraham
and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein.
Intolerable for the idolaters is that unto which you call them. Allah chooses for
Himself whom He will, and guides unto Himself him who turns to Him in repentance
and obedience.” Al-Shurah(42):13
The mission of Jesus (pbuh):
“And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which
was (revealed) before him, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance
and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah a guidance
and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil).” Al-Maidah(5):46
213 What Did Jesus Really Say?
The endurance of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad:
“And (remember) when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Why persecute you
me, when you well know that I am Allah’s messenger unto you? So when they went
when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah
unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing
good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. yet
when he has come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is clearly magic. And
who does greater wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah when he is summoned
unto Islam. And Allah guides not wrongdoing folk. Fain would they put out the light
disbelievers are averse. He it is who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the
religion of truth, that He may make it conqueror of all religion however much idolaters
may be averse. O you who believe! Shall I show you a commerce that will save you
from a painful doom? You should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should
strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if
you did but know. He will forgive you your sins and bring you into Gardens
underneath which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eden. That is the
supreme triumph.” Al-Saf(61):5-12
Jesus’ conception, birth, and mission:
“(Remember) when the wife of Imran said: My Lord I have vowed unto You that which
is in my belly as a consecrated (offering). Accept it from me. Lo! You, only You, art the
Hearer, the Knower! And when she was delivered she said: My Lord! Lo! I am
delivered of a female. Allah knew best of what she was delivered. the male is not as the
female; and Lo! I have named her Mary, and Lo! I crave Thy protection for her and
for her offspring from Satan the outcast. And her Lord accepted her with full
acceptance and vouchsafed to her a goodly growth; and made Zachariah her guardian.
Whenever Zachariah went into the sanctuary where she was, he found that she had
food. He said: O Mary! Whence cometh unto you this (food)? She answered: It is from
Lord and said: My Lord! Bestow upon me of Thy bounty goodly offspring. Lo! You are
the Hearer of Prayer. And the angels called to him as he stood praying in the
sanctuary: Allah giveth you glad tidings of (a son whose name is) John, (who cometh)
Lord! How can I have a son when age has overtaken me already and my wife is
barren? (The angel) answered: So (it will be). Allah doeth what He will. He said: My
Lord! Appoint a token for me. (The angel) said: The token unto you (shall be) that you
shalt not speak unto mankind three days except by signs. Remember thy Lord much,
and praise (Him) in the early hours of night and morning. And when the angels said:
O Mary! Lo! Allah has chosen you and made you pure, and has preferred you above
(all) the women of creation. O Mary! Be obedient to thy Lord, prostrate thyself and
bow with those who bow (in worship). This is of the tidings of things hidden. We reveal
it unto you (Muhammad). You were not present with them when they cast their pens
214 What did Jesus really say?
(to know) which of them should be the guardian of Mary, nor were you present with
them when they quarreled (thereupon). (And remember) when the angels said: O
Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah,
Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those
brought near (unto Allah). He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his
manhood, and he is of the righteous. She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when
no mortal has touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah creates what He will. if He
decrees a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. And He will teach him the
Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel. And will make him a messenger
unto the children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord.
Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a
bird, by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the
dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce unto you what you eat and what you store up
in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if you are believers. And (I come)
confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that
which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep
That is a straight path. But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried:
helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear you witness that we have surrendered (unto
Him). Our Lord! We believe in that which You have revealed and we follow him whom
You have sent. Enroll us among those who witness (to the truth). And they (the
“And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her
people to a chamber looking East, And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent
unto her Our spirit (Gabriel) and he assumed for her the likeness of a man in every
respect. She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from you, if you art God
fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on you a
faultless son. She said: How can I have a son when no mortal has touched me, neither
have I been unchaste! He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it
will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and
it is a thing ordained. And she, conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a place.
And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm tree. She said: Oh,
would that I had died before this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten! Then
(one) cried unto her from below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord has placed a rivulet
beneath you, And shake the trunk of the palm tree toward you, you wilt cause ripe
dates to fall upon you. So eat and drink and be consoled. And if you meet any mortal,
say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any
mortal. Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! You
hast come with a most wicked thing. Oh sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked
man nor was thy mother a harlot. Then she pointed to him. They said How can we talk
to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He
has given me the Scripture and has appointed me a Prophet, And has made me blessed
wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me prayer and alms giving so long as I
215 What Did Jesus Really Say?
remain alive, And (has made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and has not made
me arrogant, unbleast. Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day
I shall be raised alive(the hereafter)! Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement
of the truth concerning which they doubt. It befits not (the Majesty of) Allah that He
should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing, He saith
unto it only: Be! and it is. And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That
is the right path. The sects among them differ: but woe unto the disbelievers from the
meeting of an awful Day. See and hear them on the Day they come unto Us! Yet the
evil doers are today in error manifest. And warn them of the Day of anguish when the
case has been decided. Now they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not. Lo!
We inherit the earth and all who are thereon, and unto Us they are returned.”
“When Jesus came with clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty), he said: I have come
unto you with wisdom, and to make plain some of that concerning which you differ. So
worship Him. This is a right path. But the factions among them differed. Then woe
unto those who do wrong from the doom of a painful day. Await they aught save the
Hour, that it shall come upon them suddenly, when they know not? Friends on that
day will be foes one to another, save those who kept their duty (to Allah). O My slaves!
For you there is no fear this day, nor is it you who grieve; (You) who believed Our
revelations and were self surrendered, Enter the Garden, you and your wives, to be
made glad. Therein are brought round for them trays of gold and goblets, and therein
is all that souls desire and eyes find sweet. And you are immortal therein. This is the
Garden which you are made to inherit because of what you used to do. Therein for you
is fruit in plenty whence to eat. Lo! the guilty are immortal in hell’s torment. It is not
relaxed for them, and they despair therein. We wronged them not, but they it was who
did the wrong. And they cry: O master! Let thy Lord make an end of us. He saith: Lo!
here you must remain. We verily brought the Truth unto you, but you were, most of
you, averse to the Truth.” Al-Zukhruf(43):63-78
Some of the miracles of Jesus mentioned again:
“When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favor unto you and unto thy
mother; how I strengthened you with the holy Spirit, so that you spoke unto mankind
in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught you the Scripture and Wisdom and the
Torah and the Gospel; and how you did shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird
by My permission, and did blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and you
did heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how you did
raise the dead, by My permission and how I restrained the Children of Israel from
(harming) you when you came unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who
disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic” Al-Maidah(5):110
How Allah saved Jesus from the crucifixion by assention:
“(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering you and causing you
to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing you of those who disbelieve and am setting those
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who follow you above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto
Me you will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein you used to
differ. As for those who disbelieve I shall chastise them with a heavy chastisement in
the world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers. And as for those who
believe and do good works, He will pay them their wages in full. Allah loves not
wrongdoers. This (which) We recite unto you is a revelation and a wise reminder.”
“And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s
messenger. They slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo!
those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof
save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain, But Allah took him up unto
Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise” Al-Nissa(4):157-158
“They surely disbelieve who say : Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah
(himself) said : O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo!
is the Fire. For evildoers there will be no helpers. They surely disbelieve who say: Lo!
Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not
from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not
The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of
whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. They both
used to eat (earthly) food. See how we make the revelations clear for them, and see how
they are turned away!” Al-Maidah(5):72-75.
Jesus (pbuh) was not the son of God but His creation (like Adam).
“Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of
dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (This is) the truth from thy Lord (O
Muhammad), so be not you of those who waver. And whoso disputes with you
concerning him, after the knowledge which has come unto you, say (unto him): Come!
We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and
ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) and (solemnly)
invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie. Lo! This verily is the true narrative.
away, then Lo! Allah is Aware of (who are) the corrupters. Say: O People of the
Scripture. Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but
Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partners unto Him, and that none of us shall take
others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are
they who have surrendered (unto Him).”A’al-Umran(3):59-64.
“And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto mankind: Take me
and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be You glorified. It was not mine
to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then You knew it. You know
what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Your mind. Lo! You, only You are the
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Knower of Things Hidden. I spoke unto them only that which You commanded me,
(saying) : Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I
dwelt among them, and when You took me You were the Watcher over them. You are
Witness over all things. If You punish them, lo! they are Your slaves, and if You
forgive them (lo! they are Your slaves). Lo! You, only You, art the Mighty, the Wise.
Allah said: This is a day in which their truthfulness profits the truthful, for theirs are
Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they are secure for ever, Allah taking
pleasure in them and they in Him. That is the great triumph. Unto Allah belongs the
Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is therein, and He is Able to
do all things.” Al-Maidah(5)116-120.
“They say: Allah has taken (unto Him) a son. Glorified be He! He has no needs! His is
all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. You have no warrant for this. Do
you say concerning Allah that which you know not? Say: Verily those who invent a lie
concerning Allah will not succeed. This world’s portion (will be theirs), then unto Us is
their return. Then We make them taste a dreadful doom because they used to
“And they say: Allah has taken unto Himself a Son. Be He glorified! Nay, but
whatsoever is in the heaven and the earth, His. All are subservient unto Him. The
Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decrees a thing, He says unto it
only: Be! and it is.” Al-Bakarah(2):116-117.
“And they say: The Beneficent has taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but
(those whom they call sons) are honored slaves; They speak not until He has spoken,
and they act by His command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them,
and they cannot intercede except for him whom He accepts, and they quake for awe of
Him. And one of them who should say: Lo! I am a God beside Him, that one We
should repay with hell. Thus We repay wrong doers.” Al-Anbia(21):26:30.
“And they say: The Beneficent has taken unto Himself a son. Assuredly you Utter a
most horrifying thing, Whereby the heavens are about to be torn, and the earth to split
asunder and the mountains to fall in ruins, That you ascribe unto the Beneficent a son,
When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should take a son.
There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Beneficent as a slave.
Verily He knows them and numbers them with (right) numbering. And each one of
them will come unto Him on the Day of Resurrection, alone. Lo! those who believe and
do good works, the Beneficent will appoint for them love. And We make (this
Scripture) easy in thy tongue, (O Muhammad) only that you may bear good tidings
therewith unto those who ward off (evil), and warn therewith the forward folk.”
“They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say :
Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of
Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens
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and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what He will. And Allah is Able
to do all things.” Al-Maidah(5):17.
“And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the
son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those
who disbelieved of old. Allah (himself) fights against them. How perverse are they!
They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah
son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no god save
Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!” Al-
Rejection of the concept of the “trinity”:
“O mankind! The messenger has come unto you with the truth from your Lord.
Therefore believe; (it is) better for you. But if you disbelieve, still, lo! unto Allah
belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth, and Allah is the all-knowing, the
wise. O people of the scripture, do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught
concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary was only a
messenger of Allah and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from
Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “three.” Desist, (it is) better
for you. Verily Allah is one God. Far exalted is He above having a son. His is all that
is in the heavens and the Earth, and suffice in Allah as a Trustee. The Messiah will
never scorn to be the slave of Allah, nor will the favored angels. Whoso scorneth His
service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him; Then, as for those who
believed and did good works, unto them will He pay their rewards in full and He will
add unto them from His bounty. And as for those who were scornful and proud, them
will he punish with a painful torture and they will not find for themselves any other
than Allah as a friend or a supporter” Al-Nissa(4):170-173.
The miraculous birth of the prophet John (the Baptist):
“A mention of the mercy of thy Lord unto His servant Zachariah. When he cried unto
his Lord a cry in secret,. Saying: My Lord! Lo! the bones of me wax feeble and my
head is shining with gray hair, and I have never been unblest in prayer to You, my
Lord. Lo! I fear my kinsfolk after me, since my wife is barren. Oh, give me from Thy
presence a successor. Who shall inherit of me and inherit (also) of the house of Jacob.
And make him, my Lord, acceptable ( unto You). (It was said unto him): O Zachariah!
Lo! We bring you tidings of a son whose name is John; We have given the same name
to none before (him). He said: My Lord! How can I have a son when my wife is barren
and I have reached infirm old age? He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy
for Me, even as I created you before, when you wast naught. He said: My Lord!
Appoint for me some token. He said: Thy token is that you, with no bodily defect, shalt
not speak unto mankind three nights. Then he came forth unto his people from the
sanctuary, and signified to them: Glorify your Lord at break of day and fall of night.
(And it was said unto his son): O John! Hold the Scripture. And We gave him wisdom
when a child. And compassion from Our presence, and purity; and he was devout, And
219 What Did Jesus Really Say?
dutiful toward his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious. Peace on him the day
be was born, and the day he dies and the day he shall be raised alive!(the hereafter)”
“And when I inspired the disciples, (saying): Believe in Me and in My messenger, they
said: We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered (unto You). When the
disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table
spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if you are true
believers. (They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know
that you have spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of
Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from
heaven, that it may be a feast for Us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign
from You. Give us sustenance, for You are the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I
send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I
punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures” Al-
The response of Jesus’ people:
“Then We caused Our messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus,
son of Mary, to follow, and gave him the Gospel, and placed compassion and mercy in
the hearts of those who followed him. But monasticism they invented. We ordained it
not for them. Only seeking Allah’s pleasure, and they observed it not with right
observance. So We give those of them who believe their reward, but many of them are
evil livers.” Al-Hadeed(57):27
“And when the son of Mary is quoted as an example, behold! the folk laugh out, And
say: Are our gods better, or is he? They raise not the objection save for argument. Nay!
but they are a contentious folk. He is but a slave on whom We bestowed favor, and We
made him a pattern for the Children of Israel.” Al-Zukhruf(43):57-59
Christians and Islam:
“…and nearest among them (men) in love to the believers wilt you find those who say
‘we are Christians’: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who
have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the
revelation received by the messenger, you wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears for
they recognize the truth: They pray: ‘Our lord! we believe; write us down among the
The relationship of Islam and the Qur’an to the previous messages and scriptures:
“And unto you (O Muhammad) have We revealed the Scripture with the truth,
confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher/corrector over it. So judge
between them by that which Allah has revealed, and follow not their desires away from
the truth which has come unto you. For each We have appointed a divine law and a
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traced out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He
may try you by that which He has given you (He has made you as you are). So vie one
with another in good works. Unto Allah you will all return, and He will then inform
you of that wherein you differ. So judge between them by that which Allah has
revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce you from
some part of that which Allah has revealed unto you. And if they turn away, then know
that Allah’s will is to smite them for some sin of theirs. Lo! many of mankind are evil