Christ Jesus is a very prominent and important figure and personality in Al-Islam.
No one can claim to be a Muslim if they deny the existence of Jesus. Both he and his virgin mother Mary are mentioned honorably in the Holy Qur’an numerous times; far too many to mention in this column. Hopefully, using a few excerpts about him from the Holy Qur’an will illuminate our understanding of what the Qur’an says about Christ Jesus, or as he is often referred to: Jesus the Christ.
This effort to highlight the commonalities that Muslims and Christians have regarding Christ Jesus is not an attempt to say that we agree on everything about this great man. It is in the spirit of obeying G_d’s offer for us to “come together on common terms” that we are presenting this topic. If we build on our common beliefs and seek to educate one another about our differences, then our whole society will greatly benefit.
Let us first highlight our positives. In sura (chapter) 3: ayat (verse) 45 the Holy Qur’an states “Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah (G_d) giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.”
Mary, being a virgin, was quite surprised by this news. She replied, “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!”
Another ayat of the Qur’an describes the creation of Christ Jesus as being similar to the creation of Adam. Sura 3, ayat 59 reads, “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be.” And he was.”
This reading may relate to the biblical teachings in 1 Corinthians 45 that states: “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” The mission of Christ Jesus completes the mission of Adam.
Another qualification for being a Muslim is accepting all of G_d’s prophets and messengers. Muslims do not have the luxury to accept or disregard these men of G-d based on our personal feelings or dislikes. We must accept all of G_d’s special men and women. The Holy Qur’an, sura 2: ayat 136 instructs us to say the following: “We believe in Allah , and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah.”
The sacrificing work performed by Christ Jesus did not go unappreciated or unrewarded. In Al-Islam, G_d protected Christ Jesus as he did with all of his messengers and prophets. In addition to this promise of protection G_d also promised the followers of Christ spiritual superiority over those who choose not to believe. Sura 3: ayat 55; states, “Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.”
This promise is repeated again in the Holy Qur’an with Christ Jesus and his Disciples. Sura 61: ayat 14 reports Jesus asking, “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” The Disciples replied, “We are Allah’s helpers!” The verse concludes stating, “Then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved. But we gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.”
The Holy Qur’an speaks of Christ Jesus as one who was sent to confirm the Law that came before him to Moses. Al-Islam teaches that Christ Jesus was sent the Gospel to be a guide and admonition to humanity.
Lastly, in the spirit of the book of John chapter 8, verse 54, and John chapter 7 verse 16 where Jesus explains that “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.”
Sura 5; ayat 116 speaks of the role of Christ Jesus as relates to our Creator. “And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?” Jesus’ reply as given in the Qur’an is very similar to the reply given in the Bible. John 8:54 reads, “Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God.” Jesus’ reply as recorded in the Holy Qur’an is strikingly similar: Christ Jesus said, “Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.”
Dear readers, there is much more that could be said about Christ Jesus in the Holy Qur’an. And yes there are areas wherein disagreement may exist. Allah is the best to judge wherein we differ.
NOTE: The spelling of G_d is used when referencing or mentioning our Creator to avoid the spelling “God”, which in reverse spells “Dog”. We feel that it is disrespectful to have a spelling for our Creator that reminds the reader of a dog. Surely our Creator is GREATER!
Al-Islam In America welcomes your questions and comments.
Please forward them to: Al-Islam In America, c/o Imam Mikal Saahir, Nur-Allah Islamic Center, 2040 E. 46th St. Indianapolis, Ind. 46205 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.