Jesus in Islam
Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, also known as “Esau” in ancient Hebrew, “Joshua” in modern Hebrew, and “Jesus” in the New Testament, is the Messenger of God and the Messiah in Islam, and is considered one of the first resolve of the messengers. He was sent to lead the Children of Israel to a new holy book, which is the Bible and Muslims prefer to add the phrase “peace be upon him” after his name, like all other prophets, out of respect for them. Belief in Jesus (and all the prophets and messengers) is one of the pillars of faith, and a person’s Islam is not valid without him. Jesus is mentioned by his name in the Qur’an 25 times.
Like Christians, Muslims believe that Mary, Maria in Spanish, or Maryam as she is called in Arabic, was a chaste,virgin woman, whomiraculously gave birt Jesus. Jesus’ birth in itself was a miracle in that he had no father. God describes his birth in the Quran as follows:
“And mention in the Book (the Quran), 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 a spirit from Us, (the angel 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 (God) from you, if you do fear God.’ (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 hath touched me, nor am I unchaste?’ He said: ‘So (it will be), your Lord said That is easy for Me (God): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (God), and it is a matter (already) decreed (by God).’” (Quran 19:16-21)
This fact, however, does not necessitate that Jesus is divine in essence or spirit, nor is he worthy of worship, for Adam’s existence was more miraculous than that of Jesus. If his miraculous birth were a proof that Jesus was God incarnate or His son, then Adam would have more right over this divinity than him. Rather, both are prophets who were inspired with revelation from God Almighty, and both were servants to Him living according to His commandments.
“Indeed, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said to him: ‘Be!’ and he was.’” (Quran 3:59)
Attributes of Jesus:
Based on several hadiths from the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus can be described morally like this (Muhammad saw him on different occasions, for example in a dream, or in the Isra and Miraj, or described him when he describes his second coming):
A stout man, of medium height, broad chest.
His hair is dull, curly, long, falling between his shoulders.
His skin is reddish, or light brown in color.
People liken him to Urwa bin Masoud Al-Thaqafi.
Muslims, like Christians believe that Jesus performed miracles. These miracles were performed by the will and permission of God, Who has power and control over all things.
“Then will God say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favor to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit (the angel Gabriel) so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. And behold: you make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and you breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by My leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! You bring forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to you) when you did show them the Clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’” (Quran 5:110)
God sent all prophets with miracles specific to the nation to whom they were sent to prove the veracity of their message. These miracles were not performed of their own accord; rather, they were only manifest in their hands by God’s will. The miracles performed by Jesus were no different. The Jews were well advanced in the field of medicine, and the miracles which Jesus brought were of this nature, proving the truth of His message and in order to convince the Jews.
God clarified in the Quran that Jesus was not crucified; rather, it was made to seem that way to the Jews, and that God raised him to the Heavens. The Quran does not explain, though, who was the person crucified instead of Jesus, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.
“…They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but (another) was made to resemble him to them…” (Quran 4:157)
“God lifted him up to His presence. God is Almighty, All-Wise.” (Quran 4:158)
As such, Islam denies that Jesus came to this earth with the purpose of sacrificing himself for the sin of Adam, Eve, and the rest of humanity, freeing them from its burden. Islam strictly rejects the notion that any person bears the sin of another. Allah says:
“No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.” (Quran 39:7)
What has preceded was just a brief introduction to the truth which God revealed about Jesus in His final Book, the Quran, which he revealed to Muhammad. There is only One God who created one race of human beings and communicated to them one message: submission to the worship of God and God alone and following His instruction – known in Arabic as Islam. That message was conveyed to the first human beings on this earth, and reaffirmed by all of the prophets of God who came after them throughout all the ages.
Consequently, the reality of the prophets, their uniform message, and the way of life which they followed, can only be found preserved in the religion of Islam, the only religion prescribed by God for man. Furthermore, only Muslims today actually follow Jesus and his true teachings. Their way of life is much more in tune with the way of life Jesus practiced than any of the modern day “Christians.” Love and respect of Jesus Christ is an article of faith in Islam, and God stressed the importance of belief in Jesus in numerous places in the Quran.