Hello all. Today I would like to further expand on last week's topic of the many similarities between Islam and Christianity by devoting a whole article to repeat and deepen my discussion on the status of Jesus in Islam.

 

“Say: We believe in God and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was entrusted to Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered.”

Qur'an 2:84

 

In Islam we affirm our believe in all the prophets sent in the past, and in the original scriptures that they were sent with, and we have particular love and respect for Jesus, son of Mary.

 

To start at the beginning, Muslims believe that Jesus is the son of Mary, a holy and pious woman and a role model for the believers, who was a virgin when he was conceived.

 

This was a miracle in and of itself, but we do not believe that Jesus' conception mean that God is his father. Quite the opposite: Mary's virgin conception is a manifestation of God's power and ability.

 

Jesus' creation can be likened to the creation of Adam and Eve. We can agree that Adam was created from the earth solely by God's power, without any biological mother or father.

 

Eve, his wife, was then created from Adam; she was created from only a male, with no biological mother.

 

Nobody will argue that Adam and Eve are God's son and daughter (biologically speaking), so why is that assumption made for Jesus, who was created in much the same manner?

 

God created Jesus from solely a female, with no biological father.

 

“The likeness of Jesus is as the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then He said to him: Be! and he is.”

Qur'an 3:59

 

Because of this, we believe that his birth was one of the miracles he was sent with, but that these miracles (healing the blind, curing lepers, raising the dead) were miracles performed by the permission of God, not as any manifestation of his own divinity.

 

So, understanding the nature of Jesus' birth and miracles, it is easy to move on to the mission that God sent him with.

 

We do not believe he was supposed to be a universal prophet, but that he was sent to lead the Children of Israel, i.e. the Jews. He is a very important prophet in the chain of prophets that was completed by the universal Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), called in Islam a “Mercy to all mankind.”

 

The Qur'an says:

“And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! I am a messenger of God to you, confirming that which was (revealed) before be in the Torah and brining good tidings of a messenger who comes after me, whose name is the Praised One (my note: in Arabic Ahmen or Muhammad).” 61:6

 

It is also cited in the Bible in Matthew 15:24 that Jesus was “sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

 

So, Jesus had a very specific mission: to uphold the teachings of the Torah, and guide those Jews who had gone astray from those teachings. In Islam Jesus helped to prepare the way for the final prophet, Muhammad (pbuh).

 

As far as Jesus' death, Muslims believe that Jesus' departure from this world was just as miraculous as his entry into it.

 

The issue of crucifixion is probably the biggest difference in the Muslim and Christian narrative surrounding Jesus (excepting, of course, the issue of Jesus' divinity), because Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified or, in fact, died at all.

 

We believe in the ascension, but we believe that he was raised directly to the heavens by God, and saved from those who plotted against him.

 

The idea of crucifixion and the need to “die for one's sins” goes directly against the Islamic doctrine that every man or woman is accountable for him/herself before God.

 

“No soul shall bear another's burden.”

Qur'an 6:164

 

This teaching can also be found in the Bible:

 

“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers, every man shall be put to death for his own sins.”

Deuteronomy 24:16

 

So, according to Islam, Jesus was not put to death and raised again—he ascended directly to heaven and remains in the presence of God until he will return to Earth as the Messiah to complete his task.

 

Like Christians, Muslims believe in the second coming of Christ, the Messiah. In this sense we also look upon Jesus as a “savior,” though not as it relates to sins and crucifixion. We believe he will come to defeat the anti-Christ, and that he will set straight any mistaken beliefs about his own status.

 

He will unite everyone in peace, which will last 40 years at which time he will die a natural death.

 

I hope you have found some of this information insightful, and were able to get a glimpse into the many similarities between Muslims and Christians and the love and respect we share for that great prophet.

 

When researching for this article, I found Dr. S. M. Bleher's pamphlet “A Muslims Portrayal of Jesuss (peace be upon him)” to be quite helpful, and I would encourage you to check it our for yourself, as well as the many resources that can be found from Dawah Centre International.

 

Next up I plan to write about another topic I find particularly interesting: what the Bible itself has to say about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

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Published by Ashley Bounoura