PROPHET JESUS IN THE QURAN
Prophet Jesus in the Quran
Written by: Dr. Abdul-Rahman al-Sheha
Translated by: Abdurrahmann Murad
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Islam is a complete and integral Divine religion and way of life. It has a complete code of ethics for a happy life and peaceful and tranquil life after death.
Islam is pure from all imperfections, defects and blemishing effects. It is a perfect way of life.
Any deviant or abnormal behavior observed on a Muslim should have no bearing on Islam, non-what-so-ever. The reason for such a deviation or bad behavior is due to ill knowledge of the faith itself, or due a weak faith that led to such deviant acts.
Islam, by no mean, should be assessed or evaluated based on the individuals’ behavior and attitudes.
What are the beliefs of a Muslim in relation to Prophet Jesus ? Does a Muslim actually revere and respect him? Today, the media is responsible for spreading a negative image about Islam, and due to that, Islam would appear to be a religion of hate and intolerance to the average person. In reality, anyone who has met a practicing Muslim will know that they are a very peaceful and tolerant people.
The belief system of Islam clearly indicates that it is a religion of tolerance. A key belief a Muslim adheres to is a belief in all of the Prophets and Messengers sent by God; accounts of each of them are detailed in the Quran and in Prophetic Traditions. Before delving into the details of the life story of Jesus, I believe it is important that this topic be preceded by a brief introduction to the purpose behind the creation of humankind and the important role spiritual guidance plays in our lives.
In general, spiritual guidance is essential in keeping us balanced in all aspects of our lives. The Quran is the divine scripture of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad r who is the last of all Prophets and Messengers. Due to this fact, certain intrinsic qualities are found in Islam. It is an all-encompassing faith, applicable to people of all times and places. It is applicable to all humankinds’ problems. Islam is not simply a religion; rather, it is a complete way of life.
Another intrinsic quality of Islam is that it is a religion of common sense and is very logical. Take into consideration some of the following examples of Islamic beliefs to clarify this point. As Muslims we believe that God is the Creator of all and He has no partner. The Messenger of Islam, Muhammad r mentioned the stages of creation, as narrated by his companion, Imran bin Husain t. He said:
“People came from Yemen and they said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we have come to you to learn the Deen, so inform us of the first thing created!’ He said: ‘Allah was always there and nothing was with Him. His Throne was above water and all things that would come to pass were recorded and then the heavens and the earth were created.’”
God was always there, unlike His creation, who have a sure beginning. God, the Exalted, says:
“He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the One Who has infinite knowledge, and He is, of all things, Knowing.” (Quran 57:3)
God was the First. Nothing was before Him. He brought all creation into existence. He is unlike any of His creation. There are no similarities between Him and us. God, the Exalted, says:
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Quran 42:11)
God has clarified to us that it is impossible for anyone to describe Him, and that no one can encompass His greatness. This alone puts us in awe of God, and affirms our belief in His uniqueness and our need to worship Him alone. God, the Exalted, says:
“Allah knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, but they do not encompass it in knowledge.”(Qur’an 20:110)
Everything besides God is a created being, brought into existence by God, Himself. He brought forth these creations into existence from mere nothingness. God, the Exalted, says:
“That is Allah, your God, Creator of all things; there is no deity except Him, so how are you deluded?” (Qur’an 40:62)
One of the key beliefs a Muslim adheres to is that Allah creates whatever He wills and does as He pleases. Nothing can withstand the decrees of God. God, the Almighty, says:
“And your Rubb creates what He wills and chooses; not for them was the choice. Exalted is Allah and high above what they associate with Him.” (Qur’an 28:68)
Allah does not create without purpose; neither would He leave His creation without guidance. No creature has been created in this universe except that behind its creation is a divine wisdom and purpose. At times we know this wisdom, and at times we do not. Modern science in many situations has been successful in deciphering the wisdom behind certain things that may seem to have no purpose.
The First of Creation
The Qur’an, which is the word of God, clarifies to us that this world came into existence from mere nothingness. God, the Exalted, says:
“Originator of the heavens and the earth; when He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.”(Qur’an 2:117)
The Messenger of God r clarified to us that the first thing created was water; water is found in all creation. Allah created this with His power. In the Prophetic Tradition it states:
“Everything is created from water.”(Ibn Hibban)
The Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
Allah informs us in the Quran that He created the Heavens and the earth in six days. God was not exhausted nor did He face any difficulty in creating this. He, the Exalted, says:
“And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched Us no weariness.”(Qur’an 50:38)
God could easily have created all of this within a mere moment. God, the Exalted, says:
“And to Allah belongs the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth. And the command for the Hour is not but as a glance of the eye or even nearer. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.”(Qur’an 16:77)
If God could have created this in the flicker of an eye, why didn’t He? Imam Ibn al-Jozi, may God have mercy on him, gave insight into this issue. He said:
- God wanted to show his infinite wisdom behind creation. Creating all existence quickly would be evident of His power; whereas, creation in a slow manner would be evident of His wisdom.
- God wanted to show His slaves the importance of being patient.
Another scholar, Al-Qurtubi, mentioned another reason in relation to this. He said: “God created the heavens and earth in six days to show that everything has a set term in life.”
God, the Exalted, says:
“Say, “Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals? That is the Lord of the worlds.” And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures’] sustenance in four days without distinction – for [the information] of those who ask. Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, “Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.” They said, “We have come willingly.” And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.” (Qur’an 41:9-12)
Sayyid Qutub, may God have mercy on him, said: “The two days in which God created the earth and the two in which He created the mountains and ordained His ordainments for each are indeed of His days. Their length is unknown to us; they are not simple 24 hour intervals as we are accustomed to today. These days maybe the periods in which the earth is known to have formed and come into existence. Allah knows best.”
The Wisdom Behind the Creation of Man
Now that we have spoken on the creation of the earth, a few important questions arise: What is the significance of the creation of man? What is the goal behind this creation? God clarifies this in His words:
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.”(Qur’an 51:56-8)
This life is not as the atheists assert, without resurrection, accountability or requital. It is not everlasting; it is only a temporary stage. God, the Exalted, says:
“And they say, “There is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time.” And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming.” (Qur’an 45:24)
How difficult would it be for a person to live his life with no purpose! As any individual is in need of satisfying natural, human desires, they are in need of spiritual satisfaction as well. This cannot be achieved except if one educates himself about God. Knowledge of God cannot be gathered solely from one’s mind or surroundings; one must turn to Divine Scripture. It is important that one understands that the atheistic approach to life is not the result of today’s technological advancements. It is a very old belief upheld from time immemorial. It has been handed down throughout the ages by those who have no belief. God, the Exalted, says:
“And We sent among them a messenger from themselves [saying], “Worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him; then will you not fear Him?” And the eminent among his people who disbelieved and denied the meeting of the Hereafter while We had given them luxury in the worldly life said, “This is not but a man like yourselves. He eats of that from which you eat and drinks of what you drink. And if you should obey a man like yourselves, indeed, you would then be losers. Does he promise you that when you have died and become dust and bones that you will be brought forth [once more]? Far-fetched, far-fetched indeed is what you are promised! Life is not but our worldly life – we die and live, but we will not be resurrected.” (Qur’an 23:32-7)
The Need for Messengers
Through historical evidence, we know that all of humankind began as one nation, living in one area. But as our numbers increased, we began spreading into different areas. God, the Exalted, says:
“And mankind was not but one community [united in religion], but [then] they differed. And if not for a word that preceded from your Rubb, it would have been judged between them [immediately] concerning that over which they differ.” (Qur’an 10:19)
The result of moving to different regions of the world led to the formation of traditions and languages that differentiate us from one another today. As creation spread out, God sent to each group of people a prophet to remind them of the message of the belief in the Oneness of God.
Indeed, God is merciful. He would never punish a people, except after sending a prophet to clarify the message to them. The Prophets and Messengers warned their people from going astray. No nation of the past was ever left without a warner. God, the Exalted, says:
“Indeed, We have sent you with the truth as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And there was no nation but that there had passed within it a warner.” (Qur’an 35:24)
Allah would send Prophets and Messengers to bring people back to the message of Tawheed (i.e. the belief in the Oneness of God). God, the Exalted, says:
“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.” (Qur’an 16:36)
Allah sent these Prophets and Messengers so that no nation would have any plea against what God ordains on them in the Hereafter. God, the Exalted, says:
“[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Qur’an 4:165)
All Prophets and Messengers were human beings. They did not hold any god-like characteristics or superhuman abilities. God aided them with miracles. God, the Exalted, says:
“And We did not send before you, [O Muhammad], any of the messengers except that they ate food and walked in the markets. And We have made some of you [people] as trial for others – will you have patience? And ever is your Lord, Seeing.” (Qur’an 25:20)
Allah clarifies this to ensure that no one would have a doubt about their nature. God, the Almighty, says:
“And We have already sent messengers before you and assigned to them wives and descendants. And it was not for a messenger to come with a sign except by permission of Allah. For every term is a decree.” (Qur’an 13:38)
The Prophets and Messengers had no power to control the affairs of the universe. They had no power over their own protection. God, the Exalted, says, regarding the Prophets and Messengers:
“Say, “I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.”” (Qur’an 7:188)
The Great Prophets of God
All Prophets and Messengers were sent with one Message. God says:
Or have they taken gods besides Him? Say, [O Muhammad to them], “Produce your proof. This [Qur’an] is the message for those with me and the message of those before me.” But most of them do not know the truth, so they are turning away. And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” (Qur’an 21:24-5)
The belief in the Oneness of God was the central message delivered by all Prophets and Messengers to their respective peoples. God, the Exalted, says:
He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. (Qur’an 42:13)
Peoples Need for Prophets and Messengers
As we mentioned previously, people are in need of Prophets and Messengers as they are in need of food and drink to sustain themselves. The Scholar Ibn al-Qayyim, may God have mercy on him, said:
There is no path to happiness and success except through what the Messengers have given us. One would only be able to discern between good and bad through what the Messengers have conveyed us (in terms of revelation) from God. People of guidance are distinguished by their obedience to the Message. The necessity of knowing the Message is a more pressing need (for man) than finding food and beverages. The example of the importance of guidance to mankind is similar to the importance of water to a whale. If taken out of water, it would die; similarly, no one will truly realize the explicit need of spiritual guidance except one who has a living heart.”
The Wisdom of God in Choosing His Prophets and Messengers
The Message and prophethood is a divine gift, which God gives to whomever He pleases. It is not given to one on account of their lineage, authority or position in society. God, the Exalted, says:
Allah chooses from the angels messengers and from the people. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.(Qur’an 22:75)
No one should show any jealousy towards Prophet Muhammad r for the message he was given. God, the Exalted, says:
Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty? But we had already given the family of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom and conferred upon them a great kingdom. (Qur’an 4:54)
The Prophets of God differ in terms of rank and superiority. They are not equal in terms of merit. God, the Exalted, says:
Those messengers – some of them We caused to exceed others. Among them were those to whom Allah spoke, and He raised some of them in degree. And We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit. If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He intends. (Qur’an 2:253)
The Creation of Adam, the Father of Humankind
Allah has ordained that the ones chosen by Him will inhabit earth. They would work the lands and build thereon. They would be tested in the material realm so it would be established who is obedient and pious and who is ignoble. God, the Exalted, says:
“And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”” (Qur’an 2:30)
The authority God first placed on earth was Prophet Adam, the father of humankind. God created Adam on a Friday, as is mentioned in the Prophetic Tradition:
“The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday. In it God created Adam, and on it he was admitted into Heaven and on it he was expelled from it, and the Final Hour will be established on a Friday.” (Muslim)
For this reason, God chose Friday as the weekly holiday for the Muslims. Due to the lofty status Adam held, Allah ordered the angels to bow down to him out of respect and honor; all the angels immediately did this. Satan, who was in the company of the angels refused to bow down to him. Arrogance and pride prevented him from obeying the command of God. God, the Exalted, says about this:
“[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.”So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely. Except Iblees; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers. [Allah] said, “O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?” He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”[Allah] said, “Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense.” He said, “My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.” [Allah] said, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved Until the Day of the time well-known.” [Iblees] said, “By your might, I will surely mislead them all except, among them, Your chosen servants. [Allah] said, “The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say -[That] I will surely fill Hell with you and those of them that follow you all together.”(Qur’an 38:71-85)
God, through His wisdom, ordained that Adam and his offspring would inhabit the earth. God then created Eve, the wife of Adam.
The Expulsion of Adam and His Wife from Jannah
When the Devil refused to bow down before Adam, he sealed his own fate. He informed God that he would mislead the children of Adam and take them with him to the evil abode of Hell. God tells us about this:
“And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “I will create a human being out of clay from an altered black mud. And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.” So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely, Except Iblees, he refused to be with those who prostrated. [Allah] said, O Iblees, what is [the matter] with you that you are not with those who prostrate?” He said, “Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud.” [Allah] said, “Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.” He said, “My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.” [Allah] said, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved. Until the Day of the time well-known.” [Iblees] said, “My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all. Except, among them, Your chosen servants.”” (Qur’an 15:28-40)
The enmity between Adam and Iblis began from the beginning of Adam’s creation. Iblis lay in wait for him, and tried in every way to make him disobey the commands of Allah. When Iblis realized that God prevented Adam from eating from a certain tree, he convinced both Adam and his wife to eat from it. Adam and Eve were then expelled from Heaven. They both repented and were sorrowful for what they did and God accepted their repentance. God, the Exalted, says:
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except Iblees; he refused. So We said, “O Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove you from Paradise so you would suffer. Indeed, it is [promised] for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed. And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun.” Then Satan whispered to him; he said, “O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” And Adam and his wife ate of it, and their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of Heaven. And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred. Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him]. [Allah] said, “Descend from Heaven – all, [your descendants] being enemies to one another. And if there should come to you guidance from Me – then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter]. And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.”” (Qur’an 20:116-124)
Once the Devil (Iblis) was cast out of the Heavenly abode, and Adam was expelled on account of his disobedience, the progeny of Adam remained obedient to Allah and worshipped Him alone. After ten generations, people faltered in this regard and went astray. God then sent Prophets and Messengers to guide humankind to the path of God. The first Messenger God sent after Adam was Prophet Noah u. During his time as a prophet polytheism became a norm of life. God, the Exalted, says:
“Noah said, “My Lord, indeed they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children will not increase him except in loss. And they conspired an immense conspiracy. And said, ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa’ or Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr. And already they have misled many. And, [my Lord], do not increase the wrongdoers except in error.””(Qur’an 71:21-4)
The best of the Prophets and Messenger are the five known as Ulul’Azm, they are:
- 1. Prophet Noah u:
He is the first Messenger sent by God. He was sent after his people began practicing Shirk (polytheism). Their condition deteriorated steadily and they forgot the fundamentals of their faith that were passed down to them by their forefathers who upheld the creed of Islam. God, the Exalted, says:
Indeed, We sent Noah to his people, [saying], “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful punishment.”(Qur’an 71:1)
They worshipped five idols named, Wudd, Suwa, Yaghooth, Ya’ooq and Nasr. Allah, the Exalted, clarifies their names in the Quran saying:
And said, ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa’ or Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr. (Qur’an 71:23)
Prophet Noah was very pious and truthful. He patiently called his people to righteousness. He called on them using a variety of different methods. God, the Exalted, says:
He said, “My Lord, indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day. But my invitation increased them not except in flight. And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance. Then I invited them publicly. Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly. And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. (Qur’an 71:5-10)
In spite of all of his efforts, many of his people turned away and rejected the Message. Only a few followed him and the disbelievers amongst his people continued in their disbelief and evil ways. So Allah prevented them from receiving any rain. Noah informed them that if they were to believe they would receive rain and so they believed, but soon afterwards they returned to their disbelief. After spending long years in calling them to the path of Allah but seeing no answer, he eventually beseeched God, the Exalted, saying:
And Noah said, “My Lord, do not leave upon the earth from among the disbelievers an inhabitant. Indeed, if You leave them, they will mislead Your servants and not beget except [every] wicked one and [confirmed] disbeliever. (Qur’an 71:26-7)
Allah answered his supplications and He ordered him to build an ark. Noah was a skillful carpenter and those who believed in the Message helped him. Once the ark was complete, God ordered Prophet Noah to gather a pair of each animal (a male and female). God then ordered the heavens to pour rain and the earth to release the water within it. God, the Exalted, says:
The people of Noah denied before them, and they denied Our slave and said, “A madman,” and he was repelled. So he invoked his Lord, “Indeed, I am overpowered, so help.” Then We opened the gates of the heaven with rain pouring down. And caused the earth to burst with springs, and the waters met for a matter already predestined. And We carried him on a [construction of] planks and nails. Sailing under Our observation as reward for he who had been denied. And We left it as a sign, so is there any who will remember?(Qur’an 54:9-15)
Prophet Noah u had three offspring, Saam, the father of the Arabs and Persians, Haam, the father of the African races and European races and Yaafith, the father of the Asian races.
- 2. Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) u
He is known as Khalil ar-Rahman (The one whom God chose for His love). His eldest son was Prophet Ismail and his second son was Ishaq (Isaac). From their descendants came the majority of Prophets and Messengers. Allah, the Exalted, says:
Praise to Allah, who has granted to me in old age Ishmael and Isaac. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. (Qur’an 14:39)
Allah chose him to deliver His message. Prophet Abraham u was living in a community of polytheists. They were idolaters and worshipped the stars. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said to his father Azar, “Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error.” And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith]. So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I like not those that disappear.” And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.” And when he saw the sun rising, he said, “This is my lord; this is greater.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah. Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.” (Qur’an 6:74-9)
He was not happy with what he witnessed from his people. He sensed that there had to be a God who was greater than what his people worshipped. He knew that these idols did not have the power to offer any benefit or harm! Abraham would frequently argue with his people using logical arguments as to why these idols did not deserve any reverence. He said, as God tells us:
And recite to them the news of Abraham, When he said to his father and his people, “What do you worship?”They said, “We worship idols and remain to them devoted.”He said, “Do they hear you when you supplicate? Or do they benefit you, or do they harm?” They said, “But we found our fathers doing thus.”He said, “Then do you see what you have been worshipping, You and your ancient forefathers? Indeed, they are enemies to me, except the Lord of the worlds, Who created me, and He [it is who] guides me. And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me. And who will cause me to die and then bring me to life. And who I aspire that He will forgive me my sin on the Day of Recompense.” [And he said], “My Lord, grant me authority and join me with the righteous. (Qur’an 26:69-83)
Prophet Abraham continued calling his people to the path of Allah, to believe in the Oneness of God and to leave aside all that they worshipped. But they rejected his message and even tried to kill him, but Allah saved him. Allah tells us about this, saying:
He said, “Then do you worship instead of Allah that which does not benefit you at all or harm you? Uff to you and to what you worship instead of Allah. Then will you not use reason?” They said, “Burn him and support your gods – if you are to act.” Allah said, “O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham.” And they intended for him harm, but We made them the greatest losers.
After continuous preaching, God ordained that Prophet Abraham take his wife, Hajar and their son, Ismail to Makkah. There, God ordained that he build the Kabah. From Prophet Ismail’s progeny came the final prophet of God, Prophet Muhammad, who was sent to all of mankind. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And [mention] when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day.” [Allah] said. “And whoever disbelieves – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination.” And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”(Qur’an 2:126-9)
- 3. Prophet Moses (Musa) u
He is the one whom God spoke to. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord, show me [Yourself] that I may look at You.” [Allah] said, “You will not see Me, but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.” But when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious. And when he awoke, he said, “Exalted are You! I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.”(Qur’an 7:143)
Prophet Moses has been mentioned in the Quran 129 times, making him the most mentioned prophet in the Quran. God provided him with two miracles; the first was when his staff was transformed into a serpent, by the will of Allah. The second miracle was when his hand, which was discolored transformed into a beautifully toned color. These signs were granted to Moses so that he could convince the Pharaoh of the fallacies of his ways and so that he would accept Islam. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And Moses said, “O Pharaoh, I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds. Who is] obligated not to say about Allah except the truth. I have come to you with clear evidence from your Lord, so send with me the Children of Israel.”[Pharaoh] said, “If you have come with a sign, then bring it forth, if you should be of the truthful.” So Moses threw his staff, and suddenly it was a serpent, manifest. And he drew out his hand; thereupon it was white [with radiance] for the observers. (Qur’an 7:104-8)
Allah sent him to the Pharaoh of Egypt and his people to call them to the belief in the Oneness of Allah and to cast aside all of their falsely worshipped gods. God, the Exalted, says:
And Pharaoh said, “O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me. Then ignite for me, O Haman, [a fire] upon the clay and make for me a tower that I may look at the God of Moses. And indeed, I do think he is among the liars.”(Qur’an 28:38)
Prophet Moses called the Pharaoh with wisdom and beautiful words to believe in the Oneness of Allah. But the Pharaoh opposed him and gathered together all of the sorcerers of that time to defeat Moses. Moses, however, was victorious, as his staff transformed, by the will of Allah, into a snake and swallowed the sticks and staffs thrown by the sorcerers. Allah mentions this story to us:
Said the eminent among the people of Pharaoh, “Indeed, this is a learned magician Who wants to expel you from your land [through magic], so what do you instruct?” They said, “Postpone [the matter of] him and his brother and send among the cities gatherers. Who will bring you every learned magician.” And the magicians came to Pharaoh. They said, “Indeed for us is a reward if we are the predominant.” He said, “Yes, and, [moreover], you will be among those made near [to me].”They said, “O Moses, either you throw [your staff], or we will be the ones to throw [first].” He said, “Throw,” and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic. And We inspired to Moses, “Throw your staff,” and at once it devoured what they were falsifying. So the truth was established, and abolished was what they were doing. And Pharaoh and his people were overcome right there and became debased. And the magicians fell down in prostration [to Allah]. (Qur’an 7:109-20)
The Pharaoh and his people disbelieved in the Message of God, so Allah punished them with a number of trials. Allah sent upon them floods, locusts, lice, frogs, and blood as signs from Allah. Still, they refused and persisted in disbelief. Each punishment was lifted by the blessing of the supplication of Prophet Moses u. Shortly after each event, they returned and persisted on their disbelief. Allah says about this:
And they said, “No matter what sign you bring us with which to bewitch us, we will not be believers in you.”So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood as distinct signs, but they were arrogant and were a criminal people. And when the punishment descended upon them, they said, “O Moses, invoke for us your Lord by what He has promised you. If you [can] remove the punishment from us, we will surely believe you, and we will send with you the Children of Israel.”But when We removed the punishment from them until a term which they were to reach, then at once they broke their word.(Qur’an 7:132-5)
After all of this, Allah ordered Prophet Moses to take his people, under the cover of night, and leave Egypt, so that they could practice their faith freely. Once the Pharaoh realized that they had left, he chased after them with his troops. Moses and his people reached the edge of the sea, at which the Children of Israel exclaimed, “The Pharaoh will capture us!” Moses, who had complete trust in God, struck his staff on the ground and the ocean parted into pathways through which the people entered, by the will of Allah. Allah then saved Moses and his people and destroyed the Pharaoh in the ocean. God, the Exalted, says:
And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!”[Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. And We advanced thereto the pursuers. And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then We drowned the others. (Qur’an 26:61-6)
God, the Exalted, then says:
And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity until, when drowning overtook him, he said, “I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims.” Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] before and were of the corrupters? So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed, many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless. (Qur’an 10:90-2)
- 4. Prophet Muhammad r
Prophet Muhammad r is the last of Prophets and Messengers. He was sent by God to all of mankind. He is from the family of Prophet Ismail, the son of Abraham. He was born in Makkah, a few months after the death of his father. His mother later died while he was still young, and he was cared for by his Grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib, and later by his uncle Abu Talib.
Prophet Muhammad r was a shepherd taking care of a flock of sheep in Makkah. He was very well-known for being trustworthy and having never told a lie in his life. The people of Makkah even called him ‘The Truthful’ and ‘The Trustworthy’. Whenever people left for a trip, they would entrust him with their valuables.
When he reached the age of forty, God sent Angel Gabriel to him and appointed Muhammad as a Prophet and Messenger to Mankind. He spent 13 years in Makkah calling people to the path of God and later on migrated to Madinah. The people of Madinah responded and accepted Islam in droves. He died when he was 63 years old. His followers then spread the Message of Islam across the world, and until today people are accepting Islam in large numbers across the globe.
Jesus the Messenger of God u
Family of Imran
Prophets and Messengers were sent by God continuously after Prophet Noah, may God praise him. God, the Exalted, says:
Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing. (Qur’an 33:40)
Prophet Jesus, the last Prophet from the Children of Israel, has a special place in the hearts of Muslims. He informed his people of the advent of Prophet Muhammad r and he is mentioned in the Quran 25 times.
God has conveyed to us in the Qur’an some of the original passages that He revealed to Jesusu.God also mentions details about the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is spoken of highly and is known for being pure and chaste. Allah, the Exalted, says:
Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of ‘Imran over the worlds. Descendants, some of them from others. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.(Qur’an 3:33-4)
Maryam, may Allah praise her.
Allah has praised Maryam, the daughter of Imran, the mother of Prophet Jesusu. Allah describes Maryam as pure, chaste and pious. He, the Exalted, says:
And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient. (Qur’an 66:12)
The Qur’an clarifies that Maryam was the result of a supplication that her own mother made. Allah, the Exalted, says:
[Mention, O Muhammad], when the wife of ‘Imran said, “My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.”(Qur’an 3:35)
This supplication was the indirect cause through which she and her offspring were protected by Allah from the Devil. God provided for Maryam and reared her with His blessings. Allah says:
But when she delivered her, she said, “My Lord, I have delivered a female.” And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah].” So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.”(Qur’an 3:36-7)
Maryam was very pious in her worship of God. She was the best of women in her generation. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:
There are four women who reached the level of Kamal (perfection).”
He mentioned Maryam, the mother of Jesus as one of them. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer].” (Qur’an 3:42-3)
God revealed an entire chapter in the Quran carrying her name. It is the 19th chapter in the Quran. It is the only chapter in the Quran named after a woman, and in it God praises Mary. A praise of similar nature cannot be found in any of the previous Scriptures.
God gave the good news to Mary about Prophet Jesus, may God praise him. God, the Exalted, says:
[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. (Qur’an 3:45-8)
The birth of Prophet Jesus was a miracle. Even though Jesus was born to a virgin, he does not deserve or require any worship. Had Jesus deserved any worship on account of his miraculous birth, Prophet Adam would be more deserving of it than him, since he was created without a father or mother. Allah, the Exalted, says:
Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you – say, “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us].” Indeed, this is the true narration. And there is no deity except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. But if they turn away, then indeed – Allah is Knowing of the corrupters. (Quran 3:59-63)
Allah created and fashioned Jesus as He has all creation. Allah speaks of the entire ordeal of the birth of Jesus in the Quran, saying:
And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east. And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah.” He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy.” She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.'”So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.'” Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.”So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” [Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and Zakah (i.e. charity) as long as I remain alive. And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.” That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute. It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.(Quran 19:16-35)
Allah, the Exalted, says:
And [mention] the one who guarded her chastity, so We blew into her [garment] through Our angel [Gabriel], and We made her and her son a sign for the worlds.(Qur’an 21:91)
The Human Nature of Jesus
The Qur’an states clearly that Jesus was a man who was chosen by God to convey the message of the belief in the Oneness of God to his people. Allah, the Exalted, says:
The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. (Qur’an 5:75)
It is not befitting of God to have a wife or children. Claiming He has a child is indeed a major sin. God, the Exalted, says:
And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.” You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture there from and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation. That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant.(Quran 19:88-93)
A child is the product of two equals coming together and then producing a child. Nothing is like unto God; He has no equal and no partners. God, the Exalted, says:
Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”(Quran Chapter 112)
People throughout the ages have claimed that God had a child. The polytheists among the Arabs claimed that God had married from the Jinn and the Angels were His daughters. God, the Exalted, says:
So inquire of them, [O Muhammad], “Does your Lord have daughters while they have sons? Or did We create the angels as females while they were witnesses?”Unquestionably, it is out of their [invented] falsehood that they say, “Allah has begotten,” and indeed, they are liars. Has He chosen daughters over sons? What is with you? How do you make judgment? Then will you not be reminded? Or do you have a clear authority? Then produce your scripture, if you should be truthful. And they have claimed between Him and the jinn a lineage, but the jinn have already known that they [who made such claims] will be brought to [punishment].Exalted is Allah above what they describe, except the chosen servants of Allah [who do not share in that sin]. (Qur’an 37: 149-160)
Jews and Christians made similar claims, God, the Exalted, says:
The Jews say, “Ezra is the son of Allah “; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of Allah.” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded? They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him. (Qur’an 9:30-1)
The Quran clearly states that anyone who believes that Jesus is God or the son of God or part of a Trinity would have embraced a belief that contradicts the Message of Jesus, and thus would be a disbeliever in his Message. The Quran clarifies that the message of Jesus was the belief in the Oneness of God. God, the Exalted, says:
They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.(Qur’an 5:72-4)
The Quran mentions many intellectual evidences that clearly demonstrate that God is the only One worthy of worship. He does as He wills and pleases. It also clarifies that all the miracles that happened through Jesus were by the will of God. Jesus himself does not have the power to protect himself from the decrees of God. God, the Exalted, says:
They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say, “Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy Christ, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?” And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. (Qur’an 5:17)
God warns the Jews and Christians not to adulate their Prophets and not to speak in their regard without knowledge. It also goes to tell us that Jesus is only a human being. God, the Exalted, says:
O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together. And as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, He will give them in full their rewards and grant them extra from His bounty. But as for those who disdained and were arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment, and they will not find for themselves besides Allah any protector or helper. (Qur’an 4:171-3)
The Prophethood of Prophet Jesus
Every Muslim believes that all of the prophets and messengers did their duty in conveying to their people the message of belief in the Oneness of God. A Muslim is to love and revere all of them as well. We are also ordered by God to defend all of them. God, the Exalted, says:
Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Qur’an 2:137-8)
Before the advent of Prophet Moses, the children of Israel were belittled and forced into menial harsh labor work. God, the Exalted, says:
And [recall, O Children of Israel], when We saved you from the people of Pharaoh, [who were] afflicting you with the worst torment – killing your sons and keeping your women alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord. (Qur’an 7:141)
Allah then blessed them with the Prophet Moses, and their condition changed from bad to good. God, the Exalted, says:
And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured. And We destroyed [all] that Pharaoh and his people were producing and what they had been building. (Qur’an 7:137)
After that the Children of Israel drifted from the path of God, so God sent them Prophet Jesus to guide them back to the Straight Path. God, the Exalted, says:
And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. (Qur’an 5:46)
Prophet Jesus took the lead and called the children of Israel to the belief in the Oneness of God and to worship God alone and that they uphold the commandments in the Gospel, God, the Exalted, says:
And when Jesus brought clear proofs, he said, “I have come to you with wisdom and to make clear to you some of that over which you differ, so fear Allah and obey me. Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path.”(Qur’an 43:63-4)
When Prophet Jesus saw that they had disbelieved and rejected the truth, and were persistent on their disbelief, He called out to those who believed amongst his people; twelve of them, known as the Apostles. They answered his call and pledged their support. Allah, the Exalted, says:
But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah?” The disciples said, “We are supporters for Allah. We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]. Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger Jesus, so register us among the witnesses [to truth].”(Qur’an 3:52-3)
The Description of Prophet Jesus
The Quran has given us a description of Prophet Jesus, may God praise him. This description covers some of his mannerisms and also the nature of His message. God mentions that He protected Jesus. He, the Exalted, says:
And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed. (Qur’an 2:87)
Allah also describes Jesus as being a perfect example in terms of complete faith and sincerity to God. Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus will descend to the earth towards the end of time. God, the Exalted, says:
And when the son of Mary was presented as an example, immediately your people laughed aloud. And they said, “Are your gods better, or is he?” They did not present the comparison except for [mere] argument. But, [in fact], they are a people prone to dispute. Jesus was not but a slave upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel. And if We willed, We could have made [instead] of you angels succeeding [one another] on the earth. And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.(Qur’an 43:57-61)
Physical Characteristics of Jesus
As for his physical qualities and features, the Prophet Muhammad r described him saying:
“There was no prophet between me and Prophet Jesus. He will descend from the heavens to earth. If you see him, know his description. He is an average sized individual; he is neither fat nor skinny. His skin color has a reddish-white hue.”
The Prophet said:
“The Prophets are brothers from different mothers. The creed they all carry is one and the specifics of their laws differ. There is no Prophet between Jesus and I. He will break the cross and kill the swine and remove the Jizyah (head tax). He will unite all under one belief and only Islam will prevail during his reign. During his reign the anti-Christ will be killed and safety and security will spread throughout the lands till animals will harmoniously coexist with each other. Children will play with snakes not being harmed by them. He will rule amongst the Muslims for as long as Allah wills and then he will die and the Muslims will bury him.” (Ahmed)
The Prophet said:
“I saw Jesus, Moses and Abraham. As for Jesus he had a pinkish hue and has a broad-chest.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet clarified that one’s faith would not be complete unless they believe in Jesus being a Messenger of God. This would lead one to a blissful life in the Heavenly Abode. The Prophet said:
“Whoever testifies that there is no God worthy of worship but Allah and that He has no partner and that Muhammad is his slave and messenger and that Jesus is the slave of Allah created by the command of Allah through Mary and that Jannah (i.e. the Heavenly Abode) and Hell are true will enter Jannah, even if they have not done a single good deed.”
Believing that Jesus is a messenger of God will also increase one’s rewards. The Prophet said:
“Whoever believes in Jesus the son of Mary as a Prophet and Messenger of God and then believes in me, will have two rewards.” (Bukhari)
Jesus and the Anti-Christ
The Prophet clarified to us that the return of Jesus to the Earth is one of the Final signs of the Day of Judgment. The proof of this is in the words of Allah, the Exalted:
And when the son of Mary was presented as an example, immediately your people laughed aloud. And they said, “Are your gods better, or is he?” They did not present the comparison except for [mere] argument. But, [in fact], they are a people prone to dispute. Jesus was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel. And if We willed, We could have made [instead] of you angels succeeding [one another] on the earth. And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.(Quran 43:57-61)
Due to the greatness of Prophet Jesus, he will be the one who will slay the Anti-Christ. He will also spread the message of Islam during the times of great tribulation. During that time the good will be viewed as bad and the bad as good. The Prophet said:
“O people, there has been no Fitnah (trial) greater on this earth from the time that Adam was created till the end of time than that of the Dajjal (Anti-Christ). Every Prophet warned his people of this trial. I am the last of Prophets and you are the last of nations, and he will come forth during this era without a doubt. If he comes out while I am amongst you I will defend every Muslim. But if he comes out after I pass away, then every Muslim will have to defend himself. He will first emerge from an area between the Greater Syria Area and Iraq. He will go to the east and the west causing problems wherever he goes. O slaves of Allah, O people, Be firm! I will describe him to you like no prophet has described him. He will claim to be your God, but you shall not see God in this world. He is one eyed and your God is not one eyed! It is written between his eyes, ‘disbeliever’ every believer will be able to read it whether they are lettered or unlettered. He will have a heaven and a hell with him. His hell is a heaven and the heaven is a hell. Whoever is tried through his hell; let them beseech Allah and recite the first verses of the chapter of al-Kahf. He would say to a Bedouin, if you see that I resurrect your mother and your father would you believe in me? The Bedouin would say yes, and two devils would emerge in the form of his parents and order him to obey ad-Dajjal. He will kill a person cutting him in half and then say, look at my slave, I have cut him in half and I shall resurrect him. He then would ask that person, ‘who is your God?’ the man who was just cut would say ‘Allah! You are the enemy of Allah you are ad-Dajjal! I am now surer than ever that you are the one whom our Prophet warned us against!’ He would order the heavens to pour rain and the earth to bring forth the best of its vegetation. He would pass by a district who disbelieve in him and he would order the land to stop producing its vegetation and all their crops and animals would die. He would pass by another and ask them to believe in him and they would, and they would witness such great material blessings. He will go to every corner of this world except for Makkah and Madinah. Angels will be standing guarding both with their swords. While he is waiting outside, Madinah would shake violently and all the hypocrites would emerge and go out to join him. It will be purified by the will of Allah. It was said, ‘Where are the Arabs on that day?’ He said, they would be few in number and they would be with a pious Imam (leader). While he is about to perform the Morning Prayer, Jesus would descend, and the Imam would step back to let him lead, but Jesus would push him forward. After the prayers, Jesus would ask that the door be opened and behind it would be the Dajjal and with him 70000 of his troops. They would all be killed and Jesus would rule as a wise and just ruler. He would kill the swine, break the Cross and rule with the laws of Islam.”
Miracles of Prophet Jesus
At times people would reject the veracity of a Prophet and would not believe until they witnessed a tangible miracle. So in light of this, Allah sent his Prophets and Messengers with miracles. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And We have already sent messengers before you and assigned to them wives and descendants. And it was not for a messenger to come with a sign except by permission of Allah. For every term is a decree. (Qur’an 13:38)
Each prophet was given miracles that their nations could comprehend and relate to. The people of Prophet Moses were well known for their mastery of sorcery. So Allah aided Prophet Moses with miracles his people could comprehend; his staff miraculously transformed into a serpent. God, the Exalted, says:
And the magicians came to Pharaoh. They said, “Indeed for us is a reward if we are the predominant.” He said, “Yes, and, [moreover], you will be among those made near [to me].” They said, “O Moses, either you throw [your staff], or we will be the ones to throw [first].”He said, “Throw,” and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic. And We inspired to Moses, “Throw your staff,” and at once it devoured what they were falsifying. So the truth was established, and abolished was what they were doing. And Pharaoh and his people were overcome right there and became debased. And the magicians fell down in prostration [to Allah]. They said, “We have believed in the Lord of the worlds. The Lord of Moses and Aaron.” (Qur’an 7:113-121)
The people of Prophet Jesus were well known for their knowledge of medicine. His was aided with miracles his people could comprehend. He spoke to people while he was a newborn infant. He would make a bird’s shape in clay, and then by the will of God, life would be breathed into it. He would heal the lepers and those who were blind from their ailments. He even, by the will of Allah, brought the dead back to life. Allah says:
[The Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.” (Qur’an 5:110)
Another miracle Prophet Jesus received was the Feast. His disciples asked for a heavenly feast so that their hearts would be affirmed. So he prayed to Allah for this and it was granted. Allah, the Exalted, says:
[And remember] when the disciples said, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] said,” Fear Allah, if you should be believers.”They said, “We wish to eat from it and let our hearts be reassured and know that you have been truthful to us and be among its witnesses.”(Qur’an 5:112-3)
Prophet Jesus and His Rejection of Shirk (Polytheism)
The Qur’an has mentioned to us that Jesus was like all Prophets and Messengers sent by God. He upheld the belief in the Oneness of Allah. God, the Exalted, says:
And when Jesus brought clear proofs, he said, “I have come to you with wisdom and to make clear to you some of that over which you differ, so fear Allah and obey me. (Qur’an 43:63)
The Qur’an clarifies that Jesus never called for people to worship him. God, the Exalted, says:
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (Qur’an 5:116-8)
The Glad Tidings of Prophet Jesus of the Advent of Prophet Muhammad
The Message of every Prophet was identical in matters of creedal belief. God, the Exalted, says:
And [recall, O People of the Scripture], when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], “Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him.” [Allah] said, “Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?” They said, “We have acknowledged it.” He said, “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.” And whoever turned away after that – they were the defiantly disobedient.(Quran 3:81-2)
Prophet Jesus asked his people to believe in the Messenger to come, Prophet Muhammad. God, the Exalted, says:
O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant [upon you] that I will fulfill your covenant [from Me], and be afraid of [only] Me. And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already] with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not exchange My signs for a small price, and fear [only] Me. And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it]. (Qur’an 2:40-2)
Jesus Christ was one more prophet in the long line of prophets sent to the Children of Israel. It is recorded in the Bible that he said:
“I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)
When Jesus sent the disciples out in the path of God, he instructed them:
“Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)
Throughout his ministry, Jesus was never recorded as having converted a Gentile, and in fact is recorded as having initially rebuked a Gentile for seeking his favors, likening her to a dog (Matthew 15:22-28 and Mark 7:25-30).
Jesus was himself a Jew, his disciples were Jews, and both he and they directed their ministries to the Jews. One wonders what this means to us now, for most of those who have taken Jesus as their ‘personal savior’ are Gentiles, and not of the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” to whom he was sent!
From this passage we also learn that Jesus was not sent to mankind at large. God, the Exalted, says:
And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.” (Qur’an 61:6)
The Position of the Rabbis and Priests towards Prophet Muhammad
The Priests and Rabbis who had heard of the Message of Prophet Muhammad r knew that it was the truth. Details of the life of Prophet Muhammad rare mentioned in the previous scriptures. God, the Exalted, says:
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful. (Qur’an 7:157)
Safiyah, the daughter of the Jewish Noble Ka’b, said: “My father and my uncle, Abu Yasir, went to visit the Messenger of Allah and returned towards the end of that day, exhausted and tired. I tried to cheer them up, but they didn’t look at me. I heard my uncle ask my father, ‘Is it him?’ I heard him say: ‘By the Lord of Moses, it is!’ My uncle then asked, ‘What shall we do?’ He said: ‘I will be an enemy to him till death.’
Many accepted the Message of Islam, and amongst them was the King of Habesha (Ethiopia), an-Najashi. He was a Christian and was very knowledgeable regarding the Scripture. He knew that a Prophet would come after Jesus. Umm Salamah said: “When we arrived in the land of Habesha, an-Najashi was very kind to us, he gave us protection and allowed us freedom to worship Allah alone. We were not harmed in any way.”
Quraish could not tolerate the prospect of a secure haven available for the Muslims in Abyssinia (Ethiopia), so they dispatched two envoys to demand the extradition of the Muslims. They were ‘Amr bin Al-‘As and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Rabi‘a — before embracing Islam. They had taken with them valuable gifts to the king and his clergy, and had been able to win some of the courtiers over to their side. The pagan envoys claimed that the Muslim refugees should be expelled from Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and be handed over to them, on the ground that they had abandoned the religion of their forefathers, and their leader was preaching a religion different from theirs and from that of the king.
The king summoned the Muslims to the court and asked them to explain the teachings of their religion. The Muslim emigrants had decided to tell the whole truth, with no regard to the possible consequences. Ja‘far bin Abi Talib stood up and addressed the king in the following words: “O king! We were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism; we adored idols, we lived unchastely, we ate carrion, and we spoke in a most vile manner. We disregarded ties of mutual respect and the duties of hospitality and neighborhood. We knew no law but that of the strong. Allah then raised from among us a man, whose truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were well aware of. He called us to the Oneness of Allah, and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us from the worship of idols; and he enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful and to uphold the rights of the neighbors and the kith and kin. He forbade us to speak evil of women, or to steal the wealth of orphans; he ordered us to refrain from all evil. He ordered us to offer prayers, to give charity to the poor and needy, and to observe fasting. We have believed in him, we have accepted his teachings and his injunctions to worship Allah, and not to associate anything with Him, and we have allowed what He has allowed, and prohibited what He has prohibited. For this reason, our people have risen against us, have persecuted us in order to make us forsake the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and other abominations. They have tortured and harmed us, so we came to your country so that we would be safe.”
The king was very impressed by these words and asked the Muslims to recite some of Allah’s Revelation. Ja‘far recited the opening verses of Surah Maryam (Chapter 19 — Mary). In this chapter Allah speaks of the birth of Prophet Jesus. Thereupon the king along with the bishops were moved to tears. An-Najashi (the Negus) exclaimed: “It seems as if these words and those which were revealed to Jesus are rays of light that have radiated from the same source.” Turning to the envoys of Quraish, he said, “I will not give them up! They are free to live and worship in my kingdom as they please.”
The next day, the envoys went to the king and said that Muhammad r and his followers claimed that Jesus was not the son of God. Again the Muslims were summoned and asked what their belief in Jesus was. Ja‘far again stood up and replied: “We speak about Jesus as we have been taught by our Prophetr that is, he is the slave of Allah, His Messenger, and that he was created by the command of God.” The king at once remarked, “We believe the same! Blessed be you, and blessed be your master.” Some of the ministers became upset so he said to them, “You may fume as you like but Jesus is nothing more than what Ja‘far has said about him.” He then assured the Muslims of full protection. He returned the gifts he had been given by Quraish. The Muslims lived in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) for a number of years till they returned to Madinah.
Another inspiring story is one that took place between some of the Quraish traders and the King Heraclius of Rome.
Abdullah b. Abbas, the nephew of the Prophet, reported that the Messenger of God r wrote to Heraclius and invited him to Islam though a letter he sent with a companion of his named Dihya al-Kalbi. Dihya handed this letter to the Governor of Busra who then forwarded it to Heraclius.
Heraclius, as a sign of gratitude to God, had walked from Hims to Ilya (i.e. Jerusalem) when God had granted Him victory over the Persian forces. When the letter of the Messenger of God reached Heraclius, he said after reading it, ”Seek for me anyone of his people, (Arabs of the Quraish tribe) if present here, in order to ask him about the Messenger of God!” At that time Abu Sufyan bin Harb was in Shaam (the Greater Syria Area) with some men from Quraish who had come as merchants during the truce that had been concluded between the Messenger of God and the pagans of Quraish. Abu Sufyan said,
“Heraclius’ messenger found us somewhere in the Greater Syria area, so he took me and my companions to Ilya and we were admitted into Heraclius’ presence. We found him sitting in his royal court wearing a crown, surrounded by the senior Byzantine dignitaries. He said to his translator. ‘Ask them whom amongst them is a close relation to the man who claims to be a prophet.’ ”
Abu Sufyan added, “I replied: ’I am the nearest relative to him.’ He asked, ’What degree of relationship do you have with him?’ I replied, ’He is my cousin,’ and there was none from the tribe of Abd Manaf in the caravan except myself. Heraclius said, ’Let him come nearer.’ He then ordered that my companions stand behind me near my shoulder and said to his translator, ’Tell his companions that I am going to ask this man about the one who claims to be a prophet. If he tells a lie, they should contradict him immediately.’ ”
Abu Sufyan added, “By Allah! Had it not been for shame that my companions brand me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about him when he asked me. But I considered it shameful to be called a liar by my companions, so I told the truth.”
“He then said to his translator, ’Ask him what kind of family he belongs to.’ I replied, ‘He belongs to a noble family amongst us.’ He asked, ’Has anybody else amongst you ever claimed the same before him?’ I replied, ‘No.’ He asked, ‘Have you ever blamed him for telling lies before he claimed what he claimed?’ I replied, ’No.’ He asked, ’Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?’ I replied, ’No.’ He asked, ’Do the noble or the poor follow him?’ I replied, ’It is the poor who follow him.’ He asked, ’Are they increasing or decreasing (daily)?’ I replied, ’They are increasing.’ He asked, ’Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and then discard his religion?’ I replied, ’No.’ He asked, ‘Does he break his promises?’ I replied, ’No, but we are now at truce with him and we are afraid that he may betray us.’
Abu Sufyan added, “Other than the last sentence, I could not say anything against him.”
”Heraclius then asked, ’Have you ever had a war with him?’ I replied, ’Yes.’ He asked, ’What was the outcome of your battles with him?’ I replied, ’Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.’ He asked, ’What does he order you to do?’ I said, ’He tells us to worship God alone, and not to worship others along with Him, and to leave all that our fore-fathers used to worship. He orders us to pray, give in charity, be chaste, keep promises and return what is entrusted to us.’ ”
”When I had said that, Heraclius said to his translator, ’Say to him: I asked you about his lineage and your reply was that he belonged to a noble family. In fact, all the Messengers came from the noblest lineage of their nations. Then I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you had claimed such a thing, and your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following a claim that had been said before him. When I asked you whether he was ever blamed for telling lies, your reply was in the negative, so I took it for granted that a person who did not tell a lie to people could never tell a lie about God. Then I asked you whether any of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom. When I asked you whether the rich or the poor people followed him, you replied that it was the poor who followed him. In fact, such are the followers of the Messengers. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing. In fact, this is the result of true faith till it is complete [in all respects]. I asked you whether there was anybody who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion; your reply was in the negative. In fact, this is the sign of true faith, for when its pleasure enters and mixes in the hearts completely; nobody will be displeased with it. I asked you whether he had ever broken his promise. You replied in the negative. And such are the Messengers; they never break their promises. When I asked you whether you fought with him and he fought with you, you replied that he did and that sometimes he was victorious and sometimes you. Indeed, such are the Messengers; they are put to trials and the final victory is always theirs. Then I asked you what he ordered you. You replied that he ordered you to worship God alone and not to worship others along with Him, to leave all that your fore-fathers used to worship, to offer prayers, to speak the truth, to be chaste, to keep promises, and to return what is entrusted to you. These are really the qualities of a prophet who, I knew [from the previous Scriptures] would appear, but I did not know that he would be from amongst you. If what you say is true, he will very soon occupy the earth under my feet, and if I knew that I would reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him; and were I with him, then I would certainly wash his feet.’”
Abu Sufyan added, “Heraclius then asked for the letter of the Messenger of God and it was read. Its contents were the following:
I begin with the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful [This letter is]from Muhammad, the slave of God, and His Messenger, to Heraclius, the Ruler of the Byzantine. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. I invite you to Islam [i.e. surrender to God]). Accept Islam and you will be safe; accept Islam and God will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants [i.e. your nation].
(O people of the Scriptures! Come to a word common between you and us, that we worship God, and that we associate nothing in worship with Him; and that none of us shall take others as Gods besides God. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered [unto Him].)(Qur’an 3:64)
Abu Sufyan added, “When Heraclius had finished his speech, there was a great hue and cry caused by the Byzantine dignitaries surrounding him, and there was so much noise that I did not understand what they said. So, we were ordered out of the court.”
“When I went out with my companions and we were alone, I said to them, ‘Verily, Ibn Abi Kabsha’s (i.e. the Prophet’s) affair has gained power. This is the King of the Romans fearing him.’”
Abu Sufyan added: “By God, I became surer and surer that his religion would be victorious till I ultimately accepted Islam.” (Bukhari #2782)
Prophet Muhammad r invited the Christians of Najran to embrace Islam. The Christians counseled among themselves and decided to send a group of their scholars to meet the Prophet; they were Abdul Maseeh Aaquib, Saiyed and Abdul Haris.When they reached Madinah, they changed their clothes, which they had worn on the journey, dressed themselves in silken garments, put rings of gold on their fingers, and went to greet the Prophet. All of them greeted the Prophet traditionally, but the Prophet of Allah r did not respond and turned his face away from them. They left the Mosque and approached the Companion Uthman and Abdurrahman bin Auf, complaining “your Messenger wrote to us and invited us, but when we went to see him he did not reply to us! Now what do you advise us to do? Should we go back or wait for another opportunity?” Uthman and Abdurrahmann could not comprehend the situation. At last they took the disputes to Ali, who advised them to remove the clothes of silk and the rings of gold that they were wearing and to put on their priestly robes. The Prophet would then willingly see them. Thereupon the Christian delegates changed into humble garments and presented themselves to the Prophet who then responded to their salutations and said, “By Allah, when they first came to me they were accompanied by Satan”.
Thereafter the Prophet preached to them and requested them to accept Islam. They asked, “What is your opinion about Jesus Christ?” The Prophet said, “Take a rest today and you will receive the replies to all your questions.” The Prophet was awaiting a revelation in this matter, and the next day the verses 59-60 from the third chapter were revealed to him.
Surely the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him ‘Be’, and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of the disputers. (Qur’an 3:59-60)
The next day, when the Christians came before the Prophet he recited to them the verses that were revealed to him. Despite what they heard they refused to accept the truth; thus verse 61 was revealed from the same chapter.
But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves, then let us be earnest in prayer, and invoke the curse of Allah on the liars. (Qur’an 3:61)
With this the Prophet challenged them to ‘Mubahala’, which means to invoke a curse upon the lying party. The Christian delegation consulted each other and ultimately announced their acceptance of the challenge. Early next morning the Prophet sent Salman al Farsit to an open place, fixed outside the city for the historic event. When the Christians of Najran saw the Prophet they were awestruck and spellbound. Abdul Haris, the greatest scholar among them, addressed his people saying:
“Verily I see a divine light on the face of our opponents; if they were to supplicate God for the mountains to move from their spots it would have materialized. Beware! Do not continue with this curse, otherwise you will perish and the entire nation of Christians will succumb to extinction!”
Thereupon the Prophet said, “By Allah! Had the Christians of Najran engaged in Mubahala they would have been destroyed!”
The Characteristics of the Followers of Jesus
Allah describes them in the Quran, saying:
Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy and monasticism, which they innovated; We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of Allah. But they did not observe it with due observance. So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are defiantly disobedient. (Qur’an 57:27)
Allah describes the true followers of Jesus as being among those who rush to accept the truth and follow it whole-heartedly. They work to spread the true message of Jesus. Allah has ordered the Muslims to follow suit and be like the followers of Jesus. He says:
O you who have believed, be supporters of Allah, as when Jesus, the son of Mary, said to the disciples, “Who are my supporters for Allah?” The disciples said, “We are supporters of Allah.” And a faction of the Children of Israel believed and a faction disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant.(Qur’an 61:14)
Allah also describes them as being the closest of people to the Muslims. He says:
You will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant. And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses. (Qur’an 5:82-3)
The Ascension of Prophet Jesus into the Heavens
The Muslim belief in relation to Prophet Jesus is that he was not killed, nor crucified; rather, he ascended into the Heavens by the will of God. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed. (Qur’an 2:87)
God, the Exalted, also says:
And [We cursed them] for their breaking of the covenant and their disbelief in the signs of Allah and their killing of the prophets without right and their saying, “Our hearts are wrapped”. Rather, Allah has sealed them because of their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few. And [We cursed them] for their disbelief and their saying against Mary a great slander, And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. (Qur’an 4:155-9)
Ibn Abbas said: “When Allah decreed that Jesus ascend into the heavens, his companions who were twelve in number came to him in his home, and they saw that his head was dripping with water. Jesus asked them, “Who of you would be transformed by God to appear as me and be killed in my place and he shall receive the reward of the Heavenly Abode?” The youngest of the group volunteered, but Jesus told him to sit down, but he volunteered once again and Jesus chose him. He was made to appear as Jesus and Jesus ascended into the heavens. The people came and captured the one who appeared as Jesus and killed him by crucifixion. God, the Exalted, says:
And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners. [Mention] when Allah said, “O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ. And as for those who disbelieved, I will punish them with a severe punishment in this world and the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.”But as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, He will give them in full their rewards, and Allah does not like the wrongdoers. (Qur’an 3:54-7)
Christians later claimed that Jesus was killed to atone for the sins of mankind. As Muslims, we believe that everyone of us will stand before God to be judged for what they have done. No one bears the sins of anyone else.
The Descent of Prophet Jesus
Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus will return to the earth towards the end of time. He will return during a period in which ignorance would become widespread and people would be distanced from Faith. Prophet Jesus will bea just ruler who will rule by the laws of Islam.
There has been a great amount of dispute about Prophet Jesus. Some despised him and ascribed to him the worst of descriptions, and there were others who adulated him and worshipped him. God guided the Muslims to the moderate path. We recognize the greatness of this Prophet of God. We love, respect and revere him, but we do not worship him. He is indeed a great messenger of God, but he is only a slave of God who has no claim to divinity. This is what we find affirmed in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions. Jesus is not as the Christians assert; a Son of God or part of the Trinity. He is simply a Messenger of God sent to his people to convey to them the belief in the Oneness of God.
God has blessed us with the faculty of reason and intellect. We have to use this to discern who deserves worship and who does not.
Finally, we extend our hands to the People of the Book and ask them to read intellectually their own books and to ask questions and to seek knowledge and the truth. God, the Exalted, says:
Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them. So pardon and overlook until Allah delivers His command. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent. (Qur’an 2:109)
Jews and the Christians were given the glad tidings of a Prophet to come. They thought he would be from the Children of Israel, but when he came from amongst those other than them, they disbelieved in him. God says:
And when there came to them a Book from Allah confirming that which was with them – although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved – but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of Allah will be upon the disbelievers. (Qur’an 2:89)
I hope that this book will serve as an eye-opener for you and act as the beginning of your journey for the search for the truth. The beauty of the truth is that once you have it, and cling to it, you will find peace and tranquility. God, the Exalted, says:
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Qur’an 13:28)
عيسى في القرآن
 This symbol means: May God exalt his mention.
 In Arabic the term ‘Deen’ commonly refers to a way of life, which is both private and public. It is an inclusive term meaning: acts of worship, political practice, and a detailed code of conduct, including hygiene or etiquette matters.
 There is no proper equivalent for Rubb in the English language. It means the Creator, the Fashioner, the Provider, the One upon Whom all creatures depend for their means of subsistence, and the One Who gives life and causes death.
 The Arabic word taghut refers to idolatry, associating partners with God. This can be anything worshipped other than the one true God (Allah).
 They are the Messengers of God who exerted great efforts in conveying the Message of God to their peoples.
 A word used to express displeasure.
 For more information on Prophet Muhammad r you can refer back to the book ‘Muhammad the Messenger of Allah r’.
 Ibn Hisham 1/334-338