Jesus in the Qur'an

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How does the Qur'an view Jesus, upon him be peace?

The Quran, the last of the Divine Books, which was revealed by the Creator to the Last of the Messengers and has come down to us uncorrupted, is a source of knowledge about Jesus which is not generally known to most students of Christianity. The Quran not only leads us towards a better under-standing of who he was, but also, through that understanding, it increases our respect and love for him. The last Revelation, coming as it does some six hundred years after Jesus' birth, tells us what is important for us to know about his life and teachings, and places his role as Prophet in the vast perspective that the Unitarians realised lay behind prophecy itself. The Quran gives that perspective which no other source can provide:

And truly We gave to Moses the Book and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave to Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs and We supported him with the Pure Spirit. (2:87)

The following passage reminds us of the line of messengers, of which Jesus was a part. After mentioning Abraham, it continues:

And We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide in an earlier time, and of his seed David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one of them did We prefer above the (other) creatures. (6:84-86)

And the list of the messengers is by no means complete, for there are,

...messengers We have mentioned to you before and messengers We have not mentioned to you...(4:164)

In fact, Prophet Muhammad, peace of God be upon him, said that Jesus was one of the prophets, between whom there is no cause for conflict or argument. God tells His Messenger in one passage of the Quran:

Say: “We believe in God and what is revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what was entrusted to Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered.”(3:84)

God sent all the prophets with the same purpose, and Jesus was not different from them:

And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming what was before him, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and light, confirming that which was before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition to those who are careful.”(5:46) “...Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Children of Israel! See! I am the messenger of God to you, confirming what was before me in the Torah, and bringing good news of a messenger who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad (the Praised One).” (61:6)

The Quran relates the birth of Jesus:

(And remember o Muhammad) when the angels said: O Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter and one of those brought near (unto God). He will speak to mankind in his cradle and in his man-hood, and he is one of the righteous. She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal has touched me? He said: So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only: Be! and it is. And he will teach him the Book and the wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel. And will make him a messenger to the Children of Israel, (saying): I come to you with a sign from your Lord. See! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by God’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by God’s leave. And I announce to you what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Here truly is a portent for you, if you are to be believers. And (I come) confirming what was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of what was forbidden to you. I come to you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path. But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: Who will be my helpers in the cause of God? The disciples said: We will be God’s (cause’s) helpers. We believe in God, and bear you witness that we have surrendered (to Him). Our Lord! We believe in what You have revealed and follow him whom You have sent. Enrol us among those who witness (to the Truth). (3:45-53)

Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the Truth concerning which they doubt. It does not befit (the Majesty of God) that He should take to Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing, He says to it only: Be! and it is. And see! God is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path. (19:34-36)

They say: God has taken a son. Glorified be He! He has no needs! His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. You have no warrant for this. Do you tell concerning God what you do not know? (10:68)

They indeed have not believed who say: God is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do any-thing against God, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother and every-one on earth? God’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what He will. And God is able to do all things. (5:17)

And when God says: O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say to mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside God? he says: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then You know it. You know what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Your mind. You, only You, are the Knower of Things Hidden. I spoke to them only what You commanded me, (saying): Worship God, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I lived among them, and when You took me You were the Watcher over them. You are Witness over all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them (they are Your slaves). You, only You are the Mighty, the Wise. (5:116-118)

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of God, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of God. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. God (Himself) fights against them. How perverse are they! They have taken as lords beside God their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah, son of Mary, when they were ordered to worship only One God. There is no god except Him. (9:30-31)

O people of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter anything concerning God except the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a messenger of God, and His word which He conveyed to Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and do not say “Three” - Stop! (it is) better for you! - God is only One God, It is far removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And God is enough as Defender. The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave to God nor will the favored angels. Whoever scorns His service and is proud, all such will He assemble to Him; then as for those who believed and did good works, to them He will pay their wages in full, adding to them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, them will He punish with a painful doom; and they will not find for them, against God, any protecting friend or helper. (4:171-173)

 

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