Jesus in the Quran

Jesus in the Quran

Table of Contents

Jesus in the Quran, known as the Messiah, is one of the greatest Muslim prophets whom God sent to the Israelites. He was an Ul al-‘Azm prophet, meaning he was among the five great prophets who had a scripture and religion. Jesus was born miraculously without a father from a chaste and noble mother, that is, Saint Mary. God sent Jesus to guide the Israelites. He had many great miracles. In this article on Islam4u.pro, we will take a look at:

Jesus in the Quran: His Birth

Jesus Christ (عیسی) is a prophet whose birth was a miracle. He is the only human being save Adam who was born without a father. In fact, this was God’s will as He wanted to show His power to people and also test them. The story of the birth of Jesus is told in surah Maryam, which is chapter 19 of the Quran. While Mary had secluded herself to an eastern part of the Temple, a perfect man appeared before her. She was frightened and said:

قَالَتْ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَـٰنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيًّا ﴿18﴾

She said, ‘I seek the protection of the All-beneficent from you, should you be Godwary!’ 1

It was the archangel Gabriel (جِبرائيل) who had appeared to her in the form of a perfect human being. Gabriel said, “Do not worry! I am the messenger from your Lord and I have come to give you a pure son.” Mary was shocked even more. She said, “Just how can I bear a child when no human has touched me and I am not unchaste?” The angel said, “This is a matter decided and it is easy for God. We want to make him a sign for people and a mercy from Us.” Therefore, Mary conceived Jesus and was born a few hours later.

Jesus in the Quran: Fast of Silence

When Jesus was born, he told his mother to tell his people that she is keeping a fast of silence and that she will not speak to any human being. When Mary went to her people, they saw they child in her arms. That is when they began to blame her for indecency and asked her to defend herself. She simply pointed to the child. They said, “How can we speak to a child in the cradle?”

Jesus in the Quran Speaks in the Cradle

Jesus began speaking. He said:

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّـهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا ﴿30﴾

He said, ‘Indeed I am a servant of Allah! He has given me the Book and made me a prophet.

وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا ﴿31﴾

He has made me blessed, wherever I may be, and He has enjoined me to [maintain] the prayer and to [pay] the zakat as long as I live,

وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا ﴿32﴾

and to be good to my mother, and He has not made me self-willed and wretched.

وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا ﴿33﴾

Peace to me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised alive.’ 2

Then God explains in the same chapter that it is not befitting for God to take a son. When He decides on a matter, He says to it, “Be!” and it is. Then Jesus invited them to monotheism saying God is my Lord and your Lord. “So worship Him. That is a straight path.” 3 So the very first sentence that Jesus spoke was that he is the servant of God, and not the son of God.

Jesus in the Quran: Jesus is Supported by the Holy Spirit

The Quran states that God sent the Holy Spirit to aid Jesus. In fact, he performed his miracles with the help of the Holy Spirit meaning Gabriel. A verse of the Quran explains this matter:

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا ۖ وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ ۖ وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِي فَتَنفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِي ۖ وَتُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِي ۖ وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِي ۖ وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَنكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَـٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿110﴾

When Allah will say, O Jesus son of Mary, remember My blessing upon you and upon your mother, when I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, so you would speak to the people in the cradle and in adulthood, and when I taught you the Book and wisdom, the Torah and the Evangel, and when you would create from clay the form of a bird, with My leave, and you would breathe into it and it would become a bird, with My leave; and you would heal the blind and the leper, with My leave, and you would raise the dead, with My leave; and when I held off [the evil of] the Children of Israel from you when you brought them manifest proofs, whereat the faithless among them said, ‘This is nothing but plain magic.’ 4

This comprehensive verse mentions the miracles of Jesus one by one. Another similar verse states:

وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿49﴾

And [he will be] an apostle to the Children of Israel, [and he will declare,] “I have certainly brought you a sign from your Lord: I will create for you the form of a bird out of clay, then I will breathe into it, and it will become a bird by Allah’s leave. I heal the blind and the leper and I revive the dead by Allah’s leave. I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. There is indeed a sign in that for you, should you be faithful.

Jesus’ Miracles in the Quran

So according to the Quran, these were the miracles of Jesus:

  1. Speaking in the cradle
  2. Creating a bird from clay, then breathing into it and it coming alive
  3. Healing the blind
  4. Healing the leper
  5. Reviving the dead
  6. Informing people of what they have eaten and stored in their houses

Of course, according to narrations, Jesus had other miracles too, such as walking on water.

Jesus in the Quran: The Evangel or Gospel

God had revealed a holy book to Jesus by the name of the Evangel (انجيل) or Gospel. The Quran states:

وَقَفَّيْنَا عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِم بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْإِنجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿46﴾

We followed them with Jesus son of Mary, to confirm that which was before him of the Torah, and We gave him the Evangel containing guidance and light, confirming what was before it of the Torah, and as guidance and advice for the Godwary.

Jesus in the Quran: The Heavenly Spread

Jesus had 12 disciples. Once, according to the Quran, they asked Jesus to send down a table from the sky. However, Jesus told them to be wary of Allah. The disciples insisted saying that they desire to eat from it and so that their hearts will be at rest, and also that Jesus has told them the truth and so that they would be among the witnesses. Therefore, Jesus prayed to God and said, “Send down to us a table from the sky, to be a festival for us, for the first ones and the last ones among us and as a sign from You, and provide for us; for You are the best of providers.” 5

God replied, “I will indeed send it down to you. But should any of you disbelieve after this, I will indeed punish him with a punishment such as I do not punish anyone in all creation.” 6 Therefore, God sent down the table from the sky and the disciples ate from it.

Jesus in the Quran: A Prophet not Son of God

Jesus in the Quran is depicted as a servant and prophet of God who was sent to the Children of Israel to guide them. Jesus was to teach them the Torah and the Gospel, his own Holy Scripture that is not available today. It has been prophesized that when the Mahdi comes, he will uncover copies of the Torah and the Gospel and will use them to debate with the Jews and Christians and they will accept Islam. In a conversation with Jesus, God asks Jesus whether he has told his people to take him and his mother as gods besides God Himself:

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـٰهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ ۖ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ ۚ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ ۚ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلَا أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ ﴿116﴾

And when Allah will say, ‘O Jesus son of Mary! Was it you who said to the people, ‘‘Take me and my mother for gods besides Allah’’?’ He will say, ‘Immaculate are You! It does not behoove me to say what I have no right to [say]. Had I said it, You would certainly have known it: You know whatever is in my self, and I do not know what is in Your Self. Indeed, You are knower of all that is Unseen.

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلَّا مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۚ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَأَنتَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ ﴿117﴾

I did not say to them [anything] except what You had commanded me [to say]: ‘‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’’ And I was a witness to them so long as I was among them. But when You had taken me away, You Yourself were watchful over them, and You are witness to all things.

إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ ۖ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿118﴾

If You punish them, they are indeed Your creatures; but if You forgive them, You are indeed the All-mighty, the All-wise.’ 7

What Is About to Happen by Claiming That God Has Taken a Son?

God says in the Quran:

وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ وَلَدًا ﴿88﴾

They say, ‘The All-beneficent has taken a son!’

لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئًا إِدًّا ﴿89﴾

You have certainly advanced something hideous!

تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الْأَرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدًّا ﴿90﴾

The heavens are about to be rent apart at it, the earth to split open, and the mountains to collapse into bits,

أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـٰنِ وَلَدًا ﴿91﴾

that they should ascribe a son to the All-beneficent!

وَمَا يَنبَغِي لِلرَّحْمَـٰنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا ﴿92﴾

It does not behoove the All-beneficent to take a son.

إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَـٰنِ عَبْدًا ﴿93﴾

There is none in the heavens and the earth but he comes to the All-beneficent as a servant. 8

Therefore, Jesus was not the son of God and never claimed to be the son of God. What is written in the current Bible are alterations and distortions that according to some were made by the Jews.

Jesus in the Quran Gives the News of the Coming of Muhammad

Verse six of surah Ṣaff reads:

وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّـهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿6﴾

And when Jesus son of Mary said, ‘O Children of Israel! Indeed I am the apostle of Allah to you, to confirm what is before me of the Torah, and to give the good news of an apostle who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad.’ But when he brought them manifest proofs, they said, ‘This is plain magic.’ 9

Jesus had made it clear that a prophet would come whose name would be Ahmad, that is, one of the names of Prophet Muhammad. This has been mentioned in the Gospel of John as well. The translation of Paraclete is admired one or praiseworthy in the original Greek language. However, Christians changed and mistranslated the word to mean comforter so that Prophet Muhammad would not be identified as the last true prophet of God. Even the Jews at the time of Jesus himself denied Jesus and did not consider him as a prophet of God. And, when he performed miracles, they simply said it is nothing but magic. They did not even believe that he was born without a father and claimed he was illegitimate:

وَبِكُفْرِهِمْ وَقَوْلِهِمْ عَلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ بُهْتَانًا عَظِيمًا ﴿156﴾

And for their faithlessness, and their uttering a monstrous calumny against Mary, 10

This goes against both Christian and Muslim teachings. Jesus was born miraculously without a father from a chaste and pious woman. However, he was the servant and prophet of God and not His son.

Read More

To learn more about the prophet Muhammad, Click here.

Jesus in the Quran Was not Crucified

When the enemies of Jesus plotted to kill him, one of his disciples by the name of Judas Iscariot betrayed him and showed them the hideout of Jesus. However, before they could capture Jesus, God raised him to the heavens as mentioned in the Quran. Instead, God made Judas Iscariot’s appearance become just like Jesus. So they took him and crucified him thinking he was Jesus. God said to Jesus:

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ ﴿55﴾

When Allah said, ‘O Jesus, I shall take you[r soul], and I shall raise you up toward Myself, and I shall clear you of [the calumnies of] the faithless, and I shall set those who follow you above the faithless until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me will be your return, whereat I will judge between you concerning that about which you used to differ. 11

In another verse the Quran says in this regard:

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّـهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا ﴿157﴾

And for their saying, ‘We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of Allah’—though they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. Indeed those who differ concerning him are surely in doubt about him: they do not have any knowledge of that beyond following conjectures, and certainly, they did not kill him.

بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللَّـهُ إِلَيْهِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا ﴿158﴾

Indeed, Allah raised him up toward Himself, and Allah is all-mighty, all-wise. 12

Then God makes a prediction and says all the People of the Book will believe in him before his death which has yet to come:

وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا ﴿159﴾

There is none among the People of the Book but will surely believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them. 13

The Parable of Jesus in the Quran

God says in the Quran that it is not strange that God creates a human being without a father. In fact, Adam was created not from a father nor a mother but from dust:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ اللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴿59﴾

Indeed the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him, ‘Be,’ and he was. 14

Conclusion

Jesus was one of the five great prophets of God whom God sent to the Israelites with the Gospel and the Torah. However, few of them believed, while some deified him and said he was the son of God. God in the Quran says that He does not need a son and it does not behoove Him to take a son. Ultimately, Jesus was raised to the heavens before being found. God made Judas Iscariot’s appearance to resemble Jesus and therefore he was crucified instead. Muslims believe that Jesus will return in the end times and will pray behind the Mahdi.


References

  1. Quran 19:18 (Qara’i).
  2. Quran 19:30-33 (Qara’i).
  3. Quran 19:36 (Qara’i).
  4. Quran 5:110 (Qara’i).
  5. Quran 5:114 (Qara’i).
  6. Quran 5:115 (Qara’i).
  7. Quran 5:116-118 (Qara’i).
  8. Quran 19:88-93 (Qara’i).
  9. Quran 61:6 (Qara’i).
  10. Quran 4:156 (Qara’i).
  11. Quran 3:55 (Qara’i).
  12. Quran 4:157-158 (Qara’i).
  13. Quran 4:159 (Qara’i).
  14. Quran 3:59 (Qara’i).

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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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