Muslims too love Jesus; Who is Jesus in Islam?

Rasia Nayeem Hashmi

Christmas, the festival of Christians is around the corner. On this day, Christians commemorates the birth of Jesus and is a major religious celebration for Christians around the world.

But what many Christians and other non Muslims don’t know is that Jesus is an important figure in Islam, too. Even though most Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday but they honor Jesus, in Arabic, Isa (Peace be upon him) as the prophet of Islam.

Jesus, Mary, angel Gabriel, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and a bunch of other Bible characters are all prominent characters in the Qur’an.

Muslims believe that Jesus whom they called Isa (Peace be upon him) was a prophet of God and was born to a virgin Mary, Maryam in Arabic.

Allah says in the Quran Chapter 3 verse 45: “[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word1 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].”

Muslims also believe Jesus will return to earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice and defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal, or “the false messiah” — also known as the Antichrist.

In Chapter 4 Verse 157 Allah says, “and for boasting, “We killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” But they neither killed nor crucified him—it was only made to appear so.1 Even those who argue for this ˹crucifixion˺ are in doubt. They have no knowledge whatsoever—only making assumptions. They certainly did not kill him.”

Mary mother of Jesus, called “Maryam” in Arabic has an entire chapter in the Qur’an named for her — the only chapter in the Qur’an named for a female figure. In fact, Mary is the only woman to be mentioned by name in the entire Qur’an.

Just as Muslims revere all the other prophets, including Mohammed (Peace be upon him), they respect Jesus too.

Chapter 2 verse 136 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 [al-Asbāṭ]1 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.”

Chapter 6, verse 85 states, “And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias – and all were of the righteous.”

Muslims believe that Jesus performed miracles by Allah’s will. The Qur’an discusses several of Jesus’s miracles in Chapter 5, verse 110 thus: “And ˹on Judgment Day˺ Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour upon you and your mother: how I supported you with the holy spirit so you spoke to people in ˹your˺ infancy and adulthood. How I taught you writing, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel. How you moulded a bird from clay—by My Will—and breathed into it and it became a ˹real˺ bird—by My Will. How you healed the blind and the lepers—by My Will. How you brought the dead to life—by My Will. How I prevented the Children of Israel from harming you when you came to them with clear proofs and the disbelievers among them said, “This is nothing but pure magic.”

Although, Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the son of God — a critically important distinction between Muslim and Christian views of him — Muslims do revere Jesus as an important prophet.

Chapter 5 verse 72 of the Quran says, “Those who say, “Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary,” have certainly fallen into disbelief. The Messiah ˹himself˺ said, “O Children of Israel! Worship Allah—my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever associates others with Allah ˹in worship˺ will surely be forbidden Paradise by Allah. Their home will be the Fire. And the wrongdoers will have no helpers.”

O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion1 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. (Chapter 4 verse 171)

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.1 Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. (Chapter 5 verse 75)

According to the Holy Quran Jesus prophesized the arrival of Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last prophet of Islam.

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 Aḥmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.” (Chapter 61 Verse 6)

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