Bismillah hi-Rehman nir-Raheem
By Anwar Ul Haque
In this day and time when the world is torn across many made lines, borders, positions and beliefs it is incumbent on all of us to find the common points of agreement. Many wars and hatred are based on lack of knowledge and ill founded wrong perceptions about others. Many Christians are unaware of the very high place and status of Jesus (peace be upon him) in Islam. Not only Jesus but his virgin mother Mary and her close relatives have very respected and honored position in Islam. Quran, the divine book of Muslims which had been protected letter by letter, word by word over about 1450 years in its original language without losing it’s beauty and understanding has two chapters titled after the family of Mary. 3rd Surah (Chapter) of Quran is titled Al-e-Imran referring to the tribe of Mary. Then we have Surah titled Maryam (Mary). As a matter of fact there is no better place to visit, meet and see Jesus and his mother than Quran.
No person can be a Muslim without believing in Jesus (Peace be upon him). The position of Jesus (PBUH) is quite accurate and authentic in Islam. It is midway between Judaism and Christianity. Interestingly Quran regards true followers of Moses and Jesus (Peace be upon them) as Muslims! The central figure is the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) (PBUH) who was the grand father of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (PBUT). Muslims are ordered to follow the path of Prophet Abraham who was a true Muslim i.e. the obedient of the God.
All Muslims have unshakeable believe in Jesus and Mary (PBUT). Muslims hold Mary in very high esteem. Quran describes the life of Mary while she was still in the womb of her mother and when her mother devoted her unborn child for worship of the God (In Arabic Allah) and gave her and her generations in protection of Allah. She was surprised to see that she had given birth to a female child instead of male. Female as a wife can’t be free of service to her husband and a mother to her children. But Allah accepted her prayer and made her free from service of husband by giving her son being an absolute virgin. She was never married to anyone. The account of her marriage to Joseph is absolutely false. Similarly having a child through adultery is absolutely forged. Allah gives the example of Adam who was created from clay without from father and mother. For the God it is not difficult to create anyone without father. The second proof of the miraculous birth of Jesus is that he spoke as a wise person from very birth. When some wicked people pointed fingers at Mary saying that her parents and her brother Aaron were upright and such behavior was not expected from her. She simply pointed to the child to imply ask him. They said how can he answer our question. The child replied with utmost clarity that he was a Prophet and Messenger sent to Children of Israel and is given the knowledge of Torah and Injeel (Old and new testament in original forms). Jesus (PBUH) was thus the cutest child ever born and did not give any work and pain to her mother. Interestingly Quran clearly shows that Jesus was born in summer as Mary was given strength after delivery to shake the stem of the date tree and the ripe dates fell which she ate and she was given a spring of fresh water from which she drank. The third part of the prayer of Jesus (PBUH) had to be filled when Jesus (PBUH) will return and get married and have children and die a natural death.
According to Islam, Jesus was not crucified. The people who were after his blood got severe deception and they thought that they hanged Jesus but they were mistaken. This position is strengthened by the appearance of Jesus on 3rd Day and more detailed account of the incidence is given in the Gospel of Barnabas; Barnabas, being the closest disciple of Jesus narrates the entire event in his own words. The disciple who betrayed Jesus became Jesus like when he tried to get Jesus arrested and he was hanged. In this time let us all join our hands to bring peace to this earth and remove misunderstandings among ourselves. We as Muslims are extremely delighted over miraculous birth of Jesus (PBUH) and we make no difference between him and the Prophets Abraham, Moses, Muhammad and other true messengers of Allah (Peace be upon al of them)
"The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger before whom many Messengers have passed away; and his mother adhered wholly to truthfulness, and they both ate food (as other mortals do). See how We make Our signs clear to them; and see where they are turning away!"(Quran 5:75).
"Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family, to a place in the East. She screened herself from them; then We sent to her Our spirit (angel Gabriel) and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: I seek refuge from you in God Most Gracious (come not near) if you do fear God. He said: Nay, I am only a Messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a pure son. She said: How shall I have a son, when no man has ever touched me, and I am not unchaste? He said: So it will be, your Lord says: ‘That is easy for Me; and We wish to appoint him as a sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': It was a matter so decreed"(Quran 19:16-21).
"She (Mary) said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.' He (God) said: ‘So (it will be) for God creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: ‘Be!'- and it is"(Quran 3:47).
"Verily, the likeness of Jesus in God's Sight is the likeness of Adam. He (God) created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!'-and he was"(Quran 3:59).
"Then she (Mary) pointed to him. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?' He (Jesus) said: ‘Verily! I am a slave of God, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;"(Quran 19:29-30).
"Then will God say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! recount My favor to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit (the angel Gabriel) so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold: you make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and you breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by My leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! you bring forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the children of Israel from (violence to you) when you did show them the Clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic' (Quran 5:110).
"People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and attribute to God nothing except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His command that He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and in His Messengers, and do not say: ‘God is a Trinity.' Give up this assertion; it would be better for you. God is indeed just One God. Far be it from His glory that He should have a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth. God is sufficient for a guardian"(Quran 4:171).
"Say: "God is Unique! God, the Source [of everything]. He has not fathered anyone nor was He fathered, and there is nothing comparable to Him!"(Quran 112:1-4).
"Such was Jesus, the son of Mary; it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of God, that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be' and it is"(Quran 19:34-35).
“They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did.” (Quran 4:156) “God lifted him up to His presence. God is Almighty, All-Wise”(Quran 4:157) .
Muslims believe that Jesus peace be upon him according to the Holy Quran is a wonderful, humble, generous messenger of God who came down and revealed God's words to his people, the people of Israel. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God, nor they believe that God ever chose to come down to earth in a form of a man to die for our sins to purify us and forgive us.
According to Islam, Jesus never died on the cross, nor ever wanted to die on the cross, nor ever was born to die on the cross. Muslims believe that Jesus was sentenced to death, and people thought that he got executed on the cross. The Holy Quran rejects this claim that it is a false one. Jesus never died on the cross, nor he ever died for anyone's sins. Let us look at what the Holy Quran (The Muslims Holy Scripture) says about this issue:
Let's look at verse 4:156-159 "That they rejected Faith; That they uttered against Mary A grave false charge; That they said (in boast): 'We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah.' But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise. And there is none of the people of the book (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (Jesus) Before his death; And on the Day of Judgment He (Jesus) will be a witness Against them." The false charge against Mary was that she was unchaste. Such a charge is bad enough to make against any woman, but to make it against Mary, the mother of Jesus, was to bring into ridicule Allah's power itself. Islam is specially strong in guarding the reputation of women. Slanderers of women are bound to bring four witnesses in support of their accusation, and if they fail to produce four witnesses, they are to be flogged with eighty stripes and debarred forever from being competent witnesses.
Let us look at verse 24:4 "And those who launch A charge against chaste women, And produce not four witnesses (To support their allegations) Flog them with eighty stripes; And reject their evidence Ever after: for such men Are wicked transgressors. Unless they repent thereafter And mend (their conduct); For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful." Here we see in this Holy Verse how much Allah Almighty cares about not criticizing women unless we are absolutely sure about it and we can provide at least 4 witnesses to support our allegation.
Now in 4:156-159 above "……Nor crucified him …”
The end of the life of Jesus on earth is as much involved in mystery as his birth, and indeed the greater part of his private life, except the three main years of his ministry. It is not profitable to discuss the many doubts and conjectures among the early Christians sects and among Muslims theologians. The Orthodox-Christian Churches make it a cardinal point of their doctrine that his life was taken on the Cross, that he died and was buried, that on the third day he rose in the body with his wounds intact, and walked about and conversed, and ate with his disciples, and was afterwards taken up bodily to heaven. This is necessary for the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and vicarious atonement for sins, which is rejected by Islam. But some of the early Christian sects did not believe that Christ was killed on the cross. The Basilidans believed that someone else was substituted for him. The Docetate held that Christ never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent or phantom body, and that his crucifixion was only apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about A.C. 138) denied that Jesus was born, and merely said that he appeared in human form. The Gospel of St. Barnabas supported the theory of substitution on the Cross. The Quranic teaching is that Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, not withstanding certain apparent circumstances which produced that illusion in the minds of some of his enemies; that disputations, doubts, and conjectures on such matters are vain; and that he was taken up to Allah Almighty.
Let us look at verse 3:55 "Behold! Allah said: O Jesus! I will take thee And raise thee to Myself And clear thee (of the falsehoods) Of those who blaspheme; I will make those Who follow thee superior To those who reject faith, To the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, And I will judge Between you of the matters wherein ye dispute." Here we see that Allah Almighty promised Jesus peace be upon him to raise him to heaven. Jesus was charged by the Jews with blasphemy as claiming to be God or the son of God. The Christians (except a few early sects which were annihilated by persecution, and the modern sect of Unitarians), adopted the substance of the claim, and made it the cornerstone of their faith. Allah Almighty clears Jesus of such a charge or claim. Those who follow Jesus are the Muslims and the Christians who don't believe he is God. All of the controversies about dogma and faith will disappear when we appear before Allah. He will judge not by what we profess but what we are.
Let us also look at verse 37:119 "And We (Allah) left (this blessing) for them among generations (To come) in later times: Peace and salutation To Moses and Aaron! Thus indeed do We reward Those who do right." Here we see how Allah Almighty rewards Moses and Aaron peace be upon them. They are considered his messengers.
In 4:156-159 "…..But must believe in him (Jesus) Before his death…."
Those who hold that Jesus did not die say that Jesus is still living in the body and that he will appear just before the Final Day, when the world will be purified of sin and unbelief. There will be a final death before the final Resurrection, but all will have believed before that final death.
In 4:156-159 "…..He (Jesus) will be a witness Against them."
Jesus will be the witness of his people and his contemporaries for those who accept Allah, and against those who reject Him.
Let us look at verse 4:41-42 "How then if We brought From each People a witness, And We (Allah) brought thee As a witness against These People. On that day those who reject faith and disobey the Messenger will wish that the earth Were made one with them: But never will they hide A single fact from Allah !" Here in this Holy Verse we see that Allah Almighty will judge people based on what their messengers had told them. Allah Almighty sent to nations and tribes prophets and messengers to direct those people from the darkness of Satan, to the light of Allah Almighty.
Let's look at verse 3:59 "The similitude of Jesus Before Allah is as that of Adam; He (Allah) created him (Jesus) from dust, Then said to him: Be. And he was." After a description of the high position which Jesus occupies as a prophet, we have a reputation of the dogma that he was Allah, or the son of Allah, or anything more than a man. If it is said that he was born without a human father, Adam was also so born. Indeed Adam was born without either a human father or mother. As far as our physical bodies are concerned, they are mere dust. In Allah's sight Jesus was a dust just as Adam was or humanity is. The greatness of Jesus arose from theDivine command "Be", for after that he was. He also was a great spiritual leader.
Let's look at verse 4:171-172 "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say Of Allah ought but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) A Messenger of Allah, And His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and the Spirit proceeding From Him: so believe In Allah and His Messengers. Say not "Trinity": desist: It will be better for you: For Allah is One God: Glory to Him: (Far Exalted is He) above Having a son. To Him (Allah) Belong all things in the heavens And on earth. And enough Is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.
Christ disdaineth no To serve and worship Allah, Nor do the angels, those Nearest (to Allah): Those who disdain His worship and are arrogant, He will gather them all Together unto Himself (Jesus) to (answer)."
In 4:171-172 "…..Commit no excesses in your religion….."
Just as a foolish servant may go wrong by excess of zeal for his master, so in religion people's excesses may lead them to blasphemy or a spirit the very opposite of religion. The Jewish excesses in the direction of formalism, radicalism, exclusiveness, and rejection of Christ Jesus have been denounced in many places. Here the Christian attitude is condemned, which raises Jesus to an equality with Allah; in some cases venerates Mary almost to idolatry; attributes a physical son to Allah; and invents the doctrine of the Trinity, opposed to all reason, which according to the Athanasian Creed, unless a man believes, he is doomed to hell forever.
Let us look at verse 11:110 "We (Allah) certainly gave the Book To Moses, but differences Arose therein: had it not been That a Word had gone forth Before from thy Lord, the matter Would have been decided Between them: but they Are in suspicious doubt Concerning it." Previous revelations are not to be denied or dishonoured because those who nominally go by them have corrupted and deprived them of spiritual value by their vain controversies and disputes. It was possible to settle such disputes under the flag, as it were, or the old Revelations, but Allah's Plan was to revive and rejuvenate His Message through Islam, amongst a newer and younger people, unhampered by the burden of age-old prejudices.
Let us look at verse 10:19 "Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). Had it not Been for a Word That went forth before From they Lord, their differences Would have been settled Between them." All mankind was created one, and Allah's Message to mankind is in essence one, the Message of Unity and Truth. But as selfishness and egotism got hold of man, certain differences sprang up between individuals, races, and nations, and in His infinite Mercy He sent them messengers and messages to suit their varying mentality, to test them by His gifts, and stir them up to emulation in virtue and piety.
When men began to diverge from one another, Allah made their very differences subserve the higher ends by increasing their emulation in virtue and piety, and thus pointing back to the ultimate Unity and Reality.
In 4:171-172 "…..Say not "Trinity": desist….."
Christ's attributes are mentioned:
- That he was the son of a woman, Mary, and therefore a man.
- But a messenger, a man with a mission from Allah, and therefore entitled to honour.
- A word bestowed on Mary, for he was created by Allah's word "Be" (kun….in Arabic), and he was.
- A spirit proceeding from Allah, but not Allah. His life and his mission were more limited than in the case of some other Messengers, through we must pay equal honour to him as a prophet from Allah.
The doctrine of Trinity, equality with Allah, and sonship, are repudiated as blasphemies. Allah is independent of all needs and has no need of a son to manage His affairs. The Gospel of John in the Bible has put in a great deal of Alexandrine and Gnostic mysticism round the doctrine of the Word (Greek, Logos), but it is simply explained in the Holy Quran.
In 4:156-159 "…..To serve and worship Allah….."
Christ often watched and prayed, as a humble worshipper of Allah; and his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane was full of human dignity, suffering, and self-humiliation.
In 4:156-159 "…..He (Jesus) will gather them all together unto Himself To (answer)."
The disdainful and the arrogant are the crew of Satan, who will be gathered together before the Supreme Throne for punishment.
Here is what Noble Verse 19:33 states: "So peace is upon me [Jesus] the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life." Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus was GOD Himself, or part of GOD, came to earth, was crucified on the cross to purify our sins and then raised from death back to life and went up to heaven until he will come back again to this earth. The Noble Quran does not in anyway support this theory!. We Muslims believe that Jesus was born from a Noble Virgin; Mary the Virgin, preached the word of GOD to the people of Israel, raised to Allah Almighty alive, will come back to earth again to fight the army of Satan and then die a natural death and then be raised again back to life from death as we all do in the Day of Judgment. There are some Christian sects such as the Basilidans, the Docetate and the Marcionite do not believe that Jesus was put on the cross.
The more important point is that Jesus never died according to Islam. There is a similar Verse to 19:33 in the Noble Quran that was mentioned to another Messenger of GOD: "So peace on him [Yahya, or John the Baptist] the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life! (The Noble Quran, 19:15)" This Noble Verse (19:15) is similar to 19:33, where it does not at all state that any Messenger of GOD was crucified or will die twice!. The reason why no Messenger of GOD will ever die twice is because Allah Almighty said clearly in His Noble Book that every soul He creates (this includes all of His Messengers and Prophets even Jesus) shall taste death once; "Nor will they [all humans who end up in heaven] there taste death, except the first death; and He will preserve them from the penalty of the blazing fire. (The Noble Quran, 44:56)".
It is the time to follow the path of Jesus and his mother who were true Muslims like Moses, Aaron (Haroon) and Ibrahim (Abraham).Their religion was Islam. We as Muslims have no discrimination against any of them. We love all of them, we respect all and do not believe in lip service. We love then and we follow them. Muhammad (PBUH) is the final and the last prophet and we see no difference between his teaching and that of earlier prophets. Quran is the final and eternally preserved book in its original language. There is no better place to meet all the prophets and find out absolute truth about then than Quran as this book is a miracle and no book is like this. For 1450 years preserved letter by letter , word by word and yet as fresh as on day one. On this Christmas you owe to yourself to meet Jesus and marry never before.