Who was Jesus (pbuh)?

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By Yahiya Emerick

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In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

There are varied beliefs about Jesus among people of different faiths. Many believe he is God or the son of God. Some maintain that he was simply a very wise man. Others do not recognize Jesus at all, religiously or historically. The Islamic position regarding Jesus comes from the Quran, the last revelation of God preserved in its original form, in which God relates the story of Jesus in great detail. The Quran tells us that Jesus said, “‘I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet’” (19:30). This brochure summarizes the reality of Jesus according to Islamic teachings.

Muslims believe that Jesus was a human being appointed by God as His messenger. His birth was extraordinary and he was blessed with great miracles from God (Allah in Arabic). In essence, God chose Jesus to deliver the same unified message that past prophets had brought to humanity: to worship the One God and to lead a morally upright life in order to attain salvation in the eternal life after death.

Jesus lived about 2,000 years ago in ancient Palestine when the Roman Empire was at its zenith. He was not conceived normally, but was miraculously implanted in the womb of a young woman named Mary by the command of God. In this sense, Jesus was a “word” from God and a special sign for humanity. In fact, he was the last in a long line of messengers sent to the Jewish people.

Mary, The Blessed
Mary was a righteous woman whose mother had dedicated her to God’s service even before she was born. As a child, she lived an admirable life marked by good health and piety. She was raised by the wise Zachariah, who instilled in her a beautiful sense of faith in God. As a young woman, Mary sought to purify herself further for her Lord. She withdrew from her people to a sanctuary in the east, where she could meditate in seclusion and peace.

During this period, on a day that seemed no different from the rest, the angel Gabriel visited her in the form of a man. Fearful of the stranger, Mary prayed for protection. He comforted her, declaring that God sent him to announce the glad tidings of a faultless son. Stunned, Mary asked how this was possible since no man had ever touched her. Gabriel replied, “‘This is how God creates what He will: when He has ordained something, He only says, “Be,” and it is’” (Quran, 3:47).

When she felt the baby within her, Mary fled her sanctuary, fearing what people would do or say when they heard the news. In her anguish, she cried out, “‘I wish I had been dead and forgotten long before all this!’” (Quran, 19:23). The angel Gabriel reassured her of God’s blessings and she found shade and a cool spring. Under a date-palm in the warmth of late summer, she made her dwelling, and there bore the child who was unlike any other in human history.

Shortly thereafter, the Quran recounts that Mary returned to her community carrying the child who was to be called the “Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary” (3:45). When her people saw the baby in her arms, they could not believe their eyes. They accused her of being unchaste and implied that she had ruined her family name and reputation. Gabriel had already instructed her to abstain from conversation (19:26). So, Mary simply pointed towards the child.

Jesus’ Miracles and Message
God granted Jesus many miracles which began right after his blessed birth. The Quran testifies that in defense of his mother and of the truth, Jesus spoke as an infant, saying, “‘I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet; made me blessed wherever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live’” (19:30-31). This miraculous speech silenced the detractors.

Throughout his youth, Jesus remained dutiful to his mother and developed quickly in intelligence, wisdom and devotion. He astounded the learned and was greatly admired by his companions. Jesus claimed to be a sign of God and a Messenger to the Israelites.

When he came of age, Jesus began to travel and preach throughout the land of Palestine. He taught the scripture that God sent to him, known as the Injeel (Good News or Gospel), which confirmed the truth of previous holy books.

Jesus taught that love and mercy overcome hate and anger. He stressed that only true and sincere faith in the Creator and obedience to Him can bring a person salvation in this life and the hereafter. To reinforce his message, God granted him the ability to perform miracles. He healed the sick, uplifted the distressed and revived the dead. All of these miracles happened with God’s permission, and Jesus never took credit for them himself.

According to the Quran, Jesus said,

“…I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I will make the shape of a bird for you out of clay, then breathe into it and, with God’s permission, it will become a real bird; I will heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life with God’s permission; I will tell you what you may eat and what you may store up in your houses. There truly is a sign for you in this, if you are believers. I have come to confirm the truth of the Torah which preceded me, and to make some things lawful to you which used to be forbidden. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. Be mindful of God, obey me: God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him– that is a straight path.” (3:49-51)

Jesus led a simple and pious life, attracting an inner circle of devoted followers who listened to his teachings with fervor and humility. These disciples included Peter, Barnabas and John, who helped spread Jesus’ message of submission to the One God.

A Test of Wills

As the message of Jesus began to gain wider acceptance, a small group of hypocritical and self-serving men began plotting against him. They were the priests and leaders of the Jewish people, whose status and wealth depended upon their position as the sole interpreters of religion to the masses. They pursued him and his followers, and plotted to crucify him on a Roman cross. They were sure they had killed him, but God protected Jesus, saved him from their schemes and raised him up to Himself. God says in the Quran, “[They] said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him – God raised him up to Himself. God is Almighty and Wise” (4:157-158).

Hence, Islam teaches that God rescued the noble Jesus by removing him from this world. God raised him to the heavens, to a place near Him, and will cause him to return to this world at a later time.

With their messenger gone, the devoted followers of Jesus tried to maintain the purity and clarity of his teachings. However, in the next few centuries, different beliefs about Jesus developed amongst some of the early Christians. They held that he was divine, calling him the son of God, which eventually became the dominant Christian belief. In contrast, others maintained he was not the literal son of God or God Himself, but a messenger sent by the One God. Muslims share this second view of the early Christians, holding that Jesus was sent to guide his people just like the other prophets before him.

“[This is] a statement of the Truth about which they are in doubt: it would not befit God to have a child. He is far above that: when He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran, 19:34-35)

Restoring Jesus’ Legacy
Muslims believe that every nation received a messenger from God. Just like the prophets before him, Jesus’ message lasted in its original purity for a period of time, but the scripture he received was slowly altered and his original call to absolute monotheism became corrupted. Six centuries after Jesus, God sent His last messenger, Muhammadp, and revealed His final scripture, known as the Quran. Prophet Muhammadp was sent to all of humanity and he confirmed the miraculous birth of Jesus, the miracles he performed and the essential truth of the message that God chose to reveal through Jesus. The Quran has been preserved in its exact original form for over 14 centuries. Through this final revelation, God protects His guidance for the entire human race, containing the same core message sent to all prophets and messengers of the One God, including Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Noah, peace be upon them.

According to the Quran, Jesus himself puts any false claims about his identity to rest: “‘I told them only what You commanded me to: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” I was a witness over them during my time among them. Ever since You took my soul, You alone have been the watcher over them: You are witness to all things’” (5:117).

Today, Muslims seek to follow the original message of Jesus and all the prophets before him as confirmed by God’s final messenger, Muhammadp. Islam literally means ‘submission’ to God and is the same way of life followed by all the messengers of God. Only by following the original call of God’s messengers can we find clear direction and tranquility in our lives.

 

Suggested Reading:

Muhammad by Yahiya Emerick

The Cross & The Crescent by Jerald Dirks

 

Note: The subscript p next to Prophet Muhammadp represents the invocation Muslims say with his name: May God’s peace and blessings be upon him.

22 Comments

  1. SK says:

    Jesus the Christ is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. No man can come to the Heavenly Father except through Jesus the Christ. Did you forget that 1st century historians like Josephus who lived during the time of Jesus said that Jesus arose from the dead? Who do you think I’m going to belive – you or someone who was there? The resurrection from the dead by Jesus is historical fact! He is God manifested in human form sent to die on the cross for the sins of the world! Repent and believe and He will give you eternal life!

    • Perseveranze says:

      Peace SK,

      I urge you to think/reflect upon the following passages regarding Jesus(pbuh).

      The Quran says about Jesus(pbuh) –

      “O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” — Cease! (it is) better for you! — Allah is only One God. Far is it 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 Allah is sufficient as a Defender. The Messiah will not scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him: Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He pay their wages in full, adding unto 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 Allah, any protecting friend or helper. O mankind! Now hath a proof from your Lord come unto you, and We have sent down unto you a clear light; As for those who believe in Allah, and hold fast unto Him, them He will cause to enter into His mercy and grace, and He will guide them unto Him by a straight road. “» (The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an: 4:171-176)

      Some sayings of Jesus(pbuh) within the Bible –

      “I can do nothing of my own authority” (John 5:30)

      “I do as the Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31 RSV)

      “The words that I say to you I do not speak of my own authority.” (John 14:10 RSV) “I do nothing of my own authority but speak thus as the Father has taught me.” (John 8:28 RSV)

      “The Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 RSV)

      “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17 RSV 1952)

      “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” (Mark 10:18)

      • Jesusislove says:

        Jesus claims to be God and the Son of God a number of times in the Bible. He confirms it with Peter in Matthew 16:15-17

        “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

        The word Son used in this context is the Greek word Huios, which means literally a son as in a father son relationship.

        This of course is not the only time.

        John 10:30 Jesus also says that “I and my Father are one.” Immediately afterwards the Jews picked up stones to stone Him and accused Him of saying He was God.

    • MikeyMikati says:

      Hello my Brother SK,

      Muslims and Christians can agree that Jesus (Al-Isa PBUH) arose from the dead. So Allahu Akbar for the account of Josephus!!
      But what is so wrong with believing that Jesus PBUH, was guided by the spirit of God, and wanted to teach us that we are too! That we should NOT build dependancies here on earth, for our ONLY need is Him (God our creator) in Heaven! Jesus always tried to tell us this, in all 37+ Gospels in the first century after he died…thats right 37! Not just 4! But you as a Christian Brother/ Sister should ask yourself…WHY….and WHO decided for me, that I should only have access to 4…As YOU said….who are you going to believe a later Church Father that wasn’t even there?
      Think about it…..you can be a Muslim and LOVE Jesus, and have a relationship with Jesus all the same, if not BETTER! but we must only worship and submit our will to God…as Jesus did….

  2. tz says:

    Hi SK,

    We also believe that Jesus(pbuh) had many miracles, just like other prophets of God.

    The Quran 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.” [Quran 5:110]

    But I have a question for you, if Jesus (peace be upon him) was God, how did he die? By definition, God does not die.

  3. barbara says:

    SK,
    1 Cor. 2:5, for your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.
    John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that send me.
    Psalm.68:5 A father of the fatherless and a Judge of the Widows is God in His Holy Habitation.
    Neh.9:13 Thou camest down also on Mount Sinai,and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgment and true law, good statues and commandments.
    Mat.6:5 -11 And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites; they love to say their prayers standing up in synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them.In truth I tell you they have their reward. But when you pray go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place and your Father who sees all in secret will reward you.In your prayers do not babble as gentiles do,for they think by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. So you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done…..
    Ex.20:3 You shall have no other God to rival me.
    Ex.20:13 You shall not kill.
    Jesus[pbuh] also said: I did not come to break the Law but to fulfill the law.
    Gen.1:3-4 God said: Let there be light, and there was light.God saw that light was good and God divided light from darkness.
    Prov.8:12 I, Wisdom, share house with Discretion, I am mistress of the art of thought.

  4. MikeyMikati says:

    And to my Muslim Brothers and Sisters. I would like to share with you my understanding of Sura 4 (157-158)

    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;-

    —Qur’an sura 4 (An-Nisa) ayah 157-158

    My understanding is that when it says “But it was made to appear to them” it means Jesus may have died a physical death of the body, but they did NOT kill him, nor crucify him because his spirit lives! and he is ascended to Heaven with Allah! And those who do not have faith in this, but believe when the body dies, YOU die with it, are only filled with doubt, because they are dependant of this mortal life and physical world.

    What do you think? If we Muslims can agree on a theory like this, I believe Christians can too, and we can STOP arguing about HOW HIS BODY DIED…because it really DOESN’T MATTER!! :)

    I love you all…

    Br. Mikey

    • Admin says:

      Greetings Mikey,

      Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised to heaven and will return at an appointed time.

      Our beliefs are not based on theory or personal preferences. We believe what God and His Messengers have given us in the form of revelations and guidance. Revelation is the Holy Quran and Guidance is the Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

      Regards
      Admin

  5. True Jesus was a great messenger sent to mankind by Almighty Allah pub.

  6. Asif Alvi says:

    why do we prefer to write Jesus(pbuh) instead of only Jesus?

  7. Asif Alvi says:

    why do we prefer to write Jesus(pbuh) instead of only Jesus?

  8. Karanja George says:

    Clever Christian and Muslim tell me why should your God have a day of judgement for his children?
    The more I study both Christian and Islam the more lies I discover. When one dies don lie there is hell or heaven to go one finish as if he had never existed. Keep fighting wasting your little days on earth me let me go and have one two drinks and enjoy life which is not imaginary like yours .

  9. Muslim think that Jesus needs peace (pbuh = peace be upon him) but he said the Mankind in the Gospel that he provides peace for those who need it

  10. Anonymous says:

    I may not be using this correctly but I would like to wish all who might read this a Happy Eid! Your information regarding Jesus although respectful is incorrect in many areas. I would encourage anyone who is interested to read a book by Lee Strobel titled The Case for the Real Jesus. In it he details much information from history and eyewitness accounts from the time of Jesus that corroborate the death by crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection. Another very good book to consider is Why Jesus by Ravi Zacharias.

  11. Ruggiero Lomonaco says:

    Karanja. Simply because unless God gives the free choice to choose between evil and good humans would not be able to taste this magnificent gift which is free will. So you are free to choose not to believe in God and this is the gift of freedom which you are exercising to the fullest extent. If God had made manifest to you His existance like day and light you would not been able to enjoy the gift. Somehow the message has come to you that if you do good to others and believe in God you will be given eternal life. Up to you if you choose to believe or not. If you don't want and don't care to have eternal life, well you probably won't get it. What you will then probably get is its opposite, ie eternal death, which is what we mean for "Hell". Right? Wrong? When we will die we will find out for sure. But so far the indications seam pretty strong that there is another dimension beyond this life.

  12. Ruggiero Lomonaco says:

    It is a sign of respect for all prophets. It means Peace Be Upn Him. It's a custom from the Arabic language. In Italian we also add "peace be on his soul" (pace all'anima sua) when we mention our dearest dead relatives or frieds

  13. Ruggiero Lomonaco says:

    @SK. The historian Josephus was not an eye witness, otherwise the Fathers would have canonised his work as a Gospel. Rising from deaths it's not a proof of being God otherwise Lazarous and the little girl resuscitated by Jesus would also be God. I suggest you read the Misteries of Jesus from Ruqayya Maqsood which makes an interesting argument about the possibility of Jesus being seriously wounded but not killed on the cross (using Evangelical sources)

  14. Who created you my brother? God did, didn't He? After He created you, you don't even believe in Him. If you were God, what would you do to your self. that's why God created hell for peopel who don't believe in Him and don't obey His commandments.

  15. Ramadan This Year (2014)

    Ramadan begins on June 28, 2014 and ends on July 26, 2014 God willing for USA, Canada, Mexico. To calculate the Ramadan start date – compare the time of the New Moon with the Sunset in your location. If the new moon is born before sunset, you should fast the next day God willing. Similarly to determine the last day of Ramadan fasting – compare the time of the next New Moon with the sunset in your location. If the new moon is born before sunset, the month of Ramadan is complete on that day.

    For many other countries, e.g., those in Europe, Asia, Middle-East, Asia, and Africa, the first day of fasting is June 28, 2014. The last day is July 27, 2014.

    To find out the start day for your location, and generate a fasting begin/end schedule, please visit the Ramadan Calculation Assistant (courtesy MasjidTucson.org).

    Phases of the moon data (including the new moon) for 2014 (and beyond) are available at the US Naval Observatory. All times are in UTC (also known as GMT). To convert to your time zone you can use the Time Zone Converter.

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