Islam and Jesus

Christians do not have a monopoly on Jesus.

Muslims also do not have a monopoly on Jesus. He seems to be beyond what either Christianity or Islam can claim.

Islam upholds the honor-shame worldview which remains close to the culture Jesus was born and raised in, and if there is one word that describes how Muslims view Jesus it would be “honor.”

Islam honors Jesus as the Messiah (11 times in the Qur’an).

Islam honors Jesus as a great prophet and messenger above others.

Islam honors Jesus as a great miracle-worker who raised the dead and healed the blind and lepers.

Islam honors Jesus as virgin-born and his birth was as unique as Adam’s creation.

There are many more attributes and titles of honor given to Jesus in the Qur’an, but the honor-shame worldview of Islam also protects the reputation of Jesus from perceived shame. For example, the Qur’an relates a story of Jesus miraculously speaking from the cradle when he was only days old (5:110, 19:24, 19:29–33). He did so to protect the reputation of his mother, Mary, who was a virgin. This miracle also established that his birth was legitimate and honorable.

Islam also tries to protect the reputation of Jesus from the shame of crucifixion. This cruel method of Roman execution was designed to be both painful and shameful. Muslims care about honoring the Messiah Jesus so it is hard for them to accept that such a shameful death was imposed upon him. Yet the Qur’an mentions the death of Jesus several times (3:55, 4:159, 5:117, 19:15, 19:33) as well as the day of his resurrection.

One controversial passage in the Qur’an (4:157–159) says of the Jews “they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear as if it had been so.” This seems to say that Jesus didn’t die, but it can be interpreted as a corrective to the Jews who claimed they took his life against his will, when in reality Jesus willingly sacrificed his life according to the plan of God. Jesus knew that God’s plan included his being raised from the dead. The Qur’an quotes Jesus as saying as an infant: “And (God’s) peace was upon me the day I was born and the day I will die and it will be upon me the day I am raised alive.”(19:33)

Everyone who loves Jesus can appreciate that honoring him is important. There is no shame if Jesus, known as “the lamb of God,” willingly gave his life as a sacrifice for others. To patiently endure suffering for others is honorable. To overcome a shameful death is perhaps the greatest honor possible. In fact, this honor qualifies Jesus to be the judge of the living and the dead (Qur’an 4:159 cross-referenced to Bible, Second Timothy 4:1). The Qur’an states that Jesus ascended to heaven and is coming back on judgment day (3:55, 4:158–159).

For references to all the times Jesus is mentioned in the Qur’an, please visit our website.

The following is taken from our website

Jesus is:

· Jesus is the “way” (al sirat mustaqueem)[1] 43:61

· Jesus is the “truth” (al haq): 19:34

· Jesus is the “life” (Min Rouhina) 21:91, 66:12

Attributes of Jesus:

· The Word of God (kalimatu Allah): 3:39, 3:45, 4:171

· John the Baptist confirms Jesus as “Word”: 3:39

· The Spirit of God (Rouhana Allah): 21:91, 66:12[2]

· The Spirit from God (Rouh minhu): 4:171

· Holy Spirit (Rouh Qudus) Empowered/Led (ayyadhu) 2:87, 2:253, 5:110

· The Messiah: 3:45, 4:157, 4:171, 4:172, 5:17 (twice), 5:72 (twice), 5:75, 9:30, 9:31

· Lord/Master (rab): 9:31[3]

· Mediator/noble/exalted (wajihan or wajih) now and hereafter 3:45[4]

· Intercessor (shafa’a); 2:255, 21:28[5]

· The Gospel (bashir) or good news: 3:45 [16]

· The Mercy[6] from God (al rahmantan mina): 19:21

· The Peace[7] (al salaam) rests on him: 19:33

· A Mercy (rahmatan) decreed or ordained (maqdahi); 9:21[8]

· Messenger/apostle (rasul): 2:253 (above other messengers) 4:157, 5:75

· Prophet (nabyyun) 19:30

· Servant (abd Allah) of God: 4:172, 19:30, 43:59

· Faithful Witness (shahid) for God: 4:159, 5:117

· Not Wicked, Vain or Overbearing (jabbaran shaqiyyan) 19:32

· Sent Down from Heaven[9] (anzil’ata) 3:53, 5:114–115[10]

· Given the Secrets of the Unseen (ghyab) (supernatural): 3:44[11]

· Knows the Hour of Judgment: 43:61

Miracles:

· Healer of the blind and lepers: 3:49, 5:110

· Raised the Dead: 3:49, 5:110

· Miraculously brought food to earth from heaven: 5:112–118

· Spoke from the Cradle: 5:110, 19:24, 19:29–33

· Breathed Life into Birds made from clay: 3:49, 5:110

· Clear Sign & Showed Miracles: be-yinat, unto all mankind: 2:87, 2:87, 2:253, 3:49–50, 5:114, 19:21, 21:91, 43:61 & 43:63

Birth:

· Immaculately Conceived by the Spirit of God (Rouh Al-Qudus): 21:91, 66:12

· Born of a Virgin Mary: 3:47, 3:59, 19:20–21[12]

· Sinless or “Pure” (zakiyyah): 3:46, 19:19

Death:

· Died (mutawafeka)3:55, 4:159, 5:117, 19:15, 19:33[13]

· Slain (taqutulun): 2:8, 5:70[14]

· Resurrected from the dead (yum uba’athu): 19:33, (6:122 possible reference to Jesus)

· Ascended up to God in heaven: 3:55, 4:158

· Near to God (muqarrabeen): 3:45[15]

· Coming Back on judgment day (yum al-qiyama): 3:55, 4:159, 43:61

· Coming Back to attest the law: 3:50 & the Gospel: 3:45

We Are Ordered To:

· Obey (atee’uon) 3:50, 43:63

· Believe (aamanou): 4:159, 5:111

· Follow (ettabio’un): 3:55, 43:61

Jesus’ Disciples Are:

· Superior (fawqua) to those who disbelieve: 3:55

· True Believers (aamanou minhum) to God: 57:27

· God’s Helpers (ansar Allah) of the revelation of Jesus: 3:52, 61:14

· Have Power Over Enemies: 61:14

· Witnesses (shahid) to the truth of Jesus: 5:113

· Inspired disciples (al-hawariyun) to have faith in God: 5:111

Misc. References:

· Righteous (saliheen): 3:46, 6:85

· God’s Favor was on Him: 2:253, 5:110, 43:59

· God Blessed (mubarak) Him wherever He was: 19:31

· Given Wisdom and Revelation of the Old Testament and Gospel: 3:48, 2:136, 19:30, 43:63, 57:27

· God Inspired 4:163

· God made a Covenant with Him: 33:7

· 2nd Adam: 3:59

· Given Authority to institute things previously forbidden: 3:50

· Was Plotted Against: 3:54

· An Example to the children of Israel: 43:59

References:

[1] Words in the parentheses are the Anglicized Arabic from the Qur’an.

[2] Possibly 19:17 is also a reference to Jesus and the Spirit.

[3] Verse 9:31 has been mistranslated for years. The correct rendition is:
 They take their priests and their monks to be their lords in derogation of [both] Allah, and Christ the son of Mary;

[4] This exclusive attribute given only to Jesus and Moses, who interestingly, were the two covenant enactors.

[5] An exclusive right of God to grant and assumed to referring to Jesus in the context of the verses, also according to Sufi interpretations.

[6] “The article “al” (the) in front of the word is rare and usually reserved as one of the 99 names of Allah (God).

[7] ibid

[8] The Arabic word maqdahi “ordained” or “decreed” is used only for Jesus and interestingly hellfire in 9:71.

[9] Only Jesus & holy books were “sent down” from heaven.

[10] 5:114–115 refers to a “meal being sent down from heaven”. This is a metaphor for Jesus in Sufi tradition consistent with John 6:32–35 “…it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…I am the bread of life.”

[11] The specific application is unclear, but the verse is in context of Mary and Jesus and refers to “casting lots”.

[12] Jesus “spoken into being” Arabic “kun fya kun”.

[13] All Arabic words used in these verses refer to “death”, or “caused to die”: and are as follows: 3:55 mutawafeka, 4:159 mawtihi, 5:117 tawaffaytanee, 19:15 yamootu;, & 19:33 amootu.

[14] This verse suggests that many messengers slain when their message was rejected by the “children of Israel”. Jesus message was rejected by much of the Jewish leadership who conspired to have him executed by Rome.

[15] A special place of honor as “at the right hand of God” & the only one clearly given this position in the Qur’an.

[16] The Semitic word bashir is a cognate for “good news” used in the Hebrew Old and Aramaic New Testaments and also means “flesh” as a possible association to a context of sacrifice and the Messiah coming in the “flesh”. (See 1John 4:2 & 2 John 1:7).

*Updated Appendix, Originally Sourced From: A Deadly Misunderstanding — Mark Siljander

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