The Story of Jesus the Christ from the Pages of the Quran

The Story of Jesus the Christ from the Pages of the Quran
THE STORY STARTS WITH THE SUPPLICATION OF MARY’S MOTHER

God raised Adam, Noah, the House[1] of Abraham, and the House of ‘Imran[2] above all beings, in one line of descent—God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. A woman of [the House of] ‘Imran [3] prayed, ‘My Lord, I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service]; so accept this from me. You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’ But when she gave birth she said, ‘My Lord! I gave birth to a girl’—God knew very well what she had given birth to—‘and the male is not like the female. I name her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Your protection from the accursed Satan.’

Her Lord graciously accepted her [Mary] and made her grow in goodness, and entrusted her to the charge of Zachariah. Whenever Zachariah went in to see her in her sanctuary, he found her supplied with provisions. He said, ‘Mary, how is it you have these provisions?’ She said, ‘They are from God: God provides limitlessly for whomever He wills.’ [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:33-37]

GOD HONORS MARY

The angels said to Mary, ‘Mary, God has chosen you and made you pure: He has truly chosen you above all women. Mary, be devout to your Lord, prostrate yourself in worship and bow down with those who pray.’ This is an account of things beyond your knowledge that We [4] reveal to you [Muhammad]: you were not present among them when they [i.e., the priests] cast lots to see which of them should be Mary’s guardian; you were not present with them when they disputed about it. [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:42-44]

THE ANGELS GIVE GLAD TIDINGS TO MARY

The Angels said, ‘Mary, God gives you good news of a Word from Him, [5] who shall become known as the Christ Jesus, [6] son of Mary. He shall be highly honored in this world and in the Hereafter, and he will be one of those brought near to God.’ He will speak to people in the cradle [i.e., in his infancy] and in his adulthood and will be one of the righteous.’ She said, ‘My Lord, how can I have a son when no man has touched me?’ [The angel] said, ‘This is how God creates what He wills: when he decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is. And He will teach him writing, wisdom [i.e., the teachings of the prophets], the Torah and the Gospel, and will send him as a messenger to the Children of Israel.  [He will say], “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 inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, 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, so fear God and obey me. Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him—that is the straight path.” ’ [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:45-51]

MARY BECOMES PREGNANT

Mary kept herself in seclusion from them [i.e., her family], then We sent Our Spirit [i.e., the Angel Gabriel], and he appeared before her as a full-grown human being. She said, ‘I seek the protection of [God] the Most Merciful against you: if you have any fear of Him [then leave me]!’ He said, ‘I am only a Messenger from your Lord, [coming] to announce to you the gift of a pure son.’ She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?’ He said, ‘This is what your Lord said: “It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to all people and a mercy from Us. It is a matter [already] decreed.”’ [Surat Maryam, 19:17-21]

THE BIRTH OF JESUS

So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a distant place The pains of childbirth drove her to [cling to] the trunk of a palm tree. She exclaimed, ‘I wish I had been dead and forgotten before all this!’ But a voice called her from below, ‘Do not grieve: your Lord has provided a stream at your feet and, if you shake the trunk of the palm tree toward you, it will drop upon you fresh ripe dates. Eat, drink and be contented. If you see anyone, say: “I have vowed to [God] the Most Merciful to abstain [from conversation], so I will not talk to anyone today.” [Surat Maryam, 19:22-26]

THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS

She went back to her people carrying him [i.e., the child]. They said, ‘Mary! You have certainly committed a monstrous thing! Sister of Aaron [7] ! Your father was not a man of evil nor was your mother unchaste!’ So she pointed at him. They said, ‘How can we speak to one who is still in the cradle, a little child?’ [Jesus] said, ‘I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture, and made me a prophet. Blessed He has made me, wherever I may be. He has commanded me to pray, to give the alms, so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother. He has not made me arrogant or wicked. Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again.’ That is Jesus, son of Mary. It is a statement of the Truth about which they doubt or dispute. It befits not [the Majesty of] God that He begets a son. Glorified and exalted is He! [8]  When He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be’ and it is. [Surat Maryam, 19:27-35]

THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS

When Jesus became aware of their refusal to acknowledge the Truth, he asked, ‘Who will be my helpers in God’s cause?’ The disciples replied, ‘We shall be the aides of God’s religion. We believe in God, and bear witness that we are muslims [i.e., we submit to God]. [9] Our Lord [God], we believe in what You have revealed, and we follow the messenger [Jesus]; so record us among those who bear witness [to the Truth].’ [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:52-53]

NOT EVERY ONE BELIEVED

You who believe, be the aides of God’s religion, as when Jesus, son of Mary, asked the disciples, ‘Who will be my helpers in God’s cause?’ and the disciples replied, ‘We shall be the aides of God’s religion.’ Some of the Children of Israel believed and some disbelieved. We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they [the believers] became dominant. [Surat Al-Tahrim, 61:14]

THE MIRACLE OF THE FEAST

When the disciples said, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from heaven?’ he said, ‘Be conscious of God if you are true believers.’ They said, ‘We wish to eat from it; to have our hearts reassured; to know that you have told us the truth; and to be witnesses of it.’ Jesus, son of Mary, said, ‘O God, our Lord, send down to us from heaven a table [spread with food] so that we can have a festival—the first and last of us—and a sign from You. Provide for us: You are the best of providers. God said, ‘I will send it down to you, but anyone of you who disbelieves after this will be punished with a punishment that I will not inflict on anyone else.’ [Surat Al-Ma’idah, 5:112-115]

GOD SAVES JESUS FROM HIS ENEMIES

They schemed [against Jesus], and God countered their schemes by schemes of His own; God is the best of schemers. God said, ‘Jesus, I will take you and raise you up to Me: I will purify you from [the defilement of] the disbelievers. I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me you shall all return and I will judge between you regarding your differences. I will punish the disbelievers with a severe punishment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers. As for those who believe and do good deeds, God will pay them their reward in full. God does not love evildoers! [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:54-57]

NOT CRUCIFIED

And [they] said, ‘We killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’  They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it appeared so because of a resemblance. Those who disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition. They certainly did not kill him. No! God raised him up to Him; God is All-Mighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in him [as a messenger] before his death, [10] and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. [Surat Al-Nisa’, 4:157-159]

THE CHRIST JESUS [i.e., THE MESSIAH JESUS]  WAS A PROPHET

The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; other messengers had come and gone before him. His mother never deviated from the Truth and they both ate food [as other mortals do]. See how We make clear to them the signs; then see how they are deluded. Say, ‘How can you worship something other than God that has no power to do you harm or good—while it is God Who is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing!’ [Surat Al-Ma’idah, 5:75-76]

JESUS WAS CREATED A HUMAN-BEING LIKE ADAM

Indeed, in the sight of God, Jesus is like Adam: He created him from dust; He said to him, ‘Be,’ and he was. [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:59]

AS WITH ALL THE PROPHETS, MONOTHEISM IS THE CORE MESSAGE OF JESUS

Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him [alone]—that is the straight path. [Surat Al ‘Imran, 3:51 & 19:36]

JESUS GIVES GLAD TIDINGS

Jesus, son of Mary, said, ‘Children of Israel, I am the messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that came before me and bringing good news of a messenger to come after me whose name is Ahmad.’ [11] But when he came to them with clear proofs, they said, ‘This is obvious sorcery.’ [SuratAl-Saff, 61:6]

ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

God says, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people, “Take me and my mother as deities besides God”?’ He will say, ‘Exalted are You! I would never say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it: You know all that is within myself, though I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I told them only what You commanded me to say: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are the Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants; but if You forgive them, indeed it is You who is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. God will say, ‘This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness.’ For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, [12] wherein they will abide forever. God is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great triumph.

To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent. [Surat Al-Mai’dah, 5:116-120]

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Notes: 

[1]   According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word ‘House’ means a family including ancestors, descendants, and kindred.

[2]  The House of ‘Imran includes his sons Moses and Aaron, and their descendants. Zachariah, his wife Elizabeth and their relative Mary were descendants of Aaron. Therefore, both John and Jesus belong to the House of ‘Imran as well.

[3]   Another translation: the wife of ‘Imran. According to Muslim scholars there were two men called ‘Imran: the father of Moses and Aaron, and the father of Mary, named after his ancestor.

[4]  It is to be noted that the reference of God to Himself as ‘We’ in many verses of the Qur’an is necessarily understood in the Arabic language to denote grandeur and power. In the English language this usage is known as the Royal We.

[5]   Jesus here is given the epithet ‘a word from God.’ One explanation is that this was because it was God’s command that brought him into being, rather than the intervention of a human father.

[6]   The word used in the actual languages of the Bible and the Qur’an is the Messiah (the anointed one), translated in English as the Christ.

[7]   Mary belonged to the same tribe of Aaron and, according to the Bible, her relative Elizabeth was Aaron’s descendant.

[8]   Far removed is He from any such need and He is above all that they associate with Him!

[9]   The Arabic word islam means surrender and submission to the Creator while the word muslim means one who surrenders to God.

[10]    According to Islamic sources [the Quran and the sayings of Muhammad], the Christ (i.e., the Messiah) Jesus did not die on the Cross, but he will die a human death after a return to earth—during which period he will fulfill the rest of his mission.

[11]   ‘Ahmad’ is a variant of the name for Prophet Muhammad.  The two names have a similar meaning: ‘the [much] praised one.’

[12]   Prophet Muhammad said that in Paradise is what no eye has seen nor ear has heard nor has occurred to the heart of man. To the desert-dwelling people of Muhammad, those who first heard his message, the most rewarding place of permanent residence would be a Garden abundant with luxurious foliage and fruits, with an unlimited supply of water, food and all kinds of pleasures. This Paradise portrays the promised bliss awaiting those who please God in the present lifetime by their manner of life and trust in Him. Reliable Guidance in this Way of Life is found spelled out in Islam.

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