Muslims believe that Jesus’ peace is 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 do they believe that God ever chose to come down to earth in the form of a man to die for our sins to purify us and forgive us. Allah says:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
“Indeed, the religion near Allah (is) submission/Islam. And not differed those who were given the Book except after [what] came to them [the] knowledge out of envy among them. And whoever disbelieves in (the) Verses (of) Allah, then indeed, Allah (is) swift (in taking) account.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:19)
Muslims believe, that Jesus was one of the mightiest messengers of God. No Muslim is a Muslim if he or she does not believe in Jesus. God was the First. Nothing was before Him. He brought all creation into existence. He is unlike any of His creations. There are no similarities between Him and us. The Holy Quran refers to Jesus as Eesa. His proper name was Eesa (Arabic). Allah says:
قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ اللَّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ إِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
“She said, “My Lord how is [it] for me a boy, and (has) not touch(ed) me any man?” He said, “Thus Allah creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter then only He says to it, “Be,” and it becomes.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:47)
Every Muslim believes that all of the prophets and messengers did their duty in conveying to their people the message of belief in the Oneness of God. A Muslim is to love and revere all of them as well. We are also ordered by God to defend all of them. The Prophets and Messengers had no power to control the affairs of the universe. They had no power over their protection. Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّن قَبْلِكَ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَذُرِّيَّةً وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِآيَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ لِكُلِّ أَجَلٍ كِتَابٌ
“And certainly, We sent Messengers before you and We made for them wives and offspring. And not was for a Messenger that he comes with a sign except by the leave (of) Allah. For everything (is) a time prescribed.” (Surah Ar-Ra`d 13:38)
God has clarified to us that no one can describe Him and that no one can encompass His greatness. This alone puts us in awe of God and affirms our belief in His uniqueness and our need to worship Him alone. Everything besides God is a created being, brought into existence by God, Himself. He brought forth these creations into existence from mere nothingness. Allah says:
إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ
“When said the Angels, “O Maryam! Indeed, Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him, his name (is) the Messiah, Isa, son (of) Maryam, honoured in the world and (in) the Hereafter, and of those brought near (to Allah).” (Surah Al-Imran 3:45)
The birth of Prophet Jesus was a miracle. Even though Jesus was born to a virgin, he does not deserve or require any worship. Had Jesus deserved any worship on account of his miraculous birth, Prophet Adam would be more deserving of it than him, since he was created without a father or mother. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet of God and was born to a virgin (Mary). They also believe he will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice.
Legacy of the prophets (peace be upon them) serve as universal guides:
- Jesus never died: 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.
- The end of the life of Jesus was a mystery: 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. Allah raised him (rafa’ahu…in Arabic) to Himself.
- Jesus was a messenger of God: The Quran remains clear that Jesus was one of the holy prophets of God, and he was given revelations to help humanity in faith and humanity. Therefore, it is necessary that we, especially Muslims, remember that his wisdom and teachings come directly from Allah.
- Jesus spoke when he was a child with revelations from God: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” “He [‘Iesa (Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of Allâh, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” (Quran 19: 29-30)
The Quran makes us understand the importance of the status of the Prophet Jesus as a messenger of God through the evidence that he spoke when he was a baby in a cradle. Chosen by God to be a prophet for mankind, the Quran helps us see how truly inspiring the Prophet Jesus is. Allah says:
وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ حَمَلَ ظُلْمًا
“And (will be) humbled the faces before the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting. And verily will have failed (he) who carried wrongdoing.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:111)
The Prophets of God differ in terms of rank and superiority. They are not equal in terms of merit. Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus will return to the earth towards the end of time. He will return during a period in which ignorance would become widespread and people would be distanced from Faith. Prophet Jesus will be a just ruler who will rule by the laws of Islam. Allah says:
هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“He (is) the First and the Last, and the Apparent and the Unapparent, and He (is) of everything All-Knower.” (Surah Al-Hadid 57:3)
God wanted to show his infinite wisdom behind creation. Creating all existence quickly would be
evidence of His power; whereas, creation in a slow manner would be evidence of His wisdom. The Holy Quran honours this mighty messenger of God, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years in doing the same. There is not a single disparaging remark in the entire Quran. Allah says:
إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَإِن مِّنْ أُمَّةٍ إِلَّا خَلَا فِيهَا نَذِيرٌ
“Indeed, We [We] have sent you with the truth, (as) a bearer of glad tidings and (as) a warner. And not (was) any nation but had passed within it a warner.” (Surah Fatir 35:24)
Islam emphasizes the universality of the institution of prophethood. According to the Quran, there is not a single nation in the world to which a prophet has not appeared sometime in history. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a prominent figure in Islam and the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran.
Allah Almighty mentions in the Holy Quran:
- “For every nation, there is a messenger.” (Quran 10:47)
- “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Quran 42:11)
- “We gave Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.” (Quran 2, 87)
- “Allah chooses from the angels messengers and the people. Indeed, Allah is Hearing andSeeing.” (Quran 22:75)
- “And Zakariya and John, and Jesus (peace be upon him) and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous.” (Quran 6, 85)
- “…Christ Jesus (peace be upon him) the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of god…” (Quran 4,171)
- “…And in their footsteps, we sent Jesus (peace be upon him) the son of Mary…”
- (Quran 5, 46)
Muslims believe that Jesus was sentenced to death, and people thought that he got executed on the cross. The Holy Quran rejects this idea and claims that it is a false one. Jesus never died on the cross, nor did he ever die for anyone’s sins.
The Ascension of Prophet Jesus into the Heavens
The Muslim belief about the Prophet Jesus is that he was not killed, nor crucified; rather, he ascended into the Heavens by the will of God. He was made to appear as Jesus and Jesus ascended into the heavens. The people came and captured the one who appeared as Jesus and killed him by crucifixion. As Muslims, we believe that every one of us will stand before God to be judged for what we have done. Allah says:
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تُحَاجُّونَ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَا أُنزِلَتِ التَّوْرَاةُ وَالْإِنجِيلُ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِهِ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
“O People (of) the Book! Why (do) you argue concerning Ibrahim while not was revealed the Taurat and the Injeel except after him? Then why don’t you use your intellect?” (Surah Al-Imran 3:65)
God guided the Muslims to a moderate path. We recognize the greatness of this Prophet of God. We love, respect and revere him, but we do not worship him. He is indeed a great messenger of God, but he is only a slave of God who has no claim to divinity. This is what we find affirmed in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions. Jesus is not like the Christians assert; a Son of God or part of the Trinity. He is simply a Messenger of God sent to his people to convey to them the belief in the Oneness of God. Allah says:
ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَأَنَّىٰ تُؤْفَكُونَ
“That (is) Allah your Lord, (the) Creator (of) all things, (there is) no god except Him. So how are you deluded?” (Surah Ghafir 40:62)
Muslims, like Christians, believe that Jesus performed miracles. These miracles were performed by the will and permission of God, Who has power and control over all things. These miracles were not performed of their own accord; rather, they were only manifest in their hands by God’s will. Allah says:
قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا
“He said, “Indeed, I am a slave (of) Allah. He gave me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” (Surah Maryam 19:30)
God warns the Jews and Christians not to adulate their Prophets and not to speak in their regard without knowledge. It also goes on to tell us that Jesus is only a human being. Jesus, son of Mary will be returning to this world before the Day of Resurrection. He will return to become a leader of the Muslim nation.