Jesus is God in the Qur´an

According to the Qur’an, Jesus is the Messiah and the Messiah is not considered to be God. But Jesus has a miraculous conception and birth. How exceptional is his origin? Is Jesus God in the Qur'an?

Origin of Jesus

The Qur´an says that Jesus came to our world in a divine way: “She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is” (Qur´an 3:47).

Muslims have no doubt about the fact that God created all things. Therefore Muslims believe that also Jesus came to the womb of a woman. However, the Qur´an, Hadith and Muslim commentaries agree that the creation of Jesus on earth was unique. It can only be compared with the creation of Adam, the first man (Qur´an 3:59). The difference between Adam and Jesus is that Adam was created from dust from the earth (Qur'an 15:28, 32:7), while Jesus came from heaven by a Word of God from heaven (Qur'an 3:45). Adam committed sin (Qur’an 7:22-23), while Jesus is faultless (Qur’an 19:19) [1]. According to the Qur’an, the identity of Jesus is very special: “He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed' "” (Qur´an 19:21). Therefore the Qur’an is telling us that the origin of Jesus is different from an ordinary conception, because it happened through a direct divine command.

Miraculous birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus was contradiction with the biological laws, because anybody arrives on earth after a contact between a man and a woman. The Qur’an does mention that man is created with sperm and a clot of congealed blood (Qur’an 23:13-14).

This did not happen with Jesus, because the pregnancy of his mother the Mary was without an intercourse: “She said, "How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?" He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.' "So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place” (19:20-22). “And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples” (21:91 - Yusuf Ali). That Jesus was born without a father supports an extraordinary nature of Jesus.

Jesus is faultless

“He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son" (19:19 - Pickthall).

The Arabic text mentions the word “zakiyan”, which is intepreted by translators as “pure”, “faultless”, “righteous” or “holy”. This means that the Qur’an does mention as close as possible that Jesus is without sin" [2]. Another sign that there is something exceptional in Jesus.

Jesus is the Word of God

In the Qur’an is the announcement of the angel called Jesus the Word of God:

“Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah" (Qur’an 3:45).

Therefore, Jesus is very exceptional on earth and in heaven. Muslims can agree with Christians that Jesus is the Word of God, because in the Gospel is written:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).

The title Word of God is also in another verse:

“Christ Jesus the son of Mary was a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him” (Qur’an 4:171).

We will never understand a person without his word and therefore the Word of God cannot be isolated from Jesus. Without the Word Of God it is not possible to hear from God. So, even when we don’t call Jesus God, at least there is a very special and unique relation between Jesus and God.

Jesus is in the presence of God himself

According to the Qur’an, Jesus was taken alive into heaven, into the presence of God himself:

“(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ” (Qur’an 3:55 - Pickthall).

“… But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise” (Qur’an 4:158 - Pickthall).

Jesus supported with the Holy Spirit

“And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed” (2:87).

“[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" (5:110).

Although the meaning of the word “Spirit” is wide in the Qur’an, it is remarkable that in two verses the Spirit of God is connected with Jesus. Therefore the Spirit is related to God in his being. Jesus is like that, because Jesus was created at the very moment of the breathing of the Spirit" [3].

Reflection

Many Muslims are convinced that God sends prophets and gives them power for miracles and to proclaim God’s message. Other Muslims, such as Sufi master Ibn Arabi, admit that Jesus is his master and that Jesus has very special and unique qualities, because he is the Spirit of God [4]. Jesus is more than a prophet of God. There is evidence in the Qur'an to consider that Jesus is God.

References

  1. Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 4, p. 426.
  2. Raouf Ghattas, Carol B. Ghattas, A Christian Guide to the Qur'an, Building Bridges in Muslim Evangelism, Kregel, Grand Rapids, 2009, p. 174.
  3. Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi (translator Bulent Rauf), Fusûs al-Hikam, Vol. I, Ibn Arabi Society, p. 142." 33.
  4. Othman I. Yahya (ed.), Al-Tirimizi, Kitab Khatm al-Awliya, Imperial Catholique, Beirut, 1965, p. 161.