Jesus in the Qur’an

Introduction

This page is written in a way that is intended as information about Isa (Jesus) to Muslims, from their Qur’anic perspective. Please consult your own Qur’an and verify the following conclusions.

In the Qur’an Jesus is not God, the Son of God or a man who died on the cross. Jesus is in the Qur’an a prophet whose message the Jews rejected. He is called the Messiah, but that means only that he is a messenger from God (Qur’an 4:171). He brought the Gospel (Qur’an 57:27).

The miraculous conception of Jesus

The most prominent aspect of Jesus’ life is his conception and birth, found in Qur’an 19:16-26. So Jesus was born miraculously, because it happened without any male intervention. The miracle of Jesus’ birth leads to the question: is Jesus only human or only spiritual? Wasn’t Jesus only human because he was created like Adam? Yes, indeed, in Qur’an 3:59 we read the similitude between the birth of Adam and the birth of Jesus: The similitude of Jesus before God is that of Adam; he created him from dust, then said to him: ’be’: and he was.

However, the Qur’an tells us not only about the similitude, but also about the differences between the birth of Adam and the birth of Jesus:

On the basis of these facts, we can say that there are considerable differences between the conceptions of Adam and Jesus. Adam was created from beneath and Jesus was created from above. Because Jesus was faultless and created by a Word of God, he had a higher substance. We distinguish God’s Word (kalima) and the words of God in the Scripture. God’s Word and Spirit must be eternal, since God could never have been without a Word and Spirit. According to the Qur’an, Jesus had in his life on earth no faults (Qur’an 19:19), while Adam disobeyed God in his life on earth (Qur’an 2:36). Adam does not possess the same characteristics as Jesus, the Word of God.

The identity of Jesus

So, according to the Qur’an, Jesus has a spiritual nature. But when Jesus is not the Word of God in the flesh, as Christians believe, and when he is not just a mortal, what is then the identity of Jesus? May we conclude here this is the complete review of Jesus in the Qur’an? That is not likely. There are more facts in the Qur’an:

The Arab word bashar in the Qur’an refers to a mortal, not to a world of spirits. Mohammed is just a simple mortal like anyone else (Qur’an 18:110; 41:6). The same is valid for the other prophets. So it is strange the word bashar can not be found in relation with Jesus. This should be the best proof Jesus is not God but just a human being. Now we have to seriously consider this question: is it possible that Jesus was in fact more than a prophet? Remember what the Qur’an said about Jesus:

But this is not all. There is even more in the Qur’an about Jesus. The Qur’an admits there is a special distinction between servants of God (Qur’an 2:253). Jesus has a special position in the Qur’an. For Jesus it is Gods signs to prove (Qur’an 2:253; 43:63) and Jesus received Gods assistance by the Holy Spirit (Qur’an 2:253). Jesus is a person with extreme dignity both in this world as in the other world (Qur’an 3:45). All commentaries agree with the fact that this implies both holiness as blessings[5]

Only Jesus can do the actions ’create’ and ’to give life’ (Qur’an 3:49). No prophet in the Qur’an has done such actions. Therefore the position of Jesus is above all other persons and exalt him to a level no human being ever reached. What do you think about Jesus? Can you say that he is merely another prophet?

Further study

Many Muslims believe the myth that they only have permission to read the Qur’an as the last edition of God’s Scripture. They think that the Bible (with the Taurah - Five Books of Moses, Zabur - Psalms and the Injil - Gospel) is not interesting. But this is not according the Qur’an. Why? Because according to Qur’an 3:61 and 3:64 Muslims are asked for a discussion with people of the Book (the Bible) and invited to investigate ways to the truth. Tabari (he died in 923 AD), was one of the greatest Muslim scholars. He has written many Qur’an commentaries. Like on Qur’an 28:82. Tabari asks: what were Ibrahim’s faults? He sums up three lies of Ibrahim:

You will not find event number three in the Qur’an. It is in the Bible, in Genesis 12:11-13.

The great Muslim scholar was reading the Bible to answer the question!

Like Tabari, many Muslims read the Bible, because it gives a much fuller knowledge. Because there is a call in the Qur’an to examine and an opening to use the Gospel as source, we can not say the Qur’an claims to give the absolute truth about Jesus, the whole story of his life, or a definitive pronouncement (Qur’an 2:256). Yes, indeed, the Qur’an propounds statements of faith about Jesus, but with the intention to stimulate human study, not to give the final answer. In other words: every Muslim should overestimate his capacity by saying he has the absolute truth about Jesus. Even Mohammed was commanded to be guided by those who received the Scriptures before him:If you (Mohammed) doubt what we have revealed to you ask those that have read the Scriptures before you (Qur’an 10:94).

It would be presumptuous for Muslims to believe that they know not only the truth but full truth about Jesus, and to refuse to pursue the way opened by the Qur’an in seeking other witnesses.[6]

The Qur’an confirms the Gospel and refers for more information to it. So, let us, like the Qur’an suggests, examine Come to Jesus.