Questions and Answers > Is Jesus God? > Qur'an

Qur'an 3:45: Was Jesus always with God?

According to the Qur’an Jesus is the Messiah and a messenger. Is it possible that Jesus is more than that? In the Qur’an, the conception of Jesus is described by the following verse:

“(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah).” (Qur’an 3:45 – Pickthall).

“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 honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;” (Qur’an 3:45 – Yusuf Ali).

Context of the verse

"Of a word from him" means that Jesus the Messiah is the "Word of God". There is also a reference to Jesus as the Word of God in another verse: “… Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him …” (Qur’an 4:171 – Yusuf Ali). In the time before Muhammad only Jesus was given the title "Word of God". It is a reference to "Word of God" in the Bible in John 1:1-14. This confirms a Greek doctrine about divinity [1]. Muhammad hoped to be accepted as a prophet for Jews and Christians. Historical documents in Islam show that Negus (Al-Najashi), king of Ethiopia had a meeting with Muslims, sent by Muhammad. Ja’far, recited a passage from Qur’an on Muhammad’s command about Jesus: “he is the servant of God and his apostle and His Spirit and His word which he cast into Mary the blessed virgin” [2]. To help Christians feel more comfortable with him, Muhammad used divine titles for Jesus, such as “Word of God” and also “Spirit of God” (Qur’an 4:171, 5:110). It is double minded, because the Qur’an has many denials about the divine status of Jesus the Messiah.

Explanation of the verse

"(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary!": It was an angel who brought the message to Mary, the proposed mother of Jesus.

"of a word from him": Jesus, the Word of God came in the flesh.

"Whose name will be the Messiah": Allah did not allow Mary to choose a name for the child. Allah declared the name as Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary. That means that this child was already with Allah. The child who is to be born through Mary has already a name [3].

"Jesus, the son of Mary": This verse is in present tense, which shows that the child was already in present at the time the angel was bringing this message to Mary. Jesus was already called “son of Mary” before his conception in the body of Mary through the Holy Spirit.

"And among those brought near [to Allah]": an analysis of each word in this Qur’an verse will lead to a very important conclusion. Jesus is already around Allah. Soon after the visit of the angel, Jesus is going to be born through Mary. The verse is not saying that the child to be so born will be created by Allah, like any other human being, but that Jesus is from Allah. This means that Allah changed the position of Jesus the Messiah from “around him” to a position “to the world”. Therefore Allah did not create Jesus, but Allah moved Jesus from heaven to the world. [4].

Conclusion

Qur´an 3:45 is saying that Jesus was always with God.

Notes

  1. Karel Steenbrink, The Jesus Verses of the Qur’an, Henry Martyn Institute, Noida, 2011, 61.
  2. Ibn Ishaq, Sira, ed. M. Hamidullah, Rabat, 1976.
  3. Ibrahimkhan O. Deshmukh, The Gospel and Islam. GLS Publishing, Mumbai, 2011, 212.
  4. Ibid, 211.

Comments

Join Our Community

Follow Questions and Answers that matter to you and connect with those who share your interests. Learn from the experts in our community and ask, comment, and connect.