By Soliman H. Al-But'he. © International Publishing House for Islamic Books, 1998
We present this information so that on the day of Resurrection, God will not accuse us of hiding the Truth. In such pursuit, we do not seek the pleasure, praise or approval of any person, but only the pleasure of God. The Noble Qur’an (in the verse which is translated as follows) states:
“Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to (all) prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him (Allah) we submit.” [Qur’an 2:136]
As Muslims, we believe in One Creator, in all His prophets, including Jesus (peace be upon him) whom we consider as one of the mightiest prophets of Allah. We also accept that he was the Messiah as well as the Word of Allah, and that he was born miraculously without any male intervention. We are also certain that he gave life to the dead by Allah’s permission, and that he healed those born blind and the lepers by Allah’s permission. The Noble Qur’an, among other revealed books, highlights the important aspects of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) mother, his birth, his mission and his ascent to Heaven.
The story of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Noble Qur’an starts with the conception of his mother, Mary, when the wife of Imran, Mary’s mother, vowed to dedicate her child to the worship of Allah in the Temple. This is mentioned in the verses (which are translated as follows):
“When the wife of Imran said: ‘O my Lord! I dedicate to you what is in my womb for your service. So accept this of me. Indeed you are the All-Hearing (and) All-Knowing.’ When she was delivered of her, she said: ‘I have delivered a female child – and Allah knew best what she brought forth – and the male is not as the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge with You for her and her offspring from Satan, the outcast.’ So her Lord accepted her with kind acceptance and made her grow in a good manner, and entrusted her to the care of Zakariya. Whenever Zakariya entered upon her in the sanctuary, he found her with food. He said: ‘O Mary! From where comes to you this (food)?’ She said: ‘It is from Allah. Indeed Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without measure’.” [Qur’an 3:35-37]
The Noble Qur’an has stated that the Almighty Allah chose Mary, purified and raised her above all other women of the world. This is mentioned in the following verses (which are translated as follows):
“and when the angels said: ‘O Mary! Indeed Allah has
chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O
Mary! Be obedient to your Lord, prostrate yourself and bow with those who bow
(in prayer)’.” [Qur’an 3:42-43]
MIRACULOUS BIRTH OF JESUS (peace be upon him)
Concerning the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him), Allah says through chapter Mary in the Noble Qur’an (which is translated as follows):
“And mention in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she
withdrew from her family to a place toward the east. And she placed a screen (to
seclude herself) from them. Then We sent to her Our Spirit (Gabriel), and he
appeared before her as a well-proportioned man. She said: ‘Indeed I seek
refuge from you in (Allah) the Most Gracious. (So leave me) if you fear
Allah’. He said: ‘I am only a messenger from your Lord, to announce to you
the gift of a righteous son.’ She said: ‘How shall I have a son while no man
has touched me, neither have I been unchaste!’ He said: ‘So (it will be).
Your Lord said: It is easy for Me, and We shall make of him a miracle for
mankind and a Mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.’ So she conceived
him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth
drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: ‘Ah! Would that I had died
before this and had become a thing forgotten and out of sight! Then he (the
baby) cried to her from below her, saying: ‘Grieve not! Your Lord has placed a
rivulet beneath you. And shake the trunk of the palm tree toward you, it will
drop on you fresh ripe dates. So eat and drink and be consoled. And if you meet
any human, say: I have vowed a fast to (Allah) the Most Gracious, so I shall not
speak this day to any human.’ Then she brought him (the baby) to her people,
carrying him. They said: ‘O Mary! Indeed you have come with an amazing
(unprecedented) thing. O sister of Aaron!
Your father was not a man of evil nor was you mother an unchaste woman.’ Then
she pointed to him. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the
cradle?’ He (the child) said: ‘I am indeed a slave of Allah. He has given me
the Book and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wheresoever I may be,
and has enjoined upon me Prayer and Charity as long as I live. And (He has made
me) dutiful to my mother, and not arrogant (and) unblessed. And peace be upon me
the day I was born, and the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised to
life!’ Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of truth about which
they dispute. It befits not (the Majesty of) Allah that he should beget a son.
Glory be to Him! When he decrees a thing, He says to it only: Be! And it is. And
(Jesus said): ‘Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (alone).
This is the Right Path’.”
The church maintains that Jesus (peace be upon him) is the “Only-Begotten Son” of Allah and that Allah Himself, consists of three parts: the Son, the Father and the “Holy Ghost” – all at the same time! The Catholics further emphasize the divinity of Mary as the “Mother of God”. Islam rejects all these concepts in totality. Allah says in the Noble Qur’an (through the verses which are translated as follows):
“They surely disbelieve who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. But the Messiah said: ‘O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Verily, whoever ascribes partners to Allah, for him Allah has forbidden Paradise. And his abode is the Fire. So for evildoers (polytheists) there will be no helpers.; They surely disbelieve who say that Allah is one of three (in a Trinity), for there is no god except One God (Allah). And if they do not desist from what they say, surely a painful torment will befall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather repent to Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving (and) Most Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary was no more than a messenger (of Allah); many were the messengers that passed away before him. And his mother was a righteous woman. They both used to eat (their) food. See how We made the Signs (the revelations) clear for them, and again see how they are deluded away (from the truth)!” [Qur’an 5:72-75]
The Muslims rather contend that the miraculous birth of Jesus (peace be upon him) without a father does not make him a God or a “begotten” son of Allah. Allah states in the Noble Qur’an (which translates as follows):
“And they say: ‘Allah has begotten a son.’ Be He glorified! Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. All are subservient to Him. The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decrees a thing, He says to it only: Be! And it is.” [Qur’an 2:116-117]
Allah further says in the Noble Qur’an (which translates as follows):
“Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute! He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none comparable to Him.” [Qur’an 112:1-4]
The birth of Jesus (peace be upon him) was not any more supernatural than the creation of our father, Adam. Allah cites this in the Noble Qur’an as follows:
“Indeed the likeness of Jesus before Allah is that of
Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: Be! And he is.” [Qur’an 3:59 ]
THE MISSION OF JESUS (peace be upon him)
Our Creator sent prophets to show mankind the right path. Jesus (peace be upon him) was on eof those messengers that Allah had prepared to be sent to the Jews (Children of Israel) who had deviates from the teachings of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). Allah taught him the Book, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel and supported him with numerous miracles to prove that he was a messenger from Allah. In the Noble Qur’an Allah says:
“(And remember) when the angles said: ‘O Mary! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary. (He will be) held in honor in this world and the Hereafter, and will be one of those near (to Allah). He will speak to the people in (his) cradle and in (his) manhood, and he is of the righteous.’ She said: ‘My Lord! How shall I have a son while no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘So (it will be). Allah creates what He will. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only: Be! And it is. And He will teach him (Jesus) the Book and the wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel. And (will make him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (saying): Indeed I come to you with a sign from your Lord. I fashion for you out of clay the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it by Allah’s leave. And I heal the born blind and the leper, and raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Surely herein is a sign for you if you are believers. And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden to you; and I come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me’.” [Qur’an 3:45-50]
It must be realized that while Muslims believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) was given Allah’s so-called “Good News”, we do not recognize the present “Four Gospels” as the utterances of Jesus (peace be upon him) himself. Even the Church concedes that four different men wrote the “Four Gospels”, but continues to uphold that they were divinely inspired, an assertion firmly rejected by us. It can be argued that if the four writers were divinely inspired, then why are there so many serious discrepancies and omissions in their respective individual accounts of the life of Jesus (peace be upon him)?
Another mission of Jesus (peace be upon him) was to tell the people about the coming of the final prophet after him. The Almighty Allah affirms in the Noble Qur’an:
“And (remember) when Jesus of Mary said: ‘O Children of Israel! Indeed I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Torah (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad! But when he came to them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic.” [Qur’an 61:6]
The New Testament speaks of the coming of a “Comforter” after the ministry of Jesus (peace be upon him) as culled from Chapter 14:Verse16 of the Bible’s King James Version which says: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) that he may remain with you forever.” In View of such biblical account, some Christians believe or are made to believe that the promised “Comforter” is the “Holy Spirit”. But this view is moot and in fact unacceptable because the “Holy Spirit” was already present during Jesus’ (peace be upon him) ministry, and its coming was not a future event. The Muslims, therefore, believe that the term “Comforter” by necessity refers to a prophet. The prophet was Muhammad (peace be upon him), the unlearned prophet, the sole prophet who brought with him a complete comprehensive revelation from Allah, which has been preserved as it was revealed to him originally, challenging the whole world to come up with one chapter like it. Yet the world could never meet the challenge, and it will remain to be so till the end of time. It is the Miracle of miracles, the Last Testament of faith addressed to the whole world embodying complete light and guidance as well as the conviction of sin.
Jesus (peace be upon him) was followed by a few disciples who were inspired by Allah to support him. And not only that, the non-believers plotted to kill Jesus (peace be upon him), but Allah had a better plan for him and his followers as the Noble Qur’an tells us (in the verses which are translated as follows):
“But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he said: ‘Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah?’ The Disciples said: ‘We will be Allah’s helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear you witness that we are Muslims. Our Lord! We believe in that which you have revealed and we follow the messenger. Then write us down among those who bear witness.’ And they (the disbelievers) planned (to kill Jesus), and Allah planned (against them): and Allah is the best of planners. (And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself, and cleanse you of those who disbelieve; and I will make those who follow (you) superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to me you will (all) return, and I will judge between you as to that wherein you used to differ. And as for those who disbelieve I will punish them with severe torment in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers.” [Qur’an 3:52-56]
As the above verses indicate, Jesus was raised up to Heaven, which means that in accordance with the Noble Qur’an, he was not crucified. It was the plan of the enemies of Jesus (peace be upon him) to put him to death on the cross, but Allah saved him and somebody else who looked like him was crucified in his place. This plot and the false accusations hurled against Mary are, by Qur’anic account, considered to be some of the sins by the non-believing Jews. All of this is made clear in the verse (which are translated as follows):
“And because of their disbelief and of their speaking against Mary a grave calumny; and because of their saying ‘we slew the Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, Allah’s messenger’ – They slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them. And those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture. For of a surety they slew him not; but Allah took him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty (and) All-Wise. And there is none of the people of the Book (the Jews and Christians) but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.” [Qur’an 4:156-159]
Finally, we testify that there is no god except Allah and there is none worthy of worship except Him. We believe he has no partners, and that Muhammad is His slave and His messenger. We are also certain that Jesus, son of Mary is Allah’s slave, His messenger, His word (Be! And he was) which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit created by Him. We accept that all prophets are brothers and that there is no difference among their religion, which is one religion, “Al-Islam (or belief in the oneness of Allah)”. We attest that the Paradise is true, the Hell-fire is true, and that Allah, on the Day of Reckoning, will resurrect mankind from the graves. As Allah says in The Noble Qur’an (which is translated as follows):
“He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion as
that which He ordained to Noah, and that which We inspired in you (Muhammad),
and that which We ordained to Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the
religion, and make no divisions therein. To those who worship other things than
Allah, dreadful is that to which you call them. Allah chooses for Himself whom
He will, and guides to Himself him who turns (in repentance to Him)”
This is our message, and the Muslim nation will bear witness on the Day of Judgement that it conveyed the message of Truth and left it upon each and every person to accept or renounce it, follow the truth or remain in darkness. The Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Allah! There is no god except Him, the Living, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedes with Him except by His leave? He knows that which is in front of them and that which is behind them. But they encompass nothing of His Knowledge except what He will. His Kursi (footstool or chair) extends over the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Most High (and) the Supreme. There is no compulsion in Religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path.” [Qur’an 2:255-256]
How do we know what a revelation such as the Qur’an, is the true word of God?
The authenticity of a divine disclosure is best determined by judging it against the criteria set opposite the truthfulness of a divine divulgence such as the following:
1. Rational Teachings
Since god bestowed reason and intellect on mankind, it is our duty to use it to the maximum to discern truth from falsehood. And so far, the true and undistorted revelation from God must be logical and one that could appeal to and be rationalized by all fair-minded people.
Considering that God is All-perfect, it follow that His revelation must also be perfect and accurate, free from mistakes, omissions, interpolations and multiplicity of versions. In other words, it must be faultless in the sense that it is devoid of errors in the form of inconsistencies as well as contradictions.
3. No Myths or Superstitions
True revelation from God is free from myths or superstitions that degrade the dignity of God or man.
As God is the source of all knowledge, true revelation must be scientific and can withstand the challenge of science at all times.
God is the Knower of the past, present and future. Thus His Prophecies in His revelation will be fulfilled as prophesied.
6. Inimitable by Man
True revelation from God is infallible and cannot be imitated by man. God’s true revelation is a Living Miracle, an open Book challenging all mankind to see and prove for themselves its perfection.