Copyright © By Dr. Adel Elsaie, Book Title: "History of Truth, The Truth about God and Religions"
7.5 Jesus Christ (Pbuh)
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Surah Maryam (Mary)
Muslims believe that Jesus was one of the mightiest messengers of Allah; that he was the Christ, that he was born miraculously - without male intervention; that he gave life to the dead with Godís permission, that he healed those born blind and with leprosy with Godís permission, and that he did not die on the cross. In fact no Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus! Yet many Christians have no basic concept of Islam. Many are skeptical because they have been so brain washed for centuries.
In the present time, when one listens to some of the TV Evangelists, and reads the New Testament one gets completely different sides of Jesus. Those Evangelists are experts in presenting half the truth about both Jesus and Muhammad. They stress only one side in the most forceful and persuasive way. They raise the slogan "believe in Jesus." But one should have the right to ask, which Jesus?
The one who said honor your father and mother, Matthew 15:4, or the one who called his mother Woman, John 2:4?
The one who said love your enemies, Matthew 5:44 or the one who said he did not come to give peace on earth, but rather division, Luke 12:51.
The one who said if some one slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him, Matthew 5:39, or the one who went to the temple and drove people out and overturned the tables, Matthew 21:12?
The one who said have peace with one another, Mark 9:50 or the one who said he did not come to bring peace but a sword, Matthew 10:34?
The one who said forgive, and you will be forgiven, Luke 6:37, or the one who said if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you, Matthew 18:8?
The one who said bless them that curse you, Matthew 5:44, or the one who said he who curses father or mother, let him be put to death, Matthew 15:4?
As a Muslim, I understand both sides, because Jesus, like Muhammad, was both merciful when mercy was required and powerful when power was required. God himself has both heavens and hellfire. Yet half the truth Evangelists never failed to present only the merciful side of Jesus, and only the powerful side of Muhammad.
The word Christ is derived from the Hebrew and Arabic words "Messiah." In Arabic the root word "masaha" means to rub, to massage, or to anoint. Priests and kings were anointed when being consecrated to their offices. But in its translated Greek form "Christ", it seems unique: befitting Jesus only. The Messiah in Hebrew means anointed. The Greek word for anointed is "christos." Just delete the "os" from christos, and change the little "c" to a capital "C" and you get Christ. So Christ means anointed, and anointed means appointed in religious connotations. Jesus was appointed (anointed) at his baptism by John the Baptist as a Godís Messenger. Every prophet of God is so appointed or anointed. The Bible is so abundant with the anointed ones. Not only were prophets, priests, and kings anointed (christos-ed) but horns, cherubs, and lamp-posts also:
Genesis 31:13 "I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed as a pillar"
Leviticus 4:3 "If the priests that is anointed do sin..."
Leviticus 8:10 "And Moses...anointed the tabernacle and all things that was therein..."
1 Samuel 2:10 "...the Lord shall... exalt the horn of his anointed...."
Isaiah 45:1 "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed to Cyrus..."
Ezekiel 28:14 "Thou art the anointed cherub..."
Christians do not know that every time a Muslim speaks the name of Jesus, he must add these words of respect: peace be upon him, (Pbuh). Christians do not know that the Holy Quran has titles of three chapters related to Jesus:
Surah 3: The family of Imran (of Mary). Ayat 31 to 53 describe the miracles related to Jesusí birth and his ministry.
Surah 5: The Table. Ayah 109 to 120 describes the miracles of Jesus.
Surah 19: Mary, Ayah 16-40 detail the birth of Jesus, and how Mary was slandered by her people, but Jesus confronted them while he was a baby!
As a matter of fact, the Quran lists many of the miracles in the bible that Jesus performed, with the permission of God, and more! Also in the Quran, Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty five places with respect as a messenger of God:
Surah 2, Ayah 87 "We gave Jesus the son of Mary clear signs and strengthened him with the holy spirit."
Surah 3, Ayah 45 "O Mary, Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him: his name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary. Held in honor in this world and in the hereafter, and (of the company of) those who are nearest to God"
Surah 4, Ayah 171 "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. 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: So believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not three; desist. It will be better for you. For Allah is one God, Glory be to Him. (Far exalted is He) above having a son..."
So Jesus is spoken of in the Quran as "the word of God", as "the spirit from God", as "the sign of God", as the "Messiah", and numerous other titles of honor spread over fifteen chapters. But the Christians read into these words, a meaning which they do not carry. They equate the word "Christ" with the concept of God incarnate, and the Word of God to be God. The miraculous birth of Jesus does not make him a God or the son of God. No! Says the Holy Quran:
Surah 3, Ayah 59: "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: Be And he was."
This is the Word of God: "Be And he was." The logic is that, if being born without male parent entitles Jesus to being equated with God, then, Adam and Melchisedec would have a greater right to such an honor, and this no Christian would readily concede. Thus, Muslims reject this Christian doctrine that exists only in writing of John and only in the King James Version.
The Holy Quran refers to Jesus as "Eesa", and this name is used more times than any other title. So his proper name is "Eesaí in Arabic, or "Esau" in Hebrew; classical "Jeheshua", which the Christians of the west latinized as Jesus. Recall that the letter "Y" was changed to "J"
The above verses from the Quran stress the attributes of Jesus as follows:
That he was the son of a woman, Mary, and therefore a man.
That he was a messenger, a man with a mission from Allah, and therefore entitled to honor.
That he was a word bestowed on Mary, for he was created by Allahís word: "Be" and he was.
That he was a spirit proceeding from Allah, but not Allah.
Therefore, Islam rejects the doctrines of the trinity and the son of god, for Allah is independent of all needs, and has no need for a son to manage His affairs. The Gospel of John and the Fathers of the Church put a great deal of emphasis on describing Jesus as the "Word of God". They extended the simple concept of all creations as a word of God: "be and it will be", to the complex concept of Greek philosophy of the word "Logos." Adam was created by the "Word of God." The whole universe was created by the "Word of God." So why single out Jesus as the "Word of God" and extend its true literal meaning to a pagan concept based upon ancient philosophy and beyond the realm of God?
Also the simple concept of the "Spirit of God" was extended to another complex concept. The Islamic concept about "Spirit from God" is simply a spirit proceeded from God, and not literally the "Spirit of God." And we all know what a difference it makes if we choose the wrong preposition.
Moreover, the simple concept of describing Jesus as "Sign of God" is quite obvious. His birth and his death were miracles with the permission of God; he performed many miracles, like many other prophets, with the permission of God, his second coming will be another miracle with the permission of God. Why is it so difficult to accept that Allah showed miracles or signs to humanity? As was mentioned before, anyone who does not believe in miracles, can go to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and examine the physical miracle of the well of Zamzam that has been pumping pure water for thousands of years with no sign of drying up. Or anyone can read the Quran and see the real spiritual and scientific miracles in this Book. It is not a coincidence that the only two miracles that exist on this Earth belong to Islam, while all the miracles that Jesus or Moses performed are only recorded in the Holy Books.
Surah Maryam (Mary)
There is a chapter in the Quran, named Surah Maryam, "Maryís Chapter." Chapter number 19 named in honor of Mary the mother of Jesus. Such an honor is not found in the Bible. Out of the 66 books of the Protestants or the 73 books of the Roman Catholics, not one is named after Mary or Jesus. Mary is chosen in the Quran as having an esteemed position above all the women of the world:
Surah 3, Ayah 42 "Behold the angels said: O Mary! Allah Hath chosen thee and purified thee - chosen thee above the women of all nations."
This is the position of Mary in Islam. If Muhammad were the author of the Quran, then he would not have failed to include with Maryam, the mother of Jesus, his own mother, or his own wife, or his own daughter. This is one of the proofs that the Quran is not his own work. Keeping in mind that he was, in fact not learned, i.e. unlettered.
The story of Mary is spread into many chapters in the Quran. Maryís mother, Hannah, was barren. She poured out her heart to God: If only God would grant her a son, she would surely dedicate such a son for the service of God in the temple. God granted her prayer, not a son but instead delivered a daughter called Mary. She was disappointed, because in no way is the female like the male, for what she had in mind. She had made a vow to God. She waited for Mary to grow up to fend for herself. When the time came, Hannah took her daughter to the temple, to hand her over for temple services. Every priest was clamoring to be the godfather of this child. They cast lots with arrows for her to see who would achieve this honor. Eventually she fell in the lots of Zakariya, the father of John the Baptist (Prophet Yahya in Quran), but not without a dispute. Every time Zakariya visited Mary to check on her needs, he found her surrounded by light and food. When he asked Mary where does she get this food, she answered from Allah. This inspired Zakariya to ask God for a son knowing that his wife was barren. So God granted him John the Baptist. Maryís mother asked for a son, but Allah gave her much more. He gave her a daughter and then made this daughter the holiest woman ever. Such generosity from the Almighty!
The first section of Surah Maryam tells the story of Zakariya and the birth of John the Baptist. The Islamic name for John is "Yahya" which suggests life. The Hebrew form is "Johanan" which means "Jehovah has been Gracious." The Quran says that Allah, for the first time, named his prophet a name that never existed before, John.
The second section of Surah Maryam, Surah 19, Ayah 16 to 40, tells the story of the birth of Jesus:
"Relate in the Book (The story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the east. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them. Then We sent to her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respect. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious, (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a pure son." She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste." He said: "So (it will be) thy Lord saith, ĎThat is easy for me: and (We Wish) to appoint him as a sign unto men and a Mercy from Us. It is a matter (so) decreed. So she conceived him. And she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of the childbirth drove her to a trunk of a palm tree; she cried (in her anguish): "Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten. But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm tree): "Grieve not! For thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm tree; it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say: I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being." At Length she brought the (babe) to her people carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! Truly a strange thing has thou brought. O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil nor thy mother a woman unchaste." But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He (Jesus) said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet. And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me prayer and Zakat (charity) as long as I live. (He hath made me) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)". Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, he only says to it "Be", and it is."
The above verses represent the personal side of the experiences of the worshippers of Allah in relation to their families or environment. But where did Muhammad get this knowledge? He was unlettered, He did not know how to read or write. He was made by God Almighty to tell this story in such details that was not mentioned in the Bible. In this story, the accusation of Muhammad of plagiarizing the Quran from the Jews and Christian collapses, because he was unlettered and because this story is not in the Bible. Knowing fully that the whole Quran is the authentic Word of God, we will nevertheless agree, for the sake of argument, with the critics of Islam for a moment that he wrote it. With any reason we can proceed that Muhammad was an Arab addressing Arabs in Arabic. Whether those critics agreed with him or not, he told them in the most sublime form - words that offended the hearts and minds of his Arab listeners that Mary the mother of Jesus - A JEWESS - was chosen above all the women of all nations. For everyone his own mother, wife, or daughter would come before other women. Why then would the prophet of Islam honor a woman from the opposition? The only reasonable answer is that he had no choice. It was revealed to him like that, and he could not change it.
The Bible says the first miracle of Jesus, occurred when he was over thirty years old. In John 2:1-10, this first miracle when wine flowed like water. Jesus made this potent wine that the men have "well drunk." This was not grape juice. It was the same wine that, according to the Bible, enabled the daughters of Lot to seduce their father, Genesis 19:32-33. It was the same wine that the Christian is advised to avoid in Ephesians 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine". The Quran does not mention this alleged miracle to Jesus.
On the other hand, in Islam, Jesusí first miracle occurred when he was a baby. He spoke as an infant. He talked to defend his mother from any devious judgment from her people. Now ask yourself, which version of the first miracle would you choose for Jesus? The Islamic version or the Biblical version? The Christian could read in the Quran everything he wanted to know about Jesus, but in the most noble, elevated, and sublime language. A Christian or a Muslim, when reading the above story in the Quran, could not help being moved by it. I personally saw Muslim adults crying in humility when reading or listening to this miraculous story of the birth of Jesus.
Therefore, the Quran tells us the following:
That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virtuous woman, and honored above the women of all nations.
That the Quran was Godís own Revelation to mankind.
That Jesus was the "Word of God." "Be: And he was."
That Jesus was the Christ that the Jews were waiting for.
That God empowers Jesus to perform miracles even in his infancy.
That Jesus was born miraculously, without any male intervention.
That God gave him Revelation.
That Jesus was very kind to his mother.
That Jesus gave life to the dead by Godís permission, and that he healed those born blind and with leprosy by Godís permission.
The Holy Quran has something definite to say about every deviation of Christianity. The Quran exonerates Jesus from all the false charges of his enemies as well as the misplaced passion of his followers. His enemies allege that he blasphemed against God by claiming divinity. His followers claim that he did declare his divinity, but that was not blasphemy because he was God. This is what the Jews and Christians say about Jesus. The Quran calls the Jews and Christians: "People of the book." This is a very respected title that they are addressed as in the Quran. The Quran asks both the Jews and Christians to say only the truth of Allah. Muslims are commanded to invite People of the Book to a common platform that we worship none but God. Because none but God is worthy of worship, not because "the Lord is a jealous Lord," Genesis 20:5. But because he is our Lord and Cherisher, our Sustainer and Evolver, worthy of all praise, prayer and devotion. Thus the Quran gives the Jews and the Christians the following proposition:
Surah 3, Ayah 64 "Say: O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; That we associate no partners with Him; That we erect not, from among ourselves, lords and patrons other than Allah. If they turn back, say ye: Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Godís Will)."