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Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life

 

 

CHRIST IN ISLAM

 

 

 

A person reading the Koran will soon find out that the book refers to Jesus Christ even more often than to Muhammad. The Koran describes how Jesus was born from Mary, that He was a prophet and that He caused miracles to happen. It also uses deferential and dignified terms when referring to Him, such as the Word of God, the Spirit of God and Messiah. These are terms that can also be found in the Bible.

   In this writing, we will study what kind of a picture the Koran and the Islamic traditions give of Jesus. We will study the similarities with the Bible and how these sources differ from the Bible. It is interesting to see that these sources paint a versatile picture of Jesus but often in a veiled and remote way – it is easy to pass Him by. This is why we will study some verses in the New Testament that refer to the same subjects as the Koran and the Islamic traditions.

 

HE WAS strengthened WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

To Moses We gave the Book (Torah) and sent after him other Messengers in succession; then We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear Signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit (2:87)

 

These are the Messengers (which We have sent for the guidance of mankind). We have exalted some above others. To some Allah spoke directly; others He raised high in ranks; to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear Signs and supported him with the Holy Spirit… (2:253)

 

Then Allah will ask: "O Jesus son of Mary! Recall my favor upon you and to your mother, how I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, so you could speak to the people in cradle and in old age, how I taught you the Book, Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. How you were able to make the figure of a bird out of a clay, by My permission, how you breathed into it and changed it into a real bird, by My permission. How you could heal the born-blind and the lepers by My permission. How you could bring the dead body back to life by My permission. How I protected you from the violence of the Children of Israel when you came to them with clear signs and the unbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but a clear sorcery." (5:110)

 

The Koran teaches that Jesus was strengthened with the Holy Spirit. The New Testament says the same. When Jesus started his public activity, the Holy Spirit came onto Him. These verses also show the connection between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is denounced by the Muslims.

 

- (Matt 3:1,2,11-17) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me?

15 And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him:

17 And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

- (Luke 4:14-21) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

 

- (Acts 10:37,38) That word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

 

PROPHET

 

Say: "We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us; and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, and that which was given to  Moses, Jesus and other Prophets from their Lord. We do not discriminate any of them, and to Allah we have surrendered ourselves (2:136)

 

O Prophet, say: "We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants; and in that which was given to Moses, Jesus and other Prophets from their Lord; we do not discriminate between any one of

them, and to Allah do we submit in Islam." (3:84)

 

In response she merely pointed towards the baby. They said: "How can we talk to a babe in the cradle?" Whereupon the baby spoke out: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. His blessing is with me wherever I go. He has commanded me to establish Salah and give Zakah as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has not made me domineering, hard to deal with. Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I shall die and the Day I shall be raised to life again." Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt.  (19:29-34)

 

O Muhammad, remember the Covenant which We took from all the Prophets - from you as well as from Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus son of Mary - We took that solemn Covenant from all of them (33:7)

 

The Koran says that Jesus is a prophet. The New Testament also tells us that Jesus was considered a prophet. People understood that he was the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy (Deut 18:15,18: The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen…  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, like to you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him):

 

- (Matt 21:10,11) And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

 

- (Matt 21:42-46) Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

 

- (John 6:14,15) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

 

- (John 7:37-43) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.

38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Has not the scripture said, That Christ comes of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

 

MESSIAH

 

When the angels said "O Mary! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, Jesus (Jesus Christ) the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah. (3:45)

 

O People of the Book! Do not transgress the limits of your religion. Speak nothing but the Truth about Allah. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger of Allah and His Word "Be" which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from Him which took the shape

of a child in her womb. So believe in Allah… (4:171)

 

The Koran refers to Jesus by several titles, one of them being the Messiah, i.e. the Christ. The same name can also be found in the New Testament:

 

- (John 1:40,41) One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first finds his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

 

- (John 4:25,26) The woman said to him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

26 Jesus said to her, I that speak to you am he.

 

- (John 10:22-25) And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said to him, How long do you make us to doubt? If you be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

 

SINLESSNESS

 

When the angels said "O Mary! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, Jesus (Jesus Christ) the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in his old age and he will be among the righteous." (3:45,46)

 

O Muhammad, relate to them the story of Mary in the Book (The Qur'an) when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She chose to be secluded from them. We sent to her Our angel and he appeared before her as a grown man. She said: "I seek Rahman’s (Allah’s) protection against you, leave me alone if you are Godfearing." He said: "Don’t be afraid, I am merely a messenger from your Lord to tell you about the gift of a holy son." (19:16-19)

 

Reading the Koran, one soon notices that Jesus is considered a pure and devout person, and that there are no references to His sins. There are, however, references to Muhammad’s sins and to his having to beg for forgiveness for his sins (47:19, 48:2, 110:3, 17:73,74).

   The New Testament repeatedly declares that Jesus was sinless. This was confirmed by both His enemies and His disciples. A particularly interesting part is found in chapter 8 of the Gospel according to John, in which we learn that Jesus was sinless and that people who came to accuse Him had to leave because their consciences convicted them of their own guilt:

 

- (John 8:1-9) Jesus went to the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the middle,

4 They say to him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what say you?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the oldest, even to the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the middle.

 

- (John 8:45-47) And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.

46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?

47 He that is of God hears God's words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God.

 

- (John 8:28-30) Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spoke these words, many believed on him.

 

Disciples testifying that Jesus is sinless

 

- (Hebr 4:15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

- (Hebr 7:26) For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

 

- (1 Peter 2:21,22) For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

 

- (1 John 3:5) And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

 

- (2 Cor 5:21) For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Others

 

- (Matt 22:16-18) And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care you for any man: for you regard not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you me, you hypocrites?

 

- (Matt 27:3-5) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

- (Matt 27:17-19) Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, Whom will you that I release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have you nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

 

- (Luke 23:39-41) And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If you be Christ, save yourself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do not you fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss.

 

- (Luke 23:46,47) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

 

- (John 18:37,38) Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.

38 Pilate said to him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, I find in him no fault at all.

 

EXAMPLE

 

When Mary’s son Jesus is quoted as an example, your people raise a clamor at it, and say: "Are Our gods better or is he?" They cite this to you merely to provoke you. They are but a quarrelsome people. He (Jesus) was no more than a mortal whom We favored and made an example to the Children of Israel. (43:57-59)

 

The Koran refers to Jesus as an example. In the New Testament, Jesus describes Himself as being an example; by washing the feet of His disciples Jesus showed Himself to be an example.  This picture of the servant Christ who set examples for us is also found in other verses of the Bible including:

 

- (John 13:12-15) So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said to them, Know you what I have done to you?

13 You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

 

- (John 8:28-30) Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spoke these words, many believed on him.

 

- (Phil 2:5-11) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

- (Matt 20:25-28) But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

FOLLOWING JESUS

 

When Jesus found out that they (most of the children of Israel) had no faith, he asked: "Who will help me in the cause of Allah?" The Disciples replied: "We will help you in the cause of Allah. We believe in Allah. Be our witness that we are Muslims." Then they invoked Allah and said): "Our Lord! We believe in what you have revealed and we follow Your Messenger. Please count us with those who bear witness. "The unbelievers among the children of Israel plotted against Jesus and Allah also devised a plan to raise him up, and Allah is the best in planning. Allah said: "O Jesus! I am going to recall you (from your mission) and raise you up to Myself. I will clean you of those who rejected you and exalt your followers above the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return and I shall judge those matters in which you have been disputing. (3:52-55)

 

When Mary’s son Jesus is quoted as an example, your people raise a clamor at it, and say: "Are Our gods better or is he?" They cite this to you merely to provoke you. They are but a quarrelsome people. He (Jesus) was no more than a mortal whom We favored and made an example to the Children of Israel. Had it been Our will, We could create angels from you to succeed you in the earth. He (Jesus) is, in fact, a sign for the coming of the Hour of Doom. Therefore, have no doubt about its coming, follow me; this is the Right Way. Let not Satan mislead you, for he is your open enemy. When Jesus came with clear signs, he stated: "I have brought you wisdom, and to clarify some of those things about which you have disputes: so fear Allah and obey me. (43:57-63)

 

The Koran refers a couple of times to following Jesus and teaches that it is the right road. Furthermore, the Koran says that God will place all followers of Jesus above unbelievers until the resurrection.

   In the New Testament we find the same message. Jesus said that He is ”the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) He also urged people to follow Him. Those who love their father or mother more than He are not worthy of Him:

 

- (Matt 4:18-20) And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19 And he said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

 

- (Matt 19:20-22) The young man said to him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21 Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

 

- (Matt 19:27-30) Then answered Peter and said to him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you; what shall we have therefore?

28 And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred times, and shall inherit everlasting life.

30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

 

- (Matt 10:37,38) He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.

 

- (John 8:12) Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

OBEYING JESUS

 

Allah will teach your son the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel and send him forth as a Messenger to the Children of Israel with this message: 'I have brought you signs of my appointment from your Lord. I will make for you the likeness of a bird from clay; I will breathe into it and, with Allah’s leave, it will become a living bird. I will heal the blind and the lepers, and raise the dead to life, by Allah's leave. Furthermore, I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. Surely these are the signs to convince you if you are believers. I am appointed to confirm that which is before me from the Torah and to make lawful to you some of the things forbidden to you. Now I have brought you the signs from your Lord, therefore fear Allah and obey me. (3:48-50)

 

When Jesus came with clear signs, he stated: "I have brought you wisdom, and to clarify some of those things about which you have disputes: so fear Allah and obey me. (43: 63)

 

The Koran mentions that Jesus must be obeyed.

   Jesus Himself teaches the same message, as we read in the New Testament. He came right out and said it: if people love Him they should obey Him. He also said that, on the last day, He will judge all people who act in His name but who still do wrong:

 

- (John 14:15,21,24,25) If you love me, keep my commandments.

21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

24 He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

25 These things have I spoken to you, being yet present with you.

 

- (Matt 7:20-23) Why by their fruits you shall know them.

21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

 

VIRGIN BIRTH

 

There came the time when angels said: "O Mary! Surely Allah has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the worlds. O Mary! Be obedient to your Lord, prostrate and bow down in worship with other worshippers. "O Muhammad, this is the news from the Unseen which We are revealing to you. You were not present with them when priests of the temple cast their pens to decide which of them should be the guardian of Mary; nor were you with them when they argued about it. When the angels said "O Mary! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, Jesus (Jesus Christ) the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in his old age and he will be among the righteous." Hearing this, Mary said, "O my Lord! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" He replied, "Even so, Allah creates however He wants; whenever He decides to do anything, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is! (3:42-47)

 

O Muhammad, relate to them the story of Mary in the Book (The Qur'an) when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She chose to be secluded from them. We sent to her Our angel and he appeared before her as a grown man. She said: "I seek Rahman’s (Allah’s) protection against you, leave me alone if you are Godfearing." He said: "Don’t be afraid, I am merely a messenger from your Lord to tell you about the gift of a holy son." She said: "How shall I bear a son, no man has ever touched me nor am I unchaste?" The angel replied: "So shall it be - Your Lord says: `It is easy for Me. We wish to make him a Sign for mankind and a blessing from Us’ - and this matter has already been decreed." So she conceived the child and she retired with him to a remote place. (19:16-22)

 

Virgin birth is one of the subjects that the Koran associates with Jesus. According to the Koran, Jesus is the only one who was born without an earthly father.

   The New Testament declares the same. It describes how Mary became pregnant through the Holy Spirit and then gave birth to Jesus:

 

- (Matt 1:18-23) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

- (Luke 1:26-36) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God.

31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

 

There are more references to the birth of Jesus in the Islamic tradition. The next quote is from one of the most highly esteemed commentaries of Islam; it refers to Jesus having been born without a father and without the presence of any semen. In this quote, Jesus is called the Word of God and the Spirit of God, both names of Jesus that can also be found in the Koran.

 

lll:22] Jesus is called the Word of God and a word from Him because he came into being from His word and at His command, without the influence of a father or semen. He is also called the Spirit of God and a spirit from Him because he is spiritual that became into being without any other spiritual influence.(az-Zamakhshari, Kashshaf I:315)

 

DISCIPLES

 

When Jesus found out that they (most of the children of Israel) had no faith, he asked: "Who will help me in the cause of Allah?" The Disciples replied: "We will help you in the cause of Allah. We believe in Allah. Be our witness that we are Muslims." Then they invoked Allah and said): "Our Lord! We believe in what you have revealed and we follow Your Messenger. Please count us with those who bear witness. (3:52, 53)

 

Remember, when I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and My Messenger and they said: ‘We believe and bear witness that we have become Muslims." How when the disciples asked: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us from heaven a table spread with food?" And you said: "Have fear of Allah if you are true believers." They said: "We only wish to eat thereof to satisfy our hearts and to know that you have indeed told us the truth, and that we bear witness to it." Jesus, son of Mary said: "O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread with food that it may mark a feast, one of a kind for those before us and for those after us, as a sign from You; and provide us our sustenance, You are the best Sustainer." Allah responded: "I shall send it down to you, but if any of you disbelieve after that, I shall punish him with a torment which I have never inflicted on anyone in the worlds." (5:111-115)

 

In the Koran we read that Jesus had disciples, just as we read in the New Testament. Furthermore, in the New Testament we read that the disciples called Jesus “teacher” (Master):

 

- (Matt 23:8-12) But be not you called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brothers.

9 And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

 

- (Mark 4:37-41) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say to him, Master, care you not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said to them, Why are you so fearful? how is it that you have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 

- (John 8:31,32) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

- (John 9:13,14, 26-30) They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

26 Then said they to him again, What did he to you? how opened he your eyes?

27 He answered them, I have told you already, and you did not hear: why would you hear it again? will you also be his disciples?

28 Then they reviled him, and said, You are his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.

29 We know that God spoke to Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from where he is.

30 The man answered and said to them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that you know not from where he is, and yet he has opened my eyes.

 

JESUS CAME TO PROVE THE TORAH RIGHT

 

Allah will teach your son the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel and send him forth as a Messenger to the Children of Israel with this message: 'I have brought you signs of my appointment from your Lord. I will make for you the likeness of a bird from clay; I will breathe into it and, with Allah’s leave, it will become a living bird. I will heal the blind and the lepers, and raise the dead to life, by Allah's leave. Furthermore, I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. Surely these are the signs to convince you if you are believers. I am appointed to confirm that which is before me from the Torah and to make lawful to you some of the things forbidden to you. Now I have brought you the signs from your Lord, therefore fear Allah and obey me. (3:48-50)

 

After them We sent forth Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which there is guidance and light, corroborating what was revealed before it in the Torah, a guide and an admonition to the righteous.

   Therefore let those who follow the Gospel judge according to what God has revealed therein. Evil-doers are those that do not base their judgements on God’s revelations. (5:46,47)

 

And remember when Jesus the son of Mary said: "O children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah towards you, confirming the Torah which came before me… (61:6)

 

The Koran says that Jesus came to prove the Torah right. Almost exactly the same idea can be found in the New Testament, too. In the New Testament we read that Jesus was born under the law, and that he fulfilled the law and many prophecies. Jesus also described Himself with the same words that Moses wrote about Him:

 

Law

 

- (Matt 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

 

- (Gal 4:4-7) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7 Why you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

 

- (Rom 10:1-4,9-11) Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.

9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

10 For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

11 For the scripture said, Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.

 

Prophecies

 

- (Luke 24:25-27) Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

 

- (Luke 24:43-45) And he took it, and did eat before them.

44 And he said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

 

- (John 5:39,40,45-47) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust.

46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47 But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?

 

- (Acts 10:42,43) And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.

 

JESUS BROUGHT THE GOSPEL

 

After them We sent forth Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which there is guidance and light, corroborating what was revealed before it in the Torah, a guide and an admonition to the righteous.

   Therefore let those who follow the Gospel judge according to what God has revealed therein. Evil-doers are those that do not base their judgements on God’s revelations. (5:46,47)

 

After them We sent other Messengers, one after the other, and followed them with Jesus the son of Mary. We gave him The Gospel, and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers. As for monasticism, they instituted it themselves… (57:27)

 

The Koran mentions that the Gospel that includes guidance and light was given to Jesus.

   One of the foundational teachings of the New Testament is the Gospel of Jesus Christ: He took our sins upon His shoulders. This is the good message:  We can be forgiven for all our sins through Jesus Christ. This is why Paul, for example, was not ashamed of the Gospel:  He understood that people’s redemption depended on it.

 

- (Luke 4:14-21) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

 

- (Acts 8:5-8,12) Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them.

6 And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

8 And there was great joy in that city.

12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

 

- (Acts 8:26-31,34-38) And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.

27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understand you what you read?

31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

 

- (Acts 16:9,10) And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel to them.

 

- (Rom 1:14-16) I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

- (Rom 15:17-22) I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not worked by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about to Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

20 Yes, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation:

21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

 

- (2 Cor 4:3-5) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

 

Compassion and Mercy

 

After them We sent other Messengers, one after the other, and followed them with Jesus the son of Mary. We gave him The Gospel, and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers. As for monasticism, they instituted it themselves… (57:27)

 

The Koran says that the hearts of Jesus’ followers are full of compassion and mercy.

   This is also stated in the New Testament. If a person is with Jesus Christ, he or she should change for the better. If this does not happen then the person surely has never truly been with God. Most Muslims are unable to distinguish between these two.  They think that all people living in the West are Christians. This is not what the Bible says, however:

 

- (Matt 3:7-10) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

10 And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

 

- (2 Cor 3:17,18) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.

 

- (Gal 5:19-23) But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

PEOPLE’S DISBELIEF AND RESISTANCE

 

When Jesus found out that they (most of the children of Israel) had no faith, he asked: "Who will help me in the cause of Allah?" The Disciples replied: "We will help you in the cause of Allah. We believe in Allah. Be our witness that we are Muslims." Then they invoked Allah and said): "Our Lord! We believe in what you have revealed and we follow Your Messenger. Please count us with those who bear witness. (3:52, 53)

 

Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt…Inspite of this, the sects from among them are divided concerning Jesus. So woe to the disbelievers who shall be punished after witnessing this Truth on the Great Day of Judgement. (19:34,37)

 

O believers! Be the helpers of Allah, just as Jesus the son of Mary said to his disciples: "Who will be my helper in the cause of Allah?" And the disciples responded: "We will be your helpers in the cause of Allah." Then a group from the children of Israel believed in him (Jesus) and another group disbelieved. We aided the believers against their enemies, so they became victorious. (61:14)

 

The Koran includes some verses about people’s disbelief of and resistance to Jesus.

   The New Testament mentions this, too. Even though Jesus performed several miracles and led a holy life, there were still disbelievers. Such disbelief and resistance are present today, as well.

 

- (John 12:37-43) But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, Lord, who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40 He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

 

- (John 16:1-4) These things have I spoken to you, that you should not be offended.

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whoever kills you will think that he does God service.

3 And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

 

- (Luke 6:22,23) Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

23 Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers to the prophets.

 

- (Matt 13:57,58) And they were offended in him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.

58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

 

- (John 6:35,36) And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said to you, That you also have seen me, and believe not.

 

- (John 9:39-41) And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said to him, Are we blind also?

41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, We see; therefore your sin remains.

 

- (John 10:22-25) And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said to him, How long do you make us to doubt? If you be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

 

BELIEVING IN JESUS

 

Then Allah will ask: "O Jesus son of Mary! Recall my favor upon you and to your mother, how I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, so you could speak to the people in cradle and in old age, how I taught you the Book, Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. How you were able to make the figure of a bird out of a clay, by My permission, how you breathed into it and changed it into a real bird, by My permission. How you could heal the born-blind and the lepers by My permission. How you could bring the dead body back to life by My permission. How I protected you from the violence of the Children of Israel when you came to them with clear signs and the unbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but a clear sorcery." Remember, when I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and My Messenger and they said: ‘We believe and bear witness that we have become Muslims." How when the disciples asked: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us from heaven a table spread with food?" And you said: "Have fear of Allah if you are true believers." (5:110-112)

 

The Koran mentions belief in God and Jesus. This is also one of the teachings of the New Testament.

   In fact, the most important lesson in the New Testament is that we can be saved by believing in Jesus and in what He did for us. If, on the other hand, we reject Him and do not believe in Him, we will suffer damnation.

 

- (Acts 16:30,31) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.

 

- (Acts 10:42,43) And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.

 

- (John 8:23,24) And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.

24 I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.

 

- (Matt 18:6,7) But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

 

- (John 1:11,12) He came to his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

- (John 3:16,18) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

- (John 12:46,48) I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.

48 He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

 

- (John 20:30,31) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.

 

JESUS TOLD THE TRUTH

 

Remember, when I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and My Messenger and they said: ‘We believe and bear witness that we have become Muslims." How when the disciples asked: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us from heaven a table spread with food?" And you said: "Have fear of Allah if you are true believers." They said: "We only wish to eat thereof to satisfy our hearts and to know that you have indeed told us the truth, and that we bear witness to it." Jesus, son of Mary said: "O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread with food that it may mark a feast, one of a kind for those before us and for those after us, as a sign from You; and provide us our sustenance, You are the best Sustainer." Allah responded: "I shall send it down to you, but if any of you disbelieve after that, I shall punish him with a torment which I have never inflicted on anyone in the worlds." (5:111-115)

 

These verses of the Koran prove that the disciples were given a confirmation that Jesus was telling the truth.

   This is also mentioned in the New Testament: Jesus said that He is the way, truth and life, and that He was telling the truth.

 

- (John 1:1,2,14,17) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

- (John 8:31,32) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

 

- (John 8:44-46) You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.
46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?

 

SHOWING MERCY

 

She said: "How shall I bear a son, no man has ever touched me nor am I unchaste?" The angel replied: "So shall it be - Your Lord says: `It is easy for Me. We wish to make him a Sign for mankind and a blessing from Us’ - and this matter has already been decreed." (19:20,21)

 

The Koran says that the birth of Jesus was a sign of God’s mercy (blessing).

   The New Testament mentions this, too. In fact, one of the most important lessons taught in the New Testament is that God’s mercy comes to people through Jesus Christ. We can be saved when we receive it.

 

- (Luke 2:11-14) For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

- (John 1:1,2,14,17) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

- (1 Cor 1:3,4) Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

 

- (2 Peter 3:18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 

- (2 Tim 2:1) You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 

- (Gal 1:6-8) I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

 

COVENANT

 

O Muhammad, remember the Covenant which We took from all the Prophets - from you as well as from Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus son of Mary - We took that solemn Covenant from all of them. (33:7)

 

The Koran teaches that God made a covenant with Jesus.

   The New Testament mentions something similar: Jesus was the surety of a better covenant. He is the mediator of the new covenant, as we find in the Epistle to the Hebrews:

 

- (Hebr 7:22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

 

- (Hebr 8:6,7) But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

 

- (Hebr 9:15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

 

GOD’S SERVANT

 

When Mary’s son Jesus is quoted as an example, your people raise a clamor at it, and say: "Are Our gods better or is he?" They cite this to you merely to provoke you. They are but a quarrelsome people. He (Jesus) was no more than a mortal whom We favored and made an example to the Children of Israel. (43:57-59)

 

In response she merely pointed towards the baby. They said: "How can we talk to a babe in the cradle?" Whereupon the baby spoke out: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. His blessing is with me wherever I go. He has commanded me to establish Salah and give Zakah as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has not made me domineering, hard to deal with. Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I shall die and the Day I shall be raised to life again." Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt. (19:29-34)

 

The Koran teaches that Jesus is a servant of God, and the New Testament teaches something similar. Some verses prove that Jesus always did what His Father wanted, and that is why people believed in Him:

 

- (John 4:31-34) In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

32 But he said to them, I have meat to eat that you know not of.

33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Has any man brought him ought to eat?

34 Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 

- (John 8:28-30) Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spoke these words, many believed on him.

 

- (John 10:37-42) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the works: that you may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he stayed.

41 And many resorted to him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spoke of this man were true.

42 And many believed on him there.

 

- (John 17:1,2,4) These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you:

2 As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.

4 I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.

 

MERCY

 

In response she merely pointed towards the baby. They said: "How can we talk to a babe in the cradle?" Whereupon the baby spoke out: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. His blessing is with me wherever I go. He has commanded me to establish Salah and give Zakah as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has not made me domineering, hard to deal with. Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I shall die and the Day I shall be raised to life again." Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt.  (19:29-34)

 

The Koran says that Jesus was merciful; the New Testament points this out in a much clearer way. For example, Jesus saidthat He was meek and lowly in heart. Others gave good testimonies about Him as well:

 

- (Matt 11:28-30) Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

- (Matt 22:15-22) Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care you for any man: for you regard not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you me, you hypocrites?

19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought to him a penny.

20 And he said to them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say to him, Caesar's. Then said he to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.

22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.

 

- (John 15:12) This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.

 

Islamic tradition also refers to Jesus’ mercifulness and describes His response to people who ask something from him (cf. John 14:13,14 And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.). Here is one example:

 

IX:1] Jesus has said: Ask me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.

 

THE RETURN OF JESUS

 

When Mary’s son Jesus is quoted as an example, your people raise a clamor at it, and say: "Are Our gods better or is he?" They cite this to you merely to provoke you. They are but a quarrelsome people. He (Jesus) was no more than a mortal whom We favored and made an example to the Children of Israel. Had it been Our will, We could create angels from you to succeed you in the earth. He (Jesus) is, in fact, a sign for the coming of the Hour of Doom. Therefore, have no doubt about its coming, follow me; this is the Right Way. (43:57-61)

 

Are they waiting for Allah to come down to them in the shadow of clouds, along with the angels and make

His decision known? Ultimately, all matters will be presented to Allah for decision. (2:210)

 

your Lord will come, with angels standing in ranks (89:22)

 

Islamic eschatology believes that Jesus will return. Muslims believe that Jesus will return to Earth when the end is near to defeat the Antichrist, etc. Below are some examples of what Muslims believe. The first quote also refers to Jesus being a judge.

 

In the Koran there are also verses that Jesus will return in clouds: “Are they waiting for Allah to come down to them in the shadow of clouds?” (Surah 2:210). Ibn El-Fadl El-Hadathi says that this verse refers to Christ, who will return in clouds on the last day. He interpreted that also the following verse tells about Christ: your Lord will come, with angels standing in ranks (Surah 89:22). (p. 83 Ismaelin lapset [The Children of Ishmael])

 

II:23a] Muhammed has said: The last hour will not come until the son of Mary descends among you as an just judge. He will break crosses, kill pigs and remove gizya-tax. There will be so much property that no one will receive it any more. (al-Bukhari, Sahih no 2476 and no 3448)

 

II:1] Al-Husain ibn al-Fadl was asked: ”Can you find a mention from Koran of Jesus’ descending (on the last days)? He answered: “Yes, the words of Koran (3:46) (He will speak to the people in the cradle and in his old age). Jesus did not grow old in this world, so the passage means: as old when he descends from heaven.” (ath-Tha labi, Qisas, p. 403)

 

II:4] Antichrist will really appear. God will let His friends to conquer Constantinople and take away death, diseases and troubles from them until Jesus, the son of Mary, descends down and they will fight under his lead against Antichrist. (as-Sulami, iqd, p. 212)

 

II:5] (Jesus’ second) coming is not similar to his first coming; on his there will be terrifyingness, like the terrifyingness of death. (as-Sulami, Iqd, p. 232 and p. 266)

 

Verses about Jesus’ return contained in the New Testament also refer to His defeat of the Antichrist and activity as a judge. The New Testament also describes His arrival in all His brightness and glory so everybody will see Him:

 

- (2 Thess 2:3,8) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

 

- (Rev 1:7,8) Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

- (2 Thess 1:7,8) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

- (Matt 24:30,31) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

- (Matt 25: 31-34,41,46) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

41 Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

MIRACLES

 

When the angels said "O Mary! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, Jesus (Jesus Christ) the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in his old age and he will be among the righteous."… Allah will teach your son the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel and send him forth as a Messenger to the Children of Israel with this message: 'I have brought you signs of my appointment from your Lord. I will make for you the likeness of a bird from clay; I will breathe into it and, with Allah’s leave, it will become a living bird. I will heal the blind and the lepers, and raise the dead to life, by Allah's leave. Furthermore, I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. Surely these are the signs to convince you if you are believers. (3:45,46,48,49)

 

Then Allah will ask: "O Jesus son of Mary! Recall my favor upon you and to your mother, how I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, so you could speak to the people in cradle and in old age, how I taught you the Book, Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. How you were able to make the figure of a bird out of a clay, by My permission, how you breathed into it and changed it into a real bird, by My permission. How you could heal the born-blind and the lepers by My permission. How you could bring the dead body back to life by My permission. How I protected you from the violence of the Children of Israel when you came to them with clear signs and the unbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but a clear sorcery." (5:110)

 

How when the disciples asked: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us from heaven a table spread with food?" And you said: "Have fear of Allah if you are true believers." They said: "We only wish to eat thereof to satisfy our hearts and to know that you have indeed told us the truth, and that we bear witness to it." Jesus, son of Mary said: "O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread with food that it may mark a feast, one of a kind for those before us and for those after us, as a sign from You; and provide us our sustenance, You are the best Sustainer." Allah responded: "I shall send it down to you, but if any of you disbelieve after that, I shall punish him with a torment which I have never inflicted on anyone in the worlds." (5:112-115)

 

The Koran includes a couple of references to the miracles performed by Jesus. (For comparison’s sake, the Koran also states that Muhammad did not perform any miracles: 13:7, 28:48, 29:50,51, 27:80, 6:36,37,50, 11:31).

   In the Bible we learn that Jesus healed the blind and lepers, woke the dead, and so on. But in the Koran we find activites that are not included in the Bible:  that Jesus could already speak when he was still in the cradle, and that He made birds.

   What do we find in the Islamic traditions? There, too, we can find some references to miracles performed by Jesus. Some of them are:

 

III:7] Information about miracles worked by Jesus comes from the same source as miracles worked by Moses, and who denies the well-known stories about Jesus’ miracles is like he, who denies the well-known stories about Moses’ miracles. Stories about how Jesus raised the dead, healed the blind, the leper and walked on water, are similar to stories how the sea was divided for Moses and his staff became a snake etc. Who claims one’s acts to be magic is like he, who claims other’s acts to be magic: either of them is told nothing else (that they have worked miracles). (al-Baghdadi, Usul ad-din, p. 181-182)

 

XIV:2] From everywhere people - the blind, the lame, the powerless, the poor – came to the hermitage of Jesus every morning so that his breath would heal their pains.

   As Jesus had stopped his nocturnal prayers, he, the man of good God, came out and saw crowds of sick and poor people sitting and waiting for him. He said: “You, the poor, God has given His consent to wishes of all. Go as healed and healthy, going towards the forgiveness and mercy of God!” All left as joyful and ran to their homes being healed by the power of his prayer. They were like camels, which had been tied for a long time and whose feet are released. (Rumi, Masnavi lll:299-306)

 

Xl:7] It is said that Jesus met a men, who was blind, leprosy, crippled and paralysed and whose skin was full of boils. The man said: “Praise to God, who has protected me from many complaints that strain people.” Jesus asked: “Well, what trouble has turned away from you?” The man answered: “You the Spirit of God, I feel better than he, into whose heart God has not put so much information of Him than into my heart.” Jesus said: “You speak the truth, stretch out your hand to me.” The man stretched out his hand to Jesus, and at that very moment he was a most beautiful and harmonious man. God had taken all his troubles away. The man started to follow Jesus and worship God with him. (al-Ghazali, Ibya’ XIV:132; Logia 88)

  

The New Testament often describes the miracles done by Jesus, as well as those done by the disciples after Jesus’ death. The performance of miracles was not the most important thing in Jesus’ life, and it should not be overly emphasized now because false prophets are sometimes also capable of doing miracles. Below are some verses from the Bible about this subject:

 

- (Matt 11:2-6) Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

3 And said to him, Are you he that should come, or do we look for another?

4 Jesus answered and said to them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see:

5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

6 And blessed is he, whoever shall not be offended in me.

 

- (John 4:46-51) So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went to him, and sought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.

48 Then said Jesus to him, Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.

49 The nobleman said to him, Sir, come down ere my child die.

50 Jesus said to him, Go your way; your son lives. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken to him, and he went his way.

51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Your son lives.

 

- (Matt 4:24) And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

 

- (Luke 8:49-56) While he yet spoke, there comes one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Your daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeps.

53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

 

- (John 20:30,31) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.

 

DEATH

 

They even say: "We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah." Whereas in fact, neither did they kill him nor did they crucify him but they thought they did because the matter was made dubious for them. Those who differ therein are only in doubt. They have no real knowledge, they follow nothing but merely a conjecture, certainly they did not kill him (Jesus). Nay! The fact is that Allah took him up to Himself. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (4:157,158)

 

Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I shall die and the Day I shall be raised to life again." Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt. (19:33,34)

 

There are two versions of the death of Jesus in the Koran. One says that Jesus really did die, but the other (unclear) version says that He was not crucified. Rather, He was only raised to heaven. Many Muslims believe that Jesus was never crucified because they are of the opinion that such a death would have been dishonourable for a prophet.

   The belief shared by many Muslims contradicts the historical record, however. The following historical references mention the crucifixion of Jesus, for example:

 

Historian Josephus: "Jesus lived in those times. (…) Many Jews and Greeks followed him. He was Christ. Provoked by our influential men Pilate, however, condemned him to death on the cross. However, those who had loved him before continued to be faithful to him.”

 

Cornelius Tacitus: ”The name had been given them according to a certain Christ, whom procurator Pontius Pilate condemned and nailed onto the cross in the reign of Tiberius.”

 

Thallus, a Samaritan by birth, also referred to Jesus in his book written as early as 52 A.D. He thought that the darkness at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion was the result of a solar eclipse.

 

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 43, a) mentions that Jesus was crucified on Passover.

 

The crucifixion is also mentioned in the quotes below written by Apostolic fathers who were influential a couple of decades after Jesus died. Their letters mention that Jesus truly was crucified but that He was resurrected from the dead. This latter fact is mentioned several times, thus proving that Jesus really did die.

 

Let us note, dearest brothers, how the Ruler continually shows us that the resurrection is a part of our future. The first fruit of this resurrection is that He has raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. (24:1) (A letter from Clemens to the Corinthians 24:1))

 

God sent Christ and Christ sent the Apostles; both have taken place in good order by the will of God. 3. When the Apostles received their task, when they discovered the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and became stronger in faith in the word of God, they started to be filled with the Holy Spirit and preached the good news that the kingdom of God was at hand. 4. From country to country and from town to town they preached their message. (A letter from Clemens to the Corinthians 42:2-4)

 

In love the Ruler has taken charge of us. Jesus Christ, our Lord, was filled with love towards us, and for this reason He shed His blood for us by the will of God and gave His body for the sake of our bodies and in the same way He gave His soul for the sake of our souls. (A letter from Clemens to the Corinthians 49:6)

 

If those, who did this faced physical death, how much more he who by a bad doctrine spoils the faith in God, the faith on whose behalf Jesus Christ was crucified. This kind of a person has become unclean and he will have to go to the inextinguishable fire and also those who hear him. (A letter from Ignatios to the Ephesians 16:2)

 

Instead, I wish that you could be completely sure of the birth and suffering and resurrection that took place during the governorship of Pontius Pilate. This was all put into effect in real life and by Jesus Christ, our hope; if only none of you would turn away from Him. (A letter from Ignatios to the believers in Magnesias 11:1)

 

Be like deaf when someone speaks to you and does not know anything about Jesus Christ, who was of the family of David, born of Mary, who really lived, ate, and drank, really met persecution during the time of Pontius Pilate, was really crucified and died in front of those who are in Heaven, on Earth and under the Earth, 2. From him, who also really was raised from the dead when his Father raised him; in the same way the Father in Christ Jesus will also raise us who believe in Him, and without Him we have no real life. (A letter from Ignatios to Trallis 9:1,2)

 

Yet you are completely convinced that He was born of the family of David, the Son of God from the will and power of God, born of a virgin, baptized by John so that He would fulfill all righteousness. 2. He really suffered during the time of Pontius Pilate and tetrarch Herod, was nailed on the tree for us. His suffering before God by which we are born was so that He, through His resurrection, would raise His saints and believers, whether Jew or Gentile, to be the one and only body of His church. (A letter from Ignatios to the believers in Smyrna 1:1,2)

 

It is thus right to keep away from such ignorant people and not to talk about them privately or publicly, but instead hold onto the prophets and especially to the Gospel, in which the sufferings and resurrection of Jesus have clearly been presented to us.  (A letter from Ignatios to the believers in Smyrna 7:2)

 

Wait for Him who is above time, timeless, invisible. He who for us has become visible, who cannot be touched, who is above suffering but has submitted to suffering for our sake and who has endured everything possible for our sake. (A letter from Ignatios to Polykarpos 3:2)

 

In our Lord Jesus Christ, in Him, who showed perseverance and went to death for the sake of our sins. Him God raised and freed from the pains of Hades. 3. . In him you believe, even though you have not seen him, with an inexpressible and glorious joy, which many would like to have; you know, it is by grace you have been saved, not by your works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.” (A letter from Polykarpos to the Philippians 1:2,3)

 

Let us hold constantly and firmly to our hope and our seal of righteousness who is Christ Jesus, He who carried our sins in His own body on the tree, He who committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. He endured all for us, so that we would have life in Him.  (A letter from Polykarpos to the Philippians 8:1)

 

There is also the next point, my brothers. If the Lord was submitted to suffer for us, even though He is the Lord of the whole universe, and to whom God said in the foundation of the world, Let us make man in our image and likeness; how could He submit to suffer in the hands of people? Learn this. 6. The prophets received their gift from Him and they prophesied about Him. And when He had to appear in flesh to destroy death and give an example of the resurrection of the dead, He agreed to that. 7. He did it to fulfill the promise made to the fathers, but also to prepare people for Himself and to indicate while He was still on Earth that after His resurrection He would exercise judgment Himself. 8. He also preached through teaching Israel and performing wonders and miracles and showed a special love for Israel. (The letter of Barnabas 5:5-8)

 

TAKEN TO HEAVEN

 

Allah said: "O Jesus! I am going to recall you (from your mission) and raise you up to Myself. I will clean you of those who rejected you and exalt your followers above the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return and I shall judge those matters in which you have been disputing. (3:55)

 

They even say: "We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah." Whereas in fact, neither did they kill him nor did they crucify him but they thought they did because the matter was made dubious for them. Those who differ therein are only in doubt. They have no real knowledge, they follow nothing but merely a conjecture, certainly they did not kill him (Jesus). Nay! The fact is that Allah took him up to Himself. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (4:157,158)

 

The Koran says that Jesus was raised to heaven, and this is exactly what the Bible says – even though most Muslims do not believe that Jesus really died and was resurrected. The New Testament describes the way in which Jesus was taken to heaven forty days after His resurrection. He sat at God’s right hand. He came from heaven and went back there.

 

- (Acts 1:9-11) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.

 

- (Acts 2:34-36) For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,

35 Until I make your foes your footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 

- (Hebr 1:1-3) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

 

- (Hebr 8:1) Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens

 

- (John 16:27-30) For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29 His disciples said to him, See, now speak you plainly, and speak no proverb.
30 Now are we sure that you know all things, and need not that any man should ask you: by this we believe that you came forth from God.

 

Islamic literature and traditions also refer to Jesus being taken to heaven. Here are some examples:

 

lll:23] Jesus was raised from the church of Ascension in Jerusalem. When he was raised, God gave him the form of angels and took away all pleasure of eating and drinking so that he became a heavenly and earthly angel. He is living still today; this is the doctrine of the Sunnites. (Ibn Iyas, Bada’i, p. 188)

 

IV:3] When it was time of raising Jesus to heaven, a cloud approached until he could place on it. Mary came to him and bid farewell to him by weeping. Then Jesus was raised in front of Mary and Jesus threw his clothes to her saying: “This is our sign in the day of resurrection.” To Simon he threw his turban.

   Mary bid farewell to him by pointing at him with a finger until he disappeared from view. Mary loved Jesus very much and did not leave him ever, not in his journeys or being at the same place. (Ibn Kathir, Qisas ll:442-443)

 

lV:39] Before Jesus was raised, he ordered his disciples to call people to worship God only, nothing else. He appointed everybody of them to some people, in Syria, in east and in west. It is said that everybody of them received an ability to speak the language of that people to which the Messiah sent them… (Ibn Kathir, Qisas ll:453-454)

 

A WORD AND SPIRIT FROM GOD

 

When the angels said "O Mary! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, Jesus (Jesus Christ) the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah. (3:45)

 

O People of the Book! Do not transgress the limits of your religion. Speak nothing but the Truth about Allah. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger of Allah and His Word "Be" which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from Him which took the shape of a child in her womb. So believe in Allah and His Messengers… (4:171)

 

The Koran refers to Jesus’ eternal being when it says that Jesus is the Word of God and the Spirit of God who came from God. The Muslims believe that almost exactly the same thing happened with the Koran:  It came from God during a night of power.

   Exactly the same reference can be found in the Bible. In the Bible we read that Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh. Jesus Himself also mentioned having been with Father God before coming to the Earth.

 

- (Joh 1:1,2,14) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

- (John 1:15-18,29,30) John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

 

- (John 3:12,13) If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

 

- (John 3:30-32) He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all.

32 And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no man receives his testimony.

 

- (John 5:30,36-38) I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.

36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father has given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me.

37 And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me.  You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

38 And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not.

 

- (John 6:33-35,38,41,42,61,62) For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.

34 Then said they to him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.

35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.

41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he said, I came down from heaven?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said to them, Does this offend you?

62 What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

 

- (John 7:32-36) The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

33 Then said Jesus to them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go to him that sent me.

34 You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come.

35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Where will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What manner of saying is this that he said, You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come?

 

- (John 8:21-26) Then said Jesus again to them, I go my way, and you shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: where I go, you cannot come.

22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he said, Where I go, you cannot come.

23 And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.

24 I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.

25 Then said they to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning.

26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

 

- (John 8:38,42) I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.

42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

 

- (John 8:56-59) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

57 Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?

58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the middle of them, and so passed by.

 

- (John 13:2,3) And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God

 

- (John 16:5) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asks me, Where go you?

 

- (John 16:28-31) I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29 His disciples said to him, See, now speak you plainly, and speak no proverb.

30 Now are we sure that you know all things, and need not that any man should ask you: by this we believe that you came forth from God.

31 Jesus answered them, Do you now believe?

 

- (John 17:4,5) I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

 

- (2 Cor 8:9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich.

 

- (Phil 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

 

- (1 John 1:1,2) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;

 

Thus, all the references in the Koran to the Word or Spirit of God refer to Jesus’ nature being both divine and eternal. This is demonstrated by the following:

 

The Spirit of God is everlasting. If we believe that God is everlasting then his Spirit must also be everlasting, not just last for one man’s lifetime, for example. Therefore, when in the Koran we read that Jesus is called the Spirit of God who comes from God, we can assume that He is also everlasting and one with God. The name "the Spirit of God" therefore refers to His divinity and eternity.

 

The Word of God is everlasting. If we hold that God is eternal then certainly his Word must also be eternal, because it is unlikely that God was silent until Jesus -- His Word -- was born on Earth. Certainly God must have spoken before that, in the same way that we people speak. We speak just because we can. God created everything by his Word, and people existed before Jesus came on Earth.

   We can assume that Jesus is eternal, and one with the Father God. This is the only reasonable conclusion if we call Him the word of God, and if we assume that God already spoke before Jesus was on Earth.

 

What about Islamic literature? Jesus is called the Word and Spirit of God in Islamic literature, as well. Here are some examples:

 

lll:22] Jesus is called the Word of God and a word from Him because he came into being from His word and at His command, without the influence of a father or semen. He is also called the Spirit of God and a spirit from Him because he is spiritual that became into being without any other spiritual influence. (az-Zamakhshari, Kashshaf I:315)

 

Vl:3] John met Jesus and asked him: “You the Spirit of God, tell me, what is the most terrifying thing God has created.” “The wrath of God”, answered Jesus, and John continued: “You the Spirit of God and His word, tell me, what keeps me off from the wrath of God.” “That you don’t become angry so that God doesn’t become angry with you, answered Jesus. “You the Spirit of God, from which hatred comes?” asked John. Jesus answered: “When you consider yourself high, from sin and pride.”

At-Turtushi, Sirag, p. 333; al-Ghazali, Ihya’ lX:101; Rumi, Masnavi lV:113-115; Logia 31

   John asked: “Tell me, what keeps me off from the fire of Hell.” Jesus answered: “You shall not commit adultery.” “What is beginning of adultery?” asked John, and Jesus answered: The look, wish and desire following it.” (al-Farisi, Bad’, p. 311-312)

 

SALVATION. When seeking salvation, Muslims highly value their deeds, their prayers, fasting, doles and other factors. Some of them hope to become martyrs and get to paradise or believe that Muhammad is their mediator.

   The problem with these ideas is that they do not assurance us of God’s approval. People will never be so good that they can reach the standards set by Holy God. This is impossible. Furthermore, Muhammad cannot be a mediator because he was only a normal and sinful man according to the Koran (47:19, 48:1,2, 110:3). This is why we need another solution if we are to receive God’s approval.

   So, what is this other solution? According to the Bible, the solution can be found by accepting that Jesus Christ was sinless and that He carried all our wrongdoings and sins on His shoulders. He became our mediator and defender before God, so that we can be forgiven for our sins. He did what we cannot do, which is shown in these verses:

 

- (1 John 2:1) My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous

 

- (Hebr 9:15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

 

- (Hebr 12:24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.

 

- (Rom 5:6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

- (Rom 5:8) But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

- (Rom 8:32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

 

- (Gal 2:20)  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

- (Gal 3:13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree

 

- (1 Thess 5:10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

 

- (Tit 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

- (1 John 3:16) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

 

- (1 Tim 2:6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

 

- (1 Peter 3:18) For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

 

- (Hebr 6:20) Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

- (Isa 53:5-6) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

- (Rom 4:25) Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

 

The Islamic traditions also refer to Jesus being able to speak for others. Highly esteemed Az-Zamakhsari comments verse 3:45 of the Koran:

 

45. The angels said to Mary: "God bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah – this is a noble and honorable name, and its original Hebrew form is Mashiha, meaning ’blessed’ [Z], Jesus – this comes from the word Ishu [Z], the son of Mary – if you ask why the angels said ’Jesus, the son of Mary’ even though they were speaking to Mary herself, I reply that the name of a son usually comes from his father instead of his mother. The fact that Jesus was called the son of Mary tells us that Jesus was born without a father [Z]. He shall be noble in this world and in the hereafter – noble in this life means that Jesus was a prophet and that he was the first of men, and in the hereafter means that he has the ability to speak on behalf of others and he will have high status in Paradise [Z] – and shall be favoured by God – when he is taken to heaven to be with the angels [Z].

 

So, if you want to be saved and receive God’s mercy and eternal life you must turn to Jesus Christ. He said Himself:

 

- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

Jesus is waiting outside the door to your heart to be invited into your life. You must welcome Him:

 

- (Rev 3:20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 

So, if you have turned to Jesus Christ and received Him in your life, you are a child of God and have eternal life. You have the eternal life regardless of what you feel right now. Do not base your assurance of salvation on your ever-changing emotions, but rest in the word of the Bible and on Jesus Christ, just like the anchor of a ship is never thrown inside the ship but always outside.

                                             

- (John 1:12)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

 

 - (1 John 5:11-13) And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.

13 These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.

 

 

 

SOURCES:

 

Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila: Jeesus, Allahin profeetta

 

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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