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The Story of Jesus, Son of Mary

Understanding Jesus in Islam:
A Teen Discovers Islam Through the Teachings of Jesus
The story of Jesus never really ends in the Quran, as we are told that Jesus was not killed, but that rather, God raised his beloved prophet up to him
In relating the story of Jesus, the Quran describes how Mary, the mother of Jesus, was approached by an angel from God, bringing her tidings she had never imagined: that she will give birth to a son, a Messiah, who will be of the righteous and will be a prophet of God, calling the Children of Israel (the Israelites) to the straight path of God.

{(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah). He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his manhood, and he is of the righteous.} (3:45-6)

Naturally, for Mary, this news was both strange and seemingly impossible.

{She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel.} (3:47-8)

The very nature of Jesus is so special, that God compares the uniqueness of his creation to that of the first man and Prophet, Adam.

{Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is.} (3:59)

Jesus and His Miracles

Jesus became one of the greatest prophets of God, and was sent to the Children of Israel in order to confirm the teachings of his predecessor, the Prophet Moses. His birth was a miracle, and, like all prophets of God, he was granted several miracles. He approached his people, telling them:

{Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah's leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah's leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers.

And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me.

Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.} (3:49-51)

Jesus’s Followers

In another incident, after which an entire surah of the Quran is named, the disciples of Jesus asked him for another miracle.

The Quran continues the story of Jesus by relating several incidents of his life and his disciples.

{But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We will be Allah's helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear thou witness that we have surrendered (unto Him).

Our Lord! We believe in that which Thou hast revealed and we follow him whom Thou hast sent. Enroll us among those who witness (to the truth).} (3:52-3)

In another incident, after which an entire surah of the Quran is named, the disciples of Jesus asked him for another miracle.

{Behold! the disciples, said: “O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?” Jesus said: “Fear Allah, if ye have faith."

They said: “We only wish to eat thereof and satisfy our hearts, and to know that thou hast indeed told us the truth; and that we ourselves may be witnesses to the miracle.”

Jesus the son of Mary said: “O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us—for the first and the last of us—a solemn festival and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs)."} (5:112-14)

God sent them the table they had asked for, but not without a warning.

{Allah said: “I will send it down unto you: But if any of you after that resisteth faith, I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on any one among all the peoples."} (5:115)

The End of the Story?

The Quran confirms that Jesus was raised up by God, and the Prophet Muhammad reassured us that Jesus will be sent down to earth

The story of Jesus never really ends in the Quran, as we are told that Jesus was not killed, but that rather, God raised his beloved prophet up to him.

{Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.

As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

As to those who believe and work righteousness, Allah will pay them (in full) their reward; but Allah loveth not those who do wrong.} (3:53-5)

The Quran also points out that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified. Speaking of the Children of Israel, Allah faults their accusations against Mary as well as their claim that they killed Jesus.

{That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge; And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.} (4:156-58)

The Quran confirms that Jesus was raised up by God, and the Prophet Muhammad reassured us that Jesus will be sent down to earth once again before the Day of Judgment. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet Muhammad said:

“By the One in Whose hand is my self, definitely the son of Maryam will soon descend among you as a just judge, and he will break the cross, kill the pig, and abolish the jizyah (tribute), and wealth will be so abundant that no one will accept it, until a single prostration will be better than the world and everything in it.” (Muslim, 155)

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Marwa Elnaggar is the Managing Editor of the Discover Islam zone in IslamOnline.net. She has an M.A. in English and comparative literature and teaches Qur’an on a volunteer basis in Cairo, Egypt.

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