Muslim View of Jesus

Sep 26

Question – Can you explain the Muslim interpretation of the divine birth of Jesus?

Muslims consider Jesus (in Arabic Isaa or Esaa) a Prophet and Messenger of God. Jesus is mentioned about 25 times by name in the Quran. Muslims believe in the following aspects of Jesus, which are common to Christian beliefs:

1. Miraculous birth: Muslims like Christians believe that Mary, (Maryam in Arabic), was a chaste, virgin woman, who miraculously gave birth to Jesus, without any male intervention. In The Quran an entire chapter (#19) is titled Mary (Maryam). Verses 16 to 21 of that chapter narrate the miraculous birth of Jesus.

Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She screened herself from them; then We sent her our angel (Gabriel), and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: “I seek refuge in God, The Most Gracious: Come not near me if you fear God. He (the Angel) said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from your Lord, and I have come to to announce to you the gift of a son, endowed with purity. She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has ever touched me, and I am not unchaste?” He said: “So (it will be): Your  Lord said, ‘that is easy for Me: and We wish to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter so decreed.”

In addition, Chapter 3 verse 47 notes, “She (Mary) said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.’ He (God) said: ‘So (it will be) for God creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He only has to say : ‘Be!’- and it is.”

This miraculous birth serves as a reminder of the powers of God. This miracle is more about God and less about Jesus. This miraculous birth does not impart any divinity to Jesus. A few verses later in 3:59 the Quran goes on to clarify, “Indeed, the likeness of Jesus in God’s Sight is the likeness of Adam. He (God) created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’-and he was.”

2. The miracles of Jesus: Muslims, like Christians believe Jesus performed miracles. The miracles were performed by the will and permission of God.

Then she (Mary) pointed to him. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’ He (Jesus) said: ‘Verily! I am a servant of God, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet; ” (19:29-30).

Then will God say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! recount My favor to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit (the angel Gabriel) so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold: you make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and you breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by My leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! you bring forth the dead by My leave.’ (5:110).

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