A religious crossroads of our time
By Naeed ul Islam, 2020-07-02
The simple answer is, yes. Not only that but the belief in Jesus Christas (peace be upon him) is fundamental to the teachings of Islam and it’s founded on the very fact that our Creator, the true one God, Allah, has been sending messengers throughout the history of mankind for their guidance, through warnings and admonitions. In the Holy Book of Islam, it is stated that:
اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ بِالۡحَقِّ بَشِیۡرًا وَّنَذِیۡرًا ۚ وَاِنۡ مِّنۡ اُمَّۃٍ اِلَّا خَلَا فِیۡہَا نَذِیۡرٌ [35:25]
Verily, We have sent thee with the truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a Warner; and there is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent.
Jesus Christ has been mentioned by name in 28 verses of the Holy Qur`an. The account of Jesusas has been described in detail in Qur`an because when the Qur`an was revealed, about 500 years after Jesusas, the disagreements, doubts, and confusion about his personage, prophethood, and his mother, Mary had already crept deep in the world. The Holy Qur`an clarified these misconceptions from various angles. One of the verses in the Qur`an that hints towards this confusion is:
ذٰلِکَ عِیۡسَی ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ ۚ قَوۡلَ الۡحَقِّ الَّذِیۡ فِیۡہِ یَمۡتَرُوۡنَ [19:35]
Such was Jesus, son of Mary. This is a statement of the truth about which they doubt.
The point is that Muslims not only just believe in Jesusas, but have deep knowledge about his station. In fact, Muslims believe that they have been commissioned by God to remove various doubts about him.
Understanding these doubts, and their answers from the Qur`an will help to understand the truth about him and shall set us free. If one understands this background, one will see why in our time, the station of Jesus Christ has become a real crossroads.
Next, let’s see what are the prevalent belief systems about Jesus Christ. These beliefs can be best described in the following Messianic Quadrant:
Jesusas was not from God
Jews of the time, did not accept Jesus and rejected him as their Messiah. So much so that they even conspired with the Romans to kill him on the cross. The Old Testament established that dying on the cross is an accursed death, the Jews in trying to prove that he was accursed and not from God, they attempted his crucifixion.
So from the point of view of the Jewish people of the time, they found Jesusas to be a person with a questionable birth, who claimed that he is a son of God, but they put him to an accursed death and that is where he died – end of the story. Jews are still waiting for their Messiah to come.
Jesusas was a messenger of God but was resurrected
The mainstream Muslims deny the fact that Jesusas was divine. They believe in his birth without a father, and in the chastity of his mother Mary. They believe that he showed extraordinary miracles and was the only pure prophet who wasn’t touched by Satan in any way.
They also believe that when he was put on the cross, he was not the one who died but someone else took his place instead. However, they believe that he was resurrected and will return to guide Muslims. When he comes back he will become a Muslim and will be a follower of Islam.
Jesusas was not only from God, but he was the son of God and was divine
People who followed Jesusas and accepted his message fundamentally rejected the notion of the Jewish people of the time, and accepted his message as they understood it.
Not only do they believe in the pristine and pure character of his mother, they believe in the virgin birth, believe that he died on the cross, that he was then extraordinarily resurrected and will come back in his second advent. He showed many miracles that were not possible by other prophets and believed that he was a son of God. They believe that he died for the sins of mankind. A belief that is a foundation of the trinity. Jesus’s second advent will take place towards the later days
Jesusas was a messenger of God, survived and died a natural death
This belief, as established by the Holy Qur`an is simple and yet many Muslims fail to understand it. However, the Qur`an is clear that Jesusas was a messenger of Allah who believed in the unity of God. Like all others, he was also chosen through revelation by Gabriel. His mother was a truthful and righteous woman who conceived him while she was still a virgin.
Jesusas was the Messiah for the Jews as foretold in previous scriptures. He was tried and was put on the cross, but God saved him from the people and helped him to take his message to the remaining 10 tribes of Israelites, spread in the east of Palestine.
Jesus’s second advent is metaphorical as someone in the latter days, from among the Muslims Umah (nation), with Messianic traits will come to reform them through direct guidance from God.
Where should the Muslims be?
To understand what Muslims believe about Jesusas, naturally, you will have to be in the two post-Islamic quadrants. But which one of them is the true representative of the Holy Qur`an?
Let’s find out from the Qur`an itself.
The Qur`an is clear about Allah’s messengers and their prophethood. It says:
- All messengers are men. Messengers of God have given revelations that consist of laws or sometimes clarifications about previous laws.
وَمَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِکَ اِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوۡحِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ ۚ فَسۡـَٔلُوۡۤا اَہۡلَ الذِّکۡرِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ [16:44]
And We sent not as Messengers before thee but men to whom We sent revelation, so ask those who possess the Reminder, if you know not.
- None of these messengers are more than humans and are not divine.
اَوۡ یَکُوۡنَ لَکَ بَیۡتٌ مِّنۡ زُخۡرُفٍ اَوۡ تَرۡقٰی فِی السَّمَآءِ وَلَنۡ نُّؤۡمِنَ لِرُقِیِّکَ حَتّٰی تُنَزِّلَ عَلَیۡنَا کِتٰبًا نَّقۡرَؤُہٗ ۗ قُلۡ سُبۡحَانَ رَبِّیۡ ہَلۡ کُنۡتُ اِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُوۡلًا [17:94]
‘Or thou have a house of gold or thou ascend up into heaven; and we will not believe in thy ascension until thou send down to us a book that we can read.’ Say, ‘Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as a Messenger.’
- They are extraordinary in the sense that they are appointed by God Himself for a mission and are in His protection. They are given a special station in the sight of God as such that their prayers are accepted at a miraculous rate, in a remarkable form and they are foretold about the future events and they prophesied accordingly.
قَالَتۡ لَہُمۡ رُسُلُہُمۡ اِنۡ نَّحۡنُ اِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُکُمۡ وَلٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَمُنُّ عَلٰی مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ ۖ وَمَا کَانَ لَنَاۤ اَنۡ نَّاۡتِیَکُمۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍ اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ۚ وَعَلَی اللّٰہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ [14:12]
Their Messengers said to them, ‘We are indeed only men like yourselves, but Allah bestows His favour on whomsoever He wills from among His servants. And it is not for us to bring you a proof except by the command of Allah. And in Allah alone should the believers put their trust.
- They never fail in their mission as their soldiers are angles of God that work in conjunction. They are always victorious as mentioned below:
کَتَبَ اللّٰہُ لَاَغۡلِبَنَّ اَنَا۠ وَرُسُلِیۡۤ ۚ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ قَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ [58:22]
Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ Verily, Allah is Powerful, Mighty.
- No one among the humans can be immortal, and because messengers or prophets are men, they cannot be immortal either:
وَمَا جَعَلۡنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکَ الۡخُلۡدَ ۖ اَفَا۠ئِنۡ مِّتَّ فَہُمُ الۡخٰلِدُوۡنَ [21:35]
We granted not everlasting life to any human being before thee. If then thou shouldst die, shall they live here for ever?
Now, what about Jesusas? Let’s discuss his station in light of the above context.
The Myths Around Jesusas
The whole life of Jesusas after his advent had been a point of contention among the Jews and the Christians and now among Muslims as well, even though the Qur`an is clear about it. The Qur`an clarifies his station from the following angels:
- There is disagreement among the Jews and the Christions about Jesusas, even though he was sent with clear signs from God. The Qur`an says :
۞ تِلۡکَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلۡنَا بَعۡضَہُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ ۘ مِّنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ کَلَّمَ اللّٰہُ ۖ وَرَفَعَ بَعۡضَہُمۡ دَرَجٰتٍ ۚ وَاٰتَیۡنَا عِیۡسَی ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ الۡبَیِّنٰتِ وَاَیَّدۡنٰہُ بِرُوۡحِ الۡقُدُسِ ۗ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مَا اقۡتَتَلَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَتۡہُمُ الۡبَیِّنٰتُ وَلٰکِنِ اخۡتَلَفُوۡا فَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ اٰمَنَ وَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ کَفَرَ ۚ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مَا اقۡتَتَلُوۡا وَلٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَفۡعَلُ مَا یُرِیۡدُ [2:254]
These Messengers have We exalted, some of them above others: among them there are those to whom Allah spoke; and some of them He exalted by degrees of rank. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs and strengthened him with the Spirit of holiness. And if Allah had so willed, those that came after them would not have fought with one another after clear Signs had come to them; but they did disagree. Of them were some who believed, and of them were some who disbelieved. And if Allah had so willed, they would not have fought with one another; but Allah does what He desires.
- His mission, his birth and his immaculate conception as sign for the Jews is mentioned in the following verses:
اِذۡ قَالَتِ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ یٰمَرۡیَمُ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُبَشِّرُکِ بِکَلِمَۃٍ مِّنۡہُ اسۡمُہُ الۡمَسِیۡحُ عِیۡسَی ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ وَجِیۡہًا فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَالۡاٰخِرَۃِ وَمِنَ الۡمُقَرَّبِیۡنَ
وَیُکَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِی الۡمَہۡدِ وَکَہۡلًا وَّمِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ
قَالَتۡ رَبِّ اَنّٰی یَکُوۡنُ لِیۡ وَلَدٌ وَّلَمۡ یَمۡسَسۡنِیۡ بَشَرٌ ۖ قَالَ کَذٰلِکِ اللّٰہُ یَخۡلُقُ مَا یَشَآءُ ۚ اِذَا قَضٰۤی اَمۡرًا فَاِنَّمَا یَقُوۡلُ لَہٗ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ
وَیُعَلِّمُہُ الۡکِتٰبَ وَالۡحِکۡمَۃَ وَالتَّوۡرٰٮۃَ وَالۡاِنۡجِیۡلَ
وَرَسُوۡلًا اِلٰی بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرٰٓءِیۡلَ اَنِّیۡ قَدۡ جِئۡتُکُمۡ بِاٰیَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ ۖ اَنِّیۡۤ اَخۡلُقُ لَکُمۡ مِّنَ الطِّیۡنِ کَہَیۡـَٔۃِ الطَّیۡرِ فَاَنۡفُخُ فِیۡہِ فَیَکُوۡنُ طَیۡرًۢا بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ۖ وَاُبۡرِئُ الۡاَکۡمَہَ وَالۡاَبۡرَصَ وَاُحۡیِ الۡمَوۡتٰی بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ۖ وَاُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا تَاۡکُلُوۡنَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُوۡنَ فِیۡ بُیُوۡتِکُمۡ ۚ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لَّکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ [3:46-50]
When the angels said, ‘O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings of a word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God; ‘And he shall speak to the people in the cradle and when of middle age, and he shall be of the righteous.’ She said, ‘My Lord, how shall I have a son, when no man has touched me?’ He said, “Such is the way of Allah, He creates what He pleases. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is. “And He will teach him the Book and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; “And will make him a Messenger to the children of Israel (to say): ‘I come to you with a Sign from your Lord, which is, that I will fashion out for you a creation out of clay after the manner of a bird, then I will breathe into it a new spirit and it will become a soaring being by the command of Allah; and I will heal the night-blind and the leprous, and I will quicken the dead, by the command of Allah; and I will announce to you what you will eat and what you will store up in your houses. Surely, therein is a Sign for you, if you be believers.
- The events of crucifixion were made doubtful, a myth, to the people of the time so that they did not kill him, or even chase after him.
وَقَوۡلِہِمۡ اِنَّا قَتَلۡنَا الۡمَسِیۡحَ عِیۡسَی ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ رَسُوۡلَ اللّٰہِ وَمَا قَتَلُوۡہُ وَمَا صَلَبُوۡہُ وَلٰکِنۡ شُبِّہَ لَہُمۡ ۚ وَاِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اخۡتَلَفُوۡا فِیۡہِ لَفِیۡ شَکٍّ مِّنۡہُ ۚ مَا لَہُمۡ بِہٖ مِنۡ عِلۡمٍ اِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوۡہُ یَقِیۡنًۢا [4:158]
And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no definite knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this conjecture into a certainty;
- Jesus survived and migrated to the east, continuing his mission towards the remaining 10 tribes of Israelites, towards an elevated land of green valleys and springs:
وَجَعَلۡنَا ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ وَاُمَّہٗۤ اٰیَۃً وَّاٰوَیۡنٰہُمَاۤ اِلٰی رَبۡوَۃٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَّمَعِیۡنٍ [23:51]
And We made the son of Mary and his mother a Sign, and gave them refuge on an elevated land of green valleys and springs of running water.
- Both Jesus and his mother, no longer eat as they used to when they were alive. The following verse categorically rejects the notion that Jesus was raised up in heavens and is still alive:
مَّا الۡمَسِیۡحُ ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ اِلَّا رَسُوۡلٌ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِ الرُّسُلُ وَاُمُّہٗ صِدِّیۡقَۃٌ ۖ کَانَا یَاۡکُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ ۗ اُنۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ نُبَیِّنُ لَہُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ ثُمَّ انۡظُرۡ اَنّٰی یُؤۡفَکُوۡنَ [5:76]
The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely, Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. See how We explain the Signs for their good, and see how they are turned away.
In the end, I would like share the warning from the Qur`an for our fellow non-Muslim brothers and sisters. Please take head to this:
یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لَا تَغۡلُوۡا فِیۡ دِیۡنِکُمۡ وَلَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ اِلَّا الۡحَقَّ ۚ اِنَّمَا الۡمَسِیۡحُ عِیۡسَی ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ رَسُوۡلُ اللّٰہِ وَکَلِمَتُہٗۤ اَلۡقٰٮہَاۤ اِلٰی مَرۡیَمَ وَرُوۡحٌ مِّنۡہُ ۖ فَاٰمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَرُسُلِہٖ ۖ وَلَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا ثَلٰثَۃٌ ۚ اِنۡتَہُوۡا خَیۡرًا لَّکُمۡ ۚ اِنَّمَا اللّٰہُ اِلٰہٌ وّٰحِدٌ ۖ سُبۡحٰنَہٗۤ اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنَ لَہٗ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَّہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ۗ وَکَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ وَکِیۡلًا [4:172]
O People of the Book, exceed not the limits in your religion, and say not of Allah anything but the truth. Verily, the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah and a fulfilment of His word which He sent down to Mary, and a mercy from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers, and say not ‘They are three.’ Desist, it will be better for you. Verily, Allah is the only One God. Far is it from His Holiness that He should have a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And sufficient is Allah as a Guardian.