Most people don’t know that Jesus holds a special place in the Islamic faith. While Islam and Christianity have distinct beliefs, Muslims regard him as one of the most important prophets in the history of Islam. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) has mentioned Jesus 25 times in the Holy Quran.
He was one of the greatest messengers of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) who lightened the world with the teachings of Islam. He was specially appointed to deliver a message of monotheism and righteousness to the people of his time.
In this article, we will explore the Islamic perspective on Jesus, from his birth to his miraculous return before the day of resurrection.
The Birth of Jesus in Islamic Tradition
In the 19th chapter of the holy Quran (Surah e Maryam), Allah narrates the miraculous birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary, known as Maryam in Arabic. Hazrat Maryam was depicted as a pious and devout woman chosen by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) to give birth to Jesus without any human intervention.
Allah says in the Quran:
Certainly, the likeness of Jesus in Allah’s perspective resembles that of Adam. Allah created him from dust and then, He commanded, “Be!” – and so it was! (Al-Imran 3:59).
A whole chapter of the Quran (Surah e Maryam) is in the name of Mary, which clearly discusses the significance of Jesus in Islam. This miraculous birth is a testament to the divine power of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) and serves as a symbol of hope and faith in Islam.
He was a Messenger of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى)
Muslims believe that Jesus, known as ‘Isa’ in Arabic, was one of the great prophets sent by Allah to guide humanity. Like other prophets, Jesus preached monotheism, that Allah is one and we should worship Him only.
In the holy Quran, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) says:
Jesus proclaimed, “Certainly, God is my Lord and your Lord, so devote yourselves to His worship; this is the righteous path.” (Al-Imran 3:51)
On the day of judgment, a conversation between Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) and Jesus will take place where Allah will ask him about his preaching. A part of this conversation is mentioned in the holy Quran:
God to Jesus, “Did you ever ask your people to praise you and your mother as gods besides me?” Jesus will respond, “I would never say something I have no right to say. You know everything, and I know nothing hidden. You alone have knowledge of the unseen. (Al-Ma’idah 5:116)
God Revealed His Holy Book to Jesus
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) has revealed four books to His five different messengers. Injeel (Gospel) is one of those books revealed to Jesus. This holy book confirmed the teachings of the Torah, revealed to Moses. However, the original scripture has not been conserved to its entirety. That’s why the holy Quran was revealed as Allah’s final and preserved message.
He is known as Messiah
Prophet Isaa (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is mentioned as Messiah in the holy Quran, which means an “anointed one.” So, who is Jesus? He is a healer, sinless, blessed, and a bearer of miracles. He was greatly respected for his teachings and services to Islam.
“I find it effortless, and We shall indeed make him an emblem for humanity, a mean of mercy from Our side.” (Maryam, 19:21)
While Christianity and Islam use the term “Messiah” to describe Jesus, the theological interpretations of his role differ significantly between the two faiths. In Christianity, Jesus is often seen as the divine Son of God and the savior of humanity, while in Islam, he is regarded as a prophet and a Messiah who conveyed Allah’s message. The “al-messiah” in Islam indicates no divine attributes or sonship.
He was the Bearer of Miracles
In the eyes of Islam, Jesus was also a bearer of miracles. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) has enabled Jesus to perform miracles through Hazrat Gabriel (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) who is called Ruh al-Qudus (the Holy Spirit). He spoke from his cradle as a baby to testify to the piousness of her mother.
His other miracles include healing the blind, the sick, and the deaf, flying birds made of clay, bringing dead people back to life, and knowing what people concealed. These miracles were to put people into the faith and reassure them that Jesus’s teachings were true. These miracles do not indicate any sign of divinity. If so, then other prophets who performed miracles in their lives were also considered divine.
He was Not Killed or Crucified
Muslims have different sayings on what actually happened to Jesus in his last days. However, they all agreed with the statement that he was not killed nor crucified. Those who claimed to have killed Jesus are wrong.
According to Islamic tradition, Jesus was not crucified but was rather saved by Allah. Someone who resembled Jesus was crucified in his place, while Jesus himself was taken up to heaven. This belief underscores the idea that Jesus was a revered prophet and was not subjected to the humiliation of crucifixion. Just as their birth was unique, their departure was also the biggest miracle in the history of Islam.
He Will Return to the Earth
Muslims believe that Jesus resides in heaven. When the time comes, he will return back to the earth. He will fight the Antichrist, also known as Dajjal. He will guide people to the right path and strengthen their beliefs.
In addition, he will reassure the oneness of Allah. After his mission to the earth is accomplished, he will die naturally. His return is seen as a sign of the final stages of human history and the ultimate triumph of Allah’s plan.
Jesus has a special place in Muslim’s hearts as well as in the history of Islam. He was a bearer of miracles from their birth to their departure from the earth. He was a great messenger of Allah who spread the monotheism to the people of his times.
Allah has mentioned Him in the holy Quran in several places. In fact, he was called a Messiah- one who is sinless, pure, and a healer. Muslims also firmly believe they will return to the earth before the Day of Judgment to fight evil.
But, with all being said, Islam denies the concept of his divinity or his role as the Son of Allah. He was appointed by the divine power to teach righteousness, but there is no sign of him being called a divine power.