What Do Muslims Think About Jesus?
By Ali Unal
Muslims respect and revere Jesus. They consider him one of the greatest of God's prophets and messengers to humankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as "Jesus", but always adds the phrase "upon him be peace." The Qur'an confirms his virgin birth, and a special surah of the Qur'an is entitled "Mary." The Qur'an describes the Annunciation as follows:
"'Behold (O Mary!)' The Angel said, 'God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Anointed (Masih or Messiah), Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and in the hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.'
"She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God creates what He wills. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is.'" (Qur'an 3:42-7)
Jesus was born miraculously through the same power that had brought Adam into being without a father: "Truly the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was." (Qur'an 3:59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. The Qur'an tells us that he said:
"I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, a figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave." (Qur'an 3:49)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Qur'an, Jesus is reported as saying that he came: "To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me." (Qur'an 3:50)
The Prophet Muhammad said:
"Whoever believes that there is none worthy of worship but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit proceeding from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven." (A Hadith from the collections of al Bukhari)