The Islamic view of Jesus (PBUH) occupies a space between two extreme views held by the previous Abrahamic faiths
1) The Jews, who rejected Jesus (PBUH) as a Prophet of God and calling him an impostor and a false prophet.
2) The Christians on the other hand, consider him to be son of God and worship him as such.
Islam considers Jesus (PBUH) to be one of the great Prophets of God and respect him as much as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Mohammad (Peace be upon all of them) This is in conformity with the Islamic point of view about the oneness of God and the oneness of Divine Guidance.
The essence of Islam, which is the willing submission to the will of God, was revealed to Prophet Adam who passed it on to his children. The Revelations to all prophets, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad (PBUT) were all in conformity with the oneness of God. The message of God to all the prophets was the same that is to define the relationship between humanity and God, man to man and his environment, and how to live according to God’s Instructions.
Thus Islam views any contradiction among the revealed religions as arising from humanly constructed elements introduced into these religions. The position of Jesus (PBUH) in Christianity and Islam should not be an exception.
The Holy book of Islam (Qur’an) highlights the important aspects of (Virgin) birth of Jesus (PBUH), his mission and his ascension to heaven. In some cases it corrects the Christian beliefs concerning Jesus (PBUH)
The Qur’anic account of Jesus (PBUH) starts with the conception of his mother -Mary.
Jesus (PBUH) is mentioned by name twenty- five (25) times in the Holy Qur’an. We are told in the Holy Qur’an that Mary conceived the child miraculously by the order of God. God said, ” Be and it becomes”. No animal act of being “begotten” (as alluded in the Bible) is involved in the conception of this mighty prophet of God.
Jesus (PBUH) was son of Mary, definitely not the son of God. Jesus (PBUH) was a ‘creature’ not the Creator. Common logic says that the creature cannot create the Creator. In Islam virgin birth of Jesus (pbuh) exhorts the power of God Almighty, His Omnipotence Who can do things that defies human explanations.
The concept of creation in Islam is very simple, logical and natural that God Almighty created everything that exists in the universe and beyond it.
Qur’an rejects the concept of Trinity as strongly as it rejects the sonship of Jesus (PBUH) this is because God is One and only One and no one else shares His divinity or His authority. This is the essence of all monotheistic revelations. Three, by reason and by simple arithmetic, are not one. Christian contention that Jesus (pbuh) was 100% god and 100% human seems meaningless because that leave no room or space for holy ghost to be a part of trinity, which is a basic tenant of Christian faith. When Christian
theologians cannot defend an irrational argument they resort to calling this illogical explanation of nature of Jesus (pbuh) as a “mystery”.
Jesus (PBUH) was a link in a long chain of prophets and messengers sent by God to various societies and nations whenever they needed guidance or whenever they deviated from the teachings of God. Jesus (PBUH) was especially prepared by God to be sent to the Jews who had deviated from the teachings of Moses and their forefathers. God miraculously supported Jesus (PBUH) in his conception, in his birth and in his childhood. To prove that he was the true messenger from God Jesus (PBUH) was given numerous miracles during his lifetime that he performed with the permission of his Creator. Jesus (pbuh) declared that the message he was delivering was not his own but was from God the Creator of the universe.
“I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak” (John 12: 49)
In John (12: 50) Jesus (pbuh) was suppose to have said,
” Whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak”
Likewise there are numerous passages in the bible where Jesus (pbuh) is distinguishing himself from the divinity, and rather attributing divinity to God who was his Creator. For example when Jesus (pbuh) answered a certain ruler who asked, ” Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (Luke 18: 18)
In his answer Jesus (pbuh) is disclaiming divinity by saying
” Why do you call me good? No one is good but One. That is God” (Luke 18:19)
In this verse Jesus (pbuh) is clearly distancing himself from attributes of God the Creator to Whom belongs all goodness and He is the source of all that is good.
Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus (pbuh) declare himself to be God and ask his followers to worship him.
Here I have not mentioned anything of what Qur’an says about the mighty prophet of Islam -Jesus (pbuh) because to a common Christian, a quote from my holy book will not be acceptable. That is why I am trying to prove it from the Bible that Jesus (pbuh) never claimed to be Divine, never claimed to be God himself, and never asked his followers to worship him.
In this presentation I am using only the Bible as my source of reference since Christians believe in this book and its quotes should be acceptable to them. All religions existing at the advent of Islam, 1400 years ago were not only different but also mutually contradictory. Looking at the Christian literature of that time we find that the Bible does NOT talk about a universal GOD, but of the God of Israel. We read in Bible again and again.
” And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me” (1Samuel 25, 32)
” And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it (I kings 1: 48)
” Blessed be the lord of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord (1Chronicles 16:36)
” And he said, Blessed be the Lord of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying. (II Chronicles 6:4)
“God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things” (psalms 72:18)
As a “Fundamentalist” Christian you believe in Jesus (pbuh) who also regarded himself as a teacher for the people of Israel. If others approached him, he would send them away.
Please read Mathew (15:21-26) in which Jesus (pbuh) turns away the woman from Tyre and Sidon by saying
” I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel———-But he answered and said, it is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to dogs” . Mathew( 15:21-26
Jesus also taught the apostles:
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Mathew, 7:6)
Here Jesus (pbuh) regards Jews as his “Children” and Gentiles (that includes anyone who is not a Jew) are called as “Dogs” and “pigs”.
There are only two ways to resolve this division and disagreement between religions, either we must hold that there are several gods, in different parts of the world OR, if God is one for the entire humanity and universe, we must prove Him so. If we can prove that God is ONE then these conflicting claims should resort to one teaching.
According to Bible Jesus (pbuh) was not a universal teacher.
Jesus (pbuh) says in Matthew 5: 17,18
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one little shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
This verse clearly and unequivocally tells us that Jesus (pbuh) came to confirm the Jewish law. He wanted to make sure that this law was not destroyed. This also shows that Jesus (pbuh) did not preach a new religion, he was sent to continue the religion and teachings of Moses (pbuh). Look at the Ten Commandment, they confirms the oneness of God. That’s what Jesus (pbuh) is confirming here.
Christian missionaries have gone to all parts of the world, but Jesus (pbuh) himself had no such plans. The question is not what Christian believers are trying to do; the question is, what was the intension of Jesus (pbuh) himself. What was the design of God Who sent Jesus (pbuh)? This no one can express better than Jesus (pbuh) himself, and Jesus (pbuh) said clearly:
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mathews 15:24)
” For the son of man is come to save that which was lost (Mathews 18:11)
Look at the language of Jesus (pbuh) He is emphatically saying that I have come only to save and fulfill the Jewish law that was distorted by the Jews. By the way, please note Jesus (pbuh) is calling himself
“son of man” not the son of God.
The teaching of Jesus (pbuh), therefore, is only for people of Israel , not for others.
I know that Evangelical Christians will certainly quote the following verse in which it is said that Jesus (pbuh) exhorts his followers to go to other people. Here is that verse.
” Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Mathews 28:19)
But to argue from this verse that Jesus (pbuh) had commanded his followers to take his message to people other than Israel is not correct. It only means that the followers of Jesus (pbuh) were commanded by him to preach his message (saving the Jewish law) to all twelve tribes of Israel and not to all nations and people as such. Jesus (pbuh) speaks in clear terms in the following verse:
” Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel ” (Mathews 15:24)
I repeat again ” I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”(Mat. 15:28
“It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs” (Mathews. 15:26)
We further read:
” These twelve tribes Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”(Mathews 10:5,6)
These verses are clearly exhorting here that the followers of Jesus (pbuh) – (Christian preachers), should first go to Israeli towns, them to others. For, to go to the ” lost sheep of Israel” does not mean only to visit their towns, but to convert them to Christianity. The idea therefore is that until the Israelites have become Christians, no attention is to be paid to others. Jesus (pbuh) makes it very clear that the task of preaching to Israel and converting them will not be completed until his second coming. Thus we read
” But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the son of man be come ” (Mathews. 10:23)
From this it is clear that according to Mathews 28:19, Christian preachers are required to establish Christianity in the towns of Israel and not merely to visit those towns but to make them Christians. It is made quite clear in the Bible that this duty of preaching to the Israelites would not be over until the second coming of the son of man.
Therefore in preaching to other than Jews, while the second coming of Jesus (pbuh) had yet to take place, Christian preachers are acting against the teaching of Jesus (pbuh).
The apostles of Jesus (pbuh) also regard it as incorrect and consider it against the wishes of Jesus (pbuh) to preach the Gospel to non- Israelites.
We read in Acts. ”
Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as Phenice and Cyrus and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only (Acts 11:19)
Similarly when the apostles heard that Peter in one place had preached the Gospel to non-Israelites, they were annoyed. Please read:
” And when Peter was come to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them” (Acts, 11:2,3)
Can Jesus (pbuh) be a role model for all humanity?
Every one knows that if you want to become a football player, you go to an accomplished football player. If you want to become a carpenter, of course you go to a master carpenter. Likewise if you want to become a good human being you can read the teachings of Jesus (pbuh) and try to follow them.
But you cannot emulate Jesus (pbuh). First of all according to the Christian belief system he was not human but he was god himself.
As a human how can human beings emulate god?
Jesus (pbuh) was not a father, he had no children. He was not a grandfather, he was not a neighbor, he was not a ruler, and he was not a commander of an army or head of a State. What can you learn from him since he did not know any of these skills?
Therefore Jesus (pbuh) cannot be a role model of any human being.
Before the Holy Prophet of Islam, nobody addressed a Message to the whole of mankind; before the Holy Qur’an no book addressed itself to the whole of humanity. It is the holy prophet of Islam alone declared:
Say. ” O Mankind, truly I am a Messenger to you all, from Allah” (Al Qur’an 7:159)
The revelation of the Qur’an, therefore, was meant to remove those differences and that had come to pass between religion and religion and people and people, which had arisen out of the inevitable limitations of earlier teachings and loss of true teachings due to passage of time and changes in the languages and numerous translations from one language to another that came about over span of several centuries.
The Prophet of Islam is a perfect role model for all human beings as he was human himself. He was a father, he was a grandfather, he was a neighbor, he was a head of State, and he was the commander in chief. He showed how any human being could live a life of human being following his example.
If the Qur’an had not come, these differences would have endured and the world would have never known the truth that it had only One Creator, nor would it have realized that its creation had one purpose in view that is to show our responsibly towards our Creator and our responsibility towards our fellow human beings.
If Prophet of Islam had not come, humanity would have not known how to behave with each other.
Reference: “The Holy Bible” containing the old and New Testament, published by “THE GIDEONS INTERNATIONAL”
Khalid AbdusSami M.D. M.S. is a Medical doctor who served as Assistant Professor and Clinical Director of Department of Anesthesiology at University of Minnesota School of Medicine. He worked in Saudi Arabia for 23 years as Chairman of Department of Anesthesiology at king Faisal Specialist Hospital Riyadh and Jeddah. Currently he lives in Chicago and deeply involved in “Interfaith activities” in the western suburb of the city.) He can be contacted at khalidsami378gmail.com