Jesus (PBUH) – The Spiritual Ascetic

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The Prophet’s saying “make zuhd from the dunya” [Ibn Majah] does not imply a disregard for this world, but rather an awareness of the transient nature of the worldly material things which are insignificant in relation to the permanence of what Allah promises … "All that is with you is bound to come to an end, whereas that which is with God is everlasting. And most certainly shall We grant unto those who are patient in adversity their reward in accordance with the best that they ever did." [Qur’an 16:96]. 

Zuhd in perspective

Zuhd entails abandoning whatever of this world that does not bring about benefit in the Hereafter. Zuhd resides in the heart, and is practiced by ridding the heart of enslavement from the unwarranted desire and the over-attentiveness to things that are temporary. It entails your being more certain in what Allah has in store for you, than your are about what you have in your hand . As Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said; "When Allah desires goodness for his servant, He grants the capacity of abstention from materialism, a desire for the Hereafter and an insight into his own faults". 

Zuhd of ‘Isa/Jesus (pbuh)

‘Isa/Jesus (pbuh) was the embodiment of the true zaahid. Ka’b al-Ahbar said; Jesus the son of Mary would walk bare-footed, claiming nothing in the way of shelter, finery, wares, garments, or money; of the latter he would procure only enough to subsist for the day. Once the sun would set, he would align himself and pray until morning. He would restore sight to the blind, heal those afflicted with leprosy, and revive the dead – all with the license of God. He was ascetic in matters of this world, vigorously exuberant towards the hereafter, ever-vigilant in his devotions to God. He was an itinerant who wandered the earth…..It was then that God raised him up to the heavens.

The Messiah (pbuh) said: “Asceticism/ Abstention from materialism revolves around three days; Yesterday, which has passed and from it you should seek admonition/ learn a lesson; Today, in which you should increase your preparation; Tomorrow of which you know not what is holds. [Musnad Ahmed]

The Messiah (pbuh) said: "O Children of Israel! I have been positioned on earth with a particular status, and there is neither pompousness nor arrogance. Do you know where my residence really is?” They said, ” Where is your residence, O Spirit of Allah.” The Messiah replied, “My home is any place of worship, my perfume is water, hunger is the flavoring of my food, my feet are my transport, my lamp at the night is the moon, my blanket in the winter is (the rising of the sun) east of the earth, my food is basic, my fruit and flowers are whatever grows from the earth, my garment is wool, my motto is fear of Allah and I accompany the sick and the poor. I sleep while I have nothing and I wake up while I have nothing, and yet there is no one on earth wealthier than I." [Bihaar al-Anwaar] 

Taking a Collective Lesson from the Messiah (pbuh) Muslims and Christians do have differing perspectives on Jesus’ life and teachings, but his spiritual legacy, as a righteous and principled guide, his mission as a Prince of Peace offers an alternative opportunity for people of faith to recognize their shared religious heritage. Christians and Muslims would do well to reflect on the verse in the Quran reaffirming Allah’s eternal message of spiritual unity: "Say: ‘We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and message given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.’" [Quran 2:136]


Shaykh Sadullah Khan is the Director of Impower Development International


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  1. The Shaykh’s focus on the common truths of all the prophets is so

    important. Mohammmed (PBUH) only claimed to be a Messenger in

    accordance with the previous prophetic messengers. And he never

    claimed to be the Messiah, but pointed correctly to Isa as the only

    Messiah, as did Yahya and other true messengers of Allah. This is

    why the Jews fought against Mohammed. True Protestants are not

    Crusaders, but are fellow believers with Muslims.

  2. We love Allah and His Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him the one majority of people have not realized or recognized his status as Prophet of Allah sent to the entire mankind. Equally we love all other Prophets of Allah including Noah, Abraham, Moses Jesus, Adam, Joseph Isaac, Jacob David Solomon Zachariah John the Baptist Job Jonah and all the Prophets mentioned the ones we know and the one we don’t know all Peace be Upon all of them as Muslims we do not discriminate against any of the Prophets saying we love this and don’t love or recognize the other. They are all from the same One Creator the Universal God or Ilah not different God such as to believe Europeans have different God from Africans or Asians having their own different from Australians Brazilians different from those Eskimos living in the far North of the Arctic and so on and so on. May Allah give us hidayah guidance to realize the truth and accept it Amen.

  3. Majority of the so called followers of Jesus who was poor by choice

    don’t want be poor. Rather they are the richest or want be rich by

    all means amassing wealth like every body more than necessary to

    such extent even the pastors and priests who are supposed to be

    examples as guide do not want follow that simple life of Jesus Son

    of Mary whom God had chosen in both worlds.Actions speak louder

    than words.

  4. Unfortunately majority of the followers of Jesus do not follow his teachings may be because it is not practicable now adays like when you are slapped you should give the other cheek for the second.Anyhow he had nothing with him as he relied on God as a Prophet like all other Prophets.