Jesus from a Muslim perspective

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Christians, Prophet Jesus (Isa) Views: 12544
12544

Jesus of Nazareth is the most widely revered religious figure in the world. Not only is he central to Christianity, the largest religion in the world, he is also venerated throughout Islam, the world's second largest faith.

Christians may be surprised to learn that Muslims believe in the Virgin Birth and Jesus' miracles. But this shared interest in his message goes much further.

In our scientific age, the miraculous side of Jesus' story has greatly obscured his role in the prophetic tradition. In this sense, there may be more important questions for Muslims and Christians than whether he walked on water or raised the dead.

In the Muslim view, Jesus' essential work was not to replicate magic bread or to test our credulity, but to complement the legalism of the Torah with a leavening compassion rarely expressed in the older testament. His actions and words introduce something new to monotheism: They develop the merciful spirit of God's nature. Jesus confirmed the Torah, stressing the continuity of his lineage, but he also developed the importance of compassion and self-purification as crucial links between learning the words of God's message and possessing the wisdom to carry it out.

Oddly enough, some of the recent work by New Testament scholars seems to have reached a view of Christ not all that different from Muslims'. For us and for these scholars, Jesus appears not as a literal son of God in human form, but as an inspired human being, a teacher of wisdom with a talent for love drawn from an unbroken relationship to God. Both versions present him as a man who spoke to common people in universal terms.

Two events in the life of the prophet Muhammad may help explain why Muslims revere Jesus.

The first event involves an elder resident of Mecca named Waraqa bin Nawfal. This man was an early Arab Christian and an uncle of Muhammad's wife, Khadija. We know he could read Hebrew, that he was mystical by nature, and that he attended Khadija and Muhammad's wedding in about 595 C.E. Fifteen years later, a worried Khadija sought Waraqa out and brought her husband to him.

At the time, Muhammad was a 40-year-old respected family man. He attended this "family therapy' session in a rare state of agitation. He was frightened. He had been meditating one evening in a cave on the outskirts of town. There, while half asleep, he had experienced something so disturbing that he feared he was possessed. A voice had spoken to him.

Waraqa listened to his story, which Muslims will recognize as a description of Muhammad's first encounter with the angel Gabriel.

"What you have heard is the voice of the same spiritual messenger God sent to Moses. I wish I could be a young man when you become a prophet! I would like to be alive when your own people expel you.'

"Will they expel me?' Muhammad asked.

"Yes,' the old man said. "No one has ever brought his people the news you bring without meeting hostility. If I live to see the day, I will support you.'

The second important event concerning Islam and Christianity dates from 616, a few years after Muhammad began to preach publicly. This first attempt to reinstate the Abrahamic tradition in Mecca met (as Waraqa had warned) with violent opposition.

Perhaps the Meccans resented Muhammad's special claim. Perhaps his message of a single, invisible, ever-present God threatened the economy of their city. A month's ride south from the centers of power in Syria and Persia, poor remote Mecca depended on long-distance trade and on seasonal pilgrims who came there each year to honor hundreds of pagan idols, paying a tax to do so.

At any rate, Muhammad's disruptive suggestion that "God was One' and could be found anywhere did not sit well with the businessmen of Mecca.

Many new Muslims were being tortured. Their livelihoods were threatened, their families persecuted. As matters grew worse, in 616 Muhammad sent a small band of followers across the Red Sea to seek shelter in the Christian kingdom of Axum. There, he told them, they would find a just ruler, the Negus, who could protect them. The Muslims found the Negus in his palace, somewhere in the borderland between modern Ethiopia and Eritrea.

And protect them he did, after one Muslim recited to him some lines on the Virgin Mary from the Qur'an. The Negus wept at what he heard. Between Christians and Muslims, he said, he could not make out more difference than the thickness of a twig.

These two stories underscore the support Christians gave Muhammad in times of trial. The Qur'an distils the meaning from the drama:

Those who feel the most affection
For us (who put our faith in the Qur'an),
Are those that say, "We are Christians,'
For priests and monks live among them
Who are not arrogant. When they listen
To what We have shown Muhammad,
Their eyes brim over with tears
At the truth they find there....

Even today, when a Muslim mentions Jesus' name, you will hear it followed by the phrase "peace and blessings be upon him,' because Muslims still revere him as a prophet.

We believe in God
And in what has been sent down to us,
What has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael
And Isaac and Jacob and their offspring,
And what was given to Moses and to Jesus
And all the other prophets of the Lord.
We make no distinction among them.

As these lines from the Qur'an make clear, Muslims regard Jesus as one of the world's great teachers. He and his mentor John the Baptist stand in a lineage stretching back to the founder of ethical monotheism. Moreover, among Muslims, Jesus is a special type of prophet, a messenger empowered to communicate divinity not only in words but by miracles as well.

Muslims, it must be said, part company with some Christians over the portrait of Jesus developed in the fourth and fifth centuries. Certain fictions, Muslims think, were added then. Three of these come in for special mention: First, Muslims consider monastic asceticism a latter-day innovation, not an original part of Jesus' way. Second, the New Testament suffers from deletions and embellishments added after Jesus' death by men who did not know him. Third, the description of Jesus as God's son is considered by Muslims a later, blasphemous suggestion.

Muslims venerate Jesus as a divinely inspired human but never, ever as "the son of God.' In the same vein, we treat the concept of the Trinity as a late footnote to Jesus' teachings, an unnecessary "mystery' introduced by the North African theologian Tertullian two centuries after Jesus' death. Nor do Muslims view his death as an act of atonement for mankind's sins. Rather, along with the early Christian theologian Pelagius, Islam rejects the doctrine of original sin, a notion argued into church doctrine by St. Augustine around the year 400.

It might almost be said that Islam holds a view of Jesus similar to some of the early apostolic versions condemned by the fourth-century Byzantine Church. Once Constantine installed Christianity as the Roman Empire's state religion, a rage for orthodoxy followed. The Councils of Nicaea (325), Tyre (335), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and Chalcedon (451) were official, often brutal attempts to stamp out heterodox views of Jesus held by "heretical' theologians.

Rulings by these councils led to the persecution and deaths of tens of thousands of early Christians at the hands of more "orthodox' Christians who condemned them. Most disputes centered on divergent interpretations of the Trinity. For this reason, historians of religion sometimes see in these bloody divisions one of the root causes for early Islam's firmly Unitarian outlook.

Then and now, no more dangerous religious mistake exists for a Muslim than dividing the Oneness of God by twos or threes.

Despite these important differences, however, the Qur'an repeatedly counsels Muslims not to dispute with other monotheists over matters of doctrine. People, it says, believe differently for good reasons. In fact, that is a part of Allah's will.

*****

Source: Muslim Village


  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured
  Topics: Christians, Prophet Jesus (Isa)
Views: 12544

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Older Comments:
YOHAN YISHAI FROM BHUTAN said:
No doubt, Khan appears as breath of accuser of the brethren. While he justifies plagiarized contents from our book, he fails to condemn its makers for twisting and editing them, bending the contents by choice for their taste.
If Jews dispute against the Christians, let them prove their right.
If Christians dispute against the Jews for their hardness, we have proof. We may have differences in belief owing to accepting and rejecting certain elementary facts but never are we the polytheists as accused.
If Quoran encourages to follow its own creed disputing against us and our book, it bears the fault manifesting itself as the work of god of this world beguiling and damning the unsaved souls to perdition, that shall soon be subdued under the feet of the saints.
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YOHAN YISHAI FROM BHUTAN said:
No doubt, Khan appears as breath of accuser of the brethren. While
he justifies plagiarizated contents from our book, he fails to
condemn its makers for twisting and editing them, bending the
contents by choice for their taste.
If Jews dispute against the Christians, let them prove their right.
If Christians dispute against the Jews for their hardness, we have
proof. We may have differences in belief owing to accepting and
rejecting certain elementary facts but never are we the polytheists
as accused.
If Quoran encourages to follow its own creed disputing against us
and our book, it bears the fault manifesting itself as the work of
god of this world beguiling and damning the unsaved souls to
perdition, that shall soon be subdued under the feet of the saints.
()

YOHAN YISHAI FROM BHUTAN said:
No doubt, Khan appears as breath of accuser of the brethren. While
he justifies plagiarization of contents from our book, he fails to
condemn its makers for twisting and editing them, bending the
contents by choice for their taste.
If Jews dispute against the Christians, let them prove their right.
If Christians dispute against the Jews for their hardness, we have
proof. We may have differences in belief owing to accepting and
rejecting certain elementary facts but never are we the polytheists
as accused.
If Quoran encourages to follow its own creed disputing against us
and our book, it bears the fault manifesting itself as the work of
god of this world beguiling and damning the unsaved souls to
perdition, that shall soon be subdued under the feet of the saints.
()

KHAN FROM US said:
Islam is the only Faith that Highly Honors both Mary and Jesus. Christians reject Moses and
Law and Jews reject Jesus and Mary. This is in Quran too....

Quran 2:213 The Jews say "The Christians have nothing [true] to stand on," & the Christians say, "The Jews have nothing to stand on," although they [both] recite the (same) Scripture. Thus the polytheists(Mushrik) speak the same as their words..."
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BABANDI A.GUMEL FROM U.K said:
Yohan Yishai tries to justify his dogmatic belief trying to impose
such unfortunate belief on others by all means.Anybody who disagreed
with him will be follower of cultI think he is the one following
cult rather than denigrating Religion such as Islam making it like a
Cult which is very unfortunate. Anyhow going back to the topic Jesus
was a Prophet of Allah like all other Prophets such as Adam who was
created by God like Jesus.Others were David Solomon,Job Zachariah
Noah,Abraham,Moses,Jacob,Isaac Ishmael and many other Prophets who
were sent by the same Creator to the human beings for their
guidance. The Jews accepted Moses but unfortunately denied Jesus and
the Christians accepted both Moses and Jesus Peace be Upon them but
unfortunately denied Prophet Muhammad.We the Muslims Alhamdu Lillahi
accepted Moses,Jesus and the last Prophet Muhammad and all the
previous Prophets mentioned or not mentioned.We believed in them we
don't discriminate against any of the Prophet unlike some one who
does not know and he thinks he knows.Well God knows best.We just
pray may Allah give Yohan hidayah.Then when guidance dawns on a
person he can easily distinguish between right and wrong.
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YOHAN YISHAI FROM BHUTAN said:
Muslims venerate Jesus as a divinely inspired human but never, ever
as "the son of God.'

But this is in direct conflict against the teachings of the gospels.
This stand of Islam makes it apparent as the CULT of SATAN.
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SHAQUE FROM USA said:
Most article written on Jesus are feel like written to please people
who insult our beloved prophet. We should not forget that we received
correct nature of Jesus from revelation to our prophet. Before our
prophet apeared on this planet even now there is little known about
teaching of Jesus. All article about Jesus are like bending backward
to please not our selves but our christian neighbors. Let me ask what
is teaching of Jesus, same as in Quran not what is taught by church.
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AMEER FROM CANADA said:
It is not written that John The Baptist is the "Father"of Jesus,husband of Mary.This is the true message in this era.With out this,Mankind stand on nothing.
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AMEER FROM CANADA said:
THE HOLY QUR'AN:MARY,JESUS,ZACKARIYA AND YAH'YA.God first made a single being or a single cell,then he made from it,it's mate,and then He produced from this a couple generation.So God has made a law to create generation from a couple,may it be inanimate being,or animate being,and you will never find any change in God"s law.When polytheists attributed sons and daughters,then God said:How can He have a "SON when HE has NO CONSORT".THEREFORE JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT BORN WITHOUT A FATHER.When the angel give a glad tiding to Mary of a son,"SHE HAD NOT BECOME PREGNANT AT THAT TIME,BUT WHEN GOD SENT TO HER A RIGHTIOUS MAN OF HER STATUS,TO GET MARRIED TO HER AND GIVE MARY A PURE SON.MARY KNEW HIM WELL THAT HE WAS A RIHGTIOUS MAN.If that MAN had been a stranger,then Mary would have fled and would have taken refuge in any one of her neighbour's homes.In the Holy Qur'an wherever God has mentioned about MARY and JESUS,HE has mentioned there about ZACKARIYA AND YAH'YA(JOHN THE BAPTIST)also.God had given a genealogical tree in THE HOLY QUR'AN of the Holy prophets,in which God has disclosed that THE MAN WHO WAS SENT TO MARY TO GET MARRIED TO HER WAS YAH'YA(JOHN THE BAPTIST).PART 7,CH.6.Verse 83,85,87."AND ZACKARIYA AND YAH'YA(JOHN THE BAPTIST)AND JESUS,AND ELI'AS ALL OF THE RIGHTIOUS ONES".Here genealogy also has disclosed that the SON of Jesus was Eli'as.According to the Holy Gospel Jesus Christ called himself the"SON OF MAN".If HE was without a FATHER,then the genealogical tree and the"SON OF MAN"do not become HIM.It is most honourable for a married woman to give birth to a child by the help of her honourable husband.It is a most shameful deed for a virgin to give birth."MAY GOD GUIDE US IN THE RIGHT PATH".AMEEN!!!!!.
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AMEER FROM CANADA said:
Allah sent his Ruh-Hanna to Maryam.Ruh-Hanna said;I am a messenger sent from thy Lord to give(not a gift)thee a holy son.If Ruh-Hanna is not Yahya(pbuh)(John the Baptist)then who was He?.Al-Quran:19-16-20.
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EKALAYA FROM INDONESIA said:
Want more clear about Jesus from muslim view?, please read The Choice, author: Ahmad Deedat
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JWM FROM USA said:
This is a well written article that helps me as a Christian understand Islam's perspective on Jesus. Thank you for the article.
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HILAL SHAH FROM USA said:
I am not sure what MV is trying to express. As for as Eisa Alaih Assalam is concern, Quran is clear about his position. We Muslims are required to repect him not to show to Christians that we Muslims respect Eisa Alaih Assalm, but to full fill the relationship of Messenger and followers.
Islam is not in competetion with any other religion becuase there is no competetion between Islam and other religions. The purity of Islam is far superior than the filth other religions portray.

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