Jesus in the Holy Qur’an


The Holy Qur’an tells us a lot of wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Holy Qur’an love Jesus, honour him, and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace.

The Holy Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God’s leave, and that he raised the dead by God’s leave.

What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates his power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, but not a woman. And, finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, but not a man.

What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God’s leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said;

“I can do nothing on my own authority” (John 5:30).

The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God’s authority.

“Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you.” (Acts 2:22)

What did Jesus teach? The Holy Qur’an tells us Jesus came to teach the same basic message that was taught by previous prophets from God — We must shun every false god and worship only the one true God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of that one true God, the God of Abraham. These Quranic teachings can be compared with the Bible (Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as Servant of God.

“You heard me say to you, ‘I am leaving, but I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father; for he is greater than I.” (John 14:28 )

Eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent. (John 17:3)

“Do not hold on to me,” Jesus told her, “because I have not yet gone back up to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God.” (John 20:17)

“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has given divine glory to his Servant Jesus…” (Acts 3:13)

The Holy Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but Allah (God) rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. God will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Holy Qur’an teaches about him.

Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from God, and a spirit from Him. He is honoured in this world and in Heaven, and he is one of those brought nearest to God.

Jesus was a man who spoke the truth bestowed on him by God. This can be compared with the Gospel According to John where Jesus says to the Israelites:

“All I have ever done is to tell you the truth I heard from God, yet you are trying to kill me…” (John 8:40)

The Virgin Birth of Jesus

Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. When the angels announced to Mary (peace be upon her) about God’s promise that she will have a son, she was surprised, since she was a virgin. “How can this be?” she thought. She was reminded that it is easy for God to create whatever he wills.

She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me? He said: Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!” (Holy Qur’an 3:47)

It is not difficult for God to do anything he wants. He can create a child with both human parents or only one. No miracle is beyond His power. After all, He had created Adam (peace be upon him) from neither a man nor a woman. He created the rest of us from both man and woman. What is so hard if God decides to create a human being from a woman only? He only commands “Be!” and it occurs.

Some people think that since Jesus (peace be upon him) had no human father then God must be his father. The Holy Qur’an rejects this view. The position of Jesus with God is comparable to the position of Adam with God. Just because Adam had no human parent does not mean we should call him the Son of God.

The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: ‘Be!’ and he was. (Holy Qur’an 3:59)

According to the Holy Qur’an, God is our Creator, He created all that exists, He is the only Self-Existent One, hence everyone else are His servants. Also, as God is not like His creation how can He a son?

They say: ‘(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son! Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! As if the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious, for it is not consonant with the Majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth, but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant. (Holy Qur’an 19:88-93)

The Miracles of Jesus

According to the Holy Qur’an, Jesus, on whom be peace, performed the following miracles by God’s leave:

1. Spoke while he was only a baby.
2. Healed those born blind.
3. Healed the lepers.
4. Revived the dead.
5. Breathed life into a bird made of clay.

In the Holy Qur’an God quotes Jesus, peace be upon him, as saying:

“I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord. In that I make for you out of clay the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken (raise) the dead, by Allah’s leave; And I declare to you what ye eat and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if you did believe;

(I have come to you) to attest the Law, which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me. It is Allah who is my Lord and your Lord; Then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight. (Holy Qur’an 3:49-51).

Again, in the Holy Qur’an God tells us about the situation on the Day of Judgement:

One day will Allah gather the messengers together, and ask: ‘What was the response ye received (from men to your teaching)?’ They will say: ‘We have no knowledge: It is Thou, who knowest in full all that is Hidden.’

Then will Allah say: ‘O Jesus, the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in infancy and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold! Thou didst make out of clay, the figure of a bird by My leave, and thou didst breathe into it, and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou didst heal those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! Thou didst bring forth the dead by My leave. . .’ (Holy Qur’an 5:109-110)

Not all of these miracles are recorded in the Canonical Gospels, the four gospels contained in the Christian Bible.

The fact that Jesus spoke while he was yet a baby is not written anywhere in the Bible. This should not be surprising, because none of the Gospels can claim to recover every single event in the life of Jesus. Instead, the gospel According to John seeks to emphasize that the events were too many to record.

Similarly, the miracle of breathing life into a bird made of clay is not attested by the Christian Bible. This too should not make us wonder. It is obvious that the writers of the gospels could write down only the tradition that was available to them. Furthermore, they could not write down everything they knew about Jesus for they were writing on papyrus materials that were very limited in length.

We must also bear in mind, the Christian Bible was compiled by officials of the Roman Church from a selection of Christian scriptures then extant. They only used some of the books available which were declared to be the most authentic. This process which took place in the 3rd century AD, was at the very least open to human error.

What is worthy to notice here is that the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, was honest enough to promulgate this information about Jesus. The religion taught by God through Muhammad would deny the divinity of Jesus. But you’d naturally expect any human being, who wished to deny the divinity of Jesus to have tried to belittle Jesus. Since Christians looked upon the miracles of Jesus as a proof of his divinity, we might suppose that any human being who tries to deny the divinity of Jesus, not to have informed people of the miracles not previously widely known to them. He might have even tried to deny some of the miracles recorded in the canonical gospels. On the other hand, the prophet Muhammad honestly conveyed the message delivered to him from God. (May the peace and blessings of God be upon him.)

Almighty God tells us the truth without fear. Human beings trying to win followers tell us only what is conducive to winning us over. They usually withhold information that could lead to opposite conclusions. On the other hand, God informs us about the miracles of Jesus even if people use this information to support their prior commitment to the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. The Creator doesn’t need to win worshippers. Those who worship God do so for their own good. And those who worship false gods do so to their own detriment.

What God emphasises, though, is that the miracles of Jesus do not prove he was divine. The miracles he performed were a sign, a proof, that he was God’s messenger. He performed them with God’s help and permission. Those who use his miracles as proof of his divinity would choose to forget the following sayings of Jesus:

“I can do nothing on my own authority; I judge only as God tells me, so my judgment is right, because I am not trying to do what I want, but only what he who sent me wants.” (John 5:30)

They also forget the declaration of Peter:

“Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you.” (Acts 2:22)

These passages suggest that Jesus did not do miracles on his own. These, rather were accomplished by God’s leave. God reminds us of this. Jesus also constantly repeated to his audience that the miracles he performed were by God’s leave.

All quotes from the Holy Qur’an use Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English translation. While all the quotes from the Holy Bible are taken from the Good News Bible.


2 Responses to Jesus in the Holy Qur’an

  1. Aaron says:

    Islam’s seeming agreements with Christianity poses a problem.

    Similar to Christianity, Muslims believe Jesus was conceived of the Virgin Mary. One of the most important witnesses to this historic event was Mary, the mother of Jesus. But Mary was also a witness of her Son’s death (John 19:25-27). Mary was present and part of the church’s witness to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:14). To put it simply, Mary is a witness to Christianity and not Islam. Muslims do not believe in the same Jesus as Mary believed.

    Muslims believe Jesus performed miracles, but the disciples of Jesus who attest to His miracles also attested to His death on the cross, resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven. For example, Nicodemus attested to the signs of Jesus which Muslims believe (John 3:1-2). But Nicodemus was also a witness to the burial of Jesus’ dead body (John 19:38-42). To put it simply, those who saw and testified to Jesus’ signs testified to the Jesus of the Bible and not the Jesus of Islam.

    The Muslim Jesus is not the Jesus of history; he is not the Jesus that lived, died, and was raised from the dead.


    • Paul Salahuddin Armstrong says:

      Hi Aaron,

      Peace be with you. Thank you for your comments. At the end of the day, what one believes, is a matter of faith… If I believed Jesus, peace be upon him, died on a cross as a sacrifice for sins of humanity, I’d be a Christian; as I do not believe this, I found my faith through Islam… The truth is, only God Almighty and a few others, mainly living in the time of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, know what really happened… The rest of us, can only make educated guesses based upon religious and historical sources such as the Holy Bible, or pray and follow our hearts. The four gospel accounts accepted by the early church, themselves contradict each other on many points… There were in fact, many gospel accounts and other writings that were destroyed by the church a few of which, thankfully survived due to the efforts of those who stashed them away in secret places, all those centuries ago. All this, makes it very difficult to get anywhere near the historical truth, of what actually happened. When a Christian states the Bible is God’s Word, as when a Muslim makes the same claim of the Holy Qur’an, we are in truth acknowledging our faith, not historical accuracy. Nor am I criticising this in any way… I personally dislike this kind of argument, as it is in fact completely dishonest; no Christian or Muslim today, can honestly lay claim to knowing the truth of such things, there are various lines of enquiry and various theories, which is good. One should always seek to find answers to such matters, but at the same time retain the humility to realise, that only the Almighty really knows…

      Blessings and best wishes,

      Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
      Executive Director, Wulfruna Sufi Association

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