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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Jesus: Prophet of Islam - ii
By Muhammad Abdus Samad

Islam teaches that whenever Allah wills to create anything, He just pronounces "Be" and it is (Qur'an 2:117, 3:47). So when Allah planned to create Jesus (PBUH) without father, He just pronounced the word "Be" and Jesus (PBUH) was thus created or placed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy Qur'an tells: "Mary said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no man hath touched me? The angel said: Allah create thee what He wills. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is (3:47, 19:35). And Mary who was chaste, therefore I (Allah) breathed into her of My spirit and made her son a token for the mankind" (21:91, 66:12).

Thus it appears that Allah breathed His spirit into Jesus through Mary and thus gave him existence as human being. Similarly Adam was also created by Allah: "I have made Adam and have breathed into him My Spirit" (Qur'an 15:29). So Jesus was created through the same power (Spirit of Allah ) as Adam was created. As such the Holy Qur'an again says: "Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam"(3:59). So Jesus was not begotten but created by Allah.

Let us come to an argument. Since God is the Sustainer and Creator of all; hence if we are permitted to call Him "Father", then not only Jesus but also every prophet and righteous believer will be the son of God. Here the title "Son of God" does not signify a man to be a born-son (biological-son) of God but a righteous slave of god. Most probably it was the reason for which Jesus (PBUH) proclaimed: "I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God." (John 20:17).

Thus Islam clearly says that Jesus was neither God nor the son of God. To attribute 

"Godhood" and divinity to Jesus is considered as blasphemous act (kufr) in Islam resulting in one’s abode in the hell-fire. Islam teaches that Jesus (PBUH) was a prophet and servant of Allah sent with the divine guidance to Israel. The Holy Qur'an announces: "The son of Mary (Jesus) was not other than a prophet and like him many prophets have passed away before him." (5:75, 61:6) "Verily Jesus was no more than a servant. I (Allah) granted My favour (Prophethood) to him and I made him an example to the children of Israel." (43:59) Prophet Jesus was sent to Israel to invite them towards the worship of Allah as stated in the Holy Qur'an: "When Jesus came with clear proofs he said: Lo! Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is right path" (43:63-64, 5:72). Like the Holy Qur'an, Jesus is also called prophet in the Bible: "This is Prophet Jesus From Nazareth in Galilee, the crowds answered (Math. 21: 11). The chief priests and pharasees were afraid of the crowds who considered Jesus to be a prophet (Math. 21:45-46). The man (Jesus) was a prophet and was considered by God and by all people" (Luke 24:19, John 7:40).

It would be fair to clarify here that in Islam, Prophet is called "Nabi", which is derived from the root "Naba" meaning message. So in Islam "Nabi or Prophet is the one who receives the divine message or oracles from God and delivers them faithfully to the people intended". Prophet Jesus (PBUH) also received the divine message reduced to a book called "Injeel" in the Holy Qur'an: "I (Allah) sent Jesus the son of Mary and bestowed on him "Injeel" (the Gospel) and placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him (57:27). The prophets sent by Allah for our quid once were also human beings like other men only with the exception that the forms received the divine message which the laters not. The Holy Qur'an tells: "O Muhammad ! The prophets whom I ( Allah) sent before thee were all human beings who ate food and walked through the streets" (25:20, 12:109, 18:111). Since Jesus was a prophet like other prophets of Allah hence we, Muslims, love and respect Jesus (PBUH) as we do Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other prophets.

At length, I have felt it necessary to deal with one thing that today a large section of people worship Jesus—the Holy spirit, different gods and goddesses and objects seen or unseen, living or dead and celestial or worldly alike. But a question arises: "Are these personalities and objects worshipped by those people, the creator or the creations?" Certainly they are not the creator but creations. The creations do not deserve the worship from the man nor can they save him in the hereafter. In fact God has not created the mankind to worship His creations but himself. To worship any person or object other than the Creator (God) is the highest form of crime to him/herself as it amounts to the denial of the Lordship of God living in His Kingdom earth) and enjoying His favours and bounties. The Holy Qur'an tells that all prophets right form Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them) invited the mankind towards the worship of Allah: "O Muhammad ! I (Allah) sent no prophet before thee but inspired him saying. "There is no God save Me; So worship Me" ( 21:25). And verily I (Allah) have raised in every nation a prophet proclaiming: "Serve Allah and shun false gods (16:36, 41:14). Similarly Jesus is also found inviting his people towards the worship of only one God in the Bible:" Jesus replied: The most important one is this, listen Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:29-30). Jesus answered: The Scripture says: "Worship the Lord your God and serve only him." (Luke 4:8) "There is for us only one God the Father who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live." (1 Corinthian 8:6).

The message to the mankind to worship one God as taught by the prophets from time to time is in fact called Islam i.e., "Submission to the will of Allah". And it is the religion of Islam which is professed by the angels in heaven and by Muslims on earth for their redemption in life after death. (Concluded)

(To Read part one click here)

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