Islamic Perspectives

Islamic and Jewish Views of Jesus’ Teachings

Rabbi Allen S. Maller

It was revealed by the tongue of Jesus: “A land is cursed if its rulers are young boys” (Muhammad ibn Sa’d). But this is not written anywhere in the Gospels.

Perhaps Jesus was simply repeating Ecclesiastes 10:16 “Woe to you, O land, when your king is a young boy.” Or perhaps it is a sacred oral teaching that was not written down, what Muslims call a Hadith Qudsi and Jews call an Oral Torah teaching.

Hadith and Oral Torah are important expansions of the written revelation. For example: God revealed to Jesus: “O Jesus, admonish yourself. Once admonished, admonish other people. Otherwise, be modest in My sight” (Ahmad ibn Hanbal) in another Hadith Qudsi. Judaism is in full agreement with this teaching.

Jesus met a man and asked him, “What are you doing?” “I am devoting myself to God,” the man answered. Jesus asked, “Who takes care of you?” “My brother,” replied the man. Jesus said, “Your brother is more devoted to God than you are.” (Abdallah ibn Qutayba). I say “Amen”.

A disciple of Jesus, the son of Mary, who was in charge of collecting and distributing charity complained to Jesus that, “these activities ‘steal’ lots of valuable time from me that I would prefer to devote to prayer and meditation.” Rabbi Jesus replied, “It is not true that acts of generosity and kindness ‘steal’ your time. If anything, these Mitsvot give you more time!”

The disciple continued his charitable activities and the prophecy of Jesus that, “acts of generosity and kindness do not steal one’s time, but rather give one more time” was fulfilled.   He lived an additional seven good years after becoming very ill and then passed away quickly.

“Yet there are many people who are very charitable and do not have their lives extended,” said his disciples. Jesus replied, “This is true for sometimes the extra years are received in this world and sometimes in the next world. No one except God knows why this occurs. Blessed are those who are able to accept this Torah.

Finally I add my Oral Torah teaching of Jesus, the son of Mary, that represents his wisdom for today’s pluralistic world: Jesus taught his disciples, “ There are many rooms in my father’s house” (John 14:2).

One disciple asked, “Do you mean that even in the end of days, in the Messianic Age, each nation will follow its own God, while we Jews will continue to follow the God of Israel?”(Bible: Micah 4:5).     

“Yes” said Jesus.

“Or do you mean that the righteous of all nations and religions will have a place in Heaven?” (Talm

“Yes”, said Jesus.

“Or do you mean there will never be total agreement among human beings either in this world or in the next world.”

“Yes”, said Jesus, “If God had so desired he could have made you all the same, but he made each person an individual, and divided you into many languages and religions, so that God (and other humans) might measure your faith, by seeing how many of you, compared to others, live up to the teachings of your own religion.” (Qur’an 5:48)

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