Short Answer: Yes! But not in the way that Christians do. Muslims believe that the Quran is the final revelation of Almighty God to humankind. They believe that previous scriptures were indeed given, but that over the years these previous scriptures became altered, either deliberately or by mistake. While Muslims do follow Jesus’ (PBUH) teaching especially those about love–God is the owner and Creator of love and He sent his prophets (including Jesus) to teach people to show love and mercy to all– Muslims also believe that Jesus’ teachings were not what Christians claim today.
Salam (Peace) Peter,
Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.
Your question is very interesting and very important because of what it says about your understanding of what Muslims believe about Jesus (peace be upon him-PBUH).
Your question comes through the lens of an inherited Western understanding about Jesus.
While Muslims do follow Jesus’ (PBUH) teaching especially those about love–God is the owner and Creator of love and He sent his prophets (including Jesus) to teach people to show love and mercy to all– Muslims also believe that Jesus’ teachings were not what Christians claim today.
The Western Obsession with Jesus
In the West especially, people have been brought up to believe certain things about Jesus (PBUH).
They learn from an early age, for example, that he died on the cross and rose from the dead.
Little children perform plays at Christmas time in which they re-enact what they have learned from the Gospels.
At Easter, they give one another chocolate eggs in memory of his death and resurrection.
After two thousand years of reinforcement, all of this is now accepted by many people as absolute fact.
The Muslim Understanding of Previous Scriptures
Muslims, on the other hand, have a different understanding about who Jesus (PBUH) was.
Their facts come not from the Gospels, but from the Quran, and they present an alternative version of what many perceive to be true.
To put it very simply, Muslims believe that the Quran is the final revelation of Almighty God to humankind.
They believe that previous scriptures were indeed given, but that over the years these previous scriptures became altered, either deliberately or by mistake.
Almighty God (Allah) has revealed the Truth to His Creation throughout the course of human history. And He spoke through prophets.
The Quran, then, according to Islam and Muslims, was revealed to set the record straight about what God actually sent through the prophets.
The Quran said that certain facts in the previous scriptures were indeed true, but other facts were wrong.
So, Muslims believe that where the previous scriptures agree with the Quran they can be accepted as true.
And where the previous scriptures disagree with the Quran, Muslims reject them as false.
And where things are said in the previous scriptures that are not said in the Quran, Muslims simply believe we cannot comment on who wrote or said these things.
The Gospels Are Not Reliable Sources
All that Muslims know about Prophet Jesus (PBUH), then, comes from the Quran.
They do not get their facts from the four Gospels chosen by the early Church from among many.
In fact, Muslims believe that the message revealed to Prophet Jesus (PBUH) is known as the Injeel. This Injeel is not to be confused with the books known as the Gospels.
These Gospels were written by individuals or groups of individuals to sum up what they believed about Jesus (PBUH).
And even these original accounts have been lost or translated many, many times so that it is now very difficult to know what Jesus may or may not have said.
The Gospel “according to Matthew” is precisely that. It is someone named Matthew’s recollection and re-telling of what Jesus (PBUH) is supposed to have said, though we’re not entirely sure who this “Matthew” is—but he’s most likely not a disciple.
Similarly, the other Gospels are the recollections of other people.
Muslims believe that the Quran is the fullness of revelation, that it has not been changed, and that it confirms what was revealed in the Injeel, not in the Gospels.
The Muslim Perspective of Jesus
What Muslims know about Jesus (PBUH), they know from the Quran.
Muslims believe, for instance, that Jesus (PBUH) did not die on the cross and that he did not rise from the dead on the third day.
They believe that he was not God’s Son, but a great Messenger sent by God to call people to worship One God, as all Prophets had done before him.
This is the essence of Jesus’ teaching. In this respect, then, part of Mark’s Gospel is a true reflection of what Jesus (PBUH) said:
One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that he had answered them well, asked him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ […] (emphasis added. Mark 12: 28-30)
Jesus (PBUH) is quoted as having said what was revealed to the prophets before him, including Moses:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (Deut. 6:4)
The fact that artists and sculptors, poets and orators have portrayed Jesus (PBUH) in a certain way for two thousand years has influenced people’s thinking.
Muslims believe that the real message of Jesus is something different.
The message of Jesus according to Muslims, then, is to be found in the Quran, not in the Gospels.
It is not a matter of where is this or that saying from the Gospels, it is more a matter of this is what Jesus really said.
I hope that by looking at what Jesus (PBUH) says in the Quran you will come to a better understanding of what Muslims believe and why they believe it.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Peace be with you and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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