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What Do Muslims Believe About Jesus?

Isa, or Jesus the son of Mary as he is more commonly known, is probably one of the most “famous” people in the world since many centuries.

Unbeknownst to most non-Muslims who revere and love Jesus, he is one of the many Prophets whom God has mentioned repeatedly and specifically in the Quran.

God has described many of his praiseworthy attributes in the Quran. Also the details of the events in his life, as well as those of his mother, Mary.

The Quran reveals details about the noble lineage of Prophet Jesus; about how his maternal grandmother, herself a devout worshiper of God, dedicated her unborn child to His service when she was pregnant.

She eventually gave birth to one of the most virtuous, chaste and honorable women who ever lived: Mary, the mother of Jesus.

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Mary grew up to also become an extremely righteous woman. A dedicated and devout worshiper of God, she secluded herself in the mihrab to shy away from a society that was fast becoming morally decadent and steeped in sins.

There, God miraculously provided her with eatables and appointed Prophet Zakariyya as her guardian.

Because of her lofty virtue, God sent an angel to give her glad tidings of a righteous son. Initially appalled at the prospect because of her unmarried state, she eventually accepted this decree, and withdrew from her people to give birth alone in the woods – an enormous trial of her faith and forbearance that not just brought her immense fruit in the long run, but also further elevated her status in the eyes of God.

God described all of these events, as well as the following attributes and virtues of Prophet Jesus in the Quran:

A Slave of God and a Prophet

After Mary gave birth to Jesus and returned home cradling him, the people of her community were scandalized to hear the news, because she had hitherto been unmarried.

When they started demonizing her for giving birth to a son, accusing her of the worst that any chaste woman can imagine being accused of, God made the infant Jesus speak up from his cradle and defend her honor:

{He said: “Behold, I am a servant of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.} (19:30)

Since his infancy, therefore, Jesus was eloquent in defending the oppressed, marginalized and weak in society.

What is more important, however, is how he proclaimed in the above speech to first and foremost be a slave of God (“`abdullahi in Arabic) and then His Prophet, without attributing any divinity to his own self.

A Blessed Worshiper of God

{And made me blessed wherever I may be; and He has enjoined upon me prayer and charity as long as I live.} (19:31)

Jesus made it clear from soon after his birth that God had not just made him a very blessed human being (which was glaringly obvious by the fact that he was talking as a newborn baby), but that he was also commanded to establish salah and to give charity as long as he lived.

Jesus was sent to not just be humble and compassionate towards God’s slaves on earth, but also to obey God’s commands and worship Him through prayer and charity, just like His other worshipers.

A Righteous Son

{And [has endowed me with] piety towards my mother; and He has not made me haughty or bereft of grace.} (19:32)

Prophet Jesus was merciful towards his mother, and the Quran mentions how, later on, he lived with her in a lofty, peaceful and amply-watered dwelling-place provided to them both by God Himself.

His status as the Prophet of God never undermined his humility towards other human beings, primarily his mother. She was an immensely strong and patient woman who endured tremendous emotional and physical difficulties and social persecution to birth him and raise him as a single parent.

The Quran thus testifies that Jesus was neither “jabbar” – tyrannical and oppressive- nor “shaqiyya” – wretched and unfortunate. On the contrary, he was extra forbearing and kind towards all of God’s creation, as I will expound further below.

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