In the Name of God, the compassionate the merciful Salam Alaykum, Peace be with you.
May the spirituality and peace of Christmas be with you all through the year. It is not easy for me as a person who is personally attached to Jesus (peace be upon him) and loves him to talk about his noble characteristics, especially from viewpoint of the holy Quran. Quran considers him as one of the Five great prophets along with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Mohammad (peace be upon them). Throughout the Quran, Mary and Jesus have always been of those heroic figures whose lives are to be taken as great examples and role models. Mary is the only woman who is mentioned by name in the Quran. There is an entire chapter in the Quran entitled Maryam, she is mentioned 34 times in the Quran, much more than in the Bible. There are many points in the Quran about her spiritual and pious life and shedding lights on them is in need of series of lectures and discussions. Jesus is mentioned in the Quran more than 90 times and there is a rich literature in Islamic hadith (Islamic Narrations) on Jesus, including his sayings and conduct. Jesus was one of the five greatest prophets who are known as “ululazm” meaning those of great determination. It is normally believed that all of these five had universal mission. To be a prophet and, indeed, to be one of the five greatest prophets implies very high qualities such as sinlessness, purity and even infallibility. Not only was his birth miraculous as a sign of omnipotence of God, but also his childhood. He was able to speak as a newborn. Quran says in chapter 3 verse 46: He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity and shall be of the righteous. Quran uses different transcendent titles to refer to Jesus including:
1. Servant of God: the same title by which prophet Mohammad used to introduce himself.
2. Being direct student of God: The Qur’an says that not only God taught him the gospel rather he taught him al-Tawrᾱh (the book of Moses) and Wisdom as well as the Book. The Quran says: He will teach him the Book and wisdom, the Torah and the Evangel.
3. al-Nabῑ’ (the Prophet) and al-Rasūl (The Apostle) of God: In Quranic language, a prophet (al-Nabῑ’) is a messenger of God who receives the message of God in his vision and an Apostle (al-Rasūl) is a messenger of God who sees the angel who is responsible for delivering the revelation and he can hear his voice.
4. The Spirit of God who was Strengthened by the Holy Spirit (Rūhu al-Qudus): in Qur’anic language, the spirit of God, refers to a particular position of Jesus to God and the Holy Spirit is the title of one of greatest angels of God who was supporting and helping Jesus.
The Quran says that: These are the apostles, some of whom We gave an advantage over others: of them are those to whom Allah spoke and some of them He raised in rank, and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, manifest proofs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. (2:253).
5. Being a Word from God: Quran says: When the angels said, ‘O Mary, Allah gives you the good news of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, distinguished in the world and the Hereafter and one of those brought near [to Allah]. (3:45)
6. Being a Sign for Mankind and a Mercy from God: The holy Qur’an in Chapter 19 verse 21 says that: He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, 'It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.' " During his mission, Jesus was able to work miracles as a sign of truth of his mission and he was supported by God.
The Quran refers to this fact in several verses. Some of the miracles performed by Jesus by the will of God are:
1. His Speech from the Cradle When Mary got pregnant and gave birth to Jesus Christ, she was afraid of being accused of adultery as she was virgin and was not married to anyone. God told Mary not to talk to anyone and if one asks you a question, point to your son. When people understood that Mary wants them to ask their questions from the infant who was in the cradle, they laughed asking how on earth an infant can talk and at this time, Jesus uttered the following words which are mentioned in the Quran: [Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. (19:30) And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakᾱh as long as I remain alive (19:31) And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. (19:32)
2. Giving Life to a kind of Designed Clay Jesus Christ created something like a bird from clay and blow into it and it became alive. The holy Quran in two different verses mentions this miracle along with other miracles and asks Jesus Christ to remember His favor upon him and his mother. Allᾱmah Tabᾱtabᾱ’ī, one of the interpreters of Quran, says that we can understand from the similar language of this verse and some other verses which talk about Jesus and his mother, that all those miracles were not peculiar to Jesus rather his mother was also able of doing miraculous work, with God’s permission.
3. Table from the Sky: Quran says in this regard: Said Jesus son of Mary, ‘O Allah! Our Lord! Send down to us a table from the sky, to be a festival for us, for the first ones and the last ones among us and as a sign from You, and provide for us; for You are the best of providers.’ (5:114) And in the next verse, Quran confirms that his request from God was fulfilled and the table was sent to him.
4. Healing the Blind and the Leper
5. Reviving the Dead by God’s Will
6. His Ascension to the Heaven Are among other minacious aspects of his life that are mentioned explicitly in the Quran.
May God make this Christmas, a day and night of forgiveness and mercy and peace and May He send our salutations to all his messengers including Jesus and Mohammad who dedicated their lives to educating and serving God’s Family.
Sheikh Mohammed Pakdin
Sheikh Pakdin is the Imam of Ahl-alBayt Society Scotland and based in Glasgow. In his short time in Scotland he has galvanised educational services within the Society’s centre and engaged in interfaith and intrafaith gatherings. At present he is in Iran with his family awaiting the end of travel restrictions. The Ahl-al Bayt Society is of the Shia branch of Islam.