The average Christian does not know that the true spirit of charity which the Muslim displays, always, towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of his faith – the Holy Quran. He does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Jesus, in his own language, without saying Hazrat Eesa (meaning revered Jesus) or Eesa alai-hiss-salaam (Jesus, peace be upon him).
Every time the Muslim mentions the name Jesus (pbuh) without these words of respect, he would be considered disrespectful, uncouth or barbaric. The Christian does not know that in the Holy Quran Jesus (pbuh) is mentioned by name five times (5 x) more than the number of times the prophet of Islam (Muhammad, who was sent as a prophet some 500 years after Jesus) is mentioned in the Book of God. To be exact – twenty five times as against five.
Holy Qu’ran 2:87
Holy Qu’ran 3:45
Holy Qu’ran 4:171
JESUS – HIS TITLES
Though Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty-five places in the Holy Quran, he is also addressed with respect as: “Ibne Maryam” – son of Mary; as Masih – (Heb) Messiah – translated as Christ; “Abd-ullah” – servant of Allah; “Rasul-ullah” – Messenger of Allah.
“EESA” LATINISED TO JESUS
The Holy Quran refers to Jesus as “Eesa” and this name is used more times than any other title, because this was his “Christian” name. Actually, his proper name was “Eesa” (Arabic), or “Esau” (Hebrew); classical “Yeheshua”, which the Christian nations of the West Latinised as Jesus. Neither the “J” nor the second “s” in the name Jesus is to be found in the original tongue – they are not found in the Semitic languages.
The next topic – “his birth” – are described in two places – Sùra 3 and Sùra 191. Reading from the beginning of his birth, on page 134 of the translation under reference, we come across the story of Mary, and the esteemed position which she occupies in the House of Islam, before the actual annunciation of the Birth of Jesus is given:
Holy Quran 3:42
Does the miraculous birth of Jesus make him a God or a “begotten” son of God? No! Says the Holy Quran:
Holy Quran 3:59
THE SONS OF GOD
The Muslim takes strong exception to the Christian dogma that “Jesus is the only begotten son, begotten not made”. This is what the Christian is made to repeat from childhood in his catechism. I have asked learned Christians, again and again as to what they are really trying to emphasise, when they say – “BEGOTTEN NOT MADE”
They know that according to their own records, God has sons by the tons in the Bible:
“…Adam, which was the SON OF GOD.” Luke 3:38
“That the SONS OF GOD saw the daughters of men that they were fair…
“And when the SONS OF GOD came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them…” Genesis 6:2&4
“…Israel is MY SON, even my firstborn:” Exodus 4:22
“…for I (God) am a FATHER to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” Jeremiah 31:9
“…the Lord hath said unto me, (David) Thou art MY SON: this day have I BEGOTTEN thee.” Psalms 2:7
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD.” Romans1 8:14
So, as Muslims we are asking our Christian brethren, Can’t you see that in the language of the Jew, every righteous person, every Tom, Dick and Harry who followed the Will and Plan of God, was a SON OF GOD? It was a metaphorical descriptive term, commonly used among the Jews.
“Christ in Islam” is really Christ in the Quran: and the Holy Quran has something definite to say about every doctrine of modern Christianity. The Quran absolves Jesus (pbuh) from all the false charges of his enemies as well as the misplaced infatuation of his followers. His enemies allege that he blasphemed against God by claiming Divinity. His followers claim that he did avow Divinity, but that was not blasphemy (kufr) because he was God. What does the Quran say? Addressing both the Jews and the Christians, Allah says:
Holy Quran 4:171
In other words, the Jews have gone to extremes by denying that he was the Messiah and a Messenger of God, and the Christians have gone to extremes by deifying him and making him equal to God. The Qu’ran here is making a call to moderation in our approach.
THE WAY TO SALVATION
We are now left another topic- “what was the message of Jesus?”
The message of Jesus (pbuh) was as simple and straight forward as that of all his predecessors as well as that of his successor Muhummed (pbuh) – namely “BELIEVE IN GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS”. For the God who inspired His Messengers, is an unvarying God and He is consistent: He is not the “author of confusion” (1 Corinthian 14:33).
Let us take one example to illustrate this point. In the Bible, a law-of-Moses abiding Jew comes to Jesus seeking eternal life or salvation. In the words of Matthew: And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19:16-17.
You will agree, that if you or I were that Jew, we would infer from these words that, according to Jesus (pbuh), salvation was guaranteed provided we kept the commandments without the shedding of any innocent blood. Unless, of course Jesus (pbuh) was speaking with tongue in cheek; knowing full well that his own “forthcoming redemptive sacrifice”, his “vicarious atonement” for the sins of mankind, was not many days hence.
Why would Jesus give him the “impossible” solution of keeping the law (as some Christians allege) when an easier way was in the offering? Or did he not know what was going to happen – that he was to be crucified? Was there not a contract between Father and Son (as they are called) before the worlds began, for his redeeming blood to be shed (?!) Had he lost his memory? No! There was no such agreement as far as Jesus was concerned. He knew that there is only one way to God, and that is, as Jesus (pbuh) said, – KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!
POWER NOT HIS OWN
. . . All power is GIVEN unto me in heaven and in earth. Matthew 28:18 . . . I cast out devils BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Matthew 12:28 I can of mine OWN SELF do nothing . . . John 5:30 . . . I with the FINGER OF GOD cast out devils . . .Luke 11:20
The “power” as he says is not his, “it is given unto me”. Given by whom? By God, of course! Every action, every word he attributes to God.
CASE NOT HOPELESS
This very same message is repeated by God Almighty in the Holy Quran, following the annunciation. In verse 49 of chapter 3, Allah makes it clear that every sign or wonder that Jesus performed was “BY ALLAH’S LEAVE,”
…by God’s permission. Jesus says so, Peter says so and God says so; but the stubborn controversialist will not listen: prejudice, superstition, and credulity die hard. Our duty is simply to deliver the Message, loud and clear, the rest we leave to God. The case is not altogether hopeless for Allah tells us in His Holy Book:
They are not all the same; among the followers of the scripture, there are those who are righteous. They recite GOD’s revelations through the night, and they fall prostrate. (Quran 3:113)