In the Quran, Jesus is referred to as Isa, which is the Arabic for Jesus. He is also referred to as Masih in several places (3:45,4:171, 5:17) which literally means 'anointed' in Arabic. This is translated in English translations as either 'Christ' or 'Messiah'. Another epithet used throughout the Quran for Jesus is Son of Mary (2:87, 2:253, 4:171, 5:46), to emphasize the Quranic belief that Jesus is the son of a human woman, and not the son of God.
The story of the birth of Jesus is told in the Quran in two places, Surah 3 and Surah 19. We are first told about Mary. Here are the main points about Mary as told in the Quran (3:35-43, 19:16, 66:12).
- Mary was descended from the family of Amran, the father of Moses.
- Before she was born, her mother dedicated her to be used for God's service.
- As she was growing up, the prophet Zachariah - the father of John the Baptist - was given the task of looking after her.
- Mary was miraculously provided by food from God.
- She was a devout worshipper of God
- She is considered one of the most pious women who ever lived on earth
- She was chaste, truthful and obedient to God
Here are the main points about the birth of Jesus as told in the Quran (19:16-29, 3:35-37)
- Mary is informed by the angel Gabriel that she will give birth to Jesus.
- Being chaste, she asks how this can happen. She is told that God merely needs to say 'Be' for a thing to happen.
- Jesus is conceived by the breath of Gabriel, which he blows into Mary's womb.
- Mary goes to a remote place to give birth.
- She suffers from the pangs of labour. She is comforted with food and water.
- She gives birth to Jesus, and takes him to her people.
- Her people accuse her of being unchaste.
- In reply, she points to the baby Jesus, who - even though a baby - begins to speak to the people.
- The very first words which Jesus speaks, in the scene presented above, are "Surely I am a servant of God; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet;". With these words, the Quran immediately makes clear that Jesus is not divine in any way, but is a servant of God and a prophet of His. (19:30).
- Jesus is referred to as a messenger of God throughout the Quran (2:87, 2:136, 3:84, 4:171).
- He is called a word from God, and a spirit proceeding from Him (3:45, 4:171).
- The Quran mentions in a number of places that Jesus was strengthened by the Holy Spirit (2:87, 2:253, 5:110). The 'Holy Spirit' refers to the Spirit and to the scripture given to Jesus. It may also refer to the angel Gabriel.
- Jesus was given this strengthening by the Holy Spirit in times of hardship, distress and opposition or enmity from the people. An example of this is the one cited above, where Jesus is able to talk to the people while still a baby in the cradle.
- Jesus was blessed, and commanded to pray to God and give charity (19:31-32).
- He is said to be given a scripture referred to as the Injil, which confirms the Torah given to the Children of Israel (3:3, 3:50,5:46, 61:6).
- The mission of Jesus was to tell the Children of Israel to worship one God, and only one God (5:72).
- The religion of Jesus is the same religion as that given by God to the prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses and Mohammed(42:13).
- Jesus is referred to as a bringer of wisdom, and to explain to the Children of Israel some of their differences. (43:63).
- Jesus is said to have performed many miracles as clear signs of his mission. Such miracles include giving life to clay birds, giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, and raising the dead to life. The Quran emphasises that these miracles were performed with the permission of God (2:87, 2:253, 3:49, 5:111-115, 43:63).
- Jesus was rejected by the Children of Israel (3:52, 3:54, 5:110, 61:6).
- Jesus was assisted by his disciples (3:52-53, 5:111-115, 61:14).
- Compassion and mercy was put in the hearts of those who followed Jesus (57:27).
- Jesus predicted the coming of Mohammed (61:6).
According to the Quran, the Jews tried to kill Jesus; but the Quran says that he was neither killed nor crucified, but it was made to appear so, and that he was then raised up to God (4:157-158).
Jesus will return to earth before the day of judgment, towards the end of time (43:61, 4:159). Muhammed (peace be upon Him) informed muslims that Jesus will fight with and defeat the Antichrist.
His evidence on the Day of Judgement
On the day of judgement, Jesus will emphatically deny that he ever called upon anyone to either worship him or his mother (5:116).
Rejection of Church doctrine
- The Quran rejects Jesus being the son of God, or God taking any sons (19:88-92, 21:26-29, 2:116, 9:30, 10:68, 18:4-5).
- The Quran rejects Jesus being God (5:17).
- The Quran rejects the notion of the trinity (4:171).
- Throughout the Quran, Jesus is said to have clearly stated his people to 'worship God, your Lord and my Lord' (3:51, 5:72, 5:117,19:36, 43:64).
- The idea of Jesus dieing for mankind's sins is rejected. In many places, the Quran makes it clear that every soul is responsible for his own actions, and that one's sins cannot be borne by anyone else (6:164, 35:18, 53:38).