Page 117 - Islam In Focus

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Jesus, Son of Mary
One of the most controversial problems in human history is the question of Jesus.
Was he completely Divine or only human, or was he semi-Divine and semi-human at
the same time? Was he true or just another pretending impostor? Was he born in an
ordinary way to a father and a mother like any other child? Was he born in the winter
or in the summer? Many questions like these were and are still raised by Christians
and non-Christians alike. Disputes and arguments about such matters have been
continuous from the time of Jesus until today. Many denominations among the
Christians have arisen on account of little differences in the interpretation of some
insignificant aspects of these questions. This is all known to Christians as well as to
non-Christians. But just where does Islam stand? Can Islam offer any interpretation to
settle these perplexing questions? ( There are many arguments regarding Jesus’ life:
how, when, and where he was born, lived, received his Message, died, and was
buried; his “ miracles” . Lack of space and the blasphemous defamatory character of
the arguments force us to limit our discussion of these provocative questions. For a
critical survey and an excellent biliography, see Qazi Muhammad Barakatullah, Jesus
Son of Mary, Fallacy and Factuality - Philadelphia: Dorrance & Company, 1973.)
Before anything can be said, three points must be made clear. First, a Muslim is quite
at ease as far as the attitude of Islam towards Jesus is concerned; his mind is settled,
his conscience is clear, and his belief is sound. Secondly, a Muslim’ s concept of God,
religion, prophethood, revelation and humanity makes him accept Jesus not only as a
historical fact but also as one of the most distinguished apostles of God. It should be
remembered here that acceptance of Jesus by Muslims is a fundamental article of
Faith in Islam, and that a Muslim can never think of Jesus in any derogatory terms. A
Muslim is happily denied the liberty of defaming Jesus or any other prophet of God
Thirdly, whatever will be mentioned here is what the Qur’ an says and teaches.
Although very unpopular among the Christians, the Islamic beliefs about Jesus do not
intend in any way to belittle his role or underestimate his character or degrade his
great personality. On the contrary, these Islamic beliefs depict Jesus in a most
respectable manner and place him as high in status as God Himself has placed him. In
fact, the Muslim is more respectful of Jesus than many Christians. But the attitude of
Islam should not be misunderstood. It must not be interpreted as appeasing or
flattering or compromising. It is to be taken as the truth in which the Muslim
unshakably believes and will continue to believe. It is the truth of yesterday, the truth
of today, and the truth of tomorrow
The environment in which Jesus was born and raised deserves some attention. The
people to whom he was sent had peculiar characteristics, among which were:
(I) that they interpolated and misinterpreted the Scriptures of God in meaning and
word alike; (ii) that they rejected some of their prophets, including Jesus, and killed
some; and (iii) that they were outspoken and irresponsible as regards their wealth. The
Qur’ an says :
Is it that whenever there comes to you ( children of Israel) an apostle with what you
desire not, you are puffed up with pride? Some you called impostors, and other you
slay! (2:87)