Monday, 28 December 2009

Muslim respects all prophets including Prophet Jesus (PBUH)

Muslim respects all prophets sent by Allah
Including Prophet Jesus (pbuh)

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The believers in the Oneness of God who belong to the tradition of Abraham: Muslims, Christians and Jews are one community. The first foundation of belief held by all monotheistic believers is that there is but one God. No dissenting voice: all Muslims, Christians and Jews worship one and the same God. The second central belief is a common lineage of Prophets, sent by God with revealed message of Truth. God sent a guide, a messenger or a prophet who taught the same message, the need to believe in the Oneness of God. In the case of Jesus, he was undoubtedly a true prophet.

Islam is a religion of peace, understanding and tolerance. It has five pillars – the first pillar is Imaan. To belief in the Oneness of Allah, all the Prophets sent by Allah, all the Books revealed by Him, belief in Paradise and Hell and Life after Death is part of Imaan. So Muslims throughout the world believe in all the prophets sent by Allah, the Most High. Jesus, the son of Mary, is one of them.

The Virgin Mary and her son Jesus, may peace be upon them both, are mentioned often in the Qurán. In fact, there is a chapter of the Qurán named after her called Maryam. Jesus, referred to in the Qurán as Isa ibn Maryam – Jesus the Son of Mary- is one of the greatest of the prophets of God whom Muslims hold in very deep love and respect. The Qurán gives a greater number of honourable titles to Jesus than to any other figure of the past. The Qurán said: “And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah, and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.” (Al-Qurán 5:46)

In fact, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that Jesus was one of one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, between whom there is no cause for conflict or argument. Allah tells His messenger in one passage of the Qurán: “Say: We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants (Al-Asbat), and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims (submitting) to Him.” (Al-Qurán 3: 84).

Imam Bukhari, in his collection of the traditions, said that the Apostle of God said, “I am nearest of men to the Son of Mary. Between Jesus and me there has been no prophet.”

The Qur’an clearly says: “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His Word which He directed to Mary and a soul (created at a command) from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers.” ( Al-Qur’an, 4:171)

The unedited nature of Noble Qurán gives Muslims confidence in their understanding of the nature of Jesus, which was as a servant of God, as Prophet.

In this connection, it must be said that Muslims not only belief in all the prophets sent by Allah the Almighty but also respect them. Muslim as a believer cannot disrespect and should not disrespect any prophet under any circumstances. So it is worthwhile to let you what the Qur’an said about Jesus, the son of Mary, peace be upon him.

Birth of Jesus (pbuh)
About his birth, in Sura 3, the Chapter Imran gives the longest version of the annunciation and birth of Jesus. (Al-Qurán 3:42-47) Surah Maryam gives the version of the birth thus, “Then We sent to her Our Angel (i.e., Gabriel), and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, (so leave me), if you should be fearing of Allah.” He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you (news of) a pure boy (i.e., son).” She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” 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.’” (Al-Qurán 19:16-21)

The Qurán firmly refutes any suggestion of unchastity by Mary. Prophet Isa had a miraculous birth. He was born of the Virgin Maryam without a father, by Allah’s command. Allah can do anything He likes, Everything is possible for Him. When He wants to get something done, He only says, ‘BE’ and there it is (2:117). We know that Adam was created by Allah without a father and a mother. So, it was no wonder that Allah could create Isa without a father. According to the Qurán the birth of Jesus would be brought about by the plain but All-Powerful Word of Allah. ‘He simply said, ‘BE (kun)” and it is.” Surah Maryam then proceeds with an account of the nativity or birth of Jesus. (Al-Qurán 19: 22-26).

After the miraculous conception of the baby Jesus, Mary anticipated that the signs of the pregnancy would become noticeable. The virgin therefore decided to escape public notice and retreated from Nazareth to Bethlehem, which was a journey of considerable difficulty at the time.

The moment of birth arrived. The revelation tells that she was told to eat and drink, and to let her eyes be content with the grace of such a miracle. The Virgin returned to her family in Nazareth with her son in her arms. The Qurán then narrates, “Then she (Maryam) brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” (Al-Qurán 19:27-29)

Miracles of Jesus (pbuh)
It is already narrated in the previous episodes that the Prophet Jesus was born in a miraculous fashion. As the child was the product of a miracle, consequently miraculous things began to happen. When Mary returned to her community carrying the child who was to be called Messiah, Jesus, the Son of Mary, the young woman with no husband had appeared suddenly with a babe in her arms and was face to face with her accusers.

The Qurán said, “So, Mary pointed to him (Jesus). They said, ‘’How can we speak to one who is in the cradle as a child?’”(Jesus) said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and Zakah as long as I remain alive.” (Al-Qurán, 19:29-31).

Thus Jesus (pbuh) defended his mother from the grave calumny and innuendoes of her enemies. This is the very first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Holy Qurán, that, he spoke as an infant from his mother’s arms.

Jesus (pbuh) performed many miracles. For example, he healed the sick, enheartened the distressed and revived the dead. A famous miracle of Jesus referred to in the Qurán was the moulding a figure of a bird from clay, into which he breathed life into it. A miracle of Jesus? No. The Prophet invoked God’s Power to accomplish this feat of fashioning from clay a living being of flesh and feather. This was the same God who created Jesus from a mother without a father.

The Qurán has mentioned about other miracles of Jesus (pbuh) thus: “(The Day) When Allah will say: O Jesus, Son of Mary! Remember My favour upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with Pure Spirit (i.e. the angel Gabriel) and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and (remember) when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay (what was) like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind (from birth) and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from (killing) you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.” (Al-Qurán 5:110)

These miracles performed by Jesus should best be understood in this fashion, as visible demonstration of God’s power for the believers and unbelievers, that they should all believe. All these things Jesus did with the permission of Allah, never taking credit for them himself.