Did you know that the Quran mentions Jesus(PBUH) more than Muhammad (PBUH)? It was a bit surprising for me when I learned this fact. The Quran mentions directly Jesus for 25 times yet it mentions Muhammad for 4 times. Jesus is a very significant figure in Islam and his significance is reflected by mentioning him in the Quran, directly or indirectly, over 180 times. Jesus called "Isa" in Arabic and the Quran mentions him as "Isa" and sometimes as “Son of Mary”. The most significant difference in Christianity and Islam in portraying of Jesus is that the Quran denies Jesus died on the cross and it especially rejects the divinity of Jesus. The Quran describes Jesus as a prophet and denies him being son of God. In Islam, The Trinity is seen as a sin.

In the Quran, there is an entire chapter named after Mary(Maryam), the only chapter named after a female figure. Also in the chapter Al-Imran(3), the Quran tells about the family of Mary. The significance of Mary is as prominent as the significance of Jesus. The Quran tells us Mary was a virgin and accusing of her being not a virgin is seen as a sin. Let’s have a look some of the important verses in the Quran where Jesus is mentioned and see what they want to tell us.

The Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus is told in Quran in the chapter Maryam(19) (pbuh). The story goes like this. The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will have a holy son and she is honored over all women of all nations. Mary tells Gabriel that she is virgin and she can’t have a son but Gabriel tells her that this is a miracle of God and she will have a son with no father. Gabriel also tells the name of son will be Jesus.

19:19 He said, "I am the messenger of your Lord, that He may grant you the gift of a pure son."
19:20 She said, "How can I have a son when no human has touched me, nor do I desire such?"
19:21 He said, "It is such that your Lord has said, it is easy for Me. We shall make him a sign for the people and a mercy from Us. It is a matter already ordained."
Jesus and Mary in old Persian miniature.

Miracles of Jesus

The Quran also talks about the miracles of Jesus. It states that Jesus has super human powers such as resurrecting the dead, healing blindness,speaking as an infant from cradle and making flying birds out of clay.

(Al-Imran) 5:110 God said, "O Jesus son of Mary, recall My blessings upon you and your mother that I supported you with the Holy Spirit; you spoke to the people in the cradle and in old age; and I taught you the book and the wisdom, and the Torah, and the Injeel; and you would create from clay the shape of a bird, then blow into it and it becomes a bird by My leave; and you heal the blind and the leper by My leave; and you brought out the dead by My leave. I have restrained the Children of Israel from you, that you came to them with proofs; but those who rejected amongst them said, "This is an obvious magic!".

Death of Jesus

In chapter Nisa(4) the Quran clearly states that Jesus were not killed instead it says the God raised him to himself. The Quran denies that Jesus died on the cross. This is one of the main differences between Christianity and Islam. In Christianity it is accepted that Jesus died on the cross and then God resurrected him but in the Quran Jesus were not dead on the cross, he being raised to God and the Quran does not tell us that he resurrected.

4:157 For their saying, "We have killed the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of God!" They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them as if they had. Those who dispute are in doubt of him, they have no knowledge except to follow conjecture; they did not kill him for a certainty.
4:158 Instead, God raised him to Himself; and God is Noble, Wise.

Second Coming of Jesus

In Islam, it is believed that Jesus will descend and fight against the Antichrist. Islamic writings also describes the location of this descent, the east of Damascus. Though, Jesus’ descent is not clearly mentioned in the Quran but it is told in Hadith(the words of prophet Muhammad).

Muhammad is reported to have said:

...Then prophet Isa son of Maryam will descend at the white minaret to the east of Damascus…

The second coming of Jesus is still an unknown and unrealized miracle.

*All the Quran the translations used in this writing are from Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)

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