The Prophet Muhammad (saw)

Jesus’ Development as a Man and a Prophet in the Gospels and the Quran

A.  Jesus' Development as a Man and a Prophet in the Gospels:


Sent to the Jews, Jesus is a prophet who showed people the path Allah commanded for gaining this world and the next. Belief in the Trinity, which was attributed to him by Christian religious scholars, was not commanded by him. It is accepted as a belief that developed from the second century on under the influence of Greek philosophy and Platonic ideas and which was injected into Christianity by Paul. In spite of Arius' presenting evidence contrary to this belief at the Nicene Council, it was concluded that Jesus had both human and divine aspects as a result of decisions made at councils in Nicaea in 325, Ephesus in 431 and Kadıkoy in 451.

Jesus' Birth:

While in one place in the Gospels it is said regarding Jesus: "And a voice said from the heavens, ‘This is my beloved son. I approve of him'" and "The only son in his father's lap," in another place it is stated, "You are the Savior, the living son of God." In the Christian religion Jesus Christ is God in human form. God is incarnated in Jesus. To worship him means to worship God. For Jesus is from the same essence as God. It is believed that both divinity and humanity reside in Jesus.

It is known that these beliefs regarding Jesus did not exist in the initial period of Christianity, but that they were formed as Christian beliefs at the councils. In the Nicene Council of 325 it was officially accepted that Jesus Christ was the same as the Father, and the belief that things in heaven and on earth were realized by God's son the Lord Jesus. According to information in the Gospels, he was brought into this world by Mary. This is mentioned in the Bible as follows: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." (1)

Before the birth Mary was told that she would have a son, and when the time for birth arrived, Jesus was born. Under careful consideration it can be seen that Jesus had no influence on Mary's becoming pregnant and the birth. A power on high that wanted Jesus to come to this world was responsible for these. Jesus is the creature. The process involved in the creation of other creatures was involved with Jesus' birth as well. On the other hand, Jesus was not a king. In reply to Pilatus' question, "Are you a king," he replied, "I came to this world to witness the truth; whoever upholds the truth will hear my voice."

The Bible is one of the important proofs that Jesus is a prophet. On the other hand, these statements are made in the Gospels regarding the Creator: "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord." (2) "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." (3) "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (4) "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus." (5) These sentences refer to the existence and unity of God and show that Jesus is a prophet of God. On the other hand, during the crucifixion, which the Quran does not accept, (6)  Jesus' words, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me," (7) point to his confession of helplessness as a servant. In the Gospels, Jesus describes his own condition: "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. (8) "And when he has come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." (9)

 "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go." (10)This Bible text indicates that Jesus is a prophet and servant.

Another unique trait of prophets is affirmation of previous prophets. This quality can be found in Jesus as well. "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets." (11) If considered carefully, it can be understood that Jesus was a servant, that he believed in everything in the sacred books, that he came to complete rather than to remove the laws brought by former prophets, and that he was to establish justice by preventing the injustice widespread among mankind.

Another proof that Jesus was a human being is his relationship with the Devil. In the Gospels, Satan says that he will give Jesus worldly goods if he bows down before him. "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." (12) Jesus gives this response: "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (13) "Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (14) Jesus gave very meaningful answers to questions regarding goodness and the most important commands. "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (15) In regard to the most important commands, he said "Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (16) Jesus opposed those who occasionally tried to exalt him by bowing down before him. "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of the prophecy." (17) These statements in the Bible indicate that God should be worshipped, not someone created. In response to questions regarding the Afterlife, Jesus replied as follows: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (18) While Jesus' saying that no one but God can know about Doomsday provides proof that he was a servant, it shows that God is powerful enough to know everything.

As can be seen in the passages from the Bible quoted above, two important points emerge regarding Jesus. First, Jesus possesses the qualities of previous prophets. According to this, Jesus is a prophet and a human being. The most important proof that he is a prophet is his being given revelation. Secondly, as a necessity of being human, his knowledge is limited and he is helpless before God.

B. The Belief in Apostleship in the Quran:

According to the Quran, a prophet is neither a king, (19) nor a son of God. (20) Prophets are human beings and the apostles of God. Prophets carry two distinct human characteristics. 1) Dependence on their Creator. 2) Thinking, speaking, engaging in mutual relationships and dying when their term is finished.

A prophet's miracles and book are proofs of his apostleship. The Quran mentions various miracles of prophets. Jesus is one of these. As the first human being, Adam came to this world without a father; no one looks for a father for him. Jesus also came to this world without a father. In this respect, he resembles Adam. It is known that Jesus conveyed to others the Gospel verses that were revealed to him in order to consolidate his apostleship, and that he expressed in his own words the revelation that came to his heart. He propagated the religion he brought at meetings with his disciples and in places he went. He wanted God to be praised, and the people received him as a prophet. In particular, he healed people as a result of the miracles given to him, he ate and drank, and he introduced God to people who talked like him. Different views emerged regarding his departure from this world and his personality. Claiming that beliefs regarding Jesus and Mary were not consistent with the Bible, God reported the real situation in the Quran.

Giving examples from the stories of the prophets, the Quran explains their struggles. While describing these struggles, the Quran points out the beautiful qualities of the prophets like their intelligence, industriousness, foresight and talent. It emphasizes that they had no defects. The same traits can be seen in Jesus. The above qualities found in Islamic doctrine are common to all prophets. It is argued that the claims of Jesus being the son of God and his divinity did not exist during his time.

According to Islam, Jesus is a prophet and a human being. His difference from others is his being given revelation. In the Quran God praises Jesus and indicates that he was sent to this world without a father as an example to the world and that he was sent to the Jews as a prophet. He terms the claims made about Jesus as falsehood. Verses related to this subject deal with Jesus' birth, his apostleship and humanness, and his mentioning Muhammad (pbuh).

Jesus' birth:

According to Islam and the Gospels, Jesus was born without a father. When Mary was told she would have a baby, she asked how a woman who had never been touched by a man could have a child. God replied, "God creates what he wishes. If He wants something to exist, He says ‘Be' and it is. (21)This verse describes Mary's becoming pregnant: "Virgin Mary, daughter of Imran, is an example. And We breathed into (her body) of our Spirit..." (22) While indicating that Mary is chaste and that Jesus is respectful, the Quran gives broad description of the birth. Comparing this event to the creation of Adam, God indicates that it was very easy for Him.

Among Jesus' miracles is his creating a bird from mud. He blew on the bird he made, and the bird flew away. Due to their nature, birds are both male and female. Whatever the Creator's blowing the "Spirit" by means of Gabriel is, Jesus' blowing on the bird with God's permission is the same. However, no Christian scholar has called Jesus the father of birds, because no such belief was previously known. However, a thinking person can understand that Gabriel's blowing on Mary and Jesus' blowing on birds is the same. For the divine manifestation in both events is the same.

His Development as a Prophet and Human Being:

According to Islamic data, Jesus is God's servant and prophet. "We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: We sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms." (23) "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Jesus Christ the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah." (24) In the Quran it is stated that Jesus was given the Gospel and that he was sent to the Jews who confirmed the Pentateuch. Almighty God commanded Jesus to give this message to the Jews: "He said: ‘I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet.'" (25) "And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live." (26) "For Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord: so worship ye Him: this is a Straight Way." (27)

1) Matthew, 1: 18

2) Mark, 1: 18.

3) Matthew, 23:8

4) Matthew, 24:36.

5) The Acts, 3:13; 2:22; For Jesus' servanthood see Matthew, 1:1; 19:17; Mark, 10:17-18; John, 17:1-3.

6) See Nisa, 4/157-158.

7) Matthew, 27:46.

8) Matthew 12: 17-18.

9) Matthew 21: 10-11.

10) The Acts 3: 13.hew 21: 10-11.

11) The Acts 24: 14.

12) Matthew 4:9.

13) Matthew 4:10. Krş. Tesniye 6:13.

14) Matthew 4:11.

15) Matthew 19/17.

16) Matthew 19/18-19.

17) Revelation 19/ 10.

18) Matthew 24/36. 

19) David was a king according to Jewish belief. See II. Samuel, 2:4; 6/12,16; 7: 18.

20) See Repentance, 9/30. Krş. Matthew, 3:17. Mark, 1:1; Luke, 3:22; John, I:34. 

21) Family of Imran, 3/47; Mary, 19/19-21

22) Banning,  66/12; The Prophets, 21/91; Spirit: Gabriel; means revelation, power. See Ahmed Çelebi, Mesîhiyye, II/43-47.

23) Women, 4/163.

24) Women, 4/171.

25) Mary, 19/30-31. 

26) Mary, 19/31.

27) Luxury, 43/64.

For the entire text, please see: T.C. Uludag Universitesi Ilahiyat Fakultesi, Vol: 13, Num: 2, 2004, pp. 37-58.


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