Muslims and Christianity are among the major religions in the world. However, the two religions have core differences despite all of them believing in one supernatural power, God. Another common character in Islam and Christianity is Jesus, who Christians refer to as the son of God. However, how does Islam view Jesus? Does it believe he is the son of God? Does Islam believe in Jesus?
Muslims do not believe in Jesus the way Christians do. For Christians, Jesus is the son of God who came on earth through the Virgin Mary, was tortured, and later on crucified, and he died for our sins so that we may be saved. Christians believe the only way to get salvation is through believing in Jesus Christ. However, in Islam, Jesus was just a prophet. He was among the five greatest prophets mentioned in the Qur’an. Muslims believe he was born of the Virgin Mary but did not believe that he died for us and saved us from our sins.
So, who is Jesus in Islam? How will Jesus return according to Islamic beliefs? How is the concept of the Messiah understood in Islam? Is Jesus the Messiah, according to Muslims? Where in the Quran is Jesus called the Messiah? Do Muslims believe that Jesus is the son of God? What do Muslims believe about the crucifixion and death of Jesus? Why is it important that Christians understand the meaning of Jesus in Islam? How is Prophet Muhammad related to Jesus? Keep reading to get the answers to these questions.
Who is Jesus in Islam?
According to Muslims, Jesus is not the son of God who died for our sins but is among the five greatest prophets of God. These five prophets of God are collectively referred to as the possessors of steadfastness or Ul al-Azm. Muslims believe that Jesus is a real human being who spent his life in Roman Judea during the first century of the Common Era.
Though Muslims and Christians view Jesus differently, they share some basic outlines of him. In both religions, Jesus did not have a father and was born by Virgin Mary. However, unlike Christians, Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God or that he is the son of God.
In Islam, every messenger or prophet of God came to deliver a message to the people. They believe that Jesus came to deliver a message called the gospel. However, to Christians, Jesus Christ came to not only do God’s will on earth, but he healed, performed miracles, and, most importantly, died for our sins and saved us. In the Quran, Jesus performed some miracles, like making a bird out of clay and breathing into it, and later turning it into a real bird.
How will Jesus return according to Islamic beliefs?
Both Christians and Muslims anticipate the return of Jesus; however, Jesus will return in a different way in the two religions. Christians believe that Jesus died, was resurrected, and was taken to heaven and will return the same way he did. However, for Islam. Jesus will be brought personally from the heavens as no new prophet can emerge after Prophet Muhammad. Though he will come to judge the world, he will not come as a prophet.
How is the concept of the Messiah understood in Islam?
Muslims do not take the concept of the Messiah through the same lens as Christians. As Christians believe that the Messiah is the anointed one who came to save the world from its sins, Muslims simply believe that the Messiah was a prophet who spread the gospel of Allah and healed the sick. They refer to Isa (Jesus) as the Messiah because of the deeds that Allah allowed him to perform while on earth.
Is Jesus the Messiah, according to Muslims?
Surprisingly, though Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the son of God who came to save the earth, he is the only messenger of God in the Qur’an that is rewarded with the name Messiah or al-Masih. The Messiah is a translation of the anointed one. Muslims refer to Jesus as the Messiah due to the nature of Jesus; he was able to heal various diseases miraculously. Furthermore, the word Al-Masih awarded to Jesus in the Quran is linked to his eschatological purposes, which he will return at the end of time.
Where in the Quran is Jesus called the Messiah?
The word Messiah or Masih is recorded in the Qur’an 11 times in the bible, and every time it is mentioned, it is connected to ‘Isa,’ or whom the bible refers to as Jesus (Q. 3:45). Q. 4:171 says, “Isa, son of Maryam, was only a messenger of Allah.” This simply means that his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary.
In 2001, the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Baz, expounded on why the Messiah after he was asked why the son of Maryam is called al-Masih in the Qur’an. Ibn noted that Jesus is referred to as the Messiah because as though he healed the sick, he did not touch them. Furthermore, Jesus is called Al-Masih, traveling the earth and propagating the religion.
Do Muslims believe that Jesus is the son of God?
Though Muslims acknowledge that Jesus was a teacher and a servant and that even in the first place, he existed and was born by Virgin Mary, they do not believe that he was the son of God. They also do not believe that he is divine and equal to God. According to Islam, Jesus is among the five greatest prophets of Allah who came to deliver Allah’s message of the gospel on earth.
What do Muslims believe about the crucifixion and death of Jesus?
As good news in Christianity came because of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the same cannot be said for Muslims. Though Muslims acknowledge that Jesus Christ was among the greatest prophets of Allah, they do not believe that he was crucified on the Cross and died. Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified as they believe that Allah would not allow one of his greatest prophets to be killed in such a way that Jesus was killed.
Furthermore, the Qur’an does not teach about Jesus’ death on the Cross. Quran 4:156-159 is clear that Jesus was protected from dying on the Cross and that a likeness of Jesus is what was shown to us. Therefore, according to Islam, the person who was crucified was not Jesus, and many speculate that the likeness of him was either Simon the Cyrene or Judas.
Furthermore, when it comes to the death of Jesus, Islam does not believe that he was raised from the dead because he certainly did not die from the Cross. However, Christians still believe that Jesus died on the Cross for the sins of humanity. They believe that it is only through the death of Jesus Christ that we can be saved.
Why is it important that Christians understand the meaning of Jesus in Islam?
Christians need to understand who Jesus is in Muslim as it will help the two religions find common ground and hence eliminate any tension between the two religions. It will help unite the two religions because as much as Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the savior, the two religions share some common ground about Jesus. For example, in Christianity and Islam, Jesus performed miracles and was born to the Virgin Mary. Additionally, Muslims also believe that Jesus will return in the end time to bring justice to the universe.
How is Prophet Muhammad related to Jesus?
Muslims believe that Jesus was Muhammad’s precursor, and he even prophesized his coming. Some people believe that the two prophets are related (brothers) following Prophet Muhammad’s words and that he is the closest person to Jesus, both in this world and even in the next word. During Muhammad’s time on earth, he presented Jesus to humanity in a unique way that was free from any fallings and shortcomings. Just like in Christianity, where Jesus is referred to as he who had no sin and was perfect on earth and also before the eyes of God.
How does Islam understand the death and resurrection of Jesus?
What do Muslims think of Jesus?
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.