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Is Jesus only a prophet in the Qur'an?

This page is a Qur’an study about Jesus (In Arabic: Isa Ibn Maryam). Islamic tradition is telling Muslims that Jesus is not God according to the Qur’an. Muslims believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but he did not die on the cross (Qur’an 4:156-157). Jesus is in the Qur’an As God’s messenger and prophet, Jesus had received the Gospel (Injil) (Qur'an 57:27).

Why do Muslims say that Jesus was just a prophet?

Many Muslims deny the exceptional nature of Jesus in the Qur'an. They refer to Qur’an verses to prove that Jesus was a man just like all the other prophets and apostles: "0 People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Commit no excesses in your religion; nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, and a Spirit proceeding from Him" (Qur’an 4:171). Muslims are trying to refute that Jesus is the Spirit of God by saying that "Spirit proceeding from Him" can also be found in other verses, e.g. Qur’an 58:22: "The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah"; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?" (Qur’an 9:30). "And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen" (Qur’an 5:116). "Me and my mother as deities" means that the Qur’an is telling us that Christians believe that both Jesus and Mary are divine. A divine Mary is in contradiction with Christian faith and not in agreement about what Christians believe. "The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded" (Qur’an 5:75).

The Qur’an says that Jesus was more than a prophet

Jesus exceeds others

"Those messengers - some of them We caused to exceed others. Among them were those to whom Allah spoke, and He raised some of them in degree. And We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit. If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He intends" (Qur’an 2:253). That Qur’an admits that Jesus exceeds others and that only Jesus has the Pure Spirit. Therefore, Jesus has a higher position than other messengers and prophets. "[And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ]" (Qur’an 3:45).

Jesus will come back before the Day of Judgment

"And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path" (Qur’an 43:61). Therefore Muslims believe that Jesus will return before the Day of Judgment. Jesus will restore justice and he will defeat the Antichrist (al-Masih ad-Dajjal).

Qur’an says to obey Jesus

"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" (Qur’an 5:46). "When Jesus came with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), he said: I have come unto you with wisdom, and to make plain some of that concerning which ye differ. So keep your duty to Allah, and obey me" (Qur’an 43:63 - Pickthall).

Conclusion

According to the Qur’an, Jesus had a supernatural birth, he was the greatest miracle worker and his end was unique and exceptional. Not like our lives, where there is a grave and a dead body, but Jesus is with God. Even Muhammad considered accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Son of God: "Say: "If (Allah) Most Gracious had a son, I would be the first to worship" (Qur’an 43:81 – Yusuf Ali). The Qur’an is informing Muslims that they have permission to read the Bible: "If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt" (Qur’an 10:94). Muslims consider Jesus to be a mercy from God (Qur’an 16:34). The Bible is telling us that Jesus Christ is the way to everlasting life. Isn’t it true that Islamic tradition does not see the genuine Jesus Christ?