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PostSubject: Jesus the Spirit   Jesus the Spirit EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 6:10 pm

Jesus the Spirit
Question

Assalam alaikum. My question is about Prophet Isa/Jesus. Someone told me that Prophet Muhammad once sent a letter to a King saying that Jesus was a spirit. This acknowledges that Jesus was God. Is this written anywhere?. Thank you.

Topic Islamic Creed, Interfaith Issues

Name of Counselor Idris Tawfiq


Answer



Salam, Senoga.
Thank you for your question.
Only a Messenger
As Muslims, we read in the noble Qur'an that Jesus (peace be upon him) was born of a virgin called Mary, that he spoke from the cradle, that he was sent as a messenger to the Children of Israel, that he performed miracles and that he was raised up. The Qur'an is clear that he was not God, nor the Son of God.
We believe that the Qur'an is the exact word of Almighty Allah revealed to mankind and that it is His last revelation. Allah did reveal messages to former prophets.
These were for a particular people and for a particular time. The revelation made to Jesus was for the Jews, but the Qur'an is the final revelation to the whole of mankind and for all time.
Where the Qur'an agrees with previous scriptures, it confirms them. Where it differs from previous scriptures, it cancels what they say. And where it has nothing to say about what we read in previous scriptures, then we have no way of knowing whether what they say is true or not.
In order to refute the false idea that the Christians had developed over the centuries, the Qur'an is at pains to insist that Jesus is not a God. When it refers to Jesus, the Qur'an usually calls him Jesus, the son of Mary:
*{Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the messengers who passed away before him.}* (Al-Ma'idah 5:75)
In speaking about the Christians, the Qur'an says:
*{And (they take as their Lord, Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but one God: there is no God but He. Praise and glory to Him. (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).}* (At-Tawbah 9:31)
This is repeated again and again, that Allah does not have partners, and that He does not have a son, so that it is made perfectly clear that such a belief is wrong, since Jesus was only a messenger.
The Birth of Jesus
In telling the story of the birth of Jesus, the Qur'an is in many places similar to that which is found in Saint Luke's Gospel, but it also differs in many ways.
Jesus, we are told, was born of a virgin called Mary, although there is no mention of shepherds or wise men visiting him at his birth.
The Qur'an tells us that Mary gave birth to her son under the shade of a palm tree and that when people asked who this child was, Jesus spoke these words from the cradle:
*{He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me Revelation and made me a Prophet: And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and zakah as long as I live."}* (Mariam 19: 30-31)
Muslims believe that our Christian friends are mistaken in attributing to Jesus things which did not become his.
The early Christians were highly influenced by the writings of Saint Paul, who taught that Jesus was the answer to everything the Jewish people had been looking for and that he was, in fact, equal to God, God's Son.
An Anointed Prophet
The word that Christians use to talk about Jesus is Christ, which means "Anointed One" in Greek.
The Qur'an, too, uses this word, since Jesus was specially anointed as a prophet of Islam. (The Jewish word Messiah also means "Anointed One").
In other words, out of an exaggerated respect for Jesus, the early Christians were led to go that step further and to see him as something other than human.
The Qur'an pulls us back from such a mistake:
*{He was no more than a servant: We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel.}* (Az-Zukhruf 43:59)
It was the special mission of Jesus to bring the word of Allah to the Jews, who had gone stray in their belief that they alone were the specially chosen People of God, and that their religion somehow bound them to a geographical place.
Islam, however, is a message for the whole human race. Jesus called the Jews to the pure worship of One God.
Did Jesus Die?
There is another major difference between the accounts written in the four Gospels chosen by the early Church from among many others, and from the Qur'an concerning Jesus' death.
The Christians maintain from these books that Jesus was crucified. The Qur'an is perfectly clear that he was not:
*{But they killed him not, nor crucified him. ….. For of a certainty they killed him not.}* (An-Nisaa' 4:157)
The Qur'an does not have anything to say about how Jesus died, but it does say that he was raised up.
The Word of God
Even though historians and Biblical scholars are not sure who exactly was its author, the Gospel known as Saint John's Gospel does draw on Greek and Gnostic ideas which talked about Jesus as the Word of God.
Saint Paul elaborates this idea to suggest that God's Word is actually God Himself. The Qur'an is more simple. It says that God's Word is exactly that: His Word.
The exact words of Allah, then, were spoken through Jesus, although we no longer have much record of what those words were, except those found in the Qur'an.
`A'ishah, Mother of the Believers (may Allah be pleased with her), used to refer to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a walking Qur'an, since he embodied in his life and actions everything contained in the message of the Qur'an.
A Spirit from Him
In a similar way, Jesus embodied the message he had been given:
*{Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word, Which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him.}* (An-Nisaa' 4:171)
The mention of Jesus being a Spirit does not mean that he was anything less than human. This would contradict everything else written in the Qur'an. Rather, it suggests that Jesus came from Allah, as everything comes from Him.
In our own everyday language we talk about people being the very spirit of their Age, don't we? It doesn't mean that they are spirits, but rather that they embody the Age they live in.
If Prophet Muhammad did use this word "Spirit" he would have used it in full knowledge of what the Qur'an says about Jesus and he would not have said anything to contradict the exact words of Allah which had been revealed to him.
Finally, and in total contradiction of any suggestion that Jesus was God, Jesus says in the Qur'an that was called to announce the coming of a messenger who would come after him. The name he uses of this messenger is "Ahmad."
"Ahmad" means "Praised One." It is also the same name as 'Muhammad.'
If Jesus was the final revelation, equal to Allah Himself, he would not need to announce the coming of a further Messenger, would he?
The Qur'an relates it like this:
*{And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah (sent) to you confirming the Torah (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.}* (As-Saff 61: 6)
I hope this answers your question and reassures you that Jesus was not God and that our beloved Prophet never suggested that he was. Please keep in touch.
Salam.
http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/...nline-English- AAbout_Islam%2FAskAboutIslamE%2FAskAboutIslam E
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