What does the Holy Quran say about Jesus (peace be upon him)
Most of the following was gathered from the foot notes of the Holy Quran that I have. It is translated and documented by Minister Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
Muslims believe that Jesus peace be upon him according to the Holy Quran is a wonderful, humble, generous messenger of God who came down and revealed God's words to his people, the people of Israel. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God, nor they believe that God ever chose to come down to earth in a form of a man to die for our sins to purify us and forgive us.
According to Islam, Jesus never died on the cross, nor ever wanted to die on the cross, nor ever was born to die on the cross. Muslims believe that Jesus was sentenced to death, and people thought that he got executed on the cross. The Holy Quran rejects this idea, and claims that it is a false one. Jesus never died on the cross, nor he ever died for anyone's sins. Let us look at what the Holy Quran (The Muslims Holy Scripture) says about this issue:
Let's look at verse 4:156-159 "That they rejected Faith; That they uttered against Mary A grave false charge; That they said (in boast): 'We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah.' But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjunction to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise. And there is none of the people of the book (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (Jesus) Before his death; And on the Day of Judgment He (Jesus) will be a witness Against them." The false charge against Mary was that she was unchaste. Such a charge is bad enough to make against any woman, but to make it against Mary, the mother of Jesus, was to bring into redicule Allah's power itself. Islam is specially strong in guarding the reputation of women. Slanderers of women are bound to bring four witnesses in support of their accusation, and if they fail to produce four witnesses, they are be flogged with eighty stripes and debarred forever from being competent witnesses.
Let us look at verse 24:4 "And those who launch A charge against chaste women, And produce not four witnesses (To support their allegations) Flog them with eighty stripes; And reject their evidence Ever after: for such men Are wicked transgressors. Unless they repent thereafter And mend (their conduct); For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful." Here we see in this Holy Verse how much Allah Almighty cares about not criticizing women unless we are absolutely sure about it and we can provide at least 4 witnesses to support our allegation.
Now in 4:156-159 above "......Nor crucified him,....."
The end of the life of Jesus on earth is as much involved in mystery as his birth, and indeed the greater part of his private life, except the three main years of his ministry. It is not profitable to discuss the many doubts and conjectures among the early Christians sects and among Muslims theologians. The Orthodox-Christian Churches make it a cardinal point of their doctrine that his life was taken on the Cross, that he died and was buried, that on the third day he rose in the body with his wounds intact, and walked about and conversed, and ate with his disciples, and was afterwards taken up bodily to heaven. This is necessary for the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and vicarious atonement for sins, which is rejected by Islam. But some of the early Christian sects did not believe that Christ was killed on the cross. The Basilidans believed that someone else was substituted for him. The Docetate held that Christ never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent or phantom body, and that his crucifixion was only apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about A.C. 138) denied that Jesus was born, and merely said that he appeared in human form. The Gospel of St. Barnabas supported the theory of substitution on the Cross. The Quranic teaching is that Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, not with standing certain apparent circumstances which produced that illusion in the minds of some of his enemies; that disputations, doubts, and conjectures on such matters are vain; and that he was taken up to Allah Almighty.
Let us look at verse 3:55 "Behold! Allah said: O Jesus! I will take thee And raise thee to Myself And clear thee (of the falsehoods) Of those who blaspheme; I will make those Who follow thee superior To those who reject faith, To the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, And I will judge Between you of the matters wherein ye dispute." Here we see that Allah Almighty promised Jesus peace be upon him to raise him to heaven. Jesus was charged by the Jews with blasphemy as claiming to be God or the son of God. The Christians (except a few early sects which were annihilated by persecution, and the modern sect of Unitarians), adopted the substance of the claim, and made it the cornerstone of their faith. Allah Almighty clears Jesus of such a charge or claim. Those who follow Jesus are the Muslims and the Christians who don't believe he is God. All of the controversies about dogma and faith will disappear when we appear before Allah. He will judge not by what we profess but what we are.
In 4:156-159 "......Nay Allah raised him up Unto Himself....."
There is a difference of opinion as to the exact interpretation of this verse. The words are: The Jews did not kill Jesus, but Allah raised him up (rafa'ahu...in Arabic) to Himself. Some people hold that Jesus did not die the usual human death, but still lives in the body in heaven, which is the generally accepted Muslim view. Another hold that he did die but not when he was supposed to be crucified, and that is being "raised up" unto Allah means that instead of being disgraced as a malefactor, as the Jews intended, he was on the contrary honoured by Allah Almighty as His Messenger. The same word (rafa'a) is used in association with honour in connection with Al Mustafa (Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him).
Let us look at verse 94:4 "And raised high the esteem (In which) thou (are held)?". The prophet's (any prophet) virtues, the magnanimity of his character, and his love for mankind were fully recognized even in his lifetime, and his name stands highest among the heroic leaders of mankind.
Let us also look at verse 37:119 "And We (Allah) left (this blessing) for them among generations (To come) in later times: Peace and salutation To Moses and Aaron! Thus indeed do We reward Those who do right." Here we see how Allah Almighty rewards Moses and Aaron peace be upon them. They are considered his messengers.
In 4:156-159 ".....But must believe in him (Jesus) Before his death...."
Those who hold that Jesus did not die say that Jesus is still living in the body and that he will appear just before the Final Day, when the world will be purified of sin and unbelief. There will be a final death before the final Resurrection, but all will have believed before that final death.
In 4:156-159 ".....He (Jesus) will be a witness Against them."
Jesus will be the witness of his people and his contemporaries for those who accept Allah, and against those who reject Him.
Let us look at verse 4:41-42 "How then if We brought From each People a witness, And We (Allah) brought thee As a witness against These People. On that day those who reject faith and disobey the Messenger will wish that the earth Were made one with them: But never will they hide A single fact from Allah !" Here in this Holy Verse we see that Allah Almighty will judge people based on what their messengers had told them. Allah Almighty sent to nations and tribes prophets and messengers to direct those people from the darkness of Satan, to the light of Allah Almighty.
Let's look at verse 3:59 "The similitude of Jesus Before Allah is as that of Adam; He (Allah) created him (Jesus) from dust, Then said to him: Be. And he was." After a description of the high position which Jesus occupies as a prophet, we have a reputation of the dogma that he was Allah, or the son of Allah, or anything more than a man. If it is said that he was born without a human father, Adam was also so born. Indeed Adam was born without either a human father or mother. As far as our physical bodies are concerned, they are mere dust. In Allah's sight Jesus was a dust just as Adam was or humanity is. The greatness of Jesus arose from the Divine command "Be", for after that he was. He also was a great spiritual leader.
Let's look at verse 4:171-172 "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say Of Allah ought but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) A Messenger of Allah, And His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and the Spirit proceeding From Him: so believe In Allah and His Messengers. Say not "Trinity": desist: It will be better for you: For Allah is One God: Glory to Him: (Far Exalted is He) above Having a son. To Him (Allah) Belong all things in the heavens And on earth. And enough Is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.
Christ disdaineth no To serve and worship Allah, Nor do the angels, those Nearest (to Allah): Those who disdain His worship and are arrogant, He will gather them all Together unto Himself (Jesus) to (answer)."
In 4:171-172 ".....Commit no excesses in your religion....."
Just as a foolish servant may go wrong by excess of zeal for his master, so in religion people's excesses may lead them to blasphemy or a spirit the very opposite of religion. The Jewish excesses in the direction of formalism, radicalism, exclusiveness, and rejection of Christ Jesus have been denounced in many places. Here the Christian attitude is condemned, which raises Jesus to an equality with Allah; in some cases venerates Mary almost to idolatry; attributes a physical son to Allah; and invents the doctrine of the Trinity, opposed to all reason, which according to the Athanasian Creed, unless a man believes, he is doomed to hell forever.
Let us look at verse 11:110 "We (Allah) certainly gave the Book To Moses, but differences Arose therein: had it not been That a Word had gone forth Before from thy Lord, the matter Would have been decided Between them: but they Are in suspicious doubt Concerning it." Previous revelations are not to be denied or dishonoured because those who nominally go by them have corrupted and deprived them of spiritual value by their vain controversies and disputes. It was possible to settle such disputes under the flag, as it were, or the old Revelations, but Allah's Plan was to revive and rejuvenate His Message through Islam, amongst a newer and younger people, unhampered by the burden of age-old prejudices.
Let us look at verse 10:19 "Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). Had it not Been for a Word That went forth before From they Lord, their differences Would have been settled Between them." All mankind was created one, and Allah's Message to mankind is in essence one, the Message of Unity and Truth. But as selfishness and egotism got hold of man, certain differences sprang up between individuals, races, and nations, and in His infinite Mercy He sent them messengers and messages to suit their varying mentality, to test them by His gifts, and stir them up to emulation in virtue and piety.
When men began to diverge from one another, Allah made their very differences subserve the higher ends by increasing their emulation in virtue and piety, and thus pointing back to the ultimate Unity and Reality.
In 4:171-172 ".....Say not "Trinity": desist....."
Christ's attributes are mentioned:
1- That he was the son of a woman, Mary, and therefore a man.
2- But a messenger, a man with a mission from Allah, and therefore entitled to honour.
3- A word bestowed on Mary, for he was created by Allah's word "Be" (kun....in Arabic), and he was.
4- A spirit proceeding from Allah, but not Allah. His life and his mission were more limited than in the case of some other Messengers, through we must pay equal honour to him as a prophet from Allah.
The doctrine of Trinity, equality with Allah, and sonship, are repudiated as blasphemies. Allah is independent of all needs and has no need of a son to manage His affairs. The Gospel of John in the Bible has put in a great deal of Alexandrine and Gnostic mysticism round the doctrine of the Word (Greek, Logos), but it is simply explained in the Holy Quran.
In 4:156-159 ".....To serve and worship Allah....."
Christ often watched and prayed, as a humble worshipper of Allah; and his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane was full of human dignity, suffering, and self-humiliation.
In 4:156-159 ".....He (Jesus) will gather them all together unto Himself To (answer)."
The disdainful and the arrogant are the crew of Satan, who will be gathered together before the Supreme Throne for punishment.
Does the Noble Quran in Verse 19:33 confirm Jesus' crucifixion?
Here is what Noble Verse 19:33 states: "So peace is upon me [Jesus] the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life." Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus was GOD Himself, or part of GOD, came to earth, was crucified on the cross to purify our sins and then raised from death back to life and went up to heaven until he will come back again to this earth. The Noble Quran does not in anyway support this theory!. We Muslims believe that Jesus was born from a Noble Virgin; Mary the Virgin, preached the word of GOD to the people of Israel, raised to Allah Almighty alive (even though he might have been put on the cross, but never actually died), will come back to earth again to fight the army of Satan and then die a natural death and then be raised again back to life from death as we all do in the Day of Judgement. Some Muslim scholars say that Jesus not being crucified in Noble Verse 4:157 means that he was put on the cross but didn't die, and others say that it means that he was not put on the cross itself and never died either. There are some Christian sects such as the Basilidans, the Docetate and the Marcionite do not believe that Jesus was put on the cross.
Either way, it doesn't really matter whether he was put on the cross or not. The more important point is that Jesus never died according to Islam. There is a similar Verse to 19:33 in the Noble Quran that was mentioned to another Messenger of GOD: "So peace on him [Yahya, or John the Baptist] the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life! (The Noble Quran, 19:15)" This Noble Verse (19:15) is similar to 19:33, where it does not at all state that any Messenger of GOD was crucified or will die twice!. The reason why no Messenger of GOD will ever die twice is because Allah Almighty said clearly in His Noble Book that every soul He creates (this includes all of His Messengers and Prophets even Jesus) shall taste death once; "Nor will they [all humans who end up in heaven] there taste death, except the first death; and He will preserve them from the penalty of the blazing fire. (The Noble Quran, 44:56)".