Khanzeer in the Koran as often
Jesus in the Koran
Islam and Christianity differ very much if we look closely at theological questions about the image of God, the divinity of Jesus or his crucifixion. Nevertheless, the person of Jesus is of central importance in Islam. Knowing these can be a door opener for a conversation with Muslims, as our author shows below.
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In the Koran, Jesus is considered one of the greatest prophets and is mentioned in 15 suras, over 200 verses are dedicated to him. The Muslim mystics, the Sufis, admire the outstanding spiritual qualities of the Son of Mary. For Ibn-Arabi, the father of Muslim mysticism, Jesus is the "seal of holiness" he is the prophet who never sinned. In comparison, the Koran gives Muhammad the title "Seal of the Prophets". In suras 3,38-47 and 19,1-34 the Koran speaks about the miraculous birth of Jesus. Besides Christianity, Islam is the only religion that unequivocally affirms this miracle. In the Koran Jesus is referred to as a great prophet (Sura 19:31).
His position is outstanding. He received the Gospel "and we placed goodness and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him" (Sura 57:27). Jesus' miracles mentioned in the Qur'an are broadly similar to those in the Gospels: healing the man born blind, healing a leper, and raising the dead.
The Qur'an goes even further by ascribing various attributes to Jesus, which we present in the following and each formulate a question for the conversation:
- Jesus is the word of God: In addition to his miraculous birth, which Islam recognizes, the Koran confirms that Jesus is the word of God. “O Mary, God proclaims his word to you, his name will be Christ, Jesus, Son of Mary.” (3.45) The remarkable title “Word of God” is repeated three times in the Koran and used exclusively for Jesus (3.39 , 45; 4.171). This verse recalls John 1: 1, “In the beginning was the word.” But isn't a person's word the person himself? Why is the title “Word of God” applied to Jesus only?
- Jesus is the Spirit of God: The Koran also affirms that Jesus is the Spirit of God (4.171).
- Jesus was born through the direct intervention of God: “We gave into her [Mary] of our spirit.” According to the Koran, Jesus is the only prophet who has been granted this privilege. Can it be said that the Spirit of Jesus is none other than the Spirit of God? Doesn't a person's spirit represent the person himself?
- Jesus is mercy: The Koran does not hesitate to say about Jesus: We have made him a “sign” for people and a “mercy from us” (19:21). This text recalls Titus 3: "[God] saved us, not because of the works of righteousness we had done, but because of his mercy". What is the basis for the Koran calling Jesus "mercy for men"? Doesn't this verse confirm the universality of his mercy?
- Jesus is without sin: According to the Koran, the angel Gabriel uses the following phrase in relation to Mary: "I am nothing but a messenger from your Lord to give you a pure son" (19:19). Pure means without sin. Hence the title "the seal of holiness" that Ibn-Arabi gives to Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the only prophet who the Quran says never made a mistake, unlike other prophets whose sins are mentioned in the Quran. Isn't this holiness in itself a unique selling point of God and an indication of this?
In addition to these titles, there are other special attributes that are only ascribed to Jesus, such as the Messiah, “he is one of those who dwell near God” (3.45) and that he is the “sign of the hour” at the end of time will be. Jesus - not Mohammed or Abraham (the father of believers) - will be chosen by God to establish the rule of peace on earth. Why Jesus and not the “Father of the Believers”? Muslim tradition is silent at this point.
These titles we have considered here raise questions: Can one stop at the fact that Jesus is only a prophet of God? Even if the way sometimes seems long to us - the bridges are numerous.
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