For Christians, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit make up the Holy Trinity or Three Persons in One God. Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save mankind. To the Muslims, Jesus or Isa in Arabic is highly regarded as well, but in a different nature. The life and times of Jesus is chronicled much differently in Islam.
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The Muslims rely on the Quran for all the information they need to know about Islam. God revealed to Prophet Muhammad all that has been written in the Quran. All Muslims take the Quran to be complete, genuine and coming from God. The Quran is where all Muslims get guidance from. What the Muslims think of Jesus and what they treat Him as are all contained in the Quran.
Muslims’ fundamental belief is on the prophets and messengers of God. They include Adam, Jesus, Moses and Muhammad. A Muslim is not considered a Muslim if he does not acknowledge that Jesus is a Messenger of God. “The Messiah, son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger before whom many Messengers have passed away; and his mother adhered wholly to truthfulness, and they both ate food. See how We make Our signs clear to them; and see where they are turning away!” (Quran 5:75)
The Muslims believe in Jesus’ immaculate conception by the Virgin Mother Mary, or Maryam in Arabic. “Relate in the Book the Story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family, to a place in the East. She screened herself from them; then We sent to her Our spirit and he appeared before her as man in all respects. She said: I seek refuge from you in God Most Gracious if you do fear God. He said: Nay, I am only a Messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a pure son. She said: How shall I have a son, when no man has ever touched me, and I am not unchaste? He said: So it will be, your Lord says: ‘That is easy for Me; and We wish to appoint him as a sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It was a matter so decreed.” (Quran 19:16-21)
For the Muslims the birth of Jesus was miraculous and that God created Jesus in the image of Adam. “She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: So for God creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: ‘Be!’ and it is.” Additionally, according to Quran (3:59): “Verily, the likeness of Jesus in God’s Sight is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: ‘Be!’ and he was” (Quran 3:47)
The Muslims likewise believe Jesus spoke like an adult and revealed himself when he was just a baby.
“Then she pointed to him. They said: “How can we talk to one who is child in the cradle? He said: ‘Verily! I am a slave of God, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” (Quran 19:29-30)
They likewise believed that Jesus indeed performed miracles. Unlike Christians that believe Jesus was and is on His own when he performs miracles, the Muslims believe that Jesus need the will and permission of God who is above all, controls and wields power over all. “Then will God say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favor to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold: you make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and you breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by My leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the children of Israel from when you did show them the Clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic’ (Quran 5:110).
Islam does not believe in a Trinity and neither does it espouse God the Son. What it does teach and believe to be true is there is only one God, He is Supreme and is all powerful without limitations, needs nor wants. He is the Creator and rules above all creation. There is no other one in his Divinity. “People of the Book! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and attribute to God nothing except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His command that He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and in His Messengers, and do not say: ‘God is a Trinity. Give up this assertion; it would be better for you. God is indeed just One God. Far be it from His glory that he should have a son. To him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth. God is sufficient for guardian” (Quran 4:171).
There is no God the Son for the Muslims, neither do they believe that God has a son and Jesus is that son. “Say: God is Unique! God, the Source. He has not fathered anyone nor was He fathered, and there is nothing comparable to Him!” (Quran 112:1-4).
Jesus will always be the son of Mary for Muslims. “Such was Jesus, the son of Mary; it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of God, that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be’ and it is” (Quran 19:34-35).
For Christians, Jesus died on the cross to save mankind. The Muslims believe otherwise. “They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did.” (Quran 4:156). “God lifted him up to His presence. God is Almighty, All-Wise” (Quran 4:157).
There is really a dramatic difference in the way Christians and Muslims regard Jesus. For the Christians Jesus is God Himself, for the Muslims Jesus is a Messenger of God. It will be noted that references to Jesus in the verses of Quran do not give him the same honor given to God, like capital letters for His Name. For the Muslims, Jesus was really the son of man. The reverence given him was because Jesus was believed to be a Messenger of God and it is fundamental in Islam to believe in prophets and messengers of God.
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