Jesus In Islam
In the Islamic tradition Jesus is not considered a deity. He is a human and not a God. Muslim tradition explicitly indicates that Jesus was born without a physical father of the virgin Mary. He is considered the word of God in the Quran.
A Quranic verse says that Jesus’ birth is like that of Adam, both were created without a physical father. God wanted to show his power through the creation of both, outside the natural world of cause and effect. He is entitled as the Son of Mary, the servant of God, among those who are close to God. One thing distinguishes the Quran from the bible, in the bible one of Jesus’ titles is the Son of Man, in the Quran he does not have this title; he is the Son of Mary, the word of God, but not the Son of Man. The uniqueness of God, necessitates that God not have a son, because he does not beget and is not begotten.
The issue of dying on the cross is very controversial. The Quranic verse clearly says that Jesus was not crucified, nor was he killed, but that God raised him to heaven (he was not killed, but taken from the earth by God). Some Muslim scholars believe that there was a crucifixion but the crucified man was not Jesus, but another who was mistaken for him.
Some Muslims believe that Jesus is still alive in heaven and will come at the end of time, according to the religion of Islam. Together with the Muslim Messiah he will fight against the anti-Christ and kill him.
There are several verses in the Quran about his miraculous birth. According to the story an angel appears to Mary and gives her good news about her pregnancy. He tells her she will give birth to a son named Jesus, and she objects by asking how she could have become pregnant without having sex, but the angel says that it is the command of God, when He wants to create anything he simply says Be and it is. Later Mary gives birth to Jesus and brings Him to her people, who accuse her of adultery. They ask from where she brought the child, and Mary says don’t ask me, but ask the child. According to the Quranic account (not found in the bible), miraculously Jesus speaks from his cradle, saying that he is the servant of God and that God will give him revelation to proclaim to humanity and that peace will be upon him always.
One of Jesus’ Quranic titles is Messiah. In the Islamic understanding, the Messiah is simply a messenger who brings humanity to belief in the Oneness of God. There are several interpretations of the idea of a Messiah.
Among prophets, the title is given only to Jesus. In answer to your remaining questions, according to the majority of Muslim scholars Jesus is alive and will come back. His life is not like our lives, but is an angelic one. He does not need to eat and drink in order to live. When he comes he may not be known by all, because of his angelic form. Some modern Muslim scholars, however, do believe that Jesus died and will not return.
Jesus was a messenger of God, who received a revelation from God (the Gospel) and proclaimed this message to humanity until he was raised to heaven by God. The Islamic tradition would not consider him a God, good man, or a lunatic, but a prominent prophet and messenger of God.
By Prof. Zeki Saritoprak