Excerpts from the Qur’an based on the Stories of the Prophets by Imam Ibn Kathir. Translation of the Qur’an based on Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation.
I am reposting this from a post that I published back in 2007 as I believe that the Qur’anic account of the life of Jesus (peace be upon him) needs to be told and re-told to clarify some of the mysteries surrounding Jesus (peace be upon him) and to reclaim him as a Prophet of the Muslims.
Jesus is one of the revered Messengers of Go. Allah has mentioned the story of Mary and Jesus in many parts of the holy Qur’an. Below are some excerpts taken from the Qur’an to illustrate the Qur’anic narrative on the story of Jesus.
As this is the season of remembering Jesus I hope the following will be useful for both Christians and Muslims to reflect upon the story of this great Prophet of God.
Please refer to the ‘Stories of the Prophets’ by Ibn Kathir for a full account of the Muslim version of the tale.
You may also be interested in the notes from a talk a did a while back titled The Return of the Sun – The Truth About Jesus (PBUH)
Keep us in your Duas
Mary Receives News of Jesus
And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East,
And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our Spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man.
She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art God-fearing.
He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.
She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste ?
He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.
[Qur’an, Chapter 19, Verse 16-21]
The Birth of Jesus
And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place.
And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm- tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died ere this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten!
Then (one) cried unto her from below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord hath placed a rivulet beneath thee,
And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee, thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee.
So eat and drink and be consoled. And if thou meetest any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal.
[Qur’an, Chapter 19, Verse 22-26]
Mary’s Return to the City
Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing.
O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot.
Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy ?
He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet,
And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive,
And (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest.
Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!
[Qur’an, Chapter 19, Verse 27-33]
The Miracles of Jesus
When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic;
And when I inspired the disciples, (saying): Believe in Me and in My messenger, they said: We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered (unto Thee) “we are muslims”.
When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven ? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if ye are true believers.
(They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses.
Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers.
Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures.
[Qur’an, Chapter 5, Verse 110-115]
And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel,
And will make him a messenger unto the Children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers.
And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me.
Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.
But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah ? The disciples said: We will be Allah’s helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear thou witness that we have surrendered (unto Him).
Our Lord! We believe in that which Thou hast revealed and we follow him whom Thou hast sent. Enrol us among those who witness (to the truth).
[Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 48-53]
The Crucifixion – Allah Raises Jesus to the Heavens
And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger – they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.
But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.
There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.
[Qur’an, Chapter 4, Verse 157-159]
And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.
(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ.
[Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 54-55]
Allah’s Questioning of Jesus
And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah ? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden ?
I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things.
If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them (lo! they are Thy slaves). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, the Wise.
Allah saith: This is a day in which their truthfulness profiteth the truthful, for theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they are secure for ever, Allah taking pleasure in them and they in Him. That is the great triumph.
Unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is therein, and He is Able to do all things.
[Qur’an, Chapter 5, Verse 116-120]
Refutation of the Christians and Jews
And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!
They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no God save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!
[Qur’an, Chapter 9, Verse 30-31]
And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son.
Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing
Whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins,
That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son,
When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son.
There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave.
Verily He knoweth them and numbereth them with (right) numbering.
And each one of them will come unto Him on the Day of Resurrection, alone.
[Qur’an, Chapter 19, Verse 88-95]
Allah’s Message About Jesus
Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.
It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path.
The sects among them differ: but woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of an awful Day.
See and hear them on the Day they come unto Us! yet the evil-doers are to-day in error manifest.
And warn them of the Day of anguish when the case hath been decided. Now they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.
[Qur’an, Chapter 19, Verse 34-39]
May Allah (SWT) make us from amongst those who follow the true teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him) – Ameen!