Most people in the west don’t know that Jesus is an important figure in Islam and is mentioned – along with his mother Mary – in the Quran.
Here are six things you may not know about the status of Jesus in Islam:
Jesus, Mary, and the angel Gabriel are all mentioned in the Quran (as are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and a bunch of other people in the Bible).
Muslims believe that Jesus (called “Isa” in Arabic) was a prophet of God, was born to a virgin (Mary), and will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”), also known as the Antichrist. All of which may sound pretty familiar to many Christians.
Mary (called “Maryam” in Arabic) has an entire chapter in the Quran named for her – the only chapter in the Quran named for a woman. In fact, Mary is the only woman to be mentioned by name in the entire Quran: As noted in the Study Quran, “other female figures are identified only by their relation to others, such as the wife of Adam and the mother of Moses, or by their title, such as the Queen of Sheba.” Mary is mentioned more times in the Quran than in the entire New Testament.
Just as with all the other prophets, including Mohammed, Muslims recite, “Peace be upon him” every time they refer to Jesus.
Muslims believe that Jesus performed miracles: The Quran discusses several of Jesus’s miracles, including giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, raising the dead, and breathing life into clay birds.
The story of Jesus’s birth as told in the Quran is also the story of his first miracle, when he spoke as an infant in the cradle and declared himself to be a prophet of God. Here’s the verse from the Quran:
And remember Mary in the Book, when she withdrew from her family to an eastern place. And she veiled herself from them. Then We [God] sent unto her Our Spirit [the angel Gabriel], and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. She said, “I seek refuge from you in the Compassionate [i.e., God], if you are reverent!” He said, “I am but a messenger of your Lord, to bestow upon you a pure boy.”
She said, “How shall I have a boy when no man has touched me, nor have I been unchaste?” He said, “Thus shall it be. your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me.’” And [it is thus] that We might make him a sign unto mankind, and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter decreed.
So she conceived him and withdrew with him to a place far off. And the pangs of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm. She said, “Would that I had died before this and was a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten!” So he called out to her from below her, “Grieve not! your Lord has placed a rivulet beneath you. And shake toward yourself the trunk of the date palm; fresh, ripe dates shall fall upon you. So eat and drink and cool thine eye. And if thou seest any human being, say, ‘Verily I have vowed a fast unto the Compassionate, so I shall not speak this day to any man.’”
Then she came with him [the infant Jesus] unto her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary! Thou hast brought an amazing thing! O sister of Aaron! your father was not an evil man, nor was your mother unchaste.” Then she pointed to him [Jesus]. They said, “How shall we speak to one who is yet a child in the cradle?”
He [Jesus] said, “Truly I am a servant of God. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet. He has made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I live, and [has made me] dutiful toward my mother. And He has not made me domineering, wretched. Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised alive!”
That is Jesus son of Mary– a statement of the truth, which they doubt.
So although Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God or the begotten son of God – as most Christians do – Muslims do revere Jesus as a very important prophet of God.