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being the miraculous will and work of God. At any rate, the whole point is worth pursuing Now if anyone wishes to call Jesus the son of God or God because he was created without the precedence of a human father, and because God Himself adopted him or acted as his father, if this holds true the same thing should even be more applicable to and more appropriate for Adam, who had neither a father nor a mother. And if the fatherhood of God is interpreted in a figurative sense then it should apply to all mankind, particularly those who distinguished themselves in the service of the Supreme Lord. Human beings are the magnificent creation of God and, in a sense, are His children. Whether the Fatherhood of God is interpreted literally or figuratively it would be quite arbitrary to confine it to Jesus alone, discarding Adam in the first interpretation and the rest of mankind in the second. The Qur’ an reveals the birth of Jesus in the following manner: And relate (O Muhammad) in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: ‘I seek refuge from you to (God) Most Gracious: (come not near) 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 growing son.’ She said:’ How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?’ He said:’ So (it will be): your Lord said: That is easy for Me, and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us. It is a matter so decreed’ . So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish ): ‘ Ah! how I wish I had died before this! how I wish I had been a thing forgotten or out of sight!’ But a voice cried to her from beneath the palm-tree:’ Grieve not! for your Lord has provided a rivulet beneath you; and shake towards yourself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and cool (your) eye (be happy). And if you do see any man, say: ‘I have vowed a fast to (God) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’ At length she brought him to her people carrying him (in her arms). They said: ‘O Mary! truly an amazing thing you have brought! O sister of Aaron! your father was not a man of evil, nor your mother was a woman unchaste!’ But she pointed to him. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? He said:’ I am indeed a servant of God: He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; and He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and (He) has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live; and (He) has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; so peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!’ 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. Verily God is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve you: this is a Way that is straight.(19:16-36; cf.3:42-64; 4:171-172; 5:17, 72-75; 25:2, 43:57-65) The mission which God entrusted to Jesus was not salvation through total atonement by blood sacrifice, but salvation by virtue of right guidance and self-discipline, by quickening the stagnant minds and softening the hard souls. It was to install the true religion of God and restore His revelations which had been misinterpreted and abused. In approaching those stagnant minds and hard souls, Jesus not only preached the word of God but also brought tangible Signs and performed “Miracles” in support of his mission. Logical and spiritual as well as “ supernatural” and extraordinary proofs were provided by God at the hands of Jesus to show those hard-hearted people the true path of god. Relating the mission of Jesus and the “miraculous” nature of his proofs, the Qur’ an says: Behold! the angles said: ‘O Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name is the Messiah Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II