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Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God; he shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous’ . ‘And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law (Torah) and the Gospel, and (appoint him) an apostle to the children of Isral, (with this message): ‘ I have come to you, with a Sign from you Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’ s leave: and I heal those born blind and the lepers, and I quicken the dead by God’ s leave; and I declare to you what you eat and what you store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if you did believe: (I have come to you), to attest the Law (Torah) which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you. I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear God’ s displeasure and obey me. It is God Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight (3:45-51) 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! you bring forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the children of Israel from (violence to you )when you did show them the Clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’ And behold! God will say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! did you say unto men, ‘worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God? ‘He will say: ‘Glory to You! never could I say what I have no right (to say) … Never said I to them aught except what You did command me to say, to wit, ‘ Worship God my Lord and your Lord; ‘ and I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things (5:110-117) These verses are only representative of numerous similar ones throughout the Qur’ an. They all emphasize the fact that Jesus never claimed to be a god or the son of God, and that he was only the servant and apostle of the Lord in the pattern of those before him. The Qur’ an stresses this fact in the following way: And in their (the prophets’ ) footsteps we sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God’ s displeasure (5:46) They do blaspheme who say: ‘God is Christ the son of Mary.’ But Christ said: ‘O children of Israel! worship God my Lord and your Lord. Whoever joins other gods with God, - God will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode: There will for wrong-doers be no one to help’ They do blaspheme who say: ‘God is one of three in a Trinity:’ for there is no god except one God. If they desist not from their word ( of blasphemy), verily, a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. Why turn they not to God, and seek His forgiveness? For God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful, Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how God does make His Signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! … Say: ‘O People of the Book! exceed not in you religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth. Nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by, who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even Way (5:72-75; cf. 4:171-172) The beginning of Jesus was controversial. So was his end. In between he was persistent in carrying out his mission, strengthened by the Book of God, by wisdom, by the Clear Signs and by the holy spirit. Yet very few were those who accepted him whole-heartedly. Although tolerant and peace-minded, Jesus could not tolerate the hypocrisy of the children of Israel and their devotion to the letter of the Law at the

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II

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