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Jesus: An Islamic Perspective

part 4

christ

He has seen with the perfection of his inner eye the secrets of this Universe. When he tells man of Paradise he has seen it, when he talks of God he knows Him. His every word is spoken from knowledge. He sees and hears and moves through God. The Spirit of Allah is his guide. Furthermore, he is an apostle of God, that is, one charged by God to provide guidance for mankind and to bring man towards the path of perfection and salvation - and to be a sign which hints at the heights to which man is capable of rising.

It is a fundamental principle in Islam that one who is not guided cannot guide. Thus Jesus is a fully realized man and an apostle of God. Jesus thus becomes, in Islam, a symbol (or sign) of the immense potential that exists within man's fundamental nature. The Prophet's of God are sent to guide man and to show man how to actualize this potential within him.

But even one who actualizes this potential and attains a type of union with God, does not become God. God remains God. The Qur'an rejects with absolute vehemence the insinuation that Jesus is God or the son of God. It says of those who make such assertions that:

"Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! As if the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin." (Qur'an. Ch. 19 v. 88)

The reason for such a strong rejection is that those who put forth such claims have fundamentally misunderstood the basic nature of God, His creation, and the miraculous nature with which He created man. God's aim is to uplift man, to redeem him through the unique nature with which he created man. In the above quote from the Qur'an, the heavens (skies), the earth, and the mountains are reacting to the attribution of divinity to Jesus. This is because before the creation of Adam, the Divine "Trust" was offered to these creations of God and they refused to undertake the responsibility. Man, however, undertook the responsibility.

"We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: But man undertook it...." (Qur'an. Ch. 33 v. 72, 73)

Conferring divinity upon any of God's servants or creatures, even one as exalted as Jesus, is characterized as a betrayal of this Trust which God bestowed upon man.

Jesus and the unique method of his creation, his "perfected" status, and his apostleship to God, combine to create, within the Islamic context, a picture of a man who was both a servant and a friend (awliya) of God. He is also seen as a man who was a sign, a symbol granted to mankind by God, and a guide who awakens man to his nature, potential and relation to God.

"A 'spirit of God': of no other.... His relation towards his Lord is such, That he acts through it in superior and inferior worlds. God purified his body and elevated him in spirit, And made of him the symbol of His act of creation." (Muhyi-d-Din Ibn Arabi. The Wisdom of The Prophets. Gloucestershire; Beshara Publications. pg. 68)

Source: islamfrominside.com


Other Links:

Jesus (A.S.) Rediscovered (part 1)  

Jesus (A.S.) Rediscovered (part 2)   

Jesus in Islam-part 1    

Birth of Jesus (A.S)    

Birth of the Soul of God   

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