Thursday, December 25, 2014

Birth Of Christ Jesus ― The Anointed Savior

The appearance of Prophet Jesus on Earth occurred in an unusual way, according to the teachings of Islam. Jesus was the only person who was sent to mankind without the agency of a father. In order to fully comprehend how he came we need to understand the events as they occurred. It all began with a vow made by the mother of Mary concerning the dedication of her pregnancy to God.

Mary’s mother whose name was Anne, Hannah, was the wife of Amram, Imran, who belonged to one of the tribes of Israel. He was from the priestly class. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why her mother decided to dedicate her child who was not yet born to the Service of Allah. So she prayed as follows:

“O my Lord! I do dedicate into Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service so accept this of me! For Thou hearest and knowest all things.”
[Quran 3:35]
At the time of making her prayer, Hannah was not aware of the sex of the fetus in her womb; so when the child was born she found out that it was a girl. On seeing that it was a girl and not a boy as she had expected, she spoke to the Lord in the following words:

“O my Lord! Behold! I have delivered a female child!” And Allah knew best what she had brought forth, “And is not the male like the female. I have named her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Thy Protection from the Evil One, the Rejected.”
[Quran 3:36]

Mary was taught of the Scriptures from a young age and put to service of the Temple under the care of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin of Mary.

Only Zechariah was permitted into her room, to take care of her and provide her requirements. Zechariah was always puzzled when he used to go to her room, as he found that she always had a supply of fresh fruits and food, things that he never gave to her. When he questioned her about it, her reply was always that it came from Allah Who is the Lord of all things.  The Quran mentions about this in the following verses:

… Every time that he entered her chamber to see her, he found her supplied with sustenance.
He asked, “O Mary! Whence comes this to you?”
She said, “From Allah: for Allah provides sustenance to whom He pleases, without measure.”
[Quran 3:37]

Mary grew up very pure and beautiful. She was pure because she was always in seclusion, and she never experienced any monthly cycle as other women. Allah tells us about her as follows:

…He made her grow in purity and beauty; to the care of Zechariah was she assigned...
[Quran 3:37]
Mother Mary grew up to be a special woman, above all other women in history. Allah relates to us about this in the Holy Quran in the following verse:

Behold! The angels said, "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee; ― Chosen thee above the women of all nations.”
[Quran 3:42]
Prophet Muhammad confirmed that Mary was special. He is reported to have said that there are four great women in history. They are: Asiyah, wife of Ramses II; Mary, mother of Jesus; Khadijah, his wife; and Fatima, his daughter.

When the time came for Prophet Jesus to come into the world, Allah sent Gabriel to Mary. He appeared to her in the form of a man. This got Mary disturbed as she wanted to know how he could have invaded her privacy without any permission. The Quran tells us about this incident as follows:

Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from the people to a place in the East.
She placed a screen from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her in the guise of a man.
She said, “I seek refuge from thee in the Most Gracious: come not near if thou dost fear Allah.”
He said, “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord to announce to thee the Gift of a holy son.”
She asked, “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”
He replied, “So it will be: thy Lord saith, ‘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.
[Quran 19:16-23]

After the discussion with her, the angel blew into her and she conceived. Allah says:

Mary the daughter of Amram, who guarded her chastity; We breathed into her body of Our Spirit...
[Quran 66:12]
Scholars interpret ‘breathing into it’ to mean that he blew onto her. It does not say that the angel blew into her private part. There are other occasions when the angel blew into persons and the soul went into the body. For example, about Adam, Allah says:

He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His Spirit…
[Quran 32:9]
Even Jesus was able to perform this miraculous gift, when he blew unto the bird which was made out of clay, and it attained life and flew away. Allah records about this as follows:

“And appoint him a Messenger to the Children of Israel, with this Message: I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay as if it were the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave...”
[Quran 3:49]
The conception and birth of Jesus, the son of Mary was unique, and different from the coming into the world of any other human being. Except for Adam, every single human comes into this world through the conception of the sperm with the ovum. Adam’s body was formed and fashioned and then Allah breathed, through His angel, His Spirit or Soul into his body. He tells us so in the Quran in the following verse:

He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit…
[Quran 32:9]
In the case of Jesus, the process was slightly different. His soul was blown into Mary, and around the soul the body developed. This we know from the Quranic verse in which Allah says:

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the sole truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him...
[Quran 4:171]
When the soul of Jesus was put into Mary and she realized that she was pregnant, she left her room in stealth and proceeded eastwards. She rested below a date palm tree and there gave birth. The Quran tells us about this as follows:

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 pained anguish, “Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”
But a voice cried to her from beneath the palm-tree, “Grieve not! For thy Lord hath Provided a rivulet beneath thee; and shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. So eat and drink and cool thine eye. And if thou dost see any man say ‘I have vowed a fast to the Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’”
[Quran 19:22-26]

Mary gave birth to Jesus under the date palm tree. There she got food from dates and water from the stream that was flowing below her. She stayed there until she felt strong enough to return to her people. She then took baby Jesus and returned. When the people saw her with a baby, they were shocked and amazed. They said:

At length she brought the babe to her people, carrying him in her arms.
They said, “O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!”
“O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”
But she pointed to the babe.
They said, “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
He said, “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me Revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, enjoined unto me, prayer and charity as long as I live; He hath 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 resurrected!”
[Quran 19:27-33]

Jesus lived a private secluded life with his mother. They were both sustained by Allah.

Later in his life, he used to preach in the synagogue in the day and retreat for prayer to the mountains at night.

As he was very critical of the doings of the hierarchy of the clergy, they wanted to get rid of him. They thought of many ways of doing so but finally decided upon crucifying him.

The leaders of the community violated every form of justice against an innocent person, and although Allah allowed them to crucify a person, it was not Jesus, the son of Mary, who was crucified. Rather, Jesus was raised unto Heaven and thus saved by his Lord, where he awaits the End Times for the Second Coming.

The Holy Quran says:

That they said in boast, “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”; ― but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no certain knowledge but only conjecture to follow, for they surely killed him not.
[Quran 4:157]

― Mawlana Dr. Waffie Mohammed, Markaz al-Ihsaan,
transmitted via Sidi Terence Helikaon Nunis of A Muslim Convert Once More

1 comment:

  1. Very well done. Thank you for this thoughtful article.