Islam, in no uncertain terms, denies the Sonship of Jesus Christ. However, the Qur’an provides numerous internal evidences that testify to the Biblical truth that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. The testimonies regarding Jesus in the Qur’an itself clearly show that he is more than a prophet.
While Jesus is regarded as a highly respected prophet in Islam, it nevertheless considers him as just one among the many prophets. However, for Christians, it is an uncompromising truth that Jesus is the unique Son of God. While the Qur’an denies his Sonship openly, there are numerous internal evidences in the Qur’an that points to his Sonship. In fact, most Muslims are unaware that the Qur’an confirms the following magnificent facts concerning Jesus.
1. He was born of a Virgin – Surah 3:45-47; Surah 19:17-21.
2. He was the Word of God – Surah 4:171.
3. He was a Spirit from God – Surah 4:171.
4. He was Faultless (Sinless) – Surah 19:19.
5. He was the Messiah – Surah 4:171.
6. He was Illustrious in this World and would continue to be so in the Hereafter – Surah 3:45.
7. He was taken to Heaven by God – Surah 4:158.
8. He will come back as a Sign of the Hour of Judgment – Surah 43:61.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY PROPHET WHO HAD A VIRGIN-BIRTH
One of the most important points of agreement between Islam and Christianity concerns the conception of Jesus. Both the Bible and the Qur’an teach that he was conceived of a woman only – by Mary his mother – before she had known any man. The virgin-birth of Jesus, taught so plainly in the Holy Bible, is also clearly taught in the Qur’an. The Bible states that Jesus was conceived miraculously with the aid of God’s Holy Spirit in fulfillment of a prophecy given several hundreds years before his actual birth.
Luke 1:30-35: And the angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold! You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you are to call his name Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.” But Mary said to the angel: “How is this to be, since I am a virgin?” In answer the angel said to her: “Holy spirit will come upon you and power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God.”
Matthew 1:22-23: All this actually came about for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord God through his prophet, saying: “Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son and they will call his name Immanuel …”
More than 700 years before the actual birth of Jesus took place, the Bible book of Isaiah prophesized the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ:
Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Luke records the unusual conception. It states clearly that Mary was a virgin whom no man had touched when Jesus was conceived by the power of the holy spirit. This unique feature regarding the conception of Jesus is one of the most clear and unambiguous teachings of both the Qur’an and the Bible and is fundamentally upheld by both books. It is referred to more than once in the Qur’an. We will now look at two examples:
Surah 3:45-47: Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God…She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is! (Yusuf Ali)
The following is another passage in the Qur’an that records the visitation of an angel to Mary and the response that she gave him when he announced to her the conception of Jesus:
Surah 19:17-21: She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to (God) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear God.” He said: “Nay, I am only an apostle from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy 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): 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.” (Yusuf Ali)
If Mary had conceived Jesus through the procedure of normal sexual intercourse, it would hardly have been necessary for an angel to appear to her to explain the conception she was about to experience. The virgin-birth is given constant emphasis in the Muslim scriptures by the very title it gives consistently to Jesus, namely “ibn Maryam,” meaning “the son of Mary.” (Surah 3:45). The regular occurrence of this title “son of Mary” in the Qur’an also strongly supports the conclusion that she conceived Jesus without the agency of a human father. In historical times, men were almost always named after their fathers.
Other passages in the Qur’an also emphasize this fact with equal force:
Surah 21:91: “And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.” (Yusuf Ali)
The emphasis on the manner by which “her son” was brought into being within her by the miraculous power of God’s holy spirit, without any reference to a human father, re-emphasizes the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ. This Qur’anic verse clearly tells us that his conception took place through the aid of God’s spirit. It states: “We breathed into her of Our spirit.” Centuries before the Qur’an even came into existence the Holy Bible attested to this truth:
Matthew 1:18: “…she was found to be pregnant by Holy Spirit.”
It is also most significant to find that Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the entire Qur’an. In fact, a whole Surah is named after her – Surah Maryam. In the Qur’an, not even Eve – the mother of the human race – is mentioned by name. What is the reason for such exultation of Mary in the Qur’an? It is because of her significant place in human history as the only woman to bear a son while still a virgin. And she mothered the greatest among God’s prophets.
Surah 3:42: Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee – chosen thee above the women of all nations.” (Yusuf Ali)
Luke 1:42: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
What Reason Was There For This Unique Conception?
Adam was created without the agency of a human father or mother. As the first man on earth, he could not have had earthly parents. Therefore, such an act of creation was necessary at the beginning of the world of mankind. Someone had to be created first. But in the case of Jesus, he was born without a human father when God’s natural process of procreation had long been in existence. Here we see God interrupting the course of nature, and overriding the very laws of procreation that he had himself established, in order that Christ might thus have a virgin-birth. Why would God do that? Surely such an act could not have been without meaning. It serves to emphasize the profound truth that Jesus Christ held a very special relationship with the One who was the architect of this miraculous conception – a relationship that is shared by no other prophet. The birth of no other prophet has been anything as remotely close as the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ.
To deny that God does anything without a purpose behind it amounts to a denial of God himself. (Surah 38:27) In the Qur’an, it is the very absence of such a clearly defined purpose in the unique conception of Jesus, which perplexes the seeker of truth as to the meaning behind this miraculous birth. Being born of a virgin-woman, Jesus had an exceptional and unique beginning to his life on earth. As he was the only man in all human history to come into the world in this unusual way, we cannot be satisfied with the Qur’an’s summary declaration that it was no more than just an exercise of God’s power.
The Qur’an teaches that the virgin-birth of Jesus was simply a manifestation of God’s power.
Surah 3:47: “She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So it will be. Allah createth what He will. If he decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! And it is.” (Pickthall)
The truth of the matter is that the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ was not a random manifestation of God’s creative power as implied in the Qur’an. While the fact that it was brought about by the power of God is without any doubt, however, this in itself does not explain its meaning or purpose. Surely the great act of creating the whole world – with all the complex living things in it – out of nothing are sufficient proofs of God’s creative power. What necessity was there to give a new demonstration of this power? The Qur’an itself teaches that the mere fact that God could create men out of nothing is surely proof that God can raise them from the dead.
Surah 22:5: “O mankind! If ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, consider that We created you out of dust…” (Yusuf Ali)
Thus, Allah is saying that no proof of the ultimate resurrection is needed for the unbelievers since his initial acts of creation is sufficient for them to perceive his powers to resurrect. In other words, there is no need for Allah to further demonstrate his creative powers. The miraculous conception of Jesus just could not have been for the purpose of a manifestation of God’s power as there was no visible demonstration of God’s power for humans to behold when he caused the conception to take place. The miraculous conception could not be physically demonstrated as there was no visible evidence of it. Thus, we accept it on the basis of our faith in God’s Word. Though there was no external visible sign of God’s power, we know the miraculous conception to be true because it was prophesized centuries in advance in God’s unfailing Word. Since no one could actually see the miraculous power at work at the time of conception, it certainly would be futile for God to use it as a means to demonstrate his power for others to see. Therefore, the virgin-birth could not have been an arbitrary demonstration of the power of God, as the Qur’an claims. There must have been another reason for it.
Why was the virgin-birth of Jesus a necessity? Surely, God would not do such an unusual act without reason if it were unnecessary. He would not cause the virgin-birth to take place if it was not absolutely necessary to do so. Something must have required that Jesus be born in this way. The virgin-birth is an article of faith, which is repeatedly upheld in the Qur’an, and yet we find that there is no explanation for the miraculous birth. In the Qur’an we are assured that it took place but we are not told why.
However, the answer is provided in the Bible. The Bible gives us the reason for the unique conception of Jesus. It tells us that unlike all other prophets, Jesus is the unique Son of God. Thus, it is absolutely necessary that he be born of a virgin-woman if he is to come in the likeness of men. As the Son of God, he existed from the beginning of time when God began his creative works. (Colossians 1:15). The Bible identifies Jesus as the only-begotten Son of God. (John 3:16). Since he is the unique Son of God, it was not possible for him to be born of a human father when God’s time arrived for him to become man. Jesus could not be procreated by means of a human father since he is the unique Son of God. Only God can be the Father of the Son of God.
This explains the necessity of the virgin-birth and gives the reason for it. Only by accepting Jesus as the Son of God can we understand the significance of the virgin-birth. Jesus had to be born of a virgin-woman if he is the Son of God and accordingly existed with his heavenly Father before becoming man. Thus, reason for the exceptional birth of Jesus is made clear by this fact as well as the necessity for it. He was born in this unique way by the special involvement and intervention of God because he is the Son of God. That is why God caused all other men to come into the world by natural means but was especially involved in the virgin-conception of Jesus. All other men are made out of the same dust that Adam was created out of, but Jesus was conceived solely by the Spirit of God because he is the Son of God. This is why he had this unique beginning to his life on earth – because he himself is unique in that he is the Son of God.
This is indeed what the angel told Mary when he came to explain the miraculous conception:
Luke 1:32: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Luke 1:35: “Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”
In the Gospel, the virgin-birth is also shown as a vital link in the out-working of God’s purpose for the salvation of mankind. It was the very heart of God’s divine purpose to redeem fallen mankind who by their sinful nature was subjected to futility. (See Romans 8:20). Therefore, mankind’s salvation – your salvation – is essentially linked to the gaining of an accurate knowledge of the divine purpose behind the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. Let us now look at other evidences in the Qur’an that points to the Sonship of Jesus.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY PROPHET WHO IS CALLED THE “WORD OF GOD”
Surah 3:45: Behold! The angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth Thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;” (Yusuf Ali)
Surah 4:171: “Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, which he bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from him: so believe in God and His apostles.” (Yusuf Ali)
In the Qur’an Jesus is called “His Word” in Surah 4:171. And in Surah 3:45 the Qur’an states that Allah gave Mary glad tidings “of a Word from Him.” In Arabic, the expression used here is “kalimatim-minhu.” It means: kalmia (word) min (from) hu (him). It is of vital importance for Muslims to note that Jesus Christ is the only Prophet who ever lived, who is called a “Word from God.” Centuries before the Qur’an came into existence, this same title was given to Jesus in the Bible:
John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and made is dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the father, and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth.”
Revelation 19:13: “…the name by which he is called is the Word of God.”
But why is Jesus called the “Word of God”? In view of the fact that the Qur’an attributes this title to Jesus without explanation, it is in the Bible that we find the ultimate meaning of this term. He is designated as such not only during his life here on earth but also during his pre-human spirit existence in heaven. Furthermore, the Bible book of Revelation reveals that even after his heavenly resurrection, Jesus is still known as the “Word of God.” Biblical titles often describe the function served or the duty performed by the bearer. For instance, in Exodus 4:16, it is stated that God made Aaron the “mouth” or the “spokesman” of Moses, saying:
“He must speak for you to the people; and it must occur that he will serve as a mouth to you, and you will serve as God to him.”
In a similar way Jesus served as the Mouth, or Spokesman, for his Father, the great King of Eternity. He was God’s Word of communication for conveying information and instructions to the worshippers of God here on earth. Prior to Jesus’ coming to earth, on many of the occasions when God communicated with humans he used Jesus as his angelic mouthpiece. Showing that Jesus continues to serve as his Father’s Spokesman, or Word, Jesus told his listeners:
John 12:49-50: “I have not spoken out of my own impulse, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak….Therefore the things I speak, just as the Father has told me them, so I speak them.”
The ascriptions “His Word” and “a Word from Him” are unique in the Qur’an. No other prophets are described as such. In spite of all appearances of reverence towards the person of Christ, Muslim apologists secretly view him as a rival to the grandeur of Muhammad. Therefore, it should not surprise us when they try to simplify the profound and unique titles of Jesus Christ. Consider for example how Muslim scholars try to falsify and undervalue the true meaning and application of the title of Jesus as “The Word from God.” One Muslim website states:
“Whenever God decides to do something, like giving life or causing death, He says the word “Be” and it happens. Since Jesus was born without a father, he was not conceived by the male sperm cells. Instead his creation, similar to Adam, is solely attributed to the Word of God, ‘Be.’ God says: “Indeed the likeness of Jesus to God is as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, ‘Be,’ and he was.” (Qur’an 3:59).
In essence, Jesus is God’s ‘Word’ because he came into existence by God’s Word – ‘Be’.
Most Muslim scholars also give a similar explanation. If this explanation is true, then why is Adam not called the “Word of God”? If the title “Word of God” is given merely because of God’s means of bringing an individual into existence by the utterance of the word “Be,” then is it not more appropriate for Adam to receive this title as he was the first man to be created in this manner? The Qur’an identifies only two persons by name who were created in this manner, that is, by the utterance of the word, “Be.” The first was Adam and the second, Jesus. Yet, Adam was not called the “Word of God” in the Qur’an. Even though, like Jesus, he had no human father, yet he is not known as the “Word of God.” Neither the angels nor any other creatures are given this title. In the Qur’an, Jesus alone is called the “Word of God.” The title applies to Jesus alone.
This tendency to falsify the truth of Jesus rather than to honestly investigate the reasons for the entire supernatural phenomenon that involves him can only lead to the path of error for Muslims. The act of insincerely concealing the uniqueness of Jesus Christ by Muslim scholars should serve as a warning to sincere Muslims. In fact, obedience to Jesus Christ who is the “Word of God,” is an important requirement that is clearly expressed in the Bible:
John 3:16-18: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
John 5:24: “He who hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life”
John 8:31: “If you continue in my word you are truly my disciples”
And in the Qur’an too, Jesus is said to have stated the following:
Surah 3:50: “I have come to you, to attest the Law 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, and obey me.” (Yusuf Ali)
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY PROPHET WHO IS DESCRIBED AS A “SPIRIT FROM GOD”
In Islam, Jesus is given the title, Ruhullah, meaning “Spirit of God.”
Surah 4:171: “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit from Him.”
The words used in Surah 4:171 are ruhun-minhu, “a Spirit from him.” Thus, the Qur’an clearly describes the human, Jesus, as a Spirit from God himself. With Jesus being the only exception, no humans are ever depicted as such. However, no attempt is made to explain this absolutely unique statement of belief in the Qur’an. As we can see, this verse strongly supports the Christian belief that Jesus was a pre-existing Spirit creature who took on a human form. In fact, Surah 4:171 presupposes that Jesus existed before he was conceived by a virgin-woman.
For the Qur’an to identify Jesus as a Spirit from God who was committed to Mary indicates that he was with God even before he was given to her. It is the closest the Qur’an comes to admitting the pre-existence of Jesus before his conception on earth. The lack of any explanation of its significance, however, suggests that Muhammad heard and adopted Christian teachings and titles applying to Jesus without understanding them or seeing their ominous implications. He failed to understand that all these truths evidenced the fact that Jesus was more than a prophet. Yes! Unlike any prophet, Jesus is the unique Son of God who existed as a Spirit in heaven before he came to earth as a human. The Bible, in no uncertain term, testifies to this divine truth. It reports that the Jesus was transferred from the spirit realm and “came to be in the likeness of men.”
Philippians 2:5-8: Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake.
John 16:28: “I came out from the Father and have come into the world. Further, I am leaving the world and am going my way to the Father.”
Since the Qur’an identifies Jesus as “The Word of God” and as “A Spirit from God” then these two statements would make Jesus more than a prophet because no man can be called by such titles. Such titles would be appropriate only for the one who is the unique Son of God. Thus, Muslims are forced to acknowledge that the unique titles given to Jesus elevate him into a heavenly realm and provide the reason why he was taken up there following his death on earth, while Muhammad’s ordinary status as nothing more than a prophet of Allah explains why he returned to very dust from where he had come from.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY PROPHET WHO IS DECLARED “HOLY” OR “FAULTLESS” IN THE QUR’AN
The Angel said to Mary:
Surah 19:19: “He said: Nay,I am only a messenger of thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.” (Yusuf Ali)
“He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.” (Pickthall)
Luke 1:35: In answer the angel said to her: “Holy spirit will come upon you and power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.”
The Arabic word, “zakiyya” (faultless) implies that Jesus was totally without sin. Among mankind, only Jesus Christ is described as faultless or sinless in both the Qur’an and the Bible. While Jesus is emphatically described as such in both Books, no other prophet – not even Muhammad – is so described. Both the Qur’an and the Bible describe the sins of other prophets and both leave us with the firm impression that Jesus alone was without sin. In the above Qur’anic verse, the holiness of the son of Mary is shown to be the reason for the unique birth of Jesus. This implies that a man cannot be born of a virgin-woman unless he is faultless. Hence Jesus Christ, being the only man to be born in this way, must of necessity also be the only sinless man who ever lived.
Having come from God and not from the seed of man, Jesus’ life was untouched at birth by the effects of sin. Contrary to the claim made by Muslims that all prophets are sinless, it is evident in the Qur’an itself that even the greatest of the prophets prayed for God’s forgiveness. Unlike Jesus, they too, like all other men, were born from the seed of Adam. Take note of the following examples in the Qur’an that shows that even the great prophets sinned and required God’s forgiveness:
ADAM: Surah 7:23: They said: “Our Lord, we have wronged our own souls. If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy mercy, we shall certainly be lost.” (Yusuf Ali)
ABRAHAM: Surah 26:82: “And Who I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment.” (Sher Ali)
MOSES: Surah 28:16: “He prayed: ‘O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do Thou then forgive me!’ So God forgave him.” (Yusuf Ali)
DAVID: Surah 38:24: “And David gathered that We had tried him; he asked forgiveness of His Lord, fell down, bowing in prostration, and turned to God in repentance.” (Yusuf Ali)
SOLOMON: Surah 38:35: “He said, ‘O my Lord! Forgive me.’” (Yusuf Ali)
JONAH: Surah 37:142-144: “Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he repented and glorified God, he would certainly have remained inside the fish.” (Yusuf Ali)
The Qur’an also testifies that even Muhammad was a sinner and needed God’s forgiveness.
MUHAMMAD: Surah 48:1-2: “Lo! We have given thee O Muhammad a signal victory, That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come.” (Pickthall)
Surah 47:19: “So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest.” (Pickthall)
Both Muhammad and his Muslim followers are commanded to repent of their sins. This conclusively proves that Muhammad was in need of forgiveness. In fact, centuries before the Qur’an came into existence, the Holy Bible attested to this truth:
Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The Only Exception – Jesus Christ
1 Peter 2:22: “He (Jesus) committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
Concerning Jesus, the Bible book of Hebrews states:
Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way, like ourselves, but without sin.”
Yes! Jesus Christ committed no sin. What kind of man is he that has never sinned? There is not a single verse in either the Qur’an or the Bible stating that Jesus asked forgiveness from God. The reason is clear. He was Holy. He was Faultless. He was perfectly Pure. And he continues to dwell as such. He came from the realms above and he is not of this world. That is why the Qur’an acknowledges that Jesus is a Spirit from God. Jesus himself testified to this truth in the following Biblical verse.
John 8:23: “So he went on to say to them: ‘You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world.’”
The Hadith also records that Jesus was sinless, untouched by Satan. Muhammad himself believed this!
Sahih Muslim, Volume 4, pg 1261:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (saw) as saying: The satan touches every son of Adam on the day when his mother gives birth to him with the exception of Mary and her son.
Notice that this Hadith states that “satan touches every son of Adam on the day when his mother gives birth to him.” Thus, the subject of this Hadith is Jesus, not Mary. Why then was Mary also protected from Satan? It is because of the child she was carrying in her womb. Only Jesus is spoken of as a “holy son” in the Qur’an. No where in the Qur’an is Mary considered as a “holy daughter.” However, she was privileged to become the instrument of God to deliver his son as a human on earth. And it is for this reason alone, Mary was protected during her delivery of the “holy son.” To protect Jesus, Mary had to be protected.
Why should Jesus be the only man who is without sin among mankind? The Qur’an admits his sinlessness but gives no reason for it. The fact that the Qur’an acknowledges Jesus as a prophet does not answer our question. Why then are other prophets not described in the Qur’an as being sinless or faultless? In fact, quite a few are shown to be wrongdoers. But we must ask again, “Why was Jesus the only one who is sinless and not other men?” We can only comprehend this if we understand the full significance of Jesus’ role in God’s purpose. We will also appreciate why all these unique features are vested in one man. Since the Qur’an does not reveal what made Jesus so unique, we need to go to the Bible for the answer.
THE SON OF GOD
We see that all the unique features of the life of Jesus not only support the Christian belief that he is the Son of God, but they are also absolutely necessary for the defense of the Christian position regarding the Sonship of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Christian conviction is based solidly on evidences and not on emotions.
Both the Qur’an and the Bible tell us very clearly that Jesus had no human father. We must therefore ask ourselves the following vital questions:
Since Jesus is addressed as a “son” by the angel Gabriel both in the Qur’an (Surah 19:19) and in the Bible (Luke 1:35), whose “son” is he? Yes! Whose “son” is he? Is it Mary’s?
In Surah 19:19, the angel Gabriel said to Mary:
“I am only a messenger of thy Lord, to announce to thee the gift of a holy son.”
Here, Gabriel refers to a son who was to be given as a “gift” by God to Mary. Since the Qur’an makes it very clear that the son is a gift from God, it shows that Mary was only the recipient of that gift. She is not the source of that gift but God. The gift belongs to God. The gift was a son. Therefore, the son belongs to God. The son was His or His son. In other words, the son was God’s son. This testifies to the Gospel truth that Jesus is the Son of God.
Muslims have a great misunderstanding about what Christians mean by calling Jesus the Son of God. To Muslims, it means that we believe that God performed a physical sexual act to conceive a child. This is an abhorrent blasphemy because Christians too agree wholeheartedly with Muslims that “it is not fitting to the majesty and holiness of God that He should beget a son” through sexual means. (Surah 19:35). We know that it is not possible for God to beget a son as a man begets a son. This could never be. God is incapable of such a physical act and we must never think of God in this way. No Christian would ever think such a blasphemous thing of the true living God. Christians do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God in a physical sense. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God in a spiritual sense.
The Qur’an raises a question in Surah 6:101:
“How can He have a son when He hath no consort?”
Observe carefully how Islam attributes the carnal and physical traits of humans to God in this verse. No consideration whatsoever is given for the divinely infinite nature of the holiness of God. Just because men on earth cannot have sons unless they cohabit with their wives, so the Qur’an blasphemously concludes that God, too, cannot have a son unless he cohabits with a wife. Muhammad could not see beyond the carnal. He could not see beyond the temporal or the physical. The reason for Muhammad’s utter failure to see the blasphemous nature of this verse in the Qur’an is explained for us in the Holy Bible:
1 Corinthians 2:14: But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually.
It is important for us to take note of the fact that the words “spiritual” and “spirituality” cannot be found in the entire Qur’an. Can a book that does not contain the word “spiritual” comprehend the deep spiritual things of God?
1 Corinthians 2:10-13: For it is to us God has revealed them through his spirit, for the spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man that is in him? So, too, no one has come to know the things of God, except the spirit of God. Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritual matters with spiritual words.
Before we answer the question raised in Surah 6:101, we want to draw the attention of Muslims to the fact that the Qur’an itself answers this question in Surah 39:4:
“If Allah had willed to choose a son, He could have chosen what He would of that which He hath created. Be He Glorified! He is Allah, the One, the Absolute.” (Pickthall)
Well, does not this Qur’anic verse prove that Allah can and could have a son? We will now address the question raised in Surah 6:101. This Qur’anic verse raises the question, “How can God have a son without a wife?” Try to comprehend the absolute ridiculousness of this question for a moment. According to the absurd logic of the Qur’an, although God Almighty was able to create the vast universe and every living being in it out of nothing, he is unable to produce a son for himself without a wife.
Just think, if God could actually cause Mary to produce a son without a husband, why would it be impossible for him to similarly produce a son without a wife? Why is Mary capable of doing something that Allah cannot? If Muslims can accept the fact that it was possible for Mary to conceive a son without a consort (husband) why do they find it difficult to accept the fact that the Almighty Creator can have a son without a consort (wife)? Yes, if Mary can beget a son without the sexual involvement of a husband, surely the Almighty God can have a son without the sexual involvement of a wife. It would be very foolish for anyone to limit the power of God by saying, “God cannot have a son.” The Qur’an itself proclaims:
Surah 2:20: “Lo! Allah is able to do all things.” (Pickthall)
God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and every living things in them. And God asked Abraham the following question:
Genesis 18:14: “Is anything too extraordinary for the Almighty?”
And Jesus Christ, the greatest Prophet of God, gives us the answer:
Matthew 19:26: “With God all things are possible.”
No Muslim will deny the truth that it is God who created humans equipping them with procreative powers to bear sons and daughters. Yes, God created Adam with power to have sons and daughters. In the Bible book of Psalms, God reasons with those who limits his power:
Psalms 94:8-9: “Pay attention, you foolish unreasoning people! When will you become wise, you fools? He who planted the ear, can he not hear? He who formed the eye, can he not see?”
And to these thought-provoking questions, we can add, “He who gave mankind the power to have sons, can he not have a son?” The logical answer to this question is obvious. With just elementary insight, a reasoning person will agree that God can have a son.
The word “Son” means “a human male considered with reference to both his parents or either one of them.” It also means “a male descendant.” Every male child or person has to be the son of a father who produced or generated his life. Adam had no human father, but still he had to be the son of someone. Of whom then was he a son of? It is apparent that Adam must have been the son of God because God was the originator of his life. God was his father. The Bible, which contains the most ancient recorded history of the human race, testifies to this truth when it gives the genealogy of the human race:
Luke 3:38: “Adam, son of God.”
A divine act of God’s creative powers resulted in the life of Adam – a son of God. Concerning Jesus, it is interesting to note this admission in the Qur’an:
Surah 3:59: “Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam.” (Pickthall)
Neither of them had a human father. Hence, in as much as Adam was a son of God, so is Jesus. However, the similitude stops here. This does not in any way equate Adam with Jesus, the glorious first-born Son who lived with his heavenly Father for aeons before even Adam or anything or anyone else were ever created. (Colossians 1:15). Jesus was and is the unique Son of God.
Some Muslims believe that because Jesus was born without a human father, the Christian doctrine of Jesus as the Son of God was automatically established from this point in time onwards. It must be pointed out that in reality, it is the other way around – because he was the pre-existing Son of God, it was not possible that he could be born in any other way. Muslims need to appreciate that Jesus was born in a supernatural way because there was no other way he, as the Son of God who had a pre-human existence, could be born. If he had been conceived by ordinary means, there would have been little to argue for his pre-existence as a spirit creature. The dogma of the virgin-birth is crucial to the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God. The very uniqueness of his birth is vital to the Christian belief in Jesus as the Son of God.
Once the Qur’an denies the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, it can find no meaning for this phenomenon. The Bible, on the contrary, gives an absolutely necessary purpose for it – being the Son of God there was no other way he could have been conceived.
It is this phenomenal character of the virgin-birth that hints at its real significance and meaning. It is behind the fact of the virgin-birth that we find its true meaning and it is very interesting to see how the Qur’an unwittingly goes a long way towards recognizing this meaning, only to ultimately stumble at it through its denial of Jesus as the Son of God.
The Gospel of Matthew recorded an incident that took place about two days before the death of Jesus. Jesus was engaged in a lengthy debate with the Jewish religious leaders. Firstly the Pharisees and then the Sadducees tried to trap him in his talk. At the end of the day, when their efforts were exhausted and they were all standing before him, Jesus finally put a question to them. It was to be the last time he would engage in debate with them. He asked the Pharisees:
Matthew 22:42: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
They promptly answered, “The Son of David.” And turning to them, Jesus replied in the following words:
Matthew 22: 43-46: “How, then, is it that David by inspiration calls him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies beneath your feet”’? If, therefore, David calls him ‘Lord,’ how is he his son?” And nobody was able to say a word in reply to him, nor did anyone dare from that day on to question him any further.
Jesus was quoting from the Book of Psalms (Zabur):
Psalms 110:1: The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”
Using the Book of Psalms, Jesus pointed out to them that since David called the Messiah his Lord, how could he then be David’s son? This momentous question by Jesus ended all debate between him and the Jewish leaders.
“What do you think of the Messiah, whose son is he?” was the climactic charge Jesus set before the Jewish religious leaders as his long public confrontation with them finally came to an end. The Qur’an identifies Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
Surah 3:59: And remember when the angels said: O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah). (Pickthall)
Well Muslims, what do you think of “the Messiah, Jesus?” Whose Son is he? This very charge is set before each and every one of you.
The Denial of Jesus as the Son of God
1 John 2:22-23: Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one that denies the Father and the Son. Everyone that denies the Son does not have the Father either. He that confesses the Son has the Father also.
The Acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God
1 John 4:14-16: We ourselves have beheld and are bearing witness that the Father has sent forth his Son as Savior of the world. Whoever makes the confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God remains in union with such one and he in union with God. And we ourselves have come to know and have believed the love that God has in our case.
The term “Antichrist” applies to all who deny what the Bible says about Jesus Christ. By denying the Sonship of Jesus Christ, Islam has manifested the spirit of the antichrist. As it can be seen, Jesus is different from all the prophets who were sent by God. Indeed, he is greater and superior than all other men. He is more than a prophet. Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
1 John 4:9: By this the love of God was made manifest in our case, because God sent forth his only-begotten Son into the world that we might gain life through him.
Muslims make your choice before it is too late. Your eternal salvation depends on it.
Dr. Max Shimba for Max Shimba Ministries Org.