What Does the Qur’an Teach About Jesus?


While Islamic teaching holds that Jesus was merely a prophet, the witness of the Qur’an itself is that Jesus is an exceptional prophet. Amar Djaballah explains: 

In summary, the titles of the Quranic Jesus show him to be a highly esteemed prophet and apostle, with a uniqueness that Muslim tradition is not able to explain satisfactorily.* 

Djaballah is referring to the different texts in the Qur’an which point to Jesus as being in a special class of prophet, a class that Mohammed himself does not seem to attain. For instance, the Qur’an testifies to the following regarding Jesus: 

  • Jesus was born a virgin (Surah 3:45-50).
  • Jesus is sinless (Surah 6:85).
  • Jesus is the Messiah (Surah 3:45).
  • Jesus performed miracles (Surah 3:49).
    • One of these miracles is especially interesting (although only attested elsewhere in the Gospel of Thomas). Surah 3:49 and 5:110 teach that Jesus created a bird out of clay while He was upon this earth. 
  • Jesus ascended into heaven in bodily form (Surah 3:55).
  • Jesus spoke at his birth (Surah 19:27-35).
  • Jesus raised the dead (Surah 3:49).**

Question for Muslims: since none of the above is true of Muhammed, how can he be called the greatest prophet? 

*See Amar Djaballah, “Jesus in Islam,” SBTJ 8:1 (2004), 14-26. 

**Whole list taken from Norman Geisler, “Jesus and Muhammed in the Qur’an: A Comparison and Contrast,” SBJT 8:1 (2004), 50-58.

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  1. #1 by opaun on February 25, 2009 - 3:14 pm

    Thanks for putting this piece up. Sorry I basically ripped it straight from here, but I think it’s important, and didn’t really have anything to add :)

  2. #2 by Koranist on May 28, 2009 - 1:02 am

    Who said the Quran says that there is a greatest prophet? The Koran say we should not differentiate between the prophets. However Sunnis have other sources they rely on other than the Koran.

    From the Koran it can be seen many ways. The verses you brought about Jesus can be seen giving Jesus a preferential treatment as far as God is concerned as we humans should not differentiate between them. But the same could be said about Moses who God talked to. Or Solomon who God also gave many favors. Joseph has a whole chapter about him and he also remembered God’s favor on him at the time when the Koran tells us that God reminded the prophets of His favor on them including jesus. Other will say Abraham since he was the father of many prophets and reached monotheism by his own accord. And yet some will say Adam since he also talked to God and is the father of the human race.

  3. #3 by Koranist on May 28, 2009 - 1:06 am

    Whats more relevant is what the Koran says about the Torah and Gospel. Sunnis say it came to abrogate them while the Koran says it came to confirm them. The Koran condemend the trinity but confirmed the Gospel, it also seems to have condemend the Talmudic excesses and confirms the Torah. Muslims now have abandoned the Koran for the hadith, just like Judaism has done.

    By the way Jesus also seems to have condemend the Talmud in Mark 7 and his attack on the Pharisees who were the Talmud followers.

  1. Who is the Greatest Prophet According to the Qur’an? « Defending. Contending.
  2. Who is the Greater Prophet, Jesus or Muhammed | My Daily Testimony

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