It is with great reverence, homage and gratitude that I thank Allah (swt) for sending us the Prophet ‘Isa Ruhallah and join in with all other peoples who celebrate his coming to Earth to teach us of the overwhelming compassion and mercy of Allah (swt).
And a special greeting of Merry Christmas to our Christian readers and all those who are celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25. (For those in other Christian denominations who celebrate this blessed event on other days I apologize that I will not be able to post separate greetings for all of you and ask that you forgive me and accept this post as my heartfelt greeting to you at that time as well.)
‘Isa bin Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) is celebrated in Islam as well as Christianity. His birth is recorded in the Qur’an and there are miracles associated with his life and birth. He is known as Ruh Allah – meaning “spirit” or “breath” of God.
The angel Jibril (Gabriel) comes to Maryam as told in Sura Imran in the Qur’an:
وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَىٰ نِسَاءِ الْعَالَمِينَ – 3:42 يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ – 3:43 ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۚ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُونَ أَقْلَامَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يَكْفُلُ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ – 3:44 إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ – 3:45 وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا وَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ – 3:46 قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ اللَّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ – 3:47
Wa-ith qalati almala-ikatuya maryamu inna Allaha istafaki watahharakiwastafaki ‘ala nisa-i al’alameen <3:42> Ya maryamu oqnutee lirabbiki wasjudeewarka’ee ma’a arraki’een <3:43> Thalika min anba-i alghaybinooheehi ilayka wama kunta ladayhim ithyulqoona aqlamahum ayyuhum yakfulu maryama wamakunta ladayhim ith yakhtasimoon <3:44> Ith qalati almala-ikatuya maryamu inna Allaha yubashshiruki bikalimatinminhu ismuhu almaseehu ‘eesa ibnu maryama wajeehanfee addunya wal-akhirati waminaalmuqarrabeen <3:45> Wayukallimu annasa feealmahdi wakahlan wamina assaliheen <3:46> Qalat rabbi anna yakoonu leewaladun walam yamsasnee basharun qala kathaliki Allahuyakhluqu ma yashao itha qada amranfa-innama yaqoolu lahu kun fayakoon<3:47>
And when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer].” That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you, [O Muhammad]. And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Mary. Nor were you with them when they disputed. [And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. <3:42-47>
Also in the Qur’an, ‘Isa announces his own mission at his birth, as we see in Sura Maryam <19:27-34>:
فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهُ ۖ قَالُوا يَا مَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئًا فَرِيًّا – 19:27 يَا أُخْتَ هَارُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيًّا – 19:28 فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ ۖ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا – 19:29 قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا – 19:30 وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا – 19:31 وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا – 19:32 وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا – 19:33 ذَٰلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۚ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِي فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ – 19:34
Faatat bihi qawmaha tahmiluhuqaloo ya maryamu laqad ji/ti shay-an fariyya <19:27> Ya okhta haroona ma kanaabooki imraa saw-in wama kanat ommuki baghiyya <19:28> Faasharat ilayhi qaloo kayfanukallimu man kana fee almahdi sabiyya <19:29> Qala innee ‘abdu Allahi ataniyaalkitaba waja’alanee nabiyya <19:30> Waja’alanee mubarakan aynamakuntu waawsanee bissalati wazzakatima dumtu hayya <19:31> Wabarran biwalidatee walam yaj’alneejabbaran shaqiyya <19:32> Wassalamu ‘alayya yawmawulidtu wayawma amootu wayawma ob’athu hayya <19:33> Thalika ‘eesa ibnu maryamaqawla alhaqqi allathee feehi yamtaroon <19:34>
Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” [Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.” That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute. <19:27-34>
What a different world it would be if we all treated each other as Allah taught us through ‘Isa Ruhallah bin Maryam! The Qur’an tells us our disputations about him are vain. Vanity is one of those things we must overcome in order to truly see each other as brothers and sisters. I call on all my brothers and sisters, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Hindu, Aboriginals and all others to join together for the sake of learning about one another and seeing this – That any narrow view of God and God’s revelation is only a small window to the truth – God’s truth is far greater and needs to be viewed from many different angles to be seen as a whole. This only exists when the hearts of men and women are open to the message of love that has come to us so many times and which we constantly seem to forget.
As it says in Sura ‘Asr in the holy Qur’an:
وَالْعَصْرِ – 103:1 إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ – 103:2 إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ – 103:3
Wal’asr <103:1> Inna al-insana lafee khusr <103:2> Illa allatheena amanoowa’amiloo assalihati watawasaw bilhaqqiwatawasaw bissabr <103:3>
By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. <103:1-3>
And Allah (swt) knows best.