THE COW: An Unbeliever's Journey Through The Quran's Longest Chapter – Phase 2: Selected Topic in Islamic Deception

Chapter 19: The Messiah, ‘Isa, Son of Maryam

We first encountered ‘Isa (the Islamic version of Jesus) back in verse 87 of our surah. Jesus is also mentioned in 2:136 as one of the prophets of Allah, and 2:253, where it is said that “… and We gave clear signs to Isa son of Maryam, and strengthened him with the holy spirit …”
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Let me take you on a side trip off our journey to explore the Islamic version of Jesus. Jesus is considered one of Islam’s major prophets, in the same league as Muhammad.

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Two Different Marys


There isn’t much detail about Jesus in the Quran, and hardly any from the Canonical Gospels of Christianity. There is no mention of any of the events that took place in Bethlehem, in Jerusalem, with the Romans, in the Galilee and so on.
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The Quran, however, does go into the details of what Maryam had to eat and drink as she was giving birth to baby ‘Isa, and how she had obtained this refreshment.
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It seems that the Quran’s source for the circumstances of the nativity of Jesus comes mainly from apocryphal gospels and early Christian fables that were circulating in the Middle East during the Byzantine era. Margoliouth names some of them (e.g. the apocryphal Protevangelum Jacobi Minoris).
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We begin with the birth of Maryam (the Islamic version of Mary) to ‘Imram (the Islamic version of biblical ‘Amram, the father of Moses). This puts the Quran at odds with the Bible and with the Gospels, as this Mary cannot be the Mary of the gospels who bore Jesus.
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The former lived in Egypt more than 13 centuries before the official Christ was born, the latter lived in the Land of Israel, in the 1st century CE.
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In an attempt to find a way out of this embarrassing error, some Islamic commentators claim that the Quran is only telling us that Maryam is a direct descendant of biblical Miriam daughter of Amram sister of Aaron. There is no evidence to support this claim, and I will leave it up to you to make of it what you will.
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Maryam and all her future descendants are dedicated to Allah by her mother. ‘Isa’s birth is described in surahs 3 and 19, surah 3 being the later one, composed in Medina. The two stories present a different account to that of the Gospels.
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It goes like this: the angels tell Maryam that Allah chose her above all women. She is required to prostrate and bow before Allah, that is, become a Muslim. The angels then give her the good news of her having a son, and inform her that his name shall be “the Messiah, ‘Isa, son of Maryam.” His short name was ‘Isa.

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The Conception and Nativity of ‘Isa


Maryam wonders how she can bear a child while no man had touched her. Allah assures her that he can create things just by commanding them to be. As a confirmation of this miracle, ‘Isa will speak to men in the cradle. Allah also promises to teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel, and to make him a Messenger unto the Children of Israel.
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Allah goes on to say that ‘Isa will perform miracles like creating birds out of clay and making them fly, heal the blind and the leper, bring the dead to life. The bringing of the dead to life will only be done at Allah’s pleasure.
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He will inform the people what they can eat (this is presumably in reference to the relaxation of the dietary restrictions imposed on the Jews) and what they can store in their houses. He will also abrogate some of the prohibition of the Torah, that is, most of the Mosaic laws.
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Another version of this story has Maryam withdrawing from her family to a place in the east, and Allah’s spirit, disguised as a man, coming to give her a boy most pure. Here too she expresses her doubts, as no man touched her, and receives a similar answer.
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She conceives him and withdraws to an even remoter place. The birth happens by the trunk of a palm tree, where she stands, hungry, thirsty and abandoned. But a voice from below informs her that a spring of water is running under her feet and she can get dates from the tree by shaking the trunk. She eats and drinks and gives birth to baby ‘Isa.

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‘Isa the Miracle Maker


When she brings the child to her family (Either in Egypt over three millennia ago, or in Israel two millennia ago), they accuse her of being unchaste. How else would she have a child? But baby ‘Isa speaks to them from the cradle and clears matters up. He informs the family that he is a prophet, and says (19:31-33):
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“Blessed He has made me, wherever I may be. And He has enjoined me to pray, and to give the alms, so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother. He has not made me arrogant, unprosperous. Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive!’”
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The Quran contains almost no detail about ‘Isa’s career as a prophet, other than telling us that he received the Book (the “Injil”, the Islamic version of “Gospel”, the English version of the Greek word “Evangelion”).
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The contents of the Injil were revealed to ‘Isa in a similar manner to that of the Quran, telling us that Muhammad and Jesus were both messengers of Allah, and of the same calibre.
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As ‘Isa goes about, spreading the message (of Islam), he encounters opposition and unbelief, just like Muhammad did. He asks for help, and his call is answered by helpers (the Apostles?), who not unlike those of Muhammad’s in Medina, fight and defeat ‘Isa’s enemies.
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Allah then informs ‘Isa that he is about to terminate his worldly existence, to raise him up to Heaven and raise his followers above those who deny and disbelieve.
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With this Christians are elevated to a higher degree than the Jews in the Unbelievers’ unpopularity ladder. In Islam, the Jews are now the lowest of peoples and creed, for rejecting Muhammad and his god.

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‘Isa Departs this World


The Quran tells us in Surah 4 that Contrary to baby ‘Isa’s prophesy in 19:33, he does not die. The Jews did not kill him, nor did they crucify him. There was a likeness of him on the cross. Allah carried him to Heaven (4:158): “Nay! Allah took him up to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
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‘Isa actually watched the crucifixion before he ascended to Heaven. If you are confused about what really happened according the Islam, just apply the doctrine of abrogation, and use the latest accounts.
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The next verse (4:159) is also noteworthy: “There is not one of the People of the Book but will surely believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them.”
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This is a kind of an impossible prophecy, saying that every single Jew will believe in ‘Isa before he dies. The Islamic legend tells us that before a Jew dies, the angels come to him, admonish him for denying ‘Isa’s mission, and as a result he becomes a Believer, that is, submit to Islam.
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But even so, this late conversion will not save them from the chastisement of the Day of Judgement, as ‘Isa will bear witness against them before Allah.
And to make it very clear that Allah does not recognise the divinity of Jesus or Mary, we have a report in the Quran of ‘Isa confirming to Allah when he arrives in Heaven that he only preached the worship of Allah, and Allah alone.
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It appears from the verse that Allah didn’t know, so he had to ask ‘Isa. And ‘Isa told him the Islamic truth (5:116):
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“And when Allah will say: O ‘Isa son of Maryam! Did you say to men, ‘Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah?’ He will say, ‘Glory be to you, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to. If I had said it, you would indeed have known it. You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in your mind, indeed you are the great Knower of the unseen things.”
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‘Isa sounds perplexed that Allah should ask him such a question. Doesn’t Allah know what is in ‘Isa’s mind?

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The Jews Have Their “Son of God” Too


On the subject of divinity of prophets, the Quran makes another worrisome but silly slander against the Jews, an allegation that has caused much embarrassment to Islamic scholars.
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Consider 9:30 “And the Jews say: ‘Uzair is the son of Allah. And the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. These are the words of their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before. May Allah destroy them. How they are turned away!”
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‘Uzair is, according to most Islamic commentators, identified with the biblical Ezra the Scribe. The Quran makes the preposterous allegation that the Jews consider Ezra the son of God. This is just another attempt by the authors of the Quran to undermine the Jewish belief system.
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“qatalahum Allah” means “May Allah kill (or at least fight, as the root Q.T.L. seems to mean both in the Quran) them”. Some translators soften the interpretation with “curse” or “condemn”. There is no way that a word derived from the root Q.T.L. would mean curse or condemn.
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Now imagine impressionable and zealous Muslim youth hearing their religious leaders reciting these Quranic words in the mosque: “May Allah kill them”, “May Allah fight them”.
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It is not beyond reason to expect that some of them would want to volunteer as Allah’s little helpers, and join the many Islamic terrorist organisations founded for that very purpose.

1 Comment »

  1. [...] biographies. . I have documented these discrepancies in many places. See for example here, here, here and here. . Of course, the authors of the Quran did mean Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, but the [...]

    Pingback by Islam Promoted as the Way of Life of Major Biblical Personalities, Courtesy of USA Transit Companies « THE COW: An Unbeliever's Journey Through The Quran's Longest Chapter – Phase 2: Selected Topic in Islamic Deception — 18/04/2010 @ 03:36


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