Allah sent many messengers to the humans as a mercy from Him. Allah sent them all to teach the people what is the correct and acceptable worship of Allah--their Creator and the Creator of everything. All the prophets of Allah, the first of whom was Adam and the last of whom is Muhammad, came with one Religion--Islam, one creed--the belief in the Oneness of Allah. They all taught that Allah is attributed with all the perfect attributes and that He does not resemble any of His creations. They taught what Allah ordered us to perform with and refrain from in this life. They taught there is the Judgment Day in which each one of us will be judged as to whether or not we fulfilled our obligations in this life. None of them taught their people what contradicts the belief in the Oneness of Allah. Each one of them ordered their followers to believe in the rest of the prophets. Imam al-Bukhariyy related that Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:
which means: <<The prophets are like brothers from the same father with different mothers. Their Religion is one although their Shari^ah (rules of the Religion) differed. I am the most deserving of Prophet ^Isa. There was no other prophet between us.>>
Allah revealed Prophet ^Isa (Jesus) as the messenger before Prophet Muhammad. He was one of the five best messengers of Allah, called Ulul-^Azm, those with the highest status, who were the most patient. He was ^Isa, the son of Maryam, the daughter of ^Imran, from the sons of Israel. Prophet ^Isa, as all the prophets, was truthful in what he conveyed from Allah, and although today we follow the Shari^ah of Prophet Muhammad, Muslims respect, love, and believe in ^Isa and in his prophethood.
Maryam (Mary), the mother of ^Isa, was a pious Muslim woman from the offspring of Israel during the time of Prophet Zakariyya. Prophet Zakariyya was a prophet of Allah revealed to convey to the people to follow the Shari^ah revealed to Prophet Musa. In the Qur'an there is a chapter named Maryam referring to Maryam (Mary), the mother of ^Isa. This chapter talks about Maryam: her birth, her story, and the birth of Prophet ^Isa, and other things.
Maryam's mother conceived and delivered Maryam when she was an old woman, at an age when women usually can no longer have babies. One day Maryam's mother saw a bird feeding its young and she longed for a baby herself. She made a supplication to Allah to bless her with a child and vowed that she would make him a servant for the Holy House in Jerusalem, dedicated for worship, because she thought the child would be male. Allah answered her supplication and Maryam's mother conceived and delivered a baby girl. She named her "Maryam" and asked Allah to protect her and her offspring from evil.
Since Maryam's father had died, Prophet Zakariyya (who was the husband of Maryam's sister) became Maryam's guardian. From him, Maryam learned the Religion. She grew up as a righteous, pure, and pious Muslim woman worshipping Allah and endeavoring greatly in performing obedience to Him. Before she turned fourteen (14) years old, Maryam was a waliyyah (a very pious woman with a special status). She became the best of the women in the world. It is mentioned in the Qur'an that the angels said Allah chose Maryam and preferred her to the other women of the world. (Al ^Imran, 42-43).
THE BIRTH OF ^ISA(Jesus)
Ibn Jarir and others narrated that one day Maryam ran out of water. She asked her cousin, Yusuf, the son of Ya^qub to go with her to get some. He declined, saying he had his sufficiency for that day, so Maryam went to fetch water alone. There, she found Jibril, whom Allah had sent to her in the shape of a man. Thinking he was a human who might harm her, she asked refuge with Allah from him. Jibril told her, "I am the Messenger of your Lord to you. I was sent to give you a pious child who is pure from sins." Maryam told him, "How would I have a son? I have no husband, and I am not an adulterer or a fornicator." Jibril told her, "Creating a son without a father is an easy matter to Allah. Allah will make him a sign for the people and an indication of the Power of Allah. He will send him as a mercy from Him and an endowment to the one who follows him and believes in him. Creating him is a matter Allah willed and destined, so it will not be blocked or changed."
Jibril blew the soul of ^Isa into Maryam and ^Isa's soul entered into her womb. Maryam became pregnant with ^Isa, peace be upon him. There is a difference of opinion as to the term of her pregnancy, some said nine months, some said eight, and some said other than that. However, when the signs of pregnancy became apparent on her, her cousin, Yusuf the Carpenter, was disturbed and did not know how to interpret that matter. If he wanted to accuse her he would remember how pious she was. If he wanted to declare her innocence, he would see the signs of pregnancy. So he decided to open the subject with her. He asked her, "Tell me, would plants grow without seeds? Would trees grow without rainfall? Would there be a child without a male?" To all these questions Maryam said "Yes." Then she asked him, "Did you not know Allah made the plants emerge without seeds the day He created them? Did you not know Allah created the trees the first time without rain? Did you not know Allah created Adamand Hawwa' (Eve) without a father or a mother?" Yusuf knew all these things and when she responded in this way, he felt assured of her innocence and that this was something special given to her by Allah.
When the signs of her pregnancy became apparent, Maryam went away from her people. The pangs of birth led her to the trunk of a dead palm tree. Out of her shyness from the people, and fearing they would accuse her of having done something ugly, she wished she was dead and not a trace of her could be found. Jibril called to her, comforting her. He told her Allah made a small river run under her from which she could drink, and should she shake the trunk of the dead palm tree next to her, it would turn green and moist dates would fall down from which she could eat and be nourished. Jibril told her when she faces her people with her son to tell anyone who questions her about him that she had made a vow not to talk to any human for that day. That day, Maryam gave birth to her son, ^Isa, peace be upon him. Forty (40) days later she carried him back to her people. They accused her of having fornicated. In response, Maryam pointed to her son, meaning to tell them to talk to him. They were angered at this and thought she was mocking them by asking them to speak with a 40-day old baby lying in a small cradle. At this, Allah made ^Isa speak. He said:
which are verses 30-33 of Surat Maryam and mean: [I am a slave of Allah. He will reveal the Book to me and make me a prophet. He blessed me wherever I am. In the rules revealed to me there will be a special attention given to Prayers and Zakat. Allah predestined that I will be kind to my mother and not a tyrant with a bad ending. Peace was on me the day I was born. Peace will be on me on the day I will die and on the day I am raised alive again.]
When Maryam's people heard that, they refrained from harming her or Prophet Zakariyya, about whom they had made ugly accusations. After Baby ^Isaspoke these words, he did not speak again until he became at an age when children normally begin to speak. ^Isa's speaking from the cradle was a preparation and a sign of his creed and coming prophethood, when he would call the people to believe in Allah, the One Who does not have a partner and to believe in the message of ^Isa--that he was the slave and messenger of Allah. The first words he spoke were, "I am a slave of Allah."
EARLY LIFE OF PROPHET ^ISA(Jesus)
Lady Maryam took ^Isato Egypt where they stayed for a period of time. Then they returned to the countries of ash-Sham--to a city known as an-Nasirah. ^Isa, peace be upon him, studied the Torah in the schools and memorized it. He spoke Syriac, the language of the people of Palestine at that time, and the language in which the Heavenly Book, called the Injil, was revealed to him. He was a pious worshipper of Allah, following the rules of the Torah revealed to Prophet Musa.
Allah sent the Revelation of Prophethood to ^Isa when he was thirty years old. Allah revealed to him new laws which abrogated some of the laws revealed to Prophet Musa. Prophet ^Isaconveyed the revelation to the people and called them to believe in his message.
Prophet ^Isa, like all the prophets of Allah, performed miracles. Allah sent all the prophets with miracles as a proof to their prophethood, so the people would witness, know about them, and believe in their prophethood. Many of Prophet ^Isa's miracles were in curing illnesses, to be a stronger proof of his truthfulness, since the people at his time were famous for being knowledgeable in the field of medicine. Prophet ^Isa cured those with seemingly incurable illnesses. Prophet ^Isa cured a man inflicted with leprosy. He put his honorable hand on the face of a man who was born blind and cured his sight. Once Prophet ^Isa supplicated to Allah to bring back to life one person who had died and was being carried to the burial place, and Allah brought this person back to life.
Prophet ^Isa had other kinds of miracles also. He formed the shape of bats from clay and then they would fly away a distance. One of the miracles of ^Isa is mentioned in the Qur'an in Surat al-Ma'idah, Verses 112-114, which tells about one time when Prophet ^Isaand the people who were with him reached to a place where there was not enough food for all the people with him. The students of ^Isaasked him to supplicate Allah for food which would come down on them from the sky. ^Isa made supplication to Allah and the angels brought down the food on a piece of material before the eyes of the people. Hundreds and hundreds of people ate from that food, and there was no sign the food had diminished in quantity. This miracle increased the belief of the believers. The blasphemers however, claimed ^Isahad performer sorcery on their eyes.
After his revelation, Prophet ^Isalived on earth for about three years. He used to travel from place to place calling people to the proper worship of Allah. He was so detached from the worldly matters that he did not worry that he did not have a house to return to at night. He used to sleep wherever the night would fall on him, whether he was in an open land or in a sheltered place. He wore clothing made out of unwoven wool. He ate from the raw plants of the earth, without desiring to cook them. He did not marry or have children.
^Isareceived a Heavenly Book, the Injil, which contained the Shari^ah, (rules of the Religion) revealed to him. In it was the prohibition of associating partners with Allah. In it was the prohibition to consume the usurious gain (riba), pig meat, blood, and the meat of animals not slaughtered properly. It contained the order to perform the Prayer (with bowing and prostration) twice a day. It had the order to fast (but other than the month of Ramadan), and the order to perform taharah. Prophet ^Isa came with a Shari^ah that contained making permissible some of the things which had been forbidden upon the children of Israel in the Torah. Although what is called "The Bible" today contains some true stories of Prophet ^Isa, it does not contain the true Injil which was revealed to him.
When Prophet ^Isawas 33 years old, the blasphemers among the offspring of Israel plotted to kill him, but Allah saved him from their harm. Ibn AbiHatim and an-Nasa'iyy narrated from the route of Ibn ^Abbas that he said:It should be noted here there are two widespread false stories about this matter. In one, it is claimed that one of ^Isa's students was paid a great sum of money to lead those Jews to ^Isahowever Allah made him look like ^Isa, so they though he was ^Isa and they crucified him. In another, it is said that the person killed in place of ^Isa was the leader of the Jews. Both of these stories are false.Prophet ^Isawas in session with twelve of his elite companions in a house. He told them that among them would be who would blaspheme in the future. Then he asked them, "Who among you would want to be made to look like me, be killed in my place, and be my companion in Paradise." The youngest among them stood up and said, "Me." Prophet ^Isatold him to sit, then repeated his same question. Again, the same young man said, "Me." Again, Prophet ^Isa told him to sit, then again asked the same question. After the same young man volunteered for the third time, Prophet ^Isa received the Revelation that this young man would be the one who would be made to look like him and killed instead of him. Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky from an opening in the ceiling of the house. When the Jews came after Prophet ^Isa, they saw that young man, whom Allah made to look like ^Isa. They took him, thinking he was Prophet ^Isa, and crucified him.
After Prophet ^Isawas raised to the sky, his nation lived following his guidance, teaching, and methodology for two hundred (200) years. However, the nation of Prophet ^Isadid not remain steadfast to Islam. Three hundred (300) years after Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky, those who were following the ones who had perverted the teachings of Prophet ^Isabecame very numerous, and those who were truly following the Religion of Islam were few and weak. After some five hundred (500) years, none of the believing Muslims of ^Isa's nation were left. When Prophet Muhammad was revealed, he was the only Muslim worshipping only Allah from among the people of the earth.
PROPHET ^ISA'S(Jesus) DESCENT TO EARTH
Prophet ^Isa, peace be upon him, is still alive--in the second sky--worshipping Allah. He will descend to earth before the Day of Judgment and his descent will be one of the great signs of the nearing of that Day. Prophet Muhammad informed us ^Isawill descend to earth at a place on the eastern side of Damascus, with his hands on the wings of two angels. He will meet a group of Muslims getting ready to perform the Prayer, with the Mahdiyy as their Imam. The Mahdiyy will ask Prophet ^Isato lead them in that prayer, however, ^Isa will ask the Mahdiyy to stand imam for them--as a sign that Prophet ^Isawill rule with the rules revealed to Prophet Muhammad. After this one time, ^Isawill lead the people in prayers because he has a higher status than the Mahdiyy.
After he descends, Prophet ^Isawill rule the earth with the Shari^ah of Prophet Muhammad, the Shari^ah Muslims are ordered to follow until the Judgment Day. He will break the cross, kill the pig, and abolish the jizyah (compulsory payment by the People of the Book to the Muslim state), because in the rules of Prophet Muhammad the jizyah is only applicable until the descent of ^Isa. He will kill the Dajjal, an ugly, evil blasphemer who claims himself as God, and who misleads many people to blaspheme. Prophet ^Isawill perform Hajj and travel to visit the grave of the Prophet to salute him, and to greet him by saying, "As-salamu ^alaykum ya rasulAllah", as narrated by Abu Dawud at-Tayalisiyy and others.
During his time, the people of Ya'juj and Ma'juj will appear and cause great destruction to the earth and devastation to the Muslims. Prophet ^Isawill take the believers to Mount at-Tur to supplicate Allah there to relieve them from these people. Allah will answer their du^a' and destroy all the people of Ya'juj and Ma'juj. After that, Prophet ^Isawill rule the Muslims and there will be a time when peace, comfort, and safety will prevail. Prophet ^Isawill live for forty (40) years on earth after he descends. He will marry and have children. Then, he will die and be buried. ^Adullah Ibn Salam said, "It is written in the original Torah that Prophet ^Isawill be buried next to Prophet Muhammad" (in the chamber of Lady ^A'ishah.)
Prophet ^Isawas a messenger of Allah revealed to convey to the people the religion of Islam and to call them to worship Allah, their Creator. Muslims believe in his prophethood and in his truthfulness in conveying that message. Prophet ^Isa is alive now, living in the second heaven, worshipping Allah. He will return to earth before the Day of Judgment and will rule the Muslims with the Shari^ah of Prophet Muhammad. Peace be upon this respected, honored and beloved Messenger of Allah.
Verse #33 of SuratMaryam means:
[Peace was on me the day I was born. Peace will be on me on the day I will die and on the day I am raised alive again.]