Read the previous part: “Virgin Birth and Prophethood of Jesus“
The Qur’an and Sunnah detail many miracles that Jesus performed. He cured the sick, lepers, the blind and gave life to the dead and many others. But he did all this with the permission of God almighty. These miracles don’t assign any divinity to him. Some of these miracles are detailed below.
He spoke when he was in Cradle
The first miracle that Jesus performs is that he speaks out to defend the honor of his mother, Mary.
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. (Mary, Chapter 19, V 27-30)
If we go by Gospel accounts only, it is puzzling to us how the people of her time dealt with Mary when they came to know that she was a virgin mother. To give birth to a child while being a virgin was a criminal act according to the rabbinic authority of the time and we can’t find much detail on how exactly they reacted. Obviously, no amount of swearing in on behalf of Mary would have convinced them of her innocence.
The Qur’an here actually details the way how Mary was saved from being convicted as a fornicator. By using the miracle described above, Jesus defended his mother in front of the public. Who could have possibly argued with an infant speaking in the cradle? So this is something that Christians should be aware of how the Quran solves this mystery.
A Table Laden with Food
In the fifth chapter of the Qur’an, Al Maida, where this miracle of Jesus (PBUH) is narrated, God tells us how the disciples of Jesus requested him to ask God to send down a table laden with food, and for it to be a special day of commemoration for them in the future.
“When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is your Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to God, if ye are true believers. They said: We desire to eat of it and our hearts be at rest, and that We may know that you have spoken truth to us, and that We may be witnesses thereof. Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O God, our Lord, send down for us a Table laden with food out of heaven, that shall be for us a recurring festival, the first and last of us, and a miracle from You. And provide us our sustenance, for You are the best of providers!” (Quran 5:112-114)
Since the occasion referred to above deals with the request of disciples asking for “for us a recurring festival,” in our estimate it may be the Last Supper, also called the Lord’s Supper mentioned in NT, but only God knows the truth.
Healing the Blind and the Leper
The Qur’an mentions Jesus (PBUH) to have healed the blind and the leper:
And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.
Clay Becomes a Bird
God mentions in the Qur’an a miracle given to none other but to Jesus (PBUH), one which is quite parallel to how God himself created Adam (PBUH). God mentions in the Qur’an that Jesus says:
“I create for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with God’s permission.” (3:49)
This miracle is not found in the New Testament, but it is found in the non-canonical ‘Infancy Gospel of Thomas’:
“When this boy, Jesus, was five years old, he was playing at the ford of a rushing stream… he then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve sparrows… but Jesus simply clapped his hands and shouted to the sparrows: “Be off, fly away, and remember me, you who are now alive!” And the sparrows took off and flew away noisily.” (Infancy Gospel of Thomas:2)
There are many Christians who claim that Muhammad (PBUH) copied these stories from non-canonical sources. They fail to realize that the oldest manuscript of this gospel has not been determined to be before the 13th century. Secondly, any Arabic variant of this gospel has never been found or referenced in any of the ancient Christian writings to the best of our knowledge. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) didn’t speak any other language than Arabic and he was an unlettered man. So how could he possibly have known about such stories especially when these weren’t even in circulation?
In fact, reports such as these testify to the truth of the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) as God was the only logical source for such information to him.
Giving Life to the Dead
“I bring to life the dead, by the permission of God.” (Quran 3:49)
This, like the creation of a bird, was a miracle of unimaginable nature, one which should have caused the Jews, the primary addressee of his message, to believe in the prophethood of Jesus (PBUH) without a doubt. In the New Testament, we read at least three cases where Jesus brought the dead back to life by God’s permission: Widow’s son at Nain,(Luke 7: 11-17), Jairus’ daughter (Matthew 9:18 18-26), and Lazarus (John 11: 1-44).
The Provisions of Today and Tomorrow
Jesus (PBUH)was given the miracle of knowing what people had just eaten, as well as what they had in store for the coming days. God says:
“I inform you too of what things you eat, and what you store up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” (Quran 3:49)
The Purpose of Miracle
Similar to other prophets, Jesus (PBUH) performed miracles to convince skeptics of his truthfulness, not to demonstrate his divinity. The Qur’an says:
“Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” (Quran 3:49)
These miracles were performed only by the Will of God, had he not willed them to occur, they could never come to be. God explicitly states this in the Qur’an, saying that they were:
“…by the permission of God” (Quran 3:49; 5:10)
We believe that the following report from Book of Acts confirms Islamic teachings that indeed it was not through his own will that Jesus or any other prophet performed miracles, rather they were performed only by the Will of God Almighty:
“A man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through him in your midst.” (Acts 2:22)
The following passage further confirms that the ability of Jesus to perform miracles was limited and as such he didn’t have absolute power to do miracles.
“He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”(Mark 6:5)
So in a nutshell the purpose of the miracles was to show that God had given certain powers to Jesus to do miracles but he didn’t have absolute power. This was to confirm that people shouldn’t take Jesus as divine.
Jesus Was Given Gospels (INJEEL)
Muslims believe that God gave books and wisdom to his messengers through which they guided mankind. The Qur’an names four such books: the Torah was given to Moses, the Zabur (psalm) given to prophet David, the Injeel (Gospel) given to Jesus, and the Qur’an gave as a final revelation to Muhammad (peace be upon them all):
“And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel” (Ale Imran ,Chapter 3 V 48)
However, Muslims don’t believe that the Gospels in the current form are fully representative of the teachings of Jesus (PBUH). In the later part of this article, we will discuss the Muslim position on the Gospels and other books of the Bible.
This article is part 3 of 6 in a series on Muslim views on Jesus. Read part 4: Who is not Jesus?.
- Jesus from a Muslim perspective: Who is Jesus?
- Virgin Birth and Prophethood of Jesus
- Miracles of Jesus (PBUH)
- Who is not Jesus?
- Trinity, Sin, & Salvation in Christianity: A critical review
- Did Jesus die on the Cross?
Article Courtesy: American Herald Tribune