Jesus, the Son of God

Muslims say that Jesus is not the Son of God, He is only a prophet. Allah does not beget nor was He Himself begotten.


قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدلَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدوَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Say: He is God, the One and only; God the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him. (Surah 112: 1-4)

بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُ صَاحِبَةٌ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

How can He have a son when He hath no consort? He created all things, and hath full knowledge of all things. That is God, your Lord! There is no God but Him, the Creator of all things. (Surah 6:101)

وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ اللّهُ وَلَدًا سُبْحَانَهُ بَل لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَانِتُونَ

They say: “(Allah) hath begotten a son”: Glory be to Him – Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him. (Surah 2:116)

وَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَى جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَةً وَلَا وَلَدًا

And exalted is the Majesty of our Lord: He has taken neither a wife nor a son. (Surah 72:3)

According to the above verses, Allah could not have a Son because He did not have a wife or consort. The Quranic scriptures make it clear that the only possible way that Allah could have a son would be by having a wife or through intercourse. When Christians say that Jesus is the Son of God, Muslims understand it to be only in the biological sense, and so they assume that Christians believe that God took a wife and that through intercourse he had a son.

I would like to clarify, once again, that Christians do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the biological sense. Christians also DO NOT believe that God took a wife and through sexual intercourse with her had a son. I ask Muslims to show one single scripture from the Bible where it says that God married somebody or had sexual relationship with a woman and as a result Jesus was born. No genuine Christian believes in such kind of a relationship. Then in what sense Jesus is the Son of God?

Let me explain it in a different manner.  Muhammad had an uncle whose name was Abdul Uza, but in the Surah 111:1 he is called Abu Lahab, meaning ‘the father of a flame’. Does this mean that he gave birth to a flame? A wayfarer is called, Ibn as-sabeel, ‘son of the road.’ (Surah 2: 177) likewise, this does not mean that the road has a wife. There are many other similar examples, such as: Om ul-Kitab, ‘the mother of books’ (Surah13:39; 43:4)Omul-Qurah, ‘the mother of cities’. (Surah 6:92; 42:7) Muhammad’s cousin Ali was called Abu Turab, ‘the father of dust’. A disciple of Muhammad was named Abu Hurairah, ‘the father of a cat’, because he was very fond of cats.

Just as these examples can be understood through common sense, we request Muslims to interpret Bible passages about Jesus the Messiah without assuming that there was a physical relationship. The Bible never says that Jesus is the Son of God in the biological sense, nor do Christians believe in that kind of a relationship between Jesus and God. 

Isa Kalimatullah: Jesus the Word of Allah

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لاَ تَغْلُواْ فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقِّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ فَآمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ ثَلاَثَةٌ انتَهُواْ خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ إِنَّمَا اللّهُ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَات وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ وَكِيلاً

“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the Son of Mary was a messenger of Allah, and His Word (Kalimatuhu), which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him (Ruhun-Minhu): so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not ‘three’: desist.” (Surah 4:171)

This verse, while stating that Jesus is but a messenger of God, emphatically states that He is the Word of God since the phrase  Kalimatuhu refers to God’s very own personal word. This passage also affirms that Jesus is a Spirit from God, which we will expound upon later.

To further substantiate the fact that Jesus is the Word of God, we quote from Muhammad Ayub’s book, The Quran and Its Interpreters, vol. II. The House of Imran:

Tabari, an Islamic scholar quotes (on the authority of Al-Suddi) a debate between the Christians of Najran and Muhammad in which Muhammad was asked what he thought of Jesus, to which he answered: “He is the servant of God, His Spirit and Word.” (p.184)

Another scholar, Sayyid Qutb, stated that “’Messiah’ is an alternative expression for the word, but in reality, he (Jesus) is the word.” (Ibid., p.151)

Dr. Hasbullah Bakry in his book Nabi Isa dalam Al-Quran (“Jesus the Prophet in The Quran”) p.109 declares: “The Prophet Jesus is called ‘Kalimatu Allah’ (the word of God) because he is the incarnation of the word of God which was signalled to Mary to bear the Prophet Jesus.”

Both religious communities agree that the Word of God is eternally inseparable from Him, since God has always existed with the ability to express His divine will through His Word. This would make Jesus eternally inseparable from God, since the Quran, alongside the Bible, concurs that Christ is the Word Incarnate:

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that has been made…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…” (John 1:1-3, 14a)

Hence, to say that Christ is merely a creature indirectly assumes that the Word of God is created. This is blasphemous since both Muslims and Christians affirm that God eternally existed with all His qualities and attributes. He has never been in need of acquiring anything since God is immutable.

Therefore, by acknowledging this fact, Muslims are forced to conclude that Jesus is the Eternal Word of God.

Muslims state that the meaning behind the title “Word of God” simply implies that Jesus was created by God’s command; that he was a by-product of God’s Word Kun Fayakun, “Be and it is.” They cite Surah 3:59 to prove their case:

“The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”: and he was.”

Once again this argument is unfounded since, if the title was given solely to imply the creation of Jesus then, as the verse suggests, Adam should also be called the Word of God. Yet nowhere in the Quran, or Hadiths for that matter, is Adam ever referred to by such a title. This illustrates quite conclusively that the title, when applied to Christ, means much more than what the Muslims say.

We are then logically forced to arrive at the same conclusion that the Apostle John comes to in the prologue of his Gospel; namely that Jesus, being the Eternal Word of God, is the complete manifestation of the Godhead in human form and the ultimate and final revelation of divinity. (John 1:1-3, 14, 18)

The Birth of Jesus

When Muslims are asked why Jesus was born in a unique, miraculous way they say: “Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb without the aid of a man was an awesome display of God’s ability to do anything He chooses to by divine utterance of His word, Kun Fayakun, “Be and it is.” In the Islamic thought process, the virgin birth does not and should not suggest that Christ was or is divine.

To point out the problem of comparing Adam’s creation with the birth of Jesus, it must be stressed that it was necessary for Adam to be created without a mother or father. The very fact that he was the only man on earth at the time of his creation renders it is impossible for him to be conceived in the natural fashion of sexual reproduction. The same logic applies to Eve since she was the first woman.

However, why was it necessary for Christ to be conceived in such supernatural fashion when God had already put into motion the natural reproductive cycle of human birth? Why did God override his own laws of sexual reproduction and intervene personally by causing Jesus to be born from a virgin?

If the Muslims argue that this was meant as a sign for mankind to illustrate God’s awesome power and glory, the counter argument would be that this would represent a rather inadequate display of God’s omnipotence. The reason for such inadequacy is that the virgin birth cannot be verified by conventional means. It must be accepted by faith alone, since no one was present to see the angel’s annunciation of the virgin birth to Mary.

The Quran itself testifies to the fact that there were those who even accused Mary of being unchaste. It was chiefly due to another supernatural act which her innocence was upheld:

فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهُ قَالُوا يَا مَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئًا فَرِيًّا

يَا أُخْتَ هَارُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيًّا

فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا

 “At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: ‘O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!’ But she pointed to the babe. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’ He said: ‘I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet…'” (Surah 19:27-30)

Abdullah Yusef Ali, Quran translator and commentator, wrote in his footnote to this story:

“What could Mary do! How could she explain? Would they, in their censorious mood, accept her explanation? All she could do was point to the child, who, she knew, was no ordinary child. And the child came to her rescue. By a miracle he spoke, defended his mother, and preached to an unbelieving audience.” (1: p.750, f. 2482)

This still does not address the necessity of the miraculous birth of Jesus. To seek an answer we must refer back to the Bible:

“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, since I have no husband?’ And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.'” (Luke 1:34-35)

The reason for the virgin birth is that Jesus is the Son of God. Being the Son of God, this was the only befitting manner for Him to enter into time and space.

Furthermore, Christ came down as the final sacrifice for sin. But in order for Christ to pay the price of sin fully and satisfy the infinite holiness of God, Jesus had to take on a human nature. This nature also had to be free from the stain of original sin, since all who are descended from the first man inherit a corrupt human nature. (cf. Roman 5:12-14; Genesis 8:21; Psalm 51:5, 58:3)

Therefore, the Saviour had to be born of a virgin. Had He not been born supernaturally by God’s Holy Spirit, He would have then needed a Saviour to free Himself from sin.

Even the Quran says that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit:

وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ

And Mary the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants). (Surah 66:12)

But the big question to the Muslims is: “For Allah to have a Son does he require a wife or consort?” If Allah cannot have a Son without a wife or consort then is He incapable of something? Since Mary could have a Son without a consort is she more powerful than Allah?

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Jesus, the Son of God
Jesus, the Son of God