Islam’s Attitude Toward Jesus, the Bible, and the Jews
The Koran is the holy book of Islam. Muslims believe that it is the infallible word of the one true God, Allah, the earthly copy of a tablet preserved in heaven and revealed by the angel Gabriel to God’s last great prophet or apostle, Muhammad (born around AD 570, died AD 632).
The Koran states significant things concerning Jesus, the Bible, and the Jews. The purpose of this article is to inform readers of the attitude of Islam concerning these three subjects as found in its holy book. The views expressed here have been taken directly from the Koran itself. They do not include any additional attitudes that may have developed among Muslims since the Koran was written. In addition, they are not to be regarded as the views of the author or publisher of this article.
Islam’s Attitude Toward Jesus
The Koran declares the following concerning Jesus:
Angels informed Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah, Jesus, a Word from God. Jesus experienced a virgin birth. God breathed His spirit into Mary’s womb, and Mary conceived. Jesus is like Adam in God’s sight. God created him of dust, said “Be” and Jesus was.
Jesus spoke from his cradle while a baby. On that occasion he claimed that he was a servant of God, that God gave him the book (the Torah, which had been revealed to Moses), that God had ordained him to be a prophet, and that God’s blessing was on him wherever he went, even on the day of his death. He asked God to grant him peace on the day of his resurrection.
God favored Jesus, taught him the Scriptures (the Torah and the Gospel) and wisdom, made a solemn covenant with him and revealed his will to him (both of which God did with other prophets), strengthened him with the Holy Spirit, and gave him miraculous signs to present to Israel to verify his message. Some of his signs were forming a bird out of clay and making it live, healing a blind man and a leper, and raising dead people to life. On one occasion Jesus asked God to send a table of food from heaven (for him and his disciples to eat) as a sign to his disciples and people of future generations that he spoke the truth.
God sent Jesus as an apostle to the Israelites to do several things. First, he was to confirm the Torah (which had already been revealed to Moses and which presented the true faith [Islam], which Abraham believed and preached but which had been perverted by the Jews through their unbelief and many disputes concerning its meaning) and thereby demonstrate the truthfulness of the true faith. Second, he was to make lawful some things that formerly had been forbidden to the Jews. Third, he was to tell the Israelites that God would send another apostle, Ahmad (another name for Muhammad), after him.
Some Israelites believed in Jesus; others did not. Some unbelievers said that his clear signs were sorcery. In light of this unbelief, Jesus asked God for helpers in God’s cause. The disciples submitted to God and became Jesus’ helpers.
God protected Jesus from the Israelites when they rejected his signs and plotted against him. God told Jesus that He would cause him to die and then would lift him up to Himself He thereby would remove Jesus from the unbelievers of Israel and exalt his followers above them until the Day of Resurrection.
The Israelites thought and declared that they had put Jesus to death by crucifixion, but in reality they did not kill him. They actually killed another man who resembled him.
The Israelites who disbelieved were cursed by David and Jesus, and on the Day of Resurrection Jesus will bear witness against those Jews who did not believe in him before his death.
Jesus was no more than an apostle, God’s Word which He cast to Mary, a spirit from God, no more than a mortal whom God favored and sent as a sign to mankind. The Messiah does not mind being a servant of God. Jesus asserted that he never told people to worship him or his mother as gods in addition to God. He said that he had no right to tell people to do so.
God did not beget a son. How could he, when He had no female companion? God is self-sufficient; He doesn’t need a son. The claim that God has begotten a son is a monstrous blasphemy and falsehood. That claim might cause the heavens to crack, the earth to break apart, and the mountains to disintegrate to dust. When the Christians say that the Messiah is God’s son, that God is one of three, or that God is the Messiah (the son of Mary), they are perverse unbelievers and imitate the ancient pagan infidels. If they persist in making these claims, God will deny them paradise and punish them severely in hell.
Islam’s Attitude Toward the Bible
Concerning the Bible, the Koran teaches the following:
God gave the Scriptures to the descendants of Noah and Abraham. There is preaching in the Scriptures about Abraham and Moses. God sent down the Book with the Truth (the Scriptures) so that it might judge the disputes of men about true religion, but those people (Israelites and Christians) to whom the Scriptures were given disputed them in spite of the verifying signs given to them. Both Jews and Christians read the Scriptures.
God will certainly judge those who cause divisions by breaking the Scriptures into different parts—parts they believe and parts they deny. Those who suppress any part of the Scriptures that God has revealed for the sake of financial gain will consume nothing but fire into their bellies. Horrible punishment will come upon them.
God gave the Torah to Moses, the Psalms to David, and the Gospel to Jesus. These were revelations from God and contained guidance and light to the straight path.
The Torah enshrines God’s own judgment. By it, faithful prophets, rabbis, and divines judged the Jews. The burden of the Torah was entrusted to the Israelites as an inheritance, guide, and blessing, but they refuse to hear it. They deny God’s revelations. The Torah has been confirmed by Jesus and the Gospel. Indeed, God sent Jesus to confirm the Torah.
God instructed Jesus in the Scriptures (the Torah and the Gospel). Those who observe the Torah and the Gospel will enjoy abundance from above and beneath. The Apostle—the Unlettered Prophet—is described in the Torah and the Gospel. Those who follow God’s apostle, Muhammad, are described in the Torah and the Gospel.
God revealed the Koran to Muhammad. The Koran confirms, fully explains, and guards the Scriptures (the Torah and the Gospel) that preceded it. Muhammad, God’s apostle, also confirmed the Scriptures.
Islam’s Attitude Toward the Jews
The Koran states the following things about the Israelites:
Abraham was the epitome of piety, an upright man who opposed idolatry, submitted himself in obedience to God, and preached the true religion (Islam). God gave Isaac, a saintly prophet, to Abraham and blessed both Ishmael and Isaac. As an act of total obedience to God, Abraham began to offer his son as a sacrifice. Islam interprets this son to be Ishmael. Abraham and Ishmael built the very first temple in history, the Sacred House at Mecca, for the worship of the one God and as a beacon for the rations.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were God’s servants, men of might and vision. God made them pure with the thought of the hereafter. He made Isaac and Jacob prophets and gave them gracious gifts and a great reputation. Abraham and Jacob exhorted their children to follow the faith of Islam. This was the faith of Ishmael, Isaac, the tribes, Moses, and Jesus. Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes were not all Jews or Christians.
God bestowed great favors upon the children of Israel.
He made a covenant with Israel; gave them 12 chieftains; exalted them above the nations; delivered them from oppression in Egypt; parted the waters of the Red Sea for them; took Israel to safety; drowned Egypt’s forces; gave Moses the Scriptures and knowledge of right and wrong to guide Israel in the right way; forgave the people their idolatrous worship of the golden calf; gave the nation manna and quails to eat; provided water out of a rock; gave the nation prophethood and many signs to verify the true faith; assigned the blessed holy land to them; gave Israel a grand kingdom; and provided them with good things that He gave to no other nation.
All but a few of the Jews broke God’s covenant with Israel. They denied God’s revelations and believed some parts of the Scriptures while denying other parts. God commanded the Jews to preach the Scriptures to mankind, but they cast the Scriptures behind their backs and sold them at a cheap price. Some Jews tampered with words of the Scriptures, taking them out of context, thereby perverting the Scriptures and reviling the true faith. They also reject the Koran, the book that confirms their Scriptures.
The unbelieving Jews rejected the signs that God gave to verify the true faith. Whenever God’s apostles or prophets declared a message that the Jews did not like, they accused some of the apostles (such as Moses) of lying and killed others. Some Jews believed in Jesus, but others did not. The hearts of those Jews who rejected God’s apostles became harder than stone.
Because of this rebellion against God’s revelation, God declared that He would raise up foreign oppressors against Israel to oppress them until the Day of Resurrection. God sent the Assyrians and Romans to punish the Jews. The Romans entered the Temple, destroying everything, and Israel passed away as a nation. God scattered the Jews world–wide and cursed them for their unbelief. As objects of God’s wrath in the world to come, the unbelieving Jews will burn in the fire of hell forever.
Muslims are forbidden to make friends with Jews, because Jews are deceitful and accept what devils say. They hate Muslims and desire nothing but their ruin. They try to corrupt them, block believers in the true faith from the path of God, and turn believers from faith to unbelief. The Jews are infidels, making a jest of Islam, and they blaspheme, do unlawful things, and serve the Devil, Jews and pagans are the most unyielding enemies of the faithful. Those who befriend the Jews will become one of them.
God sent Muhammad and the Koran to reveal to the Jews those parts of the Scriptures that they had hidden and to forgive them of much. Through Muhammad and the Koran, God will guide the Jews to the light. If they accept the true faith (Islam), refrain from evil, and obey the Torah and the Gospel, God will forgive their sins and grant them entrance to the gardens of delight.
Muslims are commanded to fight the Jews and Christians (to whom the Scriptures were given, but who do not accept the true faith) until they pay tribute and are completely subdued. God sent His apostle Muhammad, with the true faith to make it triumphant over all religions, regardless of whether the others like it.
To the person who knows the Bible well, two things should be evident about the attitude of Islam concerning Jesus, the Bible, and the Jews as found in the Koran. First, the Koran and the Bible agree with each other on a number of matters. For example, both teach that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels are inspired revelation from God. Both agree that Jesus experienced a virgin birth and that He is the Messiah and a Prophet of God. In addition, both assert that many Jews have rejected God’s revealed truth.
Second, by contrast, the Koran rejects the biblical revelation that Jesus is God’s eternal Son who became incarnate in human flesh, claimed deity for Himself, accepted worship from human beings, claimed to be the truth and the only way to God, and died by crucifixion as the substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. It also denies that the Bible is God’s final authority for faith and practice for this present age and that God will forgive the sins of the Jews and give them entrance into His blessing, not when they accept Islam but when they accept Jesus as their Messiah-Savior.
Because the Koran commands Muslims to fight Jews and Christians until they pay tribute and are completely subdued, Islam is a threat to Jews and Christians and, in reality, to all non-Muslims.