Jesus' Birth

In the Qur'an, God draws the attention to the fact that Jesus was unique in every respect. First of all, he was born without a father. Through His angels, God revealed to Mary before Jesus' birth that her son would be the Messiah and have many other God-given qualities as well. In fact, Jesus had the honor of being called "God's Word":

The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. (Qur'an, 4:171)

When the angels said: "Mary, your Lord gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near." (Qur'an, 3:45)

In the Qur'an, the expression "God's Word" is only used for Jesus. God revealed his name before his birth and named him "Messiah Jesus," as a Word from Him. This is another sign that Jesus' creation differs from that of all other people.

God sustained Mary in the best way during her pregnancy and Jesus' birth, and also guided her. He made the environmental conditions favorable for her, for since she had removed herself from her family and community, she was all alone. With the help of God, Mary managed this difficult situation by herself and gave birth to her son without any complications. God reveals His grace for Mary in the following verses:

The pains of labor drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She exclaimed: "Oh if only I had died before this time and was something discarded and forgotten!" A voice called out to her from under her: "Do not grieve. Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm toward you, and fresh, ripe dates will drop down to you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes. If you should see anyone at all, just say: 'I have made a vow of abstinence to the All-Merciful, and today I will not speak to any human being.'" (Qur'an, 19:23-26)

As the verses tell, God helped Mary with revelation and told her not to lose heart. He revealed to her everything that she needed to know, and ensured that she would have an easy birth. God's grace and protection for her are shown in this event.

When Mary returned to her people together with Jesus, her people slandered her with ugly accusations based on speculation, even though they knew her and her dedication, as well as that of her family, to God, and her chastity. The circumstances of Jesus' birth are, in reality, a miracle that God granted to Mary's people and proof of His existence. However, her people failed to understand this, and so made unfounded allegations against her and tried to make their slander stick:

She brought him to her people, carrying him. They exclaimed: "Mary! You have done an unthinkable thing! Sister of Aaron, your father was not an evil man nor was your mother an unchaste woman!" (Qur'an, 19:27-28)


According to the New Testament, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Thus Christians consider it a holy town.
In reality, Mary was being tried with these ugly allegations. For such a devout and chaste person to be slandered in this way is a test from God. When confronted this situation, she turned to God and placed her trust in Him, knowing that He would help her against her people's accusations. She sought only His help and support and received His favor and mercy.

God helped His chosen servant in her time of trouble with another miracle: He revealed to her that she should not speak when her people wanted her to, but to point to Jesus when they accuse her. The Qur'an reveals this order in the following way:

"If you should see anyone at all, just say: 'I have made a vow of abstinence to the All-Merciful, and today I will not speak to any human being'." (Qur'an, 19:26)

When God gave her the good news of Jesus' birth, He also revealed that Jesus would speak as a baby in the cradle. This miracle became a big help for Mary from the Lord:

"He will speak to people in the cradle, and also when fully grown, and will be one of the righteous." (Qur'an, 3:46)

In a miraculous way, God made Jesus give the explanation that was expected of Mary. By this miracle, He restored her good reputation and informed the Children of Israel of Jesus' appointment as His Messenger to them:

She pointed toward him. They asked: "How can a baby in the cradle speak?" He [Jesus] said: "I am the servant of God. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. He has made me blessed wherever I am, [has] directed me to perform prayer and give alms as long as I live, and to show devotion to my mother. He has not made me insolent or arrogant. Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised up again alive." (Qur'an, 19:29-33)

Jesus declares that he is God's servant, that he has been given revelation, that he is a Prophet expected to call to faith when he reaches adulthood, that he must perform the prescribed prayers (salat) and give alms (zakat), that he must respect his mother's word, and that he will die and be resurrected on the Day of Judgment.

This situation proved to the Children of Israel that they had encountered an extraordinary event: the birth of the Messiah for whom they had been waiting. God reveals:

... and she [Mary], who protected her chastity. We breathed into her some of Our Spirit and made her and her son a Sign for all the worlds. (Qur'an, 21:91)

The verses also reveal that those people who continue to slander Mary will be punished (Qur'an, 4:156-57).

 

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