فَاَتَتۡ بِہٖ قَوۡمَہَا تَحۡمِلُہٗ ؕ قَالُوۡا یٰمَرۡیَمُ لَقَدۡ جِئۡتِ شَیۡئًا فَرِیًّا ﴿۲۸﴾
فَأَتَتۡ بِهِۦ قَوۡمَهَا تَحۡمِلُهُۥۖ قَالُواْ يَٰمَرۡيَمُ لَقَدۡ جِئۡتِ شَيۡـٔٗا فَرِيّٗا
1761. For this meaning of the word see 9:92. It appears from the Gospels that after Jesus’s birth at Bethlehem, in pursuance of a Divine command Joseph had taken him and Mary to Egypt where they lived for some years and it was after the death of Herod that the family came back to Nazareth and dwelt there (Matt. 2:13-23). There was also a biblical prophecy to the effect that Jesus would come to his people along with his mother riding on an ass (Matt. 21:4-7). Jesus and Mary were actually riding on asses when they entered Jerusalem. The expression, Tahmilu-hu, may possibly refer to that prophecy of the Bible. The verse refers to the time when Jesus had already attained Prophethood as is clear from vv. 31-34. (close)
1762. Fariyy also means, a forger of lies (Lane). By using this word the elders of the Jews insinuated that Mary was a bad woman and Jesus a forger of lies and a false prophet. (close)
2172. Important Words:
جئت (thou hast done). جاء زید means, Zaid came. جئت زیداًmeans, I came to Zaid. جئت بهmeans, I brought him. جاءت بولد means, she gave birth to a child. جاء بشیءmeans, he did, executed or performed a thing; he said or uttered a thing. جئت شیئا حسناmeans, I did a good thing. The Quranic expression, لقد جئت شیئا فریا means, thou hast done a strange thing or a thing hitherto unknown (Lane & Aqrab).
فریا (strange) is derived from فری (fariya) which means, he was or became confounded or perplexed, and was unable to see the right course. أفری فلانا means, he blamed or censured such a one; افری الشیء means, he cut or slit the thing. They say ھو یفری الفری i.e. he effects what is wonderful in his deed. فری means, a thing forged or fabricated or unknown or unheard of. The words لقد جئت شیئا فریا mean, thou hast done a thing hitherto unknown; or a thing deemed strange; or a thing great of magnitude or gravity. فری applied to a man means, a forger or fabricator of lies. افتری کذبا means, he forged or fabricated a lie or falsehood (Lane & Aqrab).
تحمله (carrying him) is derived from حمل. They say حمل الشیء i.e. he carried the thing. حمله علی ظھرہ means, he bore him on his or its back. حملت المرأة means, the woman became pregnant. حمل القران means, he memorized the Quran. حمله الحمل means, he helped him or assisted him to lift the load; or he assisted him in his work; he gave him a beast to ride; لتحملھم (9:92) means, that thou shouldst mount them (Lane, Aqrab & Mufradat). See also 7:177.
By the words 'carrying him' some people are led to think that the verse refers to the time of the childhood of Jesus when Mary carried him in her arms. But this is an obvious misconception. The verse, in fact, refers to the time when Jesus had attained to prophethood as is clear from vv. 31-34 wherein he says, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet;…and has enjoined upon me Prayer and alms-giving so long as I live. Surely Jesus was not made a Prophet in his childhood, nor did he say his Prayers and give Zakah at that time. It appears from the Gospels that after Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem, in pursuance of a Divine command Joseph had taken him and Mary to Egypt where they lived for some years and it was after the death of Herod that the family came back to Nazareth and dwelt there (Matt. 2:13-23). There was also a Biblical prophecy to the effect that Jesus would come to his people along with his mother riding an ass (Matt. 21:4-7). Jesus and Mary were actually riding asses when they entered Jerusalem. Thus the expression تحمله (carrying him or mounting him) may possibly refer to that prophecy of the Bible.
Moreover the expression حمله as shown under "Important Words" above, also means, he helped him and assisted him in his work.
According to this signification of the word حملthe verse under comment would mean that Mary came to her people with Jesus while she believed in him and helped him in his mission. The expression serves a twofold purpose. On the one hand it refers to the fulfilment of the Biblical prophecy (Matt. 21:4-7) and on the other disposes of the accusation (also contained in the Bible) that Jesus’ brothers and his mother did not believe in him. In any case this verse does not refer to the childhood of Jesus but to the time when prophethood had already been bestowed upon him and he had begun addressing his Message to his people.
The manner of expression adopted in regard to the birth and prophethood of Jesus is quite like that adopted about John (Yahya) in verses 12 and 13of the present Surah. Verse 12 relates to Zachariah having received the happy news of the birth of a son and v. 13 to the period when his son Yahya had become a Prophet, the remaining incidents in Yahya’s life having been omitted because the Quran is not a book of history that it should give the complete picture of the life of a man. In the same way the preceding three verses give a brief description of Jesus’ birth and the present verse comes straight to the time when he had become a Prophet of God. The fact that v. 23 speaks of Mary having withdrawn to a remote place also belies the inference that she had come from that remote place carrying Jesus in her arms.
The words, 'thou hast done a strange thing' contain a double taunt. They refer to the calumny of Mary having given birth to an illegitimate son and to Jesus having falsely laid claim to prophethood. As shown under "Important Words" above the word فری also means a forger of lies. Thus by using this word the elders of the Jewish people called Mary a bad woman and Jesus a forger of lies and a false Prophet. (close)
یٰۤاُخۡتَ ہٰرُوۡنَ مَا کَانَ اَبُوۡکِ امۡرَ اَ سَوۡءٍ وَّ مَا کَانَتۡ اُمُّکِ بَغِیًّا ﴿ۖۚ۲۹﴾
يَـٰٓأُخۡتَ هَٰرُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ ٱمۡرَأَ سَوۡءٖ وَمَا كَانَتۡ أُمُّكِ بَغِيّٗا
1763. The question of Mary having been called the sister of Aaron in the Qur’an was put before the Holy Prophet himself and he asked the questioner if he did not know that the Israelites used to name their children after their Prophets and saints (Bayan, vol. 6, p. 16; Jarir, vol. 16, p. 52). Mary has been here called the sister of Aaron and not that of Moses though both were brothers, for, whereas Moses was the founder of the Jewish Law, Aaron was the head of the Jewish priestly class (Enc. Bib. & Enc. Brit. under "Aaron"), and Mary also belonged to the priestly order. Tabari has related an incident from the life of the Holy Prophet which gives an insight into the meanings of such Arabic words as ab, ‘am, ukht, etc. When Safiyyah, the Holy Prophet’s wife, and incidentally a Jewess by descent, once complained to the Holy Prophet that some of his other wives had called her a Jewess in contempt, the Holy Prophet told her to return the taunt by saying that Aaron was her father, Moses her uncle and Muhammad her husband. Now, the Holy Prophet certainly knew that Aaron was not Safiyyah’s father nor Moses her uncle. A reference to this accusation is also to be found in the Qur’an in 33:70. The elders of the Jews, by calling Jesus’s mother "sister of Aaron" might have meant that as Mary, the sister of Aaron, had, by accusing Moses of unlawfully marrying a woman, committed a heinous crime (a reference to this accusation is to be found in 33:70), so did she, like her namesake, commit a heinous act of giving birth to an illegitimate child. See also 401. (close)
Some Christian writers in their ignorance of the Arabic language have accused the Quran of an historical anachronism inasmuch as it has spoken of Mary as sister of Aaron. Instead of regretting their own ignorance they have blamed theQuran of ignorance. The question of Mary having been called the sister of Aaron in the Quran was put before the Holy Prophet himself and he told the questioner whether he did not know that the Israelites used to name their children after their Prophets and saints (Bayan, vol. 6, p. 16; Jarir vol. 16, p. 52).
Mary has been here called the sister of Aaron and not that of Moses though both were brothers, for whereas Moses was the founder of the Jewish Law, Aaron was the head of the Jewish priestly class (Enc. Bib. & Enc. Brit. under "Aaron") and Mary also belonged to the priestly order. Tabari has related an incident from the life of the Holy Prophet which gives us an insight into the meanings of the Arabic words اب(ab), عم (‘amm),اخت (ukht) etc. When once Safiyyah, the Holy Prophet’s wife, and incidentally a Jewess by descent, complained to the Holy Prophet that some of his other wives had called her a Jewess in contempt, the Prophet told her to return the taunt by saying that Aaron was her father, Moses her uncle and Muhammad her husband. Surely, the Holy Prophet knew that Aaron was not Safiyyah’s father nor Moses her uncle. This tradition shows that the application of these Arabic words is by no means confined to the above-mentioned blood relations.
Mary might have been called a sister of Aaron by way of reproach or taunt inasmuch as another Mary, the real sister of Aaron and Moses’ stepsister or his sister-in-law, had charged him (Moses) with having unlawfully married a woman (Numbers 12:1). A reference to this accusation is also to be found in the Quran in 33:70. Thus the elders of the Jews, by calling Jesus’ mother sister of Aaron, meant that as Mary, the sister of Aaron had, by accusing Moses of unlawfully marrying a woman, committed a heinous crime, so did she, like her namesake, commit a heinous act of giving birth to an illegitimate child. See also 3:36. (close)
فَاَشَارَتۡ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ قَالُوۡا کَیۡفَ نُکَلِّمُ مَنۡ کَانَ فِی الۡمَہۡدِ صَبِیًّا ﴿۳۰﴾
فَأَشَارَتۡ إِلَيۡهِۖ قَالُواْ كَيۡفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِي ٱلۡمَهۡدِ صَبِيّٗا
1764. The words 'she pointed to him' indicate that Mary knew what answer Jesus would give if the elders of the Jews addressed their question to him. These words may also indicate that Mary knew that if she declared herself innocent nobody would believe her. The only evidence of her innocence was her son. She meant that such a holy and righteous son whom God had endowed with such noble qualities could not be the result of an immoral union and that his virtues and good qualities by themselves constituted a sufficient vindication of her innocence. So she pointed to him. (close)
1765. The verse presents no difficulty. When Mary, on being taunted by the elders of the Jews, directed their attention to Jesus, they disdained to talk to him and contemptuously said, how could they talk to 'a child in the cradle' meaning a mere boy, who was born and brought up before their very eyes? Elderly people are wont to talk like that when invited to learn wisdom from one who is much younger to them in age. The words merely constitute an expression of contempt and disdain for Jesus. See also 3:47. (close)
2174. Important Words:
For المھد see 3:47.
The words 'she pointed to him' indicate that Mary knew what answer Jesus would give if the elders of the Jews addressed their question to him. These words may also indicate that Mary knew that if she declared herself innocent nobody would believe her. The only evidence of her innocence was her son. She meant that such a holy and righteous son whom God had endowed with such noble qualities could not be the result of an immoral union and that his virtues and good qualities by themselves constituted a sufficient vindication of her innocence. So she pointed to him. The words may also signify that when the Jews accused Mary of adultery she felt embarrassed and pointed to Jesus who had by that time become a Prophet. Some Muslim commentators of the Quran seem to feel a peculiar delight in attributing all sorts of miracles to Jesus. By their misguided reverence for him they have virtually raised him to the pedestal of Divinity. In the words, How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle, they seem to have discovered one such miracle of Jesus. Among all men, even among all the great Prophets of God he alone, they say, could talk while yet a child in the cradle. But the talk which he gave to the elders of the Jews and which is contained in the next four verses (vv.31-34) could not possibly be the talk of a child and if it was, then the facts described therein were a tissue of lies. Jesus says:(a) "God has made me a Prophet"; (b) "He has given me the Book"; (c) "He has enjoined me to say Prayers and give the Zakah"; (d) "He has made me dutiful to my mother and has not made me haughty", and (e) "Peace was on me the day I was born, and peace there will be on me the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up to life again." All these affirmations from the lips of a baby sound like so many lies and who would call these lies a miracle? Jesus was neither a Prophet at that time, nor did he say Prayer or give Zakah or was given a Book. Moreover, these commentators appear to ignore the quite obvious fact that at another place in the Quran (3:47) this miracle is stated as having consisted in Jesus’ speaking to the people in the cradle and when of middle age (فی المھد وکھلاً). But talk by a man when he is کھل i.e. of middle age, is no miracle; and by joining the word مھد (cradle) with the word کھل (of middle age), the Quran implies that the talk of Jesus in مھدand when he was کھل (of middle age) was no miracle in the sense in which it is understood by the commentators, but it was a miracle in the sense that he spoke words of exceptional wisdom and intelligence in childhood as well as in middle age. The joining of these two words also implied a prophecy that Jesus would not die young but would live up to a good ripe age. This prophecy did constitute a real miracle. But if the word مھدwere to be taken in the sense of "period of preparation" which is also one of the meanings of this word, the verse یکلم الناس فی المھد و کھلاً (3:47) would mean that he would speak to people words full of extraordinary wisdom and spiritual knowledge much beyond his years and experience, both in the period of preparation which is youth and in his middle age. Thus the words, How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle, present no difficulty. When Mary, on being taunted by the elders of the Jews, directed their attention to Jesus, they disdained to talk to him and contemptuously said, how could they talk to "a child in the cradle" i.e. a mere boy, who was born and brought up before their very eyes. Old and learned people are wont to talk like that when invited to learn wisdom from one who is much younger to them in age. The words merely constitute an expression of contempt and disdain for Jesus. See also 3:47. (close)
قَالَ اِنِّیۡ عَبۡدُ اللّٰہِ ۟ؕ اٰتٰنِیَ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ جَعَلَنِیۡ نَبِیًّا ﴿ۙ۳۱﴾
قَالَ إِنِّي عَبۡدُ ٱللَّهِ ءَاتَىٰنِيَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيّٗا
"The Book" refers to the Torah and the verse signifies that God had given Jesus a special knowledge of the Torah which was denied to the elders and learned men of the Jews. (close)
وَّ جَعَلَنِیۡ مُبٰرَکًا اَیۡنَ مَا کُنۡتُ ۪ وَ اَوۡصٰنِیۡ بِالصَّلٰوۃِ وَ الزَّکٰوۃِ مَا دُمۡتُ حَیًّا ﴿۪ۖ۳۲﴾
وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيۡنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوۡصَٰنِي بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ مَا دُمۡتُ حَيّٗا
This verse implied a mighty prophecy. The prophecy was that Jesus’ people would put him on the cross and would compel him to flee his country and seek refuge in a foreign land. But the grace and blessings of God would attend him wherever he would go. After the crucifixion Jesus’ mission appeared to have been a complete failure but he travelled to the east—to Afghanistan and Kashmir, where his cause progressed and triumphed. See also 4:158 & 23:51. (close)
وَّ بَرًّۢا بِوَالِدَتِیۡ ۫ وَ لَمۡ یَجۡعَلۡنِیۡ جَبَّارًا شَقِیًّا ﴿۳۳﴾
وَبَرَّۢا بِوَٰلِدَتِي وَلَمۡ يَجۡعَلۡنِي جَبَّارٗا شَقِيّٗا
a. 19:15. (close)
1766. The talk which Jesus gave to the elders of the Jews and which is contained in these verses (31-34) could not possibly be the talk of a child. All these affirmations from the lips of a child sound like so many lies; and who would call these lies a miracle? Jesus was neither a Prophet at that time, nor did he say Prayer or give Zakat or was given a Book. Moreover, in 3:47 this miracle is mentioned as Jesus having spoken to the people in the cradle and when of middle age. But talk by a man in middle age is no miracle; and by joining the word 'cradle' with the words 'of middle age,' the Qur’an implies that the talk of Jesus in 'the cradle' and when he was 'of middle age' was no miracle in the sense in which it is popularly understood, but that it was a miracle in the sense that he spoke words of exceptional wisdom and intelligence in childhood as well as in middle age. The joining of these two sets of words also implied a prophecy that Jesus would not die young but would live up to a ripe old age. The prophecy did constitute a real miracle. But if the word Mahd is taken in the sense of 'period of preparation' which is also one of the meanings of this word, then verse (3:47) would mean that Jesus would speak to people words full of extraordinary wisdom and spiritual knowledge much beyond his years and experience, both in the period of preparation which is youth and in his middle age. (close)
a. 19:15, 33. (close)
The present and the preceding two verses refer to a period when Jesus had already become invested with prophethood. It is an insult to human intelligence and common sense and to belie facts of history and also to betray one’s utter lack of knowledge of the Quranic style and Arabic idiom to say that the words of vv. 31-33 were spoken by Jesus while he was yet a child and therefore constituted a great miracle. A mere babe who sucked the breast of his mother could not say that he was a most obedient and faithful servant of God or that God had given him a Book or that he said Prayers and gave alms or that he was dutiful to his mother and was not haughty. All this talk seems to be a tissue of lies. Jesus could not and did not do any of these things while yet a baby but rather when he had attained to prophethood. It may be argued that the miracle consisted in the fact that Jesus could talk while yet a baby in the cradle but this purpose could equally have been served by his speaking only a few words. If only he had rebuked the elders of the Jews for calumniating his mother in a single sentence they would surely have been taken aback and completely confounded and the purpose of the miracle would have been fully served. But where was the necessity of putting a long discourse in Jesus’ mouth which was not true? The truth is that the miracle did not lie in the supposed infantile talk of Jesus but in the imagination of the commentators themselves.
In this and the preceding two verses Jesus has been described as saying that (1) he is a servant of God; (2) God has given him the Book; (3) He has made him a Prophet; (4) He has made him blessed; (5) He has enjoined upon him Prayer and alms-giving; (6) He has made him dutiful to his mother and that (7) He has not made him haughty and unblessed. All these words put in Jesus’ mouth by the Quran have been amply supported and corroborated by the Bible:
(1) As regards Jesus’ being a humble servant of God, subject to human weaknesses and frailties and to the demands and calls of nature and not being God or Son of God, the Bible says:
And when he had fasted forty days and nights, he afterwards hungered (Matt. 4:2).
But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, –but the father (Mark 13:32).
And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good? None is good save one, that is God (Mark 10:18).
(2) About the fact that Jesus was given a Book which he followed and taught, the Bible says:
Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17, 18).
(3) The Bible also supports the Quranic statement that Jesus was only a Prophet of God and not God or the Son of God. It says:
And He that sent me is with me (John 8:29).
Neither came I of myself, but He sent me (John 8:42).
He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:15-22).
And the multitudes said, This is the Prophet, Jesus, of Nazareth of Galilee (Matt. 21:11).
(4) About Jesus’ being blessed the Bible depicts Elizabeth, the mother of John, as saying to Mary, the mother of Jesus:
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (Luke 1:42).
And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice and said unto him, blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked (Luke 11:27).
(5) The fifth thing that the Quran tells us about Jesus is that God had enjoined upon him Prayer and alms-giving. About this the Bible says as follows:
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed (Luke 5:16).
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:44).
Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s (Matt. 22:21).
(6) Last of all, Jesus has been described as being humble and blessed with success. In regard to this the Bible says:
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matt. 11:29).
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass (Matt. 21:5).
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). (close)
وَ السَّلٰمُ عَلَیَّ یَوۡمَ وُلِدۡتُّ وَ یَوۡمَ اَمُوۡتُ وَ یَوۡمَ اُبۡعَثُ حَیًّا ﴿۳۴﴾
وَٱلسَّلَٰمُ عَلَيَّ يَوۡمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوۡمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوۡمَ أُبۡعَثُ حَيّٗا
b. 19:16. (close)
a. 19:16. (close)
The words, and peace there will be on me the day I shall die, show that Jesus did not die on the cross, for death on the cross, according to the Bible, is an accursed death (Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13). It cannot be said about a person who died an accursed death that he died a blessed and peaceful death. But the mere fact of a person being put on the cross or meeting a violent end does not conflict with the idea of peace and blessedness to which this verse refers. It is an accepted fact of history that the Prophet Yahya was murdered while in jail but the words "peace was on him the day he died" have also been used about him in v. 16 above. So these words have been used about Jesus and Yahya to show that both these Prophets succeeded in their missions, and a person who succeeds in his mission and whose work is carried on after his death and who is remembered with love and respect cannot be said to have suffered death or to have been deprived of "peace". Jesus has left behind him a large community of followers and Yahya’s name is remembered with love and respect. Thus both Jesus and Yahya died a blessed death and enjoy everlasting peace.
The words, peace was on me the day I was born may also be understood as containing a hint that the birth of Jesus was out of the ordinary. These words have also been used about Yahya in verse 16 above because his birth, too, took place in extraordinary circumstances. He was born when his father had reached an extremely old age and his mother was barren.
The expression, the day I shall be raised up to life again, may also imply: "The day when I shall be raised again in the form of another Prophet who will testify to my truth." The implied reference may be to the Holy Prophet who bore witness to the truth of Jesus. (close)
ذٰلِکَ عِیۡسَی ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ ۚ قَوۡلَ الۡحَقِّ الَّذِیۡ فِیۡہِ یَمۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾
ذَٰلِكَ عِيسَى ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَۖ قَوۡلَ ٱلۡحَقِّ ٱلَّذِي فِيهِ يَمۡتَرُونَ
1767. The expression "Ibn-e-Maryam" is Jesus’s distinctive name. Whereas, on the one hand, it seems to imply his fatherless birth, on the other it confers on him a name which is incapable of being confused with that of anybody else. The Gospels have used for Jesus the epithet "Ibn-e-Adam" (son of man) also but this latter epithet has been used in the Bible for other persons as well. "Son of Mary" is at once a distinctive and descriptive name of Jesus. (close)
1768. Perhaps there is no other individual in religious history concerning whom so many and so far-reaching differences exist as about Jesus, son of Mary. The Jews, the Christians and the Muslims all hold widely different views about Jesus’s birth, the manner of his death and about some prominent incidents in his life. (close)
Perhaps there is no individual of any prominence in religious history about whom so many and so far-reaching differences exist as about Jesus, the son of Mary. The Jews, the Christians and the Muslims all hold widely different views about Jesus’ birth, the manner of his death, and about the account of his life. The Jews believe that he was born out of legal wedlock and therefore his birth was illegitimate. He was a false Prophet and therefore deservedly met an accursed death on the cross. The Christians hold that Jesus’ mother became conceived of the Holy Ghost, therefore he was the son of God. He persuaded himself to be put on the cross and by his death he atoned for the sins of all humanity. He remained dead for three days and then rose up to heaven. He is a part of the Holy Trinity and yet is God Himself. Orthodox Muslims believe that he was miraculously born without the instrumentality of a father as the result of a special Divine decree. He was an Israelite Prophet. The Jews tried to crucify him but instead succeeded only in crucifying another person who by God’s special decree was made to look like Jesus and Jesus bodily went up to heaven where he is sitting by the right hand of God and will someday descend from heaven to win for Muslims the kingdom of the whole world. The so-called modernists among Muslims think that he was the son of Joseph the carpenter, and died a natural death, and so there was nothing miraculous or unusual about his birth, death or his life. He was only an Israelite Prophet. The orthodox Ahmadis, however, believe that his birth took place without the agency of a father as the result of a special Divine decree, and that this unusual form of birth constituted a rebuke and a warning to the Israelites that on account of their persistent rejection of truth and God’s Messengers, and their immoral practices the whole Israelite nation had been rendered quite unfit to give birth to a Prophet of God and therefore prophethood, in accordance with God’s covenant with Abraham, was transferred from the House of Israel to that of Ishmael (see Introduction to this Surah). They further believe that Jesus was hung on the cross by the Jews but did not die there and was taken down from it alive and for three days remained in a tomb hewn out of a rock and then travelled to Kashmir to preach his Message to the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. He lived up to the ripe old age of 120 years, died a natural death and lies buried in Khanyar street in Srinagar, Kashmir. In fact, the existence of so many and so serious differences about Jesus implies a rebuke to Christians that there is nothing certain about their god.
The expression "son of Mary" (ابن مریم) is Jesus’ distinctive name. Whereas on the one hand it seems to point to his fatherless birth, on the other it confers on him a name which is incapable of being confused with that of anybody else. The Gospels have also used for Jesus the epithet ابن آدم (son of man) but this epithet has been used in the Bible for other persons also. So ابن مریم (son of Mary) is at once a distinctive and descriptive name of Jesus. (close)
مَا کَانَ لِلّٰہِ اَنۡ یَّتَّخِذَ مِنۡ وَّلَدٍ ۙ سُبۡحٰنَہٗ ؕ اِذَا قَضٰۤی اَمۡرًا فَاِنَّمَا یَقُوۡلُ لَہٗ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ ﴿ؕ۳۶﴾
مَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٖۖ سُبۡحَٰنَهُۥٓۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰٓ أَمۡرٗا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ
a. 10:69; 17:112; 18:5; 19:89; 21:27; 25:3; 39:5. (close)
1769. Christians believe that Jesus was God’s son. They base this belief on the assumption that the Bible calls him "son of God." But in the Bible other persons have also been called or addressed as "sons of God." Jesus enjoys no special distinction in this respect and he is, therefore, no more a son of God than those persons who have also been addressed as such (Luke, 20:36; Jer., 31:9; Matt., 6:9; John, 8:41 & Ephes., 4:6). (close)
1770. In the Arabic language the word Kun, besides being addressed to a thing, is also used to express a greatly felt desire. In an expedition the Holy Prophet’s very brave and loyal Companion, Abu Khaithamah happened to be absent. The Holy Prophet keenly felt his absence. When in the midst of the battle he saw from a great distance a rider coming to him at full speed, he exclaimed Kun Aba Khaithamah, i.e. would that it were Abu Khaithamah; and lo! it was really Abu Khaithamah (Halbiyyah). So the word Kun would signify that when God desires or intends a thing to come into being, it comes into being; or when God expresses such a desire it takes a concrete form. The word lends no support to the view that soul and matter are primeval or coeternal with God. (close)
a. 10:69; 17:112; 18:5; 19:89; 21:27; 25:3; 39:5. (close)
2180. Important Words:
ماکان للّٰه (It does not befit the Majesty of Allah). They say ماکان له i.e. (1) it does not befit him; behove him; it is inconsistent with his dignity; it is not proper for him; (2) it is beyond his power to do so. In the present verse ماکان للّٰه means, it is inconsistent with the Majesty of Allah or it does not befit His Holiness (Aqrab, Lane & Mufradat). See also 2:35.
The words ان یتخذ من ولد express two senses (a) that He should have a son; and (b) that He should adopt someone as His son. When it is inconsistent with God’s Majesty to adopt someone as His son, it is all the more repugnant to His Holiness and Glory to have a real son. These words repudiate the Christian belief, namely (i) that God has adopted Jesus as His son or (ii) that Jesus is God’s son.
Christians believe that Jesus was God’s son. The onus for proving such a manifestly absurd belief lies on them. They base this belief on the assumption that the Bible calls him the son of God. But in the Bible other persons have also been called or addressed as sons of God. Jesus enjoys no special prerogative in this respect and is therefore no more a son of God than those persons who have also been addressed as such.
The Bible says:
(a) "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God" (Luke 20:36);
(b) "For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn" (Jer. 31:9);
(c) "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name" (Matt. 6:9);
(d) "For if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matt. 6:14);
(e) "That your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25);
(f) "Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things" (Luke 12:30);
(g) "We have one Father, even God" (John 8:41);
(h) "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephes. 4:6);
(i) "Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn" (Exod. 4:22).
The Bible rather supports the Quranic statement, viz.it does not befit the Majesty of Allah to take unto Himself a son.He is the One Lord, God, Who has, or needs, no son.
(a) "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4);
(b) "I am the Lord, that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images" (Isa. 42:8);
(c) "Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord" (Mark 12:29);
(d) "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty" (Jude 1:25);
(e) "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory forever and ever" (I Timothy 1:17).
The verse under comment gives three reasons why God does not stand in need of a son:(1) if God were supposed to have a son, He must be subject to carnal desires and must have a wife to satisfy them; (2) He must be subject to decay and death because the procreation of species which the attribution of a son to God implies, is the characteristic of mortals; and (3) He must require a helper to assist Him in His work or to continue his work after His death. But God as represented by Islam is completely free from all these defects and therefore needs no son. In fact, the Christian dogma of sonship of Jesus is an insoluble riddle and beyond human comprehension. If Jesus is God’s son, then God will have to be admitted as incapable of carrying on the affairs of the universe alone and unaided, and therefore will have to be accepted as imperfect and defective. But because God is Perfect and All-Powerful, therefore He needs no son and no helper. Again, according to the Christian dogma each of the three deities, God, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, being perfect can and should carry on the work of the universe unaided and yet these three combine to do the thing which each one is able to accomplish by himself. This is absurd.
Those who are ignorant of Arabic language pretend to find in the word کن (be) a ground for their belief in the eternity and indestructibility of matter and soul. They argue in this way. This word shows that there had already existed something to which the order کن (be) was given. But in the Arabic language this word, besides being addressed to a thing, is also used to express a greatly felt desire. In an expedition the Holy Prophet’s very brave and loyal companion, Abu Khaithamah happened to be absent. The Prophet keenly felt his absence. When in the midst of the battle he saw from a great distance a rider coming to him at full speed he exclaimed کن ابا خیثمة i.e. would that it were Abu Khaithamah; and lo! it was really Abu Khaithamah (Halbiyyah). So an Arab would use the word کن when he would passionately desire a thing to happen.
According to this sense of کن the expression کن فیکون would mean that when God desires or intends that a thing should be, it comes into being or that when God expresses a desire it takes a concrete form. The words lend no support to the view that soul and matter are primeval or eternal. See also 2:117-118. (close)
وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ رَبِّیۡ وَ رَبُّکُمۡ فَاعۡبُدُوۡہُ ؕ ہٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۳۷﴾
وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمۡ فَٱعۡبُدُوهُۚ هَٰذَا صِرَٰطٞ مُّسۡتَقِيمٞ
b. 3:52; 5:73; 43:65. (close)
a. 3:52; 5:73; 43:65. (close)