Prophet Isa alaihissalam ibn Maryam alaihissalam was the penultimate prophet and was sent for the guidance of Bani Israel. As we read in the story of Maryam alaihissalam that Maryam alaihissalam was a special child as her mother Hannah dedicated her child(Maryam) for the worship of ALLAH SWT and serving the Holy House even before the birth of Maryam alaihissalam.
Maryam alaihissalam was brought up in the guardianship of Prophet of Zakariya alaihissalam and spent her life ALLAH SWT since her childhood. Maryam alaihissalam was a pure and pious woman and followed the commands of ALLAH SWT and ALLAH SWT mentions Maryam alaihissalam to be the best woman in the whole world.
By the will and commands of ALLAH SWT, the pious Maryam bore a child in her womb who was Prophet Isa alaihissalam. Although she was worried and scared when she got to know about her pregnancy, however, due to her faith in ALLAH SWT she accepted it as the will of ALLAH SWT.
She secluded herself from the people fearing that they would accuse her of being pregnant before marriage, and judge her.
The birth of Prophet Isa alaihissalam was very unusual and was a sign for others to see. When the time of delivery approached, Maryam left the place to avoid facing people and their questions about her piousness and chastity.
Maryam stoped under a palm tree when her labor pains increased, and she gave birth to Prophet Isa alaihissalam there.
When she saw her beautiful child, she got anxious and worried thinking about the reaction of people seeing her with a baby.
Out of fear and anxiety, she said: “Alas! I wish I had died before this and was a thing long forgotten!” (19:23)
She then heard a voice, that reassured her. the voice was from angel Jibrael.
So a voice reassured her from below her, “Do not grieve! Your Lord has provided a stream at your feet. (Quran 19:24)
And shake the trunk of this palm tree towards you, it will drop fresh, ripe dates upon you. (Quran 19:25)
So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man. (Quran 19:26)
And she did the same and got relieved.
With her utmost trust in ALLAH SWT, she decided to return to the city with her baby.
When she entered the city, people started questioning her about the baby. She then pointed to the baby and did not speak a word herself.
The newborn baby began to speak clearly and said: “I am truly a servant of ALLAH. He has destined me to be given the Scripture and to be a prophet”.” And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakāh as long as I remain alive”.” And to be kind to my mother. He has not made me arrogant or defiant”. (Quran 19:30,31,32)
Most of the people agreed and realized that this baby was not a usual baby, however, few considered it as a strange trick and did not believe in Him.
Apart from being able to talk in his extreme infancy, ALLAH SWT bestowed Prophet Isa alaihissalam with various other miracles, and as He grew up, these miracles and signs of His prophethood began to increase.
He could easily tell people, what they have eaten, what they have hidden something, and he could cure a blind one by the will of ALLAH SWT.
ALLAH SWT states in the Quran: And (shall make him) a messenger to the Bani Israel (who will say to them): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that is, I create for you from clay something in the shape of a bird, then I blow in it, and it becomes a living bird by the will of ALLAH, and I cure the born-blind and the leper, and I cause the dead to become alive by the will of ALLAH, and I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your homes. In this, there is surely a sign for you, if you are (truly) believers. (Quran 3:49)
Once, Prophet Isa alaihissalam went to Jerusalem with His mother when he was around 12 years old. There he saw a group of adults listening to the lectures of Jewish priests in a temple. He joined the group and after listening to the lecture, started questioning and expressing His opinion. The Jewish scholars got disturbed and confused by His questions and were not able to answer Him. He was full of knowledge from a very young age.
Maryam alaihissalam stayed in a house of a wealthy and pious man with Prophet Isa alaihissalam. He took care of them. He had a house for charity for the elderly, sick, and weak. He fed them and tended to all their needs. He had gold hidden near one of the walls of the house. Once, he found that it had been stolen. He gathered in his house and asked who had taken the gold. He insisted everyone be apprehended until his gold had been recovered. Prophet Isa alaihissalam, who was just a little boy, revealed that a blind man and another one who was paralyzed had conspired together to take the gold. He had confronted the two men and asserted that they return the gold or great evil would befall them. They were amazed as to how a child would have such knowledge and conviction. They asked him how he knew, and Prophet Isa alaihissalam replied that ALLAH had revealed it to him. The gold was returned to the owner right away.
At the age of 30, Prophet Isa alaihissalam received the revelation and was sent to Bani Israel. They were residing in the Al-Sham area at that time, which is now Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan. He began to spread ALLAH SWT’s message and revealed that he is the messenger of ALLAH SWT. They called for miracles when Prophet Isa alaihissalam began calling his people to ALLAH’s way because they were practicing magic and medicine at the time. It is mentioned in the Quran: ”And He (ALLAH) will teach him (Isa alaihissalam) the Book and Al-Hikmah (wisdom), and the Torah and the Gospel. (Quran 3:48)
and (shall make him) a messenger to the Children of Israel (who will say to them): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that is, I create for you from clay something in the shape of a bird, then I blow in it, and it becomes a living bird by the will of ALLAH, and I cure the born-blind and the leper, and I cause the dead to become alive by the will of ALLAH, and I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your homes. In this, there is surely a sign for you, if you are (truly) believers. (Quran 3:49)
One of the miracles, according to these ayahs, was that Prophet Isa alaihissalam was given the book of wisdom, law, and gospel. However, this was insufficient for them. By ALLAH’s will, he sculpted a bird out of clay and breathed life into it. The bird flew away, but this was insufficient for them. Even though medical knowledge was at its peak at the time of Prophet Isa alaihissalam, they were unable to cure blindness. ALLAH’s miracles were always provided to the messenger following what is popular at the moment. By ALLAH’s will, Prophet Isa alaihissalam was given the miracle of returning sight to the blind.
Even though his people were medically advanced, they recognized that his power to restore blindness was truly miraculous. He was also capable of curing leprosy and resurrecting the dead.
Some of the miraculous incidents of Prophet Isa alaihissalam are:
Once, bani Israel took Prophet Isa alaihissalam to a graveyard and asked him to resurrect a man who had died. By ALLAH’s will, Prophet Isa alaihissalam brought that man back to life. With his garments on, he came from his grave and inquired as to why he had been brought back to life. He requested that Isa alaihissalam restore him to his grave because it was a better location for him. The man died again after Prophet Isa alaihissalam made dua for him. Bani Israel remained suspicious even after this miracle.
In another incident, Prophet Isa alaihissalam was once passing by a graveyard when he noticed a woman crying over a grave. He asked her who had been buried there. The woman stated it was her daughter and swore she would not leave her because of her love for her. In her grief, she wished to die with her daughter or her daughter be brought back to life. Prophet Isa alaihissalam proposed to her that if he brought her back to life again, would the woman then believe in his message. The woman agreed and Prophet Isa alaihissalam proceeded to command three times that the dead girl rises from her grave. The girl then was brought out of her grave. Prophet Isa alaihissalam questioned why it had taken so long for the girl to rise from her grave. She said that once she heard the first calling, ALLAH recreated her physical form. At his second command, an angel appeared over her head. Finally, her soul returned to her. As her soul returned to her body, the girl‟s hair turned to white from the horror that it might be judgment day. The girl was appalled at the idea of experiencing the agony of death again and asked Isa alaihissalam to return her to her grave. At this point, the mother is silent and astonished at what she saw. Prophet Isa alaihissalam made dua to ALLAH to return the girl to her grave and to ease her plight. His prayer was granted.
Bani Israel was still unconvinced by Prophet Isa alaihissalam and his message. Prophet Isa alaihissalam explained that he had been sent to confirm the Tawrah and to make legal what had previously been prohibited.
However, people continued to bring sick, blind, and infirmed people to him, including those who were paralyzed or had terminal conditions. He was able to cure them all with ALLAH’s permission.
Throughout his life, Prophet Isa alaihissalam was a humble servant of ALLAH SWT. He slept without a covering and wore wool. When he was reminded of the afterlife, he would scream and weep like a child. Before he began to preach the word of ALLAH, he was a handsome, young man. After spreading the message of ALLAH, he was often yellow from hunger with dry lips from thirst. He continued preaching of the oneness of ALLAH and the Injeel. His followers were from the poor and weak people of Bani Israel.
He delivered numerous messages, one of which was the coming of a later messenger by the name of Ahmad. Even with all miracles Isa alaihissalam was given by ALLAH, Bani Israel continued to disbelieve and stated that it was just black magic as always.
Prophet Isa alaihissalam continued inviting the people to Almighty ALLAH. His call was based on the principle that there is no mediation between the Creator and His creatures.
He warned them against hypocrisy, display, and false applause. In this existence, there was no need to accumulate wealth. They should not be preoccupied with the things of this world; rather, they should be preoccupied with the issues of the next world, which will continue forever.
Prophet Isa alaihissalam continued to invite people to worship the Only Lord, Who is without a partner, just as he invited them to purify the heart and soul.
His teaching annoyed the priests, for every word of Prophet Isa alaihissalam was a threat to them and their position, exposing their misdeeds.
The Roman occupiers had, at first, no intention of being involved in this religious discord of the Jews because it was an internal affair, and they saw that this dispute would distract the Jews from the question of the occupation.
However, the priests started to plot against Prophet Isa alaihissalam. They wanted to embarrass him and to prove that he had come to destroy the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law provides that an adulteress be stoned to death. They brought him a Jewish adulteress and asked Isa alaihissalam: “Does not the law stipulate the stoning of the adulteress?” Prophet Isa alaihissalam answered: “Yes.” They said: “This woman is an adulteress.” Isa alaihissalam looked at the woman and then at the priests. He knew that they were more sinful than she. They agreed that she should be killed according to Mosaic Law, and they understood that if he was going to apply Mosaic Law, he would be destroying his own rules of forgiveness and mercy.
Prophet Isa alaihissalam understood their plan. He smiled and assented: “Whoever among you is sinless can stone her.” His voice rose in the middle of the Temple, making a new law on adultery, for the sinless to judge sin. There was none eligible; no mortal can judge sin, only ALLAH the Most Merciful.
As Isa alaihissalam left the temple, the woman followed him. She took out a bottle of perfume from her garments, knelt before his feet and washed them with perfume and tears, and then dried his feet with her hair. Prophet Isa alaihissalam turned to the woman and told her to stand up, adding: “O Lord, forgive her sins.” He let the priests understand that those who call people to Almighty ALLAH are not executioners. His call was based on mercy for the people, the aim of all divine calls.
Prophet Isa alaihissalam continued to pray to ALLAH for mercy on his people and to teach his people to have mercy on one another and to believe in ALLAH.
Prophet Isa alaihissalam continued his mission, aided by divine miracles. Some Qur’anic commentators said that Isa alaihissalam brought four people back from the dead: a friend of his named Al-Azam, an old woman’s son, and a woman’s only daughter. These three had died during his lifetime. When the Jews saw this they said: “You only resurrect those who have died recently; perhaps they only fainted.” They asked him to bring back to life Sam the Ibn Noah.
When he asked them to show him his grave, the people accompanied him there. Prophet Isa alaihissalam invoked ALLAH the Exalted to bring him back to life and behold, Sam the Ibn Noah came out from the grave gray-haired. Prophet Isa alaihissalam asked: “how did you get gray hair when there was no aging in your time?” He answered: “O Spirit of ALLAH, I thought that the Day of Resurrection had come; from the fear of that day my hair turned gray.”
ALLAH SWT says in the Quran: Remember when ALLAH will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Isa alaihissalam, son of Mary! Remember My Favor to you and your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel) so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Torah, and the Gospel; and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Bani Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.'”
And when ALLAH put in their hearts of the disciples (of Isa alaihissalam) to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: “We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Quran 5:110-111)
Almighty ALLAH also revealed: And ALLAH will teach him (Isa alaihissalam) the Book and Al-Hikmah (the Sunna, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Torah and the Gospel.
And will make him (Isa alaihissalam) a Messenger to the Bani Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by ALLAH’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by ALLAH’s leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with proof from your Lord. So fear ALLAH and obey me. Truly! ALLAH is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.”
Then when Isa alaihissalam came to know of their disbelief, he said: “Who will be my helpers in ALLAH’s Cause?” The disciples said: “We are the helpers of ALLAH; we believe in ALLAH, and bear witness that we are Muslims (we submit to ALLAH).”
Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger (Isa alaihissalam); so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth, La ilaha ill ALLAH – none has the right to be worshipped but ALLAH).
And they (disbelievers) plotted (to kill Isa alaihissalam), and ALLAH planned too. And ALLAH is the Best of the planners. (Quran 3:48-54)
Isa alaihissalam kept calling people to Almighty ALLAH and laid down what is known as “the law of the Spirit” for them to follow. When Isa alaihissalam was standing on a mountain with his disciples, he noticed that those who believed in him came from the poor, the miserable, and the oppressed, and their number was limited. Some of the miracles accomplished by Isa alaihissalam were requested by his disciples, such as the sending down of a “holy table” from heaven.
ALLAH the Exalted said: Remember when the disciples said: “O Isa, son of Maryam! Can your Lord send down to us a table spread (with food) from heaven?” Isa alaihissalam said: “Fear ALLAH if you are indeed believers.” They said: “We wish to eat thereof and to be stronger in Faith and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we are its witnesses.”
Isa alaihissalam, said: “O ALLAH, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – a festival and a sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the best of sustainers.” ALLAH SWT said: “I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the Alamin (mankind and jinn).” (Quran 5:112-115)
It was related that Isa alaihissalam commanded his disciples to fast for thirty days; at the end of it, they asked Isa alaihissalam to bring food from heaven to break their fast. Isa alaihissalam prayed to ALLAH after his disciples had doubted ALLAH’s power. The great table cam down between two clouds, one above and one below, while the people watched. Isa alaihissalam said: “O Lord, make it a mercy and not a cause of distress.” So it fell between Isa alaihissalam’s hands, covered with a napkin.
Isa alaihissalam suddenly prostrated and his disciples with him. They sensed a fragrance, which they had never smelled before. Isa alaihissalam said: “The one who is the most devout and most righteous may uncover the table, that we might eat of it to thank ALLAH for it.” They said: “O Spirit of ALLAH, you are the most deserving.”
Isa alaihissalam stood up, then performed ablution and prayed before uncovering the table, and behold, there was a roasted fish. The disciples said: “O Spirit of ALLAH, is this the food of this world or Paradise?” Isa alaihissalam said to his disciples: “Did not ALLAH forbid you to ask questions? It is the divine power of ALLAH the Almighty Who said: ‘Be,’ and it was. It is a sign from Almighty ALLAH warning of great punishment for unbelieving mortals of the world. This is the kernel of the matter.”
It is said that thousands of people partook of it, and yet they never exhausted it. A further miracle was that the blind and lepers were cured.
The Day of the Table became one of the holy days for the disciples and followers of Isa alaihissalam. Later on, the disciples and followers forgot the real essence of the miracles, and so they worshipped Isa alaihissalam as a god.
ALLAH SWT says in Quran: And remember when ALLAH will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Isa, son of Mary! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides ALLAH?'” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. Never did I say to them aught except what You (ALLAH) did command me to say: ‘Worship ALLAH, my Lord and your Lord, And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world). If you punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”
ALLAH will say: “This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) – they shall abide therein forever. ALLAH is pleased with them and they with Him. That is a great success (Paradise). To ALLAH belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He can do all things.” (Quran 5:116-120)
Prophet Isa alaihissalam continued on his mission until the vice realized that its throne was in danger. As a result, the forces of evil accused him of magic, breaking the Mosaic Law, and devotion to the devil, and when they saw that the poor people followed him, they plotted against him.
The Sanhedrin, the Jewish people’s highest legal and ecclesiastical council, began to conspire against Prophet Isa alaihissalam. The plan changed course. When the Jews were unable to quell Isa alaihissalam’s cry, they determined to put him to death. The top priests met in secret to discuss the best approach to get rid of Prophet Isa Alaihissalam.
While they were meeting, Judas Iscariot, one of Prophet Isa alaihissalam’s twelve apostles, approached them and asked, “What will you offer me if I deliver him to you?” Judas bartered with them until they agreed to pay him thirty shekels, which were silver coins. The plan was formed for Prophet Isa alaihissalam’s capture and assassination.
At the encounter, the Jewish high priest allegedly tore his clothing, declaring that Prophet Isa Alaihissalam had rejected Judaism. At the time, shredding one’s clothes was a gesture of disdain.
Because the priests lacked the authority to impose the death penalty at the time, they persuaded the Roman governor that Prophet Isa Alaihissalam was plotting against the Roman Empire’s security and urged him to take action against him right away. The governor issued a warrant for Isa alaihissalam’s arrest.
According to the Book of Matthew, Prophet Isa Alaihissalam was arrested and sentenced to death by the council of the high priests. After that, they started insulting him, spitting in his face, and kicking him.
It was a common practice of Romans to flog the guilty before they were killed. As a result, Pilate, the Roman governor, commanded to flog Prophet Isa Alaihissalam. The Mosaic Law calls for forty lashes, but the Romans had no such limit, and their lashes were harsh. Following then, Prophet Isa Alaihissalam was delivered over to the soldiers to be crucified. They stripped him down to his underwear and retained them. They mocked him by placing a crown of thorns on his head. To increase his suffering, he carried his cross on his back, as was customary.
The crucifixion of Prophet Isa Alaihissalam according to the Quran
According to the Glorious Qur’an, ALLAH the Exalted did not allow the people of Israel to slay or crucify Prophet Isa Alaihissalam. ALLAH rescued him from his foes and exalted him to the heavenly realm. They did not assassinate Isa Alaihissalam; they assassinated someone else.
ALLAH SWT mentions in the Holy Quran: That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Isa Alaihissalam the son of Mary, the Messenger of ALLAH” but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not (Quran 4:157)
Nay, ALLAH raised him unto Himself, and ALLAH is Exalted in Power, Wise (Quran 4:158)
And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them (Quran 4:159)
ALLAH SWT also stated in the Quran: And (remember) when ALLAH said: “0 Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you (of the forged statement that Isa Alaihissalam is ALLAH’s son) of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but ALLAH) superior to those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of ALLAH, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad, Isa, Moses, etc., or His Holy Books, e.g. the Torah, the Gospel, the Qur’an) till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute. (Quran 3:55)