May 18, 2024
muslim messiah
This is the true concept of the Muslim Messiah, described in Qur'an and Sunnah (the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad).

According to Islamic belief, the Messiah promised in the Torah was indeed sent as Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary (peace be upon them). Throughout the Quran, Jesus, known as Isa (Esau) ibn Maryam in Arabic, is repeatedly identified as a messenger of Allah, emphasizing his role as a prophet rather than the son of God. This distinction is crucial in Islamic theology, as associating partners with Allah, such as claiming that Jesus is the literal son of God, is considered a grave sin known as shirk. This is the true concept of the Muslim Messiah. In this article, we shall delve into the characteristics of the Muslim Messiah as described in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

The belief that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), along with all other prophets of God (peace be upon them), were Muslims and that they preached Islam is a fundamental tenet of Islamic theology. This belief stems from the Islamic understanding of the term “Islam” itself, which means submission to the will of God. According to Islamic teachings, all prophets, including Jesus, came with the same message of monotheism and submission to God’s commandments.

Muslims believe that Islam is not a religion confined to the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but rather a universal message that has been conveyed by all the prophets throughout history. Each prophet, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all), was sent by God to guide humanity back to the path of righteousness and submission to the will of God.

In the Quran, it is stated that all prophets were sent to their respective communities with the same message of worshiping one God and obeying His commandments. For example, in Surah Al-An’am (6:161), it says:

Say, ‘Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path – a correct religion – the way of Abraham, inclining toward truth. And he was not among those who associated others with Allah.’

This verse highlights that the path followed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the same as that of Abraham (peace be upon him), emphasizing the continuity and universality of the message of monotheism.

Several verses in the Quran affirm the prophethood of Jesus (peace be upon him) and refute the concept of his divinity. One such verse is:

Surah Al-Maidah (5:75):
The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.”

This verse explicitly states that Jesus was a messenger of Allah, like the prophets who came before him, and emphasizes his human nature by mentioning that he and his mother used to eat food, while God does not.

Another verse that emphasizes Jesus’s status as a messenger and not the son of God is:

Surah Al-Maidah (5:116):
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, “Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?”‘ He will say, ‘Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within me, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.‘”

In this verse, Jesus is depicted as disassociating himself from any claim to divinity and affirming the oneness of Allah.

These Quranic verses, among others, make it clear that Jesus is revered as a messenger of Allah in Islam and that attributing divine qualities to him, such as being the literal son of God, is contrary to Islamic doctrine.

Since the era of the Best of Generations, which refers to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions, the Muslim community has held steadfast to various core beliefs. Among these beliefs is the conviction that Jesus, known in Arabic as Isa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him and his mother), was protected by Allah from the schemes plotted by certain factions of the Jewish community. According to Islamic tradition, instead of being crucified, Jesus was raised alive to the heavens by Allah.

It is firmly believed that Jesus will return to the Earth once again as a precursor to the Day of Judgment, signaling the final era of human existence. This particular belief is encapsulated in Islamic theology as the doctrine of the Descent of Christ (peace be upon him). The roots of this belief are deeply anchored in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and in the authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as documented in the Hadith literature. Therefore, within the Muslim community, this belief holds significant doctrinal importance and is considered an integral aspect of faith.

Allah Almighty said:
وَّ قَوْلِهِمْ اِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِیْحَ عِیْسَی ابْنَ مَرْیَمَ رَسُوْلَ اللّٰهِ ۚ وَ مَا قَتَلُوْهُ وَ مَا صَلَبُوْهُ وَ لٰکِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ؕ وَ اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ اخْتَلَفُوْا فِیْهِ لَفِیْ شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ؕ مَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ اِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَ مَا قَتَلُوْهُ یَقِیْنًا بَلْ رَّفَعَهُ اللّٰهُ اِلَیْهِ ؕ وَ کَانَ اللّٰهُ عَزِیْزًا حَکِیْمًا وَ اِنْ مِّنْ اَهْلِ الْکِتٰبِ اِلَّا لَیُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ ۚ وَ یَوْمَ الْقِیٰمَةِ یَکُوْنُ عَلَیْهِمْ شَهِیْدًا
“And [for] their saying, ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following assumptions. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in him before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be against them a witness.”

[Quran, Surah An-Nisa, 4:157-159]

The belief in the Second Coming of the Messiah Jesus (Isa al-Masih) was deeply ingrained in the Muslim community long before the compilation of famous Hadith collections such as Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim, Musnad Imam Ahmad, and Mowatta Imam Malik. This belief can be traced back to the early days of Islam, rooted in the teachings of the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Quran, the holy book of Islam, contains numerous references to the return of Jesus before the Day of Judgment. One of the key verses that establish this belief is found in Surah An-Nisa (4:159), which states:

And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in him before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.

This verse indicates that Jesus will return and that even the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) will come to believe in him before his natural death.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) observed:

“What would you do when the son of Mary would descend amongst you and would lead you as one amongst you?” Ibn Abi Dhi’b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: Your leader amongst you. Ibn Abi Dhi’b said: Do you know what the words:” He would lead as one amongst you” mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would lead you according to the Book of your Lord (hallowed be He and most exalted) and the Sunnah of your Apostle (ﷺ). [Sahih Muslim: H#155 F]

Narrated Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him):

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (ﷺ). He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognize him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling from his head though it would not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill the swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. [Sunan Abu Dawood: H#4324]

These Hadiths, along with others found in the collections of Hadith, further solidify the belief in the return of Jesus as a just ruler and a follower of Islam. He will rule according to the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This fact identifies Jesus Christ as the Muslim Messiah.

Therefore, the belief in the Second Coming of Jesus, the Muslim Messiah, was firmly established within the Muslim community based on the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) even before the compilation of the major Hadith collections. This demonstrates that the belief was not forged by the authors of Hadith collections but was an integral part of the Islamic faith from the earliest times.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him):

The Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned the Masih Ad-Dajjal in front of the people saying, that Allah is not one-eyed while Masih Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape. While sleeping near the Ka`ba last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color and his hair was so long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Ka`ba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’ Behind him I saw a man who had very curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatan (i.e. an infidel) in appearance. He was placing his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing Tawaf around the Ka`ba. I asked, ‘Who is this? ‘They replied, ‘The Masih, Ad-Dajjal.’ ” [Sahih al-Bukhari:H# 3439, 3440]

It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) that one day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) mentioned in the presence of people about al-Masih al-Dajjal. He said:

Verily Allah (hallowed be He and High) is not blind of one eye. Behold, but the Masih al-Dajjal is blind of the right eye as if his eye is like a swollen grape, and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: I was shown in a dream in the night that near the Ka’bah there was a man fair-complexioned, fine amongst the white-complexioned men that you ever saw, his locks of hair were falling on his shoulders. He was a man whose hair were neither too curly nor too straight, and water trickled down from his head. He was placing his bands on the shoulders of two persons and amidst them was making a circuit around the Ka’bah. I said: Who is he? They replied: Al-Masih son of Mary. And I saw behind him a man with intensely curly hair, blind of the right eye. Amongst the persons I have ever seen Ibn Qatan has the greatest resemblance with him. He was making a circuit around the Ka’bah by placing both his hands on the shoulders of two persons. I said: Who is he? They said; It is al-Masih al-Dajjal. [Sahih Muslim: H#169b]

In the narration, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) describes his dream where he saw Masih Ad-Dajjal, who is described as having a striking physical appearance. The Prophet emphasizes that Allah is not one-eyed, while Masih Ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah)is described as being blind in his right eye, with the appearance of his eye resembling a bulging out grape.

Additionally, the Prophet describes seeing Jesus (Isa), son of Mary (peace be upon them), in his dream. Jesus is described as having a brown complexion, with long hair that falls between his shoulders. He is depicted as performing Tawaf (circumambulation) around the Kaaba in Mecca, accompanied by two men. This imagery aligns with the Islamic belief in the return of Jesus before the Day of Judgment.

Behind Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sees another figure with very curly hair and blindness in his right eye, resembling an individual known as Ibn Qatan, who is likened to an infidel. This figure is identified as Masih Ad-Dajjal, the false messiah. The Prophet’s dream serves as a warning to his companions about the deceptive nature of Masih Ad-Dajjal and the need to recognize him when he appears.

Overall, this narration highlights the significance of recognizing the signs of the end times in Islamic eschatology, including the emergence of Masih Ad-Dajjal and the return of Jesus (peace be upon him). It emphasizes the importance of remaining steadfast in faith and being aware of false prophets and deceptive figures.

Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “On the night of my Ascent to the Heaven, I saw Moses who was a tall brown curly-haired man as if he was one of the men of Shan’awa tribe, and I saw Jesus, a man of medium height and moderate complexion inclined to the red and white colors and of lank hair. [Sahih al-Bukhari: H#3239]

The appearance of Jesus (Isa), the Muslim Messiah, as described in the narration by Ibn Abbas, is depicted as being of medium height and having a moderate complexion. His complexion is described as being inclined towards the red and white colors, which suggests a fair or slightly ruddy complexion. This description implies a balanced skin tone with hues of red and white, possibly indicating a healthy and radiant appearance.

Furthermore, Jesus is described as having lank hair. The term “lank” refers to hair that is straight and smooth, lacking too many curls. This description contrasts with the curly hair mentioned in the previous narration about Masih Ad-Dajjal, further distinguishing between the two figures.

Overall, this portrayal of Jesus’s appearance in the narration emphasizes his moderate and balanced features, which align with his revered status as a prophet and messenger in Islam. His medium height, fair complexion with hints of red and white, and straight lank hair contribute to the image of a dignified and noble figure, consistent with the veneration accorded to him in Islamic tradition.

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