Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is one of the greatest Prophets of God.
The Quran mentions a great deal about Jesus Christ. A look at the index under “Jesus” in the English translation of the Quran, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, shows a long reference list of subject matter pertaining to Jesus. Some of these are: Jesus’ birth, apostle to Israel, like Adam, not crucified, not God, sent with Gospel, not son of God, Message and miracles, and mission limited.
Muslims do not regard Jesus Christ as being divine. The Quran says that he was a Prophet and every bit a human being in the same nature as all the other Prophets, including Prophet Muhammad. The Quran always refers to Jesus Christ as “son of Mary”, never as “son of God” or Lord (meaning the Creator). To Muslims, God does not need a partner to assist Him. He need not appear as human being to experience human life or to sacrifice himself to save human beings from Hell, for God is Self-Sufficient. All-knowing, Most Powerful, Most Compassionate, etc.
Muslims also believe that:
- Jesus was not son of God literally,
- He was not one of three in the Trinity,
- He was not God, and
- He was not crucified (that is, he did not die on the cross)
The references on these points in the Quran are:
- Not son of God: “The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth. (In this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of the old used to say…how they are deluded away from the Truth.” (9:30)
- No Trinity: “They do blaspheme who say: “God is one of three in a Trinity”: For there is no God except One God.” (5:76)
- Not God: “They do blaspheme who say “God is Christ, the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” (5:75).
- This is exactly what Jesus had said, according to the Bible, namely, “The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29-30)
- Not crucified: “That they said (in boast), “We killed Jesus Christ, the son of Mary.” But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them… for of surety they killed him not.” (4:157) (See Question 34.)
All Prophets of God prior to Prophet Muhammad, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus, were sent by God to deliver His Message to man. As the Message of Revelations were from the One and Only God, and that these Prophets taught their followers to worship none but God, this made all of them Muslims. Even, their disciples and followers were Muslims so long as they followed what was taught by those Prophets appointed by God.
Another factor which causes Muslims to believe that Jesus Christ and the other Prophets were Muslims is the nature of their teachings. They taught people the Oneness of God. For example, Moses and Jesus Christ said that “the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Mark 12:29-30 respectively). In the Quran, it is: “He is God, the One and Only.” (112:1-2)
Another important fundamental essence of Islam taught by them is that only God should be worshipped. God says: “Serve God, and eschew evil.” (16:36)
A Muslim is defined as one who has received the guidance of Islam through Prophet Muhammad, or its essence through the other Prophets before Islam. That is to say, he must totally surrender himself to God alone and not regard any deity or the Prophet as God or God incarnated. In this sense, whoever followed closely the teachings of the Prophets before Prophet Muhammad were also Muslims.