Other Religions in Islam

Religion of all Prophets

Islam is the religion of all prophets. Muslims believe that all the prophets were sent to their respective peoples by Allah. They all had the same mission and message – guiding people to the right path.

The three revealed, monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, go back to Abraham (pbuh). The prophets of these religions were directly descended from him – Moses, Jesus and others from Isaac, but Muhammad from Ismaail (peace be upon them).

It was Prophet Abraham (pbuh) who had established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and with his son Ismaail (pbuh) built the Kaabah, which Muslims all over the world face when they pray.

Christians and Jews hold a special place in Islam. They are called the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab), since the original Torah and Gospel were also divinely revealed and they shared in the prophetic tradition. Islamic states have nearly always shown their religious minorities tolerance and respect and those communities flourished under Islamic rule. Allah says: “…[T]hose who believe (in the message of Islam), and the Jews, the Sabaeans, and the Christians – all those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and act righteously – no fear shall come upon them…” [5:69]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made the community he set up inclusive of the Arabian Jews and Christians. Their persons, properties, churches and synagogues were protected, freedom of worship was guaranteed, and they controlled their own community affairs with their own civil and religious laws and courts.

For most of the first century of Islam in fact, the majority of the citizens were Christians, enjoying peace and liberty such as they had not had even under Christian Rome or Byzantium.

The Jews, from the very beginning in Madinah, and later everywhere else, were lifted from the burden of being clients of individual Arab tribes to being citizens of the community, thus freeing them to focus on their Jewishness.

When the Islamic state expanded outside Arabia the Jews of other lands were treated for the first time as liberated citizens. Judaism flourished as never before, with Jews even serving in Muslim armies and administrations while their culture bloomed in the arts, sciences, medicine and philosophy.

Jesus/Eesa (Peace Be Upon Him)

Islam honours all the prophets who were sent to mankind. Muslims respect all prophets in general, but Jesus (Eesa) (pbuh) in particular, because he was one of the prophets who foretold the coming of Muhammad (pbuh).

Muslims, too, await the second coming of Jesus (pbuh). They consider him one of the greatest of Allah’s prophets to mankind. A Muslim does not refer to him simply as “Jesus,” but normally adds the phrase “peace be upon him” as a sign of respect.

The Qur’an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur’an is entitled “Mary”(Maryam), and Mary (Maryam) is considered to have been one of the purest women in all creation. The Qur’an describes Jesus’ (pbuh) birth as follows:

“Behold!’ the Angel said, God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and in the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the righteous. She said: “My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: “Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.” [3:42-47]

Muslims believe that Jesus (pbuh) was born immaculately, and through the same power which had brought Eve to life and Adam into being without a father or a mother.

“Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was.” [3:59] During his prophetic mission, Jesus (Eesa) (pbuh) performed many miracles. The Qur’an tells us that he said: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God’s leave.” [3:49]

Muhammad and Jesus (peace be upon them) , as well as the other prophets, were sent to confirm the belief in one God. This is referred to in the Qur’an where Jesus (pbuh) is reported as saying that he came: “To attest the law which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me.” [3:50] Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emphasized the importance of Jesus (pbuh) by saying: “Whoever believes there is no God but Allah, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is a servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. [Bukhari]