BIRTH OF PROPHET ISA (3) By Sulaiman Osho

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Guide us in the right path. The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, Not the path of those who have gone astray (Qur’an 1: 1-7).

The Holy Qur’an, Al-Ma’idah 5:46-47 says, “And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God. Let the people of the Gospel Judge by what God hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed they are (no better than) those who rebel”.

Really, the annunciation and the conception of Prophet Isa, presumably took place in Nazareth of Galilee, some 65 miles North of Jerusalem. The delivery took place in Bethlehem about 6 miles South of Jerusalem. It was a remote place, not only with reference to the distance of 71 miles, but because in Bethlehem itself the birth was in an obscure corner under a palm-tree, from which perhaps the baby was afterwards removed to a manger in a stable. (Qur’an 19:18-40). The actual day or date of the birth of the Prophet the of Israel according to the lunar calendar is unknown.

But it is a period when the dates of palm-tree are ripe and fall in droves, which proves that Prophet Isa, son of Mariam was not born in the Winter of December. The day is used as Before Christ to determine dates of his birth, while Anno Domini (A.D.) is in the year since the birth of Christ.

But the Islamic calendar is determined by the lunar month, and dated from the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) to Madinah from Makkah, his birth place, on Friday, September 24, 622 A.D. (13th Rabiul-Awwal, 1 A.H.). It is abbreviated A.H. (After Hijrah). Some Christians actually celebrate Christmas on March 25th while most others celebrate it on December 25th. It was in the seventh century the Church of England adopted December 25th as Christmas day.

No doubt, the similitude of Prophet Isa before God is as that of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be” and he was. Isa is no more than a man (Qur’an, 2:87).

The Almighty Allah confirms in the Holy Qur’an, Al-Imran 3:59-63, “The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam: He created him from dust then said to him: “Be” and he was. The truth (comes) from God alone; so be not of those who doubt. If anyone disputes in this matter with thee now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee say: “Come! let us gather together our sons and your sons our women and your women ourselves and yourselves: then let us earnestly pray and invoke the curse of God on those who lie!” This is the true account: there is no god except God; and God He is indeed the Exalted in Power the Wise. But if they turn back God hath full knowledge of those who do mischief”.

It is against reason and revelation to call him God or the Son of God. He is called the son of Mariam in more than seventy areas in the Holy Quran to emphasize this. He had no known human father as his birth was miraculous. But it is not this which raises him to his high spiritual position as a prophet. But because God called him to his office. The praise is due to God, who by His Word gave him spiritual strength. The miracles which surround his story relate not only to his birth and his life and death, but also to his mother Mariam and his precursor, Yahya. It will be recalled that when Mary, mother of ‘Isa brought him home, without husband impregnating her, she asked the household, pointing at the baby in the cradle, to ask him. And ‘Isa spoke from the cradle in defence of the mother.

According to Holy Qur’an, Maryam 19:27-34 attests, “At length she brought The (babe) to her people, Carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! Truly an amazing thing Hast thou brought! “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not A man of evil, nor thy Mother a woman unchaste!” But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we Talk to one who is A child in the cradle?” He said: “I am indeed A servant of God: He hath given me Revelation and made me A prophet; “And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, And hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long As I live; “(He) hath made me kind To my mother, and not Overbearing or miserable; “So Peace is on me The day I was born, The day that I die, And the day that I Shall be raised up To life (again)”! Such (was) Jesus the son Of Mary: (it is) a statement Of truth, about which They (vainly) dispute”.

The wonderful birth and wonderful life of Prophet Isa (AS) were to turn ungodly men back to God: and his mission was to bring solace and salvation to the repentant. As a prophet sent to the Israelite, who were a hardened race, Isa was truly a gospel of mercy just as Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was a Mercy to mankind. Isa was indeed the anointed which the Greek calls "Christos” in The Hebrew and Arabic form of it is "Masih" (The Messiah).

Indeed, Prophet ‘Isa (The Messiah) came with the message of the unity of the one true God and worship of Him alone to the Israelites. He was no more than Apostle of God and he performed many miracles to convince the Israelis on the Greatness of the One true God (Qur’an 4:171; 5:75; 43:59, 63-64).

The Holy Qur’an, Al-Ma’idah 5:109-115 confirms, “One day will God gather the apostles together and ask: “What was the response ye received (from men to your teaching)? They will say: “We have no knowledge: it is thou who knowest in full all that is hidden. Then will God say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! recount my favor to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom the Law and the Gospel. And behold! thou makest out of clay as it were the figure of a bird by My leave and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave and thou healest those born blind and the lepers by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the Clear Signs and the unbelievers among them said: `This is nothing but evident magic’. “And behold! I inspired the Disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Apostle: they said `We have faith and do thou bear witness that we bow to God as Muslims’.” Behold! the disciples said: “O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?” Said Jesus: “Fear God if ye have faith. They said: “We only wish to eat thereof and satisfy our hearts and to know that thou hast indeed told us the truth; and that we ourselves may be witnesses to the miracle. Said Jesus the son of Mary: “O God our Lord! send us from heaven a table set (with viands) that there may be for us for the first and the last of us a solemn festival and a sign from Thee; and provide for our sustenance for Thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs). God said: “I will send it down unto you: but if any of you after that resisteth faith I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the peoples”.

May Almighty Allah strengthen our faith to accept Allah as only worthy of worship, Ameen.

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