From long ago, there were some Jews who hoped for an independent government. The history of the Jews, and their long yearning for the promised Messiah is reflected in Torah or what the Christians call the Old Testament.

This savior whom everyone hoped for his appointment was called “Masih” or “Messiah”, meaning “the chosen by God”.      

Messiah in Hebrew is “Maashih”, which is the metaphor for the king. For the Jews, using the holy ointment, like crowning and taking the sword, was among the customs in the ceremony of coronation. When they chose someone for kingship, the cleric put oil on his head as a part of religious ceremony. Therefore the Jews used to title a king or a celebrity as Messiah.          

After many years of waiting, God advantaged Mary to the people, and granted her a child called Jesus (PBUH) that was appointed to prophethood. He revealed his miracles to prove that he was a Prophet for the salvation of man. On the contrary to what the Jews hold, Christianity was indeed a religion, as it claims to link the man to God. The head of this link is Jesus Christ (PBUH).   

What must be reminded is that all the prophets approved the prophethood of the previous prophets. However, some of them voided the previous religion. But Jesus (PBUH) did not annul the Torah, and further confirmed it. He, in fact, modified some rules of the religion of Prophet Moses (PBUH). For example, he legitimized some lawful goods, which were illegalized due to the conditions of the time of Prophet Moses (PBUH). Therefore, the Christians do not reject the prophethood of Prophet Moses (PBUH), and respect the Torah.

But the reverse is not true. Because when Prophet Jesus was born, the Jews accused Mary to many calumnies, as if she was a sinful woman. On the other hand, the Christians hold a surprising view to Prophet Jesus (PBUH). Jesus (PBUH), the founder of Christianity, is looked at as a god who has willed to live as a human among people. (1)

However, the Holy Quran views these matters differently. The Holy Quran counts the terrible accusations of the Jews to Mary as a “Great calumny”, and strongly criticizes the Jews for that, and says: “And for their disbelief and for their uttering against Mary a grievous calumny, we will punish them.“ (۲)

Also, there is another point which the Holy Quran makes, and that is the hints that shows that Prophet Jesus (PBUH) knew himself as a servant of Allah (SWT), and renounced the idea of his divinity, and discouraged the people in worshipping him, and encouraged them to worship God:

* “He said I am the servant of God”(۳)

*“Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him, This is the right Path.” (۴)

*”I told them only what You commanded me to say, that: `You shall worship GOD, my Lord and your Lord.’ I was a witness among them for as long as I lived with them. When You terminated my life on earth, You became the Watcher over them. You witness all things.” (۵)

These verses show that somehow the whispers of Jesus’ divinity had been heard during his lifetime too, and that he had opposed them.

Relating to the contents of the Holy Quran, the Great Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) explains the opinion of Islam regarding the viewpoints of the Jews and the Christian as such: “Regarding Prophet Jesus, two parties failed. First, the Jews that counted him as an enemy to an extent which they blamed him, and second, the Christians that loved him to an extent that placed him as God. (6)

As the last word, what is important is that in order to arrive at a progressed society, we should respect each other’s rights with an external approach to our beliefs.(7) However, peaceful coexistence between the divine religions, or even different schools, should not hinder precise and critical inquiry of different beliefs. Therefore, to reach answers, we should study and research the beliefs, and for sure, helping the seekers of truth is assured promise of God.

(Selection taken from the book “Islam, the Preferred Faith”, by Alireza Masjedjame’i)       

 The Roshd website congratulates the birthday anniversary of the confirmer of Prophet Moses (PBUH) and the one who glad tided the arrival of the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Isa/Jesus (PBUH)  the son of Maryam/Mary (PBUH) to all the world and you dear friend.

Footnotes:

1. For more information please refer to Niqie Credo which is written in 325 AD

2. The Holy Quran, (4: 156)

3. The Holy Quran, (19: 156)

4. The Holy Quran, (43: 156)

5. The Holy Quran, (6: 156)

6. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 35, p. 322

7. Nevertheless, some faiths are leader in this field. For example Islam and Shiism strongly advocate the rights of human being and teach the followers special teachings in this respect.