The Miracles of Prophet Jesus from Islamic Perspective
Prophet Jesus like many other Prophets had proved the authenticity of his mission by miracles he demonstrated with the Permission of God.
The wonders performed by the Prophets that we call ‘Miracles’ are referred to in the Quran (3:49, 5:114) and the Bible (Act2:43) as ‘The Sign of God’,
because it verifies and confirms the claim of the Prophets. Miracles also mean ‘Wonders’ because they made the observers marvel.
In Arabic, a miracle is called ‘Al-Mo’jezah’ which means an act that humans are incapable of doing. No human including the Prophets could ever perform the miracles independently and without the Leave of God. The holy Quran in a general rule states that no miracle can ever take place without the Permission of God.
“And it was not given to any Messenger that he should bring a Sign (Miracle) except by the Leave of Allah.” (40:78, 13:38)
The purpose of demonstrating the miracles was mainly for people to be able to verify and confirm the claim of the Prophets and to increase their faith. Thus, Jesus after performing miracles said to his people:
“Surely, therein is a Sign for you, if you believe.” (3:49)
Thus, according with the sublime teachings of the Quran performing miracles is a sign of being a Messenger of God not of being God or son of God! The Holy Quran has narrated six different types of miracles performed by Prophet Jesus, all by the Leave of God.
- Speaking in the crib
Before a human baby learns how to talk, he must learn the rules of language and how adults use it to communicate. He begins with babbling, then will pick up some simple words from his mum and those around him, and then between the age of one or two years he will begin to from two to three word sentences. This is a normal development of the human ability of speaking.
The first miracle of Prophet Jesus was demonstrated when he was only a few days or even few hours old. When he was just a new born babe in the crib he fluently spoke out and introduced himself. (19:30-33)
The purpose of this miracle was to safeguard Mary from false charges. Without this miracle, Mary would have been persecuted for adultery. It is, however, astonishing that none of the Gospels have narrated such an important and vital miracle.
- Creating a living bird
Creation is the marvellous act of God. The Almighty God in the holy Quran refers to the creation of man:
“So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him from My Soul……..”(15:29)
Another miracle related to Jesus in the Quran is the creation of a living bird out of clay.
“I create for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave.” (3:49, 5:110)
Referring to the above Ayah, some Christian evangelists attempt to confirm the divinity of Jesus according with the Quran! The main point they miss or ignore is ‘By Allah’s Leave’. None of the creatures of God can create anything without his Leave.
“Those whom they invoke besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created.” (16:20)
- Bringing the dead to life
The act of causing living creatures to die or reviving the dead to life is a divine act. The Almighty God reveals in the holy Quran:
“And that it is He (Allah) Who causes death and gives life.” (53:44)
One of the miracles of Jesus was that he was, by permission from God, bringing the dead to life. (3:49) The holy Quran does not give the details of the person/persons that Jesus brought back to life. The present Gospels however have recorded some dead people whom Jesus revived such as Lazarus (John 11:1-44). For Christians, the reviving of the dead is considered one of the greatest miracles demonstrated by Jesus. They count on this miracle as one of the signs for his deity.
We however, need to bear in mind that firstly the miracles of Jesus were performed by the Leave of God and secondly according with the Old Testament Prophet Elijah also revived the dead by the Permission of God. (1 Kings 17: 2-24). If reviving a dead to life makes the actor god or son of god, then why can’t Elijah also be the same?
- Healing the terminally ill and those born blind
Jesus was healing those born blind and the lepers too as indicated in the holy Quran. (3:49) Christians argue that in the Old Testament it is God Himself Who is associated with the giving of sight to the blind. (Ex. 4:11). Thus, they conclude, Jesus is god! The answer to this is that neither Jesus nor any other person can ever perform any miracle without the Leave of God and hence the miracles of Jesus are in fact the intervention of God through His selected servant, i.e. Jesus.
- Disclosing secrets
The holy Quran narrates another miracle that Jesus performed by God`s permission, which is related to the scope of human knowledge. Jesus was informing people about those things which were secret to other than them, such as what they ate at home and what they had hidden there. (3:49) Although man in an ordinary manner has no access to the unseen, God chooses to unveil the secrets and the unseen to some of His servants.
“He (Allah alone is) the All-Knower of the unseen, and He reveals to none His unseen. Except to a Messenger whom He has chosen.” (72:26-27)
Jesus was a chosen Messenger of God and hence God revealed to him the secrets.
- A table spread with food from heaven
Prophet Jesus performed a miracle exclusively for his disciples when they were wandering with him on the earth preaching his teachings. Once they ran out of food and asked Jesus: “Can your Lord send down to us a table spread with food from heaven?” Jesus, who was not sure about their intention, refused to perform the miracle and advised them: “Fear Allah if you are indeed believers.”
They explained that they had no intention for this request but “To eat thereof and satisfy our hearts to be stronger in faith, and to know that you have indeed told the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses.”
Once Jesus was assured of their sincere intention he invoked to God saying: “O Allah, Our Lord! Send us from the heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us –for the first and the last of us- an Eid and a Sign from You; and provide us with sustenance, for You are the Best of sustains.”
The fifth chapter of the Quran is named after this miracle ‘al-Ma’edah’ and its story is mentioned in Ayaat 112 to 114. The holy Quran, as of its usual style, does not mention the details of the story. According with a Hadith from Imam Baqir (a.s) their heavenly food was bread and fish.