Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

"Jesus in the Qur'an - Birth"


In this section, Dr. Badawi attempts to remake Jesus in an image that fits the Qur'an's teachings. Dr. Badawi will attempt to convince us that the Qur'an's version of the birth of Jesus is the true account. Unfortunately for Badawi's argument, the Qur'an's account is nothing more than a collection tales borrowed from apocryphal stories, some of which were copied incorrectly by Muhammad!

Host: What is the extent of coverage of Jesus in the Qur'an?

Jamal Badawi : There are 11 Chapters in the Qur'an mention Jesus. In chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 19, 21, 23, 43, 57. Chapter 19 takes it title from the mother of Jesus, Maryam. Chapter 2 al Imran takes its name from the family of Mary, Chapter 5's title is the Table, the Muslims view of the Last Supper.

Host: How is he referred to?

Jamal Badawi : Isa, or Jesus, al Masih or Messiah or anointed one.

Yes, the Qur'an refers to Jesus as the Messiah in several passages. The problem is that the Qur'an does not define this term.

Host: What about his background?

Jamal Badawi : There is some brief discussion. The main problem with his people was extreme ritualism and materialism. The mission of the previous Prophets have been misinterpreted the one has to stick to the letter of the law.

Is this what the Qur'an says?

Host: What about his lineage?

Jamal Badawi : The Qur'an says that Jesus is a descendant of Abraham, all Prophets are his descendants. Sura 6:83-85:

That was the reasoning about Us, which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will, degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided: and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron: thus do We reward those who do good: And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous: And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and Lot: and to all We gave favour above the nations: (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren: We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way.

The Qur'an traces Jesus to his grandmother, the wife of Imran. The wife of Imran got pregnant and vowed to devote her child to the service of God or the Temple. She was disappointed that Mary was a girl because they cannot serve in the Temple. Maryam was raised in the care of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Whenever he entered her sanctuary, she had food which she said God gave her. Zechariah prayed for a child and he and his wife were old, and God gave them John the Baptist. Sura 3:33-37:

Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of 'Imran above all people, - Offspring, one of the other: And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. Behold! a woman of 'Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me: For Thou hearest and knowest all things." When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!"- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- "And no wise is the male Like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected." Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty: To the care of Zakariya was she assigned. Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?" She said: "From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure."

Muhammad confused the Mary of the New Testament with the Mary of the Old Testament [the sister of Moses]. To illustrate how Muhammad confused these two Marys, we need to compare Sura 66:12:

And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient.

with Numbers 26:59:

the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.

Host: Did Mary predict that she would be with child and he would be Jesus?

Jamal Badawi : She did have some notions. Mary went into seclusion and the angel appeared to her in the form of a human. She implored him not to come near her if he fears God, he said that he was coming to bring her the news. Sura 19:16-21:

Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son. She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us':It is a matter (so) decreed."

Compare this with the account in the apocryphal Protevangelium of James the Less :

And lo! a voice, saying, 'Hail, O highly favoured! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And she looked around to right and left [to see] whence this voice came. And having become alarmed she departed unto her house; and having set down the pitcher . . she sat down upon the seat. . . . And lo! an angel of the Lord stood by, saying unto her, 'Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour in God's sight, and thou shalt conceive from His Word. 'But Mary having heard considered in herself, saying, 'Shall I conceive according as every woman beareth?' And the angel saith unto her, 'Not thus, Mary; for the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also the holy thing that is to be born shall be called Son of the Highest: and thou shalt call His name Jesus."

Host: Did she begat Jesus, or bring him in the normal fashion, was her child bearing normal?

Jamal Badawi : There was no evidence that it was unusual. She suffered agony. She was distressed because of what her people might think. Jesus assured her and told her what to do when she was asked. Jesus spoke in his mother's arms defending her Sura 19 22-26:

So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. "So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being'"

The incident was probably taken from an apocryphal work entitled "History of the Nativity of Mary and the Infancy of the Saviour" which probably is derived from an ancient source. According to this book, this event occurred during the Flight into Egypt and not during the birth of Jesus - Muhammad apparently misunderstood the story or did his own editing. This tale records how Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus began there journey. After two days traveling the story tells us :

"But on the third day after he had set out, it came to pass that Mary became exhausted in the desert through the excessive heat of the sun. When therefore she saw a tree, she said unto Joseph, 'Let us rest a little while under the shadow of this tree.' And Joseph hasted and brought her to that palm-tree, and took her down off her beast. When Mary sat down, she looked up to the top of the palm-tree, and seeing it full of fruit said to Joseph, 'I desire, if it be possible, to take of the fruit of this palm-tree.' And Joseph said unto her, 'I marvel that thou speakest thus, since thou seest how high the branches of this palm-tree are. But I am extremely anxious about water, for it has now been exhausted in our skin-bottles, and have nowhere whence we can fill them and quench our thirst.' Then the Child Jesus, who with joyful countenance lay in His mother the Virgin Mary's bosom, said to the palm-tree, O tree, lower thy branches and refresh My mother with thy fruit.' Instantly the palm-tree at this word bowed its head to the sole of Mary's feet: and they plucked the fruit which it bore, and were refreshed. And afterwards, when all its fruit had be plucked, the tree still remained bent, since it was waiting to rise up at the command of Him, whose command it had bowed down. Then Jesus said unto it, 'O palm-tree, arise and be of good cheer, and be thou a companion of My trees that are in My Father's Paradise. But with thy roots open the spring that is hidden in the ground, and let water flow forth from that spring to quench our thirst.' And the palm-tree instantly stood erect, and streams of very clear, cool, and very sweet water began to come forth from amid its roots. And when they beheld those streams of water, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy; and they with all their quadrupeds and attendants were satisfied and thanked God."

Host: What about the reaction of the people?

Jamal Badawi : Verses 27-40 covers the reaction:

Which you can read for yourself.

Compare this with the account in the apocryphal Protevangelium of James the Less:

"And the priest said, 'Mary, why hast thou done this and hast humbled thy soul? Thou hast forgotten the Lord thy God, thou who wast brought up in the Holy of Holies and didst receive food at an angel's hand, and didst hear the hymns ... Why hast thou done this?' But she wept bitterly, saying, 'As the Lord God liveth, I am pure in His sight, and I know not a man.'"

Sister or Aaron means all believers are brothers and sisters.

Please see the discussion above on this topic.

Host: Who was Jesus' father?

Jamal Badawi : Who were Adam and Eve's father? Does this imply that they are divine? The Qur'an says in Sura 3:59:

The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.

It is not only the birth of Jesus is miraculous, so are the births of all human beings, Jesus' birth was unusual. We should not imply that God is bound by the same laws of nature as us. Sura 3:45-49:

Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; "He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is! "And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel, "And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that 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 Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

Jesus completes God creation. Adam was created from nothing, Eve had no mother, everyone else was created from a man and woman, and Jesus had no father.

Adam and Eve were the first human beings, so it stands to reason that they would not have biological parents. If Jesus "was only a Messenger" (Sura 5:75 ) why was the virgin birth necessary? No other Prophet was born this way, why was it necessary for Jesus to be born of a virgin? Once again, the Qur'an does not gives us an answer [the Bible does], but makes it appear that God is simply "showing off". If Muhammad is the last and greatest "Prophet", why did God bring Jesus into the world in this very unique way and not Muhammad?

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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