The Human Masih of the Qur’an
Unlike the Old Testament, the Qur’an talks about one Messiah, and it identifies this Messiah as Jesus. Jesus is called al-Masīḥ (the Messiah) 11 times in 9 different Qur’anic verses.
The Qur’anic Messiah shares very little similarity with the Christian Messiah and even less with the Jewish one. Apart from identifying the Messiah with Jesus and presenting him as a miracle worker, the Qur’anic Messiah shares none of the attributes of the Christian Messiah.
The Qur’anic Messiah was not a royal and he did not descend from King David. Having been born of virginal conception, so he did not have a father, he is only called after his mother, “son of Mary.”
Jesus was not a warrior or a military leader. He had no political agenda and led a peaceful life. He had a spiritual mission like that of any prophet.
The Jewish Messiah is an eschatological figure who would come just before the end of times. Jesus’ followers had to modify this concept, because he left without triggering the end of the world, so they invented the concept of Jesus’ second coming and placed it at the end of times. The Qur’an does not present the Messiah as an eschatological figure. He lived, died, and will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection like everyone else. The Qur’an rejects presenting Jesus as a unique kind of prophet and it refutes portraying the Messiah’s appearance as the climax of history. Jesus was very much part of history in the same way that every other prophet was.
One attribute that the Qur’anic Jesus shares with the Jewish Messiah is his human nature. As explained earlier, Jesus was a Muslim prophet and messenger — a servant of God.
For more information about the concept of “Messiah” in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the reader may like to consult my book The Mystery of the Messiah: Jesus’ Messiahship in the Qur’an, the New Testament, the Old Testament, and other Jewish Sources.
Copyright © 2015 Louay Fatoohi
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