The Names of `Īsā found in the Qur’ān

Hazrat 'Isa's Qur'anic Titles

The Qur’ān is a large book in Arabic, a foreign language for most people in the world. For that reason, few people have an accurate understanding of all the different subjects covered in the Qur’ān. One of the most important subjects in it concerns the different prophets God has sent into the world at different times. Of those prophets, one of whom the Qur’ān says a great deal is the prophet `Īsā, son of Mary. Most people have heard his name and know a few details about his life and work. However, few people have an accurate knowledge of the many and varied ways he is described in the Qur’ān. For that reason, this study was prepared. This short booklet is intended to give the reader a clear and accurate picture of how the Prophet `Īsā is described in the Qur’ān. What follows are simply verses taken directly from the Islamic Foundation of the Qur’ān. The goal is for the reader himself to gain a more accurate understanding about how the Prophet `Īsā is portrayed in the Qur’ān.

`Īsā (Jesus)

'Isa 

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَى مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ۝

“When `Īsā found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims .” (Al-‘Imran 3:52)

 

قُولُواْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ۝

“Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and `Īsāac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and `Īsā received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.” (Baqara 2:136)

وَلَمَّا جَاء عِيسَى بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالَ قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَلِأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ ۝

“When `Īsā came with Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me.” (Az-Zukhruf 43:63)

Al-Maseeh (the Messiah, the Christ)

maseeh

وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ۝

“. . . The Messiah said, ‘People of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and yours.” Whoever adds gods to Allah will be forbidden from heaven; his abode will be Hell. The unjust have no helpers.” (Al-Ma’ida 5:72)

لَّن يَسْتَنكِفَ الْمَسِيحُ أَن يَكُونَ عَبْداً لِّلّهِ وَلاَ الْمَلآئِكَةُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ وَمَن يَسْتَنكِفْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيَسْتَكْبِرْ فَسَيَحْشُرُهُمْ إِلَيهِ جَمِيعًا۝

“The Messiah will not disdain to be a slave of Allah, nor will the angels who are near. Whoever proudly disdains Allah’s service will be summoned by him to answer for it.” (Al-Nisa’ 4:172)

Zakiy (sinless)

zakiy 

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا۝

“He said: ‘I (God’s Spirit) am truly the messenger of your Lord, give you a sinless boy.'” (Maryam 19:19)

Kalimatullah (God’s Word)

kalimatullah 

إِلاَّ الْحَقِّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۝

“. . .Truly the Messiah `Īsā the son of Mary is Allah’s messenger and his word which he sent down on Mary, and a spirit from him. . .” (Al-Nisa’ 4:171)

إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ۝

“The angels said, ‘Mary, Allah gives you good news of a word from him whose name is Messiah `Īsā son of Mary, highly exalted in this world and the hereafter, and brought near to God.” (Al-‘Imran 3:45)

Rūhun-Minhu (spirit from Him)

ruhun-minhu 

إِلاَّ الْحَقِّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۝

“. . .Truly the Messiah `Īsā the son of Mary is Allah’s messenger and his word which he sent down on Mary, and a spirit from him . . .” (Al-Nisa’ 4:171)

وَالَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهَا مِن رُّوحِنَا وَجَعَلْنَاهَا وَابْنَهَا آيَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ۝

“She (Mary) guarded her chastity, so we breathed into her of our spirit , and we made her and her son a miracle for all mankind.” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:91)

وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ ۝

“Mary daughter of Imran guarded her chastity, so we breathed into her womb of our spirit , and she believed the words of her Lord and his books and was devout.” (Al-Tahrim 66:12)

Ibn Maryam (son of Mary)

Ibn-maryam 

قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاء تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيداً لِّأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآيَةً مِّنكَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ ۝

“`Īsā son of Mary said: O Allah, our Lord, send down for us a table from heaven to be a feast for us, from the first of us to the last, and provide for us. You are the best of the providers.” (Al-Ma’ida 5:114)

وَقَفَّيْنَا عَلَى آثَارِهِم بِعَيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الإِنجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ۝

“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 Allah.” (Al-Ma’ida 5:46)

‘Abdullah (slave of God)

abdullah 

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا۝

“He (`Īsā) said, ‘I am Allah’s slave . He has given me the Book and made me a prophet.'” (Maryam 19:30)

لَّن يَسْتَنكِفَ الْمَسِيحُ أَن يَكُونَ عَبْداً لِّلّهِ وَلاَ الْمَلآئِكَةُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ وَمَن يَسْتَنكِفْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيَسْتَكْبِرْ فَسَيَحْشُرُهُمْ إِلَيهِ جَمِيعًا۝

“The Messiah will not disdain to be a slave of Allah , nor will the angels who are near. Whoever proudly disdains Allah’s service will be summoned by him to answer for it.” (Al-Nisa’ 4:172)

Nabiy (prophet)

nabiy 

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا۝

“He (`Īsā) said, ‘I am Allah’s servant. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet .’ (Maryam 19:30)

Rasūlullah (God’s messenger)

rasulullah 

إِلاَّ الْحَقِّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۝

“. . .Truly the Messiah `Īsā the son of Mary is Allah’s messenger and his word which he sent down on Mary, and a spirit from him. . .” (Al-Nisa’ 4:171)

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۝

“Of those messengers , we (God) preferred some over others. Some Allah spoke to, and he raised some in degree. He brought `Īsā son of Mary the clear signs, and aided him with the Holy Spirit..” (Baqara 2:253)

وَرَسُولاً إِلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَأُبْرِىءُ الأكْمَهَ والأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِـي الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ۝

“(and `Īsā was) A messenger to the people of Israel, (saying): ‘I have brought you a miracle from your Lord: I will create for you a clay bird and breathe into it and it will be a bird by Allah’s permission. I heal the man born blind and the leper and give life to the dead by Allah’s permission. I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses. This is a miracle, if you believe.” (Al-‘Imran 3:49)

رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنزَلَتْ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ۝

(The apostles prayed) “Lord, we believe in what You revealed and follow the messenger (`Īsā).” (Al-‘Imran 3:53)

Mufaddal (preferred)

mufaddal 

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۝

“Of those messengers, we (God) preferred some over others. Some Allah spoke to, and he raised some in degree. He brought `Īsā son of Mary the clear signs, and aided him with the Holy Spirit..” (Baqara 2:253)

Al-Sālih (righteous)

salih 

وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً وَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ۝

“He (`Īsā) will speak to people in the cradle and adult-hood, and he is righteous .” (Al-‘Imran 3:46)

وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَى وَعِيسَى وَإِلْيَاسَ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ۝

“And Zechariah, Yahya (John the Baptist), `Īsā, and Elias (Elijah), each of whom are righteous .” (Al An‘am 6:85)

Mubarak (blessed)

mubarak 

وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا ۝

“He (God) made me blessed wherever I am, and commanded me to pray and give alms as long as I remain alive.” (Maryam 19:31)

‘Āyah (a miracle or sign)

ayah 

وَالَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهَا مِن رُّوحِنَا وَجَعَلْنَاهَا وَابْنَهَا آيَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ۝

“She (Mary) guarded her chastity, so we breathed into her of our spirit, and we made her and her son a miracle for all mankind.” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:91)

قَالَ كَذَلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا ۝

“He (God’s Spirit) said, ‘Thus your Lord says: it is easy for me, and we will make him a miracle to people and a mercy from us. It was a predestined matter.” (Maryam 19:21)

Muqarrab (near to God)

muqarrab 

إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ ۝

“The angels said, ‘Mary, Allah gives you good news of a word from him whose name is Messiah `Īsā son of Mary, highly exalted in this world and the hereafter, and near to God .” (Al-‘Imran 3:45)

Fiy Kamathali ‘Ādama (in Adam’s likeness)

fiy-kamathali-adama 

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثِمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ۝

“The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was.” (Al-‘Imran 3:59)

Shaheed (witness)

shaheed 

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ ۝

“I told them only what You commanded me: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ I was a witness over them while I remained among them, and when You made me die, You became the watcher over them. And You are witness over everything.” (Al-Ma’ida 5:117)

وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلاَّ لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا ۝

“Every one of the people of the Book will believe in him (`Īsā) before his death; and he will be a witness over them on the Day of Resurrection.” (An-Nisa 4:159)

Mu’ayyad bi Rūh ul-Qudus (Aided by the Holy Spirit)

mu'ayyad bi Ruh ul-Quds 

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقاً كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقاً تَقْتُلُونَ۝

“We gave Moses the Book and caused messengers to follow him and brought `Īsā son of Mary the clear signs, and aided him by the Holy Spirit .” (Baraqa 2:87)

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ۝

“Of those messengers, we (God) preferred some over others. Some Allah spoke to, and he raised some in degree. He brought `Īsā son of Mary the clear signs, and aided him by the Holy Spirit.” (Baraqa 2:253)

إِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى وَالِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِي فَتَنفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِي وَتُبْرِىءُ الأَكْمَهَ وَالأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِي وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوتَى بِإِذْنِي وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَنكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ۝

“Allah said, ‘`Īsā son of Mary, mention my grace to you and your mother, as I aided you with the Holy Spirit , so you spoke to the people in the cradle and adulthood, and as I taught you the Book and wisdom and the Tawrah and the Injeel, and as you create a clay bird by my permission and you breathe into it and it becomes a bird by my permission, and you heal the one born blind and the leper by my permission, and you bring forth the dead by my permission. I have kept the people of Israel from you when you brought them miracles and the disbelievers among them said: This is just magic.'” (Al-Ma’ida 5:110)

Musaddiq (confirmer)

musaddiq 

وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَجِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ۝

“A confirmer of the Tawrah is in my hands, and to permit for you some of what was forbidden to you, and I have brought you a miracle from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me.” (‘Imran 3:50)

Wajeeh (highly exalted)

wajeeh 

إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ۝

“The angels said, ‘Mary, Allah gives you good news of a word from him whose name is Messiah `Īsā son of Mary, highly exalted in this world and the hereafter, and brought near to God.” (Al-‘Imran 3:45)

Rahmah (mercy)

rahmah 

قَالَ كَذَلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا۝

“He (God’s Spirit) said, ‘Thus your Lord says: it is easy for me, and we will make him a miracle for people and mercy from us. It was a predestined matter.” (Maryam 19:21)

Qaul al-Haqq (the statement of truth)

Qaul al-Haqq 

ذَلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِي فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ۝

“That is `Īsā, son of Mary, the statement of truth about whom they are doubting.” (Maryam 19:34)

La’ilmu lis saa’ati
(Sign of the Hour [of Judgement])

la'ilmulissaa'ati 

وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ فَلَا تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا وَاتَّبِعُونِ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ۝

“And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.” (Zukhruf 43:61)

Conclusion

This brief study has simply presented a short overview of the various names and descriptions used for `Īsā in the Qur’ān. The booklet is not exhaustive. It does not cover all the many references to `Īsā in the Qur’ān under each heading. A much larger book would be needed for such an undertaking. However, it does provide one or more examples of each of the different names and descriptions used of `Īsā so as to give the reader an accurate picture of how the Qur’ān uses each term. Several of these descriptions are unique to `Īsā and used of no one else. It is our hope that after reading this short booklet, the reader will be motivated to go on and read for himself what the Qur’ān says about `Īsā as well as the many other topics of importance covered in it.

Click here for the titles of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qur’ān.

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