The Israelites had settled in the blessed land, Palestine. They ruled for a long time. They had a vast kingdom. Allah, the Almighty chose many prophets from among them. They followed the Holy Book, the Torah. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) and his son Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) won great popularity as kings and commanded high respect. Their followers believed in God and led noble lives. As the time passed by, they began to pay less attention to the teachings of God. They forgot the Divine favours. They made alterations in the Holy Book according to their own tastes. Most of the Israelites adopted indecent ways of life and committed major sins. At that time there existed a powerful kingdom in the world. It was called the kingdom of Romans. They were polytheists and pagans. They did not worship one God and prayed to many idols made of stones. The Roman society was divided into two factions. The ruling class was very strong and arrogant whereas the ordinary people lived in misery. They were ill-treated as slaves. The female sex enjoyed no privilege in that era. Palestine, the blessed land was ruled by Herod, a cruel king. The people disliked him. They were scared stiff of him. They could not utter a word of complaint against him lest they should be put to sword.
Allah, the Beneficent, showed His favours and wanted to guide the depraved humanity to the right oath. He desired to make the people believe in Allah through miracles. Maryam (Mary) was a beautiful maiden. She was virtuous, abstemious and chaste. She used to pray to Allah frequently. Site grew up in the house of prophet Zakariyya (peace be upon him) and learnt a good deal about Allah and His religion.
One night Maryam was engaged in glorifying the Almighty, Allah. Suddenly she saw a handsome looking young man. She got embarrassed and her face turned pale. She felt jittery and had goose pimples on her skin. Soon after she got tranquillity of mind. She heard a voice from the invisible world:
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 honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. ( 3:45)
Maryam was much perplexed. As she was a virgin, it was quite impossible for her to give birth to baby without entering into matrimonial allegiance with an opposite sex.
Once again the Angel remarked: It is the Will of Allah, the Almighty that you should give birth to a fatherless baby. It is easy for Him to do what He pleases. He has His own reasons. I, however, convey you the good news. Soon after the Angel vanished. Maryam became wet with perspiration. She apprehended that her name would be sullied if she gave birth to a baby before marriage.
After some days Maryam became pregnant. Many people began to level false accusations against her. They calumniated her for developing contraband relations with a man. The whole population of the town derided Maryam. She was feeling terribly ashamed on hearing the baseless charges of slanders. She had a firm faith in Allah. She was sure that Allah would help her in washing away a blot on her fair reputation. She prayed to her Lord frequently to save her honour. The people passed taunting remarks about her every now and then.
When site was reduced to straits by the mischievous persons, she decided to leave Nazareth and settle in another town. She went to a locality called Bethlehem seventy-one miles away from her native town.
She resided near a manger under a palm-tree. Soon after her arrival there Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ) was born. Maryam washed, cleansed and dressed him. He looked very beautiful and attractive. Some of the people got wind of that incident and visited Maryam who gave birth to a fatherless baby. They also made fun of her and began to ask questions. As Maryam had been directed by Allah not to utter a single word for three days from the moment she gave birth to a baby. She complied with the orders and refrained from talking. When the people pressed her hard to reply to their questions, the baby began to utter some words to clarify the position of his pious mother. The listeners were much surprised. They were full of excitement. Isa (Jesus Christ) claimed to be the Prophet of Allah. He advised the people to follow the right path and do noble acts. When the people got a convincing proof regarding the truthfulness and chastity of Maryam, they were much impressed and amazed.
The birth of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) became a talk of the town. Herod, the king, got wind of that miracle. He became worried lest people should obey the directions of the newly born Prophet and neglect his orders. He issued terrible orders to kill all those babies who art under the age of two years. The parents became much upset because they thought that they would be deprived of their affectionate children after the implementation of those orders. Allah guided Maryam to migrate to Egypt to seek protection for her baby. She carried out the orders and reached Egypt after a troublesome journey.
They stayed away from home for twelve years. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) grew up gradually and Allah gave him a good deal of wisdom and knowledge. In the meantime Herod passed away and the people took a sigh of relief. Maryam felt a great pleasure. She picked up her belongings and proceeded towards the blessed land again. She, along with her baby reached there after a long journey.
The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was handsome and dignified. When he had attained the age of thirty years, he began to preach the religion of Allah. Most of the people were not convinced and thus he was exposed to ridicules. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) entreated Allah to grant him a miraculous power to impress the people. Allah gave him that power. He showed many miracles which won the hearts of the people. Gradually they became his followers and began to believe in him and his message.
One day Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was preaching to a large gathering. He exhorted the people to believe in Allah and follow His religion. Most of them turned a deaf ear to his instructions. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) tried to convince them with a miracle. He took some wet clay in his hand and made the statue of a bird with it. He blew his breath on the clay. It became a real bird with wings, eyes and legs by Allah's power. It flew up chirping in the sky. The people looked at the bird but could hardly believe their eyes. They were wonder struck at the sight of this miracle. They were so impressed that they began to take the oath of allegiance to Prophet Isa (peace be upon him).
The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) kept on preaching and many people began to believe in true religion. One day a man came limping towards him. He had suffered from leprosy. He was looking terrible due to lumps on his face. His fingers were crooked and he had lost some toes. The people were scared of him. They detested him but the heart of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was bleeding for the wretched man. The diseased man said in the weak tone: Cure me, cure me. I am disgusted with my life. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) knelt and supplicated for his recovery. He patted at his shoulders. He recovered and his face became clear. All the lumps vanished in the twinkling of an eye. The crowd was much amazed at the sight of this miracle. Every one was much impressed. The people began to follow the teachings of the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him).
One day the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was going through the street which was narrow and winding. He came across a man who was blind and dumb. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) decided to show mercy to him because he was kind-hearted. He put his hand on the shoulder of the man. The blind man opened his eyes and Allah restored his eye sight. Moreover he was endowed with the power of talking. He expressed a deep sense of gratitude for the kindness shown by the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him). This miracle impressed the spectators and they began to follow the teachings of Allah.
A man, Lazarus passed away and his sisters, Mary and Martha fell into melancholy and extinction. They were making preparations to perform burial ceremonies. The mourners flocked at the residence of the deceased. Suddenly the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) appeared on the scene. He knelt down and started to pray to Almighty Allah. After a short time Lazarus was revived by the grace of Allah. He got up and began to talk. Every one jumped out or joy. They began to acknowledge the supreme power of their Lord. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) came to remind the people of the teachings of the other Prophets. He advised the people to believe in Allah and pray to Him only. He asked them not to indulge in back-biting, oppression, sinfulness and impiety. He directed his followers to do noble deeds. He taught them to be loving and tolerant. He also had his own revelations. The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) had twelve disciples who assisted him in preaching. They helped him in spreading the religion of Allah during the life of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) and afterwards.
The preaching work by Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) lasted for three years. A considerable number of people began to follow him. They adopted good ways of life. The Romans and the Jews were much worried because of the prevailing influence of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) and his disciples. They feared lest they should rise in revolt against them. They decided Isa, the Prophet to be crucified.
Allah loved his Prophet. He wanted to save him. On the other hand the Romans made a heavy big cross of wood to put their plan into practice. There was a large gathering and the soldiers were standing all around where Isa, the Prophet was supposed to be crucified. Even those people who were against the teachings of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) were feeling queezy inside. They did not agree with the idea of crucifying him. Allah ordered some one who bore resemblance to Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) to take the place of the Prophet on the cross. In fact the man who was analogous to Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) was crucified and his own life was saved in this manner.
That they said (in boast) "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the Apostle of Allah"; but they killed him not nor crucified him but so it was made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge but only conjecture to follow for of a surety they killed him not. Nay Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power Wise. ( 4:157, 158 )
Most of the teachings of Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) are still in the Gospel but some of the things written in the Bible are not in original form. They were changed and some additions as well as subtractions have been made in his teachings.
O people of the Book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an Apostle of Allah and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Apostles. Say not "Trinity": desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is One Allah: glory be to him: (for Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. Christ disdaineth not to serve and worship Allah nor do the angels those nearest (to Allah): those who disdain His worship and are arrogant He will gather them all together unto himself to (answer).
( 4:171, 172 )
He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; "And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; "(He) hath made me kind to my mother and not overbearing or miserable; "So Peace is on me the day I was born the day that I die and the Day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth about which they (vainly) dispute. ( 19:30-34 )