The name of Jesus appears in Islamic literature as I`sa`. The Quran mentions Jesus using the name I'sa` twenty five times in different verses as follows : three times in the second chapter Al-Baqarah; in five verses of the third chapter A'li Imran ; in three verses of the fourth chapter An-Nisa (The Woman); in six verses of the fifth chapter Al-Ma'idah ; twice in the sixty first chapter named As-Saf and once each in the following chapters : Al-Anâ'am , Maryam , Al-Ahzab , As-Shura, Az-Zukhruf , and Al-Hadeed .
Jesus has also been called Masih in the Quran and the Hadiths (sayings) of the prophet Muhammad [SAWW].
The following Quranic verse uses this name, whilst giving Mary the glad tidings of Jesusâ€™ pending immaculate conception :
"Behold! The angels said, "O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a WORD from Him, his name will be Masih I'sa`, Son of Mary given honour in this world and in the hereafter and will be amongst those who are close to Allah." 3/46.
This verse mentions both the names I'sa` and Masih as well as Jesus' filial appellation (patronymic name) which is Ibn-Maryam (Son of Mary). Jesus has been given the attribute of being His Word (Kalimah).
Another quality attributed to Jesus is RUH which upholds many meanings, as in the following verse of the Quran :
"O people of the book! Commit no excesses in your religion nor say of Allah naught but truth. Iâ€™sa`, Masih, the Son of Mary was no more than a messenger of Allah and His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit proceeding from Him, so believe in Allah and His messengers and do not say, "They are three." Desist, it will be better for you as Allah is one God, Glory be to Him, as He is far exalted above having a son. To Him belong the contents of the Heavens and all things that are on the Earth and Allah is enough as a Disposer of Affairs." 4/171.
Our point of interest in this lengthy verse, at this stage, is the extra quality attached to Jesus, mentioned in the middle of the verse, which is, "a RUH proceeding from Him."
From this it can be concluded that Jesus has been given two names of I'sa` and Masih and also two main attributes of Ruh (Spirit) and Kalimah (Word).
Birth Of Prophet Isa (PBUH):
Allah, the Beneficent, showed His favors 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 virtuous, abstemious and chaste lady . She used to pray to Allah (SWT) frequently. She 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 tranquility of mind. She heard a voice from the invisible world:
"I am an angel of Allah. He has sent me to inform you that you are going to have a baby."
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 .
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.
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. 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 honor. The people passed taunting remarks about her every now and then.
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) (PBUH) 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.
In the words of Quran he Said ".. Innee Abdullah .."
[I am a bondsmen of Allah ]
He also announced that he has been given divine book . Jesus Christ's life is a living example of spirituality . Below are his famous saying narrated to us from Shia traditions.
1. Jesus (a) said, "Whoever is content with the destiny of Allah, it is as if his works are in accord with the gospel."
2. Jesus (a) said, "Sleeping on a mat and eating barely bread for seeking paradise is expeditious."
3. The Prophet said, Jesus said, We bring what is revealed for you, but as for the interpretation, it will be brought by the Paraclete (farqiliT) at the end of time.
4. Imam Ali (a) said, Jesus the son of Mary (a) said, ˜Verily the evil doer is infectious, and the associate of the wicked is brought down. So beware of those with whom you associate."
5. I heard Imam Al-Ridha (a) say, Jesus the son of Mary, may Allah bless him, said to the apostles,˜O Children of Israel! Do not grieve over what you lose of this world, just as the people of this world do not grieve over what they lose of their religion, when they gain this world of theirs.
6. Imam Al-Sadiq (a) said, Jesus the son of Mary, peace be with our Prophet and his progeny and with him, said, ˜Woe unto the evil scholars! How the fire inflames them!
7. And he (Jesus (a)) said, How long will you be advised without taking any advice? Certainly you have become a burden to the advisors.
8. It is reported from Imam Al-Sadiq (a) from his father that he said, Jesus (a) used to say, ˜Regarding the fright which you do not know when you will encounter [i.e. death], what prevents you from preparing for it before it comes upon you suddenly?
9. Imam Ja`far (a) said, Jesus the son of Mary (a) said,He who lies much looses his worth.
10. It is reported that Abu ˜Abdullah, [Imam Al-Sadiq (a)] said, The Messiah used to say: ˜He who often becomes upset, his body becomes sick; he whose character is bad, his self becomes his torment; he who often talks, often stumbles; he who often lies, he loses his worth; he who quarrels with men, he loses his manliness.
11. It is reported that the Commander of the Faithful [Imam Ali (a)] said, Jesus the son of Mary (a) said, ˜The dinar is the illness of religion, and the scholar (al-˜alim) is the physician of religion. So if you see that the physician brings illness upon himself, distrust him, and know that he is not to advise others.