18. Jesus in the Koran
In Islam, Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary) is a prophet of Allah and the Messiah (al-Masih) of the Jewish people, whose earthly mission was as a messenger of Allah. Jesus is referred to in the Koran as Isa only 25 times, but additional mentions by other names, titles, references, or as attributions makes him the most often named person in the Koran. Like Christianity, there are many different sects of beliefs in Islam, some of them often in conflict with others, but in general, Islamic teaching is that Jesus did not die, not on the cross nor through any other means, but that Allah raised him bodily into heaven at the end of his ministry. The Islamic Second Coming has Jesus returning to fight and triumph over the False Messiah at the end of the world.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the only woman named in the Koran, and she is revealed as being a virgin, though her son, Jesus, is not granted any of the attributes of a deity. He is not regarded as the son of God as he is in Christianity, nor is he perceived as God in the form of Man. He does however retain the power to perform miracles in his Islamic presentation, and he performs several in the name of Allah. There is no Joseph to serve as either Mary’s husband or Jesus’ earthly father in the Koran, Mary is left to face her bearing and rearing of the child alone. Nor does Jesus wear the mantle of a simple carpenter in the Islamic presentation of his life and ministry.