This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here. You can also find the previous post here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.Later, we will look deeper into the doctrinal issues surrounding Jesus and who He was as taught by the Koran, but here we will focus our attention on some of the historical elements of Jesus' life as told by Muhammad. One of the more interesting stories of Jesus infancy, as told in the Koran, was that He was able to speak from His very birth. The Koran records a prophesy saying,
"When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him [God announceth to the the Word from Him] whose name is [shall be] Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured [illustrious] shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed [one of those who have near access] to God. He shall speak to men [when] in the cradle, and of age [grown up], and righteous he shall be.'" (Koran 3:40-41)This ability to speak was used to rebuke those who accused Mary of fornication in the conception and birth of Jesus. After giving birth, Mary returned from the remote place she had gone to to have the baby, whereupon her relatives met her and chided her for her unchastity.
"Then she brought the child to her folk carrying him; and they said, 'Mary, thou hast surely committed a monstrous [strange] thing! Sister of Aaron, thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother a woman unchaste.' Mary pointed to the child then [she made a sign to them]; but they said, 'How shall we speak to one who is still in the cradle, a little child [infant]?' He said, 'Lo, I am God's servant; God has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet." (Koran 19:28-31)No where in the Jewish scriptures is there any prophesy that the Messiah would have the power to speak while an infant and no where in the Christian scriptures does it say that Jesus ever did so. It is also important to know that none of the apostles, the disciples of Christ, or anyone else ever adduce Christ's ability to speak as a child as proof of His divine nature and mission. It would seem that, if such a miracle did occur, then those who best knew of the miracle, that being Mary's relatives, would have often repeated it and believed the miracle and the virgin birth. However, later we see that many of Jesus' relatives did not believe in Him, including His own brothers. John notes that, "not even His brothers were believing in Him." (John 7:5)
The Koran contains another notable miracle of Jesus that is completely missing from the Christian account of His life.
"And He will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God." (Koran 3:43)
"When God said, 'Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing [favor] upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed [strengthened] thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; and when thou createst out of clay, by My leave, as the likeness [figure] of a bird, and thou breathest into it, and it is a bird, by My leave; and thou healest the blind and the leper by My leave, and thou bringest the dead forth by My leave; and when restrained [I withheld] from thee the Children of Israel when thou camest unto them with the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said, "This is nothing but sorcery manifest."'" (Koran 5:109-110)
Again, there is no prophesy in the Jewish scriptures that would establish the forming and giving life to a bird made out of clay as a clear sign of Jesus' ministry. There is also no account in the Christian scriptures of such a miracle ever having been performed. There is one ancient text, called "Infancy Gospel of Thomas," that does contain this miracle but its authorship is of questionable origin and it was never accepted by the early church as part of the canonical or authoritative writings of Jesus or His apostles.
Finally, the Koran speaks of Jesus appointing apostles.
"O believers, be you God's helpers, as Jesus, Mary's son, said to the Apostles. 'Who will be my helpers unto God?' The Apostles said, 'We will be helpers of God.'" (Koran 61:14)
However, Jesus' prime motive if appointing apostles was not that they would be helpers of God, but that they might walk and learn from His and be His representatives in the World. "And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons." (Mark 3:14-15) Jesus' intention with His disciples was not to turn their attention to a distant and disconnected God, but to turn their attention towards Himself for He Himself was God. He was calling them to join in and participate with His mission; to teach His message and to do His works. They were called to continue what Jesus started in this world after His death and resurrection. This calling of His apostles, and all believers and disciples, is found in the fact that Jesus was more than just a prophet or a messenger, He was God incarnate. We are all called to be His helpers and to join with Him in His mission in the Earth today.