Question: What does Islam teach about Jesus Christ?
The question "What does Islam teach about Prophets and Biblical Figures?" discusses the general concept of Prophets in Islam and the beliefs of Muslims regarding the Prophets mentioned in the Bible. Muslims believe that Jesus Christ was one of those Prophets. We believe that he was a human being, not a God nor the son of God. He was sent by God to us as a Messenger, to deliver to us the Bible and to guide humanity to the right path. God gave Jesus the ability to perform numerous miracles so that his people would believe him and follow his teachings. These miracles include curing the diseased, giving sight to the blind and even raising the dead. However, these miracles were perfomed by the will of God, and not by any special ability of Jesus himself, as he was just a human being and a Messenger of God.
Muslims do believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. However, we do not believe that this means that Jesus is the son of God. In fact, God tells us in the Holy Qur'an that the example of Jesus is just like that of Adam, they were both created from sand by the power of God. If we do believe that God created Adam without a father or a mother, it is not difficult to believe that God could create Jesus from Mary without a father. But this does not in any way suggest that Jesus was the son of God or a God himself, just as Adam was not a God or the son of God.
Verily, the likeness of 'Isa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: Be! and he was. This is the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt. (Al-Imran, 59-60)
Regarding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Muslims believe that although those who crucified Jesus truely did believe that they crucified and killed him, they in fact did not. God mentions this in the Holy Qur'an:
And because of their saying, "We killed Al-Masih `Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah, but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not. But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. (Al-Nisa, 157 - 158)
Regarding the return of Jesus, Muslims do believe that Jesus will return at the end of times. However, Muslims believe that he will be a follower of monothiesm and he will reject trinity and any other forms of associating other dieties with God. This is referred to in the following verses of the holy Qur'an:
And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them. (Al-Nisa, 159)
And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?" He will say: "Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. Never did I say to them ought except what You (Allah) did command me to say: `Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' And I was a witness over them while I dwelled amongst them, but when You took me [up], You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise." (Al-Maidah, 116 - 118)
In fact, the holy Qur'an mentions that the followers of Jesus referred to themselves as Muslims.
Then when `Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: "Who will be my helpers in Allah's cause? Al-Hawariyyun said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims. Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger (Jesus); so write us down among those who bear witness. (Al-Imran, 52 - 53)
This is because they had submitted themselves to the will of God. This submission is the meaning of the word "Muslim". Further, this means that all Prophets and Messengers and all of their followers were Muslims because they had submitted to the will of God and had agreed to follow the guidance of God and implement His teachings in every aspect of their lives.