Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

More Proof from the Quran that Jesus is God Incarnate! Pt. 3

Sam Shamoun

We come to the final part of our discussion.


Jesus Christ – The Absolutely Pure and Sinless One

Remarkably, even though the Quran acknowledges that all creatures are sinners who need mercy and forgiveness, including God’s prophets and messengers, it exempts Jesus from this list since it states that he was absolutely sinless from the moment of his miraculous conception!

Note what the following passage says:

He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy (ghulaman zakiyyan). S. 19:19

What follows is a series of translations and commentaries which help bring out the implication of the Arabic phrase zakiyyan.



“… I shall bestow upon thee the gift of a son endowed with purity." Muhammad Asad

“… that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.” Pickthall

“… I am assigned to grace you with the divine prerogative of procreating a son who is stamped with the character of sublimity, holiness and piety.” Al-Muntakhab

“…'I shall bestow upon you the gift of a son endowed with a spotless character…” Shabbir Ahmed

“… I am merely a messenger from your Lord to tell you about the gift of a holy son.” Farook Malik

The above translations were taken from the following online source.



Al-Tabari [10th Century AD] 

“… A child who is zakiyyan is one who is pure from sins…”

Al Baghawi [12th Century AD]

{… zakiyyan} a righteous son who is pure from sins.

Ar-Razi [13th Century AD]

“… One who is zakiyy provides the following intentions: First, that he is pure from sins. Second, that he will grow in purity (be a testimonial)[1]…Third, integrity and purity…”

[1] This is the insertion of the translator in order to help clarify the meaning of the Arabic intended here.

Ibn Al-Jawzi [13th Century AD]

{… zakiyyan} pure from sins.

Al-Baydawi [14th Century AD] 

{zakiyyan} pure from sins…

Al-Khazin [14th Century AD] 

{… zakiyyan} Ibn Abbas said: a righteous son who is pure from sins.

Sayed Qutub [20th Century AD]

“… a boy who is undefiled in his birth and reputation.”


Analysis of the Data

It is crystal clear from both the translations and commentaries that we looked at that the Quran depicts the Lord Jesus as being spiritually pure, and therefore free from all sin, throughout his entire earthly life beginning from his conception in his blessed mother’s womb. In fact, the Quran records the alleged prayer of Jesus’ maternal grandmother where she invokes Allah to protect Mary and her glorious Son from the accursed Satan:

But when she was delivered of it, she said, `My Lord, I am delivered of a female,' - and ALLAH knew best of what she was delivered and the male she desired to have was not like the female she was delivered of - `and I have named her Mary, and I commit her and her offspring to Thy protection from Satan, the rejected. S. 3:36 Sher Ali

Muhammad not only taught that Allah supposedly honored her invocation, he even went as far as to explain the manner in which her request was answered:

(1)  (V .3 :36) Maryam… literally means: maidservant of Allah.

(2)  (V .3 :36)…

(2) CHAPTER. “…And I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast.” (V .3 :36)

Narrated Sa’id bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Hurairah said, “The Prophet said, ‘No child is born but that, Shaitan (Satan) touches it when it is born, whereupon it starts crying loudly because of being touched by Shaitan, except Mary and her son.’” Abu Hurairah then said, “Recite, if you wish: ‘…And I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and her offspring from Shaitan, the outcast.’” (V .3 :36) [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6/4548 (O. P. 71)]. (Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur'an In the English Language, by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Lahore, Houston, New York, First edition: January 2000], Part 1: From Surah 1 to 5, pp. 230-231; bold and underline emphasis ours)


Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The Satan touches every son of Adam on the day when his mother gives birth to him with the exception of Mary and her son. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5838)


Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The mother of every person gives him birth according to his true nature. It is subsequently his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian. Had his parents been Muslim he would have also remained a Muslim. Every person to whom his mother gives birth (has two aspects of his life); when his mother gives birth Satan strikes him but it was not the case with Mary and her son (Jesus Christ). (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6429)

Allah granted the request of Jesus’ grandmother by making him and his blessed mother the only human beings that Satan could not touch upon their births! And since Muhammad clearly affirmed that Jesus and his mother are the only exceptions, this means that Satan was permitted to touch and harm Muhammad at the time of his birth!

This next hadith further highlights Jesus’ uniqueness and exalted status, especially in relation to the prophets of God and Muhammad himself:

4435. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah was given some meat and was offered the leg, which he liked, and ate some of it. Then he said, 'I will be the master of people on the Day of Rising. Do you know what that will entail? Allah will gather people, the first and the last on the same plain so that an observer will be able to see them and a speaker make them hear. The sun will be brought near to them and people will experience such sorrow and distress that they will not be able to bear or endure it. The people will say, 'Do you not see what has come to you? Why do you not look for someone to intercede with your Lord on your behalf?' People will say to one another, 'You must have Adam!' They will come to Adam, peace be upon him, and say, 'You are the father of mankind. Allah created you with His hand and breathed some of His spirit into you and He ordered the angels to prostrate to you. He made you dwell in the Garden. Will you not intercede with your Lord on our behalf? Do you not see what we are suffering?' Adam will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. He forbade me the Tree and I disobeyed. O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Nuh.'

"They will go to Nuh and say, 'O Nuh! You are the first of the Messengers to be sent to the people of the earth and Allah called you a thankful slave. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf Do you not see what has happened to us?' He will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. I made a supplication on behalf of my people. O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else! Go to Ibrahim.'

"They will go to Ibrahim and say, 'O Ibrahim! You are the Prophet of Allah and His close friend among the people of the earth. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' He will say to them, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. I told three lies (And Abu Hayyan mentioned them in the hadith.). O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Musa.'

"They will go to Musa and say, 'O Musa, you are the Messenger of Allah. Allah preferred you with His message and His Word above all other people. Intercede with your Lord for us. Do you not see what we are suffering?' He will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. I killed a soul which I was not commanded to kill. Go to someone else. Go to 'Isa.'

"They will go to 'Isa and say, 'O 'Isa! You are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He cast to Maryam and a spirit from Him. You spoke to people while in the cradle. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' 'Isa will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again,' and he did not mention a sin. 'O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.'

"They will come to me and say, 'O Muhammad! You are the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. Allah has forgiven you your past and future wrong actions. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' I will go and arrive under the Throne and fall down in prostration to my Lord, the Mighty and Exalted…” (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 68. Book of Tafsir; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Despite Muhammad’s attempt to elevate himself above God’s true prophets, what he says here only further highlight Jesus’ superiority since he is again portrayed as the only one from among God’s messengers that is absolutely sinless. 


The Implications of the Data

Recall that in the first part of our discussion we quoted certain Muslim apologists who claimed that man was created weak and frail, which makes it impossible for them to be morally perfect or sinless. We then cited passages from the Quran to show that all creatures are sinful in the sight of Allah.

Here is another Quranic verse which makes this very point:

And were Allah to punish men for what they earn, He would not leave on the back of it any creature, but He respites them till an appointed term; so when their doom shall come, then surely Allah is Seeing with respect to His servants. S. 35:45

Note how the following version renders this text:

If Allah took mankind to task by that which they deserve, He would not leave a living creature on the surface of the earth; but He reprieveth them unto an appointed term, and when their term cometh – then verily (they will know that) Allah is ever Seer of His slaves. Pickthall

This now places Muslims in a dilemma since the logical implication of the Quran’s position regarding the imperfect condition of creation is that anyone who is morally perfect cannot be a creature. Therefore, for Jesus to be absolutely sinless he cannot be a creature, and if he isn’t a creature then he must be God!

A Muslim may interject at this point and argue that the Quran does not assert that all creatures are imperfect, but only those that live upon the earth, since angels always obey their lord and are therefore basically sinless.

There are two main problems with this claim. First, this objection would end up proving that Jesus is actually an angelic being that became human, which is why he was completely pure and sinless. As such, this still leaves us with a Jesus that is much more than a mere human being.

Secondly, and more importantly, the Quran nowhere suggests that angels are morally perfect but actually teaches the exact opposite.  The Muslim scripture records instances where angels are depicted as being anything but sinless:

And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know. And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right. They said: Glory be to Thee! we have no knowledge but that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise. He said: O Adam! inform them of their names. Then when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not say to you that I surely know what is ghaib in the heavens and the earth and (that) I know what you manifest and what you hide? S. 2:30-33

The above passage presents the entire angelic host as calling into question Allah’s decision to create mankind who would wreak havoc upon the earth. This means that the angels sinned against Allah since they doubted his wisdom and judgment, thereby displaying a complete lack of trust and confidence in him.

Here is another example of angels committing sins against their creator:

And they followed what the Shaitans chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, but the Shaitans disbelieved, they taught men sorcery and that was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet these two taught no man until they had said, "Surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever." Even then men learned from these two, magic by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah's permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls, had they but known this. S. 2:102

Here we have a tale of two angels named Harut and Marut that supposedly came down to the earth in order to teach mankind evil practices such as magic and divorce!

These two examples demonstrate that the Quran does not support the notion of angels being sinless. This establishes that there is no creature anywhere that is morally perfect according to the Islamic scripture.   

As such, this brings us back to our initial argument, namely, that Jesus cannot be a creature but must be eternal according to the Quran’s own logic, seeing that it teaches that he is perfectly sinless and absolutely pure. And yet in order for Christ to be eternal he has to be God since God alone is eternal, uncreated!   

Note how this works out logically:

  1. All creatures sin and are therefore imperfect.
  2. Jesus is sinless and therefore morally perfect.
  3. Therefore, Jesus cannot be a creature but must be eternal.
  4. However, Jesus can only be eternal if he is God since there is no other being besides God that is eternal.

There is simply no way around this argument, which means that Muslims are faced with a major contradiction within their own scripture since the Quran denies that Jesus is God or Allah (cf. Q. 5:17, 72; 43:57-59).

We will leave it to the Muslims to try to solve this dilemma that Muhammad’s contradictory teachings have put them in.

Unless noted otherwise, all quranic citations taken from the Shakir version of the Quran.



We want to thank Mutee’a Al-Fadi for taking the time to translate the Muslim commentaries from Arabic into English.


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