What Does Hadith Literature Say About Jesus?

Christmas is always a good time to remind ourselves of the Islamic perspective of Jesus. We know what the Quran says. Here are 11 hadiths that shed further light on his character and lifestyle.

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Christmas is always a good time to remind ourselves of the Islamic perspective of Jesus. We know what the Quran says. Here are 11 hadiths that shed further light on his character and lifestyle.

Muslims are well aware of the story of Jesus in the Quran.

From the immaculate conception, talking in the cradle, the miracle he’s performed, and, of course, his ascension to heaven from where he will once again descend in the end times to restore peace and justice in the world.

Hadith literature has a lot more to say about Prophet Jesus (as). Here are some telling things reported about him.

1. The Gap Between Jesus and Prophet Muhammad

According to popular knowledge, Allah (SWT) sent over 100,000 prophets to guide the inhabitants of Earth! But there was no Prophet between prophets Jesus and Muhammad (but), according to the famous companion Salman al-Farsi:

The interval between Jesus and Muhammad was six hundred years.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

2. Prophets Jesus and Muhammad are Most Alike

Not only does Prophet Muhammad confirm the above report from Salman, he further adds that he is most like Jesus:

I am most akin to Jesus Christ among the whole of mankind, and all the Prophets are of different mothers but belong to one religion and no Prophet was raised between me and Jesus.”
[Sahih Muslim]

3. The Appearance of Prophet Jesus

On the night of ascension, the Prophet led all 124,000 prophets in prayer and met some of the major prophets before him, such as prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Commenting on the appearance of Jesus, the Prophet says:

I saw Moses, Jesus and Abraham (on the night of my Ascension to the heavens). Jesus was of red complexion, curly hair and a broad chest.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

4. Prophet Muhammad Confirms the Reappearance of Jesus

It is accepted by all Muslims that Jesus and Imam Mahdi will reappear in the end times to establish God’s justice on Earth. The Prophet had mentioned this to his own followers:

How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and your imam is among you.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

5. Satan Couldn’t Bear Touching Jesus

The blessed body of Jesus was too hot to handle for Satan! The Prophet describes what happened when Satan tried to do so:

When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

6. The Necessity of Believing in Jesus

It’s not enough for a Muslim to believe in Prophet Muhammad. He/she must believe in all the prophets, including Jesus. In this regard, the Prophet said:

If anyone testifies that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

7. Jesus and the Love of This World

Prophet Jesus aggressively warned his companions about the love of this world. For example:

O group of apostles! I have thrown the world down on its face for you. So, after me, do not pick it up again, for among the vile things of this world is that Allah is rebelled against in it, and among the vile things of this world is that the roots of all evil are in the love of this world.”

[Majmu‘ah Warram]

8. Jesus on Seeking Knowledge

Knowledge isn’t something we hoard. It’s to be acted upon. Jesus said:

I saw a stone upon which was written, ‘Turn me over,’ then I turned it over, then I saw written on it, ‘He who does not act according to what he knows will not be blessed in his search for what he does not know and what he knows will come back against him.”


9. The Ascetism of Jesus

Imam Ali, in one sermon, told the people about how detached Jesus was from the world:

If you like, I will tell you about Jesus the son of Mary (‘a). He used a stone as his pillow, wore course clothing and ate rough food. His stew was hunger and his lamp in the night was the moon. His shade in the winter was the east of the earth and its west. His fruit and his basil is that which grows from the earth for the cattle. He had no wife to try him, and no son to grieve him. He had no wealth to distract him, nor greed to abase him. His mount was his feet and his servant was his hands.”

[Nahj al-Balagha]

10. The Diet of Jesus

According to the Prophet, Jesus only ate raw food and never any food “changed by fire” i.e. cooked:

The food of Jesus (‘a) was broad beans, until his ascension. Jesus (‘a) never ate anything changed by fire, until his ascension.”

[Majmu‘ah Warram]

11. The Reason Jesus Didn’t Get Married

Imam Sadiq explains the reasons why Jesus did not pursue marriage:

It was said to Jesus son of Mary (‘a), ‘What is the matter with you that you do not get married?’ Then he said, ‘What have I to do with getting married?’ They said, ‘[A child] will be born for you.’ He said, ‘What have I to do with children? If they live, they will be a trial for us, and if they die, they will grieve us.”


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