The Islamic story of Jesus (Isa in Arabic) starts with Maryam’s mother, Elizabeth, in Judea. Judea was part of the Roman Empire at that time. When Elizabeth became pregnant with Maryam, she promised this child to serve God. When Maryam was born, Elizabeth was surprised that it was a girl. Girls at that time did not go into priesthood (Rabbis). She didn’t think that a girl could do much for God. Because of her promise to God, she turned Maryam over to be taken care of by the Rabbis.
The men were left with the decision of who would take the role of caretaker of Maryam. None of them knew who should take Maryam, so they decided to draw lots. Everyone put pens, which were known to be theirs, into a bag. Whoever’s pen got pulled would get Maryam. Zachariah’s (or Zachary’s) pen was pulled, making him Maryam’s guardian, but the people weren’t happy with that and wanted to do it again. This time they put their pens in the river, and whoever’s pen went against the current would claim Maryam. It was Zachariah’s pen again that went against the current. The people still not happy with this said they wanted to do it once more. Whoever’s pen flowed with the current would claim Maryam. Again, it was Zachariah’s pen. Now there was no mistake, Zachariah was the official caretaker of Maryam.
Since Maryam was promised to serve God, He always provided supplement for her. When Zachariah would visit Maryam in her chambers, she would always have some type of fruit that was out of season at the time. In the summer she would have a winter fruit, and in the winter she would have a summer fruit.
When Maryam became pregnant with Prophet Jesus she hid it from everyone for as long as she could. The exact age of when Maryam became pregnant is unknown. We just assume that it was between the ages of ten and fifteen. At that time women could get betrothed at that age.
When the time came for Maryam to give birth, she left the household and went away to a secluded area. The people realized that Maryam was gone and knew that she gave birth. They hunted her down until they found her. They accused her of sinning (committing adultery). When Maryam denied, they asked her how did Jesus ended up inside of her. Maryam became flustered and nervous. She didn’t know how to answer and pointed to baby Jesus. The people thought that she was mocking them. They knew that newborn babies couldn’t talk. Prophet Jesus wasn’t a normal newborn. He spoke from the cradle, and told the people that he was created without a father and that he is a Messenger of God. The people were amazed and knew from that moment on that Jesus was special.
Jesus was born about 1,300 years after Prophet Moses. By this time the original Torah was non-existent. The Torah that the people followed was tainted. But when Jesus was born, being the Word of God, he knew the entire Torah, the original one, inside and out, word for word. The Rabbis who guarded the Torah at the time didn’t like Jesus’s preachings. They knew that if the people listened to Jesus there would be riots, and they would lose their influence over the people. The Rabbis tried to turn the people against Jesus, and while it worked, some didn’t follow the Rabbis. The people who didn’t follow the Rabbis were known as The Disciples of Jesus. The Disciples were supposed to be people devoted to God, who followed His laws. One of The Disciples told the opposers of Jesus where he was. They came and tried him before in the Roman court, who didn’t see a problem with Jesus. Not wanting to tarnish his name, he told the people to punish him in whatever why they wanted. It was decided to crucify Jesus.
We know that Jesus went to the cross, and died. The Qur’an says that God made it appear that Jesus died, but we don’t know what that means. Does it mean that Jesus was never on the cross? Or does it mean something else? All we know for certain is that Jesus never really died. After his crucifixion, the people put his body in a cave and closed the entrance with a rock, and went home for Sabbath.
The people buried Jesus in the cave Friday night, before the Sabbath started. Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to the cave to find it empty. Jesus’s body was gone.
Christians believe the Jesus came back on Sunday. The Muslims believe that Jesus will come back in the future. The Qur’an and the Hadith (says of the Muslim Prophet) have shared signs of when Jesus will return to Earth.
Jesus’s purpose in life was to deliver the Gospel, also known as The Good News. Unlike other prophets, Jesus left Earth without having physically died. But that was not the end of his life. Jesus will come back once again. When he does, he will fight and defeat the Anti-Christ (known as the Dajjal in Arabic), and he will rule the world according to God’s Law.