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For a commoner, the very next question which comes into mind after this

How does Muslim teaching on the person of Jesus differ from that of Christian teaching?

is, what about those instances where the disciples witnessed Jesus (pbuh) appearing after rising from the tomb - John 20.

What is the Islamic perspective of those events/situations/instances described in John 20? Was that who appeared to them the real Jesus (pbuh) or was it shaitan?

Because Shaitan is very good at deceiving people by appearing in different forms to people. I feel this could be because of John 20:28 where

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

(And this is used by today's Christians to prove Jesus was god because he did not say anything when Thomas said so to him or maybe it is not authentic, but plz focus on the bold part)

May the creator guide us all.

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  • Btw, now that you've become interested in Biblical studies, I highly recommend you to study the non-canonical Gospel of Barnabas too. I started reading it a few months back and I have finished the first 105 chapters and also the last chapters covering the Passion. Don't be discouraged by Christian articles rushing to claim the book is a forgery before having read the whole thing. The content of the book (Jesus's preachings in particular) sound so uniquely genuine and touching that make it hard to believe that the book has been produced by a dishonest forger.
    – infatuated
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 10:57
  • @infatuated I think I found out a straight way out, if you would love u can even try, Words of Jesus (pbuh) filtered.as we prefer. :) Insha Allah, then if time permits, OT, because Christians claim a lot of prophecies being fulfilled, e.g. Isaiah, Psalms etc. Need to make sure, their claims are legit. without getting biased, by NT Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 6:18
  • After analysis, I fully agree that the Gospel of Barnabas is a medieval scripture trying to retell the gospel in accordance with the teaching of Islam. But it is a forgery and it doesn't even agree with the Quran.
    – Jeschu
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

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As a general point, Islam and Muslim scholars have generally no stance over the details of Jesus's story beyond what is revealed in the Holy Quran. This includes the details and aftermath of Jesus's arrest (referred to as Passion in Christianity).

However one may still be interested in the Islamic position over particular biblical stories and teachings based on Islamic doctrine. However it is usually difficult if not impossible to determine the position of Islam about particular Biblical teachings because the Bible itself is a very awkward text to deal with for questions of origin, authenticity, faithful historical transmission, problems with translations, interpretations and internal contradictions of the Bible (including the Gospels) make it very difficult to even know what Christianity — by the virtue of its scriptural sources alone and not the official interpretations of the Church — even teaches at all (even on some of the most fundamental official doctrines such as Trinity) to then inquire the position of Islam about them!

Read this feature article by Newsweek which explores some of the difficulties involved with studies for verifiable authentic "Christianity."

But as for your particular example, according to the scholarly authorities that I follow (Shias); Satan, jinns, angels, and souls can all appear to the people under certain circumstances. But not much can be said about the story you quoted without sliding into unprovable speculations and presumptions, except that Prophets never refrain from correcting false beliefs that they encounter with their associates. So according to Islam, if disciple John was found to express such a blasphemy (provided that the quoted piece is authentic or even indicative of the mainstream interpretation espoused by official Christianity) he would have been immediately condemned and corrected by Jesus. Such a misleading silence would have been unfit for a messenger of Allah that should be trusted and referenced as the ultimate guidance for believers.

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    this logic sounds good "So according to Islam, if disciple John ....." Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 21:26
  • but a small inquiry, "Satan, jinns, angels, and souls can all appear to the people under certain circumstances.", plz give me one example of human 'soul' appearing to humans from the scriptures. Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 6:12
  • I'm almost there to accept it Insha Allah, but just waiting to see if you can provide me an example where souls appear to humans. Otherwise remove that Part. Commented May 11, 2015 at 12:33
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+50

Maybe he did, maybe he did not. There is no canonical perceptive on the matter since Islam does not consider the gospels to be the preserved form of Injeel and hence does not feel it necessary to give any official explanations on any verses from it. Wherever the gospel contradicts Islamic sources (such as on the divinity and crucifixion of the Messiah) we consider the gospel to be corrupted: either its text has been altered, or its interpretation is wrong.

The essential Islamic belief regarding the ascension of Jesus عليه السلام is what is described in the following verses:

And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but it appeared so to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.

Quran 4:157-159

O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you ... and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you

Quran 5:110

And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners. [Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve ..."

Quran 3:54-55

This clearly establishes that:

  • The Bani Israel planned to kill Jesus but Allah saved him
  • Jesus was not crucified
  • Jesus was not killed
  • Jesus was raised up to heavens whole - body and soul

The Quran and Hadith say nothing about a meeting with the disciples after this event. So it is possible that the gospel's account is entirely fictitious, and the disciples never met anyone.

However it is also possible that the disciples met (the real) Jesus عليه السلام after this event, as he could have briefly returned to earth to meet them and then returned to the heavens. For example this happened on the night of Isra when Muhammad ﷺ led Jesus عليه السلام and the other prophets in prayer in Bait al-Maqdis, Jerusalem (Muslim 172). So the same might have happened more than once. Hence the gospel's account could be based on some truth mixed with some falsehoods.

Ibn Kathir cites such a story in his history, and the following quote (from a different context) presents a summarized version of it:

لأن ابن جرير ذكر أن المسيح نزل من السماء بعدما رفع فوجد أمه، وامرأة أخرى يبكيان عند جذع المصلوب فأخبرهما أنه لم يقتل، وبعث الحواريين بعد

Ibn Jarir (in his Tareekh) records that Jesus descended from the sky after being raised up and found his mother and a woman weeping. And he informed them that he was not killed and then he dispatched the disciples.

Bidayah wa'n-Nihayah

He also records this story in full under the chapter on the life of Jesus عليه السلام, and after that he comments on it as follows:

وهذا إسناد غريب عجيب، وهو أصح مما ذكره النصارى، لعنهم الله، من أن المسيح جاء إلى مريم، وهي جالسة تبكي عند جذعه، فأراها مكان المسامير من جسده، وأخبرها أن روحه رفعت، وأن جسده صلب، وهذا بهت وكذب واختلاق وتحريف وتبديل وزيادة باطلة في الإنجيل على خلاف الحق ومقتضى النقل

And the chain for this is strange, but even it is more correct than what the Christians have narrated, that Jesus came to Mary and showed her the marks of the nails on his body, and informed her that his spirit was raised and body was crucified - and this is fabrication and a lie and alteration and false addition into the Injeel.

Bidayah wa'n-Nihayah

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