|Prophet Jesus (alaihis-salaam) and the Da Vinci Code
This article has been adapted and additional footnotes have been added to it by the editor
‘Say (O Muslims), ‘We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibraheem (Abraham), Isma’eel (Ishmael), Issaquah (Isaac), Yaqoob (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Yaqoob], and that which has been given to Moosa and Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 136]
‘(Remember) when the angels said, ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [‘Be!’ – and he was! i.e. Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam] from Him, his name will be the Messiah Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam, held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.’ [Soorah aal-Imran (3): 45]
We believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah. We respect and honor all of them without any discrimination. We believe that all prophets preached the message of Tawheed (oneness of Allah) and all of them invited human beings to worship Allah alone and to live righteous lives.
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was not the only prophet of God, but he was the last and final prophet of God. Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of Islam; all prophets submitted to God and followed the way of submission to God (Islam). We believe that Jesus was one of the great prophets of God.
In the Qur’aan, Jesus is called Isa. He is also known as al-Masih (the messiah) and Ibn Maryam (son of Mary). He has many other honorable names and titles in the Qur’aan. Every Muslim believes in him, honors and loves him. His mother Mary is also highly respected, loved and honored. There is a big controversy going on all over the world at this time about Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code. Many Christians, especially Catholics, are outraged with this novel. Some Muslims and non-Muslims are asking for our reactions to this book.
We stand for the respect of all religious figures of all religions. Furthermore, Jesus (alaihis-salaam) is also a blessed prophet for us. We believe in him and honor him. We also have something to say about this novel and movie.
There are two things that I would like to say about The Da Vinci Code. One is positive and the other is negative. The positive thing is that it says that for the first four centuries, Jesus was known only as a prophet of God, and not God. At the Council of Nicea around the year 325 CE, the Emperor Constantine and some bishops changed the true teachings of Jesus (*1).
The Da Vinci Code also says that Jesus (peace be upon him) married one of his female disciples, Mary Magdalene, and had children and that his descendants still exist today. Although the Qur’aan does not say anything about Jesus’s marriage, his wife, or his children (neither does the New Testament), there is nothing wrong, from the Islamic point of view, if he were married and had children. Allah says in the Qur’aan, ‘We did send Messengers before thee, and appointed for them wives and children…’ [Soorah Hud (13): 38]
Some Christians consider this story about Jesus to be blasphemous. According to them, to say that Jesus was married means that he is not God. Although they say that God had a son, they say that Jesus could not have had a son. However, as Muslims, we say that just because Jesus wasn’t married doesn’t make him God. Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist), who was Jesus’ contemporary, was not married, yet no one considered him to be divine.
Celibacy does not make any person divine. If Jesus were married, then this does not take away his honor because there were many prophets who came before and after him who were married and had offspring. It is interesting to see a number of books produced today by Christian writers that also say that Jesus was not crucified and that he never claimed to be the son of God. This is what the Qur’aan said a long time ago.
There is, however, a negative side of The Da Vinci Code, that we as Muslims should criticize. The Da Vinci Code is a novel, a work of fiction. It does not present facts about Jesus’s life in a serious and respectful manner. It has fictionalized his life and story, and in this sense, it has downgraded this great messenger of Allah.
The author of The Da Vinci Code took some historical facts and then spun a mystery story to thrill and chill his readers. Allah’s Prophets and His Messengers should not be treated in this manner. They are entitled to receive utmost honor and respect from us. It is for this reason that Islam forbids making pictures of Allah’s prophets and messengers and also forbids creating fictitious stories and movies about them. Islam teaches us that we should present the prophets’ life stories with great care, respect, and the utmost authenticity. Narrated Abdullah bin Amr, ‘The Prophet said, ‘Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of Bani Israel (which have been taught to you), for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee (56/667)]
We hope that more and more truth will come out about the life and teachings of Jesus (alaihis-salaam). We totally reject those who abuse his person through fiction and falsehood. We as Muslims should use this opportunity to inform others about the Islamic position regarding Jesus (alaihis-salaam). Ameen.
** Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi is the president of the Fiqh Council of North America.
2. Allah says about Himself in the Qur’aan, ‘He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife He created all things and He is the Knower of everything) (6:101)
3. And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), 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 (i.e. Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam.’ [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 157]
From As-Sunnah Newsletter (issue11)
Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter – http://www.qsep.com