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Jesus (p) in Hadith and Muslim Traditions

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Bismillah

 

As well as the Hadith which refer to Jesus (peace be upon him), there are also many Muslim traditions which give accounts of the sayings and deeds of Jesus (pbuh). These were originally gathered together by the earlier followers of Jesus, especially those who spread to Arabia and North Africa. When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came, many of the followers of these followers embraced Islam. They retained all the accounts they had about Jesus (pbuh) who had foretold the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). These traditions were passed down from generation to generation by the Muslims, and many of them were finally gethered together in Tha'labi's Stories of the Prophets and in al-Ghazzali's Revival of the Life-Transaction Sciences. It is significant to see how these traditions give a clear and unanimous picture of the ascetic Prophet who prepared the way for the final Messenger:

 

Ka'b al-Akhbar said: Jesus, son of Mary, was a ruddy man, inclined to white; he did not have long hair and he never annointed his head. Jesus used to walk barefoot, and he took no house or adornment, or goods, or clothes, or provision except his day's food. Wherever the sun set, he arranged his feet in prayer till the morning came. He was curing the blind from birth and the leper and raising the dead by Allah's permission and was telling his people what they were eating in their houses and what they were storing up for the morrow, and he was walking on the surface of the water in the sea. His head was dishevelled and his face was small; he was an ascetic in the world, longing for the next world and eager for the worship of Allah. He was a pilgrim in the earth till the Jews sought him and desired to kill him. Then Allah raised him up to heaven; and Allah knows best.

 

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Malik, son of Dinar, said: Jesus (pbuh) and the disciples with him passed by the carcass of a dog. A disciple said, "What a stench this dog makes!" The he (pbuh) said, "How white are its teeth!"

 

 

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It is related on the authority of Ma'ruf al Karkhi that Jesus (pbuh) said, "Remember cotton when it is put over your eyes."

 

 

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In a tradition (it is said) that Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, met a man and said to him, "What are you doing?" He replied, "I am devoting myself to God." He said, "Who is giving you what you need?" He said, "My brother." (Jesus) said, "He is more devoted to Allah than you."

 

 

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Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, said: "The world consists of three days: yesterday which has passed, from which you have nothing in your hand; tomorrow of which you do not know whether you will reach it or not; and today in which you are, so avail yourself of it."

 

 

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The disciples said to Jesus (pbuh), "How is it that you can walk on water and we cannot?" Then he said to them, "What do you think of the dinar and the dirham?" (pieces of money). They replied, "They are good." He said, "But they and mud are alike to me."

 

 

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When Jesus (pbuh) was asked, "How are you this morning?", he would answer, "Unable to forestall what I hope, or to put off what I fear, bound by my works, with all my good in another's hand. There is no poor man poorer than I."

 

 

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And he said also, "The world is both seeking and sought. He who seeks the next world, this world seeks him until his provision in it is complete; and he who seeks the present world, the next world seeks him until death comes and seizes him by the neck."

 

 

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If you wish, you may follow him who was the Spirit and the Word, Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, for he used to say, "My seasoning is hunger, my undergarment is fear of Allah, my outer-garment is wool, my fire in winter is the rays of the sun, my lamp is the moon, my riding beast is my feet, and my food and fruit are what the earth brings forth (i.e. without cultivation). At night I have nothing and in the morning I have nothing, yet there is no one on earth richer than I."

 

 

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Jesus (pbuh) said, "He who seeks after the world is like one who drinks sea water; the more he drinks, the more his thirst increases, until it kills him."

 

 

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It is related that the Messiah (pbuh) passed in his wandering a man asleep wrapped up in his cloak; then he wakened him and said, "O sleeper, arise and glorify Allah! Exalted is He!" Then the man said, "What do you want from me? Truly I have abandoned the world to its people." So he said to him, "Sleep then, my friend."

 

 

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'Ubaid, son of 'Umar, said that the Messiah (pbuh), son of Mary, used to wear hair clothing, and eat wild fruits, and he had no son to die, and no house to be demolished, and he stored up nothing for the morrow. He slept wherever the evening overtook him.

 

 

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Jesus, the Messiah, (pbuh) used to take nothing with him but a comb and a jug. The he saw a man combing his beard with his fingers, so he threw away the comb; and he saw another man drinking from a river with the palms of his hands, so he threw away the jug.

 

 

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Jesus (pbuh) said to the disciples, "Take the places of worship as houses and the houses as lighting-places; and eat wild vegetables and drink pure water, and escape safe from the world."

 

 

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Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, said, "In the last days there will be learned men who teach abstinence in the world but will not be abstinent themselves, who will teach men to take delight in the next world but will not take delight in it themselves, and who will warn men against coming before rulers but will not refrain themselves. They will draw near to the rich and keep far from the poor; they will be pleasant to great men but will shrink from humble men. Those are the brethren of the devils and the enemies of the Merciful."

 

 

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The following is related on the authority of Janir, on the authority of Laith. A man accompanied Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, and said, "I will be with you and will accompany you." So they set off and came to the bank of a river and sat down to breakfast; and they had three loaves. They ate two loaves, and a third loaf was left over. Then Jesus (pbuh) rose up and went to the river and drank, after which he returned, but did not find the loaf; so he said to the man, "Who took the loaf" He replied, "I do not know." Then he set off with his companion and saw a gazelle with two of her young. The narrator says, he called one of them and it came to him; then he cut its throat and roasted part of it, and he and that man ate. Then he said to the young gazelle, "Rise, by the permission of Allah." When it rose and went away, he said to the man, "I ask you by Him Who has shown you this sign, who took the loaf?" He replied, "I do not know." Afterwards they came to a wadi with water in it and Jesus (pbuh) took the man's hand and they walked on the water. Then, when they had crossed, he said to him, "I ask you by Him Who has shown you this sign, who took the loaf?" He replied, "I do not know." Then they came to a desert and sat down, and Jesus (pbuh) began to collect earth and a heap of sand, after which he said, "Become gold, and he divided it into three parts and said, "A third is for me, a third for you, and a third for him who took the loaf." Then he said, "I am the one who took the loaf." He said, "It is all yours." Jesus (pbuh) then left him and two men came to him in the desert while he had the wealth with him and wished to take it from him and kill him. He said, "It is among us in thirds; so send one of you to the village to buy food for us to eat." The narrator said: They sent one of them, and he who was sent said to himself, "Why should I devide this wealth with these men? I shall put poison in this food and kill them and take the wealth myself." So he did so. And these two men said, "Why should we give this man a third of the wealth? When he returns we shall kill him, and devide the wealth between us." The narrator said: So when he returned they killed him and ate the food and died; and that wealth remained in the desert with those three men lying dead beside it. Then Jesus (pbuh) passed them in that condition and said to his companions, "This is the world, so beware of it."

 

 

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It is related that Jesus (pbuh) passed three people whose bodies were wasted and who were pale and said, "What has brought on you that which I see?" They replied, "Fear of the Fire." He said, "It is Allah's duty to render secure him who fears." Afterwards he passed from them and came to another three, and lo! they were in greater emanciation and paleness, so he said, "What has brought on you that which I see?" They replied, "Desire for the Garden." He said, "It is Allah's duty to give you what you hope for." After that he passed from them and came to another three, and lo! they were in still greater emanciation and paleness as though mirrors of light were over their faces, so he said, "What has brought on you that which I see?" The replied, "We love Allah, Great and Glorious is He." He said, "You are those who are nearest to Allah; you are those who are nearest to Allah; you are those who are nearest to Allah."

 

 

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It is related on the authority of Muhammad, son of Abu Musa, concerning Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, that he passed an afflicted man and treated him kindly and said, "Oh Allah, I beseech You to heal him." Then Allah, Exalted is He, revealed to him, "How can I heal him from that which I am healing him?"

 

 

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It is related that Jesus (pbuh) one day passed a hill in which he saw a cell. He drew near it and found in it a devotee whose back was bent, whose body was wasted, and in whom austerity had reached its utmost limits. Jesus saluted him and wondered at his evidences (of devotion) which he saw. So Jesus said to him, "How long have you been in this place?" He replied, "For seventy years I have been asking Him for one thing which He has not granted me yet. Perhaps you, O Spirit of Allah, may intercede for me concerning it; then possibly it may be granted." Jesus said, "What is your requirement?" He replied, "I asked Him to let me taste the amount of an atom of His pure love." Jesus said to him, "I shall pray to Allah for you about that." So he prayed for him that night, and Allah, Exalted is He, revealed to him, "I have accepted your intercession and granted your request." Jesus (pbuh) returned to him to the place after some days to see what the condition of the devotee was, and saw the cell had fallen down and a great fissure had appeared in the ground below it. Jesus (pbuh) went down into that fissure and went some leagues in it and saw the devotee in a cave under that hill standing with his eyes staring and his mouth open. Then Jesus saluted him but he did not give him an answer. While Jesus (pbuh) was wondering at his condition someone shouted to him, "O Jesus, he has asked Us for something like an atom of Our pure love, and We knew that he was not able for that, so We gave him a seventieth part of an atom, and he is bewildered in it thus; so what would it have been like if We had given him more than that?"

 

 

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Abdullah bin Umar reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying, "Last night I found myself in a vision at the Ka'ba and saw a ruddy man like the most good-looking of that type that you can see with the most beautiful lock of hair you can see. He had combed it out, and it was dripping with water. He was leaning on the shoulders of two men and going round the House. When I asked who he was, I was told that he was the Messiah, son of Mary..." [bukhari, Muslim]

 

 

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Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying, "By Him in whose hand my soul is, the son of Mary will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish the jizya (a tax payable by a community which accepts the protection of a Muslim ruler but whose members do not embrace Islam), and wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it, and one sajda (the position in a Muslim's prayer where the forehead is placed on the ground), will be better than the world and what it contains." Abu Huraira used to say: Recite if you wish, "Not one of the people of the Book will fait to believe in him before his death..." (Qur'an 4.159) [bukhari, Muslim]

 

 

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Abdullah bin Amr reported Sayyidina Muhammad (pbuh) as saying, "Jesus, son of Mary, will descend to the earth, will marry, have children, and remain forty-five years, after which he will die and be buried along with me in my grave. Then Jesus, son of Mary, and I shall arise from one grave between Abu Bakr and Umar." [ibn al-Jauzi transmitted it in the Kitab al-Wafa']

 

 

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Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying, "I am the nearest of kin to Jesus, son of Mary, in this world and the next. The prophets are brothers, sons of one father by co-wives. Their mothers are different, but their religion is one. There has been no prophet between us." [bukhari, Muslim]

 

In this famous statement, the last of the Prophets and Messengers, our Master Muhammad (pbuh), summed up the whole matter:

 

The prophets are brothers: they are all the same, there is no distinction between them.

 

Sond of one father: they all declare one doctrine -- La ilaha il'Allah. There is no god but Allah, the One. Nothing can be associated with Him in His Divinity.

 

Their mothers are different: each Prophet has been sent to a particular people at a particular time. The Prophet of the time has had revealed to him a Sunna, or life-form, a practice, a social pattern by which his community should live. When a new Prophet came to a people, he brought a new form of this Sunna to accord with the new age. This is the Shari'a or Road of the Prophets. Thus, with the coming of Sayyidina Muhammad (pbuh), the Divine Transaction is complete. Messengership is sealed in the last revealed Book, the Glorious Qur'an.

 

Prophethood is sealed with the Shari'a and the Sunna of the compassionate Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

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