The status of Jesus in Islam
Mary (peace be upon her) gave birth to Jesus in the valley of Bethlehem, away from her people, after which she then returned. When they saw her with her new born child (Jesus), they said: “O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother an unchaste woman!" [The Qur’an 19:28] She didn’t say a single word but what she did instead was: “Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy?” [The Qur’an 19:29]. Then came the first miracle of Jesus Christ which astonished everyone : “He said (as a child in the cradle) : "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live; "(He) has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)” [The Qur’an, 19:30-33].
In the time of Jesus Christ the son of Mary (may peace and blessings be upon both of them), the children of Israel were known for their knowledge of medicine. Consequently Jesus Christ came with medical cures that could not be bettered by anyone in his time (indeed, up until today). He was supported by his Lord with great miracles and clear signs to prove he was a truthful messenger e.g. he gave life to the dead by Allah's permission and he healed those born blind and the lepers by Allah's permission. “And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "I have come to you, with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if you do believe;” [The Qur’an, 3:49].
Allah (may He be exalted) revealed to Jesus Christ through the angel Gabriel “We gave Jesus the son of Mary clear (signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit (i.e. angel Gabriel)” [The Qur’an, 2:253] the Gospel to preach to his people with : “And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.” [The Qur’an, 5:46]
Jesus, the son of Mary, called his nation, as all the prophets did, to worship Allah (alone). According to the noble Qur’an, these were his words: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me. It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a way that is straight.” [The Qur’an, 3:50-51], “Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Therefore serve Him: this is a way that is straight” [The Qur’an, 19:36]
According to the Qur’an, Jesus has foretold that a messenger would be sent from Allah after him by saying: “And Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be ‘Ahmad’". But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, "this is evident sorcery!" [The Qur’an, 61:6]. The names ‘Muhammad’ and ‘Ahmad’ are synonyms from the same root, which mean ‘worthy of praise’. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) said: “... I am Muhammad and Ahmad ...” [Bukhari, 732].
When a number of people had plotted to kill him, Allah caused another man to look exactly like Jesus “And they plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.” [The Qur’an, 3:54]. So consequently the soldiers arrested him, thinking that he was Jesus, and crucified him instead. “That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” [The Qur’an, 4:157-158]. Therefore Allah saved his noble prophet, Jesus Christ, from this plot.
He will return
One of the major signs that will precede the Day of Judgment is that Allah will send down Jesus Christ to this world. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Jesus will descend to Damascus, by the white minaret." [Abu Dawood, 4/117], and he also said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the son of Mary will descend among you as a just judge.” [Muslim, 155]. During this time, beneficial objectives shall be accomplished by him such as the spread of justice in this world.
His eventual and actual death
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I am the closest of people to Jesus the son of Mary because there was no prophet between him and me…” Then he mentioned his descent at the end of time and followed this by saying: “…And he will remain for as long as Allah wills , then he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him and bury him.” [Ahmad, 9349].
Final Remark :
Islam regards Jesus the Messiah to be one of the pious men who walked on earth “And Zechariah and John (the Baptist), and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous” [The Qur’an, 6:85]. Prophet Jesus, through Mary, is a descendant from a blessed and honoured family: “Surely Allah chose Adam and Noah and the descendants of Abraham and the descendants of Imran (Mary’s father) above the nations. Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing” [The Qur’an, 3:33-34]. The Islamic teachings honour this mighty messenger of Allah and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen centuries in doing the same.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "If anyone testifies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone who Has no partners, and that Muhammad is His servant and His apostle, and that Jesus is Allah's servant 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" [Bukhari, 644]