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17. Understanding Islam

6.9. Christ’s Intercession

The Qur'an says:

“To Allah belongs [the right to allow] intercession entirely.” (Qur’an 39:44)

Yet the Qur'an also says

“O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Isa, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near.” (Qur’an 3:45).

The Muslim scholar as-Syûti, writing in his Qur’an commentary Tafseer al-Jalalayn says of this verse: “honoured shall he be in this world through prophethood and the Hereafter through his intercession.”

And so we can see that although some of the things attributed to Christ in the Qur’an are attributed to other prophets – such as miracles, as the Qur’an also attributes many to Moses – Christ is set apart by having all of these attributes combined. The Qur’an says he is a mere human, but at the same time he is credited with abilities and functions which the Qur’an says elsewhere belong only to Allah. This is something which is hard for Muslims to explain. While we clearly cannot and do not want to use the Qur’an to prove the divinity of Christ, it may be helpful to encourage your Muslim contact to consider why a mere human has been attributed with divine characteristics.

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