Have you taken a good look at Isa in the Quran? I mean a really good look… Have you seen Him. Yes, that’s a capital ‘H’ in the previous sentence. There’s a good reason for it. You see, Isa means Jesus. Some argue this point and say that Islam doesn’t believe in the genuine Jesus.
I admit, the Muslim view of Jesus is not a completely accurate view of the Savior. Islam generally rejects important key facts about Christ’s life and work. However, when you take a moment and actually study what is written about Isa in the Quran you’ll see that the seeds of the real Jesus are there.
I still recall the day when I learned that the Quran has so much to say about Jesus. A fellow laborer gave me a pamphlet called ‘Jesus in the Quran’ and I began to read it. At first I was very hesitant, supposing that Isa and Jesus are irreconcilable characters.
As I digested the material, however, I was amazed that Jesus, prophet of Islam, was in fact the risen Savior, Christ. Jesus’ name in Islam is simply Isa. There are some pretty compelling things in the holy book of Islam that exalt Jesus beyond all the other messengers of Allah. Just a quick glance at Sura 3:42-55 reveals at least 21 facts about Isa in the Quran that parallel important Biblical facts.
Take a minute and read Sura 3:42-55 quickly then ask yourself; Does Isa in the Quran remind you of anyone? Consider some of the following facts I gleaned from these verses. Allah personally chose Mary to carry the Christ.
The archangel, Gabriel, announced Allah’s plans to Mary. Jesus was conceived miraculously. Isa was called a word from God. Isa is the Messiah. Isa is honored for all eternity. Isa is one of those closest to Allah. Mary, the mother of Isa was a virgin when she conceived Him. Isa is righteous. Jesus learned the holy books from Allah. Isa was an apostle to the Jews. Isa had power over death. Isa healed the blind and lepers.
There’s much more in these few verses about Isa in the Quran than what I’ve indicated. I found at least 21 items that can be used to directly link a person to the Christ of the New Testament. This is exciting news for anyone engaged in Muslim evangelism. Believe me; I’ve tried arguing Muslims into the Kingdom of God. It simply does not work.
What has worked, however, is starting with Isa in the Quran and leading men to Isa in the Bible. I have also had success with such varied topics as the resurrection in Islam, angels in Islam, Islamic eschatology, the Muslim holy books, Islamic zakat, fasting for Muslims, Islamic Hajj, holy jihad, the importance of prayer in Islam, and many other topics. The main principal I use is to start with something common and dear and to use the bridges in the Quran which lead men to Jesus and the Bible.
Wadia Abdullah Ibn Az-Zahir is an ardent follower of Christ who travels extensively throughout the Middle East sharing the Gospel with Arab Muslims. There’s much more about Muslim evangelism and starting with Isa in the Quran that can help us all produce more fruit. Wadia’s simple approach uses these types of Quranic bridges to Christ and is field tested and Christ honoring.