Jesus through Shiite Narrations
Translated by: Al-Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen
Chapter 3: The Life of Jesus – His Prophethood
1. It is reported that Imam Sàdiq (‘a) said: “…Follow the Apostle of Allah, and confess to what has been sent down from Allah, and follow the signs of guidance, for they are the signs of trustworthiness and God-wariness; and know that if one denies Jesus the son of Mary (‘a), but confesses to all the prophets but him, he does not believe…” (Bihàr, 23, 96, 3)
2. The Apostle of Allah (‘s) said, “Verily, Gabriel brought down a book to me in which there was information about the kings before me, and information about the prophets and apostles who were commissioned before I was:… Ashbakh ibn Ashjàn was a king called al-Kays who ruled for two hundred sixty-six years. In the fifty-first year of his rule Allah commissioned Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) and bestowed upon him light, knowledge and wisdom, and the knowledge of all the prophets before him, and He added to this the Gospel. He commissioned him to Jerusalem (Bayt al-Maqdis) for the children of Israel to invite them to the divine book and wisdom and to faith in Allah and the prophet. Most of them turned away from him rebelliously and disbelieving.
When they failed to believe, Jesus called his Lord and was adamant, and some of them were transformed into devils to show them a sign from which they could take a lesson; but this did not increase in them anything but rebellion and disbelief. So, Jesus came to Jerusalem, invited them and encouraged them to what is near to Allah for thirty-three years, until the Jews sought him and (afterward) claimed to have punished him and buried him alive. Some of them claimed to have killed him and to have crucified him. Allah did not let them gain sovereignty over him, but it was a mistake they made.
They were not able to chastise him or bury him, and they could not kill him or crucify him, because of the saying of Allah, the mighty and magnificent:
“I am going to take you away and lift you up unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve.” (3:55).
So, they were not able to kill him or crucify him, for if they had been able to do so, this would belie His saying,
“Allah raised him up unto Himself.” (4:158),
after Allah took him. When Allah wanted to raise him, He revealed to him to entrust the light of Allah, His wisdom and the knowledge of His book to Simon ibn Hamun al-Safà, his successor among the believers. So, he did this….” (Bihàr, 14, 515, 4)
3. Safwàn ibn Yahyà said, “I said to Imam Ridà (‘a), ‘We used to ask you [about the Imam after you], before Allah had granted you Abu Ja‘far, and you used to say, “Allah will grant me a son.” Now, Allah has given him to you. Our eyes have been brightened! May Allah never show us the day [of your sorrow]! But if it should happen, whom should we follow?’ He pointed with his hand toward Abu Ja‘far, who was standing before him. Then I said, ‘May I be your sacrifice! This boy is only three years old.’ He said, ‘That does not matter. Jesus stood as an authority (hujjah) when he was three years old.” (Kàfí, 1, 321, 10)
4. Before his son (Muhammad al-Taqí) was born, al-Ridà (‘a) said, “By Allah, He will make from me something by which the truth and its followers are proven, and He will destroy by it what is wrong and its followers,” then al-Taqiu was born after a year. Then he said, “This is Abu Ja‘far. I put him in my seat, and I set him in my place. We are the Folk of the Household whose children inherit from their elders exactly.” It was said to him, “This son is only three years old.” He said, “It does not harm him. Jesus stood as an authority (hujjah) when he was less than three years old.” (Kharà’ij Wa al-Jarà’ih, 2, 899)
5. It is reported that [Imam] Ridà (‘a) said, “Verily Allah, the Exalted, authorized Jesus (‘a) when he was two years old.” (Bihàr, 14, 257, 54)
6. Abu al-Hasanu said, “…On the Resurrection day there will be four people from among the first ones and four people from among the last ones on the Throne of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent. As for the four of the first, they are Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus and the last are Muhammad, ‘Alí, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be with them.” (Tahdhíb, 6, 84, 3)
7. Abu Dhar, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “The Apostle of Allah was sitting in the mosque alone when I entered it. So I took advantage of his solitude and said, “… O Apostle of Allah! How many prophets were there?” He said, “One hundred twenty-four thousand.” I said, “How many apostles were there?” “Three hundred and thirteen all together.” I said, “Who was the first prophet?” He said, “Adam.” I said, “Was he an apostle among the prophets?” He replied, “Yes, Allah created him by His hand and blew into him from His spirit.” Then he1 continued, “O Abu Dhar these four prophets among the prophets are Siryàní: Adam, Seth, Ukhnukh, that is, Idrís, who was the first person to write with a pen, and Noah, peace be with them. And four of them are Arab: Hud, Sàlih, Shu‘ayb and your prophet Muhammad. The first prophet from the children of Isreal was Moses and the last of them was Jesus, and six hundred prophets were between them.” I said, “O the Apostle of Allah! How many books did Allah send?” He replied “One hundred and four books. He sent fifty scrolls to Seth, thirty scrolls to Idrís, and twenty scrolls to Abraham. And He sent the Torah, Bible, Psalms and Furqàn.” (Khisàl, 2, 524)
8. Ja‘far ibn Muhammadu said, “Gabriel remained forty days and did not descend to the Prophet. He said, “O my Lord my yearning for your Prophet has become intense, allow me.” Allah the Exalted revealed to him, “O Gabriel descend to My friend and My Prophet, then give him My greetings of peace, and inform him that I have distinguished him with prophethood and made him surpass all the prophets, and give my greetings of peace to his successor and inform him that I have distinguished him with succession and made him surpass all the successors.” Gabriel descended to the Prophet and said, “…O Muhammad! Whoever followed Seth would be saved by Seth, Seth was saved by Adam and Adam was saved by Allah.
Whoever followed Shem would been saved by Shem, Shem was saved by Noah and Noah wad saved by Allah. Whoever followed ÀSif would be saved by ÀSif, and ÀSif was saved by Solomon. Whoever followed Yusha‘ would be saved by Yusha‘, and Yusha‘ would be saved by Moses, and Moses was saved by Allah. Whoever followed Simon would be saved by Simon, and Simon would be saved by Jesus, and Jesus was saved by Allah. Whoever followed ‘Alí would be saved by ‘Alí and ‘Alí would be saved by you, and you are saved by Allah. Verily, all things are by Allah. Verily, the angels and guardians are honored among all the angels for being in the company of ‘Alí.” He said, “Then ‘Alí (‘a) sat down while hearing the speech of Gabrielu, although he did not see him. (Tafsír Furàt al-Kufí, 378).
9. It is reported that Abu ‘Abd Allah (‘a) said, “Allah did not raise a messenger without there being two devils concurrent who caused him suffering and tempted him, and misled the people after him. As for the five Possessors of Determination (Ulu al-‘Azm) of the messengers, they are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace and blessings be with them. As for the companions of Noah, they were FayTífus and Khiràm. For Abraham there were Makíl and Radhàm. For Moses, there were Sàmirí and Mar‘aqíbà. For Jesus, there were Bulus and Marísà. And for Muhammad, there were Habtar and Zuraiq.” (Bihàr, 13, 212, 5)
10. It is reported that Ibn Abu Ya‘fur said, “I heard Abu ‘Abd Allah (‘a) say, ‘The chiefs of the prophets and apostles are five and they are the possessors of constancy among the apostles, and they are the axis about which [the other prophets] turn: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be with him and his descendants and all of the prophets. (Kàfí, 1, 175, 3)
11. Among the questions of Shàmí is that he asked the Commander of the Faithful about the six prophets who had [special] names. He said, “Yusha‘ ibn Nun was Dhu al-Kifl, Ya‘qub ibn Ishàq was Isrà’íl, Khidr was Hilqiyà, Yunus was Dhu al-Nun, Jesus was the Messiah and Muhammad was Ahmad, may the blessings of Allah be with all of them.” (Bihàr, 16, 90, 22)
12. It is reported that [Imam] Bàqir (‘a) said, “Allah sent Jesus especially to the children of Israel, and his prophecy was in Jerusalem, and after him there were twelve apostles.” (Bihàr, 14, 250)
13 Sufyàn ibn ‘Uyaynah reported that Mujàhid narrated this saying of the Prophet (‘s), “There are four antecedents [who are the first followers of the prophets.] Yusha‘ to Moses, Sàhib Yàsín to Jesus and ‘Ali to the Prophet (‘s).” (Siràt al-Mustaqím, 3, 158)
14. Al-Husayn ibn al-Khàlid narated that Abu al-Hasan al-Ridà said, “It was engraved on the ring of Adam, ‘There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.'” He continued until he said, “Then Noah engraved on his ring, ‘There is no god but Allah, one thousand times. O my Lord! Reform me.'”
He continued until he said, “And Allah sent a ring to Abraham on which there were these six letters, ‘There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. There is no power and no strength save in God. I entrust my work to Allah. I lean on Allah. Allah is sufficient for me.’ Then Allah, may His Magnificence be magnified, revealed to him ‘Wear this ring. I will change the fire into coldness and peace.’ And the ring of Moses was engraved with these two letters, that he took them from Torah, ‘Have patience, you will be given wages. Tell the truth, you will be saved.’ The ring of Solomon was engraved with two letters he took, ‘Glory is to Him Who put the bridle on the Jinn by His words.’ The ring of Jesus was engraved with two letters he took from the Gospel, ‘Blessed is the servant because of whom Allah is remembered, and woe unto the servant because of whom Allah is forgotten.’ The ring of Muhammad was engraved with ‘There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.'” (Wasà’il al-Shí‘ah, 5, 101, 6041.)