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IslamiCity > Articles > Jesus/'Isa (pbuh) ~ The Spiritual Ascetic
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To Muslims, he is the righteous Messiah and holds an exalted place within Islam. Here are some of the honorable epithets mentioned in the Qur'an: word of Allah (kalimatu-Llah), spirit from God (ruhun mina' Llah), positive sign/symbol for humanity ( aayatun lin- naas) ...

Jesus/'Isa (pbuh) ~ The Spiritual Ascetic
12/11/2013 - Religious - Article Ref: IC1312-5637
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By: Sadullah Khan
IslamiCity* -

Zuhd entails abandoning whatever of this world that does not bring about benefit in the Hereafter. Zuhd resides in the heart, and is practiced by ridding the heart of enslavement from the unwarranted desire and the over-attentiveness to things that are temporary. It entails your being more certain in what Allah has in store for you, than your are about what you have in your hand. As Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said; When Allah desires goodness for his servant, He grants the capacity of abstention from materialism, a desire for the Hereafter and an insight into his own faults. 

The Prophet's saying "make zuhd from the dunya" [Ibn Majah] does not imply a disregard for this world, but rather an awareness of the transient nature of the worldly material things which are insignificant in relation to the permanence of what Allah promises ...  All that is with you is bound to come to an end, whereas that which is with God is everlasting. And most certainly shall We grant unto those who are patient in adversity their reward in accordance with the best that they ever did. [Qur'an 16:96]. 

'Isa/Jesus (pbuh), an Appreciation

'Isa ibn Maryam" (Jesus son of Mary); denied by some as a fictional character, accused of being an illegitimate child by some, misconceived as divine by many; considered as a Prophet and Messiah in Islam. To Muslims, he is the righteous Messiah and holds an exalted place within Islam. Here are some of the honorable epithets mentioned in the Qur'an: word of Allah (kalimatu-Llah), spirit from God (ruhun mina' Llah), positive sign/symbol for humanity ( aayatun lin- naas), mercy from God (rahmatan minna), of the Righteous" (min-as-saalihiin), Messiah (masih), prophet (nabi), Messenger of God (rasul), the son of Mary (ibne Maryam), wajihan fid-dunya wal-aakhirah (eminent in this world and the next).

Embodiment of a True Zahid.

Ka'b al-Ahnar said; Jesus the son of Mary would walk bare-footed, claiming nothing in the way of shelter, finery, wares, garments, or money; of the latter he would procure only enough to subsist for the day. Once the sun would set, he would align himself and pray until morning. He would restore sight to the blind, heal those afflicted with leprosy, and revive the dead - all with the license of God. He was ascetic in matters of this world, vigorously exuberant towards the hereafter, ever-vigilant in his devotions to God. He was an traveler who wandered the earth... ..It was then that God raised him up to the heavens.

The Messiah (pbuh) is also reported to have said: "Asceticism/Abstention from materialism revolves around three days; Yesterday, which has passed and from it you should seek admonition/ learn a lesson; Today, in which you should increase your preparation; Tomorrow of which you know not what is holds. [Musnad Ahmed]


Furthermore, the Messiah (pbuh) said: "O Children of Israel! I have been positioned on earth with a particular status, and there is neither pompousness nor arrogance. Do you know where my residence really is?" They said, "Where is your residence, O Spirit of Allah." The Messiah replied, "My home is any place of worship, my perfume is water, hunger is the flavoring of my food, my feet are my transport, my lamp at the night is the moon, my blanket in the winter is (the rising of the sun) east of the earth, my food is basic, my fruit and flowers are whatever grows from the earth, my garment is wool, my motto is fear of Allah and I accompany the sick and the poor. I sleep while I have nothing and I wake up while I have nothing, and yet there is no one on earth wealthier than I." [Bihar al-Anwar] 

Wisdom of the Exemplary Zahid

  • Jesus (peace be upon him) was known to have said, "Virtuous action does not consist in doing good to someone who has done good to you -that is merely returning a favor. Virtuous action consists in doing good to those who have wronged you." (Musnad Ahmad) 
  • Once someone asked Jesus (pbuh), "How are you able to walk on water?" Jesus replied, "With yaqeen/certainty." Then someone said, "But we also have certainty!" Jesus then asked them, "Are stone, clay, and gold equal in your eyes?" They replied, "Certainly not!" Jesus responded, "They are in mine."(Musnad Ahmad) 
  • Jesus, the son of Mary(pbut), said, "God has given me the power to give life to the dead, sight to the blind, sound to the deaf; but He did not give me the power to heal the fool of his foolishness." (Al- Razi)
  • Jesus, the son of Mary (peace be upon them), said, "Do not speak much without remembering God, for by doing so, you harden your hearts. Surely a hard heart is distant from God though you are unaware. Do not, like lords, look at the faults of others. Rather, like servants, look at your own faults. In truth, humanity is comprised of only two types, the sick and the healthy. So show mercy to the afflicted, and praise God for well-being." (Muwatta of Malik) 

Shared Spiritual Legacy

Muslims and Christians do have differing perspectives on Jesus' life and teachings, but his spiritual legacy, as a righteous and principled guide, his mission as a Prince of Peace offers an alternative opportunity for people of faith to recognize their shared religious heritage. 

*****

Shaykh Sadullah Khan is the Director of Impower Development International www.impowerinternational.com.

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