Jesus (Heb. Aramaic) (Ar.) (27), his mother Mary, his Twelve Disciples Ar.) and the sacred Books associated with them.
In Progress originally written 1980s - under revision - last uploaded 12-02-2022.
00. Mirian = Mary = (Ar.) Maryam, (Heb. Myrm, Miryam, Miriam),
Mary the mother of Jesusof Nazareth and wife of Joseph (d. c.3X? CE; Q.19 [title] and x 34 in 12 sūras) is the only woman called by her proper name in the Q. though often in the phrase `Īsā b. Maryam (Jesus son of Mary, Q. x 24). The qur’anic stories of the annunciation-conception and birth of Jesus to some degree reflect Christian apocryphal writings and select Gospel pericopae. The virgin birth is upheld (Q.19:21; 21:91; 56:22) as is the chastity of Mary who is once curiously referred to as the "sister of Aaron" (Q.3:37-8; 66:12;19:29).
The Bāb Baha'u'llah and `Abd al-Baha' all salute the purity of the virgin Mary and affirm the "miracle" of the virgin birth. Baha'u'llah referred to her in his Kitab-i.īqān as an ṭal`at-i kubrā ("that Supreme Countenance", Shoghi Effendi trans., "most beauteous countenance") and mukhaddara-yi baqā’ (Shoghi Effendi, trans., "that veiled and immortal Countenance") (KI: 43-4/ 36-7).
Abdu'l-Baha' explained her bearing the qur’ānic epithet "sister of Aaron" as intimating her being
pure like Aaron not a sister of the brother of Moses. Shoghi Effendi seems to have affirmed the reality of her "Immaculate conception" (being born without the stain of `original sin’), though he may have associated this also with the Virgin birth itself (PDC: 53; LDG: 123). With Fāṭima and other "exalted heroines" Mary is seen by Bahā’īs as the outstanding woman of the Christian era (SE* GPB: 347). It is Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. who are especially exalted in Bahā’ī literature.
JESUS = Heb-Aram. Joshua meaning `YHWH saves' . Ar. = `ISA
27. Jesus (= Heb. Aram. Yeshū[a], a late form of the name Joshua meaning `YHWH saves’; cf. Gk. Ieÿsous) Jesus (c.- 6?- c.30 CE?). In Qur'anic Arabic the name is somewhat curiously (Ar.) `Īsā. Therein he is a Rasul Allah (a Messenger of God) as well as a Nabi or Prophet - as well as one mursal a sent-Messenger ( R+N+M*). He was the founder of that Jewish faction which became Christianity. He has a prominent, elevated place in the Q. (x 93 times in 15 sūras). As the "son of Mary" (Q. x 33) he allegedly spoke from the cradle (Q. 3:41; 5:109;19:30). Jesus both affirmed the Torah and received the Injīl (evangelion = Gospel[s]) from God (Q. 3:43f). Not literally "a son of God" or a deity consubstantial with God (Q. 9:30f; 5:19f; 43:59), Jesus is said to be al-masīḥ, the messiah (Qx11), a prophet (nabī) and a messenger (rasū) as well as His "Word" (kalimat; Q. 3:45;4:171) and a "Spirit (rūḥ) from Him" (Q. 4:171). He is furthermore, one aided with the "Holy Spirit" ( bi-rūḥ al-quds; Q. 2:81; 5:109:19:30; 58:22). While Jesus’ ability to perform miracles (= āyāt, "signs") is affirmed and several times evidenced (Q. 3:43f; 5:110f) his crucfixion appears to be denied (Q. 4: 155f). Though his ascension is mentioned (Q. 4:157) Jesus’ second coming or role at the eschaton is only alluded to (Q. 43:61) (Anawati. ``Īsā’ EI2 IV:81-6; Wensinck [Bosworth], `al-Masīḥ’ EI2 V1:776; Parrinder, 1965 esp. 55ff).1
The more than 500 or so year period between Jesus and Muhammad is often regarded in Muslim sources as a period hen the people remained without a concrete or outward ḥujjat (`Proof’, Guide’) for 250 or 400 or more years after Jesus (Biḥār 2 14: 234; 347).
Islamic sources greatly expand and celebrate the figure of the Islamic Jesus and see him as a very great prophet and servant of God, the "Spirit of God" (rūḥ Allāh). Bābī- Bahā’ī primary sources exalt and frequently refer to Jesus. In his commentary on the Islamic tradition man `arafa nafsahu (He who has known himself..) the Bāb in Sufī fashion has referred to Jesus as the ashraf al-anbiyā’ ("most honourable of theprophets" (INBA Ms. 6007C:64).).1
Going beyond the qur’ānic and later Islamic exaltation of Jesus, Baha'u'llah affirmed his (subordinate) divinity and position as an exalted maẓhar-i ilāhī with all that this entails. In his Lawh-i Hartik [Hirtīk] (1872 CE) he states that a true appreciation of the exalted station of Jesus is "beyond the comprehension of humanity".
In line with the Q. Baha'u'llah rejected the tritheistic trinity and a literal "incarnation" of the absolute Essence of th Godhead (dhāt al-dhāt). Unlike most Muslims he affirmed the historicity of Jesus’ salvific death upon the cross. Reminiscent of Shī`ī martyrology he viewed Jesus’ death on the cross as an historical event of cosmic, soteriological magnitude and regenerative power (L. Ibn., IQ:98, tr. GWB:85). `Abdu'l-Baha' demythologized the New Testament resurrection narratives also giving spiritual interpretations to Jesus’ miracles and to the New Testament resurrection appearences (SAQ, index).
Both the Bāb and Baha'u'llah claimed to be the spiritual "return" of Jesus and are so regarded by modern Bahā’īs (SE* Disp. 50 citing AB*). From the mid-late Edirne period Baha'u'llah claimed to be the second coming of Jesus. He claimed that at the eschaton he had come in the station of the "Father". In his L-Sarrāj (c. 1867) Baha'u'llah refers to Jesus as "my Son in the Supreme Concourse (malā’ al-a`lā)" (MA 7:05, cf. 112). He drew numerous parallelisms between himself and Jesus and addressed both the Italian Pope Giovanni Maria Mastai- Ferretti, Pius IX (1846-78) and the whole ecclesiastical panoply of oriental and occidental Christendom.
The Twelve Disciples of Jesus