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23. The most famous story of birth in the history of mankind

Citation
Article title: 
23. The most famous story of birth in the history of mankind
Publishers: 
Year: 
2006
Week: 
52
Article number: 
23
Article pages: 
pp. 64-65
Date of source: 
December 23-29, 2006
Author: 
Ayman al-Tuhami
Reviewer: 
Shayma’ al-Shami
Text
Article summary: 

Ayman al-Tuhāmī presents the story of Jesus’s

birth, known as the nativity, as described in the New Testament and the Qur’ān. al-

Tuhāmī explains that the major area of theological disagreement between the Qurā’n

and the Bible is how each side regards Christ: While the Bible calls him the "Son of God," the

Qur’ān consistently refers to him as the "servant of God."

Article full text: 

The story of the Nativity is

undoubtedly the most famous story of birth in the history of mankind. According to the author of the article, Ayman

al-Tuhāmī, there is no major theological disagreement between Islamic and Christian narratives of the

birth of Jesus Christ.
Al-Tuhāmī said that although they give different accounts of the birth

of Jesus Christ, the gospels of Matthew and Luke complement each other perfectly "like two strands of hair braided

together." Both accounts indicate that Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary, a simple and poor young woman who

was engaged to Joseph, a carpenter.
Al-Tuhāmī explained that the main point of theological

disagreement between Muslims and Christians is how each side regards Christ: while Christians call Christ the "Son

of God," the Qur’ān describes him as the "servant of God." [Reviewer: Muslims believes that all

creatures are servants of God. In the Qur’ān, Jesus Christ, who is called

‘Īsá in Arabic, is consistently referred to as "‘Īsá Bin Maryam"

(Jesus, the son of Mary) because, in Muslim belief, Jesus had no biological father].
According to the

gospels, Mary was visited by an angel who brought to her the message that she would give birth to Christ [Reviewer:

This is according to Luke’s account. In Matthew’s account, Joseph was visited by an angel who persuaded

him to marry Mary rather than send her away or expose her pregnancy].
The Qur’ān and the

Bible depict the Virgin Mary’s fears and worries when she knew of her virginal conception. They both indicate

that an angel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her that her conception was a miracle from God. The

Qur’ān reads: "She said: how can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I

been unchaste? He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord sayeth: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may

make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained." [Chapter of Maryam [Mary]

19: 20, 21, ’The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’ān’ by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall] "The

angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the

holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." [Luke 1: 35, The Holy Bible, New International

Version].
Al-Tuhāmī indicated that while the Bible elaborates on the story and journey of Mary

and Joseph to Bethlehem, the Qur’ān does not make any reference to Joseph. "And she conceived

him, and she withdrew with him to a far place. And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the

palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died ere this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten!" [19: 22, 23].

Al-Tuhāmi stated, "The above-mentioned ’far place’ is not specifically stated, but it most

probably refers to Bethlehem."
According to al-Tuhāmī, the difference between the

Qur’ānic and Biblical accounts of the Nativity is clearly revealed in the Virgin Mary’s

reaction when she gave birth to Jesus Christ. The Qur’ān stated that Mary was afraid of

disgrace, but her fears were soon allayed when Christ talked to her in his cradle. "Then (one) cried unto her from

below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord hath placed a rivulet beneath thee," [19: 24]. The Biblical version of the

story says that upon hearing of her pregnancy, Joseph was initially inclined to break off their betrothal. However,

following a dream in which he was reassured that Mary was still a virgin and that her child was conceived by the

Holy Spirit, Joseph agreed to marry Mary.

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Classification: 
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