The Gospel According to Islam

Copyright 1979 by Dr. Ahmad Shafaat

Chapter 1 Chapter 4 Chapter 7 Chapter 10 Chapter 13 Chapter 16 Chapter 19 Chapter 22 Chapter 25
Chapter 2 Chapter 5 Chapter 8 Chapter 11 Chapter 14 Chapter 17 Chapter 20 Chapter 23 Chapter 26
Chapter 3 Chapter 6 Chapter 9 Chapter 12 Chapter 15 Chapter 18 Chapter 21 Chapter 24 Chapter 27


  1. Then came together unto him certain of the Pharisees and the scribes from Jerusalem. (Note 1)

  2. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with unwashed hands, they found fault.

  3. For the Pharisees and many of the Jews held that if food is eaten with unwashed hands, it is defiled.

  4. And they asked Jesus, Why walk not your disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?

  5. He answered and said to them, Well has Esias said of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

  6. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men. (Note 2)

  7. For you teach the traditions of men as commandments of God (Note 3) and lay aside what God commanded.

  8. For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whose curseth father or mother, let him die:

  9. But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Korban, that is, a gift, by whatsoever you might be profited by me; he shall be free.

  10. And you suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother. (Note 4)

  11. Making the word of God of none effect.

  12. And when he had come away from the people and entered into a house, he received the Spirit and testified and said to his disciples, Verily, verily, I say to you, No prophet from Israel will be sent to uproot their traditions.

  13. For no man puts a piece of a new garment upon an old; and no man puts new wine into old bottles; but new wine must be put into new bottles.

  14. For this cause will my heavenly Father raise a prophet from the midst of another nation, and put His word into his mouth, that He may uproot every plant which He has not planted; (Note 5) that He may give to the world a new wine that men of all nations may quench their thirst.

  15. After these things it came to pass that there came to Jesus a Greek woman, Syrophoenician by nation:

  16. Her daughter had an unclean spirit, and she besought Jesus that he would cast it out of her.

  17. But he answered her not a word; and his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she cries after us.

  18. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Note 6)

  19. Howbeit I know another man of God, and she can go to him, for he takes devils out of all kinds of people.

Go to Chapter 11


Notes (Chapter 10)

1For the incident related here, see Mark 7:1-23 and Matt. 15;1-5. In accounts of such incidents, the canonical Gospels present Jesus' attitude as being far more radical than it actually was. For it appears from the Acts that Jewish customs and attitudes condemned by the Gospels with merciless fares, were shown by the closest of Jesus' followers and leaders of the primitive Christian community. Thus, for example, we may note with Marcella Craveri, (The Life of Jesus, p.140) how the Acts tell us of the great conflict that Peter suffered when he had to overcome his own resistance, presumably for the first time, to entering the house of a pagan (Cornelius), who had asked to be baptized, and how he later sought to explain to the company of the faithful, insisting that, at any rate, he had not eaten anything forbidden by the law as unclean (Acts 10:28; 11:8). But a criticism not aimed at destroying Jewish traditions of excessive rigidity in same matters on the part of his countrymen and a relaxed attitude toward some of their religious prohibitions can be attributed to Jesus. The Qur'an expresses this by saying that Jesus made lawful some of the things prohibited earlier to Israel, although, at the same time, he confirmed the Torah (3:50). What this means is that while Jesus confirmed the main and the basic part of the Jewish laws and traditions, he modified them in some of the details and tried to make it more flexible. [return]

2Isa. 29:13. The quotation in the Gospels is inaccurate. [return]

3Thus, without using a language destructive of Judaism, Jesus tried to point out that (1) true worship of God was mom important than following religious rules and regulations, and (2) the children of Israel were bound by what God really commanded them and not by all the traditions of the elders. At Paul's hand, this element of Jesus' thinking became a declaration of total freedom from the law. The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was originally a conflict between hypocrisy and true religiosity within the Jewish tradition, but with Paul this became a question of whether or not Jewish rules have any religious validity anymore. The Gospel accounts of the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees are considerably influenced by Paul and the conflict he generated. In particular, Jesus' speech to the "crowd" and his private conversation with his close disciples (Mark 7:14-23; Matt. 15:10-20), after his argument with the Pharisees from Jerusalem, are a product of this conflict, the purpose of the two evangelists being to give Jesus' authority to the victorious Pauline view that Jewish miss about cleanliness, defilement, etc., had no religious validity. The strong language in which Jesus replied to the Pharisees also seems to be influenced by Paulinism. [return]

4If Jesus taught honoring one's father and mother, he probably honored his own parents, too (cf. Qur'an 19:32). [return]

5Matt. 15:13; Luke 5:36-39. The two synoptic Gospels no doubt look toward the developments that took place after Jesus with the emergence of Paul and the Gentile Christianity. But since Gentile Christianity conflicts with the thinking and teachings of Jesus, it should be regarded as one of the plants that was not planted by the heavenly Father and needs to be uprooted. [return]

6Mark 7:25-27; Matt. 15:21-24. The two Gospels, however, continue the story and say that after further insistence from the mother, Jesus healed the girl, thus retreating from his position that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This is clearly an attempt to validate the Gentile mission started later under the leadership of Paul. Actually, the whole story seems to be the product of the conflict among Jewish Christians concerning the mission to the Gentiles. The story about the Syrophoenician woman was probably first created by those opposed to the mission, and then it was modified when the Gentiles finally began to be accepted by a majority of Christians as a result of Paul's victory. But the original story is closer to Jesus' own attitude (cf. Note 1, Chapter 4), and we have used it here to support the image of Jesus as primarily an Israeli prophet whose influence nevertheless extended beyond the Jewish people and became instrumental in preparing the way for a more truly universal religion -- Islam. [return]




  1. And Jesus continued to travel and preach for the spiritual renewal of Israel; and when he was preaching in Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man that he may heal him.

  2. And he spit on his finger and rubbed the eyes of the blind man, and asked him if he saw ought,

  3. And he looked up and said, I see men as trees walking.

  4. After that he put his fingers again upon his eyes, and made him look up; and by God's healing power he was restored and saw every man clearly. (Note 1)

  5. And one day Jesus was traveling and he came to a well. (Note 2)

  6. And being wearied with his journey, sat on the well; and it was about the sixth hour.

  7. Then there comes a woman to draw water: Jesus saith to her, you best six pitchers of water at home, how many more you need?

  8. The woman was amazed that Jesus knew what she had in her house and said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.

  9. Jesus said to her, Today for your first meal, you ate butter and honey after a long time, but to what Jacob and the prophets and I call my people is better sustenance than this water and butter and honey.

  10. And it can give you what the two husbands you have had could not give you.

  11. The woman was therefore amazed all the more that Jesus also knew her past. She said to him, Sir, what is it that Jacob and the other prophets and you call us to and is better than this water and the butter and honey I ate today and the two husbands I have had?

  12. Jesus answering to her said, Worship you the One True God who created me and you and who provides us with our daily sustenance,

  13. Worship you Him in spirit and in truth, (Note 3) and besides Him worship none, for it can neither profit nor harm.

  14. And upon this came some of his disciples (who had gone away to the city to buy meat), and the woman then left, and went her way to the city.

  15. And she said to the people, Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. (Note 4)

  16. Then they went out of the city and came to him, and Jesus preached them what he had preached to the woman, and they were amazed at his doctrine, but some said, Have we not heard this before?

  17. Jesus answered and said, You have heard it but not received it. For, else why take you the traditions of the elders like unto the commandments of God? And why make you the scribes your lords besides God? (Note 5)

  18. And again they heard but did not understand, and they began to ask him, Tell us how many pitchers of water we have at home? What did we eat today?

  19. But Jesus said to them, A prophet can do nothing without God's leave, and he can see nothing which he is not shown.

  20. And I do no miracle but as a sign to those who will believe and fear the coming day of the Lord.

  21. And he went his way with his disciples and some of those who heard him believed on him at that very hour.

Go to Chapter 12


Notes (Chapter 11)

1Mark 8:22-26. [return]

2The story we are about to relate is based on John 4:6-42 and the Qur'anic allusion to Jesus' gift of declaring to people what they stored in their houses and what they ate (3:49). [return]

3Cf. John 4:21,24. [return]

4John 4:29. [return]

5Qur'an 3:78-80; 9:30-31; 3:64. [return]




  1. And he came back to Capernaum and there one day comes to him one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name.

  2. And he besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lies at the point of death, Come and lay your hands on her that she may be healed and may live.

  3. And Jesus went with him; and many people followed him.

  4. And when he comes to the house of Jairus, he sees the relatives of the girl weeping and wailing greatly.

  5. And her father, when he saw this, also started to weep and wail.

  6. But Jesus told him, The damsel is not dead but sleeps.

  7. And he was in the chamber where she lay; and the power of the Lord to heal came upon him and he sais to her, By God's leave, I say to you, Arise.

  8. And the damsel arose and walked: for she was of the age of twelve years.

  9. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

  10. And he charged them that something should be given her to eat. (Note 1)

  11. And it came to pass that when these things were happening, Herodias plotted to have John the Baptist killed.

  12. For she hated John because that he would not fear anyone but God and reproached her for her adultery.

  13. And when Herod's birthday came, he made a big feast to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee.

  14. And when his guests were eating and drinking, Herodias sent her daughter Salome that she may dance before them and please them.

  15. And Herod, being exceedingly pleased by Salome, promised with an oath to give whatsoever she would ask.

  16. And Salome ran to her mother, saying, What shall I ask?

  17. And Herodias said, The head of John the Baptist in a charger.

  18. Now when the king heard what Salome wanted, he was sorry for his oath because he did not want to kill John; for the multitude counted him as a prophet, and he feared them.

  19. Nevertheless, for the oath's sake, and them that sat with him at meat, he would not reject her.

  20. And so the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison.

  21. And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

  22. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. (Note 2)

  23. Thus was John persecuted and killed for righteousness sake, for he preferred to suffer than bow before the power of wicked men.

  24. So peace be upon John the day he was born and the day he was killed without a just cause, and the day he will be raised to life again.

Go to Chapter 13


Notes (Chapter 12)

1Mark 5:21-24; Matt. 9:18-19, 23-29. Luke 8:40-42; 49-56. [return]

2Mark 6:17-29; Matt. 14:1-12. [return]


Chapter 1 Chapter 4 Chapter 7 Chapter 10 Chapter 13 Chapter 16 Chapter 19 Chapter 22 Chapter 25
Chapter 2 Chapter 5 Chapter 8 Chapter 11 Chapter 14 Chapter 17 Chapter 20 Chapter 23 Chapter 26
Chapter 3 Chapter 6 Chapter 9 Chapter 12 Chapter 15 Chapter 18 Chapter 21 Chapter 24 Chapter 27