Festivals and celebrations are considered one of the distinctive characteristics and key features of societies around the world as they constitute a major part of cultural fabric for people. This means that there is hardly any human society without festivals, whether they are related to religious occasions or non-religious ones. While there are some Islamic festivals like, Eid al-Fiṭr and Eid al-Adha, there are also various celebrations and festivals that distinguish Christians from other religious groups, such as Christmas. Thus, every year, the Christians celebrate the Christmas all over the world, which is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus (PBUH). There are different hypotheses regarding the date of Jesus’ birth; however, the Catholic “Western” church has fixed December 25th to be the Christmas date. On the other hand, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the Christmas on January 7th.The present article focuses on the position of Jesus in the Islamic texts and how Islam and Muslims hold great reverence and respect for Jesus and his mother.
Reviewing the Glorious Qur’an, one finds that there is no book on earth that has given Jesus and his mother more reverence and honor than the Qur’an does. We will not be exaggerating if we say that the Qur’an gives more respect and reverence to Jesus more than the current Torah and Gospel do. In the Qur’an, there is a full detailed surah entitled Al-Imran and it refers to the family of Jesus, where Allah says, “Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over the worlds. Descendants, some of them from others. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing”. It is known that the aforementioned surah is classified as the second largest Surah in the Qur’an next to al-Baqrah. In addition, there is another surah entitled Maryam, the mother of Jesus. However, there is neither a full detailed surah in the Qur’an about the family of Prophet Muhammad PBUH nor his mother.
Maryam was named six times in Surah Al-Imran and this surah includes precise information concerning the story of the pregnancy of Maryam’s mother, as many scholars explained that Maryam’s mother was a barren old woman, and when Maryam was born, her mother was in deep grief as she had pledged what is in her womb for Allah’s service. The righteous people disputed greatly over who would take care of Maryam, and then it was Zakarīyā who ultimately took good care of her, and she grew up under his patronage as a righteous girl. Every time Zakarīyā entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He used to ask her about the source of that provision, and she replied, “It is from Allah.”
Maryam’s name was also mentioned twice in surah al-Nisāʼ in the context of dispraising the Jews for their disbelief and their false accusation of Maryam, where Allah, Glory be to Him says, “And [We cursed them] for their disbelief and their saying against Mary a great slander, And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them” Surah Maryam, her name was also mentioned twice where Maryam brought Jesus to her people carrying him as they accused her of doing something unprecedented. In Suah al-Taḥrīm, she was named once, attributed to her father (Maryam daughter of Imran) in the place of praising her for her deep and unshakable belief. Allah says, “And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient”
In addition to the Glorious Qur’an, there are loads of Aḥādīth referring to the stature of Maryam among Muslims and how they respect and revere her greatly. Abū Hurayrah said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) say, “There is no one born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child.” Then Abū Hurayrah recited: “And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan” In addition, Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Sufficient for you among the women of mankind are Maryam daughter of ʻUmrān, Khadījah bint Khuwaylid, Fāṭimah daughter of Muḥammad and Āsiyah the wife of the Pharaoh”
Regarding Jesus, the son of Maryam, his story was mentioned in many surahs of the Glorious Qur’an such as Maryam, Al-Imranm, al-Māʼidah, al-Nisāʼ, al-Ṣaff, al-Ḥadīd and al-Zukhruf. In surah Maryam, for instance, it included the address to both his mother and Jesus and it seems as if the two stories are only one story. However, at the end of the surah, the verses emphasize the Oneness of Allah and t