The Words of Jesus (a.s.) from Traditional Muslim Sources

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Much of the following was extracted excerpted from “Walk on Water”, by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.  Several ancient Aramaic scriptures containing the sayings of Jesus (a.s.) were collected and authenticated by Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.), who translated them into Arabic.  An English version was translated by Shaykh Mushtaq ‘Ali al-Answari.  The Arabic text is likely one of the source materials for Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s book.

According to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.) 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 favour.  Virtuous action consists in doing good to those who have wronged you.”

According to Imam Malik ibn Anas (r.a.) in his al-Muwaththa’, Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), 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 afflicted and the sound.  So show mercy to the afflicted, and praise God for well-being.”

Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (q.s.) said according to Hilal ibn Yusuf (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), said, “If a day of fasting comes upon one of you, let him oil his hair and beard; let him moisten his lips lest others know he is fasting.  If he gives alms with his right hand, let him conceal that from his left; should he pray, let him draw the curtain across his door.  Surely, God Apportions praise to people just as provision is Apportioned.”

Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (q.s.) said according to Salim ibn Abi al-Ja’d (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), said, “Work for God and not for your stomachs.  Look at the birds: they rise up at dawn and enter into the evening having neither planted nor harvested, yet God Provides for them.  Now if you say to me, 'Our stomachs are so much larger than those of birds,' look then at the oxen, the wild beasts and the donkeys; they neither plow nor harvest the earth, yet God Provides for them as well.  Beware of the luxuries of this world, and fear them, for the luxuries of this world are filth in the Sight of God.”

According to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), it is related that Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), said, “It is of no use to know something if one does not act upon it.  In truth, an abundance of knowledge only increases one in pride if one does not act accordingly.”

According to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), someone once asked Jesus (a.s.), “How are you able to walk on water?”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “With certainty.”

Then someone said, “But we also have certainty!”

Jesus (a.s.) then asked them, “Are stone, clay, and gold equal in your eyes?”

They replied, “Certainly not!”

Jesus (a.s.) responded, “They are in mine.”

According to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), was known to have said, “Love of this world is the source of every wrong action, and there is much harm in wealth.”

They asked, “What is its harm?”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “Its possessor is never safe from pride and arrogance.”

They asked again, “What if he is free of those two?  Is there still harm?”

Jesus (a.s.) responded, “Yes, for by nurturing his wealth, he is diverted from the remembrance of God.”

According to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), once Jesus (a.s.) and his apostles were outside the temple of Solomon (a.s.), and the apostles said, “O Messiah of God, look at the House of God!  What could be finer?”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “Amen.  Amen.  But I say to you that God will not leave one stone of this House standing.  Indeed, God will Destroy it because of the misdeeds of its people.  God does not build anything of worth with gold or silver, nor even with these stones.  Righteous hearts are more beloved to God than these stones.  For God Cultivates the earth with righteous hearts; and, in their absence, the earth is destroyed.”

According to Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi ad-Dunya (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), was accustomed to say, “O my God, surely I have entered into the morning unable to neither forestall what I fear nor hasten what I hope for.  The whole affair is in another’s hand.  I have arisen bound to my deeds.  There is no one poorer than me.  Do not make me the cause of my enemies being cursed, nor make me the reason any harm should come to a friend.  Do not place tribulation in my spiritual path, nor empower anyone over me who shows me no mercy.”

According to Shaykh Abu Na’im (r.a.), once Jesus (a.s.) met Satan and Satan asked, “Is it not true that only what has been decreed will happen?”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “That is true.”

Then Satan said, “So throw yourself down from the top of this mountain, and let us see if you live or not!”

Jesus (a.s.) answered, “The servant does not test his Master; rather, it is the Master Who Tests His servant.”

According to Imam Yusuf ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (r.a.), some people once said to Jesus (a.s.), “O Spirit of God, inform us about the nature of wealth.”

He answered, “The possessor of wealth always has one of three qualities: he either gains it by unlawful means, obstructs it from reaching the one who deserves it, or by accumulating it is distracted from worship of his Lord.”

According to Hafizh Isma’il ibn Katsir (r.a.), Imam Sufyan ats-Tsawri (r.a.) related that Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), said, “Love of this world and love of the next world can never reside in the heart of a believer simultaneously, just as fire and water cannot be contained in a single vessel at the same time.”

According to Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi ad-Dunya (r.a.), Shaykh ‘Ubaydullah ibn Muslim (r.a.) related that Jesus (a.s.) once said, “Woe to the possessor of this world, since he must die and leave the world behind. He places his hope in it and is deceived.  He trusts it and is forsaken.  Woe to the deluded, for this world shows them what they detest.  In the end, they must abandon what they love, and depart for that which they were promised.  Woe to the one whose constant preoccupation is this world and whose grave mistakes are his very actions.  What shame they will cause him soon enough!”

According to Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.) said, “You will never obtain what you desire except through patience with what you despise.”

According to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), Shaykh Yazid ad-Dabi (r.a.) reported that once a woman said to Jesus (a.s.), son of Mary (a.s.), as he was working, “Blessed be the womb that bore you, and Blessed be the breast that suckled you.”

Approaching her, Jesus (a.s.) said, “And Blessed be someone who, having read the Book of God, acted in accordance with what was in it.”

According to Imam Muhammad ibn Zakariyya ar-Razi (r.a.), Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), 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.”

According to Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (r.a.), it was written in the Aramaic scriptures that Jesus (a.s.) said, “Seek what you do not know only after you have put into practice what you do know.”

According to Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (r.a.), it was also written in the Aramaic scriptures that the apostles asked Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.), “O Spirit of God, is there anyone else like you alive in our time?”

He replied, “Yes indeed.  Whoever has the remembrance of God in his heart and is silent in thought, and who learns from what is given, surely that one is like me.”

It was also written all of the following in the Aramaic scriptures.  Once, Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.) asked his apostles, “Where do you find a plant growing?”

They replied, “In the dust of the earth.”

He said, “By the One of Truth, I will tell you gnosis does not grow except in a heart that is like the dust of the earth.”

Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.) was walking with his apostles when they passed a dead dog by the side of the road.  One of them said, “What can be worse than the corruption of the unclean dog!”

And Jesus (a.s.) replied, “His teeth, how brightly they shine.”

Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.) met a man and asked him what his profession was.  The man replied, “I worship God.”

He then asked, “Who feeds and clothes you while you pray?”

“My brother,” The man replied.

Jesus (a.s.) said, “Your brother's worship is better than yours.”

Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.) met three people while traveling.  They were pale and thin with fasting.  He asked them, “What has caused this state in you?”

They answered, “Fear of the Punishment of God.”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “God has Taken it upon Himself to Lessen your fear.”

He continued on a ways and came across three more who were pale and thin with fasting, even more than the last.  He asked them, “What has caused this state in you?”

They answered, “Desire for God's Rewards.”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “God has Taken it upon Himself to Give you what you long for.”

Still on his travels, Jesus (a.s.) came across yet another three who were pale and thin with fasting.  Their faces shone as if they were lit from within so he asked them, “What is the cause of your state?”

They answered, “We love God, the Mighty, the Glorious.”

Whereupon he replied, “You are the nearest and nearer still!”

Once, Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.) passed by a group of men who shouted evil things at him.  In return he spoke to them with kindness.  His apostles asked him, “Why did you reply to these men with kindness when they spoke evil to you?”

Jesus (a.s.) replied, “Everyone spends from the coin he has.”

This was the philosophy of Jesus (a.s.), the son of Mary (a.s.): “My meal is fasting.  My standard is reverence of God.  My clothing is of simple wool.  My prayer in winter is at suns rise.  My lamp is moonlight.  My steed is my legs.  My meal is whatever the earth gives me.  I lay down to sleep at night and posses nothing.  I awake in the morning and have nothing.  Yet there is no one richer than I.”  How far are those who claim to follow him from that which their prophet taught.


  1. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
    وصلى الله على محمد وآله الطاهرين والعن على أعدائهم

    The Imāmī Shī`ah have many narrations from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt عليهم الصلاة والسلام regarding Jesus son of Mary عليهما السلام, here is a sample:

    Allah said to Jesus son of Mary [a]:

    "O Jesus! You must have one tongue both in private and in public - same with your heart. I warn you of your own self, and My cognizance is sufficient for you. Two tongues are not proper for one mouth, nor are two swords proper for one sheath, nor are two hearts proper for one chest, and same with the minds."


    Imam `Ali b. Abi Talib said:

    "If you desire I will tell you about Jesus the son of Mary. He used a stone for his pillow, put on coarse clothes and ate rough food. His condiment was hunger. His lamp at night was the moon. His shade during the winter was just the expanse of earth eastward and westward. His fruits and flowers were only what grows from the earth for the cattle. He had no wife to allure him, nor any son to give grief, nor wealth to deviate [his attention], nor greed to disgrace him. His two feet were his conveyance and his two hands his servant."

    You can see more here:

    بالتوفيق إن شاء الله


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