According to the Islamic sources, the way a person enters into the fold of Islam is by confessing and testifying that, not only is there no other deity besides Allah, and that Muhammad is supposedly his messenger, but also must bear witness to Jesus being
“O People of the Book! Do not go to excess concerning your deen. Say nothing but the truth about Allah. The Messiah, ‘Isa son of Maryam, was only the Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He cast into Maryam, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. Do not say, ‘Three.’ It is better that you stop. Allah is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Him. Allah is enough as a Guardian.” (4:171)
Abu ‘Ubayd said that “His Word” is “Be” and it is. Someone else said that “a Spirit from Him” means that He gave him life and gave him a spirit, “Say not ‘Three’” [about Allah].
- It is related from ‘Ubada that the Prophet said, “Whoever testifiesthat there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, that ‘Isa is the slave of Allah and His Messenger and a Word which He CAST INTO Maryam and a spirit from Him, and that the Garden is real and the Fire is real will enter the Garden whatever his actions.”
It is related from Junada that he added, “And he can enter by whichever of the eight doors of the Garden he wishes.” (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Prophets https://bewley.virtualave.net/bukhari26.html#prophets; capital and underline emphasis ours)
It is narrated on the authority of Ubadah b. Samit that the messenger of Allah observed: HE WHO SAID: “There is no god but Allah, He is One and there is no associate with Him, that Muhammad is his servant and His messenger, that Christ is servant and the son of His slave-girl and he (Christ) His word which He communicated to Mary and is His Spirit, that Paradise is a fact and Hell is a fact,” Allah would make him (he who affirms these truths enter Paradise through any one of its eight doors which he would like. (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0043 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=001&translator=2&start=0&number=0043)
The Book of Miscellany
‘Ubadah bin As-Samit reported:
Messenger of Allah said, “He who bears witness that there is no true god except Allah, alone having no partner with Him, that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, that ‘Isa (Jesus) is His slave and Messenger and he (Jesus) is HIS WORD which He communicated to Maryam (Mary) and HIS SPIRIT which He SENT TO HER, that Jannah is true and Hell is true; Allah will make him enter Jannah accepting whatever deeds he accomplished”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Another narration in Muslim is: the Messenger of Allah said, “Whosoever testifies that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Allah saves him from the Fire (of Hell)”. (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/1/412; capital and underline emphasis mine)
Hence, a person must believe the divine prehuman existence and incarnation of Jesus in order to be a true Muslim. In other words, a Muslim is one who believes that Jesus eternally existed as a bodiless Spirit alongside Allah, being Allah’s very eternal Word, who was then sent down into the blessed womb of Mary in order to become a flesh and blood human being.
After all, since Allah’s Word is eternal, and since the Quran and ahadith testify that Jesus is that very Word, and not simply a creature who was created by Allah’s Word, Jesus must, therefore, be eternal. Note the logic behind this argument:
- The Word of Allah is eternal, uncreated.
- Jesus is the Word of Allah according to the Quran and ahadith.
- Therefore, Jesus is eternal and uncreated.
In this, the Muslim sources are doing nothing more than merely confirming the inspired teaching of the New Testament, specifically that of John’s message, that Jesus is the eternal Word of God, and preexistent divine Spirit, whom God appointed to bring the entire creation into existence, and who then became flesh by being conceived and born from his beloved and holy mother:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:18-23 New American Standard Version (NASB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people… The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14, 18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3 NASB
“He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Revelation 19:13 NASB
So it is written, ‘The first man Adam was made a living soul.’ The last Adam was made a life-giving spirit. However, that which is spiritual is not first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man was the Lord from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 Modern English Version (MEV)