Quran Inconsistency

Is Jesus Like Adam?

Sam Shamoun

The Quran claims that Jesus’ similitude, or likeness, before God is like that of Adam whom he created from dust by his creative command:

Truly, the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, 'Be,' and he was. S. 3:59

Muslims see this as a rather impressive refutation of the Christian arguments for the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus. However, on closer inspection this a rather poor response to the Christian claims for the eternal majesty of God’s Son.

In the first place, the Quran is not clear on how Allah created Adam. The above reference claims that Allah spoke and created him from dust. Yet other references assert that Allah actually fashioned Adam from clay with his own hands and breathed his spirit into him:

When thy Lord said to the angels, 'See, I am creating a mortal of a clay. When I have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him!' Then the angels bowed themselves all together, save Iblis; he waxed proud, and was one of the unbelievers. Said He, 'Iblis, what prevented thee to bow thyself before that I created with My own hands? Hast thou waxed proud, or art thou of the lofty ones?' S. 38:71-75

Q. 3:59 is actually formulated in a rather strange and confusing manner, even without comparing it with other passages. Note that it says that Allah created him of dust and THEN spoke the word "Be!" to him. Does this mean that Adam didn’t have a being, didn’t exist until Allah said "Be!"? He obviously did, since Allah already created him from dust. Then why would Allah even need to say "Be!" after he had already created him? Does the "Be!" refer to Allah giving life to Adam’s lifeless body? If so, why did he breathe his spirit into Adam? Wasn’t it for the purpose of animating his body? Then why would he need to say "Be!"?

In light of the foregoing what are we supposed to believe about the creation of the first man? Did Allah create him with his own hands from clay, from stinking mud as another verse says, and then breathe the spirit of life into his body? Or did Allah merely speak life into him after fashioning him out of dust?

For more on this point please see this article.

Secondly and more importantly, the Quran itself is a witness against its own assertion of Adam being similar to Jesus. The Quran ascribes to Jesus certain roles and characteristics which not only demonstrate his vast superiority to Adam, but which also elevate him higher than any other prophet or messenger.

Here are a host of qualities and functions that both the Quran and Islamic literature assign to Jesus which place him far above and beyond Adam.

1. Jesus was born of a virgin, Adam was not.

The Quran emphatically affirms Jesus' virgin birth:

'Lord,' said Mary, 'how shall I have a son seeing no mortal has touched me?' 'Even so,' God said, God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He does but say to it "Be," and it is. S. 3:47

And mention in the Book Mary when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place, and she took a veil apart from them; then We sent unto her Our Spirit that presented himself to her a man without fault. She said, 'I take refuge in the All-merciful from thee! If thou fearest God ... He said, 'I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure. She said, 'How shall I have a son whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchaste?' He said, 'Even so thy Lord has said: "Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us; it is a thing decreed."' S. 19:16-21

A good question to ask at this point is why was a virgin birth necessary seeing that God's law of reproduction had already been set in motion? Adam's creation was due primarily to the circumstances in which he was created, i.e. seeing that he was the first man there could have been no possible way for him to have been born from human parents. Yet the situation with Christ was different and a virgin birth wasn't required, unless there was something special and unique about Jesus.

Islam does not give a good or valid reason for the virgin birth, apart from the assertion that Allah wanted to show that he could create anyway he sees fit. But this still wouldn't explain why Allah chose to demonstrate his creative ability by causing Jesus to be conceived from a virgin, as opposed to someone else, whether Abraham, Moses, Muhammad etc.

The Holy Bible gives us the reason why Jesus was born of a virgin:

"And Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, since I have no husband?’ And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.’" Luke 1:34-35

God decreed the virgin birth since the Lord Jesus is his unique and beloved Son. God ordained Christ’s entrance into human existence by means of a virgin since this is what befitted the eternal glory and dignity of his immortal Son.

Thus, Adam’s creation is unlike Jesus’ birth from a virgin. The creation of the former was determined by his circumstances whereas the virginal conception and birth of the latter was due to his unique relationship with God as his beloved Son.

2. Jesus was sinless, Adam was not.

The Quran, in several places, mentions Adam’s sin in eating of the forbidden tree:

"O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression." Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: "Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever." And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?" They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost." (God) said: "Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood, - for a time." He said: "Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye be taken out (at last)." O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, - that is the best. Such are among the Signs of God, that they may receive admonition! O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith. S. 7:19-27


We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm resolve. When We said to the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Adam", they prostrated themselves, but not Iblis: he refused. Then We said: "O Adam! verily, this is an enemy to thee and thy wife: so let him not get you both out of the Garden, so that thou art landed in misery. There is therein (enough provision) for thee not to go hungry nor to go naked, Nor to suffer from thirst, nor from the sun's heat." But Satan whispered evil to him: he said, "O Adam! shall I lead thee to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?" In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced. But his Lord chose him (for His Grace): He turned to him, and gave him Guidance. He said: "Get ye down, both of you, - all together, from the Garden, with enmity one to another: but if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me, whosoever follows My Guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery." S. 20:115-123

Contrast this with what the Quran says about the sinlessness of both Jesus and his blessed mother:

When the wife of Imran said, 'Lord, I have vowed to Thee, in dedication, what is within my womb. Receive Thou this from me; Thou hearest, and knowest.' And when she gave birth to her she said, 'Lord, I have given birth to her, a female.' (And God knew very well what she had given birth to; the male is not as the female.) 'And I have named her Mary, and commend her to Thee with her seed, to protect them from the accursed Satan.' S. 3:35-36

Muhammad purportedly interpreted the preceding passage as implying that only Mary and her glorious Son were protected from Satan when they were born:

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab:
Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none 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 Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641; see also Volume 4, Book 54, Number 506)

And here is what the Quran says God’s Spirit told Mary about the birth of her glorious Son:

… He said, 'I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure (ghulaman zakiyyan). S. 19:19

This next report brings out the contrast between Jesus’ absolute purity with Adam’s sinfulness much more clearly:

Narrated Anas:
The Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection the Believers will assemble and say, 'Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.' So they will go to Adam and say, 'You are the father of all the people, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the angels to prostrate to you, and taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with your Lord, so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.' Adam will say, 'I am not fit for this (i.e. intercession for you).' Then Adam will remember his sin and feel ashamed thereof. He will say, 'Go to Noah, for he was the first Apostle Allah sent to the inhabitants of the earth.' They will go to him and Noah will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will remember his appeal to his Lord to do what he had no knowledge of, then he will feel ashamed thereof and will say, 'Go to the Khalil--r-Rahman (i.e. Abraham).' They will go to him and he will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking. Go to Moses, the slave to whom Allah spoke (directly) and gave him the Torah .' So they will go to him and he will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' and he will mention (his) killing a person who was not a killer, and so he will feel ashamed thereof before his Lord, and he will say, 'Go to Jesus, Allah's Slave, His Apostle and Allah's Word and a Spirit coming from Him.' Jesus will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad the Slave of Allah whose past and future sins were forgiven by Allah.'… (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 3)

Let the reader note that Jesus is the only prophet in this list who doesn't mention any personal sins. Even Muhammad was a sinner, unlike the Lord Jesus, according to this so-called sound hadith!

In fact, the famous Muslim historian and commentator al-Tabari cited a Muslim scholar named Qatadah who said that:

"Jesus and his mother did not commit any of the sins which the rest of the children of Adam commit." (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Quran and Its Interpreters: The House of Imran [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1992], Volume II, p. 94)

Thus, if anyone would be worthy of interceding it wouldn't be Muhammad, but the sinless Savior, the Lord Jesus.

3. Jesus is a Spirit proceeding from God and his very own Word, whereas Adam was given life by God's Spirit and was created by God's command.

When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. S. 3:45

People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him -- That He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian. S. 4:171

Q. 4:171 presupposes that Jesus existed before he was born from the virgin. After all, for the Quran to identify Jesus as God’s Word which he committed or gave to Mary indicates that he was with God even before he was given to his mother. Furthermore, both Christians and Muslims agree that God’s Word is uncreated since he has never lacked his communicative ability. Thus, for Jesus to be God’s Word implies that he is uncreated, that he is eternal. Notice the logic behind this:

A. God’s Word is eternal.
B. Jesus is God’s Word.
C. Therefore, Jesus is eternal.

The expression, "a Spirit from Him", provides further substantiation for this understanding. This phrase is used only one other time in the Quran:

Thou shalt not find any people who believe in God and the Last Day who are loving to anyone who opposes. God and His Messenger, not though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their clan. Those -- He has written faith upon their hearts, and He has confirmed them with a Spirit from Himself; and He shall admit them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to dwell forever, God being well-pleased with them, and they well-pleased with Him. Those are God's party; why, surely God's party -- they are the prosperers. S. 58:22

Here, the Spirit from God is present with all true believers in order to strengthen them in faith. This presupposes that this Spirit is both omnipresent and omnipotent, qualities which belong only to God. This, perhaps, accounts for why the late Muslim commentator, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, viewed this Spirit as being Divine:

"… Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, ‘a spirit from Himself’. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with the Divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God." (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, fn. 5365; bold emphasis ours)

Since the Quran uses the same expression to describe Jesus as a Spirit from God this therefore means that Christ is one who "we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God." The Quran, at this point, is confirming the Deity and prehuman existence of the Lord Jesus.

4. Jesus is the Messiah, a King, whereas Adam was not.

The Quran knows of only one Messiah, namely Jesus:

(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary… S. 3:45 Pickthall

According to the Holy Bible, the Messiah is God’s appointed King who rules over the nations:

"Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’" Matthew 19:28

"And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke 22:29-30

"Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.’ So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied." Luke 23:2-3

"Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Is that your own idea,’ Jesus asked, ‘or did others talk to you about me?’ ‘Am I a Jew?’ Pilate replied. ‘It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?’ Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.’ ‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’" John 18:33-37

"From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, ‘If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.’ When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour. ‘Here is your king,’ Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!’ ‘Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked. ‘We have no king but Caesar,’ the chief priests answered… Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, ‘Do not write "The King of the Jews," but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written.’" John 19:12-15, 19-22

The following Islamic commentary agrees that this is what the term means:

((And remember) when the angels) i.e. Gabriel (said: O Mary! Allah giveth you glad tidings of a Word from Him) of a son who shall come into being by means of a Word from Allah, (whose name is the Messiah) because he travels from one country to another; it is also said: the Messiah means the king, (Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world) he has standing and position amidst people in the life of this world (and the Hereafter) he has standing and position with Allah, (and one of those brought near) unto Allah in the Garden of Eden. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source)

5. Jesus is highly honored in the next world, something which the Quran never explicitly says of anyone else.

… illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah) … S. 3:45 Pickthall

According to the expositors, God will highly honor Jesus in the next life by making him an intercessor:

Mention, when the angels, namely, Gabriel, said, 'O Mary, God gives you good tidings of a Word from Him, that is, a boy, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, He addresses her attributing him to her in order to point out that she will give birth to him without a father, for, the custom is to attribute the child to its father, honoured shall he be in this world, through prophethood, and the Hereafter, through [his] intercession and the high stations [al-darajat al-'ula, cf. Q. 20:75], and of those brought close, to God. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; underline emphasis ours)

This leads us to our next point.

6. Jesus ascended alive into God’s very own presence, Adam died.

When God said, 'Jesus, I will take thee to Me and will raise thee to Me and I will purify thee of those who believe not. I will set thy followers above the unbelievers till the Resurrection Day. Then unto Me shall you return, and I will decide between you, as to what you were at variance on. S. 3:55

God raised him up to Him; God is All-mighty, All-wise. S. 4:158

Jesus’ high honor is seen in the fact that he has ascended into the very presence of God himself. The Quran never says this of any other person, that there is someone else along with Jesus whom God has taken to be with himself.

When we tie this in with the fact that Jesus is the Messiah then this means that Jesus is currently a King who is ruling in God’s own presence! This, perhaps, explains why Jesus returns as a judge, which is the focus of our next point.

7. Jesus will return as a just judge and kill the antichrist, whereas Adam will remain dead till the day of resurrection.

According to some expositors the following verse:

And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way. S. 43:61 Y. Ali

Refers to Jesus’ Second Advent:

And indeed he, that is, Jesus, is a portent of the Hour - [the arrival of] it is known by the sending down of him - so do not doubt it (tamtarunna: the indicative nun has been omitted for apocopation together with the waw of the [third] person [plural] on account of two unvowelled consonants coming together) but, say to them: 'Follow me, in the affirmation of [God's] Oneness. This, to which I command you, is a straight path'. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source)

(And lo! Verily) in the coming of Jesus the son of Mary (there is knowledge of the Hour) there is an indication of the coming of the Hour; it is also said that this means: his coming is a sign of the advent of the Hour. (So doubt ye not concerning it) so have no doubt in the coming of the Hour, (but follow Me) by professing Allah's divine Oneness. (This) profession of divine Oneness (is the right path) an established religion with which Allah is pleased: i.e. the religion of Islam. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source)

The hadith literature expressly states that Jesus is returning to judge the earth:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e. Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness Against them." (4.159) (See Fateh Al Bari, Page 302 Vol 7) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)

'Abdullah b. 'Amr reported that a person came to him and said: What is this hadith that you narrate that the Last Hour would come at such and such time? Thereupon he said: Hallowed be Allah, there is no god but Allah (or the words to the same effect). I have decided that I would not narrate anything to anyone now. I had only said that you would see after some time an important event that the (sacred) House (Ka'ba) would be burnt and it would happen and definitely happen. He then reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The Dajjal would appear in my Ummah and he would stay (in the world) for forty-I cannot say whether he meant forty days, forty months or forty years. And Allah would then send Jesus son of Mary who would resemble 'Urwa b Mas'ud. He (Jesus Christ) would chase him and kill him ... (Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 7023)

Hence, Jesus the Messianic King returns to the earth from heaven in order to rule and judge the nations.

8. Jesus performed miracles, Adam did not.

And He will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. S. 3:48-49

When God said, 'Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; and when thou createst out of clay, by My leave, as the likeness of a bird, and thou breathest into it, and it is a bird, by My leave; and thou healest the blind and the leper by My leave, and thou bringest the dead forth by My leave; and when restrained from thee the Children of Israel when thou camest unto them with the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said, "This is nothing but sorcery manifest." S. 5:110

It is rather intriguing that the Quran not only acknowledges Jesus’ ability to perform supernatural signs and wonders such as raising the dead, it even admits that Jesus had the power to create and give life in the same way that Allah does! Compare, for instance, Jesus’ ability to create a bird from clay and infuse life into it by his breath with the way Allah created Adam:

Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape; When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." S. 15:28-29

Hence, the Quran has both Allah and Jesus fashioning creatures from clay and animating their bodies by their breath! For more on this issue we recommend this article.

With all of these vast and profound differences one is left wondering in what way Adam is supposed to be similar to Jesus. The Quran intimates that it is in their creation, i.e. that Allah created Adam in a miraculous manner much like he created Jesus. But, as we saw earlier, this is not a valid argument and does absolutely nothing to refute the Christian position regarding Jesus’ unique relationship with God. Besides, the Quran itself implies that Jesus, unlike Adam, had a prehuman existence, having existed before his virgin birth as God’s Word and as his Spirit which proceeded from him.

This leads us to the final point we want to touch on. The Quran says that Allah commanded the angels to worship Adam on the grounds that he created him with his own hands:

And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam," then worshipped they all, save Iblis. He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of the unbelievers. S. 2:34

[Remember] when we said unto the angels worship Adam: And they worshipped, except Iblis, who was one of the jinn, and departed from the command of his Lord. Will you therefore take him and his offspring for patrons besides me, notwithstanding they are your enemies? Miserable shall such a exchange be to the ungodly! S. 18:50; cf. 38: 71-75

For the moment we will set aside the problem with worshiping a creature like Adam, which would be idolatry, since we want to focus on something else. Seeing that the Quran itself agrees that Jesus is more exalted and far greater than Adam one would expect that Christ, more so than the first man, is deserving of the worship of the angels. This is precisely what the NT teaches, namely, that the entire angelic assembly is worshiping the risen Christ:

"And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God's angels worship him.’" Hebrews 1:6

"And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’ Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amen,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped." Revelation 5:9-14

Interestingly, there are certain Muslim sources which claim that John the Baptist prostrated before Christ Jesus while both of them were still in their mothers’ wombs! Noted Muslim exegete Al-Qurtubi mentions Elizabeth's visitation (called Mary's sister) shortly after both women had conceived their sons:

"The sister visited Mary and said, ‘O Mary, do you perceive that I am with child?’ Mary answered, ‘Do you see that I am also with child?’ Her sister went on, ‘I feel the child in my womb bowing down to the child in your womb.’"

Al-Qurtubi further says that:

"It is reported that she felt the fetus in her womb bow down with its head turned toward Mary's womb." (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume II, The House of 'Imran [State University of New York Press, Albany 1992], p. 108; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Al-Tabari, the renowned exegete, writes:

"She [Mary] came to her sister who was then pregnant and to whom the birth of the Baptist had been announced. When the two met, the Baptist's mother felt that her child was bowing within her in recognition of Jesus …" (History of Al-Tabari: The Ancient Kingdoms, translated by Moshe Perlmann [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1987], Volume IV, p. 114; bold emphasis ours)


"… Her sister, the wife of Zechariah, came to visit her at night. When Mary opened the door for her, the sister clung to her. The wife of Zechariah said, ‘Oh Mary, do you know I am with child?’ Mary replied, ‘Do you know, that I too am with child?’ Zechariah's wife then said, ‘I felt that the child in me was bowing to the child in you,’ as it is written, ‘confirming the Word of God.’" (Ibid., p. 119; bold emphasis ours)

These scholars were simply repeating what is found in the Gospel:

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother OF MY LORD should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.’" Luke 1:41-44

John the Baptist was caused by God to leap in his mother's womb in honor of Christ being the Sovereign Lord. Notice that Elizabeth called the recently conceived baby in Mary's womb her Lord which foreshadows what the angels would later announce at Christ's birth:

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

For more on the topic of Adam being worshiped by angels, and the worship given to the Lord Jesus as well as the biblical evidence showing that Christ's followers worshiped and prostrated themselves before the risen Lord, please read the following articles:


The evidence we have presented here conclusively shows that the Quran itself admits and agrees that Jesus is vastly superior to Adam, and is therefore more deserving of honor and glory than the first man.

Our interpretation is not merely an imposed Christian understanding upon the Islamic data, since there are Muslims who also see it this way. For example, the following Muslim writer candidly admits that, according to the Quran, Jesus is the greatest of all prophets. After citing Q. 2:253, 3:42-46, and 3:59, the author says:

Moslem religious leaders try to isolate Muhammad from all other prophets by saying, "God kept the best for last." Again, this directly contradicts the Koran's teachings. The Koran says that some prophets have been given more than others - that some even talk to God. The example it gives is that of Jesus Christ, not Muhammad…

These passages clearly show that God considered Jesus to be His best prophet, not Muhammad. After all, Jesus revealed himself to be a prophet from childhood, while Muhammad was not inspired until he was forty years old. The Koran relates a number of miracles from Jesus' childhood, but says nothing of this phase of Muhammad's life. The name "Christ" is also used. Unlike Jesus, Muhammad was not a special messenger of God, but a mere helper, who brought justice to the world, and glorified the name of Jesus by setting the record straight about his deeds on earth. His mission was also to eliminate the corruption of the message of those prophets who had gone before him. On the other hand, of Jesus it is said that he was created in a similar way to Adam…

Bear in mind that when God announced His creation of Adam to the angels He commanded them to bow to him. (Dr. Nader Pourhassan, The Corruption of Moslem Minds [Barbed Wire Publishing, Las Cruces, New Mexico 2002], pp. 34-35)

Christian readers especially will be interested to learn that the Koran teaches that Jesus was God's best prophet, and that Christians will be placed above non-believers until the Day of Judgment... (Ibid., p. 61)

Moslem religious leaders claim that Muhammad was the greatest prophet ever sent. If this was true, then God would have stated so in the Koran. Instead, when God talks of a prophet being greater than others, the name He mentions is that of Jesus. (Ibid., p. 101)

This Muslim writer summarizes our position and the Islamic data perfectly.

Recommended Reading


Contradictions in the Qur'an
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page