Do Muslims believe in the Messiah or don’t they?

The following is from an article entitled “Bethlehem 2007 A.D” in the Dec 2007 issue of the National Geographic Magazine:

“For Jews, still awaiting their Messiah, Froman says it’s possible that he will arrive right here, in the eroded back-country of Bethlehem, the presence of God palpable in the desert’s sandpaper wind. For Christians anticipating their Messiah’s return, why shouldn’t he come back to the spot he was born? Muslims do not believe in a messiah – there is only Allah, only God – but Palestinian Muslims also revere this land as sacred, since Jesus is one of their prophets.”

I have seen the use of the word “Messiah” in translations of the Quran (e.g., 3:45) so I feel that the above statement is not true…. unless the Jews and Christians have a different interpretation of “Messiah” from the Muslims.

The issue is what people mean when they say “messiah.” The Jews mean the man who will make them kings again. The Christians mean a divine son of God who will take away humanity’s sins. Muslims mean what the word means, “the anointed one.” The word “messiah” simply means one whose hair is so oily it looks like it’s dripping. That’s how Jesus peace be upon him looked and how the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him saw him during the night journey (Israa’). God told the Jews in the Torah that the upcoming prophet who will restore their true faith is anointed, so they had a way to recognize him when he comes. When the old and new testaments were translated to Greek, the Greek word for anointed one was Khristos. That’s where the word Christ comes from.

There is nothing mythical or fantastic about the words messiah or Christ. It’s a distinctive mark, like when you describe someone and say that he has, say, a thick mustache.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary to give her baby Jesus, he told her (see 3:45) two very significant facts: That the baby’s title is Al-Maseeh (The Messiah), so that she knows that her son is the prophet promised to the Jews, and secondly that he will be called the son of Mary and the word of God, so that she will have no doubt that his conception is miraculous.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.