Sunday 10 August 2014

Israel's Latest War Crimes

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The latest war crimes in a very long line.

There is no need to detail them here.  They are all over our television screens, the mainstream media, social media and elsewhere.  You just need to look.

Day by day, the state of Israel reveals its ugly, true colours, and day by day more people are opening their eyes to this brutal and inhumane reality.  Just as the Nazis were defeated, just as South African Apartheid was overthrown, so will the chains of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and its war crimes against its besieged and bleeding people be overcome inshaAllah

Nobody can claim the demand for peace and justice in Palestine is now just an Arab or a Muslim one.  This is a global voice- of all backgrounds, races, ages, genders, religions- brought together by our shared humanity.  

Take heed Israel: You may have the F-16s and the chemical weapons, but these can never crush the spirit of a people created free!

Take heed Israel: We are watching you, documenting your crimes, boycotting you, campaigning against you and we- humanity- will bring you to account, just as we brought those who committed genocide before you to account.

This post ends with the rousing and inspirational words of Barnaby Raine, 19 years old.  I am so very proud and humbled that these are the type of teenagers we are producing in our schools and universities in twenty-first century Britain.

Friday 5 October 2012

Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم Part I

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Glory be to Him who took His slave on a journey by night from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
(Surah al-Isra’: 1)

Every Muslim knows and loves Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, the seal of the Prophets, sent as a mercy for all creation and for all time.  Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was given the Quran, the final scripture sent from Allah confirming earlier revelations given to Prophets before him such as Musa (as) and Isa (as).  Although the Quran was the greatest miracle given to Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, his Prophethood was full of various other miracles.  One of the greatest (arguably the greatest) of these miracles is mentioned in the ayah from Surah al-Isra’ which this post begins with.  This ayah refers to Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم travelling miraculously from Makkah to Jerusalem and from Jerusalem through the seven Heavens to meet and speak with Allah, all in the space of a single night.  This most amazing of journeys is known as Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj

When the disbelievers in Makkah heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم talking about his incredible journey they mocked him and found the concept unbelievable.  They were unwilling to believe he had travelled to Jerusalem and back in one night, let alone that he had travelled to meet Allah.  Even though the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was able to meet their challenges, they simply refused to believe such a journey could be possible. For the Muslims though- both then and now- it is part of faith to believe that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم went on this journey by the qadr (decree) of Allah; anyone who does not believe the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم actually went to Jerusalem and the Heavens is not a believer. For Allah to link a place with faith in this way is a clear sign of its importance.  Like earlier Prophets before him, Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم made sure his followers understood the significance and status of Al Quds in Islam.  Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj was a remarkable blessing from Allah which presses this message home for all believers.

The next post will take up this story, inshaAllah.

Friday 31 August 2012

Eesa bin Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) Part IV

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم   

The Second Coming

Unlike all other prophets, Eesa (as) has not yet experienced his death on earth as he was taken to Heaven alive by Allah.  The return of Eesa (as) to earth by the decree of Allah will be one of the major signs of the coming of the Day of Judgement.  Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم told his companions about the return of Eesa (as).  One narration describes the nature of his return to earth by detailing that its duration will be forty years and that Eesa (as) will descend on the white minaret in Damascus after the morning prayer has been called.

Another hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم narrated by Imam Ahmad describes how Eesa (as) will unite the people under the banner of Islam and defeat the Dajjal (Anti-Christ), how his reign will be one of peace on earth and how finally he will die and be buried like all prophets before him:

The prophets are like brothers with different mothers, their religion is one, but their mothers are different.  I am worthier of Jesus than others because there was no prophet between me and him.  He will come down from the heaven, and when you see him you will recognise him.  He is a man of middle height with a complexion of red and white, of graceful stature.  He head will seem to be dripping with water though it will not be wet, he will be having two staffs.  He will break the Cross, kill the swine, impose the Jizyah (tax) and will destroy the other religions till you find none of them except Islam.  God will destroy the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) on his hand, and peace will prevail.  You will see a camel grazing alongside with lions, tigers alongside with cows and sheep with wolves.  Children will be playing with snakes and they will not be harming each other.  Jesus will stay for an appointed time, then he will die.  Muslims will offer his funeral prayer and then bury him.

The story of Prophet Eesa (as) is one full of miracles and blessings from before the moment this great prophet was born and will be until Eesa (as) returns to earth to live out the rest of his life before he too tastes death in this world.  It does not come as a surprise that Allah chose the setting for this amazing life to be Bayt Al Maqdis, the land blessed for all time.  First the scene of the life of Maryam (as), the best woman of all creation, and then her son, one of Allah’s greatest prophets, the Holy Land again and again features in the lives of those chosen by Allah and elevated above others.   Maryam (as) lived and worshipped in Masjid Al Aqsa, while Eesa (as) was born, grew up in and preached the message of Allah in Al Quds and its surrounding areas.  From there he was also miraculously taken to Heaven by Allah while still alive.  It is not only Muslims who make this connection between the land of Palestine and Prophet Eesa (as).  Christians also hold the area, particularly Bayt Lahm (Bethlehem), as sacred because of its connections with this amazing man and prophet.  

As Muslims we should take hope from the story of Eesa (as).  Eesa (as) was steadfast in his belief, hope and trust in Allah despite the many difficulties he faced.  In return, Allah granted honour to His prophet and aided him against his enemies.  We ask Allah to return honour and freedom to Palestine, the scene of the lives of so many of His blessed and elevated slaves.

Monday 27 August 2012

Eesa bin Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) Part III

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم   

The Plot and Elevation to Heaven

Those amongst Banu Isra’il who rejected Eesa (as) were not content to simply disbelieve in his message.  Seeing Eesa (as) as an enemy who threatened their standing among the people, they were willing to align with the Roman authorities of the time against Eesa (as).  They went to the Greek king of Damascus and told him that a man in Bayt ul Maqdis (Jerusalem) was sowing discord amongst the subjects of the realm through his teachings.  Such was the zeal of Banu Isra’il that they convinced the king that the threat of Eesa (as) needed to be dealt with by the state.  As a result the arrest and public execution of Eesa (as) was demanded by the Roman government.  The method of execution at the time consisted of nailing the condemned to a wooden cross and crucifying them, making them bleed to death.  A particularly cruel ritual included making the victim wear a crown of thorns to further humiliate and torture them.  The Quran describes how the disbelievers plotted to assassinate Eesa (as), but were thwarted by the might of Allah:

وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ
إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَأُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ  

The [disbelievers] schemed but God also schemed; God is the Best of Schemers.  God said, ‘Jesus, I will take you back and raise you up to Me: I will purify you of the disbelievers. To the Day of Resurrection I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieved. Then you will all return to Me and I will judge between you regarding your differences.  I will make the disbelievers suffer severely in this world and the next; no one will help them.’ (Surah Al Imran: 54- 56)

The disbelievers amongst Banu Isra’il and their Roman allies carried out their planned crucifixion and were convinced that they had succeeded in killing Eesa (as).  The Quran describes how they boasted that: '....We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God’... (Surah An Nisa: 157)

Allah makes it clear that the efforts of the plotters were false and fruitless as Allah saved His prophet from the attempted assassination.  The Quran says:  

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا
بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا 

... They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him- God raised him up to Himself. God is Almighty and Wise. (Surah An Nisa: 157- 158)

Eesa (as) was not killed by his enemies.  Allah put the likeness of Eesa (as) over another man and he was the individual crucified by the Roman authorities. The scholars give two possible explanations regarding the identity of this man.  According to one hadith, the man was a believer in Eesa (as), who volunteered to sacrifice his life for the sake of Allah and his prophet.  An alternative explanation is that Allah put the likeness of Eesa (as) over one of those who rejected Eesa (as), who was then executed by his fellow disbelievers.  The identity of the executed is less important than the singular fact that it was not Eesa (as), as his enemies claimed, who was executed.  Allah made this point clear in the Quran, as the ayaat quoted earlier show.

Eesa (as)’s elevation to Heaven by Allah is as unique as his miraculous birth without a father.  Ascending to Heaven alive, Eesa (as) will remain there until Allah decrees his return to earth.  The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم told his companions that the return of Eesa (as) to earth towards the end of time will be one of the major signs of the Day of Judgement.  It will only be during his second sojourn on earth that Eesa (as) will experience death, which Allah saved him from when Eesa (as) was lifted to Heaven alive.

Messenger of God, not Son of God!

Christians and Muslims both believe in Eesa (as).  While both attach great importance and respect to him, they differ on a fundamental point regarding the position of Eesa (as).  Christians believe in the miraculous birth of Eesa (as), but rather than attributing a human father to Eesa (as) they claim that he is in fact the son of God.  This belief- at the heart of Christian doctrine- is completely contrary to the teachings of Islam regarding Eesa (as) and is condemned in many places in the Quran.  Some examples include:

وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَلَدًا
لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئًا إِدًّا
تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الْأَرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدًّا
أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ وَلَدًا
  وَمَا يَنبَغِي لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا
إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَٰنِ عَبْدًا
لَّقَدْ أَحْصَاهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدًّا
وَكُلُّهُمْ آتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْدًا
 The disbelievers say, ‘The Lord of Mercy has offspring.’  How terrible is this thing you assert: it almost causes the heavens to be torn apart, the earth to split asunder, the mountains to crumble to pieces, that they attribute offspring to the Lord of Mercy.  It does not befit the Lord of Mercy [to have offspring]: there is no one in the heavens or earth who will not come to the Lord of Mercy as a servant- He has counted them all: He has numbered them exactly- and they will each return to Him on the Day of Resurrection all alone. (Surah Maryam: 88- 95)

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ ۚ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ ۚ انتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’- stop [this], that is better for you- God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust. (Surah An Nisa: 171)

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّهِ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ قَوْلُهُم بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ ۖ يُضَاهِئُونَ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن قَبْلُ ۚ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

The Jews said, ‘Ezra is the son of God,’ and the Christians said, ‘The Messiah is the son of God’: they said this with their own mouths, repeating what earlier disbelievers had said. May God confound them! How far astray they have been led! (Surah At Taubah: 30)

قَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا ۗ سُبْحَانَهُ ۖ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ ۖ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ إِنْ عِندَكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ بِهَٰذَا ۚ أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

They say, ‘God has children!’ May He be exalted! He is the Self-Sufficient One; everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. You have no authority to say this. How dare you say things about God without any knowledge? (Surah Yunus: 68)

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۚ قُلْ فَمَن يَمْلِكُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا إِنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُهْلِكَ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ۚ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Those who say, ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary,’ have certainly disbelieved. Say, ‘If it had been God’s will, could anyone have prevented Him from destroying the Messiah, son of Mary, together with his mother and everyone else on earth? Control of the heavens and earth and all that is between them belongs to God: He creates whatever He will. God has power over everything.’ (Surah Al Ma’idah: 17)

For Muslims Eesa (as) is loved and respected as one of Allah’s five greatest messengers.  Disbelieving in Eesa (as) and his miraculous birth would take a Muslim out of the fold of Islam.  Yet despite their lofty status, both Eesa (as) and his mother Maryam (as) were no more than believing servants of Allah; neither of them had any divine powers, which belong to Allah alone.  Eesa (as) himself never preached to his followers that he was worthy of worship.  His teachings were the complete opposite, telling people to worship Allah as he did:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۗ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him- that is a straight path. (Surah Al Imran: 51)

As a Muslim it is important to be clear about two things.  Firstly that the belief in Eesa (as) as the son of God is completely false.  It is an innovation in the Christian religion which came about after Eesa (as) had been lifted up to Heaven by Allah.  The true believers in Eesa (as) during his time- those closest to him and who heard the message directly from him- never attributed divinity to Eesa (as) or his mother.  The second thing to remember is that as Muslims we believe Eesa (as) is innocent of all claims that he told the people he was the son of God.  Eesa (as), as the ayah above makes clear, told the people only to worship Allah, delivering to them the same message as all previous prophets before  him.  The Quran clears Eesa (as) of claims of divinity by asserting with force:

لَّن يَسْتَنكِفَ الْمَسِيحُ أَن يَكُونَ عَبْدًا لِّلَّهِ وَلَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ۚ وَمَن يَسْتَنكِفْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيَسْتَكْبِرْ فَسَيَحْشُرُهُمْ إِلَيْهِ جَمِيعًا

The Messiah would never disdain to be a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to Him. He will gather before Him all those who disdain His worship and are arrogant (Surah An Nisa: 172)

The Quran also reveals how Allah will question Eesa (as) about claims of his divinity on the Day of Judgement.  Despite knowing that Eesa (as) is innocent of all such claims, Allah will have this conversation with his faithful servant Eesa (as) so those who falsely attributed divinity to Eesa (as) will finally be forced to acknowledge their falsehood.  The Quran says:

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَٰهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ ۚ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ ۚ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلَا أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ
مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلَّا مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۚ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَأَنتَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ 

When God says, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people, “Take me and my mother as two gods alongside God”?’ he will say, ‘May You be exalted! I would never say what I had no right to say- if I had said such a thing You would have known it: You know all that is within me, though I do not know what is within You, You alone have full knowledge of things unseen- I told them only what You commanded me to: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” I was a witness over them during my time among them. Ever since You took my soul, You alone have been the watcher over them: You are witness to all things (Surah Al Ma’idah: 116- 117)

Final part of the story of Eesa (as) coming next inshaAllah.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Eesa bin Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) Part II

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم   

The Miracles

Allah describes in the Quran how He elevated Eesa (as) to a special status and granted him honour:

 إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ
وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا وَمِنَ الصَّالِحِي

The angels said, ‘Mary, God gives you news of a Word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, who will be held in honour in this world and the next, who will be one of those brought near to God.  He will speak to people in his infancy and in his adulthood. He will be one of the righteous.’  (Surah Al Imran: 45- 46)

Eesa (as) was sent by Allah as a prophet to Banu Isra’il.  True to the ayaat (verses of the Quran) Eesa (as) began calling the people to worship Allah when he entered adulthood.  He spent his time travelling in the Holy Land calling the people to believe.  As with other prophets before him, Allah granted Eesa (as) special miracles as signs for the people to witness with their own eyes and so to believe in Allah and the message of his prophet Eesa (as).  The Quran describes some of these miracles given to Eesa (as):

وَيُعَلِّمُهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ
وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ 

He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel, He will send him as a messenger to the Children of Israel: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I will make the shape of a bird for you out of clay, then breathe into it and, with God’s permission, it will become a real bird; I will heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life with God’s permission; I will tell you what you may eat and what you may store up in your houses. There truly is a sign for you in this, if you are believers. (Surah Al Imran: 48- 49)

The miracles of Eesa (as) included fashioning birds from clay which would become real birds when breathed upon, curing those who were blind and lepers and bringing the dead back to life.  Eesa (as) made it clear to his people that these miracles were not a result of divine powers on his part, but due to the fact that he was a prophet of Allah, bringing the same message to his people which prophets before him had delivered:

 وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَجِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ
إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۗ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

 I have come to confirm the truth of the Torah which preceded me, and to make some things lawful to you which used to be forbidden. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. Be mindful of God, obey me: God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him- that is a straight path. (Surah Al Imran: 50- 51)

Despite the many miracles which he showed them most of Banu Isra’il did not believe in Eesa (as), the prophet sent specifically to them as a nation.  The Quran says:

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا ۖ وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ ۖ وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِي فَتَنفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِي ۖ وَتُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِي ۖ وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِي ۖ وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَنكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

 Then God will say, ‘Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour to you and to your mother: how I strengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you spoke to people in your infancy and as a grown man; how I taught you the Scripture and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel; how, by My leave, you fashioned the shape of a bird out of clay, breathed into it, and it became, by My leave, a bird; how, by My leave, you healed the blind person and the leper; how, by My leave, you brought the dead back to life; how I restrained the Children of Israel from [harming] you when you brought them clear signs, and those of them who disbelieved said, “This is clearly nothing but sorcery” (Surah Al Ma’dah: 110)

When Eesa (as) saw that most of his people rejected his message, he appealed for those who believed to help him in the path of Allah.  One group of those who believed, Al Hawariyyun, is described in the Quran:

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنزَلْتَ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ 

When Jesus realised they [still] did not believe, he said, ‘Who will help me in God’s cause?’ The disciples said, ‘We will be God’s helpers; we believe in God- witness our devotion to Him.  Lord, we believe in what You have revealed and we follow the messenger: record us among those who bear witness [to the Truth].(Surah Al Imran: 52- 53)

To be continued in part III inshaAllah.