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THE SUPERIOR MORAL VALUES
OF THE PROPHET 'ISA (AS
)

The hadith literature reveals many important truths about Jesus. Some hadiths inform us that he was of medium height, had white skin with a hue of red, straight hair, and was very handsome. He had shoulder-length hair and wore a woolen cloak and sandals made of bark. He often removed himself from this world, had a strong desire for the Hereafter, and spent much time worshipping God.1 Other hadiths describe this astonishingly handsome and holy man as follows:

While I was asleep, I saw myself (in a dream) making tawaf (circling) around the Ka'bah. I saw a brown-skinned man with straight hair being supported by two men, and with water dripping from his head. I asked: "Who is this?" They said: "The son of Mary." (Sahih Bukhari)

When you see him, you will recognize him. He is of medium height, and his coloring is reddish-white. He will be wearing two garments, and his hair will look wet although no water will have wet it. (Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad)

Like every chosen and sent Prophet, Jesus had the highest form of character. One of his most distinguishing features was his high standard of morals and noble personality, which had an immediate effect on people. In addition, he had a strong personality due to his complete trust, reliance, and faith in God; was decisive and courageous; and could not be manipulated by society. The following verses reveal his superiority:

This is the argument We gave to Abraham against his people. We raise in rank anyone We will. Your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. We gave him Isaac and Jacob, each of whom We guided. And before him We had guided Noah. And among his descendants were David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. That is how We recompense the good-doers. And Zechariah, John, Jesus, and Elias. All of them were among the righteous. And Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot. All of them We favored over all beings. And some of their forebears, descendants, and brothers; We chose them and guided them to a straight path. That is God's guidance. He guides by it those of His servants He wills ... (Qur'an, 6:83-88)

Jesus was also a just, modest, compassionate, sincere, honest, selfless person and a chosen Prophet. In one verse, God says the following about him:

These Messengers: We favored some of them over others. God spoke directly to some of them and raised up some of them in rank. We gave Clear Signs to Jesus, son of Mary, and reinforced him with the Purest Spirit. (Qur'an, 2:253)

When we look at Jesus' life, we can see his high morality. First of all, he was a discerning leader who taught the true religion to his people. He was the most obedient to God's commandments and recommendations, and was a guide who rid people of myths. The Qur'an reveals that Jesus was diligently fulfilling all of the requirements of worship and morality:

He [Jesus] said: "I am the servant of God. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. He has made me blessed wherever I am, directed me to perform prayer and give alms as long as I live, and to show devotion to my mother." (Qur'an, 19:30-32)

Throughout his life, Jesus spoke wisely and effectively and knew right from wrong. He replied with insight and reason to all of his enemies' questions posed to catch him and defeated all of their attempts. He remained true to God, irrespective of his people's attitude toward him, drew strength from his strong faith and devotion, and explained God's existence in the most effective way.

Like all other Prophets, Jesus used plain, clear, and intelligible language when preaching. His allegories moved people's conscience, and encouraged them to reflect deeply and to behave according to God's good pleasure. Jesus' love for God, as well as his exuberant faith and diligence in following God's orders, is evident from his teachings. His method of preaching shows clearly that God chose him above all other people.

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1- M. Asim Koksal, Peygamberler Tarihi (The History of Prophets), (Ankara:Koksal Yayincilik, 1990), pp. 334-35.

 
 

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