Jesus, the Word of God

Jesus is referred to as the word in the Quran

Surah 3

45. Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

39. While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: “(Allah) doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet,- of the (goodly) company of the righteous.”

Surah 4:171. O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.

Muslims say the word refers to Jesus only because he was created by the word (ie command) of God.

Al Baidhawi says that the expression “Word from God” refers to Jesus Christ who is so called because He was conceived by the word of the command of God, without a father (Sale, quran, p. 48, n. 4).

Surah 3:59. The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was.

If Jesus is called the Word of God simply because he was created out of a word from Allah, then Adam too should be called “the Word from God” because he also was created out of dust by a word of the command of God (see Sura 3:59). But nowhere does the quran mention him by that designation. It is an expression uniquely used of Jesus Christ.

It is true that according to the Quran the original creation was, and the final resurrection will be, also brought about by the same word ‘Be’ (kun), but then neither of these events are called the Word of God in themselves, as Jesus certainly is.

Jesus is called “Kalimah” not because He was created by the word “Kun” because he was called Kalimah long before the word “Kun” was spoken;

i) he was called Kalimah long before he was born;

ii) he was called Kalimah long before he spoke to the people in defense of his mother from the cradle.

Muslims say the word refers to Jesus because he was the fulfillment of the word (i.e. prophesy) spoken by the prophets

If this is true, then Muhammad would also qualify to be called the word of God since Muslims believe that there were many prophecies about his coming by former prophets. Yet Muhammad was also never called by this title.

Implications of Jesus being the Word of God

Muslim Scholars try to belittle the importance of the title “His Word (Kalimatuhu) [Surah 4:171], Word from Him (Kalimatim min hus)  [Surah 3:45],  Word from Allah (Kalimatim minallaahi) [Surah 3:39] as  a Word (Singular) of Allah, one of the many Words of Allah.  This is futile because every Word of God is uncreated and eternal  and this would include Jesus who is “a Word from Allah”.

The use of singular “Kalimah” as “Word” or “A Word” does not been a created word of Allah. In fact, the uncreated Quran has also been called “Kalimatunaa”[Our[na] Word[kalimah] in the singular]  and not kalimat [Words in plural] in Surah 37:171:“Already has Our Word[Kalimatunaa] been passed before (this to our Servants sent (by us)”

There is difference in meaning between the “Word of Allah” and “Word from Allah”. This is similar respectively with “Spirit of God” and “Spirit from Him”. If we say Jesus is a Word of Allah, we can mean it in the symbolical sense. However, if we say Jesus is a Word from Allah, we meant that it is the actual Word, which proceeds out of Allah.