I recently asked a group of Muslims, “What do Muslims believe about Jesus?” The best summary I received was, “They believe he was born of the Virgin Mary, that he is a prophet of God, that he facilitated miracles, that he was not crucified, that he ascended to Heaven, that he will return again as the Messiah to kill the anti-Christ, that he will reign on earth for a time, that he will die and he will be buried in Makkah next to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). His mother and he are exalted as amongst the greatest of God’s Servants and one cannot be a Muslim without love for him and his mother.”
The thing that stood out most significantly for me was the denial of the crucifixion. I was wondering how that might effect Muslim understanding of the character of Jesus. So I asked whether they understood the story of Jesus’ washing the disciples feet as in keeping with the character of Jesus. The reply I got was yes. I was surprised, so something to explore further.
What else did I take away from this conversation? That inviting Muslims to explain what they believed about Jesus generated a very warm response. Which encourages me.