The fourth article of the Islamic creed is faith in all the Apostles of God. A Moslem must believe, that the Merciful Creator sent in divers ages certain messengers or apostles, to reclaim mankind from infidelity and superstition, and to teach them the religion and laws of God and to give them good tidings and admonitions. The number of these apostles is given as 313. Twenty-five of them must be remembered, since their names are distinctly given in the Koran; but it is not necessary to learn them by heart. The following are the names according to chronological order: –
Adam, Noah, Houd (Heber), Saleh (Methuselah) Lot, Abraham, Ishmail, Isaac, Jacob, Shu’aib (Jethro) Haroun (Aaron), Moses, David, Solomon, Ayoub (Job), Zulkifl (Isaiah), Younis (Jonah), Ilias, Alyas’aa (Elisha), Zacharias, Yahia (John the Baptist), Jesus and Mohammed.
If a Moslem is asked about anyone of these men, he must confess his belief, that he was an apostle of God.
Moslems must also believe, that the apostles of God were truthful faithful and intelligent, and that they delivered in full God’s message to their respective people. A Moslem must further believe that all apostles of God were, by their prophetic characteristics free from (1) telling lies, (2) committing unlawful deeds, (3) stupidity, laziness or cowardice (4) concealing any part of the message they were ordered to deliver.
The apostles of God were subject to the same human wants as the rest of mankind such as eating, drinking, sleeping, marrying, etc., they were also liable to ordinary but not disgusting maladies etc.
Since the nature, as well as the story, of Jesus Christ were matters of dispute between Christians and Moslems, I must give a summary of the Moslems’ belief in this respect, according to the teachings of the Koran and the interpretations of the Prophet.
Moslems hold, that Jesus Christ was the blessed Apostle of God who was sent to reclaim the people of Israel. He was a spirit from God, His messenger. His servant and prophet, illustrious in this world and in the next. He was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary. The Jews having spoken ill of Mary and charged her with unchastity, Jesus Christ, speaking in the cradle, vindicated his mother’s honour. Jesus performed miracles by God’s power; giving life to a clay figure of a bird, healing the blind, curing the leper, quickening the dead, and causing a table of food to be brought down from Heaven. He was sent by God, to confirm the law of Moses and to preach the Gospel to the people of Israel. He proclaimed his mission by many manifest signs, being confirmed by the Holy Spirit. He foretold the advent of another apostle to succeed him, named Periclete or Ahmed. The Jews intended to crucify Jesus, but God saved him from the plot, took him up to Heaven, and stamped his likeness on a treacherous Jew who was apprehended and crucified in his stead. It is the constant doctrine of the Moslems, that it was not Jesus who underwent crucifixion but someone else, resembling him in shape namely, Judas, who agreed with the Jews, to betray Jesus for some pieces of silver, and led those. who were sent to take him. After the crucifixion of the wicked Judas, and the taking up of Jesus into Heaven, Christ, the Apostle of God, was sent down again to the earth, to comfort his mother and devoted disciples, and to tell them, how the Jews were deceived; and he was taken up a second time to Heaven.