The siblings of Prophet Jesus

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam
Ruins of the fishing village, Bethsaida (also known as Julias) mentioned in the New Testament | Wiki Commons

Hazrat Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, has given several arguments proving the demise of Prophet Jesusas and his being a man and a prophet of God instead of God. Among the many arguments proving that Prophet Jesus was a man of God, one argument presented by Hazrat Ahmadas was that Hazrat Maryamas had children besides Jesusas. The Promised Messiahas stated this argument in many places in his writings.

Some Muslims object to this fact, incite others against Hazrat Ahmadas and write vile things against him. They say that since the Holy Quran has not mentioned and named the other children of Hazrat Maryam, therefore Prophet Jesusas cannot have other siblings. They further add that if Hazrat Ahmadas provides evidence from any other book besides the Holy Quran, then it will be an insult to the Holy Quran. 

The Holy Quran is “a perfect Book” and “a guidance for the righteous” it is not a book of history where events are continuously narrated, nor does the Holy Quran record the genealogy of the mentioned persons and personalities mentioned in it. The Holy Quran is a book of advice from Allah, the Lord of Knowledge and Wisdom. If required to meet the purpose of its revelation, the Holy Quran mentions certain subjects in detail but it is not an encyclopaedia.

In this age, one of the various missions that Allah the Almighty has assigned to the Promised Messiahas – which was also prophesied by the Holy Prophetsa of Islam – is the breaking of the cross. The breaking of the cross, as explained by Hazrat Allama ibn Hajarrh, means that the religion of Christianity would become ineffective. (Fath-ul-Bari, Sharah Sahih al-Bukhari) 

Thus, Hazrat Ahmadas revealed to the world the correct position and status of Jesusas, the son of Maryas and a prophet of God, so that the wrong and misleading beliefs spread by the enemies of the truth could be remedied. 

Shedding light on various beliefs different religions have about Prophet Jesusas, Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Dardra writes:

“The Jews as a body still persist in their false belief that Jesusas was an impostor and so died on the cross as a criminal. The Christian churches continue to believe that he died an accursed death on the cross and rose up from the dead because he was the only begotten son of God. The Muslims cling to their dying belief that Jesusas is still alive in the heavens with his physical body.” (Life of Ahmad, p. 314)

The Promised Messiahas

The Promised Messiahas showed Christians the reality of Jesusas through their Gospels and mentioned the powers of the real and powerful God Who is the Lord of all the worlds. For example, whilst writing on this very matter, in one place, Hazrat Ahmadas says:

“How then is it permissible to attribute such a calumny to the All-Powerful God, who is Eternal and Everlasting, that having been eternally Perfect in His Being, Self-Sufficient, and All-Powerful, He, in the end, became dependent upon such a defective son and lost His Glory and Greatness altogether? I most certainly do not believe that any wise person would permit such ignominies to be imagined concerning the Perfect Being who combines in Himself all perfect attributes.

“It is clear that if the events [in the life] of Ibn-e-Maryam [the Son of Mary] are shorn of absurd and futile praises, the gist of the real facts of his life according to the Gospel is that he was, like other human beings, a humble, weak, and imperfect man and was one of the follower-Prophets of Hazrat Musaas [Moses].” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Vol. 4, pp. 205-206)

In Qadian, open-air speeches and the raising allegations was a daily occurrence. In such a situation, Hazrat Ahmadas replied eloquently and with reason. For example, in the above-mentioned reference, while giving other logical and simple arguments, Huzooras mentioned the siblings of Jesusas and argued:

“Moreover, is it possible that of the five children born to the same mother—that is, Maryam [Mary] — one became the son of God, and even God Himself, while the remaining four poor ones were not bestowed any part of the Godhead? The dictate of reason is that if God can be born of a created being — unlike a human being born of a human and a donkey being born of a donkey — then whenever a god is created out of a woman’s womb, no created being should be born from the same womb; rather, all the children born from it should be gods so that that holy womb should remain unblemished from the association of creatures and should be a mine exclusively for the birth of gods. According to the above-mentioned speculation, it was necessary that the brothers and sisters of Hazrat Masih [Jesus] should have partaken somewhat of the Godhead, and the mother of the five should have been honoured as nothing but the ‘God of Gods’, because all these five personalities were graced with their spiritual and physical faculties from her.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Vol. 4, pp. 206-207)

Opponents of Hazrat Ahmadas say that here the Promised Messiahas has openly slandered Hazrat Maryam not only do such opponents resort to foul, vile language but also incite others with their falsehood and futile understanding. The Promised Messiahas responds to such allegations: 

“Anyone who asserts that I do not revere the Messiah son of Mary is mischievous and a liar.

“I honour not only the Messiah, but also his four brothers, as all five of them were sons of the same mother. I also regard his two biological sisters as pious, for they are all from the womb of the Holy Virgin Mary.” (Noah’s Ark, p. 31)

In the footnote of the above-produced extract, Huzooras writes:

“Christ the Messiah had four brothers and two sisters who were related to Christ by blood and were the children of Joseph and Mary. The names of his four brothers are Judas, James, Simon and Joseph. The names of his two sisters are Assia and Lydia. See Apostolic Records by Father John Allen Giles, London, 1886, pp. 159, 166.” (Noah’s Ark, p. 31)

Since most opponents of the Promised Messiahas – it is evident from their arguments – have very little to do with knowledge, research, and historical books, they are not ashamed to slander and raise arguments on a whim. For example, by listing the above-mentioned passage, opponents allege that Hazrat Ahmadas slandered Jesusas and his mother, Maryas by saying she later married and bore children; even though Yusuf Najjar, referred to as Joseph, the husband of Mary, is also mentioned in the Bible.

Hazrat Ahmadas also mentions James, the brother of Jesus of Nazareth, who became the overseer of his mission after Jesusas, but Paul did not let him succeed and cleverly rejected the mission of Jesusas to turn people against the Holy Temple. Hazrat Ahmadas writes:

“Jesus’as brother James, son of Maryas, was a righteous man. He followed the Torah in everything, believed God to be One without any partner, considered the flesh of swine to be unlawful, faced the Holy Temple while praying—as was the custom of the Jews—and considered himself a Jew in everything, with the exception of his belief in the Prophethood of Jesusas.” (Fountain of Christianity, p. 54)

The brothers of Jesusas have been mentioned by Hazrat Ahmadas on various occasions. Huzooras writes that Jesusas was a humble man and was subject to all human weaknesses. Huzooras added that he had four brothers and two sisters. (Tazkira-tush-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 25)

Clerics who incite common people against the Promised Messiahas do not know that a simple reading of the Bible will reveal how many siblings Prophet Jesusas had. 

Many verses of the Bible mention the brothers of Jesus. Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19 and Mark 3:31 state that Prophet Jesus’ mother and brothers come to meet him. The Bible tells us that “James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas were the four brothers of Jesus.” (Mathew 13:55) The Bible also tells us about Prophet Jesus’ sisters but does not mention their number or names. (Mathew 13:56) Galatians 1:19 states that James was the brother of Prophet Jesusas. A summary of these references affirms that Prophet Jesusas had real siblings through Joseph and Mary.

Some Roman Catholics claim that these brothers of Prophet Jesusas were actually his cousins. However, in each passage, a specific Greek word for “brother” is used. Although the word can also indicate other relatives, its traditional and literal meaning is “true, biological brother”. There is another specific Greek word for “cousin”, but that word is not used when talking about Jesus’ brothers. Moreover, if they were cousins of Jesusas, why are they often mentioned with Maryas, the mother of Jesus? When Jesus’ mother and his brothers come to visit him, there is nothing in the context of this account to indicate that these people were other than Jesus’ true brothers. 

There is no biblical evidence to confirm that these siblings of Jesusas were any other than the real children of Joseph and Maryas. Those who oppose the idea that Jesusas had no siblings are not correct as per the Bible. 

Some opponents of Hazrat Ahmadas deny that Prophet Jesusas had siblings. They argue that the Holy Quran states that no man has touched Maryas. They simply oppose this fact because of the concept of Mary being “a virgin”. Their theory of Mary’s “eternal virginity” is also not correct in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran as the verse that states “no man has touched” is referring only to the miraculous birth of Jesusas.  

The book Apolitical Records, which was also mentioned by the Promised Messiahas to state the names of the siblings of Jesusas, is available for people to read. It was published in London in 1886. 

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