Was Hazrat Isa (Jesus) really the Son of God?
What does this mean?

Christians do not believe that Jesus is the son of God in a physical sense. God forbid that he should take a wife! That would be blasphemy. However, they do believe that Jesus is the Son of God in a figurative sense.

The Desert. Illustration copyrighted.Arabs, for example, are commonly known as "sons of the desert". Nobody would ever think that the desert would have given physical birth to them. No, the term "sons of the desert" has to be understood in a figurative sense. Arabs know the desert in and out; they are one with it, that is why they are called "sons of the desert."

See our complete list of how "Son" and "Father" are used in the Injil.
In the same way the Qur'an calls a wayfarer a "son of the road", "ibn as sabeel" (Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 177) The Arabic word „ibn" is sometimes used in a figurative sense as opposed to „walad" which is always used in a physical way. In the Qur'an the latter is used when a protest is brought about 'Allah having taken unto himself a son' (Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 116). It shows clearly that the Islamic denial is directed only against the physical, not the figurative sonship of Jesus. Here the question must be raised, "Why did God not speak against the figurative concept of Jesus' sonship held by the great majority of Christians at all times?" Let us now investigate the true Christian doctrine of Jesus being the Son of God in more detail.

  1. Jesus is called the Son of God because...

    What does it mean when Jesus is referred to as the "Son of Man"?
    He is one with Him in essence. Besides having many other titles, such as "Messiah" or "Son of Man", he calls himself "Son of God" because he knows Him in a profound way. Jesus is the Eternal Word who has always been One with God. (Injil, books of John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11) Similarly, the Qur'an calls Jesus the Word of God and the Soul, the Spirit of God (4:171,172). Just as a person is forever one with his words, spirit, and soul, so God and Jesus Christ are eternally One.

      "They all asked, 'Are you then the Son of God?' He (Jesus) replied, 'You are right in saying I am.'" (Injil, book of Luke 22:70, see also Matthew 16:15-17)

      "Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father...' Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father... Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?'" (Injil, book of John 14:8-10)

  2. Jesus is called the Son of God because...

    He is like God. Jesus has God's holy and sinless character and his mighty attributes. The Qur'an calls Jesus "a holy son." (19:19; 3:46). While it speaks of the other prophets' need of forgiveness (38:24; 48:1), it never attributes a single sin to Jesus. Also, it uniquely ascribes to Jesus supernatural powers that God alone possesses. (3:45-51; 5:110-112) Like Father, like Son. (Injil, books of Hebrews 1:1-9; Matthew 17:5) In ancient Jewish customs, the firstborn son also represented the father and was regarded as being equal to him. Any time Jesus used this term publicly for himself in the Gospels, the Jews were absolutely certain that he claimed to be God. In his official trial by the Sanhedrin, this was the very charge brought up against him: Blasphemy. He claimed to be the Son of God and in that, he made himself God. (Injil, book of John 5:18, 19:7)

  3. Jesus is called the Son of God because...

    He came from God. (Tawrat, book of Isaiah 7:14; Injil, book of Luke 1:34,35) Similarly, the Qur'an teaches that Jesus came directly from God, that He was born of a virgin, that He had no earthly father. (3:47; 19:20). In the Qur'an Jesus too is set apart from all other prophets by calling Him the Messiah which means the Anointed One. (4:157,171,172) Unlike Adam, who was formed from dust, the Messiah came from heaven.

    Because God is so much greater than man, He chooses to express Himself in human terms so that we can understand Him. When Surah 22, Hajj, verse 61 says that Allah sees and hears, it does not mean He has ears and eyes. Rather He is expressing a truth in a way we can understand He is All-knowing. Similarly, behind the title "Son of God" is a profound truth expressed in human terms.

    The Bible calls a number of people "sons of God" but Jesus is addressed as such in a particular way:

      "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' (Injil, book of John 3:16)

    The Greek word for "one and only son", "mono-genes", means literally, "one in kind, unique" and has sometimes been incorrectly translated into English as "only begotten". This rendering is wrong because "Mono-genes" is also used in Hebrews 11:17 to describe Isaac as Abraham's "one and only son", namely the one who was promised by God to Abraham and his wife Sarah. (Genesis 15) Since Ishmael too was Abraham's son, but through his servant Hagar (Genesis 16), the term "one and only" distinguishes Isaac as being unique in his kind but not as the only begotten. Furthermore, the Hebrew word used to describe Isaac in the Old Testament story as "only son" in Genesis 22:2 is completely different from the word "begotten" used, for example, in Psalm 2:7:

      "I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father' (or, I have begotten you).

    "In the ancient Near East the relationship between a great king and one of his subject kings, who ruled by his authority and owed him allegiance, was expressed....also by "father" and "son"." (N.I.V. Study Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, U.S.A., 1985, footnote) Psalm 2:7 is applied to the relationship between God and Jesus in a filial not in a carnal sense in Acts 13:33 as having been a fulfilled prophecy through his resurrection.

    Just as other people are called "one and only sons" in the Bible because of their uniqueness in some ways, Jesus too is called exclusively "one and only son of God." On a number of occasions he made statements to prove this fact:

      "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Injil, book of Luke 10:22)

    Nobody else has ever used such language to speak about himself! (For more examples see in the Injil: John 5:22-23, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 3:17) Jesus, the Son of God, has come to show us what God is like:

      "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, (or, but the only Son), who is at the Father's side, has made him known." (Injil, book of John 1:18)

      "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (Injil, book of John 20:30,31)

      "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him!" (Injil, book of John 3:36)

(Above content authored and provided by Abdullah Ibrahim)