Will you explain the information about Hz. Isa (Jesus) mentioned in verses 171-173 of the chapter of an-Nisa?

Details of the Question

- In what sense is the phrase "ruhullah (spirit of Allah)" is used for Hz. Isa (Jesus)?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The phrase “ruhullah” is used for Hz. Isa in the Quran. Some people make a mistake because they misinterpret it. We will quote the views of tafsir scholars regarding the issue. Those scholars say that the phrase "ruhullah" is a compliment for the spirit. Calling the Kaaba "Baytullah" is a compliment for the first mosque of the earth; similarly, it is a compliment to call Hz. Isa "ruhullah".

Another meaning is as follows: The body becomes alive with the spirit; similarly, dead hearts rejoined belief and became alive with his guidance. 

Hz. Isa is called "Ruhullah" because the following is stated in the Quran when Hz. Maryam’s being impregnated is narrated:

"... and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit..." (at-Tahrim, 66/12)

"Isa Ruhullah" means Isa is from Allah's spirit, from Allah's attributes and names or from divine spirit. In fact, "Ruhullah" exists in everybody in this sense. Allah addresses His angels as follows when He mentions the creation of Adam:

"When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." (Sad, 38/72)

In that sense, Ruhullah exists in everybody. That there is not much difference basically between the spirit that Hz. Isa has and the one that an ordinary person has. For, the spirit is one and the life of every creature comes from that single spirit. 

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) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. 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.

172. Christ disdaineth nor to serve and worship Allah, nor do the angels, those nearest (to Allah): those who disdain His worship and are arrogant,-He will gather them all together unto Himself to (answer).

173. But to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards,- and more, out of His bounty: But those who are disdainful and arrogant, He will punish with a grievous penalty; Nor will they find, besides Allah, any to protect or help them.

The call ‘Ya ahlal kitab’ is a general phrase but Jews were meant above; however, Christians are meant here. That is, ‘O Christians of People of the Book! Commit no excesses.’ In the face of the demeaning by the Jews by trying to slander, deny and despise Hz. Isa by calling him an illegitimate child as it is explained above, do not commit excesses in your religion by claiming that Hz. Isa is God and do not say of Allah aught but the truth.

Do not attribute some impossible and wrong attributes to Allah like entering into some things, changing, uniting with something else, having friends and children; free Him from such incomplete attributes and tell the truth related to all issues. For, Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary.

"Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary..." (Aal-i Imran, 3/45)

As this verse indicates, He informed Maryam about him and gave her the good news. He was created with the breathing of Jibril and placing him in the womb of Maryam with the order "be"; and, it is a spirit from Allah; Allah gave life to many dead hearts with it. Prophethood, word, spirit; that is the truth about Isa, son of Maryam. Nothing but this truth must be understood when it is said, ‘Isa was not killed and crucified or did not die; he was raised to the sky.’ 

So, believe in Allah and His messengers; know Allah as Allah and prophets as prophets; and do not say "trinity"; “the number of deities is not three”; Do not deviate into the understanding of three deities with clear polytheism by saying "there are three deities: Allah, Isa and Maryam" or with interpreted polytheism of “three deities” by saying "Allah is three: father, son and Holy Spirit; three principles; three people, one principle. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you. for Allah is one Allah; He never accepts any partners; He is free from all kinds of reproduction; He is one in deity: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.

For, to Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. People belong to Him; land belongs to Him; sovereignty belongs to Him. Nothing including Isa is outside His land and sovereignty. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs. That is, Allah does not need any proxies to create all of those things, to arrange and to control them. He himself has the power to decree and manage; He does not need anything and anybody. He is the one that arranges and manages the affairs of his creatures on behalf and for the benefit of them in the best way.

If they fulfill their duties, rely on Him and refer their affairs to Him, He will not make them dependent on anybody else to arrange their affairs and to meet their needs. To sum up, He is enough to arrange all of the affairs of all creatures and He does not need a proxy to do them. He replaces everything; nothing replaces Him. Nothing can exist without depending on Him.   

In that case, it is impossible to think of anything outside the land of Allah, a child to replace Allah, a proxy to act on behalf of Him, an authority to refer affairs to and a deity except Him. Such things can be thought about ephemeral and weak beings. When the word "Prophet" is used, it is necessary to understand an aide that reports the words, not a “proxy”. In that case, O Christians! Do not say, "How can Jesus be a slave?" Jesus never avoids being a slave of Allah. The Christians came to the Prophet and said, "Why do you attribute mistakes to our owner?" The Prophet said, "Who is your owner?" They said, "Jesus." He said, "What did I say about him?" They said, "You say, ‘He is Allah's slave and messenger’." Thereupon, he said, "It is not a shame to be a slave of Allah." Thereupon, that verse is reported to have been sent down. (see Elmalılı Hamdi YAZIR, Hak Dini, the interpretation of the verses in questions)

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