The Wisdom of Isa A.S

(I do believe this entry is rather appropriate for us Muslims to ponder upon - even more so during tis season where everybody are feeling jolly!)

The following sayings of Nabi Isa A.S from traditional Arabic sources are excerpted from Walk on Water, a book by Hamza Yusuf. Please note that the names in parentheses indicate the hadith scholar in whose collection the hadith is found.

According to Ahmad, Prophet Isa A.S him was known to have said, "Virtuous action does not consist in doing good to someone who has done good to you -that is merely returning a favor. Virtuous action consists in doing good to those who have wronged you." (Imam Ahmad)

According to Malik b. Anas, Prophet Isa A.S, "Do not speak much without remembering God, for by doing so, you harden your hearts. Surely a hard heart is distant from God though you are unaware. Do not, like lords, look at the faults of others. Rather, like servants, look at your own faults. In truth, humanity is comprised of only two types, the afflicted and the sound. So show mercy to the afflicted, and praise God for well-being." (Imam Muwatta of Malik)

Once someone asked Prophet Isa A.S ,"How are you able to walk on water?" Prophet Isa replied, "With certainty." Then someone said, "But we also have certainty!" Prophet Isa then asked them, "Are stone, clay, and gold equal in your eyes?" They replied, "Certainly not!" Prophet Isa responded, "They are in mine." (Imam Ahmad)

Once Prophet Isa A.S met Iblis [Satan ]and Iblis said, "Is it not true that only what has been decreed will happen?" Prophet Isa replied, "That is true." Then Iblis said, "So throw yourself down from the top of this mountain, and let us see if you live or not!" Prophet Isa answered, "The servant does not test his master; rather, it is the master who tests his servant." (Imam Abu Na'im)

Prophet Isa A.S said, "You will never obtain what you desire except through patience with what you despise." (Imam Al Ghazali)

Prophet Isa A.S , the son of Maryam, said, "God has given me the power to give life to the dead, sight to the blind, sound to the deaf; but He did not give me the power to heal the fool of his foolishness." (Imam Al- Razi)

(Hamza Yusuf is an American convert to Islam who studied for several years under leading scholars in the Muslim world. He is the co-founder of the Zaytuna Institute in California and has translated into modern English several classical Arabic texts and poems.)