3 - Al Imran (The family of Imran)

6 Tafsir(s) related to verse 3.59


Truly, the likeness of Jesus, his remarkable case, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness, as the case of Adam, whom God created without father or mother: this is a comparison of one remarkable thing with another more remarkable, so that it convinces the disputer and establishes itself in one’s mind more effectively. He created him, Adam, that is, his form, of dust, then said He to him, ‘Be,’, a human being, and he was; similarly, He said to Jesus, ‘Be’ — without a father — and he was.


Truly the likeness of Jesus in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness"

He chose both of them to be purified of the spirit (rūḥ) from passing from one body to another (tanāsukh) in the loins. He singled out Adam in creating him by His own hand, and Jesus (ʿa) in selecting the blowing of the spirit into him as a form of honor. Even though these two were weighty beings, the imperfection of events and creatureliness were nonetheless unavoidable for them:... then He said to him, 'Be', and he was [3:59].

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam") [3:59]. The commentators of the Qur'an said: "The delegation of Najran said to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace: 'Why do you insult Jesus?' He said: 'What did I say about him?' They said: 'You say that he is a servant'. He said: 'Indeed, he is the servant and messenger of Allah, as well as His word which He cast into the Virgin Mary'. They became angry and said: 'Have you ever seen a human being who was born without a father? If you are truthful, show us such a person'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse". Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Harithi informed us> 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Ja'far> Sahl Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl ibn 'Uthman> Yahya> Waki'> Mubarak> al-Hasan who said: "Two monks from Najran came to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and he invited them to surrender to Allah. One of them said: 'We have surrendered to Allah before you'. He said: 'You lie! Three things prevent you from surrendering to Allah: your worship of the cross, eating pork and your claim that Allah has a son'. They said: 'Then who is the father of Jesus?' The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was not in the habit of giving hasty answers but waited for Allah's answer instead. Then Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam")".


Truly, the likeness of Jesus, in other words, his attribute in God's sight, his being created by [divine] power without a father, is as Adam's likeness, in having been created without parents. Know that the marvels of [divine] power are endless and there can be no analogy in this respect to the effect that there is an analogue from the world of wisdom for the creation of a human being without parents, since there are many deficient animal beings of unusual nature that are generated from the point of creation in a short period of time then reproduce and propagate [further]. Likewise, a human being can come into being by being generated in one of several cycles, then through propagation. Similarly is engenderment without a father, for the seminal fluid of a man is much hotter than that of a woman and contains a more powerful capacity for coagulation, just as in the case of rennets with regard to [the curdling of] cheese, whereas in the woman the more powerful capacity is that of being coagulated, as is the case with milk. When the two come together coagulation takes place, the fluids coagulate and the embryo is engendered. It is possible to have a strong female constitution that corresponds to a male constitution as can be seen in the case of many women, to the extent that what is generated in her right kidney [read: ovary?] is equivalent to male seminal fluid on account of its extreme heat sitting as it does next to the liver in the case of the woman the constitution of whose liver is sound and sufficiently hot, and that what is generated in her left kidney is equivalent to female seminal fluid. So when she experiences seminal emissions as a result of a male form overwhelming her imagination during sleep and consciousness because of her spirit's being joined to the holy spirit and to another angel and [by] the imagination's reproductive imitation (muḥākāt) of that [male form], as God, exalted be He says: and he became imaginalised to her as a man without fault [Q. 19:17], the two seminal fluids from both sides proceed to the womb. In the setting place on the right side is formed the stronger capacity for causing coagulation and in the setting place on the left side is formed the capacity for becoming coagulated whereupon the embryo is engendered and the spirit is attached to it.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

That is, "If one's miraculous birth entitles one to become God or the Son of God, then Adam was better entitled to it because he was created without either a human father or a mother, while Jesus was born without a father only.

The main points in the discourse presented before the Christians up to here are: First, they have been admonished to realize that their belief in the Godhead of Jesus is gravely ill-founded. He was only a man who was born in a miraculous way by the will of Allah and given the power to perform certain miracles as a clear proof of his Prophethood. As regards his "Ascension", Allah had arranged to recall him to Himself before the disbelievers could crucify him. In fact, the Master of the Universe has full powers to treat any of His servants in any special way He pleases. It is, therefore, wrong to infer from the exceptional treatment accorded to Jesus that he himself was the Master or the Master's Son or a partner in the authority of the Master.

Secondly, their attention has been drawn to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) invites them to the same Truth that had been preached by Prophet Jesus (God's peace be upon him) in his own time and that the teachings of the two Prophets were basically identical.

Thirdly, the disciples of Jesus believed in and followed the same religion of Islam that is being presented in the Qur'an. However the Christians of the later age discarded the message of Jesus and digressed from the Faith of his disciples.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

Allah then explained the creation of Jesus without a father because the delegation of Najran asked the Prophet to provide proof from the Qur'an for his saying that Jesus was not the son of Allah, so Allah said: (Lo! the likeness of Jesus) the likeness of the creation of Jesus (with Allah) without a father (is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust) without a father or mother, (then He said unto him) to Jesus: (Be! and he is) a son without a father.