In yet another particular, as we have already indicated, Jesus Christ is represented in the authorities of Islam as far exalted above Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and other prophets, namely, that He alone is represented as sinless. Verily, Islam has crowned all the honours which it has bestowed upon the son of Mary by a name exalted and glorious, in that it describes Him as the sinless prophet. In the Qur’an we read that the angel Gabriel came to Mary and said:—

إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلاماً زَكِيّاً

“Verily I am the messenger of thy Lord to give thee a holy son.” (Sura Maryam (19), verse 19). Again in Sura Ali 'Imran (3), verse 36, it is written:

وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وِإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

“I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to thy protection from Satan the stoned.” In accordance with these passages we find that Jesus Christ is everywhere in the writings of Islam represented as perfectly sinless, and in neither Qur’an nor Traditions is a single sin ever imputed to Him. On the other hand, both the Bible and the Qur’an abound in allusions to the sins of other prophets and their prayers for pardon; and in the latter book we find Muhammad himself again and again commanded to ask pardon for his sins.

We give below, by way of example, one or two verses from the Qur’an. Thus, in Sura Al-A'raf (7). verses 22-23, we have a mention of Adam's sin and his prayer for pardon. Thus we read,

فَدَلاَّهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ... ... ... قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

“And he (Satan) caused them to fall through deceit and they said, O Lord, we have dealt unjustly with our souls; if thou forgive us not and be not merciful unto us, we shall be of those who perish.” In like manner the sin of Abraham is recorded in Sura Al-Anbiya' (21). It is there stated that Abraham broke many of the idols of the idolaters but left the largest of them intact. Afterwards, when the idolaters accused Abraham of the act, he flatly denied any complicity in the crime, and replied that “The large (idol) did it.” 7 In other places also, his prayers for pardon are mentioned. 8 Moses is also represented in the Qur’an as a sinner. Thus, in Sura Al-Qasas (28), verse 15-16, etc., we read that Moses, after killing an Egyptian, prayed thus:

رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَغَفَرَ لَهُ

“O Lord, verily I have injured my own soul, wherefore forgive me. And He (God) forgave him.” David sinned and asked pardon for his sin, as is recorded in Sura Saad (38), verses 24-25. It is there written:

وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعاً وَأَنَابَ فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ

And David perceived that we had tried him, and he asked pardon of his Lord; and he fell down and bowed himself, and repented. Wherefore we forgave him this (fault).”

In the Qur’an Muhammad also is repeatedly told to ask pardon for his sins. Thus we read:—

وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

“Ask pardon for thy sins (O Muhammad), and for the believers both men and women.” (Sura Muhammad (47), verse 19). Again, in Sura Al-Fath (48), verses 2,

لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ

“That God may forgive thee thy former and thy latter sin.” Again, in Sura Al-Ahzab (33), verse 37, a specific sin of Muhammad is distinctly mentioned:

وَتُخْفِي فِي نَفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَاهُ فَلَمَّا

“And thou (O Muhammad) didst conceal that in thy mind which God had (determined) to discover, and didst fear men, whereas it was more just that thou shouldst fear God.”

We have shown above that, according to the Qur’an, Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and Muhammad were all sinners; and further investigation would reveal the fact that their sins were committed after their call to the prophetic office. But it is a most striking fact that nowhere, either in Bible or Qur’an, is a single sin ever imputed to Jesus the Word of God. Surely, in this respect also, the unique supremacy of .lesus over all other prophets is clearly seen. The witness of the Traditions is the same; for although in them it is again and again recorded that Muhammad used to ask pardon for his sins, yet such language is never used of the sinless Jesus. On the otherhand, the traditions concerning His birth, preserved in the Mishkat and other books, clearly show that He was held to be sinless from His birth. The immaculate conception of Christ is referred to in the following Tradition of Muslim. “Every child of Adam is touched by Satan the day of his birth, with the exception of Mary and her son.” 9 Whilst in the Tradition, as given by al-Ghazali, it is said that “When Jesus, son of Mary, on whom be blessing and peace, was born, the devils came to Satan, saying that in the morning the idols were found all hanging down their heads. Satan could not understand this, till, in his rounds, he discovered that Jesus had just been born, and that the angels were around Him rejoicing thereat. So he returned to the devils, and told them that the day before a prophet had been born; and that never had a mortal been born before at whose birth he had not been present, but only this.” 10

This testimony of the Qur’an and Traditions to the sinlessness of Jesus is fully supported by the Injil, which, in even clearer language, witnesses to His perfect freedom from sin. Thus, concerning Jesus, the Injil says that “In Him was no sin” (1 John 3: 5) and “Him who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “He did no sin” (1 Peter 2:22); whilst Christ Himself challenged His enemies to point a single flaw in His spotless character, in these words, “Which of you convicteth me of sin?” (John 8:46)

We have said enough on this subject to show the supreme importance of its further study; and we entreat the reader to spare no pains to arrive at a conclusion which will bring peace to his heart now, and a certain hope for the life beyond. If the reader be a Muslim, he will understand the need of a Mediator, and is, probably, looking forward to the intercession of Muhammad to save him from the penalty of his sins. But, my friend, can one sinner plead for another sinner? Never. Then is it not the act of wisdom to trust in Him who, the Bible, Qur’an and Traditions being witness, is perfectly sinless? We have further seen that intercession is needed now. Jesus, because He is alive in heaven, has the opportunity to intercede; and, because He is sinless, has the authority to intercede.

7. Al-Anbiya' 21:63. See also, Al-An’am 6:76-78 Where Abraham takes a star, the moon, and the sun as Lords. In An-Nisa’ 4:116 “Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him,…”. See also, Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 236 where it states that Abraham said,  “I have told three lies”

8. Sura Ibrahim14:41

10. Al-Ghazali, The Sayings of Jesus (search on the word, devils), another web site link.