Festivals and celebrations are considered one of the distinctive characteristics and key features of societies around the world as they constitute a major part of cultural fabric for people. This means that there is hardly any human society without festivals, whether they are related to religious occasions or non-religious ones. While there are some Islamic festivals like, Eid al-Fiṭr and Eid al-Adha, there are also various celebrations and festivals that distinguish Christians from other religious groups, such as Christmas. Thus, every year, the Christians celebrate the Christmas all over the world, which is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus (PBUH). There are different hypotheses regarding the date of Jesus' birth; however, the Catholic “Western” church has fixed December 25th to be the Christmas date. On the other hand, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the Christmas on January 7th.The present article focuses on the position of Jesus in the Islamic texts and how Islam and Muslims hold great reverence and respect for Jesus and his mother.
Reviewing the Glorious Qur’an, one finds that there is no book on earth that has given Jesus and his mother more reverence and honor than the Qur’an does. We will not be exaggerating if we say that the Qur’an gives more respect and reverence to Jesus more than the current Torah and Gospel do. In the Qur’an, there is a full detailed surah entitled Al-Imran and it refers to the family of Jesus, where Allah says, “Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over the worlds. Descendants, some of them from others. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing”. It is known that the aforementioned surah is classified as the second largest Surah in the Qur’an next to al-Baqrah. In addition, there is another surah entitled Maryam, the mother of Jesus. However, there is neither a full detailed surah in the Qur’an about the family of Prophet Muhammad PBUH nor his mother.
Maryam was named six times in Surah Al-Imran and this surah includes precise information concerning the story of the pregnancy of Maryam’s mother, as many scholars explained that Maryam’s mother was a barren old woman, and when Maryam was born, her mother was in deep grief as she had pledged what is in her womb for Allah’s service. The righteous people disputed greatly over who would take care of Maryam, and then it was Zakarīyā who ultimately took good care of her, and she grew up under his patronage as a righteous girl. Every time Zakarīyā entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He used to ask her about the source of that provision, and she replied, “It is from Allah.”[مريم1]
Maryam’s name was also mentioned twice in surah al-Nisāʼ in the context of dispraising the Jews for their disbelief and their false accusation of Maryam, where Allah, Glory be to Him says, "And [We cursed them] for their disbelief and their saying against Mary a great slander, And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them" In Surah Maryam, her name was also mentioned twice where Maryam brought Jesus to her people carrying him as they accused her of doing something unprecedented. In Suah al-Taḥrīm, she was named once, attributed to her father (Maryam daughter of Imran) in the place of praising her for her deep and unshakable belief. Allah says, “And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient”
In addition to the Glorious Qur’an, there are loads of Aḥādīth referring to the stature of Maryam among Muslims and how they respect and revere her greatly. Abū Hurayrah said, "I heard Allah's Messenger (PBUH) say, “There is no one born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." Then Abū Hurayrah recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan". In addition, Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Sufficient for you among the women of mankind are Maryam daughter of ʻUmrān, Khadījah bint Khuwaylid, Fāṭimah daughter of Muḥammad and Āsiyah the wife of the Pharaoh”[مريم2]
Regarding Jesus, the son of Maryam, his story was mentioned in many surahs of the Glorious Qur’an such as Maryam, Al-Imranm, al-Māʼidah, al-Nisāʼ, al-Ṣaff, al-Ḥadīd and al-Zukhruf. In surah Maryam, for instance, it included the address to both his mother and Jesus and it seems as if the two stories are only one story. However, at the end of the surah, the verses emphasize the Oneness of Allah and that he has no wife or son, where Allah says, [مريم3] “That is Jesus, the son of Mary, the word of truth about which they are in dispute. It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, "Be," and it is. .In surah al-Imran, the name of Jesus was explicitly mentioned five times, and the surah includes a statement of some attributes of Jesus, his message to the children of Israel and his clear signs and miracles. As for surah al-Nisaa, it deals with the Jews’ hostility to Jesus as they accused his mother of immorality and wanted to kill Jesus, and one verse states that Allah, the Almighty, protected him from the Jews and they did not kill nor crucify him [مريم4]
The Qur’an gives Jesus several titles; one of these is al-Masīḥ, [مريم5] and this title was mentioned in the Qur’an eleven times. He was also give the title Jesus the son of Maryam and it is known that Jesus was attributed to his mother as Jesus was born miraculously with no father. This title is mentioned twenty-three times in the Qur’an. Al-Zamakhsharī commented saying, “Jesus was attributed to his mother as he was born without a father, and thus his mother was preferred and chosen above the women of the worlds”. The Qur’an mentioned the three names of Jesus in one verse where Allah says, “whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary", so Jesus is the name, al-Masīḥ is the title and the son of Mary is his attribute”
Jesus is also called the word of God and a spirit from Him, where Allah says. “The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him”Like al prophets, Jesus is also called ʻAbd , a servant of God as Allah says, “[Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of Allah”The Qur’an depicts Jesus as a prophet and messenger of God, where Allah (Glory be to Him) says, “The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him”
Allah, Glory be to Him, supported Jesus (PBUH) with great miracles as Allah says, “We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice”One of these miracles was supporting Jesus with the Pure Spirit, the Archangel Jibrīl, as Allah says,” and supported him with the Pure Spirit”. In addition, Allah made Jesus speak to his people in his infancy and as a grown man and Allah also taught him the scripture and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. Moreover, he was blessed with the miracles of creating out of the clay a semblance of a bird that turned into a living bird when he blew into it. He also had the ability to heal the blind and the leper, and he could bring the dead back to life, not to forget that Allah restrained the Children of Israel from harming Jesus when he brought them clear signs.
 See Ṣalāḥ al-Khālidī, al-Qiṣaṣ al-Qurʼānī, (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1st edition, 1998),p. 163.
 The Qur’an: 4: 155-156
 See al-Tirmidhī, 3878
 See Ṣalāḥ al-Khālidī, al-Qiṣaṣ al-Qurʼānī, p 165.
 See Al-Zamakhsharī, Tafsīr al-Kashshāf, (Beirut: Dar al-Marifah, 3rd edition, 2009), p 172.