What is offered here is a fairly comprehensive selection of the narrations pertaining to Jesus (‘a) said to have been reported by the Shi‘i Imams, peace be with them.
It is generally admitted that not everything reported in this literature is correct, and the science of hadith has been developed by Muslim scholars precisely for the purpose of sorting through the narrations and evaluating their strength. No attempt has been made in what follows to select only ahadith considered reliable.
The narrations selected provide an overview of what various reporters of ahadith have claimed that the Imams have said about Jesus (‘a). At the same time, we cannot claim that our selection exhausts all such narrations. Sometimes we have found several reports that differ only in some insignificant details, in which case we have generally selected the most complete form of the report.
Also omitted are reports in which Jesus is mentioned only incidentally, although where such incidental mention seemed interesting to us, we have provided the excerpt from the hadith. The isnad, or chains of transmission that accompany the reports, have been omitted from the English translations since they would only be of use to those who have fluency in Arabic.
It is rather disheartening to find that so much misunderstanding remains between Christians and Muslims in the world today. Hopefully the collection presented here will be seen by Christians as a gift from the Shi‘ah to show the reverence they have for Jesus (‘a). The vision of Jesus (‘a) to be found here is different from that of Christianity, and the difference is bound to lead some to respond negatively, “No. The Christ we know is not like that.”
We are not concerned to argue here for the veracity of the vision of Christ presented. Of course Christians will deny what conflicts with their beliefs. However, it is hoped that the reader will be able to bracket the question of what reports about Jesus (‘a) are best considered factual, because this question depends on the standards used for such evaluations, whether doctrinal, historical or otherwise.
Title: Jesus through Shiite Narrations
ٍAuthor: Mahdi Muntazar Qaem
Translator: Muhammad Legenhausen
Length: 290 pages
Pub. Date: December 6, 2013