Eesaa MaseehAS is one of the ulu al-´azm, (those Prophets who established a new faith). He is also known as, Ibne Maryam and Roohullah. Allah Ta´aala narrates his birth in al-Quran al-Majeed:
“…when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing East…then We sent to her Jibraeel and he appeared before her in the form of a man. She said: ‘Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (Allah Ta´aala) from you, if you are pious.’ Jibraeel replied: ‘I am only a Messenger from your Lord to announce to you the gift of a righteous son.’ She replied: ‘How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?’ He answered: ‘So (it will be), your Lord said: That is easy for Me (Allah): and (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Allah; and it is a matter already decreed, by Allah.
So she conceived him and then withdrew to a far place (i.e., Bethlehem Valley, about four to six miles from Jerusalem). The pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: ‘Had I died before this, been forgotten and out of sight!’ Then she heard a voice from below her, saying: ‘Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you; shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you, fresh ripe dates will fall upon you. So eat and drink and be glad, and if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being today.’
When Moulatona MaryamAS returned with her child to her tribe, they accused her of wrong doing. In reply she only pointed to the child, to which they said: ‘How can we talk to a child in a cradle?’
Allah Ta´aala then mentions how Eesaa NabiAS spoke to the people from his cradle:
“He (Eesaa NabiAS) said: ‘Verily! I am a servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet, and He has made me blessed where ever I be, and has enjoined on me salaat, and zakaat as long as I live. He has made me dutiful to my mother, and has not made me arrogant and unblessed. Salaam be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die and the day I shall be raised alive!’ Such is EesaaAS, son of MaryamAS…Eesaa NabiAS said: ‘And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path.” (19:16-39)
Eesaa NabiAS called his people towards the Straight Path, but only a few answered. Amongst them were the Hawaariyeen (Apostles). It is said that some of them were huntsmen or fishermen. However, they were huntsmen in the sense that they would capture the hearts of those who strayed away from the right path. It is also said that some were dyers, in reality they would dye hearts stained with ignorance and disbelief with the colour of guidance and faith.
Eesaa NabiAS would travel from place to place, town to town, and call the Children of Israel towards the path of Allah Ta´aala. He encouraged them to lead a simple life and strive hard to gain a place in jannat. Eesaa NabiAS was sought by the tyrant ruler of the Israelites for this reason, but whenever his men closed down upon him, he would travel and no one would know his whereabouts until he reached another town and word spread about his presence there.
Eesaa NabiAS continued travelling; looking for a place to adopt as his “Daar al-Hijrah”. He is therefore called Eesaa “Maseeh”- one who travels from place to place. The name Maseeh also refers to his divine ability of reviving the dead or curing the diseased by a mas-h (touch) of his hands.
During one journey he was accompanied by one of his Hawaariyeen. As they traversed a deserted road the Hawaari was overcome with fear. When Eesaa MaseehAS saw him, he asked if he had something with him. The Hawaari said that he had with him a piece of gold. MaseehAS asked him to throw it away, which he did. After a while when the Hawaari was silent and calm, Eesaa MaseehAS told him ‘this is a dangerous path’, to which the Hawaari replied, ‘O Maseeh, do we have anything over which we should be afraid?’.
Of the many miracles that Eesaa NabiAS revealed is that of a ‘maa’edat’ (مائدة) descending from the sky. Allah Ta´aala mentions this incident in al-Quran al-Kareem:
(Remember) when the disciples said: ‘O Eesaa ibne MaryamAS! Is it possible that your Lord send upon us a maa’edat from the sky?’ EesaaAS replied, ‘Fear Allah, if you are indeed believers.’ They said: ‘we wish to eat thereof and to be stronger in Faith, and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses.’ Eesaa ibne MaryamAS said: ‘O Allah, our Lord! Send us from the sky a maa’edat that there may be for us, for the first and the last of us – an Eid and an ayat (miracle) from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the Best of sustainers.’ Allah said: ‘I am going to send a maa’edat down unto you, but if any of you are ungrateful afterwards, then I will punish him in a manner in which I have not punished anyone among all of mankind.’ (5:112-115)