Between two extremes
Mohamed Kohia, Rockhurst University professor: No Muslim is considered a Muslim unless he believes in Jesus.
The Quran refers to Jesus as righteous (3:45-48), great prophet (5:75, 19:30-35), a humble servant of God (5:116-117), and the return of Jesus (Messiah) to Earth (4: 159). The Quran recalls his miraculous birth (19:16-21), his teachings, the miracles he performed by God’s permission, and his life as a prophet of God.
The fact that Jesus was born to a virgin mother does not necessitate that he is divine in essence or spirit, nor is he worthy of worship.
Although he performed miracles, it was by the will and permission of God, who has power and control over all things (5:110). All prophets’ miracles were specific to the nation where they were sent.
God clarified in the Quran that Jesus was not crucified (4:157), but “God lifted him up to his presence” (4:158). As such, Islam denies that Jesus came to this Earth with the purpose of sacrificing himself for the sin of humanity.
Islam strictly rejects the notion that any person bears the sin of another (39:7). Also, Islam stresses the notion that God is able to and forgives all sins. God does not need any blood sacrifice for that, let alone descend in the form of man himself and die for every man’s sins. Rather, God’s mercy extends to all creatures, believers and disbelievers alike.
Syed E. Hasan, Midland Islamic Council: Jesus (may peace be on him) is a highly revered prophet in Islam. Not only is he mentioned 27 times in the Quran (compared with 14 for Muhammad), but an entire chapter is named after his mother, Mary.
In fact, it may be very difficult, if not impossible, for a reader to figure out whether the following passage is from the Bible or the Quran.
Mary asked “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me and I am not unchaste?” The angel replied: “So it will be. Thy Lord says this is easy for me. So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.” (Quran 19:20-21).