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The Conversations of Jesus

1. Jesus (‘a) said to the disciples, “Be satisfied with a little of the world, while your religion is safe, likewise the people of this world are satisfied with a little of the religion, while their world is safe; love Allah by being far from them, and make Allah satisfied by being angry with them.”

The disciples said, “O spirit of Allah, so with whom should we keep company?” He said, “He the sight of whom reminds you of Allah, his speech increases your knowledge and his action makes you desirous of the other world.”1

2. It is reported that Abu Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a)] said, “The Apostle of Allah, may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be with him and with his progeny, said, ‘The Apostles said to Jesus (‘a) ‘O Spirit of Allah! With whom should we keep company?’ He said, ‘He the sight of whom reminds you of Allah, the speech of whom increases your knowledge, and the works of whom make you desirous of the other world.’”2

3. The disciples complained to Jesus the son of Mary about the disrespect of the people for them and their hating them. He said, “Be patient. Likewise the believers are hated among the people. The example of them is like the example of wheat. How sweet is its taste and how numerous are its enemies.”3

4. It is reported that the disciples were the followers of Jesus. Whenever they were hungry they said, “O Spirit of Allah! We are hungry.” Then Jesus would hit his hands on the ground, whether smooth or hilly, and he would bring out two loaves of bread for each of them. Whenever they were thirsty they said, “O Spirit of Allah! We are thirsty.”

Then Jesus would hit his hands on the ground, and brought out water and they drank from it. They asked, “O Spirit of Allah! Who is better than we? Whenever we want we are given food, and whenever we want water is given to us. We have faith in you and follow you.” Jesus (‘a) said, “Better than you are those who work with their hands and eat from what they earn.” After that the disciples washed clothes by the stream and ate from their wages for it.”4

5. Jesus (‘a) was asked about the best of people. He said, “One whose speech is the mention of Allah, whose silence is contemplation, and whose vision is admonition5.” 6

6. A man asked Jesus the son of Mary (‘a), “Which people is the best?” He took two handfuls of earth and said, “Which of these is the best? The people are created from earth, so the most honorable of them is the most God-wary.”7

7. Al-Sadiq (‘a) said, “It was said to Jesus son of Mary (‘a), ‘What is the matter with you that you do not get married?’ Then he said, ‘What have I to do with getting married?’ They said, ‘[A child] will be born for you.’ He said, ‘What have I to do with children? If they live, they will be a trial for us, and if they die, they will grieve us.’”8

8. It has been reported that Abu Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq] said, “Verily, Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) said, ‘I treated the sick, then I healed them by the permission of Allah, and I cured those born blind and the lepers by the permission of Allah, and I treated the dead and revived them by the permission of Allah, and I treated the fool, but I could not correct him.’

Then it was said, ‘O Spirit of Allah! What is a fool?’ He said, ‘He is one who is admirable in his own view to himself, he who considers all of merit to be for him and not against him, and who finds all rights to be for himself and does not find against himself any right. Such is the fool for whom there is no trick to cure him.’”9

9. Muhammad ibn Muslim narrated from either Imam Baqir (‘a) or Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) that when he was asked, “We see one with whom there is worship, endeavor and humility, but he does not speak the truth. Does it benefit him at all?” He said, “O Abu Muhammad! The example of the Ahl al-Bayt is like that of a family that lived among the Children of Israel. None of them ever prayed for forty nights without his prayer being answered.

But a man of that family prayed for forty nights, then he supplicated and his prayer was not answered. Then he came before Jesus (‘a) and complained about what had happened, and he asked Jesus to pray for him. Jesus made ablutions and prayed. Then he supplicated Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent. Allah revealed to him, ‘O Jesus! Verily, My servant came to Me from a door other than that by which he should approach Me.

Verily he supplicated Me and in his heart there was doubt about you. If he supplicated Me until his neck broke and his fingers were bruised, I would not answer him.’ Jesus turned to him and said, ‘When you supplicate your Lord, do you have doubt about His prophet?’ He said, ‘O Spirit of Allah and His Word! By Allah, it was as you say. Supplicate Allah that He remove the doubt.’ So, Jesus supplicated for him, and Allah turned to him and accepted it from him, and he became like one of his family.”10

10. Verily, Jesus (‘a) passed by three people. Their bodies had become thin and their colors had changed. Then he said, “What has brought you to what I see?” They said, “Fear of the Fire.” He said, “It is the duty of Allah to give security to those who fear Him.” Then he passed from them to three other men.

He was surprised to find them even thinner and more changed. Then he said, “What has brought you to what I see?” They said, “Yearning for the Garden.” He said, “It is the duty of Allah to give to him who has hope in Him.” Then he passed to three others. He was surprised to find them even thinner and their faces were shining like mirrors.

Then he said, “What has brought you to what I see?” They said, “Love of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent.” Three times, he said, “You are those who are close to Allah.”11

11. The disciples asked Jesus (‘a), “Indicate to us a work by which we may enter the Garden.” He said, “Do not speak at all.” They said, “We cannot do that.” He said, “So, do not speak except what is good.”12

12. A man said to Jesus the son of Mary (‘a), “O good teacher, indicate to me a work by which I may enter the Garden.” Then he said to him, “Beware of Allah secretly and openly, and do good to your parents.”13

13. Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) said, “The disciples of Jesus complained to him about what was met to them by the people. Then he said, verily, in the world the believers are always disturbed.”14

14. It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a) said, “The disciples complained to Jesus the son of Mary about what was thrown at them by the people. He said, ‘Verily the believers always are hated among the people, like the wheat, how sweet is its taste and how many its enemies are!’”15

15. It is said that Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) was sitting and an old man was working with a small shovel tilling the earth. Jesus (‘a) said, “O Allah! Extract his desire from him.” The old man put down the small shovel and slept for an hour. Then Jesus (‘a) said, “O Allah! Return the desire to him.”

Then he stood up and began to work. Jesus (‘a) asked him about it. He said, “When I was working I said to myself, ‘How long will you work, being that you are an old man?’ Then I put down the small shovel and slept. Then I said to myself, ‘By Allah! You have no alternative but to live as long as you remain.’ Then I stood up with my small shovel.”16

16. It was said to Jesus (‘a), “[Would it not be better] if you got a house?” He said: “The remains which are left from those before us are enough for us.”17

17. It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq] said, “Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) sent two of his companions on an errand. Then one of them returned thin and afflicted and the other like iron and fat. He said to the one who was thin, ‘What did this to you, that I see you this way?’ He said, ‘The fear of Allah.’ And he said to the other who was fat, ‘What did this to you, that I see you this way?’ He said, ‘A good opinion of Allah.’”18

18. Jesus (‘a) said to his companions, “Accord great regard for the thing which is not eaten by the fire.” They said, “What is that?” He said, “That which is good.”19

19. It is reported that Jesus (‘a) found fault with property and said, “It has three characteristics.” It was said, “And what are they, O Spirit of Allah!” He said, “One acquires it illegitimately, and if it is acquired legitimately, it keeps one from one’s duties, and if one performs one’s duties, its improvement busies one rather than worship of one’s Lord.”20

20. It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq] said, “Iblis21 said to Jesus the son of Mary, ‘Does your Lord have the power to put the earth into an egg without reducing the size of the earth or enlarging the egg?’ Then Jesus (‘a) said, ‘Woe unto you, for weakness is not attributed to Allah. Who is more powerful than He Who makes the earth subtle and makes the egg great?’22

21. It is reported that Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) said, “Iblis came to Jesus (‘a), then he said, ‘Do you not claim that you can revive the dead?’ Jesus said, ‘Yes.’ Iblis said, ‘Then throw yourself down from the top of the wall.’

Then Jesus said, ‘Woe unto you! Verily the servant does not try his Lord.’ And Iblis said, ‘O Jesus! Can your Lord put the earth in an egg while the egg remains in its form?’ Then he said, ‘Verily Allah, the Supreme, is not proscribed by impotence, but what you said cannot be.’” (i.e., it is impossible in itself, like the gathering of two opposites. 23) 24

22. It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq] said, “The disciples said to Jesus the son of Mary (‘a), ‘O teacher of the good! Teach us what is the most severe of things.’ Then he said, ‘The most severe of things is the wrath of Allah.’ They said, ‘Then what prevents the wrath of Allah?’ He said, ‘That you not be wrathful.’ They said, ‘What is the source of wrath?’ He said, ‘Pride, haughtiness and contempt for the people.’”25

23. Jesus (‘a) met Iblis who was driving five donkeys. Loads were upon them. Jesus (‘a) asked him about the loads. Iblis said, “They are for trade, and I am looking for buyers.” Jesus (‘a) said, “What is the trade?” Iblis said, “One of them is injustice?” He (‘a) asked, “Who buys it?” He said, “Rulers. And the second is pride.”

He asked, “Who buys it?” He said, “Village chiefs. And the third is envy.” He (‘a) asked, “Who buys it?” He said, “The scholars. And the fourth is treason.” He (‘a) asked, “Who buys it?” He said, “Those who work for merchants. And the fifth is trickery.” He (‘a) said, “Who buys it?” He said, “Women.”26

24. It is reported that Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) said, “Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) passed by a group of people who were crying. He asked why they were crying. It was said to him that they were crying for their sins. He said, ‘They should pray about them and they will be forgiven.’”27

25. Jesus (‘a) passed by a group crying. He said, “What is the matter with them crying?” To him it was said, “For their sins.” He said, “They should abandon them, so their sins will be forgiven.”28

26. The Messenger of Allah (‘a) said, “Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) said to John the son of Zachariah, ‘If what is said of you that which is true of you, then know that it was a sin which you committed, so ask the forgiveness of Allah for it, and if what is said of you is not true of you, then know that for this a good deed will be recorded for you, so do not weary yourself over it.’”29

27. Jesus (‘a) said to a worshipper, “What do you do?” He answered, “I worship.” He (‘a) said, “Then who provides for you?” He said, “My brother.” He (‘a) said, “Your brother is more of a worshipper than you are!”30

28. It was said to Jesus (‘a), “Who trained you?” He said, “No one trained me. I saw the ugliness of ignorance and, so, I avoided it.”31

29. It is reported that Jesus (‘a) passed by a carcass with his disciples. Then the disciples said, “How putrid the smell of this dog is!” Then Jesus (‘a) said, “How intense is the whiteness of his teeth!”32

30. Jesus (‘a) passed by a grave whose occupant was being chastised. Then he passed it the following year when he was not being chastised. He said, “O Lord! I passed through this town last year and he was being chastised, and I passed through it this year while he is not being chastised.”

Then Allah revealed to him, “O Spirit of Allah! Verily one of his children matured and cleared some way and sheltered an orphan. Then I forgave him for the deeds of his child.”33

31. The Messenger of Allah said, “My brother Jesus (‘a) passed through a city when the teeth of its inhabitants were falling out and their faces were swollen. Then they complained to him. He said, ‘When you sleep, you close your mouths; then the air that is in your chests boils up until it reaches the mouth; then there is no place for it to exit and it comes back to the roots of the teeth and contaminates the face. So when you sleep, you should open your lips, and make this a habit for yourselves. They did this and the (sickness) left them.’”34

32. The Apostle of Allah (S) said, “My brother Jesus (‘a) passed through a city [whose inhabitants] had yellow faces and blue eyes.35 They cried out to him and complained of their illness. He said, ‘It's treatment is with you. When you want to eat meat, you cook it without washing it. Nothing leaves this world without having an impurity. Then they washed their meat and their illness went away.’”36

33. The Prophet (S) said, “Jesus, my brother, passed through a city when [he suddenly realized that] worms were in its fruits. [The people of the city] complained to him about this problem. He said, ‘You have the cure for this [problem], but you do not know it.

You are a folk who when you plant trees you pour soil on them then you pour the water, but this is not proper. It is proper that you pour the water on the roots of the trees, then pour the soil so that the worm does not infect it.’ Then they started doing as he described and [the problem] went away.”37

34. It is narrated that ‘Ali (‘a) said: “My brother Jesus passed through a city in which a man and a woman were shouting at one another. He said, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ The man said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! This is my wife, and she is not bad, she is good, but I would like to separate from her. He said, ‘Inform me, anyway, what is the matter with her.’ He said, ‘Her face is aged while she is not old.’

He said to her, ‘O woman! Would you like to regain the freshness of your face?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ He said to her, ‘When you eat, take care not to eat your fill, because when the food fills you to your chest and is greater than the amount [proper], the freshness of the face is lost.’ Then she did it, and the freshness of her face came back.38

35. It has been reported that Abu Abd Allah [Imam Al-Sadiq] said, “The world took the form, for Jesus (‘a), of a woman whose eyes were blue. Then he said to her, ‘How many have you married?’ She said, ‘Very many.’ He said, ‘Then did they all divorce you?’ She said, ‘No, but I killed all of them.’ He said, ‘Then woe be to the rest of your husbands! How they fail to learn from the example of the past ones!’”39

36. It is reported that Abu Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a)] said, “The Apostle of Allah, may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be with him and with his progeny, said, ‘The Apostles said to Jesus (‘a), “O Spirit of Allah! With whom should we keep company?” He said, “He the sight of whom reminds you of Allah, the speech of whom increases your knowledge, and the works of whom make you desirous of the other world.”’”40

37. It has been reported by Mujahid from Ibn ‘Abbas from the Apostle of Allah (S), “Verily, Jesus (‘a) passed a city which had come to ruin and whose foundations had collapsed. He said to some of his disciples, ‘Do you know what it is saying?’ One said, ‘No.’ Jesus (‘a) said, ‘It says, “Verily, the true promise of my Lord has come.

My rivers have dried up, though once they were full; my trees have withered, though once they were in bloom; my castles are in ruins and my residents have died. Then, oh, these are their bones within me, and their property that was gained lawfully along with their ill-gotten gains are in my belly, and the inheritance of the heavens and the earth is only for Allah.”’”41

38. Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a) said, “The Apostles met with Jesus (‘a) and said to him, ‘O teacher of the good! Guide us!’ He said to them, ‘Verily Moses the interlocutor of Allah commanded you not to swear by Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, falsely, and I command you not to swear by Allah falsely or truly.’ They said, ‘O Spirit of Allah! Guide us more!’

Then he said, ‘Verily Moses the prophet of Allah commanded you not to commit adultery, and I command you not to talk to yourselves about adultery, let alone to commit adultery. Verily one who talks to himself about adultery is like one who sets fire to a room that is decorated so the smoke damages the decor, even though the room is not burnt.’”42

39. It was said to Jesus (‘a), “Teach us a deed for which Allah will love us.” He said, “Detest the world and Allah will love you.”43

40. ‘Abdullah ibn Maghfal said, “The Apostle of Allah (S) said, ‘Verily, Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) said, “O group of disciples! The congregational prayer!” Then the disciples came out ready for worship, and their stomachs were empty, their eyes sunken and their color yellow. Jesus brought them to an open ground and he went on top of a hill and praised Allah and lauded Him.

Then he started to recite signs of Allah and His wisdom for them. He said, “O group of disciples! Listen to what I tell you! I find in the book sent down of Allah evident things that have been sent down by Allah in the Gospel, so act according to them!” They said, “O Spirit of Allah! What are they?” He said, “He created the night for three qualities, and He created the day for seven qualities.

Whoever passes the night and day without having these qualities, the night and day will be against him on the day of resurrection. He created the night for you to rest your tired tendons that have toiled during the day, and for you to ask forgiveness for the sins you have committed during the day, and not to return to them, and to stand obedient with the obedience of the patient.

So, in one third you sleep, in one third you stand and in one third you are humble before your Lord. It is for this that the night was created.

He created the day for the performance of the obligatory ritual prayer about which you will be asked and for which you are answerable, and for being nice to your parents, and for toiling to earn a living for the day, and for visiting the friends of Allah so that Allah will spread His mercy for you, and for participating in funeral processions so that you will change and Allah will forgive you, and to command doing what is good and to prohibit doing what is bad, which is the apex of faith and the establishing of religion, and to struggle in the way of Allah so that you may visit Abraham the friend of the Merciful in his own place, and whoever passes the night and day without having these qualities, the night and day will be against him on the day of resurrection before the Almighty King.”’”44

41. Fayd ibn al-Mukhtar said, “I heard Abu ‘Abdullah [Imam Al-Sadiq] say, ‘When al-ma’idah [the table spread] was sent down to Jesus (‘a) he said to the Apostles, “Do not eat from it until I give you permission.” Then one of them ate from it.

Then some of the Apostles said, “O Spirit of Allah! So-and-so ate from it!” Then Jesus (‘a) said to him, “Did you eat from it?” He said to him, “No.” Then the Apostles said, “Yes! By Allah! O Spirit of Allah! He ate from it!” Then Jesus said to him [who had thus spoken], “Affirm your brother and deny your eye.”’45

42. Abu ‘Ali Muhammad ibn Hammam said, “On the ring of Abu Ja‘far al-Saman, may Allah be pleased with him, [were the words]: ‘There is no god but Allah, the King, the Evident Truth.’ I asked him about it.

He said, ‘Abu Muhammad, I mean, Imam Hasan al-‘Askari?, reported to me from his fathers that they said, “Fatimah, peace be with her, had a ring of silver and agate. Before she died she gave it to al-Hasan (‘a), and before he died he gave it to al-Husayn (‘a). Al-Husayn (‘a) said, ‘I wanted to engrave something on it. Then I dreamed of the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, peace be with our Prophet and his descendents and him [Jesus].’

I said to him, ‘O Spirit of Allah! What should I engrave on this my ring?’ He said, ‘Engrave on it, “There is no god but Allah, the King, the Evident Truth,” for this is at the beginning of the Torah and at the end of the Gospel.’”’”46

43. Ahmad ibn Sahl said, “I heard from Abu Farwah al-Ansari, who was a traveler, ‘Jesus (‘a) said, “O company of disciples! In truth I say to you, verily the people say that a building is based on its foundation, and I do not say such things to you.” They said, “Then, what do you say, O Spirit of Allah?” He said, “In truth I say to you, verily the final stone the worker sets is the foundation.” Abu Farwah said, “Surely he meant the end of a task.”’”47

44. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hatim al-Nufili reported, “…Abu al-Husayn Muhammad ibn Bahr al-Shaybani reported that… [Malikah] said: ‘O you incapable ignorant person with regard to the children of the prophets! Listen to me, and empty your heart [to accept what I say]. I am Malikah, the daughter of Yashu‘a the son of Ceasar, the king of Rum, and my mother is of the descendants of the Apostles, reaching to the successor of Christ, Sham‘un (Simon, Peter).

I will tell you something very strange. Verily, my grandfather, Ceasar wanted to marry me to the son of his brother when I was a thirteen year old girl… Then I dreamt, during that night, as if Christ and Sham‘un and a few of the Apostles gathered in the castle of my grandfather, and they erected a pulpit that was so tall as to reach into the sky, on which my grandfather placed his throne. Muhammad (S) entered before them with a youth and a few of his descendents. Christ rose and embraced him.

Then he [Muhammad (S)] said, “O Spirit of Allah! I have come to you to ask your successor, Sham‘un, for the hand of his daughter, Malikah, for my boy there.” He then indicated Abu Muhammad with his hand, who wrote this letter [instructing the servant to purchase Malikah, who had been taken captive]. Then Christ looked at Sham‘un and said to him, “It is a blessing [literally, nobility has come to you]. Become family with the family of the Apostle of Allah (S).” Sham‘un said, “It is done!”

Then Muhammad (S) ascended the pulpit, read a sermon and married me [to the youth, Imam ‘Askari (‘a)], and Christ (‘a), the children of Muhammad (S) and the Apostles were witnesses to it. When I woke up from my sleep, I was afraid to tell this dream to my father and grandfather, for fear they might kill me.

So, I kept it to myself, a secret, and did not reveal it to them. My breast was struck with love for Abu Muhammad, until I could neither eat nor drink. I became weak, thin, and very sick.…’ Then Abu al-Hasan (‘a) said, ‘Then she became the wife of Abu Muhammad and the mother of the Qa’im [the twelfth Imam].’”48

  • 1. ‘Uddat ul-Da’i, 121
  • 2. Kafi, 1, 39, 3
  • 3. Majmu‘a Warram, 2, 114
  • 4. Bihar, 70, 11
  • 5. That is, he takes a lesson from what he sees.
  • 6. Majmu‘ah Warram, 1, 250
  • 7. Majmu‘ah al-Akhbar fi Nafa’is al-Athar, 106
  • 8. Faqih, 3, 558, 4916
  • 9. Bihar, 14, 323
  • 10. Kafi, 2, 400, 9
  • 11. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, 10, 156
  • 12. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, 10, 137
  • 13. Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, 15, 175, 17911
  • 14. Bihar, 78, 194
  • 15. Mishkat al-Anwar, 286
  • 16. Bihar, 14, 329, 57
  • 17. Bihar, 14, 327, 51
  • 18. Bihar, 67, 400
  • 19. Bihar, 14, 330, 65
  • 20. Bihar, 14, 329, 59
  • 21. The devil who tempted Adam and Eve. Cf. Qur'an 2:34; 7:11; 15:31; 38:74.
  • 22. Bihar, 4, 142, 9
  • 23. The parenthetical comment is Majlisi’s
  • 24. Bihar, 14, 271, 3
  • 25. Bihar, 14, 287, 9
  • 26. Bihar, 61, 196
  • 27. Bihar, 6, 20, 7
  • 28. Majmu‘a Warram, 2, 114
  • 29. Bihar, 14, 287
  • 30. Majmu‘a Warram, 1, 65
  • 31. Bihar, 14, 326, 44
  • 32. Bihar, 14, 327, 46
  • 33. Kafi, 6, 3, 12
  • 34. Bihar, 14, 321, 28
  • 35. A blue tinge to the eyes was a sign of blindness (cataracts?). Cf. Qur’an 20:102.
  • 36. Bihar, 14, 321, 27
  • 37. Bihar, 14, 321, 26
  • 38. Bihar, 14, 320, 25
  • 39. Bihar, 14, 330, 66
  • 40. Kafi, 1, 39, 3
  • 41. Adab al-Nafs, 1, 122)
  • 42. Kafi, 5, 542, 7
  • 43. Majmu‘a Warram, 1, 134
  • 44. Bihar, 55, 207, 38
  • 45. Bihar, 14, 235, 7
  • 46. Ghayba, 297
  • 47. Bihar, 68, 364, 54
  • 48. Kamal al-Din, 2, 417-424.

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