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Answering Common Misconceptions

32. Did Prophet Jesus Marry

Question:

ِِِِِAs-salamu `alaykum.

May Allah reward you for your service. My question is: Did Prophet `Isa (Jesus) marry? If not, why?

Thanks

Answer:

To find out whether Jesus married or not, we are limited to the historical sources at hand. These are the Qur’an and the books of the New Testament. The former is the only remaining preserved divine book, that is and proved to be the authentic unchanged word of God. The New Testament, on the other hand, is a collection of human records of the story of Jesus (the four Gospels) and other selected literature (epistles, visions … etc). The Qur’an does not go into much details (as human writings do), but highlights certain aspects and features of the life stories of the previous prophets. The aim is not as much to put their stories on record as is to give lessons and wisdom. The main goals are: proving the truth of the revelation and prophethood, advocation and admonition, and clarification of the unity of the divine messages. Details given are restricted to those serving these goals. Advice and exhortation is interwoven into the stories. The stories of Prophets Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Jesus were given relatively more detail in the Qur’an. Although the Qur’an states that prophets do marry and have children:

 

* And indeed We have already sent Messengers even before you, and We made for them spouses and offspring … (English meaning of Qur’an 13: 38)

  Yet, there is no mention whatsoever of the marriage or a wife of Jesus.

 

On the other hand, relatively more details of the biography of Jesus are found the four Gospels and other writings of Paul, John and Peter in the New Testament, including his genealogy (more precisely that of Joseph the carpenter, the claimed fiancé of his mother), the names of his disciples, and also some of his relatives. Yet again, no mention whatsoever is there for a wife.
 

Hence, with the information and sources at hand, we can conclude that, most probably, Jesus did not marry. This is in harmony with the character and message of Jesus. He came to correct the deviation of Judaism from pure monotheism and divine guidance, to a materialistic approach to life, a superficial approach to rites and hard-hearted application of law.


So, Jesus emphasis was on the purification of heart and soul, and revival of the true essence of  belief, rites and law. For the prevailing materialistic world he came to guide, his life was a model of asceticism and turning away from material desires. This gives further weight to the belief that Jesus did not marry. Allah knows best.