Origin of the Quranic story on the birth of Jesus

The Qur'an has a curious story (19:23-25) about the birth of Jesus, and Mary resting under a palm tree with the baby Jesus and then a little stream and fruit being provided for her. Read it, and then read this from the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, it seems like this is clearly the source, perhaps Muhammad heard it from some local Christians and retold it. In any case, here it is:

Chapter 20
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And it came to pass on the third day of their journey, while they were walking, that the blessed Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun in the desert; and seeing a palm tree, she said to Joseph: Let me rest a little under the shade of this tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to the palm, and made her come down from her beast. And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, and said to Joseph: I wish it were possible to get some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to her: I wonder that thou sayest this, when
thou seest how high the palm tree is; and that thou thinkest of eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want of water, because the skins are now empty, and we have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our cattle. Then the child Jesus, with a joyful countenance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to the palm: O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the blessed Mary; and they gathered from it fruit, with which they were all refreshed. And after they had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, waiting the order to rise from Him who had commanded it to stoop. Then Jesus said to it: Raise thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the companion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my Father; and open from thy roots a vein of water which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee. And it rose up immediately, and at its root there began to come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their beasts. Wherefore they gave thanks to God.

Comments

The story of the infant Jesus making the bird from clay is from the Gospel of Thomas.
Seems like the extra-canonical sources were popular in the Arabian peninsula.
Anonymous said…
My understanding from a book on (biography of Muhammad) was that there were many poorly educated Christians in the Arabian area. Many of the Christians could not properly explain the reasons for their beliefs, nor articulate the theology properly (sounds way too modern for me). Anyway, it probably led to Muhammad's moving away from Christianity and forming Islam (said as a Christian).
William said…
Heretical version of The Jesus. Mohammed borrowed from a lot of religion to create his own heresy and the warlord conquered with his religion and converted by the sword...
Bob said…
This is a beautiful story. It all depends on our world view. If we believe in God it is proof of His unlimited miracle working power. If we don't--or we think God has limits--we can read it as a fable or myth. Let us hope there really is a God and such miracles are not beyond His or Her bounty.
I am not surprised that he may have come across the pseudo gospel of Matthew. The eastern sees of Christianity had fallen into one heresy after another in the years including and immediately following Mohammed. Monophysitism, Monothelitism, etc... its no wonder Mohammed hated the Trinitarian God because it probably wasnt being defended theologically because of those rampant heresies. It is said that John wrote his Gospel in particular to refute the pseudo Gospel of Matthew.
Ahmar said…
why don't you people look it this way. i am a muslim and i believe in the Holy books that were sent from God,(Allah). i as a muslim faith have to belive in all these books that was sent to Christians and Jews in order for me to be a true muslim. i will suggest you to read the last Book sent from God to our last prophet Mohammad (P.b.u.h).
William said…
I have read the Koran and the Hadith Bukari and Muslim. That is why many of us think that your Prophet is false and that he speaks not for the true G-D of the universe. Case in point...

A Teaching on False Prophets and The Truth of God...

A Teaching of Falsehood and Darkness and Death...

From The Hadiths, Sahih Muslim:

Book 017, Number 4206:
'Abdullah b. Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Ma'iz b. Malik al-Aslami came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, I have wronged myself; I have committed adultery and I earnestly desire that you should purify me. He turned him away. On the following day, he (Ma'iz) again came to him and said: Allah's Messenger, I have committed adultery. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) turned him away for the second time, and sent him to his people saying: Do you know if there is anything wrong with his mind. They denied of any such thing in him and said: We do not know him but as a wise good man among us, so far as we can judge. He (Ma'iz) came for the third time, and he (the Holy Prophet) sent him as he had done before. He asked about him and they informed him that there was nothing wrong with him or with his mind. When it was the fourth time, a ditch was dug for him and he (the Holy Prophet) pronounced judg- ment about him and he wis stoned. He (the narrator) said: There came to him (the Holy Prophet) a woman from Ghamid and said: Allah's Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me. He (the Holy Prophet) turned her away. On the following day she said: Allah's Messenger, Why do you turn me away? Perhaps, you turn me away as you turned away Ma'iz. By Allah, I have become pregnant. He said: Well, if you insist upon it, then go away until you give birth to (the child). When she was delivered she came with the child (wrapped) in a rag and said: Here is the child whom I have given birth to. He said: Go away and suckle him until you wean him. When she had weaned him, she came to him (the Holy Prophet) with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: Allah's Apostle, here is he as I have weaned him and he eats food. He (the Holy Prophet) entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and then pronounced punishment. And she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. Khalid b Walid came forward with a stone which he flung at her head and there spurted blood on the face of Khalid and so he abused her. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) heard his (Khalid's) curse that he had huried upon her. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Khalid, be gentle. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, she has made such a repentance that even if a wrongful tax-collector were to repent, he would have been forgiven. Then giving command regarding her, he prayed over her and she was buried.
William said…
A Teaching from the Truth and the Light and of Life...

John 8:1-12

1 And Jesus went unto mount Olivet. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him, and sitting down he taught them. 3 And the scribes and the Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, 4 And said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?
6 And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again stooping down, he wrote on the ground. 9 But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?
11 Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more. 12 Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


We ask the Gentle Reader who was from God and Who was from Lucifer??
Ahmar said…
hi William,
like you said you have read the Holy Quran. Quran has forbidden adultery .so Miaz and the girl wanted repent their sins in this world because the sin of adultery is alot at the time of judgement . so with this act they might be forgiven when the judgment time comes. The answer is clear in the hadith if you understand it. If God will he can direct you to the right way. May God direct all of you to the right way. if you want more clarification ask one of the scholors of islam who can give you a more detail answer on this .He was a christian for alot of years then God directed him to the true and last religion islam which was given Mohammad p.b.u.h . The message was to those people at that time who were living their life in ignorance.
This is the name of the Scholor is Yousuf Estes. You can google him and you will find his numerous website and youtube videos.Plus his whole story on how he become a muslim. You can also ask question and answers them accordingly
website is http://www.islamtomorrow.com. May God guide you all to the right path.
Nathanor said…
God has little to do with fables.
William said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said…
May you who follow the false prohphet Mohammed, come to know the truth of the Christ and come home to the true God of the Universe. You're soul is in peril if you follow the false path of Islam...

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