Isa: Meaningful Islamic Baby Names

The name ‘Isa is originally Hebrew. The meaning of this name is unknown. However, Isa is the name of one of the well-known messengers of Allah sent to Bani Isra’eel.

Prophet Isa bin Maryam (May Allah be pleased with him)

Isa, alayhi salaam, was the son of Maryam Bint Imran. His mother came from a religious family. Her father, Imran, prophesied that the Messiah would come through his lineage. He died before Maryam’s birth. When the people saw that his wife gave birth to a girl. They discounted him, his statements and his teachings.

However, Maryam’s mother had dedicated her to the service of Allah before she was born. And she made du’a for her and her offspring from shaytaan. So, years before Isa was born, he had a righteous grandmother who prayed for him. See the importance of righteous family. His grandmother said concerning Maryam’s birth,


فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَضَعْتُهَا أُنثَىٰ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالْأُنثَىٰ ۖ وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ – 3:36

But when she delivered her, she said, “My Lord, I have delivered a female.” And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah].” {Surah 3: 36}

When Maryam was old enough to take care of her basic daily needs, her mother sent her to the temple so that she would be in the services of Allah. At this time no women were allowed in the temple. But her mother fulfilled her vow to Allah. She was put under the guardianship of Zakariyyah. And she grew to be a very pious and chaste woman.

His Conception and Birth

It was under this special happenings that Prophet Isa was conceived and born. This was no ordinary conception or birth. Maryam was a pious worshipper and was unmarried. In fact, she had never been married. Allah sent an angel to deliver the news that she would have a baby.

The angel had come in the form of a man, in her room. So, she was afraid of him and also the message that he brought to her was strange. In fact, it seemed to be an impossible occurrence.

قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ اللَّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ – 3:47

She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. (Surah Aal Imran: 47)


Upon hearing this, Maryam submitted to the will of Allah ﷻ and secluded herself from society and gave birth to Isa, may peace be upon him, under a date palm tree, which served as her source of nourishment during labor.

When she returned to her people with a son in hand, she was denounced and condemned for supposedly falling in sin but that did not deter Maryam as her faith in Allah was supreme and unrelenting.

Allah did not leave Maryam alone, He granted several miracles to her child, Isa, peace be upon him, who was a miracle himself. As the people doubted Maryam, Isa, peace be upon him spoke from his cradle, thereby astonishing the people and confirming Maryam’s story.

His Mission

Isa, may peace be upon him, was sent to Bani Israa’eel. Gradually over the centuries after Musa, they were afflicted with various superstitions, divisions and deviations. They made changes to laws in the Torah by altering or replacing them altogether.Isa, may peace be upon him, was sent to uphold what was revealed and established in previous books, do away with misconceptions and strengthen those who were among the faithful.

وَمُصَدِّقًۭا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَىَّ مِنَ ٱلتَّوْرَىٰةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ ٱلَّذِى حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَجِئْتُكُم بِـَٔايَةٍۢ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ

And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me.

His Miracles

Apart from talking since infancy Prophet Isa, peace be upon him, had other gifts from Allah (SWT);

وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ – 3:49

And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. (Surah Aal Imran: 49)

The Plot and Ascension


Isa, peace be upon him was a miracle from Allah ﷻ for the people of Israel, but for this reason, performing miracles and calling to Allaah the Jews saw him as someone to  divert people away from them. They started harming him to the extent that they wanted to kill him. 

They wanted him out of the way badly so they plotted and planned to assassinate him. But Allah didn’t allow his enemies to overtake him. Allah saved Isa by raising him up to Paradise with Him and someone else with similar features was crucified in his place.

They thought they killed him but Allah informed us that this was not so;

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا – 4:157

And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.

His Return

The return of Isa bin Maryam to the Earth is one of the signs of the Day of Judgment.1 His return will coincide with the appearance of the Dajjal. Although he will be able to fool many people with his signs and miracles, Isa, may peace be upon him and the army of the believers will be able to defeat him. Once this occurs, Isa will rule over the believers and the world will be in a state of peace.

This name was given to the Prophet Isa by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It is only masculine in gender and it does not have any other variants.

Parents who wish to give their son this name do so because they would like for him to have the characteristics of this blessed prophet.

Notes

  1. Surah 43:61

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