Translation Chapter 5

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)and the miraculous catch of fish

5One day ‘Īsā was standing by Lake Gennesaret,[1]and a crowd was pressing all around him as they listened to the message of Allah. 2 ‘Īsā saw two boats at the shore of the lake. Some fishermen had got out of them and were washing their nets. 3 ‘Īsā got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked Simon to push it out a little from the shore. ‘Īsā sat in the boat and taught the crowds.

4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Take the boat out into the deep water, and you and your companions let down your nets for a catch.’

5 Simon replied, ‘Sir, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.’

6 They did this and caught such a huge catch of fish that their nets were starting to break. 7They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. So they came over, and they filled both boats so much that they began to sink.

8Seeingall this, Simon Peter fell down at ‘Īsā’s knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Master; I’m a sinful man.’ 9For he and all his companions were struck with amazement at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 as were Simon’s partners, Ya’qūb and John, the sons of Zebedee.

‘Īsā said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid. From now on you will catch people.’[2]

11 They brought the boats to land, left everything and followed him.

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)heals a man with leprosy

12 When ‘Īsā was in one of the towns, he met a man whose body was covered with leprosy.[3]Seeing ‘Īsā, the man fell on his face and pleaded with him, ‘Master, if you want to, you can make me clean.’[4]

13‘Īsā reached out and touched him,[5]saying, ‘I do want to. Be clean!’

Immediately the leprosy left him.[6]14Then ‘Īsā gave orders to him, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but go and show yourself to the Jewish priest and bring the qurbānī for your cleansing, just as Mūsā commanded,[7]as a witness to them.’

15But instead, the word about ‘Īsā kept spreading, and large crowds gathered to hear him and be healed of their diseases.16But ‘Īsā would often withdraw into the wilderness and pray.

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)heals a paralysed man

17One day ‘Īsā was teaching, and Pharisees[8]and teachers of the Taurāt were sitting there. They had come from all the villages of Galilee and Judea, and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was there for him to heal people.

18Some men arrived carrying a paralysed man on a stretcher. They were looking for ‘Īsā so that they could bring the man in and set him down in front of him. 19 But they could not find a way to carry him through the crowd, so they went up on the roof[9]and lowered him down through the roof tiles, along with the stretcher, right into the middle of the crowd, in front of ‘Īsā.

20Seeing their faith, ‘Īsā said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven!’

21The ulemā and the Pharisees started thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this man who commits shirk?[10]Who can forgive sins except Allah al-Ahad?’[11]

22‘Īsā knew their thoughts and responded, ‘Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man[12]has authority on earth to forgive sins’ – he turned to the paralysed man and said - ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.’

25 Immediately the man got up in front of them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went to his home, praising Allah. 26They were all utterly astonished. Filled with awe, they praised Allah and said, ‘We have seen wonderful things today!’

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)calls Levi (pbuh)to follow him

27 After this ‘Īsā went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at his tax office. ‘Īsā said to him, ‘Follow me.’ 28 Levi got up, left everything and followed him.     

29 Then Levi held a great banquet in honour of ‘Īsā at his home. A large crowd of tax collectors and others were there, eating with them.

30 But the Pharisees and the ulemā who belonged to their group began complaining to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’[13]

31 ‘Īsā answered them, ‘It’s not healthy people who need a doctor, but those who are ill. 32 I have not come to call righteous people, but sinners to tauba.’[14]

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)is questioned about fasting

33Then they said to him, ‘The disciples of Yahyā frequently fast and pray, as do the disciples of the Pharisees. But yours keep on eating and drinking.’[15]

34‘Īsā said to them, ‘Can you make the companions of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. They will fast in those days.’

36Then he told them a parable. ‘No one tears a patch from a new piece of clothing and attaches it to an old piece of clothing. If someone does, both the new piece will be torn and the patch from the new cloth won’t match the old.

37 ‘And no one pours new wine[16]into old wineskins, because the new wine would burst the wineskins. Then the wine would be spilt and the wineskins would be destroyed. 38 Instead, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one having drunk the old wants the new, for they say, “The old is good.”’


[1]Also called Galilee.

[2]Up to this point Simon (pbuh)caught fish; now he will catch people – meaning, bring others to become followers of al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu). The verb is literally, ‘catch people alive’.

[3]The word translated ’leprosy’ was used for various kinds of diseases affecting the skin.

[4]Certain kinds of skin disease made a person ritually unclean. See Taurāt, Leviticus 13:1-46. A person with a defiling skin disease was cut off from that society.

[5]Normally, anyone who touched an unclean person became unclean.

[6]See Qur’an, Āl-’Imrān 3:49, where ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)says, ‘And I will heal the blind and the leper and give life to the dead by God’s Leave’. See also, Qur’an, al-Mā’idah 5:110.

[7]In the Taurāt there were various rituals, including animal sacrifice, required after a person had been healed from leprosy in order to declare them clean. See Taurāt, Leviticus 14:1-32.

[8]The Pharisees were a devout Jewish religious sect. They believed in the resurrection of the dead and were waiting for the rule or kingdom of Allah to come when Allah would put all wrongs to right. They emphasised the keeping of sharī’ah (revealed to Prophet Mūsā [pbuh]) and also insisted on keeping many traditions of the ulemā (rabbis) which are not in the Taurāt.After this they appear often in the Injīl.

[9]Palestinian houses of the time had flat roofs with steps up the side of the house.

[10]Or ‘blasphemy’.

[11]Or, ‘except the Only God?’ See Qur’an,Āl- ‘Imrān 3:135, ‘who can forgive sins except Allah?’(AYA), andthe Book of the Prophet Isaiah 43:25, where Allah says,

‘I, even I, am he who blots out
                  your transgressions, for my own sake,
                  and I will not remember your sins.

[12]‘The Son of Man’ is a title ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)often used for himself. When he speaks of the Son of Man having authority, the ulemā and Pharisees may have recalled words from theBook of the ProphetDaniel 7:13-14, where the Prophet Daniel(pbuh)recounts a vision he received from Allah:

‘In the visions of the night, I saw one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the Ancient of Days (a title of Allah) and was presented before him. He was given authority, honour and kingship; all peoples, nations and languages will serve him. His authorityis an everlasting authoritythat will not pass away, and his kingdom will never be destroyed.’

For more details, see Appendix E, The Son of Man.

[13]Tax collectors were classed with ‘sinners’ by many Jews, because they worked for the Romans who were occupying Palestine, and were thus regarded as traitors. They were also often greedy and corrupt.

In this context, ‘sinners’ refers to people who lived particularly immoral lives, and those who were uninstructed in the sharī’ah revealed to Prophet Mūsā (pbuh).

[14]Or ‘repentance’. Tauba or repentance is a turning of a person’s whole life from sin to the path of Allah.

[15]‘Īsā al-Masīh’s disciples did fast (eg Injīl, Matthew 6:19, ‘When you fast...’ Acts 13:2, ‘While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting...’), but not as frequently or with the same sense of mourning over the current circumstances as Prophet Yahyā’s disciples and the Pharisees.

[16]Wine was widely drunk in Palestine at that time. The Injīl declares drunkenness or intoxication harām, but not the moderate use of wine.