Parallelism: Talking Baby Jesus

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Parallelism Between the Qur'an
and Judeo-Christian Scriptures
Talking Baby Jesus
Sanhedrin 37a
The Raven & the Burial of Abel
The Quranic Version of Trinity‎
Jesus Christ & the Clay Birds
Mary & Zachariah
Mary, Jesus & the Palm Tree
Satan & His Refusal to Prostrate
The Queen of Sheba
Abraham & the Idols
The Wealth of Korah

For the full article with many more examples than are included in this series, see

The story of the baby Jesus speaking is found in Q 19:29-31 and Q 3:46 (similarly Q 5:110).

So she pointed to him. They said, "How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?"? [Jesus] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive
He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous."

Gabriel Said Reynolds in his 2018 academic commentary on the Quran remarks, "The reference in verse 46 to Jesus' speaking 'to the people in the cradle' (cf. 5:110, 19:29) refers to a tradition found in the Latin Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (likely written in the early seventh century".[1]

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 bad 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.

For a discussion of the dating for Pseudo-Matthew, and an earlier 5th century CE source with much the same story, see the page in this series on Jesus, Mary and the Palm Tree. That 5th century source (at the latest) is the Dormition of Mary, which relates that Jesus miraculously spoke to his father at the age of 5 months when the family were thirsty:

And the child stopped [nursing from] your breast, this one who is greater than all things, and he said to Joseph, ‘My father, why don’t you climb this date-palm and bring it to her, so that my mother might eat from it, as was said about it. And I will feed you: not only you, but also the fruit that comes forth from it. I will not be hungry even for one day.’ And the child turned and said to the date-palm, ‘Incline your head with your fruit, and satisfy my mother and father.’ And it inclined immediately.
Dormition of Mary[2]

A different story found in the Arabic Infancy Gospel (also known as the Syriac Infancy Gospel), is sometimes cited as a possible antecendent of the Quranic tale that Jesus spoke in infancy. However, academic scholars tend to doubt that it is pre-Islamic. The Arabic Infancy Gospel combines elements from the Childhood of the Saviour, Protoevangelium of James, and Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew.

1. “We find what follows in the book of Joseph the high priest, who lived in the time of Christ. Some say that he is Caiaphas. He has said that Jesus spoke, and, indeed, when He was lying in His cradle said to Mary His mother: I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Logos, whom thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel announced to thee; and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world.”

See also the sirah passage quoted in the article in this series about Jesus and the Clay Birds, in which three Christians are narrated as having informed Muhammad that Jesus spoke in the cradle as well as other miracles.


  1. Gabriel Said Reynolds, "The Quran and Bible: Text and Commentary", New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018, p. 120
  2. Stephen Shoemaker, Christmas in the Qur’an: the Qur’anic Account of Jesus’ Nativity and Palestinian Local Tradition Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 28, 11-39 (2003) pp. 19-21
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