Verily, in the sight of God, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust and then said unto him, "Be" - and he is.47
Lit., "The parable of Jesus is as the parable of Adam...", etc. The expression mathal (rendered above as "nature") is often metaphorically employed to denote the state or condition (of a person or a thing), and is in this sense - as the commentators have pointed out - synonymous with sifah (the "quality" or "nature" of a thing). As is evident from the sequence, the above passage is part of an argument against the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. The Qur'an stresses here as in many other places, the fact that Jesus, like Adam - by which name, in this context, the whole human race is meant - was only a mortal "created out of dust", i.e., out of substances, both organic and inorganic, which are found in their elementary forms on and in the earth. Cf. also 18:37 22:5 , 30:20 , 35:11 , 40:67 , where the Qur'an speaks of all human beings as "created out of dust". That "Adam" stands here for the human race is clearly implied in the use of the present tense in the last word of this sentence.