OTHER EVIDENCE THAT JESUS (PBUH)

IS NOT DEAD

In this chapter, we will look at other evidence that Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and that he will return to Earth.

The Qur’an refers to Jesus’ (pbuh) miraculous birth, his message to and struggle against his unbelieving society, his miracles, and his disciples. It also reveals that he will return to Earth near the Day of Judgment. We have already looked in some detail at 3:55 and 4:157-58, which indicate, according to their lexical meanings and the interpretations of the vast majority of Islamic scholars and commentators, that Jesus (pbuh) did not die. This evidence can be listed, as follows:

1. Jesus (pbuh) was neither killed nor crucified.

2. Jesus (pbuh) was raised to God’s presence.

3. The unbelievers were shown someone resembling him.

4. The unbelievers’ ideas on this subject consist of conjecture and speculation.

5. He is a sign of the Day of Judgment.

6. God taught him the Book – in other words, the Qur’an – in addition to the Torah and the Gospel (God knows best).

7. The People of the Book will obey him when he returns.
8. Those who follow him will be made superior to the unbelievers until the Day of Judgment.

9. He will return to Earth as an adult and will speak to people.

10. He will die after he comes again.

Jesus’ (pbuh) return to Earth, one of the most important and greatest events in world history, is revealed in the Qur’an. Such good news will both increase the enthusiasm of those believers awaiting his second coming with joy and excitement, and will also cause them to accelerate their preparations for this event. On the other hand, this evidence will also remind those who have not really thought about this event and, hopefully, will cause them to raise their awareness of the issue.

Jesus (pbuh) Is a “Sign of the Hour”

In addition to revealing that Jesus (pbuh) is still alive, the Qur’an reveals that he will return:

When an example is made of the son of Mary, your people laugh uproariously. They retort: “Who is better, then, our deities or him?” They only say this to you for argument’s sake. They are indeed a disputatious people. He is only a servant upon whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the Children of Israel. If We willed, We could appoint angels in exchange for you to succeed you on Earth. (Qur’an, 43:57-60)

The next verse states that Jesus (pbuh) is a sign of the Day of Judgment:

He [Jesus] is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it, but follow Me. This is a straight path. (Qur’an, 43:61)

The first meaning of this verse is that Jesus (pbuh) is a sign or a precondition of the Day of Judgment. We can confidently say that this verse indicates his return, because he lived six centuries before the Qur’an’s revelation. Therefore, we cannot consider his first life as a sign of the Day of Judgment. The verse indicates that he will return toward the End Times or, in other words, right before the Day of Judgment. In that context, his return is a sign of the Hour’s imminent arrival. (God knows best.)
Some say that the pronoun hu (he/it) in this expression refers to the Qur’an. However, when one looks at other verses, it appears that whenever hu stands for the Qur’an, the Book is inevitably referred to in either the preceding or following verse. Alternatively, other expressions show that the Qur’an is the subject. Some of these verses are as follows:

No indeed! Truly it [the Qur’an] is a reminder, and whoever wills pays heed to it. Inscribed on Honored Pages, exalted, purified. (Qur’an, 80:11-14)

When they are told: “Believe in what God has sent down,” they say: “Our faith is in what was sent down to us,” and they reject anything beyond that, even though it [the Qur’an] is the truth, confirming what they have. Say: “Why then, if you believe, did you previously kill the prophets of God?” (Qur’an, 2:91)

They are the ones whom God has guided, so be guided by their guidance. Say: “I do not ask you for any wage for it. It [the Qur’an] is simply a reminder to all beings.” (Qur’an, 6:90)

We have sent it [the Qur’an] down with truth, and with truth it has come down. We only sent you to bring good news and to warn. We have divided up the Qur’an, so that you can recite it to humanity at intervals, and We have sent it down little by little. Say: “Believe in it or do not believe in it.” Certainly, when it is recited to them, those who were given knowledge before it fall on their faces in prostration. (Qur’an, 17:105-7)

It [the Qur’an] is certainly a reminder to you and to your people, and you will be questioned. (Qur’an, 43:44)

My signs were recited to you, and you turned on your heels, arrogant toward it, talking arrant nonsense all night long. Do they not ponder these words [the Qur’an]? Has anything come to them that did not come to their ancestors, the previous peoples? (Qur’an, 23:66-68)

When one looks at the verses in Qur’an 43, one can see that the Qur’an is not being referred to in either the verses immediately preceding or following the reference to “a Sign of the Hour.” The verses are referring to Jesus (pbuh). Therefore, the pronoun in question also refers to Jesus (pbuh). (God knows best.) In fact, based on both the verses and on reliable hadith, great Islamic scholars state that in this case, hu does refer to Jesus (pbuh). Abu Hurayra, Ibn `Abbas, Qatada, Malik ibn Dinar, Thabit ibn al-Dahhak, Abu Razin, Abu `Ali `Abd al-Rahman, Humayd, and Ibn al-Muhaysin say that Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming is a sign of the Day of Judgment.55

Many commentators, such as al-‘Alusi, al-Shawkani, al-Sabuni, al-Ghumari, Omar Nasuhi Bilmen, Sayyid Qutb, and Hasan Basri Cantay interpreted the verse thus in their commentaries:

The appearance of Jesus (pbuh) is a sign of the approach of the Day of Judgment because his appearance is a sign of the Last Day. His descent to Earth is proof that the end of the world has come, and of the beginning of the Hereafter.56
In his interpretation of the verse, Imam al-Tabari also used Ibn Kathir’s explanation as evidence. Ibn Kathir said: “There are reliable hadith of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) that Jesus (pbuh) will descend to Earth before the Day of Judgment as a just head of state and just ruler,” thus depicting the verse as evidence for Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming. In his commentary, Hamdi Yazir of Elmali wrote:

It is certain that he represents knowledge of that hour, evidence, and a sign of the Day of Judgment when the dead will be resurrected. That is because Jesus’ (pbuh) appearance, his miracle of resurrecting the dead, and his giving news of the rising of the dead are evidence of the approach of the Day of Judgment and probable signs of the Hour according to the hadith.57

Among contemporary Islamic scholars, Sayyid Qutb drew attention to the important evidence concerning Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming. As we read in his commentary:

Many hadith regard Jesus’ (pbuh) descent to Earth prior to the Day of Judgment. Indeed, the verse, “He is a Sign of the Hour” also indicates this. In other words, Jesus (pbuh) will descend to Earth at a time close to the Day of Judgment. In a second style of reading, the verse reads “wa innahu la ‘ilmun li al-saa’ati.” In other words, his descent is a sign, a sign of the Day of Judgment. Both styles of reading express the same meaning. His descent from the skies is a news of the Unseen World, spoken of by the right-speaking and trustworthy Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) and indicated in the glorious Qur’an. Apart from the information from these two sources, which will remain unchanged until the Day of Judgment, nobody can say anything else about the subject.58

Al-Kawthari stated that even in the oldest doctrinal texts, this verse was used as evidence of Jesus’ (pbuh) return.59 Omer Nasuhi Bilmen explained the verse in these terms:

It gives news, in an indubitable manner, that Jesus (pbuh) is a sign of the approach of the Day of Judgment and that the Day of Judgment will certainly come … His appearance on Earth is regarded as a law of the Last Day…60

In fact, this title is unique to Jesus (pbuh), for although the Qur’an describes the lives of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace), Abraham (pbuh), Noah (pbuh), Moses (pbuh), Solomon (pbuh), Joseph (pbuh), David (pbuh), Jacob (pbuh), and a great many other prophets, this title is applied to none of them. This fact is yet another indication that Jesus (pbuh) possesses a special feature that the other prophets do not: He will return to Earth after having been raised to God’s presence. (God knows best.)

Jesus (pbuh) Was Taught the Book, the Torah, and the Gospel

The Qur’an mentions that Jesus (pbuh) was taught the Torah, the Gospel, and the Book:

When the angels said: “Mary, your Lord gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near. He will speak to people in the cradle and also when fully grown, and will be one of the righteous,’ she exclaimed: “My Lord! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” He said: “It will be so. God creates whatever He wills. When He decides on something, He just says to it ‘Be!,’ and it is. He will teach him the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah, and the Gospel.” (Qur’an, 3:45-48)
The identity of this “Book” is of the greatest importance. The same expression also appears in another verse:

Remember when God said: “Jesus, son of Mary, remember My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest Spirit so that you could speak to people in the cradle and when you were fully grown; and when I taught you the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel…” (Qur’an, 5:110)

An analysis of the Qur’an shows that the expression the Book in both verses refers to the Qur’an, as well as to the Torah and the Gospel. Consider the following verses:

God, there is no deity but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what was there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel. (Qur’an, 3:2-3)

And We have sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books… (Qur’an, 5:48)

In other verses, the Book refers to the Qur’an:

For this We sent a messenger to you from among yourselves to recite Our signs to you, purify you, and teach you the Book and Wisdom and things you did not know before. (Qur’an, 2:151)

“Am I to desire someone other than God as a judge, when it is He Who has sent down the Book to you clarifying everything?” Those to whom We have given the Book know that it has been sent down from your Lord with truth, so on no account be among the doubters. (Qur’an, 6:114)

We have only sent down the Book to you so that you can make clear to them the things about which they differ, and as a guidance and a mercy to people who believe. (Qur’an, 16:64)

You did not expect to be given the Book. It is nothing but a mercy from your Lord. So, do not lend support to the unbelievers. (Qur’an, 28:86)
Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to you the Book that is recited to them? There is certainly a mercy and reminder in that for people who believe. (Qur’an, 29:51)

We have sent down the Book to you with the truth so that you can judge between people according to what God has shown to you. But do not be an advocate for the treacherous. (Qur’an, 4:105)

Clearly, the third “Book” to be taught to Jesus (pbuh) is the Qur’an. But this can only happen if he returns to Earth in the End Times, since he lived some 600 years before the Qur’an was revealed. In addition, many hadith say that when Jesus (pbuh) returns to Earth, the Qur’an, and not the Bible, will rule: “He will lead you according to the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Apostle.”61

Another important piece of information is that the term revealed for Jesus (pbuh) was not revealed for any other prophet. For example, the Qur’an reveals that the Torah was given to Moses (pbuh), that Pages were given to Abraham (pbuh), and that the Book of Psalms was given to David (pbuh). If there were books revealed before the prophets’ own time, the Qur’an states that they knew them. However, only in the case of Jesus does the Qur’an state that a prophet will be taught a book that was revealed after his own time. This is one of the indications that he will return to Earth and that when he does so, he will rule with the book revealed after his lifetime: the Qur’an. (God knows best.)

Jesus’ (pbuh) Followers Will Be Superior

to the Unbelievers

In addition to revealing that Jesus (pbuh) did not die, Qur’an 3:55 also says that he will come to Earth again:

When God said: “Jesus, I will take you back and raise you up to Me, and purify you of those who do not believe. And I will place the people who follow you above those who do not believe until the Day of Resurrection. Then you will all return to Me, and I will judge between you regarding the things about which you differed.” (Qur’an, 3:55)

In this verse, God reveals the existence of a group of people who will sincerely follow Jesus (pbuh) and who will be superior to the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection. The number of his followers during his lifetime was very small, and the message that he brought underwent a rapid degeneration after his ascension to God. Throughout the next two centuries, his followers, who came to be known as Christians, were subjected to severe persecution and had no political power. Therefore, it is out of the question to say that the Christians living at the time were superior to the unbelievers and that they are the ones being referred to in this verse.

Over the intervening centuries, Christianity moved away from its essence and turned into a different religion. Christians adopted two mistaken beliefs: Jesus (pbuh) was the son of God (God is surely beyond that.) and the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost [or Holy Spirit]). Given this, we cannot regard present-day Christians as those who will follow Jesus (pbuh) in the End Times, because God reveals in several verses that those who believe in the Trinity are actually unbelievers:
Those who say that God is the third of three are unbelievers. There is no deity but the One God. (Qur’an, 5:73)

That being the case, the expression “I will place the people who follow you above those who do not believe until the Day of Resurrection” has a very clear meaning: There needs to be a community that will follow Jesus (pbuh) and exist until the Day of Resurrection. Such a community will emerge when Jesus (pbuh) returns. At that time, his followers will be made superior to the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection. (God knows best.) Another verse that supports this reads:

O you who believe! Be helpers of God, as Jesus son of Mary said to the Disciples: “Who will be my helpers to God?” The Disciples said: “We will be the helpers of God.” One faction of the Children of Israel believed and the other did not. So, We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became victorious. (Qur’an, 61:14)

It appears from the above verse that during Jesus’ (pbuh) lifetime, some people did not have faith. The last part of the verse; “… so We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became victorious,” gives news of a time when those who believe in Jesus (pbuh) will be superior. In all likelihood, this period is the time of Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming. During this time, Jesus (pbuh) will make the true religion prevail and the believers superior to the unbelievers. (God knows best.)

Jesus’ (pbuh) Adult Ministry

Another piece of evidence for Jesus’ (pbuh) return is the word kahlaan, which is used in the following verses:

Remember when God said: “Jesus, son of Mary, remember My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest Spirit so that you could speak to people in the cradle [mahd] and when you were fully grown [kahlaan]…” (Qur’an, 5:110)

He will speak to people in the cradle and also when fully grown [kahlaan], and will be one of the righteous. (Qur’an, 3:46)

Kahlaan
appears only in these two verses, only in reference to Jesus (pbuh), and only to express Jesus’ (pbuh) adulthood, is used for someone between the age of 30 and 50, someone who is no longer young, someone who has reached the perfect age. Islamic scholars agree that it denotes the age of 35 or above, based upon a hadith reported by Ibn ‘Abbas that Jesus (pbuh) was raised up to God’s presence in his early 30s and that he will live for 40 more years when he comes again. Given that he can reach old age only by coming again, he must come again.62
Although all of the prophets spoke with their people, invited them to the true religion, and communicated their message at a mature age, the Qur’an does not use such expressions when talking about them. Rather, they are used only to voice a miraculous situation, because the expressions in the cradle and when fully grown, when used one after the other, refer to two miraculous events. The Egyptian Islamic scholar Khalil Herras drew attention to this:

The word kahl in the verse is directed toward the word mahd, which precedes it and is an adverb of place. In the absence of a special clue, it continues to carry the same meaning of the word before it. Therefore, in the same way that Jesus’ (pbuh) speaking immediately after his birth is a miracle, so the same miracle needs to take place in his adulthood. Otherwise, there is nothing miraculous in a person speaking in adulthood and the wisdom of its revelation in the verse could not be understood. However, if Jesus (pbuh) speaks after appearing on Earth, that would be a miracle…63

The famous Islamic scholar al-Ghumari stated that one piece of wisdom here is that Jesus’ (pbuh) speaking in the cradle and then in adulthood show that he has a miraculous life. He wrote that just as Jesus’ (pbuh) speaking as an infant is a miracle from God, there has to be a miraculous aspect to his speaking as an adult to people:

It is for a divine purpose that our attention is drawn to Jesus’ (pbuh) speaking in the cradle and in adulthood. At the same time, this indicates an extraordinary phenomenon. Jesus (pbuh) was raised to the heavens (at a young age). He disappeared for hundreds of years. He was transported to a world in which the laws of corporeal change do not apply. It is something extraordinary for such a person to descend and speak to people.64

Imam al-Suyuti drew attention to kahlaan in Qur’an 5:110 when he stated: “This word expresses the fact that he (Jesus [pbuh]) will descend from the heavens before the Day of Judgment, because he was raised to the skies before attaining old age.”65 In his Commentary, Imam al-Tabari gave the following explanation of these verses:

These statements [Qur’an 5:110] indicate that in order to complete his lifespan and speak to people when fully grown, Jesus (pbuh) will come down from the heavens, because he was raised to the heavens when still young … In this verse [Qur’an 3:46], there is evidence that Jesus (pbuh) is living. The Ahl al-Sunnah share that view, because this verse states that he will speak to people when fully grown. He will be able to grow fully only when he returns to Earth from the heavens.66

In his commentary on Qur’an 3:46, Omer Nasuhi says that this verse is a piece of evidence that Jesus (pbuh) will return:

This verse indicates that after the raising up of Jesus (pbuh), he will descend again and speak to people, because he will have entered the age of maturity after being raised up.67

As we have seen, Islamic scholars interpret kahlaan as indicating that Jesus (pbuh) will come again. (God knows best.) All of this evidence reveals that Jesus (pbuh) will return in the End Times.
All People of the Book Will Believe
in Jesus (pbuh)

Among the verses that give the glad tidings of Jesus’ (pbuh) return is one that states:

There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. (Qur’an, 4:159)
The great majority of commentators and scholars agree that the pronoun his in the term qabla mawtihi (before his death), points to Jesus (pbuh). Arabic linguistics also agree with this view. The plural suffix hum is used in all the Qur’anic verses concerning the People of the Book (e.g., Qur’an, 98:1 and 6, and 59:2). In this verse, however, the singular suffix hu is used. This means that the People of the Book will believe in Jesus (pbuh) before his biological death after he returns to Earth. (God knows best.)68

The phrase “and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them,” is one of the proofs that the verse does refer to Jesus (pbuh). That being the case, the verse should be interpreted in these terms: “When Jesus (pbuh) comes, all People of the Book will believe in him.” This indicates that Jesus (pbuh) will return and that true religious moral values will rule Earth under his leadership. (God knows best.)

God also reveals that all the prophets and messengers will bear witness for their communities on the Last Day:

… when the messengers’ time is appointed. (Qur’an, 77:11)

Our Lord reveals that Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) bore witness for his own community:

How will it be when We bring a witness from every nation and bring you as a witness against them? (Qur’an, 4:41)

However, the Qur’an reveals that “There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in him before his death” only in the case of Jesus (pbuh). Moreover, the Qur’an does not use such an expression for any prophet who came before Jesus (pbuh) and in whom the People of the Book believed. No similar account is offered with regard to Abraham (pbuh), Solomon (pbuh), David (pbuh), Moses (pbuh), Joseph (pbuh), or Jacob (pbuh).

If every member of the People of the Book were to believe in Jesus (pbuh) before his or her own death, then a similar case would have been revealed with regard to the other prophets who were sent to them. However, this expression is employed only in relation to Jesus (pbuh). Therefore, it is another important proof that Jesus (pbuh) differs from other prophets. (God knows best.)

As we have seen, the his in the expression before his death is evidently Jesus (pbuh). It is impossible to interpret the verse, as some people have, in a way that indicates that “Each member of the People of the Book will believe in Jesus (pbuh) before they die.” The Jews, a People of the Book, tried to kill Jesus (pbuh) because they did not believe in him. They later continued in their unbelief and believed that they had killed him.

In the light of all this, we can understand the following from this verse: Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth and, like every other human being, will live and die. When he returns, all of the People of the Book will see and know him, and will obey him while he lives. Jesus (pbuh) will bear witness to this in the Hereafter. (God knows best.) The great majority of Islamic scholars share this view. Abu Hurayrah and Ibn `Abbas, both of whom were Companions of the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), also stated that this verse indicates his second coming. Al-Qurtubi interprets the verse in the following terms:
When the signs of the Day of Judgment draw near, when Jesus (pbuh) returns alive from the sky to Earth, all members of the People of the Book who are alive will believe in him. All there will be is the Islamic nation.69

Al-Tabari interprets the verse thus in his Commentary:

When he returns to Earth to slay the Antichrist, every one of the People of the Book will believe in Jesus (pbuh) before his death. At that time, all nations will become a single nation under the name of Islam.70

In his account, Khalil Herras stated that al-Tabari’s interpretation is accurate and that Qur’an 4:159 is evidence of his second coming:

The pronoun he in the verse refers to Jesus (pbuh). When he returns, every living member of the People of the Book will believe in him, affirm him, and only Islam will be accepted from them as their religion … The People of the Book will believe in Jesus (pbuh) when he returns to Earth…71

Jesus’ (pbuh) Death Will Occur after

His Second Coming

Another verse that points to the second coming is Qur’an 19:33. The phrase the day I die provides very important information. This is revealed in: “Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised up again alive.” (Qur’an, 19:33)

The Arabic original for the day I die is amootu, which stems from the word mawt, which is used elsewhere in the Qur’an in the sense of biological death. In other verses referring to Jesus (pbuh), tawaffaa, and not mawt, is used for his death. The meaning of tawaffaa is not biological death, but the taking of the soul in a kind of sleep. Meanwhile, mawt expresses death in the familiar sense. Therefore, in contrast to the other verses, this verse indicates that Jesus’ (pbuh) death will take place after his second coming. (God knows best.)
THE ERROR OF THOSE WHO MAINTAIN
THAT JESUS (PBUH) IS DEAD
The Qur’an and hadith reveal that Jesus (pbuh) did not die but was raised to God’s presence. The Christians also believe this; however, their belief contradicts the Qur’an. In addition, some Muslims also have the mistaken ideas that Jesus (pbuh) died and will not return. Such a claim is completely unfounded and, as our Lord states, those who make it are only guessing. God tells all believers not to speculate on matters of which they have no knowledge:
Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Hearing, sight, and hearts will all be questioned. (Qur’an, 17:36)

Some people may be taken in by this erroneous belief, because they fail to fully consider what it means to make or believe such a claim. Or, they may be unaware of the responsibility that this will place on them. We do not seek to disparage such people; rather, our goal is to show them their mistake so that they will abandon it. But before they can be made to realize what a great error they are making, they need to consider just what that claim implies. In the Qur’an, God reveals that He confounded the unbelievers’ plots against Jesus (pbuh) and that they did not kill him. It is a grave responsibility to ignore a truth revealed as clearly as in the words: “… they did not kill him and they did not crucify him” (Qur’an, 4:157). In essence, believing that Jesus (pbuh) was killed means that the unbelievers’ plot succeeded, which contradicts the Qur’an.

Some people say that Jesus (pbuh) was not killed but died when his appointed hour came. That is also untrue. According to this error, God took Jesus’ (pbuh) soul before the unbelievers could lay their hands on him, and therefore he was not killed by them. Yet the relevant verses clearly demonstrate that this is not the case. Moreover, such logic is flawed. Consider the following analogy: Three people have conspired to kill an enemy in an ambush. Let us further assume that the person in question dies of a heart attack before reaching the ambush site. In such a case, those who set the ambush will presumably rejoice in the belief that they have achieved their objective.

Alternatively, consider the case of someone who goes to an enemy’s home to kill him. However, he falls to his death from the balcony rather than as the result of a punch during the fight. The fact that the person in question has died means that his antagonist has attained his objective. A similar analogy can be imagined in the case of Jesus (pbuh). The unbelievers set a trap designed to kill him. Yet God reveals that He foiled that trap. If Jesus (pbuh) were to die anyway, this would mean that the unbelievers succeeded, which is not possible. Therefore, he is still alive, will come again at God’s command, and will make religious moral values prevail over the whole world. In effect, he will die only after he has returned to Earth and lived until he reaches old age. (God knows best.)

Still other people maintain that Jesus (pbuh) was saved from the unbelievers’ trap but then died at an unknown time. Not only does this claim lack any logical foundation, it also raises a number of unanswered questions to which these people offer no logical explanation. God caused Jesus (pbuh) to disappear suddenly while he was still alive. After this, nobody saw or spoke to him ever again. This is an extraordinary situation. If, as these people maintain, Jesus (pbuh) had lived for a while longer, surely some people would have seen him or spoken to him. Yet we have no such information that such a thing actually happened. Of course, it would have been impossible for him to have lived without moving among the people, speaking to anyone, or communicating his message, for doing so was the sole reason for his creation and being sent to the Children of Israel.

As mentioned earlier, this situation is unique to Jesus (pbuh). The word tawaffaa is used only to describe his death. In addition, no other prophet was taught the three divine books: “I taught you the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel” (Qur’an, 5:110) or has been described as: “He is a Sign of the Hour” (Qur’an, 43:61). Only Jesus (pbuh) was raised to God’s presence while still alive, only his followers will be superior until the Day of Judgment, and only in his case will all members of the People of the Book believe in him before he dies. All of this is an important proof that God has approved a very special destiny for Jesus (pbuh), and that to fulfill his destiny Jesus (pbuh) must be alive in His presence and return to Earth. (God knows best.)

God’s confounding of the unbelievers’ plot against Jesus (pbuh) and raising him while still alive, in both body and soul, to His presence is a great miracle. Throughout history, God has supported the prophets with various miracles. He revealed the true book, the Qur’an, to Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace). Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) transport from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque in a single night (Qur’an, 17:1) and his prediction that the believers would enter the Sacred Mosque in safety (Qur’an, 48:27) are some of his miracles. The way that Moses’ (pbuh) staff turned into a snake and confounded the illusions of Pharaoh’s magicians, the way that his hand appeared snow-white to onlookers, and the way that the Red Sea divided in front of Moses (pbuh) and his people as they were being pursued by Pharaoh and his army; the way that Jesus (pbuh) came into the world without a father, spoke to people while he was still in his cradle, raised the dead, and cured lepers; and the way that the fire was cooled when Abraham (pbuh) was cast into it are other miracles performed with God’s approval.

The faithful believe in these miracles performed by our Lord, and these miracles increase their joy in belief. Just as one of the faithful believes in all of the prophets’ miracles, including those wrought by Jesus (pbuh), by the will of God, that person must also believe that Jesus (pbuh) was miraculously raised to His presence.

In addition, those who claim that Jesus (pbuh) has already died have to bear in mind the loss they will suffer when Jesus (pbuh) does return. Many of the signs regarding this event, as revealed in the Qur’an and the hadith, have already occurred. It is also great news that his second coming is at hand. (God knows best.) That being the case, believers need to experience the excitement, enthusiasm, and joy of that event, and to compete with one another to make the best possible preparations to greet him. Therefore, those who have become caught up in this erroneous belief that Jesus (pbuh) has already died need to abandon their preconceptions, listen to their consciences, and again study in detail what the Qur’an has to say. Only by doing so will they see the truth and be freed from their error.

Nevertheless, it will be useful to examine these mistaken claims once again to see their groundless nature so that those who have been taken in can acquire accurate information.
Claim 1 and Its Refutation
One so-called piece of evidence put forward by those who maintain that Jesus (pbuh) has died is the expression: “… when You took me back to You [tawaffaytanee], You were the One watching over them…” in Qur’an 5:117. These people interpret tawaffaytanee as biological death. However, as discussed earlier, taking the soul does not always refer to biological death. We will give a brief summary of the preceding arguments here, as follows:

1. The term took me back is the same as that employed in Qur’an 3:55. As we made clear in our analysis of this verse, the word carries different senses than the English word death. An analysis of how tawaffaa is used in the Qur’an makes this clear. We have already looked at Qur’an 39:42 in connection with this. Now, we will consider another verse that uses tawaffaa in the same sense:

He takes you back to Himself at night [yatawaffakum], while knowing the things you perpetrate during the day, and then wakes you up again, so that a specified term may be fulfilled. (Qur’an, 6:60)

As this verse states, God takes the souls of sleeping people. While asleep, people do not die in the normally accepted sense; the soul merely leaves the body for a different dimension for a brief period of time. If this is considered biological death, then Jesus (pbuh) died every night of his lifetime. Moreover, this would be true of all people. Clearly, the verse is not saying this.

According to the majority view, tawaffaa is used in the sense of sleep. Therefore, the verse means: “I shall cause you to sleep.” In conclusion, we can say that Jesus (pbuh) was placed in a state similar to sleep, was raised to God’s presence while alive, and that he merely departed from this dimension. (God knows best.)

The contemporary Islamic scholar Muhammad Khalil Herras made the following comment:

The word tawaffaa in this verse does not mean “death,” but “putting one into a state resembling sleep.” If we accept the meaning of death, then there can be no explanation for Jesus (pbuh) being raised dead to God. Again, if the word is being used in the sense of death, then there would be no meaning to the good news of Jesus’ (pbuh) being saved and purified from the Jews. Moreover, God would have helped the Jews if He had killed him. (God is surely beyond that.) Moreover, how are we to understand God’s trap in Qur’an 3:54? For God to kill Jesus (pbuh) before the Jews would not fit into this trap. The genuine trap is that God will raise Jesus (pbuh) to His presence while still alive, and Jesus (pbuh) will descend in the End Times…72

Similarly, in commenting on Qur’an 5:117, Hamdi Yazir of Elmali draws attention to the use of mutawaffeeka in Qur’an 3:55 and says that the word is used in the same sense in both verses. Hamdi Yazir of Elmali gives the following exposition in his commentary:

But when You took my soul, You took me from among them and raised me.73

In other words, the expression “You took me back” refers not to his biological death; rather, it indicates that he was raised to God’s presence in a state resembling sleep and thereby removed from this dimension. (God knows best.)
2. Some people misinterpret the tidings given in Qur’an 5:116-17 and, as a result, fall into a number of errors. However, when these verses are examined in the light of the following verses and the interpretations of Islamic scholars, the errors of such people are exposed. For example;

And when God asks: “Jesus son of Mary. Did you say to people: ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides God?'” he will reply: “Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to say! If I had said it, then You would have known it. You know what is in my self, but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things.” (Qur’an, 5:116)

The people in question claim that this question posed by God reveals that Jesus (pbuh) died. However, the expression revealed here deals with our Lord speaking to Jesus (pbuh) on the Day of Judgment. When the verses following this one are examined, this becomes quite clear:

[Jesus will say:]”I said to them nothing but what You ordered me to say: ‘Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’ I was a witness against them as long as I remained among them. But when You took me back to You, You were the One watching over them. You are Witness of all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants. If you forgive them, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.” God will say: “This is the Day when the sincerity of the sincere will benefit them. They will have gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. God is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. That is the great victory.” (Qur’an, 5:117-19)

Moreover, the Qur’an contains other information about the Day of Judgment. Abu Lahab is one example of those told by our Lord, while he was still alive, that he would go to Hell:

Ruin to the hands of Abu Lahab and ruin to him! His wealth has not helped him, nor anything he has earned. He will burn in a Flaming Fire. And so will his wife, the firewood-carrier, with a rope of twisted fiber round her neck. (Qur’an, 111:1-5)

Similarly, the Qur’an reveals that God calls people to account on the Day of Judgment and that the guardians of Hell speak with those who have earned suffering for themselves:

O company of jinn and human beings! Did not messengers come to you from among yourselves, relating My signs to you and warning you of the encounter of this day? They will say: “We testify against ourselves.” The life of this world deluded them, and they will testify against themselves that they were unbelievers. (Qur’an, 6:130)

Those who do not believe will be driven to Hell in companies. When they arrive there and its gates are opened, its custodians will ask them: “Did messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord’s signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this day?” They will reply: “Indeed they did.” But the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the unbelievers. (Qur’an, 39:71)

As we have seen, God gives examples of conversations carried out in the Hereafter. The conversation with Jesus (pbuh) will take place with our Lord in the Hereafter, after he has come to Earth for a second time and then died.
Christians have fallen into serious error by deifying Jesus (pbuh). (God is surely beyond that.) Those who adhere to this error will have to give an account in God’s presence on the Day of Judgment. According to the Qur’an, Jesus (pbuh) will bear witness that they turned away from the true religion, because, like all other prophets, he called his society to believe in God as the one and only and to serve only Him. Qur’an 5:119 says that this event will occur in the Hereafter, which means that it refers to the Day of Judgment, as revealed in the above verses. The sentence “This is the day when the sincerity of the sincere will benefit them” indicates this.

In conclusion, this conversation refers to the future, not the past. In addition, there is no indication given in the verse “when You took me back to You” that can be interpreted in such a way to support the mistaken claim that Jesus (pbuh) died in the past. Thus, this verse cannot be used as evidence that Jesus (pbuh) has already died.

As stated earlier, the great majority of Islamic scholars agree that these verses refer to Jesus’ (pbuh) ascension to God’s presence. For instance, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi said that the verse means “Jesus’ (pbuh) raising to the sky.”74 Similarly, Ibn Kathir said that this does not point to his death, but describes a conversation that will take place on the Day of Judgment. He also said that the word in the familiar sense of (biological) death is not used in the verse.75 In his book Mawqif al-‘Aql, Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri analysed the verse in the following terms: “You took and raised me from among them, and put an end to my relationship with Earth.” He then continued: “This is taking by raising to His presence; it is not killing.” Such modern commentators as Hasan Basri Cantay, Omer Nasuhi Bilmen, and al-Sabuni have said that “You took me back to You” means “You raised me from among them to the heavens.”76

Claim 2 and Its Refutation

As stated earlier, Jesus’ (pbuh) ascension to God’s presence is an important piece of evidence that he never died. People who misunderstand this truth, however, have sought to interpret his ascension in terms of the concepts of time and space, which apply to us. As a result, they assert that Jesus (pbuh) is present in the sky in physical form, which then leads them to deny his ascension to God’s presence. But this is a most mistaken view. First and foremost, the intention behind raising Jesus (pbuh) to His presence was not so that he could live physically in the heavens, but to take him to a separate dimension, one independent of time and space. (God knows best.)

Human beings inhabit a dimension bounded by time and space and can only perceive and understand events within that dimension, as far as God permits and in the manner desired by Him. However, many verses reveal that there are other dimensions of which we know nothing, such as that inhabited by angels and jinns. With our Lord’s approval, angels and jinns can cross from their own dimension to ours. An examination of the relevant verses will clarify this matter for us.

1. God is the Lord of the Worlds

One of God’s names is “Lord of the worlds.” This indicates the existence of worlds other than the one known to and inhabited by human beings. (God knows best.) God is the Creator and Lord of all worlds, even of those that are both known and unknown to us and that we can and cannot perceive. This name appears in various verses, some of which are presented below:

[Noah said:] “I do not ask you for any wage for it. My wage is the responsibility of no one but the Lord of all the worlds.” (Qur’an, 26:109)

Truly, it is revelation sent down by the Lord of all the worlds. (Qur’an, 26:192)
But when he [Moses] reached it, a voice called out to him: “Blessed be him who is in the Fire and all who are around it. Glory be to God, the Lord of all the worlds!” (Qur’an, 27:8)

But when he reached it, a voice called out to him from the right-hand side of the valley in the part that was full of blessing, from out of the bush: “Moses, I am God, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Qur’an, 28:30)

The revelation of the Book, in which there is no doubt, is from the Lord of the worlds. (Qur’an, 32:2)

You will see the angels circling round the Throne, glorifying their Lord with praise. It will be decided between them with truth. And it will be said: “Praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Qur’an, 39:75)

2. Martyrs Inhabit a Dimension Unknown to Human Beings

Other verses that point to the existence of dimensions are those that reveal the rank and position of martyrs. For example:

Do not say that those who are killed in the way of God are dead. On the contrary, they are alive, but you are not aware of it. (Qur’an, 2:154)

In other words, even though martyrs appear to have died in the biological sense, He states that they are alive, but that we cannot fully understand their true situation. The expression “they are alive, but you are not aware of it” indicates that people have no knowledge of this subject and cannot understand it, for they are only familiar with the conditions of this world. (God knows best.) Other verses reveal that martyrs live in the manner appointed for them by God in a very different dimension, one in which there is no time and space:

Do not suppose that those killed in the way of God are dead. No indeed! They are alive and well provided for in the very presence of their Lord, delighting in the favor God has bestowed on them, rejoicing over those they left behind who have not yet joined them, feeling no fear and knowing no sorrow, rejoicing in blessings and favor from God, and that God does not let the wage of the believers go to waste. (Qur’an, 3:169-71)

In this dimension, martyrs are sustained, feel joy, and wish to give glad tidings to those who come later. Those who feel unnecessary doubts and concerns about Jesus (pbuh) being raised to God’s presence because they fail to understand the essence of this event should, necessarily, also doubt the existence of this dimension. Yet there is no evidence to provoke such doubt. On the other hand, there is a clear proof that, just like martyrs, angels, and jinns, Jesus (pbuh) inhabits a dimension about which we know nothing, and that he will return to Earth when God wills. God raised Jesus (pbuh) to His presence, and, when the time established by God comes, he will return to this dimension, which is bound by time and space. (God knows best.)
3. Angels Descend to Earth and Ascend to God’s Presence

Belief in angels is one of Islam’s fundamental tenets of faith. The Qur’an contains some information about these entities: They constantly praise and glorify God, do what He tells them to do perfectly and fully, have sincerely submitted to Him, and inhabit a dimension that is not bound by time and space. As regards this last point, consider the following verses:

[This punishment is] From God – the Lord of the Ascending Steps. The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years. (Qur’an, 70:3-4)

The expression “a day whose length is fifty thousand years” shows that angels are not bound by the human concept of time. Furthermore, it is a proof that there is a life beyond this concept, one that does not resemble the life in this world and is not bound by the concepts of time or space. It is very possible that Jesus (pbuh) is living in such a dimension. (God knows best.)

The fact that God sends angels to Earth to perform specific tasks shows that there is a transition between the human and other dimensions. Some of their tasks are to transmit God’s revelations to human beings and to help and support believers:

And when you asked the believers: “Is it not enough for you that your Lord reinforced you with three thousand angels, sent down?” (Qur’an, 3:124)

He sends down angels, as He wills, with the Spirit of His command to any of His servants: “Give warning that there is no deity but Me, so have fear of [and respect] Me!” (Qur’an, 16:2)

Another verse reveals that angels can descend to Earth to carry out various duties approved by God:

In it, the angels and the Spirit descend by their Lord’s authority with every ordinance. (Qur’an, 97:4)

In addition, angels were sent as messengers to Abraham (pbuh) and Lot (pbuh) to inform them that their peoples would be punished; that they came to Zechariah with the glad tidings of a child; and that they came to Mary, telling her that God had chosen her and that she would bear a son named Jesus (pbuh). The revelation of the Qur’an to our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) by means of the angel Gabriel, as well as our Prophet’s seeing him, is revealed as follows:
[The Qur’an is] taught him by one immensely strong, possessing power and splendor. He stood there stationary – there on the highest horizon. Then he drew near and hung suspended. He was two bow-lengths away or even closer. Then He revealed to His servant what He revealed. His heart did not lie about what he saw. What! Do you dispute with him about what he saw? He saw him again another time by the Lote-tree of the Final Limit, beside which is the Garden of Refuge, when that which covered the Lote-tree covered it. His eye did not waver nor did he look away. He saw some of the greatest signs of his Lord. (Qur’an, 53:5-18)

When the angels return to His presence, this does not mean that they cease to exist, in the terms that apply in this world. They merely move to another dimension and continue living beyond our understanding. Similarly, the fact that Jesus (pbuh) was raised to God’s presence does not mean that he has died. Many verses and hadith confirm the truth of this interpretation. Jesus (pbuh) is alive in a dimension that surpasses our understanding. Moreover, the fact that angels cross between two dimensions, as God wills, shows that this transition is very easy when our Lord so wills. When the time set forth by God comes, Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth and call people to religious moral values as the messenger of God. (God knows best.)

All of this evidence indicates that those people who deny that Jesus (pbuh) is still alive and will return fail to appreciate God’s power and might. Given that God, the All-Mighty and All-Powerful, is sovereign over all things, He creates as He wills and has infinite knowledge, whereas all human knowledge is limited to that which God permits humanity to have. A human being can only comprehend an event, how it takes place and the wisdom behind it, to the extent permitted by God. The fact that Jesus (pbuh) was purified of the unbelievers and raised to God’s presence may be one of those events that people cannot fully comprehend. A great miracle took place when the unbelievers came to kill Jesus (pbuh). Miracles are marvels that strengthen the believers’ faith and cause some unbelievers to turn to faith. After they see a miracle, believers turn to God and appreciate His infinite might. Their awed respect and sincere love for God is reinforced, and their enthusiasm and excitement grow. The way that Jesus (pbuh) was protected from the unbelievers’ traps and departed from this dimension in both body and soul is one of these miracles. When the time appointed by God comes, another great miracle will take place: Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth. This fact has been imparted in verses and hadith, and is a marvel that all believers need to ponder.

Other Indicative Accounts in the Qur’an
As stated at the beginning, one of the most serious errors made by those who reject Jesus’ (pbuh) ascension is their failure to realize that God is not bound by time and space. In fact, there are dimensions, all of which He created, that are unknown and unperceived by humanity. This fact can help us understand the proofs presented for this miraculous event. As the Qur’an states:

What are they waiting for, but for God to come to them in the shadows of the clouds, together with the angels, in which case the matter will have been settled? All matters return to God. (Qur’an, 2:210)

Another verse reveals that all matters “ascend to” God during “a day whose length is a thousand years,” according to the human comprehension of time:

He directs the whole affair from heaven to Earth. Then it will again ascend to Him on a Day whose length is a thousand years by the way you measure. (Qur’an, 32:5)

The fact that “God directs the whole affair” is a proof that He is unbound by space and time. God knows everything that happens in the universe, down to the tiniest detail. Nothing can be hidden from our Lord, neither an action performed openly nor one believed to have been carried out in secret. This is indicated in the expression that all matters “ascend to God.”

Another verse describes the position of the believers who made the hijrah (migration) with Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace), and reveals:

… If anyone leaves his home, migrating to God and His messenger, and death catches up with him, God will reward him… (Qur’an, 4:100)
The phrase “migrating to God” indicates that our Lord is not bound by space. These believers left their homes and migrated, together with Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace), because of the unbelievers’ oppression. They did not, of course, migrate to God in the sense bounded by time and space in which we think. Rather, this verse reveals that they left their homes in the hope of God’s mercy and compassion, and migrated to a new home in obedience to the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). Abraham’s (pbuh) words: “I am going towards my Lord; He will be my guide” (Qur’an, 37:99), indicates his own migration.

In the same way, the Qur’an refers to people being restored to life, after being put into a state resembling sleep or killed, in a manner outside the familiar concepts of time, sleep, and death. One of these is a reference to someone who was resurrected after being left for dead for hundreds of years. Another refers to the people of al-Kahf (the Companions of the Cave), who were awoken after long years of sleep.

The Man Raised to Life after
a Hundred Years
The Qur’an reveals:

Or the one who passed by a town which had fallen into ruin? He asked: “How can God restore this to life, when it has died?” God caused him to die for a hundred years then brought him back to life. Then He asked: “How long have you been here?” The man replied: “I have been here a day or part of a day.” He said: “Not so! You have been here for a hundred years. Look at your food and drink – it has not gone bad – and look at your donkey, so We can make you a sign for all humanity. Look at the bones – how We raise them up and clothe them with flesh.” When it had become clear to him, he said: “Now I know that God has power over all things.” (Qur’an, 2:259)

God creates whatsoever He wills, in any manner that He wills, and has dominion over all that exists. Unbound by the concepts of time and space, our Lord can remove people from these concepts whenever He wills and cause them to experience extraordinary events. This is a very simple matter for God, for only humanity – not God – is bound by time and space. But our Lord, Who is unbounded by anything and is perfect in all respects, creates and makes something happen by saying: “Be!” This is revealed in the following verses:

Our Word to a thing when We will it is just to say to it “Be!” and it is. (Qur’an, 16:40)

He gives life and death. When He decides upon an affair, He says to it “Be!” and it is. (Qur’an, 40:68)

… the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it “Be!” and it is. (Qur’an, 2:117)

Waking the Companions of the Cave
after Many Years

Another example is the Qur’anic account of the Companions of the Cave, a group of young people who sought protection from their oppressive ruler who opposed religious moral values. The Qur’an reveals the following information about them:
When the young men took refuge in the cave and said: “Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation.” So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years. (Qur’an, 18:10-11)

You would have supposed them to be awake, whereas, in fact, they were asleep. We moved them to the right and to the left, and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you would have turned from them and run, filled with terror at the sight of them. That was the situation when we woke them up so they could question one another. One of them asked: “How long have you been here?” They replied: “We have been here for a day or part of a day.” They said: “Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so that he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat. But he should go about with caution, so that no one is aware of you.” (Qur’an, 18:18-19)

The Qur’an does not reveal how long these young people remained in the cave, although the term “for a number of years” reveals that the period they spent there was not a short one. (God knows best.) Moreover, the Qur’an reveals that people estimated that they spent 309 years in the cave. This is another sign that their sleep lasted for quite a while:

They stayed in their cave for three hundred years and added nine. Say: “God knows best how long they stayed. The unseen of the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. How perfectly He sees, how well He hears! They have no protector apart from Him. Nor does He share His rule with anyone.” (Qur’an, 18:25-26)

Under normal terrestrial conditions, people obviously cannot sleep for such a long period. This sleep, therefore, may not be the type of sleep with which we are familiar. Perhaps they were taken into another dimension, one in which time and space do not apply, and were later sent back to Earth. (God knows best.)

Just like people waking up from sleep, these people also returned to life. In a similar way, Jesus (pbuh) will return to life when he comes back to Earth and, after fulfilling the honorable responsibility imposed on him by God, and, as a requirement of the verse; He said: “On it [Earth] you will live and on it die, and from it you will be brought forth,” (Qur’an, 7:25) he will die on Earth, like every other human being. (God knows best.)

Claim 3 and Its Refutation

Another claim made by those who do not believe in Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming is based on Qur’an 21:34-35. These read as follows:

We did not give any human being before you immortality. And if you die, will they then be immortal? Every self will taste death. We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us. (Qur’an, 21:34-35)

Some people cite these verses as proof that Jesus (pbuh) is dead. However, by doing so they ignore the many clear verses and hadith that proclaim that God protected and rescued Jesus (pbuh) from the unbelievers’ traps. The great majority of Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation. Moreover, the fact that Jesus (pbuh) did not die and was raised to God’s presence does not mean that he is immortal. Furthermore, such a mistaken idea is never proposed when dealing with his second coming. All of the evidence focuses on the facts that Jesus (pbuh) has not died yet, that he will return to Earth, and that his death will take place after that. (God knows best.)
These deluded people may make such a claim because they have not fully examined or understood the clear evidence that Jesus (pbuh) is not dead. As revealed in: “He is only a servant on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the Children of Israel” (Qur’an, 43:59), Jesus (pbuh) is a mortal servant created by God, just like everyone else. However, some Christians mistakenly deified him because of the many blessings and miracles that our Lord bestowed upon him. Muslims have a deep love and respect for Jesus (pbuh), just as they do for all of God’s prophets. But they are also fully aware that just like all the other messengers, he is no more than a servant created by God:

The Messiah, the son of Mary, was only a messenger, before whom other messengers came and went. His mother was a woman of truth. Both of them ate food. See how We make the signs clear to them. Then see how they have gone astray. (Qur’an, 5:75)

Claim 4 and Its Refutation

Some people suggest that because Christians believe that Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and that he will return to Earth, Muslims should not believe such mistaken claims. However, their logic is seriously flawed.

First, it needs to be made clear that Judaism and Christianity were corrupted over the course of time, and that superstitions and errors entered into them. In addition, a close examination of the Old and New Testaments reveals that a number of beliefs and moral values belonging to the true religion have been preserved. In addition, both books have several aspects in common with the Qur’an. Thus, we can establish which beliefs have been corrupted and which are compatible with the true religion by taking the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) as our guides.

The Qur’an, the last divine book revealed by God, turned people toward the true path and away from their misguided beliefs. In fact, the Qur’an enabled the Christians and the Jews, who had become divided from each other before its revelation, were given true and divine information on these subjects. Several verses reveal this truth, as follows:

We have only sent down the Book to you so that you can make clear to them the things about which they differ, and as a guidance and a mercy to people who believe. (Qur’an, 16:64)

O People of the Book! Our messenger has come to you, making clear to you much of the Book that you have kept concealed, and passing over a lot. A Light has come to you from God, and a Clear Book. (Qur’an, 5:15)

The Qur’an describes, in some detail, the lives of Moses (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh), the lives of their followers, their moral values, how Muslims look at Jews and Christians, what their attitudes toward them should be, and other such matters. One piece of information is which Christian and Jewish beliefs and laws have become corrupted. Heading this list is the Christian belief that Jesus (pbuh) is God’s son. (God is surely beyond that.) Based upon this mistaken belief, they have sought to deify Jesus (pbuh). The belief in the Trinity is another fundamental, but distorted, Christian belief. God reveals that Christians have assumed a major responsibility because they allowed such distortions to enter their religion:

The Jews say: “Ezra is the son of God,” and the Christians say: “The Messiah is the son of God.” That is what they say with their mouths, copying the words of those who did not believe before. God fight them! How corrupted they are! (Qur’an, 9:30)
O People of the Book! Do not go to excess in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the messenger of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. Do not say: “Three.” It is better that you stop. God is only One God. He is too glorious to have a son. Everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. God suffices as a Guardian. (Qur’an, 4:171)

Those who say: “God is the Messiah, son of Mary” are unbelievers. Say: “Who possesses any power at all over God if He wills to destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone else on Earth?” The kingdom of the heavens and Earth, and everything between them, belongs to God. He creates whatever He wills. God has power over all things. (Qur’an, 5:17)

Another verse reveals the scale of the responsibility assumed by Christians for developing corrupt beliefs:

They say: “The All-Merciful has a son.” They have devised a monstrous thing. The heavens are all but rent apart, and Earth split open and the mountains brought crashing down, at their ascription of a son to the All-Merciful! It is not fitting for the All-Merciful to have a son. (Qur’an, 19:88-92)

On the other hand, Judaism and Christianity have preserved such basic items of faith as belief in the Day of Judgment, the prophets and angels, and various values (e.g., honesty, helping others, being patient and altruistic, protecting and feeding the needy, ensuring justice, speaking fair words, and being modest and peace-loving). These items are found in all divine religions. Some of the virtues of the People of the Book who sincerely believe in God are revealed, as follows:

They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite God’s signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. God knows those who guard against evil. (Qur’an, 3:113-15)

The Christian belief that Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and will return is fully present in the Qur’an, which also reveals which aspects of Christianity are superstitious and which are divine. Christians make several errors with regard to Jesus’ (pbuh) ascension, due to such corrupt beliefs as the Trinity and Jesus’ (pbuh) so-called status as God’s son. In addition, their beliefs that he died to atone for the sins of all humanity and that he ascended to God’s presence after dying on the Cross are incompatible with the true religion. God reveals in the Qur’an that nobody can atone for the sins of another, for every individual’s deeds are his or hers alone. Every person will be called to account on the Day of Judgment alone, and nobody will be able to help anyone else, unless God wills it. This is revealed in the following verse:

Whoever is guided is only guided to his own good. Whoever is misguided is only misguided to his detriment. No burden-bearer can bear another’s burden. We never punish until We have sent a messenger. (Qur’an, 17:15)

Jesus (pbuh), one of God’s prophets and messengers, called his people to a great truth: “God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path” (Qur’an, 3:51). In other words, he called upon them to serve God alone and to live the kind of lives that would meet with His good approval and warned them against the sufferings of the Day of Judgment. Like all other people, he could only do what God willed him to do. As revealed in the verse that reports Abraham’s (pbuh) prayer, God “gives me food and gives me drink; and when I am ill, He heals me; He will cause my death, then give me life; He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning” (Qur’an, 26:79-82). Christians, on the other hand, make a grave error by saying that Jesus (pbuh) was crucified to atone for the sins of all humanity.

However, the Qur’an confirms their belief in the second coming. If they had corrupted this belief, there is no doubt that the Qur’an would have rectified this mistake, just as it rectifies all of the corrupted beliefs and concepts that have entered Christianity with respect to this great prophet. In conclusion, the unbelievers did not kill Jesus (pbuh), for God raised him to His presence. Both Christians and Muslims are waiting for his return. Until that time, he continues to live in a dimension that is unbounded by time and space and the nature of which is known only to our Lord.
Claim 5 and Its Refutation

One of the claims made by those who are unwilling to accept the second coming is that “Believing in Jesus’ (pbuh) return means accepting Christianity.”

This error is the product of mistaken and distorted logic. Jesus (pbuh) is a praised, selected, and unique prophet in God’s presence. His superior moral values and deep faith are remembered with respect by all believers, who have adopted him as a role model. Praising his moral values, feeling intense excitement at his impending return, and telling all believers of these glad tidings are examples of a proper attitude. Making irrational and illogical excuses, such as the one given above, is unacceptable.

According to this distorted logic, nothing regarding Christianity should ever be mentioned or discussed. In the same way, Moses’ (pbuh) correct moral values and exemplary life should never be described, on the grounds that this would mean supporting the Jews. Many Qur’anic verses praise Jesus (pbuh), Moses (pbuh), Joseph (pbuh), Abraham (pbuh), and Jacob (pbuh), as well as their deep faith. Yet according to this mistaken logic, these verses should never be read. These excuses are clearly unacceptable. As we made clear earlier, the People of the Book have several corrupted beliefs and practices that are incompatible with the true religion. These are revealed in the Qur’an, as is the fact that followers of both religions have good and pleasing aspects and beliefs that are compatible with the true religion. Our responsibility is to consider the People of the Book in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and to distinguish between truth and error with the information that we obtain from these sources.

In addition, we must remember that Muslims make no distinction among the prophets and that they hold these people in great respect: “We believe in God and what has been sent down to us; what was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes; what Moses and Jesus were given; and what all the prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him” (Qur’an, 2:136). The fact that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment is not a subject that believers should refrain from discussing on the grounds of irrational and illogical pretexts. On the contrary, it is a glad tiding that should be constantly borne in mind with great enthusiasm, passion, and joy.

Another fact reveals these people’s error: When Jesus (pbuh) returns, he will rule with the Qur’an. Like all of the other prophets, Jesus (pbuh) is a follower of Islam, the true and divine religion in God’s presence. The Qur’an reveals these facts in the following verses:

The religion with God is Islam. (Qur’an, 3:19)

He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined upon Noah: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: “Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it.” What you call the idolaters to follow is very hard for them. God chooses for Himself anyone He wills and guides to Himself those who turn to Him. (Qur’an, 42:13)

When Jesus (pbuh) returns to Earth, he will eliminate the distorted beliefs of the People of the Book, call people to Islam, and rule with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. These glad tidings are reported in the hadith:

He will lead you according to the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your messenger.77
By the One in Whose hand is my self, definitely the son of Mary will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will break the Cross, kill the pig, and abolish the jizya [a head tax on free non-Muslims living under Muslim rule].78

Claim 6 and Its Refutation

Another claim is that “The return of Jesus (pbuh) would eliminate the element of testing.” According to this totally groundless claim, those who witness the rising of someone who died thousands of years ago and who have doubts about the resurrection will come to have faith. Therefore, there will no longer be any need for testing people.

This interpretation also lacks any logical foundation. First, as stated before, Jesus (pbuh)did not die but is still alive in God’s presence. Moreover, not everyone will immediately accept this event, as the people in question maintain. At first, Jesus (pbuh) will be met with skepticism, especially from those who do not live by true religious moral values or those who have weak faith. After the second coming, Jesus (pbuh) will wage a great intellectual struggle against all atheistic systems and ideologies, and return the religion to its pure form by eliminating all of its corrupted elements and beliefs. At the end of this struggle, the true religion’s moral values will rule the world. Indeed, the great Islamic scholar Said Nursi showed that the great majority of people will greet Jesus (pbuh) with skepticism, but that sincere believers will recognize him by the light of his faith and immediately obey him:

God, the All-Wise and the Generous, Who every time sends angels to Earth from heavens; sometimes renders them in the form of a human being (as in the case of Gabriel, who appeared in the form of Dihya [one of the Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) followers]; sends spirits from the universe of spirits, making them appear in the form of human beings; and Who even sends the spirits of the dead saints in their former bodies to Earth, sends Jesus (pbuh) (whose body is in the heavenly world and is alive) to Earth, even if he had really died and gone to the remotest edge of the life of the Hereafter, making him wrapped in a body, for the safe occurrence of the most important issue of the religion of Jesus (pbuh) … Out of his divine purpose, He promised, and because He promised, He will surely send. When Jesus (pbuh) comes, not necessarily everyone will know that he is really Jesus (pbuh). Those who are close to him and those with profound faith will recognize him, thanks to the light of their faith. Otherwise, not everyone will clearly recognize him.79

As this great teacher reported, when Jesus (pbuh) returns, not everyone will recognize and believe in him. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that most of the prophets sent throughout history performed miracles by God’s will in order to call people to faith. However, a great many people still refused to believe, despite these miracles. On the contrary, they became arrogant and persisted in their unbelief, as did Pharaoh and his court, who refused to believe, despite Moses’ (pbuh) miracles (e.g., turning his staff into a snake, and his hand becoming as white as snow). The people’s response to these miracles is revealed in the following terms:

They said: “No matter what kind of sign you bring us to bewitch us, we will not believe in you.” So We sent down upon them floods, locusts, lice, frogs, and blood, signs, clear and distinct, but they proved arrogant and were an evil-doing people. (Qur’an, 7:132-33)

God also reveals that, unless He wills otherwise, those who refuse to believe will not change their minds even if they witness great miracles:

Even if We sent down angels to them, the dead spoke to them, and We gathered together everything in front of them right before their eyes, they would still not believe unless God willed. The truth is that most of them are ignorant. (Qur’an, 6:111)

Therefore, regardless of the miracle performed, humanity’s environment of testing will never be eliminated. Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming will be a means through which sincere believers will be distinguished from those who do not believe. With the reason, clear-sightedness, and foresight imparted by faith, sincere believers will recognize Jesus (pbuh), obey him wholeheartedly, and support and protect him. Unbelievers or those with weak faith will remain skeptical and doubtful. (God knows best.) However, their groundless doubts and skepticism will not alter the facts, for God’s promise of Jesus’ (pbuh) return to Earth will be fulfilled, regardless of anyone’s plan to prevent this great miracle.
Claim 7 and Its Refutation

Another claim made by those who believe that Jesus (pbuh) is dead is that the Qur’an reveals that Prophet Idris (pbuh) was also “raised up.” According to this claim, Jesus (pbuh), just like Idris (pbuh), was only “raised up” in the sense of station or rank. When the relevant verses are examined in detail, however, this deduction is shown to be inaccurate. The relevant verses are given below:

Mention Idris in the Book. He was a true man and a prophet. We raised him up to a high place. (Qur’an, 19:56-57)

 

… [I will] raise you [Jesus] up to Me and purify you of those who are unbelievers. And I will place the people who follow you above those who do not believe until the Day of Resurrection… (Qur’an, 3:55)

And [on account of] their saying: “We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, messenger of God.” They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them… God raised him up to Himself. God is Almighty, All-Wise. (Qur’an, 4:157-58)

Clearly, there is a great difference between these two states. Since the other prophets’ superior moral values and faith are praised in the preceding verses, as is the case with Idris (pbuh), it is revealed that he has been raised in station. However, the verses that precede the one mentioning Jesus’ (pbuh) ascension discuss the unbelievers’ plot against him and how God protected him by raising him, body and soul, into another dimension unbounded by space and time. Thus, Idris (pbuh) was raised in station, whereas Jesus (pbuh) was physically removed from this dimension and raised to God’s presence. (God knows best.)

Claim 8 and Its Refutation

Another unfounded assertion made by some people is that “Since Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) was the last prophet, Jesus (pbuh) will not return.” This has no basis in fact. First, it needs to be made clear that our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) is “the messenger of God and the Final Seal of the prophets” (Qur’an, 33:40). The fact that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth does not, as some people maintain, change that fact. Jesus (pbuh) will return not as a prophet, but as a messenger who will maintain the law of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) and cause religious moral values to prevail worldwide.

Other people put forward another irrational and illogical claim: “If Jesus (pbuh) is not to return as a prophet, then his coming will have no meaning.” This violates both reason and conscience. Our Lord has promised this event, behind which He has placed great wisdom. Throughout history, God has shown people the true path through the prophets that He has sent to them. Sometimes, during periods when people had turned away from religious moral values and degeneracy had become widespread, He removed people from the darkness of their errors by sending them messengers. These messengers are people sent by God as rulers, who have led people to salvation. Indeed, the Qur’an reveals that people suffering woes and difficulties have prayed to God to send them a savior and protector:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of God – for those men, women, and children who are oppressed and exclaim: “Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!” (Qur’an, 4:75)

Of course, God answered these prayers and sent them a savior from His presence, which is a very great blessing. The accounts of Saul (pbuh) and Dhu’l Qarnayn (pbuh) constitute important evidence that God has sent messengers as well as prophets to various peoples. God sent Saul (pbuh) to his society as a ruler, and the believers had to obey him. Saul (pbuh) and those around him fought against Goliath, the unbelievers’ leader. Sincere believers devoted themselves to Saul (pbuh) and obeyed him, while the skeptics could neither understand that Saul (pbuh) had been sent to them as a messenger nor the wisdom in complying with his commands. The ignorant reaction of such people is given in the Qur’an:

Their prophet said to them: “God has appointed Saul to be your king.” They replied: “How can he have kingship over us when we have much more right to kingship than he does? He does not even possess great wealth!” He said: “God has chosen him over you and favored him greatly in knowledge and physical strength. God gives kingship to anyone He wills. God is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing.” (Qur’an, 2:247)

Similarly, Dhu’l Qarnayn was sent as a messenger to his society in order to rescue its members from the difficulties into which they had fallen, and to enable religious moral values to prevail. The Qur’an reveals that God made this man a sound ruler:

They will ask you about Dhu’l-Qarnayn. Say: “I will tell you something about him.” We gave him power and authority in the land and granted him a way to everything. (Qur’an, 18:83-84)

In our own time, people are living in a world of moral collapse, poverty, and cruelty in which injustice prevails. When the time stipulated by God comes, Jesus (pbuh) will be sent back to Earth to enable religious moral values to prevail and lead people from the darkness into the light. With the second coming, atheistic ideologies, which form the basis of cruelty and degeneration, will be entirely eliminated on the intellectual level. And then, by the will of God, the peace, security, and abundance for which people are longing will come to prevail.
Claim 9 and Its Refutation
Other people with baseless doubts about Jesus’ (pbuh) exact status and return ask: “Why is Jesus (pbuh) being sent to cause religious moral values to prevail, and not Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace)?” Taking these concerns as a pretext, they then raise all sorts of objections.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) is an honored and trustworthy messenger in God’s sight. God revealed His last Book to this great man, who is a role model of abiding by proper moral values, godliness and closeness to God, a friend of God, and one superior in His sight. He is also the friend, and protector of all believers. Throughout his life, the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) waged an exemplary struggle in the path of God and enlightened Arabia, which was buried in spiritual darkness and ignorance, with Islamic moral values. When the time appointed by God came to an end, his life, like that of many other prophets, came to an end.

However, God ordained a different destiny for Jesus (pbuh) and promised him that he would return to Earth. This is our Lord’s discretion, and surely there is great wisdom behind it. One element of that wisdom (God knows best) is that only such a miracle will enable Christians and Jews to rescue themselves from the situation in which they find themselves. Christians have many superstitions and distorted dogmas, which the Muslims do not have, such as deifying Jesus (pbuh). Thus, Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming is of great importance, for it will enable Christianity to rid itself of such distorted beliefs and turn to the true religious moral values of Islam. Although some Christians abide by the true path once they have seen it, others regard this as a betrayal of Jesus (pbuh) and so avoid living by true religious moral values. The fact is, however, that Jesus’ (pbuh) return and spreading of the message of the true religion among people will make it easier for these people to turn to Islam in a more rapid fashion. When their own prophet tells them that some of their beliefs (e.g., the Trinity and Jesus’ [pbuh] atonement for humanity’s sins) are mistaken, that God is the only deity and that the Qur’an really is God’s final revelation to humanity, Christians will sit up and listen to him. This event will free them from ascribing partners to God and other corrupt beliefs, and they will enter Islam in great waves.

Remember that God has promised the believers that religious moral values will prevail on Earth. However, this will happen only if believers totally avoid all forms of polytheism, whether direct or indirect, turn only to God, and worship only Him. By the will of God, the second coming will represent the start of this auspicious time.
God has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors; will firmly establish for them their religion, with which He is pleased; and give them, in place of their fear, security. “They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.” Any who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Qur’an, 24:55)
Claim 10 and Its Refutation
Yet another claim is a great deception: “Waiting for Jesus (pbuh) will lead the faithful into idleness.” This claim is unacceptable to both reason and conscience. Throughout history, people have sought saviors from God at times when immorality was widespread and cruelty and injustice were on the increase. They prayed to God to send them a messenger to lead them out of the darkness and into the light. When God answers their prayers and sends messengers, sincere believers support and defend them:

Those who believe in him, honor and help him, and follow the Light that has been sent down with him, they are the ones who are successful. (Qur’an, 7:157)

In fact, God’s sending of a messenger represents a major source of enthusiasm for true believers, for they know that they need to make the best and finest preparations in order to prepare the environment for him. People exert great effort to prepare themselves and their environments, based upon their joy and love of belief, for this great event. Idleness and apathy, on the other hand, are characteristics of hypocrites and people of weak faith. Those whose faith is weak do not fully believe in the messenger’s coming, and when that individual comes, they do not obey him sincerely. History shows many examples of this. For example, the mental state of such people in previous societies is revealed in the following verse:

They swore by God with their most earnest oaths that if a warner came to them, they would be better guided than any other community. But then when a warner came to them, it only increased their aversion. (Qur’an, 35:42)

The Qur’an states that Jesus (pbuh) himself gave the glad tidings that a prophet would come after him – after he had been raised to God’s presence. This represented great news, both in Jesus’ (pbuh) own time and for those believers who came after. This verse states:

And when Jesus son of Mary said: “O Children of Israel, I am the messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that came before me and giving you the good news of a messenger after me, whose name is Ahmad.” When he brought them the clear signs, they said: “This is downright magic.” (Qur’an, 61:6)

If any of these claims were true, then God would not have revealed by means of Jesus (pbuh) that He would be sending another messenger at a later date. Alternatively, this revelation should have encouraged the people living at the time to engage in idleness and apathy. However, there is great wisdom in our Lord’s giving glad tidings to people by means of a messenger, and, with God’s permission, true believers will never be idle or apathetic. Believers have deep understanding and reason, both of which stem from faith. Therefore, they comprehend the importance of a messenger’s tidings, experience the excitement and enthusiasm of those tidings, and act in the awareness of the need to prepare themselves as much as possible for this great event.

Those who maintain that Jesus (pbuh) is dead are making a false claim. In addition, the interpretations they present to prove their assertions do not reflect the truth. Our hope is that this book will help all of these misguided people realize their errors and abandon them. Such a moral value is a feature of believers and is praised in the Qur’an.

In the Qur’an, God reveals that the believers do not knowingly persist in error (Qur’an, 3:135) and abide by the true path once they see it. The best and most accurate information on this subject, as is the case with all matters, is that revealed in the Qur’an and the hadith. In other words, Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and was not killed. He will return to Earth when the appointed time comes. Therefore, instead of seeking to ignore or deny this clear truth by using groundless and flimsy interpretations, people should consider just what his return will mean and be excited and stimulated by it. True believers can pray to witness this great event and to experience the environment of beauty and auspiciousness that will ensue.
JESUS (PBUH) IN THE HADITH
The facts that Jesus (pbuh) is alive in God’s presence and that he will return to Earth in the End Times appears in some detail in the hadith collections, among them al-Shaybani’s Taysir al-Usul ila Jami’ al-Usul; Imam Maliki’s Al-Muwatta’; the Sahihs of Ibn Khuzayma and Ibn Hibban; and the Musnads of Ibn Hanbal and al-Tayalisi, regarded as the greatest sources of the most reliable hadith. Furthermore, many Islamic scholars have carried out research and studies on these facts and have written books and treatises on them. These are also invaluable sources.

Heading the list of these great Islamic scholars is Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi legal school. Some of the other Islamic scholars who hold these views are listed below:

– Imam Abu Mansur Muhammad al-Maturidi, who, while studying the hadith regarding Jesus (pbuh), stated that Jesus (pbuh) would return to Earth and slay the Antichrist.80

– Al-Ajuri, regarded as one of the first experts on the Qur’an, stated that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth in the End Times, for which reason the report must be believed.81

– Ibn Hazm stated that the report that Jesus (pbuh) would return is reliable.82

– Al-Pazdavi drew attention to the fact that reports of Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming are openly revealed in many verses and hadith.83

– An-Nasafi stated that this event was one of the major signs of the Day of Judgment.84

– Saduddin al-Taftazani stated that the hadith about this event are completely trustworthy.85

– Ibn al-‘Arabi reported that even though more than a thousand years has passed since Jesus’ (pbuh) birth, he is alive in body and soul in God’s presence.86

– Al-Qurtubi wrote that he believes in the second coming of Jesus (pbuh) and indicated many trustworthy hadith to back up this belief.87
– Imam Rabbani wrote: “Jesus (pbuh) will descend from the sky and will be a member of Prophet Muhammad’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) community. In other words, he will be one of his people and will abide by the Divine law.”88

– Imam Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi, regarded as one of the most important Egyptian Hanafi scholars of his time, opined that the return of Jesus (pbuh) is a major sign of the End Times and stated the need to believe in this truth.89

– ‘Ali al-Qari said that Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming is a sign of the Day of Judgment and that when he returns, he will slay the Antichrist. According to al-Qari, belief in this report is obligatory, for the subject is fixed by a number of reports from the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) and his followers.90

– In his book Maqalat al-Islamiyyin wa Ikhtilfa’ al-Musallin (The Discourses of the Proponents of Islam and the Differences among the Worshippers), Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari said: “It is a requirement to believe in these elements on which the people of the hadith and the people of the Sunnah are agreed: in God, angels, the books, the prophets, the revelations received from God, and in the words of the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) … that the Antichrist will appear and that Jesus (pbuh) will slay him.”91

– Al-Bayadi draws attention to the fact that the second coming is one of the signs that the Day of Judgment is approaching, and that reliable hadith fully support this information.92

– Al-Suyuti reported that Jesus (pbuh) will come and rule with the law of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace).93

– Al-Alusi said that when Jesus (pbuh) returns, he will rule with the law of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) and the Muslims will be his helpers.94

– Abu Munteha, an Islamic scholar from the Ottoman period, said it was right to believe in the return of Jesus (pbuh).95

– Al-Shinqiti, a modern commentator, wrote: “Both the Qur’an and the generally accepted Sunnah are proofs that Jesus (pbuh) is at this moment alive, that he will descend in the End Times, and that his coming is regarded as one of the signs of the Day of Judgment.”96

Taken all together, these and many other hadith clearly show the full agreement among all Islamic scholars that Jesus (pbuh) will come again. For example, in his Lawami, Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Saffarini states that Islamic scholars are in agreement on the issue:
The community of the faithful agrees that Jesus (pbuh), the son of Mary, will return. No member of the people of the Divine law has opposed this element.97

In his commentary, Ruh al-Ma’ani fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, the great Islamic scholar Sayyid al-Alusi cited examples of the views of other Islamic scholars and said that the community is agreed on the return of Jesus (pbuh), and that these statements were so well known as to attain the level of consensus. He also stated that belief in the coming of Jesus (pbuh) was obligatory.98

The Hadith on Jesus (pbuh) Are “Tawatur”

The hadith relating Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming are tawatur, a specialized term defined as “a tradition that has been handed down by a number of different channels of transmitters or authorities, hence supposedly ruling out the possibility of its having been forged.”99 Generally reliable hadith are those which are reported by so many hadith experts that there is no room left for error. The Islamic scholar Sayyid al-Jurjani expounded on this concept as follows:

Generally reliable reports are those that attain such a level [of agreement] among the majority of narrators that, according to custom, it is [considered] impossible for so many reporters to agree on a falsehood. In that event, if the report’s words and meaning are consistent, then this is known as the “reliability of the word.” If there is agreement among all of them in both sense and meaning, but a conflict in words, then this is known as “conceptual reliability.”100

In his Al-Tasrih fi ma Tawatara fi Nuzul al-Masih, the great hadith scholar Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri wrote that the hadith about Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming are all reliable, and quotes 75 hadith and 25 works by the Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) Companions and their disciples (Tabi’un).

The following explanation appears in ‘Awn al-Ma`bud, one of the important texts in Sunan Abu Dawud:

The hadith reported from the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) that Jesus (pbuh) will return from the sky in body and soul are trustworthy… This is the doctrine of the people of the Sunnah.101

Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari stated that the hadith about Jesus’ (pbuh) descent are trustworthy:

The hadith regarding Jesus’ (pbuh) descent are “conceptually reliable.” Each sound and beautiful hadith indicates a different meaning, yet all agree that Jesus (pbuh) will return. Nobody who has scented the odor of the knowledge contained within the hadith can possibly deny this truth… The hadith dealing with the appearance of the Mahdi and the Antichrist, as well as with the second coming, have achieved such a high degree of trustworthiness that their truth is beyond all doubt. The fact that some scholastic theologians deem it obligatory to believe in hadith about the signs of the Day of Judgment, while they still have doubts as to whether a part of these hadith are reliable or not, stems from their insufficient knowledge of the hadith.102
We saw earlier that the great Islamic scholar Imam al-Suyuti stated that Jesus (pbuh) is alive in God’s presence and will return in the End Times, at which time religious moral values will prevail over Earth. In his book Al-Hawi li al-Fatawa and the collection Nuzul ‘Isa ibn Maryam Akhir al-Zaman, he considered all of the relevant hadith, after which he stated that these were trustworthy:

It cannot remain concealed from those who have studied the hadith at great length that all of the relevant hadith have achieved the level of trustworthiness. Therefore, just as the hadith about the awaited Mahdi are trustworthy and those concerning the Antichrist have attained the level of trustworthiness, the hadith about the coming of Jesus (pbuh) are also trustworthy.103

After analyzing and explaining these hadith, the scholar Ibn Kathir outlined his thoughts:

The prophetic hadith reliably report when and where Jesus (pbuh) will return … The reliable and trustworthy hadith about when Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth in his physical body cannot be interpreted in any other manner. Therefore, everyone who has the slightest faith and conscience must believe that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth…104

Furthermore, many great Islamic commentators and scholars share the view that the hadith dealing with Jesus (pbuh) being alive in God’s presence and his return, as well as those dealing with the Antichrist and the Mahdi, are trustworthy. Among them are Ibn ‘Atiyya, author of Al-Bahr al-Muhit; Imam al-Hafiz ibn Hajar, author of Fath al-Bari; Imam Ibn Rushd, author of Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari; Sheikh al-Ghumari, author of ‘Aqidat Ahl al-Islam fi Nuzul ‘Isa ‘alayhi al-Salam; and Ja’far al-Kattani, author of Nazm al-Mutanathir fi al-Hadith al-Mutawatir.

Accounts in the Hadith about Jesus (pbuh)

Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) received news of the Unseen directly from God:

He [God] is the Knower of the Unseen and does not divulge His secrets to anyone – except a messenger with whom He is well pleased, and then He posts sentinels before him and behind him. (Qur’an, 72:26-27)

Our Lord reveals that He sent knowledge to Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) in his dreams:

God has confirmed His messenger’s vision with truth: “You will enter the Sacred Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] in safety, God willing, shaving your heads and cutting your hair without any fear.” He knew what you did not know and ordained, in place of this, an imminent victory. (Qur’an, 48:27)
As can be seen, our Lord imparted pieces of concealed knowledge to our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) in order to provide him and his Companions with His support and help. Some of his Companions witnessed some of these concealed things. They reported how he conveyed these concealed things to them. Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and Hudhayfa, and Imam Ahmad and Imam Muslim reported from Ibn Zayd al-Ansari, that:

The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) … gave us news of all the past and future events in this address, taught them to us, and had us learn them by heart.105

Hudhayfa al-Yamani said:

I swear to God that the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) gave us news of the wickedness that would come until the end of the world, as well as the names of more than three hundred leaders who would produce that wickedness, with their fathers’ names and those of their tribes.106

A large part of our Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) reports about the future contains information about the second coming. When these hadith about Jesus (pbuh) are examined, we notice that despite their large numbers, all of them agree with each other. When their information is examined, we see that they all contain similar reports that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth, rule the people with the Qur’an, fight and overcome the Antichrist, cause true religious moral values to prevail on Earth, and usher in an era of peace and abundance for the whole world. Another noteworthy feature of these hadith is that they have been reported by a large number of witnesses. Indeed, this is why they are considered mutawatir, for so many people have reported them that they cannot possibly be false. The number of witnesses relating hadith regarding Jesus (pbuh) is greater than fifty. These include:

Anas Ibn Malik, Qatada, ‘A’isha, Abu Hurayra, ‘Imran ibn Husayn, Nafi’ ibn ‘Utba, Abu Barza, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Qaysan, ‘Uthman ibn al-‘As, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah, Abu Umama, Ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abdulla ibn Amr, Samura ibn Jundub, Nawwas ibn Sam’an, Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Hudhayfa ibn al-Yamani, Abu al-Asas as-Sanani, Abu Umama al Bahili, Abu al-Darda’, Abu Rafi’, Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, Al-Hakam ibn ‘Amr al-Ghifari, Rabi’ ibn Anas, and ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, may God be pleased with all of them.

Statements from the Companions and the Later Generations

The Companions are very valuable believers who attained the honors of being alongside and being taught by the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). Thus, their statements regarding the verses about Jesus (pbuh) contain information of what the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) taught them about this unique prophet. When we examine their statements about the relevant verses, we notice that all of them believed that Jesus (pbuh) was not dead and would return to Earth. Some of these statements are as follows:

-Referring to Qur’an 3:46, Ibn Zayd said: “Jesus (pbuh) spoke to people while he was still in the cradle. When he kills the Antichrist, he will speak to people as an adult.”107

-‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said about Qur’an 4:159: “This verse is proof that Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, will appear … All of the People of the Book will believe in him before his death.”108
-Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Abi Talib (also known as Ibn Hanafiyya), explained Qur’an 4:159 in these terms: “He will descend before the Day of Judgment. All Jews and Christians will believe in him.”109

-Qatada expounded on the same verse, as follows: “When Jesus (pbuh) descends, all religions will believe in him and he will bear witness for them on the Day of Judgment.”110 He stated about Qur’an 43:61 thus: “The appearance of Jesus (pbuh) is an indication of the Day of Judgment.”111

-In explaining Qur’an 4:159, Abu Muhammad al-Madani said: “When Jesus (pbuh) descends to Earth, he will slay the Antichrist, and no Jew who does not believe in him will be left on Earth.”112

-Al-Hakam ibn ‘Amr al-Ghifari explained Qur’an 4:159 in the following words: “At the moment when Jesus (pbuh) son of Mary descends, all of the People of the Book will believe in him.”113

-Al-Hasan al-Basri made the following comment: “I swear to God that Jesus (pbuh) is at this moment alive in God’s presence, and that everyone will believe in him when he returns.” With regard to Qur’an 4:159, he said: “God raised Jesus (pbuh) to His presence. He will send him before the Day of Judgment as a holder of rank. Good and bad, all will believe in him.”114 He also made a similar comment regarding Qur’an 43:61, saying that the meaning of the verse was that Jesus (pbuh) would return to Earth.115

-On the same subject, Ibn ‘Abbas said: “In Qur’an 43:61, God indicates that Jesus (pbuh) will appear before the Day of Judgment.”116

Islamic Scholars Regard the Coming of Jesus (pbuh)

as an Article of Faith

Almost all the works that elucidate articles of faith among the People of the Sunnah agree that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment, fight and slay the Antichrist, and cause true religious moral values to prevail on Earth. In their analysis of the proofs presented in the Qur’an and the hadith, Islamic scholars inform us that Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming is an important article of faith. They explain the matter thus:

1. God has revealed that: “They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them” (Qur’an, 4:157). In addition, many other verses reveal that Jesus (pbuh) is alive in God’s presence and that he will come again. Islamic scholars agree that it is impossible to maintain any other position. For instance, Ibn Hazm emphasized that: “Anyone who says that Jesus (pbuh) was killed will either be someone who leaves the just religion or an unbeliever.”117

2. The fact that the hadith on this subject are completely tawatur (trustworthy) and so clear is important evidence for Muslims. Furthermore, there is no hadith that asserts that Jesus (pbuh) will not return.

3. The hadith reported by Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah: “He who denies the appearance of the Mahdi is inevitably blaspheming against what was revealed to the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). He who denies the appearance of Jesus (pbuh), the son of Mary, has become an unbeliever. Someone who denies that the Antichrist will appear is also inevitably an unbeliever,” is another important piece of evidence. This hadith appears in such important Islamic sources as Sheikh Muhammad Parisa’s Fusul-i Sitta, Ibn Ishaq’s Kitab al-Ta`aruf li Madhhab Ahl al-Tasawwuf, Imam Suhayli’s al-Rawd al-Unuf, and Imam Suyuti’s Alamat al-Mahdi. Moreover, Abu Bakr explained the hadith in these terms: “It was revealed to us from Muhammad ibn Hasan, to him from Abu ‘Abdullah al-Husayn ibn Muhammad, to him from Ibn Uways, to him from Malik ibn Abas, to him from Muhammad ibn Munkadir, and to him from Ibn Jabir.”118

4. Another factor is the number and reliability of the hadith narrators regarding the second coming. Among these people are Abu al-Asas al-Sanani, Abu Rafi’, Abu al-Aliya, Abu Umama al Bahili, Abu al-Darda’, Abu Hurayra, Abu Malik al-Khudri, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah, Hudhayfa ibn Adis, Safina, Qatada, ‘Uthman ibn al-‘As, Nafi’ ibn Kaysani, Al Walid ibn Muslim, ‘Ammar ibn Yathir, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, may God be pleased with all of them.

Given this, Islamic scholars regard belief in Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming and his causing true religious moral values to prevail as major articles of faith.

The information considered thus far shows that the relevant hadith are sahih (reliable) and mutawatur (trustworthy). The information that they contain, as well as the accounts narrated by the Companions and analyses of Islamic scholars, leave no doubt that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth. By God’s will, this great miracle will occur and all people will, as a direct result, experience a most miraculous and beautiful period. (God knows best.)

Source: al-shia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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