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Who Was Jesus, Son of Mary?

Who Was Jesus, Son of Mary?

Translated by Ramy Noaman

Sheikh Muḥammad Ibn Saalih Al‐`Uthaymeen was asked about the creed of the Muslims with respect to Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon him.

He replied:

“The creed of the Muslims concerning Jesus, son of Mary, peace and blessings be upon him, is that he is one of the noble messengers. In fact, he was among those of Great Determination, and they were: Muḥammad, Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jesus, peace and blessings be upon them. Allāh mentioned them in two places in His Book.

In Surat Al‐Ahzab (Chapter of the Confederates):

ِن ٱبۡ َسى ِعي َو َسىٰ ُمو َو َم ِهي َرٲ َوِٕابۡ ٍ۟ح ُّ نو ِمن َو َك ِمن َو ُهمۡ ِميَثـَٰق َن ٱلَّ نِبِّ يـۧ َن ِم َخذَۡنا َٔاَوِٕاذۡ ًظ ي ِل َغ ا ًق ٰ ـ َث ي ِّ م م ُه ۡ ن ِم ا َن ۡذ َخ َٔا َو َۖم َي ۡرَم

And [mention, O Muḥammad], when We took from the prophets their covenant and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary; and We took from them a solemn covenant. [Qur'an ]33:7

In Surat Ash‐Shura (Chapter of Mutual Consultation):

ِهۦۤ ِب َّ صيَۡنا َو َما َو َك ِٕاَليۡ َحيَۡنآ َٔاوۡ ٓى ِذ َوٱَّ ل ً۟حا ُنو ِهۦ ِب َّ صىٰ َو َما ِن ِّ دي ٱل َن ِّ م ُكم َل َع َرَش َعَلى َٓاُبَر َوَلاَتَتَفَّ رُقواِْفيِۚه ۡنَٔاِقيُمواْٱلِّ ديَن ۖٓىَٰٔا َوِعيَس َوُموَسىِٰٕاۡبَرٲِهيَم ُب ي ِن ُي ن َم ِه ۡ ي َل ِٕا ىٓ ِد ۡ ہ َي َو ُء آ َش َي ن َم ِه ۡ ي َل ِٕا ىٓ ِب َت ۡج َي ُه َّ ل ل ٱ ِۚه ۡي َل ِٕا ۡ م ُه و ُع ۡد َت ا َم َن ي ِٓا ِر ۡ ش ُم ۡلٱ

He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muḥammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus ‐ to establish the religion and not be divided therein. [Qur'an :42]13

The Muslims believe that Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, was a human being, from among the progeny of Adam. He was created from a mother, with no father. The Muslims believe that he is the slave of Allāh and His Messenger; for he is a worshiper, not one who is worshiped; and a Messenger who does not lie.

They believe that he does not have any attributes of lordship, whatsoever. Indeed, he is as Allāh said:

َل ِءي َرٲٓ ِٕاسۡ ِّ لَبِنىٓ ً۟ال َمَث ُه َعلَۡنـٰ َج َو ِه َعَليۡ َعمَۡنا َٔانۡ َعبۡدٌ ِٕاَّ لا َو ُهِٕانۡ

Jesus was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor and We made him an example for the Children of Israel. [Qur'an ]43:59

And they believe that he did not command his people to take him and his mother as deities besides Allāh. Rather, he said to them what Allāh commanded him with:

ۚمۡ ُك َرَّ ب َو َرِّ بى َه ٱلَّ ل ُدواْ ۡعُب ٱ ِن َٔا ۤۦ ِه ِب َمرَۡتِنى َٔا َمآ ِٕاَّ لا ۡم ُه َل ُت ُقلَۡما

…to worship Allāh, my Lord and your Lord. [Qur'an ]5:117
And that he, peace be upon him, was created by the word of Allāh, Almighty and Majestic, as Allāh, Exalted, said:

ُٓانَفَيُكوُن ٍ۟بُثمَّ َقاَلَلُهۥ ِمنُتَرا َخَلَقُهۥ َءاَدَۖم َٓاَمَثِل ِعنَدٱلَّ لِه ِعيَسىٰ َمَثَلِٕاَّ ن

Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allāh is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. [Qurʾān ]3:59

The Muslims believe that there was no Prophet between him and Muḥammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as Allāh, Exalted said:

َصِّ دً۟قاِّ لَماَبيَۡن ُّ م َرُسوُلٱلَّ لِهِٕاَليُۡكم َمرَۡيَمَيـَٰبِنىِٕٓاسَۡرٲِٓءيَلِٕاِّ نى ِعيَسىٱبُۡنَوِٕاذَۡقاَل

م ُه َء آ َج ا َّ م َل َف ُۖد َم ۡح َٔا ۤ ۥ ُه ُم ۡس ٱ ى ِد ۡع َب ۢ ن ِم ى ِت ۡ أ َي ٍ۟ل و ُس َر ِب ا َۢر ِّ ش َب ُم َو ِة ٰ ٮ َر ۡو َّ ت ل ٱ َن ِم َّ ى َدَي

۟ ٌ ن ي ب ِ م ُّ ٌ ۟ ر ح ۡ س ِ ا ذ َ ـ ٰ ه َ ْ ا و ل ُ ا ق َ ِت ٰ ـ ن َ ي ِّ ب َ ۡ ل ٱ بِ

And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allāh to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”[Qur'an ]61:6

And they believe that no one's belief is complete until he believes that Jesus is the slave of Allāh and His Messenger, and that he is innocent and pure of what he was described with by the Jews who said: “He is the son of a slut, and he was born out of infidelity” ‐and we seek refuge with Allāh ‐while Allāh, Exalted, has declared his innocence from this.

(This is) just as they ‐i.e. the believers ‐declare innocence from the path of the Christians who have strayed from understanding the truth regarding Jesus, son of Mary, such that they took him and his mother as two deities besides God; and some of them said: he is the son of God; and some of them said: he is the third of three.

As for what concerns his killing and his crucifixion, Allāh, Glorified, has emphatically denied that he has been killed or crucified, in straightforward, absolute terms. For Allāh, Almighty and Majestic, said:

َصَلُبوُه َوَما َوَماَقَتُلوُه َرُسوَلٱلَّ لِه ۡرَيَم َم ِعيَسىٱۡبَنَوَقوِۡلِهمِٕۡاَّ ناَقَتلَۡناٱلَۡمِسيَح ا َّ ل ِٕا ٍم ۡل ِع ۡن ِم ۦ ِه ِب م ُه َل ا َم ُۚه ۡ ن ِّ م ٍّ۟ ك َش ى ِف َل ِه ي ِف اْ و ُف َل َت ۡ خ ٱ َن ي ِذ َّ ل ٱ َّ ن ِٕا َو ۡم ۚ ُه َل َه ِّ ب ُش ن ِك ٰـ َلَو َحِكيً۟ما َعِزيًزا َوَٓااَنٱلَّ لُه َّ رَفَعُهٱلَّ لُهِٕاَلۡيِهۚ َوَماَقَتُلوُهَيِقيَۢنا)١٥٧(َبل ِّۚ نٱِّ تَباَعٱلَّ ظ ُن و ُك َي ِة َم ٰ ـ َي ِق ۡ ل ٱ َم ۡو َي َو ۖۦ ِه ِت ۡو َم َل ۡ ب َق ۦ ِه ِب َّ ن َن ِم ۡؤ ُي َل ا َّ ل ِٕا ِب ٰ ـ َت ِك ۡل ٱ ِل ۡه َٔا ۡن ِّ م ن ِٕا َو ( ١ ٥ ٨) َشِہيً۟دا)١٥٩(َعَلۡيِہۡم

And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allāh.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allāh raised him to Himself. And ever is Allāh Exalted in Might and Wise. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. [Qur'an ]4:157‐159

Therefore, anyone who believes that Jesus, son of Mary, peace and blessings be upon him, has been killed or crucified, then he has belied the Qur'an, and whoever belies the Qur'an has disbelieved. For we believe that Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, was not killed or crucified, but we say: the Jews carried the sin of killing and crucifixion, for they assumed that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allāh.

But they did not kill him in reality. Rather, they killed one who was made to appear to them (to be Jesus) when Allāh placed his (Jesus') appearance upon one of them, so they killed him and crucified him. And they said: “We killed Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allāh!” Therefore, the Jews carried the sin of the killing and of the crucifixion due to their testimony against themselves.

And as for the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, Allāh has declared his disaffiliation from this, protected him, and He, Glorified and Exalted, raised him to Him in the sky. And he will descend to the earth in the end times, and he will rule with the Shari`ah of the Prophet (Muḥammad), peace and blessings be upon him, then he will die on the earth, he will be buried in it, and he will be raised from it just as the rest of the progeny of Adam will be raised from it, as per the statement of Allāh, Exalted:

ۡخَر َوِمۡنَہاُنخِۡرُجُكمَۡتاَرًةُٔا َوِفيَہاُنِعيُدُٓاۡم َخَلقَۡنٰـُكمِۡمنَۡہا

From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time. [Qur'an ]20:55

And His statement:

َن ُجو َر ُتخۡ َوِمنَۡہا َن َتُموُتو َوِفيَها َن َتحَۡيوۡ ِفيَہا َلَقا

“Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.”

[Qur'an ]7:25
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
Taken from: Fatawa Al‐Aqeedah pp 589‐591

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5 comments

  1. I was born into a North-European Protestant Christian culture, and I can safely say: whether Jesus was born of a virgin, crucified, or resurrected or not doesn’t make a nick of difference to his message: love one another. That’s about it. Whatever crazy interpretations Christians make of his life doesn’t change his message. Hope you can follow me. Salaam.

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    • It does make a difference. Because that dude whose message is to love one another also attests to being the Son of God and savior for the world. You cannot embrace the message without embracing the messenger.

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  2. To those who are in doubt of Jesus, please trace the historical facts and timeline to find the truth, not based on writings written 500 years after the death of Jesus. Most accounts recorded in new testament were written by people who experienced direct encounter to Jesus, or possessed close relationship with Jesus’ followers. Peace be with you.

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  3. http://www.jesuswillreturn.com/s1_4.html

    Notice the prophet (saw) said that isa ibn maryam will descesnd and rule by the Quran and not the Injeel. [bukhari and muslim] this again proves that isa ibn maryam will come back.
    Reminder of the prophetic signs regarding the return of masih isa ibn maryam (as):
    isa ibn maryam (as) will descend onto a white minerat in eastern damascus [tafsir Ibn kathir]
    Isa (as) will perform salah in Ash Sham (musnad Ahmad — reported by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud]
    Isa ibn maryam will defeat the dajjal in ludd which is in palestine and show the blood of dajjal on his sword to the people [bukhari and muslim]
    Isa ibn maryam will perform hajj and umra [ibn majah]
    when isa passes away he will be buried in madina [Bukhari]

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  4. Proofs that Jesus (as) was raised up alive

    1st century: Abdullah Ibn Abbas (618 – 687 AH)
    “Allah (swt) raised Isa Ibn Maryam alive to the heavens.” [Bayhaqi]
    2nd Century: Imam Abu ʿAbdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi‘i (767/150 – 820/204 CE/AH)
    “In the same way that the Prophet ‘Isa عليه السلام ascended to the heavens at Allah’s command, he will also return to Earth at Allah’s command and will enforce Islamic justice. People whose faith is weak may not regard this as possible. But it is an easy matter after recognizing the might of Allah.” (The Great Book of Scholarship of Shafi’i, Halil Günenç, expanded 2nd edition, p. 23)
    3rd Century: Abū Al-Hasan Alī Ibn Ismā’īl Al-Ash’arī (874/260 – 936/324 CE/AH)
    “There is a consensus among the community of the faithful [ijma' ummat] that Jesus عليه السلام was raised alive to the heavens.” (Al-Ash’ari, Al-Ash’ari’s al-Ibana ‘an Usul al-Diyana, (Cairo: 1986), 2:115)
    4th Century: Abu Abd-Allah Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah al-Hakim al-Nishaburi (933/321 – 1012/403 CE/AH)
    [He is the author of the ahadith collection Al-Mustadrak in which he states that] “…Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said about the verse of the Holy Qur’an (4:159): “This verse is proof that Jesus عليه السلام, son of Mary, will appear… All of the People of the Book will believe in him before his death.”” (Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, 2:309)
    5th Century: Abū Hāmed Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ghazālī (1058 CE – 1111/505 CE/AH)
    “…then the Qur’an would be erased from hearts and not a word of it would be remembered; and the people would return to the poetry, songs, and tales of the pre-Islamic period; then the Anti-Christ would go forth and ‘Isa, the blessings and peace of God upon him, would descend to kill him. The hour when all this occurs would be like the pregnant woman in travail, waiting for the moment of her delivery.” (The Secrets of Pilgrimage, p.17)
    “Out of the Prophets, Jesus Christ عليه السلام did not marry but he will marry after his second advent.” (The Revival of the Religious Sciences, Ihya Ulum Uddin, Secret of Marriages, p.21)
    Abu Bakr Ibn al-’Arabi (1076 – 1148] 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. [Commentary on jami at-tirmidhi]
    6th Century: ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1077 – 1166 CE)
    “Jesus عليه السلام did not marry; he never took a wife. At the end of time, Allah (Exalted is He) will send him back down to the earth, and He will then marry him to a young woman of Quraish, who will bear him a son.” (Utterances of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Malfuzat): Collected Sayings from the Crown of Saints, translated by Muthar Holland, p.58)
    Fakhr al Din Al Razi (1149 – 1249) states; “The verse [4:158] “He raised him to His Presence” … makes it clear that Jesus was raised up alive to the heavens. [Tafsir Kabir]
    7th Century: Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (1263 – 1328 CE)
    “The verse [4:158] “He raised him to His Presence” … explains that Jesus عليه السلام was raised in both body and soul.” (Imam Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu’ Fatawa, trans. by Abdurrahman ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Asimi an-Najdi, 4:323)
    Ibn taymiya commented on the Quran ch 3 vs 55 that it states that Isa (as) did not die but rather was raised up alive while asleep. [Majmu’ Fatawa]
    8th Century: Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (1372/773 – 1448/852 CE/AH)
    “The Mahdi is of this Ummah, and that Jesus عليه السلام will come down and pray behind him.” (Fath al-Baari, v.5, p.362)
    “…there was no Prophet between Jesus عليه السلام and our Prophet [Muhammad], on whom peace and blessings of Allah and Jesus عليه السلام has no grave.” (Fath al-Baari 2/160, Kitabul Salaah)
    Hafiz Ibn Hajr (RA) clearly says about Jesus (PBUH):
    وَلَيْسَ لَهُ قَبْر
    “And he has no grave.” [fath al bari]
    9th Century: Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti (1445/849 – 1505/911 CE/AH)
    “As-Suyuti says Jerusalem is specially honoured by Muslems. It was at Jerusalem that the prophets sacrificed; that Jesus was born and spoke in his cradle; and it was from Jerusalem that Jesus ascended to heaven; and it will be there that he will again descend.” (A Muslim Seeker After God, Samuel M. Zwemer, p.115 and Durr al-Manthur)
    In his commentary, al-Suyuti said, based on reliable hadith, that the Prophet said Jesus (pbuh) did not die, and then continued: “In that case, Jesus عليه السلام was raised to the skies and will return before the Day of Judgment.” (Durr al-Manthur, 2:225-27)
    “This word [kahlaan] expresses the fact that he (Jesus عليه السلام) will descend from the heavens before the Day of Judgment, because he was raised to the skies before attaining old age.” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Surah al-Ma’ida (ch5):vs110, v.1: pg.447)
    Imam Suyuti writes in Durr Manthur:
    أخرج أحمد والبخاري ومسلم والبيهقي في الأسماء والصفات قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : كيف أنتم إذا نزل فيكم ابن مريم ، وإمامكم منكم؟
    Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim and Baihaqi in Asma wal Sifaat says: “What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. ‘Eisa) will descend amongst you and your Imam will be from amongst you?”
    11th Century: Rabbānī Shaykh Ahmad Al-Farūqī Al-Sirhindī Mujaddid Alf Thānī (1564 – 1624 CE)
    “Jesus عليه السلام 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.” (Letters of Rabbani (Istanbul: 1977), 1:436, 545, 722, 820, 846)
    12th Century: Shah Waliullah Dehlwi (1703 – 1762 CE)
    “None of the People of the Book will remain without believing in him before he dies and Jesus will remain a witness unto them” [exegetical note] “The Jews present at the time of the descent of Jesus Christ will definitely believe in him.” (Fath ur Rahmaan Fee Tarjumatul Qura’an, 4:159)
    13th Century; Bediüzzaman Said Nursî (1878 – 1960)
    THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW) ALLUDED TO THIS GREAT MIRACLE OF THE ASCENSION OF JESUS AND HIS RETRUN WHEN HE SAID: “JESUS WILL APPEAR HAVING DESCENDED FROM THE SKIES; HE WILL ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH MY SHARI‘A.” (The Letters, Seeds of Reality, p. 544)
    14th Century; Muhammad Ash-Shanqeeti (1907 – 1973)
    Muhammad Ash-Shanqeeti (the reformer of 14th century) state that both the Quran and authentic hadith are proofs that Isa (as) is alive at the moment and he will descend before the last Day. [Adwaa-ul-Bayaan fee Tafseer-il-Qur'an bil-Qur'an]
    Each one of these personalities, among them some of the most distinguished exemplars in Islam declared their belief in the ascension or descent of ‘Isa ibn Maryam عليه السلام.
    This truth is indicated in a Prophetic Tradition: “Prophet Jesus will return to this world, join my community, and follow my Sharia.” [Bukhari – book on battles, Muslim – book on Faith and Ibn Majah – Book on trials]
    Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) that Prophet, may Allah bless him, said: “It is near that one who lives from amongst you shall meet ‘Eisa bin Maryam. He will be a rightly guided (imaman mahdiyyan] leader and a just ruler …”
    What is “Mahdi”?
    What? The heading says, ‘What is Mahdi?’ not, ‘Who is Mahdi?’ Yes, indeed that is what needs to be understood in the very first place.
    Mahdi is an attribute/characteristic which means ‘rightly guided.’ And it is used for so many people in various Hadith narrations. With a quick look I could find that following people have been called so;
    Abdullah bin Jarir (RA):
    In Sahih Bukhari we read that Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, prayed for Sayyidina Jarir bin ‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him;
    اللَّهُمَّ ثَبِّتْهُ وَاجْعَلْهُ هَادِيًا مَهْدِيًّا
    “O Allah! Make him firm and make him a guiding and a rightly-guided man [mahdiyyan].”(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2809)
    Mu’awiya (RA):
    According to Jami’ Tirmidhi, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, prayed exactly the same way for Sayyidina Mu’awiya, may Allah be pleased with him;
    اللهم اجعله هاديا مهديا
    “O Allah! Make him a guiding and a rightly-guided man [mahdiyyan].” (Jami’ Tirmidhi, Hadith 3842. Classified as Hasan by Tirmidhi and Sahih by Albani)
    ‘Ali (RA):
    In one Hadith the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, addressing the people said about Sayyidina ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him;
    تجدوه هاديا مهديا يأخذ بكم الطريق المستقيم
    “You will find him a guiding and a right-guided person [mahdiyyan] who will take you on the right path.” (al-Isaba fi Ma’rifatil Sahaba 2/271. Hafiz Ibn Hajr said, its chain is good [jayyad])
    All the Pious Caliphs:
    A famous Hadith uses the word for all the pious Caliphs. It read;
    فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء المهديين
    “You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided [mahdiyyeen] caliphs.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4607. Classified as Sahih by Albani)
    The word ‘mahdiyyeen’ is plural of ‘mahdi.’
    Thus we find that all of these great men and many others were ‘Mahdi’ i.e. rightly-guided ones.
    A person from the lineage of the Prophet due to appear near the End of Times:
    Just like all these people and many others, near the End of Times will appear a person from the lineage of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, whose being ‘mahdi’ i.e. rightly-guided is testified in original sources of Islam.
    The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, said;
    المهدي من عترتي من ولد فاطمة
    “The Mahdi (lit. rightly-guided) will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatimah.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4284. Classified as Sahih by Albani and others)
    But even he is referred to as ‘Mahdi’ not because it is his name but because he will be a rightly-guided person.
    About his name, another Hadith says;
    رجلا مني أو من أهل بيتي يواطئ اسمه اسمي واسم أبيه اسم أبي
    “A man who belongs to me or to my family whose name is same as my name and whose father’s name is the same as my father’s name.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4282. Classified as Sahih by Ibn Qayyim, Albani and others)
    Why generally only a particular person is referred to as ‘Mahdi’?
    Now naturally the question arises, if so many people were given the title of ‘Mahdi’ why only one person is referred to as such? The answer is simple. ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, is basically a Prophet, Pious caliphs and other companions themselves are praised much by the Qur’an so they have much greater references to be known with. However, the personality known and revered as ‘Imam Mahdi’ is so referred to as it will be his greatest position and as such makes him stand out among all other humans after the Prophets and their companions. And that is the reason we always, retain the word Mahdi when translating the narrations about him. And looking at the subtleties let me say that this contention of ours springs from the very wording of the Hadith and a comparison of various narrations.
    Please note, in the narrations using the word ‘mahdi’ (as singular adjective) for ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, and various companions it is simply ‘mahdi’ i.e. without the article ‘al’ i.e. ‘the’ while the narration about the person to appear near the End of the Times is ‘al-Mahdi’ which makes him stand out among all those for whom this word is used. This is, let me reiterate, because his being rightly-guided is an honor for him greater than any other status of him.
    Miraculous ascend of isa ibn Maryam (as)
    It has been plainly stated in the Qur’an that Allah did raise ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, to Himself and saved him from the evil designs of the Jews, the Murabbis try to confuse the simple facts by their twisting. And same is their attitude towards the Ahadith which clearly indicate that near the End of Times ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, will descend from the Heavens. But as mostly Ahadith use the word نزل only which means ‘to descend’ they again twist such narrations by relating it to rather rare usage of the word which does not even fit the context of these narrations. Taking the spirit, context and the continuous and unanimous belief and understanding of Muslims of past 1400 years it is evident that those Ahadith do actually mean he will descend from the Heavens above. In fact there are many directives to this in various narrations.
    Meeting the Challenge
    Here are categorical Ahadith about the fact that ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, was raised up alive to the Heavens and will descend from the Heavens above.
    Hadith 1
    عن ابن عباس قال: لما أراد الله أن يرفع عيسى إلى السماء خرج على أصحابه …ورفع عيسى من رَوْزَنَة في البيت إلى السماء
    Ibn Abbas said, “When Allah intended to raise ‘Eisa to the heavens, he went to his companions … and ‘Eisa ascended to the Heavens through an opening in the top of the house.”
    (Ibn Abi Hatim 4/431 Hadith 6266, Ibn Kathir 2/449. Ibn Kathir graded it Sahih)
    Hadith 2
    عن صفية أم المؤمنين رضي الله عنها أنها كانت إذا زارت بيت المقدس ، وفرغت من الصلاة في المسجد الأقصى صعدت على جبل زيتا فصلت عليه وقالت : هذا الجبل هو الذي رفع منه عيسى عليه السلام إلى السماء
    It is narrated from Ummul Momineen Safiya, may Allah be pleased with her, that when she visited Bait Al-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) and finished prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque she climbed up to Mt. Olives and prayed there as well and said: ‘This is the mountain from where ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, was raised up to the Heavens.’ (Al-Tasrih bima Tawatar fi Nuzul Al-Masih Hadith 74 cf. Tafsir Fath Al-Aziz Surah 95)
    Hadith 3
    إن أبا هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : « كيف أنتم إذا نزل ابن مريم من السماء فيكم
    Narrated Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him: Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him, said “What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. ‘Eisa) will descend amongst you from the heavens…?” (Baihaqi’s Asmaa wal Sifaat 2/432 Hadith 855)
    Baihaqi (RA) was recognized as a Mujaddid of 4th century A.H.
    The Hadith in full along with the comments by Imam Baihaqi goes as under:
    أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَافِظُ، أنا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ، أنا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، ثنا ابْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنِي اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ يُونُسَ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، مَوْلَى أَبِي قَتَادَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ قَالَ: إِنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «كَيْفَ أَنْتُمْ إِذَا نَزَلَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيكُمْ وَإِمَامُكُمْ مِنْكُمْ» . رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ فِي الصَّحِيحِ عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ بُكَيْرٍ، وَأَخْرَجَهُ مُسْلِمٌ مِنْ وَجْهٍ آخَرَ عَنْ يُونُسَ. وَإِنَّمَا أَرَادَ نُزُولَهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ بَعْدَ الرَّفْعِ إِلَيْهِ
    Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz (i.e. Imam Hakim) – Abu Bakr bin Ishaq – Ahmad bin Ibrahim – Ibn Bukayr – Laith – Yunus – Ibn Shihab – Nafi’ the freed-slave of Abu Qadadah al-Ansari — Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him – Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: “What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. ‘Eisa) will descend amongst you from the heavens and your Imam will be from amongst you?” Bukhari narrated it in al-Sahih from Yahya bin Bukayr. And Muslim also narrated it through another chain from Yunus (bin Yazid). And they (also) meant his descent from the Heavens after his ascension towards it.
    (Asma’ wa Sifaat 2/331 Hadith 895. Shaykh Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Hashidi has classified the narration as Sahih)
    Hadith 4
    عن أبى هريرة قال سمعت أبا القاسم الصادق المصدوق يقول …ثم ينزل عيسى بن مريم عليه وسلم من السماء فيؤم الناس
    Abu Huraira said: I heard Abul Qasim the Truthful and Trustworthy (i.e. Holy Prophet) say: ‘… then ‘Eisa ibn Maryam, on him be the peace, will descend from the heavens…’
    (Majma’ Al-Zawaid 7/349. Haithmi said, Bazzar has narrated it and all its narrators are those of the Sahih [i.e. Sahih Bukhari] except Ali bin Munzar and he is also trustworthy)
    Hadith 5
    قال ابن عباس : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : فعند ذلك ينزل أخي عيسى ابن مريم من السماء
    Ibn Abbas narrated: the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah, said: ‘And near it (Bait al-Maqdis) will descend from the Heavens my brother ‘Eisa ibn Maryam.’
    (Kanzul Ummal 14/619 Hadith 39726)
    Compiler of Kanzul Ummal, Ali Muttaqi Al-Hindi (RA) was recognized as a Mujaddid of 10th century A.H. by Muslims.
    Hadith 6
    عن ابن عباس { إن تعذبهم فإنهم عبادك } يقول : عبيدك قد استوجبوا العذاب بمقالتهم { وإن تغفر لهم } أي من تركت منهم ومد في عمره حتى أهبط من السماء إلى الأرض يقتل الدجال ، فنزلوا عن مقالتهم ووحدوك

    About the verse, ‘If you punish them they are your servants’ Ibn Abbas said, he ['Eisa] will say: ‘These slaves of yours have invited your chastisement by what they said [and believed]’. ‘And if you forgive them’ i.e. ‘those whom I left behind me and those who were there when I came down from the Heavens to Earth to kill al-Dajjal and they turned back from what they said [i.e. Trinity] and believed in your Oneness…’
    (Durr Manthur 4/27 under Surah 5 Ayah 118)
    The writer of Durr Manthur, Jalaluddin Suyuti (RA) was recognized as a Mujaddid of 9th century A.H. by Muslims.
    Hadith 7
    Thalabi and Zamakhshari mentioned the Hadith from Abu Huraira that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said;”Isa will descend from the Heavens.”
    [Tafsir Qurtabi under Quran chapter 43 verse 61; “And indeed, Jesus will be a sign of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.”]
    Note that Zamakhshari accepted the belief of Ahle Sunnah near the end of his life.
    Hadith 8
    Al Hasan Al Basri said; “Allah raised and lifted up Jesus alive with his body and soul.” [Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim on Quran 3:55]
    Hadith 9
    Prophet Muhammad (saw) said; “Allah (swt) raised Isa ibn Maryam (as) to the heavens.” [Bayhaqi]
    Hadith 10
    Hasan (RA) narrated: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to the Jews, ‘Jesus the son of Mary has not died, he will return to earth before the Doomsday.’” (Al-Tabari H.7133)
    Taqdim & Takhir is valid:
    The position of Ibn Abbas (RA) is that he believed in the physical ascension and return of Eisa (AS) even though he understood ‘mutawaffeeka’ to mean death. Following narration clarifies this;
    عن ابن عباس في قوله { إني متوفيك ورافعك } يعني رافعك ثم متوفيك في آخر الزمان
    It is narrated from Ibn Abbas about the Ayah “I’ll take you and raise you”; “It means I’ll raise you then will cause you to die near the End of Times.” (Durr Manthur 2/347 under 3:55)
    It is thus obvious that Ibn Abbas (RA) believed in Taqdim & Takhir (advancing and delaying) in this verse.
    In wake of the reality that sole person whose reference they cite in forwarding their argument about the meaning ‘mutawaffeeka’ made Taqdim in this verse (3:55)
    Imam Al-Razi in his commentary after explaining this verse from various angles says;
    والمعنى : أني رافعك إليّ ومطهرك من الذين كفروا ومتوفيك بعد إنزالي إياك في الدنيا ، ومثله من التقديم والتأخير كثير في القرآن
    “The meaning is; I will raise you unto me and will purify you from infidels and will cause you to die after I descend you in the word. And examples of advancing and retarding (taqdim and takhir) are numerous in the Qur’an.” (Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/227 under Qur’an 3:55)
    An example is the following verse;
    وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
    “Allah has brought you forth from your mothers‘wombs when you knew nothing, and He made for you ears, eyes and hearts, so that you may be grateful.” (Qur’an 16:78)
    Clearly the idea of Taqdim and Takhir is implied in this verse as Allah surely makes for one his ears, eyes and heart before he comes forth from his mother’s womb though this is not mentioned in sequence.
    And Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti in his monumental work on Qur’anic sciences and knowledge, Al-Ittiqan fi Uloom Al-Qur’an, has a complete chapter about it. He starts the chapter with the following words;
    هوقسمان. الأول: ما أشكل معناه بحسب الظاهر، فلما عرف أنه باب التقديم والتأخير اتضح وهوجدير أن يفرد بالتصنيف، وقد تعرض السلف لذلك في آيات
    “This, the first of two sections, deals with verses that remain ambiguous on face value. But knowing that they belong to the category known as Advancing and Delaying (taqdim and takhir) brings clarity to them. Though some of the pious ancestors have made passing references to them, such verses in fact, ought to have been dealt with exclusively in a separate work. “
    And in the same section he writes;
    وأخرج عن قتادة في قوله تعالى إني متوفيك ورافعك قال: هذا من المقدم والمؤخر: أي رافعك إلي ومتوفيك
    “And he [Ibn Abi Hatim] quotes Qatada as saying that the verse ‘inn mutawafeeka wa rafiyuka’ (3:55) also belongs to the said category and must be understood thus: ‘rafiyuka ilayya wa mutawafeeka’.” (Al-Ittiqan section 44 p.1399-1400. Classified as Sahih by the research team of Markaz Al-Dirasat Al-Qur’ania, pub. Saudi Ministry of Islamic publications)
    Please note, Qatada was one of the most prominent students of Ibn Abbas’ (RA) pupils. Also note that both Al-Razi and Suyuti have been recognized as Mujaddid.
    The conjunction ‘wa’ does not imply sequence:
    Imam Al-Razi, recognized as Mujaddid, says;
    الواو في قوله { مُتَوَفّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَىَّ }لا تفيد الترتيب فالآية تدل على أنه تعالى يفعل به هذه الأفعال ، فأما كيف يفعل ، ومتى يفعل ، فالأمر فيه موقوف على الدليل ، وقد ثبت الدليل أنه حي وورد الخبر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : « أنه سينزل ويقتل الدجال » ثم إنه تعالى يتوفاه بعد ذلك .
    “The [conjunction] ‘wa’ [i.e. and] in the word of Allah ‘mutawaffeeka wa rafiuka’ does not imply sequence. So the verse says the Almighty does all these things but as to how he and when, this depends on the evidence. And it is proved with evidence that he [Eisa A.S.] is alive. There is a saying of the Prophet, on whom be peace, ‘He [Eisa] will return and kill Dajjal’ then afterwards the Almighty will cause him to die.” (Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/226 under Qur’an 3:55)
    Explicit narrations from Ibn Abbas (RA) about ascension, life & return of Eisa (AS):
    عن ابن عباس قال: لما أراد الله أن يرفع عيسى إلى السماء خرج على أصحابه …ورفع عيسى من رَوْزَنَة في البيت إلى السماء
    Ibn Abbas said, “When Allah intended to raise Eisa (AS) to the heavens, he went to his companions…and Eisa (AS) ascended to the Heavens through an opening in the top of the house.”
    (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2/449, Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim 4/431 Hadith 6266. Ibn Kathir classified it as Sahih)
    Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.’ He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa’s followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.’ Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.’ Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.’ The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad (saw).” This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa’i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise. [Sunan An-Nasa’I and Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
    What explicit evidence is required after this?
    عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس:”وإن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته”، قال: قبل موت عيسى ابن مريم
    It is narrated from Sa’id bin Jubair from Ibn Abbas [about]; “No one will remain from among the People of the Book but will certainly believe in him before he dies.” He said; “Before the death of Eisa ibn Maryam.” (Tafsir Al-Tabari 9/380 Narration 10794-5 under Qur’an 4:159. Classified as Sahih by Hafiz Ibn Hajr in Fath Al-Bari 10/250, Kitab Ahadith Al-Anbiya, Chapter on the Descent of Eisa ibn Maryam)
    Simple implication of this narration is that Ibn Abbas (RA) believed in the return of Eisa ibn Maryam (AS). Hafiz Ibn Hajr who authenticated this narration has been recognized as Mujaddid of the 8th century.
    We find a narration in Musnad Ahmad which says that Abu Yahya, the freed slave of Ibn Aqil Ansari, asked Ibn Abbas about the verse;
    { وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِلسَّاعَةِ }
    “And he is the sign of the Hour (the Day of Judgment)” (43:61)
    قَالَ هُوَ خُرُوجُ عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
    Ibn Abbas said: “That is the descent of Eisa ibn Maryam, on whom be peace, before the Doomsday.” (Musnad Ahmad 3/284 Hadith 2921. Classified as Sahih by Ahmad Shakir)
    Many more narrations to this effect are found in Tafsir Al-Tabari under this Ayah.
    Zamakhsharī insists that sūrat al-zukhruf (43) verse 61 means that the Hour will not arrive (he explains that ʿilm here means shart, “precondition”) before Jesus returns to Earth, at which time he will kill al-Dajjāl, follow Quran and perform Hajj. [Al Kashaf]
    Muqatil ibn Sulayman explains that with the phrase “knowledge of the Hour” the Quran means that the imminent coming of the end times will be known by the descent of Jesus from heaven. [Tafsir Muqatil]
    Ibn Kathīr insists that sūrat al-zukhruf (43) vs.61 refers to the return ofJesus to this world in the end of times, noting how many important authorities (Abū Hurayra, IbnʿAbbās, Abū al-ʿĀliyya, Abūl-Salām, ʿIkrima, al-Hasan, Qatāda, Dahhāk and others) provide hadīths that transmit this report from the Prophet himself. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
    According to Abū Jaʿfar al-Tabarī (d. 310/923) the mufassirūn are in agree-ment that Jesus did not die, that instead he ascended to heaven body and soul while someone else died in his place. [Tafsir tabari]
    Following is another explicit and categorical narration that proves that the messiah isa ibn Maryam (as) was raised up alive.
    عن ابن عباس قال … وإن الله رفعه بجسده، وانه حي الآن، وسيرجع إلى الدنيا فيكون فيها ملكاً، ثم يموت كما يموت الناس
    Narrated from Ibn Abbas, he said: “… and verily Allah raised him [Eisa ibn Maryam] with his body while he was alive and he will soon return to this world and will be a ruler therein. Then he will die as other people die.” (Ibn S’ad’ Tabaqat Al-Kubra 1/53)
    Alhamdulillah all the above details show it beyond all doubt that Ibn Abbas (RA) and his pupils adhered to the unanimous Islamic belief about the physical ascension and return of Isa ibn Maryam (AS).
    Meaning of ascension according to leading scholars:
    1- Raghib Isfahani writes;
    الرفع يقال تارة في الاجسام الموضوعة إذا أعليتها عن مقرها
    “Raf’a is sometimes used for corporeal things to mean raising or elevating it from its resting place.” (Mufradat Al-Qur’an 1/200)
    2- Al-Feyumi writes;
    فَالرَّفْعُ فِي الْأَجْسَامِ حَقِيقَةٌ فِي الْحَرَكَةِ وَالِانْتِقَالِ وَفِي الْمَعَانِي مَحْمُولٌ عَلَى مَا يَقْتَضِيهِ الْمَقَامُ
    “So Raf’a in relation to corporeal things is used properly to denote motion and removal and in relation to ideal things it is accorded in meaning to what the case requires.” (Al-Misbah Al-Munir 3/443)
    3- Edward William Lane says the same; infact he quotes the above two statements in his Arabic-English Lexicon part.3 p.287
    Raf’a in relation to Eisa (A.S.) refers to both his body and soul and not just soul:
    1- A careful but honest look into the wording of the Qur’an shows that Raf’a is used for the body of Eisa (A.S.) as well and not just his soul;
    We see that in Qur’an 3:55;
    إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
    “When Allah said: .O Eisa , I am to take you in full and to raise you towards Myself, and to cleanse you of those who disbelieve, and to place those who follow you above those who disbelieve up to the Day of Doom. Then to Me is your return, whereupon I shall judge between you in that over which you have differed.”
    Just as مُطَهِّرُكَ (cleanse you) and اتَّبَعُوكَ (follow you) refer to the whole person, body as well as soul, رَافِعُكَ (raise you) also refers to both body and soul. There is no basis to maintain the difference between reference of pronouns of مُطَهِّرُكَ ,اتَّبَعُوكَ and رَافِعُكَ. And as body is a corporeal thing so in the light of actual meaning of the word it most certainly denotes its displacement. This also leads us to the True Islamic belief that even مُتَوَفِّيكَ (take you) refers to the whole person, body as well as soul and not merely the soul.
    Meaning of ‘Cleanse you’:
    2-‘Cleanse you’ refers to Eisa’ (A.S.) departure from the evil company of the Jews. The very fact the verse reads ‘cleanse you of those who disbelieve’ shows it was physical separation and not spiritual for disbelievers could have never been close to the Mighty Prophet (A.S.) in spiritual sense. This cannot be a reference to his being relieved from the false accusations of Jews and Christians because context has nothing to do with it. It refers to the evil plot of the Jews (verse 54) and Allah’s plan to save him from their dirty trick. Same is evident in light of the scholarly opinions see e.g. Tafsir Kabir of Al-Raazi and Tafsir Kashshaf of Zamakhshari. Al-Raazi has been recognized as Mujaddid.
    According to Zamakhsharī,“When God informed Jesus that He would raise him to heaven alive and purify him [ch 3 vs 55] from the followers of the Jews, he said to his companions: ‘Who would like to have my likeness cast on him, to be killed and crucified,and to enter paradise?’ One of them said,‘I would’. [Jesus’] likeness was cast on him and he was killed and martyred.” [Zamakhsharī, Al-Kashfʿan haqā’iq ghawāmid al-tanzīl, ed. Muhammad Husayn Ahmad (Cairo: Matbaat al-Istiqāma, 1365/1946), 1:586–7, on ch 4 vs 153–9]
    3- Similarly in Qur’an 4:157-158;
    وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ مَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا () بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمً
    “And for their saying, .We have certainly killed the Masih Eisa the son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah., while in fact they did neither kill him, nor crucify him, but they were deluded by resemblance. Those who disputed in this matter are certainly in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it, but they follow whims. It is absolutely certain that they did not kill him. But Allah lifted him towards Himself. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”
    Here again just as وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ (and they killed him not), وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ (nor crucify him) and وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا (and for a surety they killed him not) refers to the body of Eisa (A.S.); رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him) also refers to the body of Eisa (A.S.) and not just his soul. Again there is no reason to drop body from رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him).
    Another important proof of this event is the Arabic word bal, which appears in Qur’an, 4:158, and has the literal translation of “on the contrary.” The features of its meaning and use in Arabic linguistics indicate a very important fact: According to the rules of Arabic linguistics, the sentence that comes after it must have a meaning that is completely opposite to the preceding statement. That being the case, it is likely that the verses referring to Jesus (pbuh) “… They did not kill him,” (Qur’an, 4:157) “on the contrary [bal] God raised him up to Himself…” (Qur’an, 4:158) refer to the state of being alive, rather than the state of being dead. (God knows best.) Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri offered the following interpretation:
    If the term bal, which appears in Qur’an 4:158 and which I have translated as “on the contrary,” comes after a sentence expressing a negativity, then, according to the rules of Arabic linguistics, the sentence following it must mean the exact opposite of the one preceding it. The opposite of death is life. This is a requirement of the rules of linguistics. If we say that “the ascension here is a spiritual one” and “Jesus (pbuh) died in the normal sense,” then we are violating that rule. In that case, the ascension following the expression “on the contrary” would not represent the opposite to the verbs of “killing” and “crucifying” in the negative sentence preceding it. That is because it may be possible for a person to be killed and for his or her soul to rise to the skies. Otherwise, this term would be meaningless, and there are no meaningless terms in the Qur’an … According to those who support the thesis that the ascension is only one of the soul, the meaning of the verse is this: “They did not kill him and did not crucify him … on the contrary, God raised his station.” There is no particular oratory here, let alone succinctness.
    The mutual compatibility between the verse’s previous and later sections necessarily reveals a fact. For example, if an Arab says: “I am not hungry; on the contrary, I am lying on my side,” this is not a correct sentence. In the same way, there is a discrepancy between the components in the sentence: “Khalid did not die; on the contrary, he is a good man.” What would be correct is to say: “Khalid did not die; on the contrary, he is alive.” To say: “The chairman was not killed; he is a man with a superior station in God’s presence” also leads to a break in meaning in the sentence, for his having a high station in God’s sight is no obstacle to his being killed. The term bal expresses a contradiction between the preceding and the following words. In other words, bal cancels out a previous statement.
    The early scholar of tafsir Muqatil ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi (d.145 A.H) in his commentary Tafsīr Muqātil explains that the phrase wa-lakin shubbiha la-hum refers to the fact that the image of Jesus was cast onto a man having received the image of Jesus; he was killed in Jesus place. And Allah (swt) raised Isa Ibn Maryam (as) alive to the heaven. [Tafsir Muqatil]
    A tradition on the authority of Ibn Ishāq relates that Muhammad ibn ‘Alī al-Bāqir stated that Jesus was with his disciples when he asked, “Who among you desires to be my companion in paradise by taking on my image before the people who will kill him in my place?”A disciple called out, “I, O Messenger of Allah.”At this he acquired the image of Jesus, while Jesus first fell asleep and then was taken into heaven alive (thus the sequence of mutawaffīka wa-rāfiʿuka ilayya in Q 3.55 is explained). [Tafsir Tabari on ch 4 vs 157]
    “When Allah said, “O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve….” [3:55]
    Muslim scholars regard the above verse as clear proof that Isa (as) was raised up alive literally since it’s impossible for prophets to be spiritually impure. Also the verse suggests that God raised Jesus away from the environment polluted with the disbelievers.

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