Did Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) die and will he return?

Below is a small booklet that proves only from the Qur’an that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) did not die and will most certainly return.

The book is divided into the following chapters.

Introduction

Being deceived

Being taught the Qur’an

A sign for all mankind

Conflict and dominance before the Day of Judgment

Prophet rejecting nations were destroyed

A thing already decided

Sign of the hour

Belief in him before his death

Belief in his death is blasphemy

Raised up alive

Reaching age of maturity

The believers prevailed

Betrayal of Judas

The Prophet also for the Aakhireen

Argument of those who believe he died

Verses and references presented by proponents of death theory

Introduction

The following article receives its points and material mainly from discussions and dialogues I had with a few people who claim to be Muslim but do not hold orthodox views. If you, the reader, feel that any point has been missed or is not explained very well or clearly, then please let me know about it. Insha’Allah (God Almighty willing), the article will be updated according to the suggestions.

The aim of this article is to refute those who claim to be Muslim and say that Eisa (عليه السلام) had died. “Where there is Messiah, there is Dajjal”. Anti-Islamic ones from Christian missionaries have also put up this argument on their sites and it only shows their desperation to prove Islam wrong in any way they could. They do not leave any opportunity to malign Islam. The people who make such a baseless argument have two theories relating to this matter. One group claims that Eisa (عليه السلام) died on the cross or just before that due to natural causes and the other group argues that Eisa (عليه السلام) had survived the cross and went to Kashmir where he died at an old age.

The ones who make the second argument make up proofs themselves. No neutral person in history has ever made such baseless claims. However, the Qur’an will be used as the criteria, in this article, when refuting such claims. Hadith rejecters will not be debated about their beliefs but will be provided evidences from the Qur’an which they cannot deny. Any mentioning of Hadith in the article is due to the ‘claimants of death theory’ bringing it up.

Normally it is the claimants who are on the attack and the Muslims giving explanations. This article will deal with such attacks with the Muslim ‘point of view’ first, following refutations to criticism of those points and then refutations to the unorthodox and ‘never heard of’ points. When simple refutations are made while in a defensive position, other parts or verses are often ignored and these verses are as important or even more important.

Being deceived

Regarding Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام), there are two views; one is that he did not die and the other is that he died. What must be accepted is that one of the two is definitely deceived.

ان الله لايستحيي ان يضرب مثلا ما بعوضة فما فوقها فاما الذين امنوا فيعلمون انه الحق من ربهم واما الذين كفروا فيقولون ماذا اراد الله بهذا مثلا يضل به كثيرا ويهدي به كثيرا ومايضل به الا الفاسقين

Of course, Allah is not ashamed to quote and narrate the parable (mathalan) of a gnat, or anything smaller. Those who believe know that it certainly is the truth from their Lord. But those who disbelieve, say, “What does Allah mean by this parable?” Thereby, He causes many to stray, and leads many others to the right path! By that, He misleads only the sinful rebellious ones.[1]

ان مثل عيسى عند الله كمثل ادم خلقه من تراب ثم قال له كن فيكون

The example (mathalan) of Issa, as far as Allah is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, “Be,” and he was.[2]

The case of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) is like an example and Allah misguides the sinful ones through examples. Please remember that the Arabic word for example in both the verses is the same.

Being taught the Qur’an

The article starts from the point when Lady Maryam (Mary) (peace be upon her) was given the good news, by Allah through an Angel, of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) and with that good news, it was stated that he would be taught some books.

اذ قالت الملائكة يامريم ان الله يبشرك بكلمة منه اسمه المسيح عيسى ابن مريم وجيها في الدنيا والاخرة ومن المقربين – ويكلم الناس في المهد وكهلا ومن الصالحين – قالت رب انى يكون لي ولد ولم يمسسني بشر قال كذلك الله يخلق مايشاء اذا قضى امرا فانما يقول له كن فيكون – ويعلمه الكتاب والحكمة والتوراة والانجيل

When the angels said: “Maryam, your Lord gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Issa, son of Maryam, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near [to Allah]. He will speak to people in the cradle, and also when fully grown, and will be one of the righteous.” She asked: “My Lord! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” He said: “It will be so. Allah 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 Injeel.”[3]

اذ قال الله ياعيسى ابن مريم اذكر نعمتي عليك وعلى والدتك اذ ايدتك بروح القدس تكلم الناس في المهد وكهلا واذ علمتك الكتاب والحكمة والتوراة والانجيل

(That day) Allah will say, “Issa, son of Maryam, 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 Injeel.”[4]

Torah and Injeel are very clear but about the Book and Wisdom? It is true that the Qur’an refers to many other books as “The Book” but this “Book” is mentioned separately from Torah and Injeel.

This book is the Qur’an and wisdom is the Sunnah recorded in Hadith [the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)]. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) is taught the Qur’an because he will use it during his second coming as Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has also stated.[5] Deniers have asked some questions regarding these verses.

Ahmadis ask: How did this mean that he was alive? And if the answer he gives is because he had to come back to revive the Muslim Ummah, then what is he doing now? And where?

The first question was answered by the questioner himself. The second and third questions are answered now but not in detail, as the topic will cover them later on in other chapters. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) ascended to heaven, where he is now and from where he will return near the end of the world. From the life of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام), we know that the knowledge of Torah and Injeel was very much used together with wisdom but “The Book” has no mention during his first stay on earth. The reason for this is that he will use it when he returns. Such deniers have also made some silly statements about heaven and hell’s location and the place where Allah is. They have rejected the idea of a physical heaven and therefore, have rejected the idea that Allah is above the heavens. This will not be debated but irrefutable evidences can be found in the Qur’an for these questions.

The believers of the ‘death theory’ argue that the four books mentioned in the verses quoted above speak of two books only and the conjunction ‘and’ (wa in Arabic) refers to the same books. They present the following verse for their claim.

طس تلك ايات القران وكتاب مبين

Tá Sín. These are the signs/verses of the Qur’an and an illuminating Book.[6]

Upon this verse, they argue that the Qur’an has been referred to as ‘Qur’an’ and also as an illuminating book while using ‘and’. They argue that when ‘and’ is used, they both refer to the one and the same book. This could be true but is not always because the Qur’an also refers to another book other than the revealed Qur’an and that is the ‘Looh al-Mahfooz’. There are many verses to support this but only one is sufficient to clear the misconception.

يمحواالله مايشاء ويثبت وعنده ام الكتاب

Allah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz).[7]

Secondly, from the 27:1, it would be incorrect to say that the word ‘and’ distinguishes between Qur’an and book. The emphasis of ‘and’ is on the signs and illumination. In other words, Allah Almighty says the Qur’an has signs and is also an illuminating book.

The deniers of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام), who claim to be Muslim, have commented that if this “Book” is the Qur’an, then Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is not the true recipient of the Qur’an as someone else already knew the Qur’an before him. This might appears as a logical argument but if seen in context, it is an incorrect one.

Example: If Prophet Moosa (عليه السلام) saw the end times and he prophesied about it and Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) also did it through revelation, does this mean that Prophet Moosa (عليه السلام) knew more or was the original recipient of the revelation given to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)?

Besides, it is not said as to when he will be taught the Book.

Read carefully the beautiful words:

اذ قالت الملائكة يامريم ان الله يبشرك بكلمة منه اسمه المسيح عيسى ابن مريم وجيها في الدنيا والاخرة ومن المقربين – ويكلم الناس في المهد وكهلا ومن الصالحين – قالت رب انى يكون لي ولد ولم يمسسني بشر قال كذلك الله يخلق مايشاء اذا قضى امرا فانما يقول له كن فيكون – ويعلمه الكتاب والحكمة والتوراة والانجيل

When the angels said: “Maryam, your Lord gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Issa, son of Maryam, of high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near [to Allah]. He will speak to people in the cradle, and also when fully grown, and will be one of the righteous.” She asked: “My Lord! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” He said: “It will be so. Allah 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 Injeel.”[8]

When he was alive on earth in his first mission 2,000 years ago, Allah says that he will be taught the book.

Now on the Day of Judgment, Allah will say:

ياعيسى ابن مريم اذكر نعمتي عليك وعلى والدتك اذ ايدتك بروح القدس تكلم الناس في المهد وكهلا واذ علمتك الكتاب والحكمة والتوراة والانجيل

[5:110]… “Issa, son of Maryam, 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 Injeel.”[9]

This is a great explanation and Allah Himself gives it. Maybe he will be taught when he returns or maybe he will come being taught from the heavens (Allah knows best but it appears that he would come being taught as he would pray immediately upon his arrival as mentioned in the sayings of the Prophet (ﷺ)). It is definitely for future and not in his first stay on earth! The deniers who refuse to accept the truth have stated that if the “Book” is taught after his first stay on earth, then Torah and Injeel have also been taught after his departure from earth because all of the books are in future tenses. The answer to this false argument is quite simple and one that requires a little bit of common sense. The Torah and the Injeel are well known books in these verses and everyone knows that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) was taught these books. The tenses are future and can be at any time but from other places in the Qur’an and history, we know that Prophet Issa (عليه السلام) learned them during his first stay on earth. Although, all books are in future tenses but time of each book is not mentioned. Facts tell us that he was taught Torah and Injeel but we do not find anything about any “Book”. This explanation also hold relevance as per some of the greatest scholars in history. Wisdom (hikmah) has been explained as the Sunnah by the scholars and in commentary of Qur’an 3:48, Ibn Kathir refers back to the commentary of Qur’an 2:129 where the wisdom is clearly stated as the Sunnah.

The believers of the ‘death theory’ argue that the order of the four books in the above mentioned verses indicates some other picture. They argue that the book and wisdom have been mentioned before the Torah and Injeel and so the Qur’an and Hadith were taught before the Torah and Injeel which would mean that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was not the original recipient of the Qur’an.

The people making such claims obviously do not read the Qur’an well or only read in parts and reject other parts. This is one common mistake of reading with the rules of English. Arabic has different rules. After each different set of action “wa” is used and not commas. In Arabic, it is not specifically in order but in the way or order that Allah wants to say.

انا اوحينا اليك كما اوحينا الى نوح والنبيين من بعده واوحينا الى ابراهيم واسماعيل واسحاق ويعقوب والاسباط وعيسى وايوب ويونس وهارون وسليمان واتينا داؤود زبورا

We have inspired you, as we inspired Nooh and the prophets after him. And we inspired Ibrahim, Ismael, Isaac, Yaqoob, the Patriarchs, Issa, Ayub, Younus, Haroon, and Sulaymaan. And we gave Da’ood the Zaboor.[10]

Here we see that Sulaymaan, Haroon, Younus and Ayub (peace be upon them all) have been mentioned after Eisa (عليه السلام). The order is not important when it comes to the Book and Wisdom and for these verses as well because Allah puts them in different order, the reason of which Allah knows best.

Furthermore, if one does not understand such a simple explanation, then the best thing to do is to ask the man who brought the Qur’an, i.e. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ):

Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) said “How will you be when the son of Maryam (i.e. Issa) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Qur’an and not by the law of Injeel.[11]

The Qur’an explains it all and the Hadith has just been put up to show as an additional support to the evidence because rejecting groups do not have any solid basis and deny Ahadith as and when they deem fit. Wherever Ahadith are used, they are for those Eisa (عليه السلام)’s deniers who believe in Hadith but distort it as well. However, these deviant people have even questioned the meanings of this Hadith. They have changed the meaning of “descend” (Nazool) and “son of Maryam” (Ibn Maryam). According to Qur’an Nazool means to physically descend from above and Ibn Maryam means ‘son of Maryam’ who is none other than Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). Manna and Salwa descended from above, animals are said to be descended from above. Peace on the Prophet and the message brought by the Prophet was also sent by Allah from above. Just like iron came physically from above, Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) would also come physically from the heavens to earth.

The claimants of ‘the death theory’ argue that when there is a striking resemblance between two people, the name is generally given to the other. They base their claim on the following narration:

Abu Sufyan, after meeting Heraclius, said to his companions: “Of a certainty, the son of Abee Kabshah has succeeded, because even the king of Bani Asfar fears him”. (Bukhari)

What the arguer did not know was that this was an insult thrown at the Prophet by Abu Sufyan. The rest need not be explained, people with a little commonsense understand what that means. Those who believe in the explanation given by the arguer need to seek forgiveness from Allah for such a blasphemic belief.

The arguer presents another Hadith from Nisai where the Prophet (ﷺ) is said to have said to his wives: You are the wives of Yousuf. It must be reminded to the claimant that the wordings of this narration are not completely accurate and he has relied upon a weak narration instead of the accurate one found in the most authentic Hadith book (Bukhari) with the correct wordings which are “You are like the wives of Yousuf”. Proper, correct and accurate narration clearly clarifies the misconception held by the arguer.

The deviants making anti-Islamic claims against Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) state that if Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) was to return, then he would be for all mankind and the Qur’an states that he was sent only for Israel. Such people should read the Qur’an well. In case they are not interested, they should read on with the article. This has been covered near the ending chapters. However, the answer for now, as already explained in the above quoted is that he will not come as a Prophet but a follower of the Qur’an.

In the cradle, Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) said that he has been given the “Book” and some argue that “The Book” in the verses quoted is that same book. Again, this is a common sense matter. Injeel can be referred to as “Book” but the point is that in the earlier mentioned verses, “The Book” is separate from Torah and Injeel and in that particular case, it was referring to the Qur’an. Secondly, when Eisa (عليه السلام) spoke about the book in the cradle, he spoke in past tenses as if he had it with him but we know that he was not holding any book, nor can a child hold a book. What was meant by book being given to him was that it was destined for him.

A sign for all mankind

Further, we read in the Qur’an about Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام)’s high status, we see that he did not die and will return.

والتي احصنت فرجها فنفخنا فيها من روحنا وجعلناها وابنها اية للعالمين

And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.[12]

This verse can have different interpretations and they will not be touched here in much detail as all may be correct but deniers will still deny and argue that theirs’ is the only correct one. The signs of Lady Maryam (peace be upon her) are that she is the best woman and gave birth while still being a virgin (two signs!). The signs for Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) are that he was born to a virgin and will return (two signs!). A very childish argument was once made by rejecters regarding this sign. A verse from the Qur’an was presented which showed that Prophet Nooh (عليه السلام) is also a sign for mankind. After presenting this verse, it was asked sarcastically whether he would also return. A sign does not refer to returning, it is the people who have to accept the signs and the signs of Prophet Nooh (عليه السلام) have clearly been mentioned in the Qur’an; he is the second father of the world (first one being Adam) and another sign was the flood. “The sign” in the verse speaks of singular people but does not limit the signs. Interestingly, two reasons have been identified for each sign mentioned by Allah Almighty.

Conflict and dominance before the Day of Judgment

Another interesting and very clear verse is as follows:

وجاعل الذين اتبعوك فوق الذين كفروا الى يوم القيامة ثم الى مرجعكم فاحكم بينكم فيما كنتم فيه تختلفون

And I will place the people who follow you (Muslims) above those who are unbelievers 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.[13]

It is very clear that before the Day of Judgment, the Muslims have to be in a better position than anyone else but we do not see that now. This is also the view of classical commentators and scholars. Secondly, this verse does not speak of a small group of Muslims dominating a few non-believers here and there but speaks of a complete authority on the world. Those who say that Muslims have been gaining victories throughout the ages are just making excuses. For the verse to be true, a complete victory and being placed above all the disbelievers in general is a must. In short, a world under Islamic rule is foretold in this verse. This is confirmed by the Qur’an in 61:9 where Allah says:

هو الذي ارسل رسوله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون

It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it.

Please note that the words “Then you will all return to me…” have been repeated in other places as well. In many places, it speaks in general but it refers to a group of people at least twice. The Qur’an mentions that everyone has to return to Allah Almighty but the words “Then you will all return to me…” come exactly like this twice and both are related to Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). “Then” refers to returning after some action and near the end of the world. The Qur’an in 18:94 speaks of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj and Qur’an 18:99 speaks of a conflict they would have after which they would all (including the living Issa mentioned above) return to Allah.

وتركنا بعضهم يومئذ يموج في بعض ونفخ في الصور فجمعناهم جمعا

And on that day WE shall leave some of them to surge against others, and the trumpet will be blown. Then shall WE gather them all together.[14]

“Fa” is somewhat like “and” but it refers to something following another. For example, if it is said that “A” and “B” came, it would be written as “A” wa “B” but if it is mentioned that “A” came and then “B” came, it would be written as “A” fa “B”. “Fa” is a word that is two-in-one and means both “and” and “then”. From this we see that after the conflict, the Day of Judgment would come. Eisa (عليه السلام)’s returning to Allah Almighty has been described by similar words. Eisa (عليه السلام) would be involved in that conflict with Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj which is confirmed by the Ahadith as well.

والتي احصنت فرجها فنفخنا فيها من روحنا وجعلناها وابنها اية للعالمين – ان هذه امتكم امة واحدة وانا ربكم فاعبدون – وتقطعوا امرهم بينهم كل الينا راجعون – فمن يعمل من الصالحات وهو مؤمن فلا كفران لسعيه وانا له كاتبون – وحرام على قرية اهلكناها انهم لايرجعون – حتى اذا فتحت ياجوج وماجوج وهم من كل حدب ينسلون

And she who guarded her chastity (Maryam), so We breathed into her of Our inspiration and made her and her son a sign for the nations. Surely this Islam is your religion, one religion (only), and I am your Lord, therefore serve Me. And they (Christians and Jews) broke their religion (into sects) between them: to Us shall all come back. Therefore whoever shall do of good deeds and he is a believer, there shall be no denying of his exertion, and surely We will write (It) down for him. And it is binding on a town which We destroy that they shall not return. Even when Yajooj and Ma’jooj are let loose and they shall break forth from every elevated place.[15]

These verses indicate that Eisa (عليه السلام) would be involved in the conflict with Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj after which the Day of Judgment would come very soon. Chapter 21 mentions many Prophets in descending order and mentions Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj later right after Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). Qur’an 21:107 sees the mentioning of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), which is even after the mentioning of Eisa (عليه السلام) and Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj. This order may seem confusing but when looked at carefully, it shows the miraculous way of explaining things. The style of explaining used by Allah Almighty is so beautiful that it even answers the question of those who say that the return of Eisa (عليه السلام) would mean that he is the last Prophet. The verse explains that he is the same man to return. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) would be on the victorious side after which the believers would inherit the earth:

ولقد كتبنا في الزبور من بعد الذكر ان الارض يرثها عبادي الصالحون

And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.[16]

This is in complete harmony with Qur’an 3:55 above and Qur’an 4:159 below and explains that verse more clearly. The style used by the Qur’an is very beautiful and miraculous. Many stories have been mentioned several times but whenever something is repeated, something new comes with it. For example, it is mentioned that Pharaoh threatened Moosa (عليه السلام) with crucifixion but when this fact has been repeated, the story is made clearer that it was a threat to be hanged on the tree rather than a cross. Another important point comes to attention here. The Qur’an says that each and every town/village shall be destroyed before the last day:

وان من قرية الا نحن مهلكوها قبل يوم القيامة او معذبوها عذابا شديدا كان ذلك في الكتاب مسطورا

There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record.[17]

The Qur’an also says that no town/village is destroyed unless a Prophet has come to them.[18] This shows us that before Allah destroys a village/town/population, He provides them chances and does not do injustice to them. Therefore, to say that the people punished before the end of the world, will get to see Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) and provided sufficient chances would not be a contradictory claim.

Prophet rejecting nations were destroyed

It is very clear from the Qur’an that nations that reject Prophets are destroyed by Allah Almighty. Although, rejecters of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) claiming to be Muslim twist the Qur’an and take most of the things as metaphors, they go to literalism when it comes to this point and demand for clear and straightforward verses. These shall be presented to them.

فكاين من قرية اهلكناها وهي ظالمة فهي خاوية على عروشها وبئر معطلة وقصر مشيد

How many populations have We destroyed, which were given to wrong-doing? They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells are lying idle and neglected, and castles lofty and well-built?[19]

Wrong-doers were destroyed. These wrong-doers were those who rejected the Prophets. God Almighty says in Qur’an 22:44 that Prophet Moosa (عليه السلام) was rejected and the rejecters were destroyed. From this we see a clear rule of destruction of rejecters. A question was asked as to why the Jews were not destroyed? The answer is simple, because Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) did not die. He will return and before his death, rejecters of him would be destroyed. See next section for more details. God Almighty says that punishment is a promise in Qur’an 22: 47 and it has been delayed (Qur’an 22:48).

فكذبوهما فكانوا من المهلكين

So they accused them of falsehood, and they became of those who were destroyed.[20]

ياايها الرسل كلوا من الطيبات واعملوا صالحا اني بما تعملون عليم – وان هذه امتكم امة واحدة وانا ربكم فاتقون – فتقطعوا امرهم بينهم زبرا كل حزب بما لديهم فرحون – فذرهم في غمرتهم حتى حين

O ye apostles! enjoy (all) things good and pure, and work righteousness: for I am well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other). But people have cut off their affair (of unity), between them, into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself. But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time.[21]

حتى اذا اخذنا مترفيهم بالعذاب اذا هم يجأرون – لاتجأروا اليوم انكم منا لاتنصرون

Until, when We seize in Punishment those of them who received the good things of this world, behold, they will groan in supplication! (It will be said): “Groan not in supplication this day: for ye shall certainly not be helped by Us.[22]

فكذبوه فاهلكناهم ان في ذلك لاية وماكان اكثرهم مؤمنين

So they rejected the messenger and We destroyed them. In this, is a sign of course! But most of them do not believe.[23]

From this we clearly see that those nations that rejected Prophets were destroyed. Wrath on some was delayed but it did come to them. The Jews rejected Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) but they have not been destroyed yet. They used to be God’s chosen people and they were given a chance till the return of the Prophet they rejected. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was also rejected and is still rejected by many of the people but they have not been destroyed! The answer to this point is in the Qur’an as well. The Qur’an says that the Prophet is for all mankind but most of them know not (Qur’an 34:28) and no nation/ town/ village etc. is destroyed unless the message is conveyed to them clearly. Therefore, asking for their destruction is injustice.

Destruction of Jews: The children of Israel created mischief on the land and they were punished twice by Allah Almighty through warrior nations. Allah Almighty says that if they create mischief again, then their punishment would be repeated again. The punishment prescribed for them is destruction through warrior nations (Qur’an 17:8). In present times, we see a lot of mischief spread by them and therefore, we can expect a warrior nation to destroy them. As explained in the section “Conflict and dominance before the Day of Judgment”, we know that the leader of that nation would be Eisa (عليه السلام) and that warrior nation might have been identified in the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

The Qur’an is very clear on Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). It explains the past, present and future among other things and on this matter, it is not an exception.

More verses:

فقلنا اذهبا الى القوم الذين كذبوا باياتنا فدمرناهم تدميرا – وقوم نوح لما كذبوا الرسل اغرقناهم وجعلناهم للناس اية واعتدنا للظالمين عذابا اليما – وعادا وثمودا واصحاب الرس وقرونا بين ذلك كثيرا

And We command: “Go ye both, to the people who have rejected our Signs:” And those (people) We destroyed with utter destruction. And the people of Noah,- when they rejected the apostles, We drowned them, and We made them as a Sign for mankind; and We have prepared for (all) wrong-doers a grievous Penalty;- As also ‘Ad and Thamud, and the Companions of the Rass, and many a generation between them.[24]

ولقد ارسلنا من قبلك رسلا الى قومهم فجاؤوهم بالبينات فانتقمنا من الذين اجرموا وكان حقا علينا نصر المؤمنين

We did indeed send, before thee, apostles to their (respective) peoples, and they came to them with Clear Signs: then, to those who transgressed, We meted out Retribution: and it was due from Us to aid those who believed.[25]

ولنذيقنهم من العذاب الادنى دون العذاب الاكبر لعلهم يرجعون

And indeed We will make them taste of the Penalty of this (life) prior to the supreme Penalty, in order that they may (repent and) return.[26]

The above verse states that a worldly punishment is promised before the final punishment on the Day of Judgment. Qur’an 36:14-29 speaks of a nation destroyed after they rejected the third messenger sent to them. They were given chances for the first two times! This matches with the position of the Jews as well.

A thing already decided

In the Qur’an, God Almighty says that had it not been for a thing already decided, their matter would have been decided, i.e. they would have perished.

وماتفرقوا الا من بعد ماجاءهم العلم بغيا بينهم ولولا كلمة سبقت من ربك الى اجل مسمى لقضي بينهم وان الذين اورثوا الكتاب من بعدهم لفي شك منه مريب

And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them out of envy among themselves; and had not a word gone forth from your Lord till an appointed term, certainly judgment would have been given between them; and those who were made to inherit the Book after them are most surely in.[27]

The verse above speaks of Jews and Christians dividing their religion after clear knowledge had come to them. It is stated that their matter would have been decided had it not been for a word already gone forth. From the explanations above, it appears that this word was the promise of the end times and destruction at the hands of the messenger they rejected i.e. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). The verse speaks of an appointed time for this promise to happen and this delay in the punishment is given to these disbelievers until Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) returns before the final punishment on the Day of Judgment.

ولقد اتينا موسى الكتاب فاختلف فيه ولولا كلمة سبقت من ربك لقضي بينهم وانهم لفي شك منه مريب

And certainly We gave the Book to Moosa, but it has been differed about, and had not a word already gone forth from your Lord, judgment would certainly have been given between them; and most surely they are in a disquieting doubt about it.[28]

Commentators describe the ‘word already gone forth’ as the final reckoning on the Day of Judgment but the punishment before that through the hands of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) is also not an improbability.

Sign of the hour

The Qur’an mentions that Eisa (عليه السلام) is a sign for all mankind. This has been mentioned in the 43rd chapter as well. However, the 43rd chapter gives some additional, clear information about the return of Eisa (عليه السلام). His return means that he did not die at all. Obviously Christians have no problem with death and return but those claiming to be Muslim insist that his death eliminates the possibility of his return and so both these issues are related to each other. His return would prove to such people that he did not die at all.

ولما ضرب ابن مريم مثلا اذا قومك منه يصدون – وقالوا ءالهتنا خير ام هو ماضربوه لك الا جدلا بل هم قوم خصمون – ان هو الا عبد انعمنا عليه وجعلناه مثلا لبني اسرائيل – ولو نشاء لجعلنا منكم ملائكة في الارض يخلفون – وانه لعلم للساعة فلا تمترن بها واتبعون هذا صراط مستقيم

When an example is made of the son of Maryam [Issa], your people laugh uproariously. They retort: “Who is better then, our gods or him?” They only say this to you for argument’s sake. They are indeed a disputatious people. He is only a servant on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel. If We willed, We could appoint angels in exchange for you to succeed you on Earth. He (Issa) is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it. But follow me. This is a straight path.[29]

These verses speak of Eisa (عليه السلام) as a sign for the tribe of Israel. Those who use this verse to explain the sign mentioned in Qur’an 4:159 (i.e. for whole mankind) should read the verses again. The previously discussed verse mentions that Eisa (عليه السلام) is a sign for all mankind. The sign in this verse is explained by Qur’an 4:159. Below is the explanation of Qur’an 43:57-61. The explanation of Qur’an 4:159 is also given later on.

In Arabic, the expression “He is a Sign of the Hour” is Innahu la `ilmun li as-saa`ati. Some say that the pronoun “hu” (he/it) in this expression refers to the Qur’an. However if this pronoun is used to denote the Qur’an, we would expect other words to be present, whether before, after, or in the verse, that speak of the Qur’an. The word “hu” cannot denote the Qur’an when the subject is altogether different. Furthermore, the preceding verse clearly refers to Eisa (عليه السلام) with the word “hu”: He [Eisa (عليه السلام)] is only a servant on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel. (Qur’an 43:59). Those who say that “hu” refers to the Qur’an rely on the expression “Have no doubt about it. But follow me,” which continues the verse. However, since the preceding verses speak only of Issa, it is far more realistic to accept that “hu” refers to him, as in the preceding verses.

Those who say that “hu” refers to the Qur’an should present the date of the Day of Judgment from the Qur’an. Rashad Khalifa has given a date but his explanation uses information from outside the Qur’an and if “hu” refers to the Qur’an, then the time of the Day of Judgment should be given completely from the Qur’an.

Belief in him before his death

وان من اهل الكتاب الا ليؤمنن به قبل موته ويوم القيامة يكون عليهم شهيدا

And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him (Issa) before his (Issa’) death; and on the Day of Judgment he (Issa) will be a witness against them;[30]

Correct belief in Eisa (عليه السلام) is a must which is what this verse says. The verse also says that each and every Jew and Christian will believe in him (Eisa) before his (Eisa’s) death. We do not see Jews and Christians with the correct belief and this means that he will have to return for this verse to be accurate. Some argue that “…his death” refers to the death of the Christians and Jews and not Eisa (عليه السلام). This interpretation argues that before their death, the Jews and Christians accept Eisa (عليه السلام) as they should. This explanation does not sound valid as many die suddenly and do not die a slow and expected death. Such a sudden death leaves no time for a drama style confession or to think and ponder on this matter. If it is argued that they believe while their bodies have died but souls have not departed from this world, it would still be incorrect as the verse states that they will believe before their death. Death occurs when the soul is pulled out. “…before his death” is also singular The entire verse is in future tenses which clearly ignores the people of the book already dead at the time of Eisa (عليه السلام). Another very interesting interpretation presented is that “him” in “…believe in him…” refers to the Qur’an. However, the context, as seen in previous two verses, shows that “him” here is Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). Furthermore, if ‘before his death’ was referring to the Jews and Christians, then this would mean that each and every Jew and Christian does upon the truth about Eisa (عليه السلام). This is an incorrect interpretation and the correct meaning is that before the death of Eisa (عليه السلام), every Jew and Christian will believe in him and that will happen when Eisa (عليه السلام) returns. Common sense and logic (plus Hadith) states that it is the future death of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) and not the death of the people of the book.

Belief in his death is blasphemy

ومكروا ومكر الله والله خير الماكرين

They [unbelievers] planned and God planned. But God is the best of planners.[31]

Example: “A” went to the house of “B” to kill “B”. The desire of “A” is to see “B” dead. Just as “A” was about to kill “B”, he saw that “B” had died due to an illness or “B” had slipped, fallen, hit his head on the floor and died (no murder, natural death!). The plan of “A” succeeds. The Jews planned to kill Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) and if he died in whatever way, then it is a blasphemy towards Allah Almighty.

This part only refutes those who believe in the death of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) on or before the cross.

Raised up alive

This section examines a few Arabic words in a little detail:

وقولهم انا قتلنا المسيح عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله وماقتلوه وماصلبوه ولكن شبه لهم وان الذين اختلفوا فيه لفي شك منه مالهم به من علم الا اتباع الظن وماقتلوه يقينا – بل رفعه الله اليه وكان الله عزيزا حكيما

And [on account of] their saying: “We killed the Messiah, Issa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah.” They did not kill him and they did not crucify him (Salaba), but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him. Allah raised him (Rafaa) to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All Wise.[32]

Salaba: Salaba means to put on the cross, pole, stick or a long structure with the intention to hurt. It has nothing to do with death. A person who survives the cross also comes into the definition of “salaba” whereas the English word “crucifixion” refers only to death. There is no suitable word in English for a man who is put on the cross and survives but the Arabic word “salaba” explains this.

قال امنتم له قبل ان اذن لكم انه لكبيركم الذي علمكم السحر فلاقطعن ايديكم وارجلكم من خلاف ولاصلبنكم في جذوع النخل ولتعلمن اينا اشد عذابا وابقى

The pharaoh said, “You believed him, even though I did not permit you? Obviously, he is your master who has taught you the magic! Now, I will definitely chop off your hands and feet on opposite sides and then crucify (Salaba) you on the trunk of the date-palm tree. You will soon know which one of us awards the severer and the more lasting punishment.”[33]

Here the punishment was not for the purpose of death but for the purpose of torture. In reply to Prophet Moosa (عليه السلام)’s warning that disbelievers burn in hell forever, the Pharaoh threatened to torture Prophet Moosa (عليه السلام) and give a more lasting punishment. One doesn’t die in hell and Pharaoh threatened with a punishment where Moosa (عليه السلام) was not to die but to suffer on the tree. This clearly shows that “salaba” means “to hang on a pole, tree, cross, stick etc. with the intention to cause harm”. This clearly eliminates the theory that Eisa (عليه السلام) was put up on the cross at all, neither was his dead body (imaginary!) put up on the cross at all.

Rafaa: Rafaa means to raise up. It could be a physical raising up (Qur’an 55:7) or it could be the raising of the status (Qur’an 19:57). However, when the raising of the status or rank is concerned, it is mentioned very clearly. In Qur’an 19:57, when the raising is mentioned, status is explicitly mentioned. In short, Rafa’a means to raise up physically unless otherwise stated. When the raising is of the status, we find a clear mention of it with a follow-up word. However, in the case of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام), we see nothing like this and therefore we can conclude that he was raised physically to the heavens.

Tawaffa: To cause to die, to take in one’s sleep (Qur’an 6:60, 39:42), or to take back.

وهو الذي يتوفاكم بالليل ويعلم ماجرحتم بالنهار ثم يبعثكم فيه ليقضي اجل مسمي ثم اليه مرجعكم ثم ينبئكم بما كنتم تعملون

It is He who recalls (Tawaffa) you by night, and He knows what you work by day; then He raises you up therein, that a stated term may be determined; then unto Him shall you return, then He will tell you of what you have been doing.[34]

When the soul is taken back by Allah, one dies but people do not die every night when they sleep. In Qur’an 39:42, the word ‘tawaffa’ has been mentioned again and in that case, it refers to the taking back of the soul but if we look at the words carefully, we see that the word for death (Mawt) and the word for soul (Rooh) have both been mentioned separately. When the taking back of the soul is discussed, Allah mentions it very clearly but when simple taking back or recalling is discussed, the word ‘tawaffa’ is used without any supporting word. This context clearly shows that the ‘tawaffa’ in the case of Eisa (عليه السلام) is referring to taking back or recalling without the mentioning of “death” or “soul”. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) was taken back without his death occurring.

اذ قال الله ياعيسى اني متوفيك ورافعك الى ومطهرك من الذين كفروا وجاعل الذين اتبعوك فوق الذين كفروا الى يوم القيامة ثم الى مرجعكم فاحكم بينكم فيما كنتم فيه تختلفون

When Allah said: “Issa, I will take you back (Tawaffa) and raise you up (Rafaa) to Me, and purify you of those who are unbelievers. And I will place the people who follow you above those who are unbelievers 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.[35]

واتقوا يوما ترجعون فيه الى الله ثم توفى كل نفس ماكسبت وهم لايظلمون

Beware of the day when you are returned (Tawaffa) to Allah, and every soul is paid for everything it had done, without the least injustice.[36]

The verse above is the clearest one with the meaning of ‘tawaffa’. Human beings would come out of graves on the Day of Judgment with their physical bodies. Here ‘tawaffa’ refers to a physical return to Allah.

Enemies of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) argue that Imam Bukhari says that Tawaffa means death in Qur’an 5:117.

[Issa said], “I said to them nothing but what You ordered me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ I was a witness against them as long as I remained among them, but when You caused me to die, You were the One watching over them. You are the Witness of all things.”

This verse speaks of the discussion between Allah and Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) on the Day of Judgment and here ‘tawaffa’ could mean death because when Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) will return, he will die after that.

The claimants of this new theory rely more on tricks than on common sense and logic. They propose that each word should be read and understood on its own and then the other parts of the verse should be read on their own. For example, they argue that ‘tawaffa’ (I will take you back) and ‘rafa’ (and raise you up to me) should each be dealt with on its own. This is a false and a weak proposal as it completely goes against the rules of context. Such tricks deliberately exploit debatable issues and make false conclusions upon them. For example, there is a verse in the Qur’an that says that Muslims should not go to the Masjid when they are in the state of impurity. A person with a disease in his heart would argue that the first part “Do not go to the Masjid” should be debated on its own and the later part should be seen separately. This example better illustrates the deliberate trickery in such a way of understanding things.

The root word for Tawaffa is “waffa” which means: “To give someone his due in full, let someone have his full share, pay someone in full, to treat exhaustively, write or speak fully about, set forth or develop in detail, fulfillment, keeping, honoring, carrying out, living up to, redemption, making good, standing by, carrying out.”[37]

Ibn Kathir’s view is posted below:

Allah said,(I will take you and raise you to Myself) while you are asleep. Allah said in a similar Ayat,

(It is He Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep).) (Qur’an 6:60), and (It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep.) (Qur’an 39:42).

The word for natural death for other Prophets is ‘mawt’ as can be seen in Qur’an 2:133, 21:34, 26:81, 34:14 etc. Eisa (عليه السلام) was taken back in sleep and raised up to Allah due to the fact that breathing becomes difficult, the higher in space one is (Qur’an 6:125). People who just refuse to accept the truth argue again that ‘tawaffa’ could mean to take back but it does not suggest a physical take back. It is not a difficult point to understand. ‘Tawaffa’ has been defined as ‘to take back’ and it could be in any way possible. For example, the Qur’an uses the word ‘mawt’ for death but does not give different ways of death. ‘Mawt’ could be in any way just like ‘tawaffa’. Another important thing to note here is that the word “Tawaffa” is not used for other Prophets in the Qur’an.

Reaching age of maturity

The Qur’an mentions that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) would see the age of maturity:

ويكلم الناس في المهد وكهلا ومن الصالحين

“He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity (kahlan). And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”[38]

اذ قال الله ياعيسى ابن مريم اذكر نعمتي عليك وعلى والدتك اذ ايدتك بروح القدس تكلم الناس في المهد وكهلا

Then will Allah say: “O Issa the son of Maryam! Recount My favor to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity (kahlan).[39]

The age of maturity has been mentioned in the Qur’an as well.

اذا بلغ اشده وبلغ اربعين سنة

“… when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years…”[40]

It is an accepted fact that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) was in his mid thirties when Allah raised him up before crucifixion. Forty years is also the age when Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) received revelation and it is the age of maturity as mentioned in the Qur’an as well.

The believers prevailed

Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) has been mentioned several times in the Qur’an and him being saved from death of any sort and returning have also been mentioned very clearly.

ياايها الذين امنوا كونوا انصار الله كما قال عيسى ابن مريم للحواريين من انصاري الى الله قال الحواريون نحن انصار الله فامنت طائفة من بني اسرائيل وكفرت طائفة فايدنا الذين امنوا على عدوهم فاصبحوا ظاهرين

Oh you who believe! Become the helper of Allah, like the disciples of Issa, the son of Maryam. He asked his disciples, “Who will help me for (the sake of) Allah?” They replied, “We are the helpers of Allah!” A group of the Israelites believed him, and another group rejected. Then, We assisted the believers against their enemies, so the believers prevailed.[41]

The prevailing believers were the disciples of Eisa (عليه السلام). They too were the enemy of the disbelievers. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) is also included in the believers and his death would have proved the disbelievers victorious. The Jews boasted of killing Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) and his death would have proven that he was not the Messiah.

Therefore, when Allah says that the believers were victorious, it means that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) was saved from humiliation and from death. Surviving the cross and escaping to somewhere else would have been cowardice not to be associated with a Prophet of Allah Almighty. Migration is a good deed but this theory of running away and not coming back later to punish the culprits is just plain cowardice which Muslims are unwilling to accept. Running away without coming back to enforce justice for the sake of Allah (not personal – remember that the Deen of Allah was mocked and ridiculed by the disbelievers) would mean that the disbelievers prevailed which is totally against the above-mentioned verse and against what Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and other Prophets did.

ولقد سبقت كلمتنا لعبادنا المرسلين

Already has Our Word been passed before (this) to our Servants sent (by Us), That they would certainly be assisted.[42]

Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) was also assisted by Allah Almighty by being saved from humiliation and death! Regarding this point, the deviants argue that if this is humiliation and disgrace, then how are murders of other Prophets explained; were not they disgraced by being put to death? It may appear so but for that we would have to look at the mission of each Prophet. Death by enemies is martyrdom and that is not a disgrace but a reward but if the mission fails, then the enemies would succeed. Mission of some Prophets was to bring the people back to the true path and not to lead as the head of the state; for this we have the example of the Prophet who appointed Taalut (Saul) as the king. What must also be kept in mind is that Prophet rejecting nations were destroyed.

Betrayal of Judas

In chapter five of the Qur’an we find the story of the disciples’ oath in brief. That brief explanation is sufficient for those who understand. In the 112th verse, we find that the disciples asked for food from heaven but Eisa (عليه السلام) initially rebuked their plea. The disciples insisted and Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) then prayed to Allah (Qur’an 5:114) to give them food from heaven. Allah Almighty did give them what they desired but there was a condition (Qur’an 5:115), which was that if any of them disbelieved after that, then he would be given a severe punishment the like of which would not be given to anyone else.

قال الله اني منزلها عليكم فمن يكفر بعد منكم فاني اعذبه عذابا لااعذبه احدا من العالمين

Allah said: Surely I will send it down to you, but whoever shall disbelieve afterwards from among you, surely I will chastise him with a chastisement with which I will not chastise anyone among the nations.

We do know that Eisa (عليه السلام) was granted a place on a hill by Allah Almighty (Qur’an 23:50) and we also know that one of the disciples (Judas Iscariot) betrayed him and reported the whereabouts of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) to the authorities. This betrayal or attempted murder of a Prophet of Allah is definitely disbelief and is liable to the punishment promised by Allah Almighty. This explains the crucifixion of Judas! However, some might argue that the punishment for Judas is in the hereafter and the one on the cross was not him. This is a reasonable argument but if we analyse it in detail, we see that it is a wrong argument. We know that the greatest punishment in hell would be given to Pharaoh and therefore, this could not be Judas. The Qur’an does not mention about the sufferings of the man on the cross. In the Bible, he shouts, “Alah! Alah! Why have you forsaken me?” Perhaps the pain he felt was something not felt by anyone else ever. Secondly, the Gospel of Barnabas and the Apocalypse of Peter mention the punishment of Judas in some detail; he was spit at, dragged around nude in public, humiliated, degraded etc.

Thirdly, his punishment is an example for the people as billions of Christians and Muslims dislike him for what he did. Lastly, if we read the words Allah Almighty has used in Qur’an 5:115, we find that the one who would disbelieve would receive a punishment that no one else would receive. Changing of the face and appearance of Judas to that of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) definitely classifies into this category. No person has ever received such a punishment.

The Prophet also for the Aakhireen

هو الذي بعث في الاميين رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم اياته ويزكيهم ويعلمهم الكتاب والحكمة وان كانوا من قبل لفي ضلال مبين – واخرين منهم لما يلحقوا بهم وهو العزيز الحكيم – ذلك فضل الله يؤتيه من يشاء والله ذو الفضل العظيم – مثل الذين حملوا التوراة ثم لم يحملوها كمثل الحمار يحمل اسفارا بئس مثل القوم الذين كذبوا بايات الله والله لايهدي القوم الظالمين

It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered an apostle from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error;- As well as (to confer all these benefits upon) others of them, who have not already joined them: And He is exalted in Might, Wise. Such is the Bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He will: and Allah is the Lord of the highest bounty. The similitude of those who were charged with the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law, but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes (but understands them not). Evil is the similitude of people who falsify the Signs of Allah: and Allah guides not people who do wrong.[43]

The verses state that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is for the companions of the Prophet and also for the Aakhireen (the last). This clearly shows that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) would not be a Prophet of the people then but he would also be a follower among the Aakhireen. This refutes those who claim that the coming of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) would conflict with the Qur’an which says that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is the last Prophet. He surely is the last Prophet and the return of the Messiah is not a new one but he will be the same man who will come down directly from above.

Arguments of proponents of death

Most of the arguments of those who like to argue for the death of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) have been addressed above. However, there are some emotional pleas as well. Besides the emotional pleas, they even propose that the verses pertaining to Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) are from the mutashabihaat and none knows their true meaning except Allah. Even if their argument is accepted that the verses are unclear and one should refrain from interpreting them in any way whatsoever, their logic still fails. If we are to stop and accept them as they are, we would have to take the apparent and take the explicit words of the Prophet (ﷺ) about the return of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام).

Such people make emotional pleas stating that if anyone deserved such a special treatment of being raised up alive, then it was our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). This is a similar trick used by some Christians, i.e. get emotional and make excuses such as “I have faith”.

Allah, in the Qur’an, has answered this claim when He says: “The likeness of Issa in Allah’s sight is the same as Adam (Qur’an 3:59)”. Emotional arguments will lead one to nowhere and one could even argue as to why wasn’t it Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) instead to be resurrected after one hundred years as stated in Qur’an 2:259 and why wasn’t it Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to rise after hundreds of years in the cave?

Other people have also received similar treatment and if one argues that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) is receiving special treatment, then he/she must look at these verses and step out of this “faith” excuse!

These death theorists also argue that when Eisa (عليه السلام) will speak to Allah on the Day of Judgment with these words, “… when you took me back, you were watching over them…” why doesn’t he clearly say “…when you took me back, then sent me to earth and then took me back again…”? This is a poor question and nothing else. Empty vessels make the loudest noise. He is a prophet of Allah and will not speak uselessly or when not required. Eisa (عليه السلام) will reply to Allah Almighty to the question asked to him and will not speak more than what is required of him. Standing in front of Allah Almighty would be the greatest moment and even according to common sense, one is unlikely to deliberately act unwise as these claimants of death hope one to be.

Verses and references presented by proponents of death theory

Many have been answered above with the explanation. The rest are answered in this section. Death theorists present the following verses in their defense:

والذين يدعون من دون الله لايخلقون شيئا وهم يخلقون – اموات غير احياء ومايشعرون ايان يبعثون

Those whom they invoke besides Allah create nothing and are themselves created. (They are things) dead, lifeless: nor do they know when they will be raised up.[44]

It is hilarious how desperate one can get in the enmity of Eisa (عليه السلام). This is a response to the pagan Makkans who worshipped idols! Their idols are lifeless and cannot do anything on their own and do not even know when they will be raised up. Idols do not have life in them! The context clearly shows that it is a reply to the idol worshippers and has nothing to do with Eisa (عليه السلام) as it is also a Makkan Surah. Furthermore, we know from the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet (ﷺ) that martyrs, prophets and selected people of Allah Almighty are alive in a world of which we do not have much knowledge of. Therefore, to put Eisa (عليه السلام) along with the dead, lifeless idols would not be an Islamic argument.

Enemies of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) present the following verses and argue that ascending to heavens is not possible for messengers.

او يكون لك بيت من زخرف او ترقى في السماء ولن نؤمن لرقيك حتى تنزل علينا كتابا نقرؤه قل سبحان ربي هل كنت الا بشرا رسولا

`Or, thou have a house of gold or thou ascend up into heaven; and we will not believe in thy ascension until thou send down to us a Book that we can read.’ Say, `Holy is my Lord ! I am but a mortal sent as a Messenger.’[45]

سنة الله في الذين خلوا من قبل ولن تجد لسنة الله تبديلا

Such has been the way of ALLAH with those who passed away before, and never thou wilt find a change in the way of ALLAH.[46]

The pagan Makkans demanded that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) show them a miracle. They were shown a miracle but their demands were denied earlier. This denial was to make them understand that the Prophet (ﷺ) was only a mortal and had no power of his own to do miracles just like Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). When it was made very clear to them that he is only a mortal, Allah Almighty, then showed them a sign they wanted. This sign was promised by Allah Almighty in Qur’an 6:37, 6:110 and 27:82. It must be remembered that no Prophet on his own can do miracles. Whatever Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) did was by the will of Allah Almighty as he was also a mortal. He had no power to raise himself and if we read the verses carefully, we find that Allah Almighty is saying that He would raise Eisa (عليه السلام). This is in complete harmony with the above verses presented by Ahmadis.

The claimants of the ‘death theory’ present the following verse for their claim:

ومامحمد الا رسول قد خلت من قبله الرسل افئن مات او قتل انقلبتم على اعقابكم ومن ينقلب على عقبيه فلن يضر الله شيئا وسيجزي الله الشاكرين

“And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, (all?) Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn your back on your heels?”[47]

Please note the word “all” in the brackets. This is just the interpretation of the ones presenting this verse and has no significance or existence in reality. Different translations can be used to confirm this. The word “all” is just the wishful thinking of the enemies of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). All messengers have not died and Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) is the one who has not died yet but will die when he returns.

Moreover, if the arguers are bent on pure denial without any evidence, another clearer verse shall be presented to them to clear their misconception:

واذ اخذ الله ميثاق النبيين لما اتيتكم من كتاب وحكمة ثم جاءكم رسول مصدق لما معكم لتؤمنن به ولتنصرنه قال ءاقررتم واخذتم على ذلكم اصري قالوا اقررنا قال فاشهدوا وانا معكم من الشاهدين

Allah took a covenant from (all) the prophets, saying, “I will give you the scripture and wisdom. Afterwards, a messenger will come to confirm all existing scriptures. You shall believe in him and support him.” He said, “Do you agree with this, and pledge to fulfill this covenant?” They said, “We agree.” He said, “You have thus borne witness, and I bear witness along with you.”[48]

The deniers argue that in Qur’an 3:144 there is ‘al’ before Rasool (Messenger) which means ‘the’ and is referring to ‘all’ messengers. If their explanation is accepted as valid, then we would be in trouble as there is ‘al’ before Nabi (Prophet) in Qur’an 3:81 as well and that would mean that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) gave an oath about himself that he would believe in himself when he would come after him! Does this make sense? ‘Al’ is not all-inclusive and there can be exceptions as well.

ماالمسيح ابن مريم الا رسول قد خلت من قبله الرسل وامه صديقة كانا ياكلان الطعام

“The Messiah, son of Maryam, was only a Messenger; surely Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food.”[49]

Here Allah Almighty answers the false claims of the Christians who believed that Eisa (عليه السلام) died for the sins plus that he was Allah. Allah Almighty refutes them through their own logic that if they believe Eisa (عليه السلام) died, then other prophets also dies before him which should make them ponder and accept that Eisa (عليه السلام) was a Messenger of Allah and not Allah himself. The verse rejects the divinity of Eisa (عليه السلام) and says that just like he was a human, other Prophets were also humans and they have passed away. Allah said that they ate food and Allah does not eat food and according to their own selves, they passed away but Allah does not die which they themselves accept and hence they should also accept that Eisa (عليه السلام) was not Allah but a human prophet. There was a large sect in Syria and surrounding areas of Christians that had Lady Maryam (peace be upon her) in the trinity. Romans had a different trinity and these Christians are being answered here!

وماجعلنا لبشر من قبلك الخلد افائن مت فهم الخالدون

”We granted not abiding life to any human being before thee. If then thou shouldst die, shall they have abiding life?”[50]

This cannot be dismissed as a naïve comment from an ill-knowledged person because even the deviant sects know that the Muslims do not attribute an eternal life to Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) and we believe that he will pass away and not have abiding life when he returns.

وجعلني مباركا اين ماكنت واوصاني بالصلاة والزكاة مادمت حيا

And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live;[51]

Those who argue that Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) died according to the Qur’an put forward the above verse and state that a person cannot pray or pay charity to the poor in heaven. The answer to this claim is straight-forward. It would not be a surprise if there are prayers to be observed in heaven. Charity or Zakah is an obligation upon every Muslim who earns and has a saving above a certain level. Zakah must be paid to deserving people. A person who does not earn has no obligation to pay Zakah and therefore, Eisa (عليه السلام) has no obligation to pay in heaven at the moment. He will have to pay when he makes a living on his second coming. Even prayers are mandatory unless Allah Almighty allows a concession and we do not know whether He has allowed it in heaven or not.

والسلام علي يوم ولدت ويوم اموت ويوم ابعث حيا

“Peace upon me the day I was born. The day I shall die. And the day I shall be brought back to life!”[52]

Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) will die when he returns. It has been explained above.

In addition to these, haters of Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) disguised as Muslims, present extremely weak narrations to make their claims. Qur’an is the criteria in this particular discussion here and so they have not been touched. However, no person will ever be able to prove anything, to the contrary, from any authentic Hadith.

There are numerous sayings of the Prophet (ﷺ) relating to this subject but only the Qur’an has been used here. There is no such thing as blind faith in Islam. The ones making distorted interpretations, even though they know their own lie, will never stop deceiving unless Allah gives them guidance.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

Footnotes:

[1] Qur’an 2:26

[2] Qur’an 3:59

[3] Qur’an 3:45-48

[4] Qur’an 5:110

[5] Saheeh Bukhari 3449

[6] Qur’an 27:1

[7] Qur’an 13:39

[8] Qur’an 3:45-48

[9] Qur’an 5:110

[10] Qur’an 4:163

[11] Sahih Bukhari 4:658 (Fateh-ul Bari page 304 and 305 Vol 7)

[12] Qur’an 21:91

[13] Qur’an 3:55

[14] Qur’an 18:99

[15] Qur’an 21: 91-96

[16] Qur’an 21:105

[17] Qur’an 17:58

[18] Qur’an 17:15

[19] Qur’an 22:45

[20] Qur’an 23:48

[21] Qur’an 23:51-54

[22] Qur’an 23:64, 65

[23] Qur’an 26:139

[24] Qur’an 25:36-38

[25] Qur’an 30:47

[26] Qur’an 32:21

[27] Qur’an 42:14

[28] Qur’an 41:45

[29] Qur’an 43:57-61

[30] Qur’an 4:159

[31] Qur’an 3:54

[32] Qur’an 4:157, 158

[33] Qur’an 20:71

[34] Qur’an 6:60

[35] Qur’an 3:55

[36] Qur’an 2:281

[37] Al-Mawrid, Arabic-English, Page 1240

[38] Qur’an 3:46

[39] Qur’an 5:110

[40] Qur’an 46:15

[41] Qur’an 61:14

[42] Qur’an 37:172, 173

[43] Qur’an 62:2-5

[44] Qur’an 16:20-21

[45] Qur’an 17:93

[46] Qur’an 33:62

[47] Qur’an 3:144

[48] Qur’an 3:81

[49] Qur’an 5:75

[50] Qur’an 21:34

[51] Qur’an 19:31

[52] Qur’an 19:33

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One thought on “Did Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) die and will he return?

  1. Pingback: Mahdi in the Qur’an and Sahihayn | Qur'anic misconceptions addressed

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