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Jesus (pbuh) was not bodily lifted by Allah Ta'ala

By Mohammad Shafi Aga                         

                        There is a belief among Muslims that Jesus (peace be upon him) was bodily lifted by Allah Ta'ala, and that he is due to come back to this world again. Let us find out whether the Qur'aan corroborates this belief. 


                        Let us first ponder over Qur'anic Verses 5.116 & 5.117:


                                    [5.116] And when Allah will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you tell mankind to take you and your mother as two gods besides Allah?" He will say, "Glory be to You! I could not say what I had no right to say. If I had said it, You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Your mind. You are indeed the Knower of the things that are unseen."

                                    [5.117] "I told them nothing except what You commanded me with - that they should worship Allah, my Lord and their Lord. And I was a witness over them so long as I was among them, but when You caused me to die, You were the Watcher over them, and You are Witness over all things ." (emphasis added)


            The above is a conversation between Allah and Jesus that is to take place on the Judgement Day. Take particular note of the underlined part of Jesus' response to Allah. This part does clearly show that Jesus was unaware that he and his mother were deified by his so-called followers after his departure from this world. If Jesus were to come back again to this world, how could he be unaware of this deification!?


            Moreover, the Arabic term used for what is translated as 'You caused me to die' in the above quote, is tawaffaitani. The Arabic term is derived from the tri-letter root word wafi. This root word has the basic meaning of 'to complete' or 'to fulfill' and a derived meaning is 'to die after completing one's life-term in this world'. Another derived meaning, used in the Qur'aan, is for one's soul to be taken up after death by angels (Verse 6.61). In Verse 5.117 too, the word is used in the same meaning of Allah causing Jesus' soul to go up unto Him after his (Jesus') physical death here. There is therefore no warrant in the Qur'aan for the word to have the meaning of Jesus having been bodily lifted up to Heaven from this earth.


                        Other Verses that need to be pondered over in this context are:



                                    [4.157] And their saying, "We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, Messenger of Allah." And they killed him not; nor did they crucify him, but it appeared so to them. And indeed, those who differ therein are only in a state of doubt about it. They have no knowledge thereon, but follow only conjecture. And they killed him not for sure.

                                    [4.158] Allah, on the contrary, raised him to Himself. And Allah is Almighty, Wise.


                        The Arabic term used in Verse 4.158, for what is translated above as 'raised him', is rafa'a hu. The use of this term here is taken by some commentators of the Qur'aan as the evidence for Jesus having been bodily lifted up to the Heavens. But  Verse 3.55 tells us categorically that Jesus was made to die and raised up to Allah. It was Jesus' soul that was raised up, like any other human soul, at his natural death (not by crucifixion).            

                        There is, therefore, nothing in the Verses quoted above - nor is there anything in any other Verse of the Qur'aan - to support the myth of the 2nd coming of Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon him.



Jesus (pbuh) will return to earth-according to Hadith

By S K Ahmed


            Ya Mohammad Shafi Aga, as a sincere brother from America, who is still learning his religion, who is attempting to find the truth,  I find that you are giving misinformation to all these people.  You are missing a very important part of Islamic Law, a very important part of Islamic sources, the ahadith, sayings of the Prophets (peace by upon him): Bukhari, Muslim, and other authentic sources of ahadith.  You cannot make judgment based on Qur'aan only.  You cannot give your own opinion.  The people that give Tafsir in the Islamic world would look at the ahadith to find the reason of revelation.  The 2nd coming of Isa ibn Maryam is a firm belief every Muslim should have.  I have some sources for you:


            Did Jesus come back to Earth or after he was taken up or not? <>

            A brief look at Jesus (peace be upon him)? <>

            The Muslims' beliefs concerning the Messiah 'Eesa ibn Maryam? <>         

            As for your interpretation of the arabic of "mutawaffeeka" :

                        "And (remember) when Allaah said: 'O Eesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Eesa ( Jesus) is Allaah's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (monotheists, who worship none but Allaah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the oneness of Allaah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, or in His Holy Books] till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute."[Aal 'Imraan 3:55]

                        Ibn Jareer, may Allaah have mercy on him, explained that the word "mutawaffeeka" [which usually refers to death and is translated here as "raise" – Translator] refers to his being taken up, but most of the scholars said that the meaning here is sleep, as Allaah says elsewhere in the Qur'aan (interpretation of the meaning):

                        "It is He, Who takes your souls [yatawaffaakum] by night (when you are asleep)…"[al-An'aam 6:60] 

                        "It is Allaah Who takes away [yatawaffaa] the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep…"[al-Zumar 39:42] 

                        When he got up from sleeping, the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would say, "Al-hamdu Lillaah illadhi ahyaanaa ba'da maa amaatanaa wa ilayh il-nushoor (Praise be to Allaah Who has brought us back to life after causing us to die, and unto Him is the resurrection)." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6312; Muslim, 2711) 

            His 2nd coming is confirmed in the Authentic Books: Bukhari and Muslim:                                    We believe that he will come back down at the end of time, and will disprove the claim of his enemies the Jews that they killed him, and will disprove the claim of the Christians that he is God or the son of God, and he will not accept anything from them but Islam.


                        Al-Bukhaari (2222) and Muslim (155) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "By the One in Whose hand is my soul, soon the son of Maryam will descend among you [according to another report: the Hour will not begin until the son of Maryam descends among you] as a just judge . He will break the cross, kill the pigs and abolish the jizyah, and money will become abundant until no one will accept it." 


                        "Soon" means it will inevitably happen quickly.


                        "will descend among you" means among this ummah.


                        "A just judge" means that he will come down and rule according to this sharee'ah, and that this sharee'ah will remain and not be abrogated, rather 'Eesa will be one of the rulers of this ummah.


                        "He will break the cross and kill the pigs" means he will declare as false the religion of the Christians by breaking the cross in a real sense and proving false the Christians' claims and veneration of the cross. 


                        "and he will abolish the jizyah": 


                        al-Nawawi said:


                        The correct view concerning this is that he will not accept it, and he will not accept anything from the Kaafirs but Islam. If any of them offer the jizyah that will not make him stop fighting them. Rather he will not accept anything but Islam or death. This is the view of Imam Abu Sulaymaan al-Khattaabi and other scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them). 


                        End quote.


                        "Money will become abundant" – the reason for this abundance will be the descent of blessings and the spread of goodness because of justice and the absence of oppression or wrongdoing. At that time the earth will bring forth its treasures, and desire to keep money will decrease because they will know that that Hour is at hand. 


                        Then he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him and bury him.


                        Ahmad (9349) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I am the closest of people to 'Eesa ibn Maryam because there was no Prophet between him and me…" Then he mentioned his descent at the end of time. Then he said: "And he will remain for as long as Allaah wills he should remain, then he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him and bury him." Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2182).                      


            These ahadith are authentic ahadith, which means there is not a drop of doubt that they  came from the mouth of the messenger.  If I heard Rasul  personally say to me -- I would believe,  If I heard his most trusted Sahabah, companion say it -- I would believe it, if  I heard a most trusted student of the Sahabah say it -- I would believe it.  And this is what Bukhari and Muslim did.


            So Brother, My dear brother in Islam, please for the sake of increasing knowledge and scholarship, lets try to ask those who know before coming to our own conclusions.




Reply by Mohammad Shafi


            Thank you for bringing out yet another instance from the Qur'aan wherein it (the Qur'aan) itself helps further clarification of the meaning of the words used in the divine text. Verses 6.60 and 39.42 , quoted by you, conclusively prove that the tri-letter root word wafi, with its various grammatical forms, is used for taking away only the soul, and not the body, of a human being. In sleep, as in death, the body remains here and the soul goes up.


            So it is more clear now that the Qur'aan used that word, in regard to Jesus, to denote the ascension of his soul, and not of his body.


            Brother! My deen is to believe absolutely in the Qur'aan, which satisfactorily explains things, as in the matter we are discussing here. My deen is to believe absolutely in all that the Qur'aan says. And the Qur'aan, inter alia, says that the Allah-approved Religion of Islam is perfect. There is no room for any doubts and uncertainties in it. It says that all necessary things are fully and variously explained in the Qur'aan itself for easy understanding of all those who are pious and Allah-fearing. It says that the Book is divine and is divinely protected. It says that it is a Book of Allah's Guidance for mankind. It says that Allah's Guidance is the only true and sufficient guidance.


            But, apparently, you do not believe in such a deen. In your deen, the man-influenced, mistake-prone  ahaadeeth have equal - nay, more - importance than the Allah-given and Allah-protected Qur'anic Verses. I say 'more' because it is a hadeeth - as in the case of determining the end or beginning of a lunar month - mostly, which is given precedence over anything that the Qur'aan may say in any matter.

                         Lakum deenukum waliya deen, Brother!


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