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Articles Section > Death of Jesus [with Evidence from the Holy Quran, Hadith and Sayings of Prominent Muslim Figures]

Death of Jesus --
[with Evidence from the Holy Quran, Hadith and Sayings of Prominent Muslim Figures]:
Taken from: Paigham-e-Haqq (Organ of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-i-Islam, Fiji), pp. 31-37, July/Dec., 1980.



Evidence of the Holy Quran:
The first disputed issue between the Ahmadiyya Community and the general body of the rest of the Muslims relates to the death of Jesus. The average Muslim believes that Jesus is alive in heaven with his physical body. But members of the Ahmadiyya Community, and also Muslim research scholars, believe that, like other prophets, Jesus too has died.

The Holy Quran emphatically proves that Jesus has passed away like other mortal human beings, and is no longer alive anywhere. It clearly states that Jesus possessed only human characteristics, and was in no way divine, but a servant of God and His messenger. From birth to death, he was subject to all the physical and biological limitations that God has devised for human beings.

First Evidence: All Human Beings Live and Die in this World:


Prophets belong to the human race, and they are, therefore, subject to the eternal Divine law that human beings live and die in this world. The Quran states:

1. "Therein (i.e. on the earth or physical world) shall you live, and therein shall you die, and therefrom shall you be raised" (7:25).

2. "And there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision" (7:24).

3. "Have We not made the earth draw to itself the living and the dead" (77:25, 26).

4. "From it (i.e. the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it raise you a second time" (20:55).

In these verses, God has set forth His law that all men shall live their lives, with their physical bodies, in earth. Furthermore, it is opposed to the Divine law, according to which prophets have to bear persecution here on earth, that Jesus should be raised up to heaven when he was opposed by the Jews. His supposed physical life in heaven for two thousand years without food or drink is also opposed to the Divine law expressed in the above verses.

Second Evidence: Physical Life Depends on Food and Drink:



God has described His law, applicable not only to ordinary people but to all prophets as well, that life depends on food and drink:

1. "We did not send before you (O Muhammad) any messengers but they surely ate food" (25:20).

2. "We did not give them (i.e. the prophets) bodies not eating food" (21:8).

Of Jesus and his righteous mother, it is stated: "They both used to eat food" (5:7). So if Jesus no longer eats food - all Muslims hold that he does not eat food in heaven - he cannot, by the Divine law stated above, be alive with his physical body. The body requires food, so Jesus no longer eating food must be dead.

Third Evidence: Human Body Suffers Ravages of Time:


There is not a single human body in the world which is impervious to change. The living body is necessarily changing all the time. The Quran states:

1. "And We granted abiding for ever (Khuld) to no mortal before you (O Muhammad). If you die, will they abide (Khalidun)" (21:34).

2. "They (i.e. the prophets) did not abide for ever (Khalidin)" (21:8).

As regards the meaning of the word Khulud (translated above as abiding for ever), the famous Quranic dictionary of lmam Raghib explains:

"Khulud is that a thing be immune from decay, and that it endures in an unchanging condition. The Arabs call such a thing Khuld ... i.e., to persist in one condition, not being subject to change" (pp. 153,154).

According to Arabic lexicology, therefore, Khulud signifies persistence in one and the same state, with no change or decay taking place. In the verses above, a Divine law has seen explained under which every person is affected by the passage of time. He is first a child, then an adult, then old, and finally he dies. This is corroborated by many other verses, for example:

1. "Allah is He Who created you from a state of weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then ordained weakness and hoary hair after strength" (30:54).

2. "Of you is he who is brought back to the worst part of life (i.e. old age), so that after knowledge he knows nothing" (22:5).

3. "And whomsoever We cause to live long, We reduce to an abject state in creation. Do they not understand" (36:68).

A general law of God has seen described here, to which no human being is an exception. From being a child, a person develops physically to attain his fullest development. After that he begins to decline and ultimately reaches his ‘second childhood’ when he loses all his former attainments.

If, for the sake of argument, Jesus were to return to this world, he would be about 2000 years of age, and hence, according to the above Divine law, too old to be capable of doing anything at all. In fact, it is certain that, under this law, Jesus died a very long time ago.

Fourth Evidence: Death of all Prophets:


1. "The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; messengers before him had indeed passed away" (5:75).

2. "And Muhammad is but a messenger - messengers have already passed away before him. If, then, he dies or is killed, will you turn back upon your heels?" (3:143).

The second verse here explains the first one. Both verses are similarly worded, the first referring to Jesus, and the second to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The Quran's verdict here is very clear for a truth-seeker. The first verse explicitly states that all prophets before Jesus had died - and all Muslims accept this. In the second verse, the same words are used to state that all prophets before the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had died. In fact, since no prophet arose between Jesus and the Holy Prophet, the second verse could only have been revealed specifically to show that Jesus had died. Classical works of Arabic grammar tell us that, owing to the prefix al (the), the word messengers (al-rusul, lit. "the messengers") in the above two verses really means all messengers (see Bahr al-Muhit, vol. 3, p. 68).

Meaning of Khala:


It should be remembered that the word Khala (translated above as "passed away") in the past tense without an article, when used about human beings, refers to their death. (See Lisan al-Arab and Aqrab al-Mawarad). In the Quran too, whenever the words qad khalat without the particle ila are used about any persons, the meaning is that they passed away and died, and will not return to this world. For instance:

1. "Those are a people that have passed away (qad Khalat)" (2:134).

2. "... before which other nations have passed away (qad Khalat)" (13:30).

3. "... among nations that have passed away (qad Khalat) before them" (46:18).

4. "Such has been the way of Allah with those who have passed away (Khalat) before" (33:38).

In interpreting the two verses about all prophets before Jesus and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) having passed away, the commentators have generally adopted the same meaning:

"The Holy Prophet would leave the world as had done previous prophets, by natural death or murder" (Qanwa `ata Baidawi, vol. 3, p. 124).

In fact, the above verse about the Holy Prophet (3:143) itself clarifies the meaning of Khala (passing away of all previous prophets) by using the words "if he dies or is killed" with regard to him. Obviously, the "passing away" of all previous prophets must also be one or other of "dying" or "being killed."

Fifth Evidence: All "Gods" are Dead:


All those who were taken to be gods besides the One God are described by the Quran as "dead":

"And those whom they call on besides Allah created nothing, while they are themselves created. Dead (are they), not living. And they know not when they will be raised" (16:20-21).

And as to Jesus being taken for a god, the Quran itself bears witness: "Certainly they disbelieve who say: ‘Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Mary’" (5:72).

‘These verses prove conclusively that Jesus, who is taken to be ‘god’ by a large section of mankind and is called by them "Lord Jesus", must have been dead when these verses were revealed. Otherwise, this exception would have been mentioned here.

After amwaat ("Dead (are they)"), the words ghairu ahyaa'u ("not living") clarify the matter absolutely, and re-affirm the death of these "gods".

Sixth Evidence: Jesus' Second Coming Contradicts Finality of Prophethood:


Jesus' coming again into this world would infringe the principle of the Finality of Prophethood because the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the last and final prophet according to that principle. The Quran says: "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets" (33:40).

The Holy Prophet's being the last prophet (Khatam an-nabiyyin) necessitates that after him there should not appear any prophet, neither a new one nor a former one. Just as the coming of a fresh prophet would infringe the Finality of Prophethood, so would the appearance of a former prophet, because the Last Prophet is the one who appears after all other prophets. If Jesus comes after the Holy Prophet, he (Jesus) would be the Last Prophet, the Khatam an-nabiyyain.

It is wrong to argue that, in his supposed second coming, Jesus would not be a prophet (nabi). For the Quran says: "Jesus said: I am a servant of God; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet, and made me blessed wherever I may be" (19:30, 31). So, were he to return to this world he would still be a prophet. His coming without prophethood would be meaningless, for the task of leadership of the Muslims (Immah) and successorship to the Holy Prophet (Khilafah) could be performed by a member of the Muslim community.

Hence it stands proved that Jesus died, as did all other prophets, and that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the Last Prophet.

Seventh Evidence: Holy Quran Specifically Mentions Jesus' Death:


Having explained so many general principles on the subject of life and death, it was not necessary that the Holy Quran should speak specifically of the death of Jesus. Nevertheless, Almighty Allah has particularly mentioned Jesus' death in the Quran. When the Jews succeeded in their plans to have Jesus sentenced to crucifixion, he prayed to God to be delivered from this fate, and was answered by Him thus:

"O Jesus, I will cause you to die, and exalt you to My presence, and clear you of those who disbelieve, and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the day of Judgement" (3:54).

Here God made with Jesus four promises:

i. "Cause you to die" (tawaffa), i.e., Jesus would not be killed by the Jews, but would die a natural death.

ii. "Exalt you in My presence" (raf'a), i.e., he would not be crucified, which the Jews sought to do to prove him accused, but rather he would receive Divine nearness.

iii. "Clear you of those who disbelieve" (tathir), i.e., he would be cleared of the Jews' allegations against him, as he was by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

iv. "Make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the day of Judgement", i.e., his followers would ever have the upper hand over his rejecters.

The above verse proves that Jesus has died, for raf'a (exaltation to God's presence) is attained only after death when all the material veils have been removed. Every righteous person is granted raf'a to God after his death. The Holy Prophet has said: "When a believer nears death, angels come to him. So, if he is righteous, they say: `O pure soul! leave, you were in a pure body' ... So that pure soul comes out, then they take it to the heavens and its gates are opened for it" (Mishkat).

Hence, whenever a righteous individual dies, the angels take his soul up to heaven. The very same happened in Jesus' case, so that after his death his soul was raised to heaven, and he joined the ranks of the righteous among the dead.

Thus God fulfilled all the above promises in order: He rescued Jesus from the hands of the Jews, and eventually granted him a natural death; after his death, God honoured his soul with Divine nearness; He cleared him of the Jews' allegation against him through the Holy Prophet Muhammad; (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and He gave Jesus' followers the upper hand over his rejecters.

Eighth Evidence: Christians went Astray after Jesus' Death:


Jesus' statement, on the Day of Judgement, that his people made him a "god" after his death, is thus recorded in the Holy Quran:

"And when God will say: `O Jesus, did you say to men, "Take me and my mother for two gods besides God"?' He will reply: `Glory be to Thee! it was not for me to say what I had no right to say. If I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind. Surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen. I said to them naught save as Thou didst command me: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord."; and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die Thou wast the Watcher over them. And Thou art Witness of all things' " (5:116, 117).

This extract proves the following:

i. Jesus shall deny preaching the erroneous present-day Christian doctrine of his divinity;

ii. He shall confirm the teaching he actually gave to his people;

iii. So long as Jesus was among his people, his followers held the current beliefs;

iv. It was after Jesus' tawaffa (translated above as 'Thou didst cause me to die') that their beliefs became corrupted.

Meaning of Tawaffa:


Lexicons of Arabic tell us that tawaffa Allahu falanun, i.e., `God did the act of tawaffa to such a one, means that God took his soul and caused him to die.' This is the meaning given in Taj al-Urus, Al-Qamus, Surah, Asas al-Balaghah, AI-Sihah, and Kalyat abi-i-Baqa.

In the above verse, Jesus speaks of two distinct periods of time. The first one is mentioned in the words "so long as I was among them", and the second one when only "Thou wert the Watcher over them"; `them' being Jesus' people, the Christians. And the first period (of Jesus' presence among his people) changed into the second (of only God, not Jesus, being their watcher) because of tawaffaitani, or "when Thou didst cause me (Jesus) to die."

Now according to the above verse, the Christians held correct beliefs in the first period, and distorted views in the second. As the Quran tells us repeatedly, and as all Muslims believe, Christian beliefs had become corrupted (or, in other words, the second period had begun) by the time of the advent of the Holy Prophet. So Jesus was dead, by that time since the second period was to come after tawaffaitani or the death of Jesus.

Summary:


According to the Holy Quran, Jesus holds no more than the following three positions:

i. He is a mortal from amongst mortals;

ii. He is a prophet of God from amongst the prophets; and,

iii. He is of those whom some people worship.

The Jews believe him to be an ordinary mortal, while the Christians worship him. The Muslims accept him as one of God's prophets. The Quran has proved Jesus to be dead with regard to each of the above three positions.

I. Jesus as an Ordinary Mortal:


The Quran states: "We have not made before thee (O Muhammad) any mortal to abide for ever. If thou diest, will they (the opponents) abide?" (21:34). This verse shows that the human body is never immune from change, and that it must live and die here in this world. As Jesus too was human, he must be subject to the laws God has devised for men. Therefore, under the Quran law "every soul must taste of death," he has died.

II. Jesus as a Prophet:


"And Muhammad is only a messenger. All messengers before him have indeed passed away" (3:143). This verse proves the death of all previous messengers by the time of its revelation. Jesus was thus dead by that time.

III. Jesus as a Supposed Deity:


As regards all those who are taken for gods besides Allah, the Quran tells us:

"They are dead, not living. And they do not know when they will be raised" (16:21).

It is universally known, and confirmed by the Quran, that Christians believe Jesus to be divine, and call to him in their prayers. So, according to the above verse, Jesus is dead and "will not answer them till the day of Judgement."

Hence it is fully and conclusively proved that Jesus died long ago, and belief in his continued life is against the clearest teachings of the Holy Quran.


Evidence of the Hadith:
We have shown from numerous verses of the Holy Quran that Jesus is not alive in heaven but that he died in his own time as did other prophets. No doubt should, therefore, remain in the mind of any just and truth loving person about this matter. But, for further satisfaction of the seekers after truth, we now present some sayings (ahadith) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who, of course, was in the recipient of Quranic revelation and its premier commentator, to decide this issue so thoroughly that each and every Muslim would have to bow to the verdict.

First Hadith: Meaning of Tawaffa:


"It is reported from Ibn Abbas that the Holy Prophet said in a sermon: O people! you will be gathered to your Lord (on the Day of Judgement) ... and some people from my Ummah will be taken and dragged toward hell. I shall say: `O Lord, but these are my people'. It will be replied: `You do not know what they did after you'. Then I shall say, as did that righteous servant of God (i.e. Jesus): I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die (tawaffaitani) Thou wast Watcher over them'... '

(Bukhari, Kitab al-Tafsir, under Surah Ma'idah).

The last words of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (`I was a witness of them ...') are taken from a verse of the Holy Quran where Jesus is quoted as replying in these very words on the Day of Judgement. It is agreed by all Muslims that, when these words are used by the Holy Prophet in the above hadith, the meaning of tawaffaitani occurring there is "Thou didst cause me to die". So, obviously they have the same meaning when used by Jesus, i.e., Jesus was taken from his people by death, not by rising alive to heaven.

Second Hadith: All Prophets Had To Die:


In his last illness, during which he died, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) entered the mosque with the support of two men to make the following address:

"O people! I have heard that you fear the death of your Prophet. Did any Prophet before me live on so that I should be expected to live on amongst you? Listen! I am about to meet my Lord, and so will you. So I bid you to treat well the early muhajirs."

(AI-Nawar ul-Muhammadiyya min al-Muwahib lil-Dinniyya, Egypt, p. 317).

This hadith settles the meaning of the three Quranic verses: "Muhammad is only a messenger, messengers before him have indeed passed away" (3:143);

"And we made no mortal before thee to live on for ever" (21:34); and "Nor did they (the Prophets) live on for ever" (21:8). Had any prophet at all still been alive, the Holy Prophet could not have uttered the words above. So Jesus was dead by that time.

Third Hadith: Death within a Century:


i. "There is no one alive today but will be dead before a hundred years have passed over it" (Muslim, Kunz al-Ummal, vol. 7, p. 170).

ii. "The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: `Allah sends a wind every hundred years which takes the soul of every believer'. This hadith is sound in transmission" (Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 475).

These hadith show that all those who were alive in the Holy Prophet's time died within a hundred years. Had Jesus been alive (in heaven as is supposed) he too would have died within that period.

Fourth Hadith: Jesus' Age given as 120:


"Aishah (God be pleased with her) said that, in his illness in which he died, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: `Every year Gabriel used to repeat the Quran with me once, but this year he has done it twice. He has informed me that there is no prophet but he lives half as long as the one who preceded him. And he has told me that Jesus lived a hundred and twenty years, and I see that I am about to leave this world at sixty' " (Hajaj at-Kiramah, p. 428; Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, p. 160, from Hazrat Fatima; and Mawahib al-Ladinya, vol. 1, p. 42).

The Tabrani says concerning this hadith: "Its narrations are reliable, and it is reported in a number of different versions". The hadith here leaves no room to doubt at all. It not only announces Jesus' death but gives his age as 120 years. And it is reported through at least three routes: from Aishah, Ibn Umar, and Fatima. This hadith is, therefore, sound and a very clear proof of Jesus' death.

Fifth Hadith: Jesus Dead like Moses:


i. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Had Moses or Jesus been alive, they would have had to follow me" (Al-Yawaqit wal-Jawahir, p. 240; Fath al-Bayan, vol. 2, p. 246; Tafisir Ibn Kathir, under verse 81 of AI Imran).

ii. "Had Jesus been alive he would have had to follow me" (Sharh Fiqh Akbar, Egyptian ed., p. 99).

iii. "If Moses and Jesus were alive, they would have but followed me" (AI-Islam, published by The Fiji Muslim Youth Organization, vol. 4, Oct. 1974.)

The above hadith clearly show that both Moses and Jesus were considered to be dead by the Holy Prophet.

Sixth Hadith: Tomb of Jesus:


The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "May the curse of God be upon the Jews and the Christians who made the graves of their prophets into places of worship". (Bukhari, Kitab as-Salat, p. 296).

The Holy Prophet said this because he was anxious that Muslims should avoid the evil of making the tomb of their prophet into a place of worship, as Jews and Christians had done with their prophets' graves. The Jews had had numerous prophets but the prophet properly recognised by the Christians is only one - Jesus. This hadith shows that the Holy Prophet believed that Jesus had a tomb. And, in fact, this is the place where Jesus was kept after being removed from the cross (till he recovered from his wounds), which Christians revere greatly. Obviously, according to this hadith, Jesus did not rise up to heaven.

Seventh Hadith: Jesus in Company of the Dead:


The various hadith about the Holy Prophet's Mi'raj record:

i. "Adam is in the first heaven ... Joseph is in the second heaven, and his cousins Yahya (John the Baptist) and Jesus are in the third heaven, and Idris is in the fourth heaven" (Kanz al-Ummal, vol. VI, p. 120).

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw Yahya and Jesus in the same place; and as the former, indeed every other prophet seen, is dead, so must Jesus be.

ii. The above hadith is corroborated by another that tells us that in the Mi'raj vision the Holy Prophet met the spirits of all the previous prophets (Tafisir ibn Kathir, Urdu ed. published in Karachi, vol. III, p. 28).

Eighth Hadith: Jesus' "Descent" on Night of Mi'raj:


A hadith about the Miraj records:

"Then the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) descended in Jerusalem, along with all the other prophets. At the time of prayers, he lead them all in prayer" (Tafisir on Kathir, Urdu ed., vol. III, p. 23).

Among "all" the prophets is included Jesus. Had he, unlike other prophets, been alive physically in heaven, his "descent" to Jerusalem would have been with his material body. In that case, he would have had to rise up to heaven physically a second time. But the Quran mentions only one raf ("exaltation" which is misunderstood as "rising up to heaven") of Jesus!

This difficulty does not arise if we believe, as is clear from the various hadith about Mi`raj, that Jesus was in the same condition (i.e. dead) as were all the other prophets seen in the vision.

Ninth Hadith: Holy Prophet's Discussion with a Christian Delegation:


"When a delegation of sixty men from (the Christian) people of Najran came to the Holy Prophet, their chief priest discussed with him the status of Jesus and asked him as to who Jesus' father was. The Holy Prophet said: `Do you not know that a son resembles his father?' They replied: `Yes'. He said:

A lastum to `lamuna anna rabbana la yamutu wa anna `Tsa ata `alaihi-l fana'

i.e., Do you not know that our Lord lives for ever while Jesus perished"

(Asbab an-nuzul by lmam Abu-I-Hasan Ali
bin Ahmad al-Wahide of Neshapur,
published in Egypt, p. 53).

What clearer testimony could there be that Jesus has died than this saying from the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophet!

Tenth Hadith: Two Different Descriptions of Jesus:


In Sahih al-Bukhari, there are recorded two different physical description of Jesus - one applying to the past Messiah, and the other to the Messiah whose advent in the latter days is prophesied.

1. In the Mi`raj the Messiah seen with Moses, Abraham, and other prophets, by the Holy Prophet, was described by him thus:

a. "I saw Jesus. He was a man of a reddish complexion" (Bukhari, Kitab al-ambiya, ch. 24).

b. "I saw Jesus, Moses, and Abraham. Jesus had a reddish complexion, curly hair, and a wide chest"

(ibid., ch. 48).

It is clear from both these hadith that by Jesus, who was seen here along with Abraham and Moses, is meant the Israelite prophet. He had a red complexion and curly hair.

2 Bukhari has recorded a hadith in which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) relates a dream of his about the future:

"In a state of sleep I saw myself circumambulating the Ka'ba, and I saw a man of a wheatish complexion with straight hair. I asked who it was. They said: This is the Messiah, son of Mary" (Bukhari, Kitab al-Fitn, ch. 27).

Thus, where Jesus is mentioned along with Abraham and Moses, he is described as of a reddish complexion with curly hair; but where he is seen along with the Dajjal in a dream about the future, he is said to have a wheatish complexion with straight hair. Evidently, these two different descriptions do not apply to one and the same person. So Jesus, the Israelite prophet, whom the Holy Prophet saw in the Mi`raj vision, and the Messiah who was to appear in the latter days to kill the evil Dajjal, are two different persons.

The Israelite Messiah, Jesus, died, as is made clear by the Holy Prophet Muhammad's sayings. And the Messiah whose advent in the latter days has been prophesied by the Holy Prophet, was to be from the Muslim Community, and not an Israelite prophet. This is borne out by the following three hadith:

i. `Ulama'u ummati ka anbiya'i bani Israil, i.e., "The knowledgeable ones of my community are like the prophets of the Israelites."

ii. Ala inna-hu Khalili fi ummati min ba`di, i.e., "Certainly he (the Messiah to come) is my khalifah after me in my community."

iii. Fa amama-kum min-kum, i.e., "he shall be your lmam from among yourselves."

Conclusions:


From all the hadith quoted above the following conclusions are drawn:

First Hadith: The Holy Prophet Muhammad has referred to his own death using the words falamma tawaffaitani. Since these very words are used in the Holy Quran in respect of Jesus, it proves that he, too, has died.

Second Hadith: The Holy Prophet asked his Companions if any one at all of the previous prophets had survived so that he too could go on living. Had Jesus been alive the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) could not have used this argument. Or, his Companions would have argued back that as Jesus was alive the Holy Prophet need not die either. This shows that the Holy Prophet and his companions believed Jesus to be dead.

Third Hadith: The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prophesied that all believers living then would be dead within a hundred years. So even if Jesus had been alive then, he would have died in the specified period.

Fourth Hadith: Just as the ages of various prophets, for example, Moses, David, Suleman, etc., are recorded in Hadith, Jesus' age is noted in a hadith as being 120 years.

Fifth Hadith: Had Jesus been alive, the Holy Prophet could not have said that "Moses and Jesus would have been my followers had they been still alive".

Sixth Hadith: The Holy Prophet has made a reference to the tomb of Jesus.

Seventh Hadith: On the night of the great Mi`raj the Holy Prophet saw Jesus and Yahya (John the Baptist) together in the same place. Yahya being dead, shows that Jesus also was dead. The Holy Prophet met not the physical bodies, but the souls of the prophets, in the Mi`raj experience.

Eighth Hadith: On the Mi`raj night all the other prophets, including Jesus were led in prayer by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the mosque at Jerusalem. This shows that Jesus was dead, for otherwise he would have descended to Jerusalem physically, and then ascended to heaven a second time something which no one believes. This vision of leading all the previous prophets in prayer signified that the Holy Prophet was the Khatam al-ambiya, and the one to whom the followers of these prophets would now have to render obedience.

Ninth Hadith: The Holy Prophet's discussions with the Christian delegation from Najran show that he believed Jesus to be dead.

Tenth Hadith: In Bukhari two different physical description of Jesus are recorded: one where he was seen along with other prophets in the Mi`raj; and the other where he is seen circumambulating the Ka'ba with the Dajjal in a dream of the Holy Prophet relating to the latter days, i.e., in the distant future.

This proves that Jesus, the Israelite prophet, was dead, for the Messiah of the latter days was to be another person. It should be noted that prophecies invariably require interpretation and are not necessarily fulfilled exactly literally. The reason is that when a prophet or other righteous person is shown future events by God Almighty, it is in the form of visions and dreams seen by their spiritual, not physical, eyes. All holy scriptures are agreed that most dreams and visions require interpretation. This also applies to the Holy Prophet's prophecies relating to "the descent of the Messiah", Dajjal, Gog and Magog, the Dabbat al-ard, etc.

From the prophecies about the "coming" of the Messiah, therefore, one cannot deduce that Jesus is still alive, while on the other hand numerous verses of the Quran and many hadith declare forcefully that Jesus is not alive but died at the age of 120 years.


Ijma [Consensus] of the Muslim Nation:
According to Muslim belief, after the Holy Quran and then the Hadith, the Consensus of the Muslim Community (Ijma') is a binding argument which every Muslim must accept. So, having proved from the Quran and the Hadith that Jesus died a natural death in his own time, it is necessary to see what decision, explicitly or implicitly, the Ijma `has given in this respect.

Umar's Saying:


After the Holy Prophet Muhammad's (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) death, the first Ijma` of the Muslims, in which participated all the Companions of the Holy Prophet, related to this very issue of Jesus' death. All authorities - collectors of Hadith, commentators of the Quran, and historians - record that when the Holy Prophet died, Umar (God be pleased with him) stated saying:

i. "The Holy Prophet has not died, and shall not die until God kills the hypocrites" (Dur Mansur, vol. IV, p. 318).

ii. "The hypocrites say that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has died. But he has not died. He has gone to see the Lord, as did Moses when he stayed away from his people for forty days and returned after it was thought that he had died. By God! the Holy Prophet too will certainly return as Moses returned, and cut off the hands and feet of those who say that he is dead." (Sirat Ibn Hisham, Egypt, vol. III, p. 464).

Abu Bakr's Arrival and Speech:


We find in Hadith, that Abu Bakr (God be pleased with him) arrived, saw the Holy Prophet, and:

"He uncovered his face, bent down, kissed him, wept, and said: `I would give my father for you, O Prophet of God; God would never give you two deaths, and you have died of the death that God had ordained for you? Abu Salmah says: Ibn Abbas told me that Abu Bakr came out, and Umar was talking to the people. He told him to sit down, but he refused. He told him again, and he still refused. Abu Bakr then recited the Kalimah, and the people turned their attention to him, leaving Umar." (Bukhari, Kitab al-Jana'iz).

Hazrat Abu Bakr then announced:

"Whoever among you worship Muhammad, Muhammad has indeed died; but whoever worships Allah, Allah lives on for ever, never dies. Allah says: 'Muhammad is only a messenger; messengers before him have indeed passed away ...' (the Quran, 3:143) (Bukhari, Kitab al-Mughaze).

The Companions' Realisation:


Bukhari records:

"By God, it was as if the people did not know that God had revealed this verse until Abu Bakr recited it. Then, (it was as if) the people had learnt it from him; and whomever one heard, he was reciting this verse (i.e. 'Muhammad is only a messenger; messengers before him have indeed passed away ...') " (Kitab al-Jana'iz).

Hazrat Umar related:

"I was so shocked that my feet could not support me and I fell to the ground when I heard him recite it (i.e. the verse) that the Holy Prophet had indeed died" (ibid., Kitab al-Mughazi).

Companions Agreed on Death of all Prophets:


Umar's contention that the Holy Prophet had only gone to visit the Lord, and would be returning, was refuted by Abu Bakr proving that all previous prophets had died - and consequently also the Holy Prophet. Had Umar or any other Companion believed that Jesus was alive in heaven, he would certainly have spoken out against Abu Bakr's deduction from the verse that all previous prophets were dead. This shows that none of the Companions even imagined that Jesus, or any other prophet, was still alive and had not died.

This incident establishes the Companions' consensus the first Ijma` after the Holy Prophet - that all Prophets are dead. It also disproves any isolated reports ascribed to certain Companions that Jesus is alive in heaven, for such odd reports contradict the Quran, the Hadith, and the Ijma` of the Companions, and must therefore be rejected.

The Imam of the Age, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (d. 1908), has written this very thing:

"No Companion is recorded as denying this argument put forward by Hazrat Abu Bakr that proves the death of all previous prophets. And this despite the fact that all the Companions were present there. They were all silent upon hearing the argument. This proves that all the Companions agreed on this point; such agreement constitutes conclusive evidence, and cannot be in error." (Tiryaq al-Qulub, p. 285, Sign no. 72).

Read the article: The Ulama of Egypt on the Death of Jesus Christ -- A Fatwa


Some Questions Addressed to all Judicious, God Fearing Religious Leaders, Scholars and Theological Experts:

1. Which verse of the Holy Quran says that Jesus ascended to heaven with his earthly body?

2. If, according to you, Jesus has ascended to heaven with his physical body, then does he eat and drink there, or not? What does the Holy Quran say in this matter?

3. Jesus' prophecy that the Holy Prophet Muhammad would come after him is quoted in the Holy Quran (chapter 61, verse 6). Is there any verse of the Holy Quran stating that Jesus would descend from heaven with his physical body after the Holy Prophet Muhammad? If so, please quote that verse.

4. If the verse of the Holy Quran bal rafa'ahu Allahu ilaihi ("Nay, God exalted him (Jesus) in His presence", chapter 4, verse 158) is taken by you to refer to Jesus' physical ascension to heaven, then what will these words mean after (as you believe) Jesus has descended from heaven? Will they mean Jesus is in heaven or on earth?

5. If, as you believe, Jesus will descend to earth from heaven in the latter days, how old would he be then? What do the Holy Quran and the Hadith say about this?

6. Since his ascension to heaven, as you believe, has Jesus ever returned to earth with his physical body? What do the Holy Quran and Hadith say about this?

7. Jesus' own language was not Arabic. So when he descends how will he read the Holy Quran and the Hadith as these are in Arabic? Will he learn through Divine Revelation or from Muslim scholars? Please explain from the Holy Quran?

8. Will Jesus be favoured with prophetic revelation (wahy nabuwah) after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), whereas in fact such revelation came to an end with the Holy Prophet?

9. According to the Holy Quran, Jesus was a messenger of God sent to the Israelites. If he descends amongst the Muslims in the latter days, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, then would he not be the Seal of the prophets (Khatam al-nabiyyin) and the last prophet because of coming after all other prophets? By his coming, would not the Seal of finality of prophethood with the Holy Prophet break?

10. If, in spite of the verse of Khatam al-nabiyyin of the Holy Quran, a prophet like Jesus can come amongst the Muslims, then what words of the Arabic language would God have used if He had intended to convey

the meaning that no prophet would appear after the Holy Prophet Muhammad?

11. If, in spite of the hadith "la nabiyya ba'di" ("There is no prophet after me"), Jesus can still appear after the Holy Prophet, then what words of the Arabic language would the Holy Prophet would have used to say that "There is no prophet after me"?

12. In the hadith, narrated by Nawas bin Sam'an and recorded in the collection of Muslim, about the second advent of the Messiah, the words nabi Allah (prophet of God) are applied to the Messiah four times. What is the interpretation of this term in view of the Khatam al-nabiyyin verse of the Holy Quran, and the hadith la nabiyya ba'di?

13. The Holy Quran says that on the day of Judgement every prophet will be a witness for his nation, and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will be a witness for the Muslim ummah. Will not the advent of Jesus amongst the Muslims in the latter days is in contradiction with this verse?

14. If Jesus, at his second advent, will not be a prophet (nabi) but a follower (ummati) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, then would this not be against the Quranic verse: "And we sent no messenger but that he should be obeyed by God's command" (4:64), i.e., a prophet is himself a leader, not a follower of another prophet.

15. The istikhlaf verse in the Holy Quran (24:5:)) contains God's promise that, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Khulafa (successors) will be raised amongst the Muslims to establish and strengthen Islam, these successors will be the likes of the Israelite prophets. Now even if Jesus were to appear amongst the Muslims as a successor to the Holy Prophet, rather than as a prophet, this would, would it not, contradict the above verse which refers to the likes of the Israelite prophets, not actual Israelite prophets?

16. If someone believes that Jesus, like other prophets, is dead, and that all hadith speaking of the descent, or second advent, of the Messiah were fabricated as a result of Magian and Persian religious thought, and that these hadith are contradictory to the true Quranic spirit, is such a person a Muslim or not?

 


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