Part II: PROPHET JESUSas HAS DIED: THE QURAN
- The notion that Hadhrat Jesusas floated into
the sky towards God is an Un-Quranic concept. Before going
into the specific verses which refute this popular belief, it should
be noted that Heaven is a spiritual state which our souls experience
AFTER death. It is not a physical location beyond the stratosphere.
By climbing Mount Everest, we do not come closer to God!
- Humans, according to the Quran, must live and die in the
"And for you there is an abode on the earth and a provision for
a time, He said, therein shall you live and therein shall you die
and therefrom shall you be brought forth." ( 7:25-6)
"Have we not made the earth so as to hold the living and the dead?"
On one occasion the enemies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace
and blessings of Allah be upon him, challenged him that they will
not believe in him unless he "ascend up into heaven" and "send down
to us a Book." (17:93) The Holy Prophetsaw
replied: "Holy is my Lord! I am but a mortal sent as a messenger."
Thus the Prophets, like all humans, lived and died on the earth.
If Jesus is alive today, he must be more than a mortal.
IF ANY HUMAN BEING WAS ABLE TO GO TO HEAVEN WITH HIS PHYSICAL BODY
THEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OUR BELOVED HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMADsaw,
THE GREATEST OF ALL PROPHETS. But the verses above indicate that since
he is but a man, it is not possible.
- "I will cause you to die"
An important verse is the following:
"When Allah said, O Jesus, I will cause you to die and will raise
you to myself, and will clear thee of those who disbelieve, and will
place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the
Day of Resurrection, then to Me shall be your return and I will judge
between you concerning that wherein you differ." (3:56)
The verse clearly indicates that Hadhrat Jesusas was
to die a natural death and then only would he be raised to Allah.
The verse does not say that Hadhrat Jesusas will be raised
first then will die.
An important word used in the Quran is mutawaffi, derived
from tawaffa. When God is the subject and a human is the
object, tawaffa means to take away the soul, i.e, death.
Zamakhshari (467-538 A.H), an Arab linguist of great repute says,
"Mutawaffika means, I will protect you from being killed by the people
and will grant you full lease of life ordained for you, and will cause
you to die a natural death not being killed (Kashshaf)."
Scholars and commentators like Hazrat Ibn Abbas, Imam Malik, Imam
Bukhari, Imam ibn Hazm, Imam ibn Qayyin, Qatadah, Wahhab and others
are of the same view.
Note that the same word Tawaffa, has been used in other
places in the Quran to indicate death. For example, 2:235: "and those
of you who die (yatawaffou-na) and leave wives behind, these
wives shall wait concerning themselves for four months and ten days."
Another important word is rafaa, which means raising, elevating,
lifting, exaltation, honor. When the rafaa of a man is spoken
of as being towards Allah, the meaning is invariably spiritual elevation
and exaltation. For example the Quran says about Prophet Enoch: "We
exalted him to a lofty station (19:58)."
A commentary of the Quran by Ibn Khatib ("modern" Egyptian Commentary)
summarizes: "And those who assert that Jesus is dead, point to the
word of the exalted God: every soul shall taste death, and Jesus,
peace be upon him belonged to the human species for which death is
ordained. Some people presume that he is dead, and lies buried in
a locality which they mention by name, and may be it is India, and
God - may He be exalted - knows best what He has said and done."
- The Crucifixion
The verse that refers to the crucifixion is 4:158,159:
"And for their saying, We did slay the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary,
the Messenger of Allah; whereas they slew him not, nor did they bring
about his death upon the cross, but he was made to appear to them
like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in
a state of doubt about it; they have no certain knowledge thereof,
but pursue only a conjecture; and they did not arrive at a certainty
concerning it. On the contrary, Allah exalted him to himself. And
Allah is Mighty, Wise."
The argument of the Jews was that because Hadhrat Jesusas
died on the cross, considered an accursed death according to the law
of the Torah, Hadhrat Jesusas could not be a true prophet.
The Quran rejects the slaying of Hadhrat Jesusas in any
form, including killing by nailing to the cross. Nothing in the verse
suggests Hadhrat Jesusas was NOT nailed to the cross: the
verse only denies DEATH by nailing to the cross.
The words "Shubbi-ha la hum" means "he made it or him to
be like it or him", or "dubious." The question arises, who is the
person who was made to appear "like one crucified." Clearly it was
Hadhrat Jesusas whom the Jews tried to crucify or slay.
The theory invented by some Muslim commentators that someone else
was made to look like Hadhrat Jesusas and was then crucified
in his place, is simply absurd. The context of the verse cannot be
twisted to make room for someone else. No one else is mentioned. Besides,
the belief that God made someone else, an innocent person, look like
Hadhrat Jesusas, and die in his place, makes God look very
As shown here in this future article,
the belief of a Jesus-look-alike dying on the cross instead of Hadhrat
Jesusas has its origin in Christianity, and came into Islamic
belief through conversion of Christians to Muslims.
So the Quran is clear that Hadhrat Jesusas only appeared
to be crucified, and in fact the Jews were in a state of doubt.
The last portion quoted above refers to rafaa, spiritual
exaltation. The plan of the Jews to make Hadhrat Jesusas
appear accursed by making him die the accursed death of crucifixion
failed, and on the contrary, Hadhrat Jesusas survived the
crucifixion. In the sight of Allah, Hadhrat Jesusas was
In summary, according to the Quran, humans live and die in the physical
universe. Prophets are human beings. Prophets, like all humans, are subject
to hunger, pain, death, etc. The Quran is clear that Hadhrat Jesusas
was a human being like the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw. To say
that Hadhrat Jesusas is alive today, 2000 years after he was
born, is to make him more than a human. The Laws of God do not change.
In fact, the Quran makes a general statement: "But you will never find
any change in the way of Allah, nor will you find any alteration in the
way of Allah." (35:44)