“Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.” [Qur’an 3:185]
“And they say, “There is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time.” And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming. And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidence, their argument is only that they say, “Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful.”Say, “ Allah causes you to live, then causes you to die; then He will gather you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt, but most of the people do not know.” (Qur’an 45:24-26)
The first point to keep in mind while reading this is there is absolutely no definite text anywhere in the Qur’an that says that Jesus will return.
The majority of Muslims believe that Jesus is bodily alive in heaven based upon the following verse in the Qur’an….
Correction: The majority of Muslims believe that Jesus is bodily alive in heaven because they follow scholars who tell them this and those scholars base that understanding upon the following verse:
“Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.“ [Qur’an 4:158] rafaʿahu is the Arabic used here.
“And mention Idris in the Book, surely he was a truthful man, a Prophet. And We elevated him to an honourable status.” (Qur’an 19:57-58)
warafa’nahu – is the Arabic used here.
In every instance of the Qur’an, the verb form is used to mean to raise in degrees, station or honour. It is never used to suggest that Allah [swt] takes someone bodily alive into heaven. Only in the case of 4:158 do our brothers from ‘Ahl Sunnah’ do this.
It is the oral tradition that imposes this meaning for them.
What happened to Idris?
So now taking the example of Idris, commonly identified as Enoch [Akhnukh] in the Judeo-Christian tradition you should ask your scholars what happened to Idris? Where is he now? If you believe that Jesus is alive bodily in heaven based upon your understanding of that verb than what about Enoch?
I would invite you, dear reader, to look at the chaos that they are in over this by looking at some of their understanding here:
The hadiths they quote about the Blessed Messenger [saw] meeting Idris in heaven does nothing to establish that Idris died. Just like they would argue that the Blessed Messenger [saw] meeting Jesus in heaven does nothing to establish that Jesus died.
However, we know where they took the belief that Idris is bodily alive in heaven.
“By faith, Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. ” [Hebrews 11:5]
“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more because God took him away.” [Genesis 5:24]
Now there are three things we can do with this verb form – rafaʿah
1) Apply it consistently in saying that Jesus and Idris were both raised in honor and status by Allah [swt]. This is sensible.
2) Apply it consistently in saying that Jesus and Idris are both bodily alive in heaven. Yet the question then becomes why isn’t Idris coming back to aid the Muslims? If Jesus is 2000 years of age, Idris has to be thousands of years older.
3) Apply it inconsistently and have it mean one thing to Jesus which has never been used in any other instance and have it mean something else to Idris.
“Allah said, O Jesus, I shall cause you to die and will raise you up to Me and shall purify you of the ungrateful disbelieving people, and shall place those who follow you above those who deny the truth, until the Day of Judgement; then to Me shall all return and I will judge between you regarding your disputes.” [Qur’an 3:55]
Four points to note here:
a. Allah [swt] is the one who kills Jesus and takes his life.
b. that Allah will raise Jesus up to him.
c. that Allah will purify Jesus.
d. that to Allah shall all return [not just Jesus].
Point A Allah [swt] kills Jesus and takes his life.
The verb tawaffā (verbal noun: tawaffī) seems to cause a great deal of needless distress among Muslim exegetes. Why is this so?
I am going to argue that if it was not for these oral traditions Muslim exegetes would not argue the way they do at all.
So keep in mind that the interpretation of the verses that clearly say that Jesus died are influenced by ‘the tradition‘.
Yet the Qur’an itself offers no cause for confusion. Tawaffā appears in twenty-five passages in the Qur’an, and twice in relation to Christ Jesus (Q 5:117and Q 3.55).
For twenty-three of those passages the Muslim commentators generally follow the standard definition of this term, that is that Allah (swt) separates the soul from the body or makes someone die. Think about it, Muslim brothers and sisters. For those passages that are not tied into ahadith about Jesus(as) coming back, they are translated and understood as per usual.
This is sufficient evidence that Jesus is dead. It is clear.
Point B Allah will raise Jesus up to him.
This is exactly what will eventually happen to everyone.
It does not indicate a spatial location.
“And he said: Lo! I am going to my Lord Who will guide me.” [Qur’an 37:99]
Ibrahim a.s says I am going to my Lord did he mean from place to place? No.
“Behold,” the angels told Mary, “Allah has given you the glad news of the coming birth of a son whom He calls His Word, whose name will be Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, who will be a man of honor in this life and the life to come, and who will be one of the ones nearest to Allah.” [Qur’an 3:45]
Can it be argued that there ever was a time in which Jesus was not ‘near to Allah‘?
Point C that Allah [swt] will purify Jesus.
What would Allah [swt] need to purify Jesus of? You mean Allah [swt] hasn’t already purified Jesus and cleared him of that which was said about him?
That line of thinking makes absolutely no sense especially if this conversation is taking place after some second coming?
The very presence of Jesus creates a bizarre redundant time paradox.
Think about it.
Look at the verse again: Imagine that Allah [swt] is saying this to Jesus who came down from the skies, fought the Dajjal, got married and died.
Allah said, O Jesus, I shall cause you to die and will raise you up to Me and shall purify you of the ungrateful disbelieving people, and shall place those who follow you above those who deny the truth, until the Day of Judgement; then to Me shall all return and I will judge between you regarding your disputes.”
If Jesus is alive in the heavens why is he not aware of this already?
Why is he not aware that Allah [swt] has already cleared him of falsehood by the Qur’an?
Even if he wasn’t aware after 2000 plus years than surely he would have access to the Qur’an when he is on Earth and he can read the text that already cleared him?
Whereas if we understand the text as a revelation from Allah [swt] to his Prophet Jesus it at the time of his death it comes across as very comforting and reassuring. That Allah [swt] is the cause of your death and you will return to your lord as the statement: “Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Allah we shall return.” That he [Jesus] will be cleared of false accusations. That his followers will be superior over the detractors on the day of judgment.
All of this makes more sense and is keeping with in the context. This fits more with the context rather than a redundant revelation to Jesus about something he already knows.
Point D. That to Allah shall all return [not just Jesus].
“Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Allah we shall return.” [Qur’an 2: 156]
We have a word already established in the Qur’an, that was used of the Blessed Messenger [saw], to show that he was carried up, and that word is ‘asra‘.
“Holy is He Who carried ‘asra’ His servant by night from the Holy Mosque (in Makka) to the farther Mosque (in Jerusalem) – whose surroundings We have blessed – that We might show him some of Our signs. Indeed He alone is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Qur’an 17:1)
“The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had already passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!” [Qur’an 5:75]
This text is in reference to prophet ‘Isa, -Christ-Jesus. If you read this text it does not occur in your mind to think that Moses, David, and Solomon are alive. You have no reason to think that.
There is no reason to believe that Idris commonly identified as Enoch [Akhnukh] in the Judeo-Christian tradition is alive.
There is no reason to believe that Khidr has been alive since the time of Moses. The above text indicates the opposite of it. That is to say that Jesus is not divine, expect him to pass away like those before have.
However, if Jesus did not pass away like those before him then perhaps the people of that time have credible evidence to suggest divine-like qualities.
“And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels! he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful”. [Qur’an 3:144]
This same text that is used of Jesus above is also used of the Blessed Messenger [saw].
In fact, if Jesus had not already passed away this text would make little to no sense. It could be objected that, ‘Jesus, Khidr, and Idris are still alive; and we expect the same for Muhammed‘.
Why would the All-Wise Creator open himself up to such an obvious counter-argument?
If an objection is raised that this means ‘some prophets and not all prophets‘ the text would lose the thrust of its argument. “is no more than a messenger“.
How does it argue that he is no more than a messenger? It does this by asserting the fact that those before him have died.
In fact, if those before him have not died then it can be argued that they [Khidr, Idris, and Jesus] are something other than just prophets.
“Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah is ever Aware of all things.” [Qur’an 33:40]
wakhatama l-nabiyina This seal is a barrier in which nothing can penetrate or go beyond. The term alone completely turns to ash any argument that prophets come non-sequentially.
The non-sequential argument is used by the ‘Qadiani Ahmadiyya’ religion as well as our brothers from the ‘Ahl Sunnah.’
Not only that but all messengers were prophets but not all prophets were messengers. If the term used here was messenger than one could have scope to argue that more prophets would come. However, as the term used here is prophet it is inclusive and final.
Not only this but often the crucial statement ‘not the father of any man among you‘ is overlooked.
There are many Father-Son prophets that have come and gone. Abraham was the father of Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Nathan was the father of David and David was the father of Solomon.
Even though being a son of a Prophet does not guarantee that one will become a prophet. An example of this is Adam’s son Cain.
However, the fact that the Blessed Messenger [saw] has not left behind any sons and the phrase ‘not the father of any man among you‘ make it abundantly clear that he [saw] is the last.
The Blessed Messenger [saw] message is not meant for one tribe or nation but to the whole of mankind. His message is universal in scope.
“Blessed is He who has revealed the criteria (for discerning truth from falsehood) to His servant so that He could warn all beings.” [Qur’an 25:1]
Verses 33:40 and 25:1 form a powerful one-two combination that knocks out any concept or idea that any prophet will come after the Blessed Messenger [saw]. This includes the prophet Jesus or any misguided sects that have claimed prophets after the Blessed Messenger [saw].
The Qur’an is a universal message for all times. If our brothers from ‘Ahl Sunnah’ are to be believed the coming of Jesus abrogates the teachings of the Qur’an, making Jesus the Furqan.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
“The Prophet (saw) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (saw). He will descent (to the earth). When you see him, recognize him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him.”
Source: [Sunan Abi Dawud 4323 Book39 Hadith 34 Book 38 Hadith 4310]
This is graded as ‘Sahih‘ by Al Abani.
So according to the above hadith, Jesus abolishes the following:
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” [Qur’an 9:29]
“And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammed], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?” [Qur’an 10:99]
There are so many teachings of the Qur’an that Jesus would be abrogating if we are to believe the above hadith.
The hadith indicates a change in Allah [swt] because the Qur’an teaches that Allah [swt] doesn’t want people to be compelled to believe and yet sends Jesus to compel people to believe. It is rejected. It is totally rejected.
This idea that Jesus becomes the Furqan which abrogates the teachings of the Qur’an. For Ahl Istiqamah, the Ibadi school we reject this totally. We totally reject it.
There are other hadiths in which the Muslims are supposed to take these as if they are revelation, they contain patently false information.
The day of Judgement was already supposed to happen.
“That when the desert Arabs came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) they asked about the Last Hour as to when that would come. And he looked towards the youngest among them and said:
If he lives he would not grow very old that he would find your Last Hour coming to you (he would see you dying).”
Source: [Sahih Muslim 2952 Book 54 Hadith 172 Book 41 Hadith 7050]
This hadith goes against the ayat of Allah [swt]
“They ask you, [O Muhammed], about the Hour: when is its arrival? Say, “Its knowledge is only with my Lord. None will reveal its time except Him. It lays heavily upon the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except unexpectedly.” They ask you as if you are familiar with it. Say, “Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most of the people do not know.” [Qur’an 7:187]
Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani made a calculation that the time of the Ummah should have already come and gone:
Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) while he was standing on the pulpit, saying, “The remaining period of your stay (on the earth) in comparison to the nations before you, is like the period between the `Asr prayer and sunset. The people of the Torah were given the Torah and they acted upon it till midday, and then they were worn out and were given for their labor, one Qirat each. Then the people of the Gospel were given the Gospel and they acted upon it till the time of the `Asr prayer, and then they were worn out and were given (for their labor), one Qirat each. Then you people were given the Qur’an and you acted upon it till sunset and so you were given two Qirats each (double the reward of the previous nations).” Then the people of the Torah said, ‘O our Lord! These people have done a little labor (much less than we) but have taken a greater reward.’ Allah said, ‘Have I withheld anything from your reward?’ They said, ‘No.’ Then Allah said, ‘That is My Favor which I bestow on whom I wish.’ “
Source: [Bukhari 7467 Book 97, Hadith 93 Vol 9, Book 93, Hadith 559]
“The interval between Jesus and Muhammad was six hundred years.“
Source: [Bukhari 3948 Book 63, Hadith 173 Vol. 5 Book 58, Hadith 284]
Hafiz Ibn al-Hajr al-Asqalani says in his Fath al-Bari, (in vol.4, the book of hijara, page 448-449) commenting on these two narrations: “and it is evident ( from these stated narrations) that the lasting of this Islamic nation is somewhat a thousand years, this is because the age of the Jewish nation is equivalent to that of the time periods of the Christian and Muslim ages combined, and the people of transmission (ahl an naql) have agreed that the period of the Jews till the advent of Allah’s final Apostle Muhammad was more than 2000 years, and the span of the age of the Christians was 600 years from them. And also this narration points the fact about how little of the age of this world has remained.”
Torah time is = to Injil time + Qur’an time.
Torah time =2000 years.
Torah time = 2000 years -600 years = (1400) From Moses to Jesus.
Let us be generous and add 100 years.
The time of this ummah of the Blessed Messenger [saw] is 1500-600 which means only 900 years and now we are in 1441.
When Muslims reached the 1,000th year they thought they were nearing the end because of these Sahih ahadith which indicated we will have half the time the Jewish nation had, but Imam as-Suyuti [the author of the Tafsir al jalalayn] who was born in the 10th century and lived into the 11th century was alive during these times, he wrote a fatwa [legal ruling] to reassure Muslims, in which he said it was supposed to be 1000 years but there is a dua of Rasul Allah in which he supplicates Allah to give his Ummah another half a day and the companions asked the prophet how long is half a day and he answered 500 years. So the imam said the life of this Ummah is 1,500 years.
Imam as Suyuti mentions in his book: “Risalah Al-Kashf ‘An Mujawazt Hadehel Ummah Al Alf” ”, or “Treatise on Revealing of the Proceeding of this Nation Beyond the Thousand,” page 206 about the advent of the Mahdi that:
“From what the narrations reveal is that the age of this ummah extends beyond a thousand but it doesn’t exceed in increase another 500 in actuality beyond this thousand.”
So if you do the math 1500-1441=59 years left. So in these next 59 years according to them, we should see this Mahdi, the coming of Jesus, the Gog and Magog causing havoc on the Earth, the Sun rising in the West.
Keep in mind according to the above hadith: “He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die.” 59-40=19. So accordingly Jesus will show up in the year 2039.
So what is going to happen to these Muslims who after these 59 years pass and nothing of the sort happens? Will they apostate from the faith? Will they leave the deen?
Ya Allah [swt] I sincerely hope not. I hope that they realize that just because certain interpretations and understandings of Islam are wrong it does not mean that Islam is wrong.
The Ahl Istiqama, the Ibadi scholars we know what it is that influenced our brothers in ‘Ahl Sunnah’. We know that many Christians and Jews who embraced Islam in the past they influenced our religion, it’s understanding and teachings.
We know they got this concept straight from the following:
Matthew: 20: 1-16
“And when Allah will say: O Jesus son of Mary! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah, he will say: Glory be to You, it did not befit me that I should 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, surely you are the great Knower of the unseen things. I did not say anything to them except what you commanded me with: That worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord, and I was a witness over them as long as I was among them, but when you caused me to die (Arabic: Tawafaytani), you were the watcher over them, and you are witness of all things.” (Qur’an 5:116-117)
There are several things to take from the above passage:
1) This dialogue is taking place on the Day of Judgment where Prophet Jesus suggests that he has no knowledge of what has happened since his demise on Earth and after his ministry ended. “I was a witness over them as long as I was among them.”
2) From the discussion, it is clear that Prophet Jesus only came to Earth once acting as a witness over his people. If indeed there was a ‘second coming‘ before the Day of Judgment, he would have full knowledge of what had happened since his first departure. After all, he abolished the Jizya and forced the Christians to convert to Islam. This conversation with Allah (swt) would make little to no sense.
3) Imagine if the ahadiths that are put in the mouth of the Blessed Prophet (saw) are true for a moment. So now Jesus (a.s) comes back and everyone becomes a Muslim. The Dajjal is defeated. Jesus (a.s) gets married. Then Allah (swt) causes Jesus (a.s) to die.
Then we have Jesus (a.s) saying after he dies to Allah (swt) “I was a witness over them as long as I was among them, but when you caused me to die, you were the watcher over them, and you are witness of all things.”
Rather bizarre it seems.
Especially if we take the following text into consideration: “And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death.” (Qur’an 4:159)
A rather bizarre situation the ‘traditional‘ and ‘dominant‘ position leaves us in.
“And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined up me prayer and zakahas long as I remain alive.” (Qur’an 19:31)
What kind of embellished claims are you going to make about Jesus (a.s) giving zakat in the heavens?
So then this 2000+-year-old Jesus is also going to return and get married. Which person do you think really wants to get married when knowing the end of time is in a few short years?
I will say in closing to my Muslim brothers, especially my brothers among the ‘Ahl Sunnah’. When none of these things come to pass I hope you will remember your brothers among the Ahl Istiqama.
I hope you will remember that we never held such beliefs, to begin with.
Shaykh Abdullah As Salmi (an Ibadi scholar) says:
“Let it be known that the Prophet has no Prophet after him. What people narrate that Christ will descend has not been heard before.”
Shaykh Nasser bin Abi Nabhan (an Ibadi scholar) says:
“Some people narrate that Allah sends the Mahdi and Anti-Christ appears. They also believe that Christ descends. All of this is far a cry from the Truth.
What we know is that Jesus is dead.”
“And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses.” (Qur’an 5:83)