Posts Tagged ‘(pbuh) in Islam’

The Death and Ascension of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam

Dr. Al-Johani (from his article, “The Truth About Jesus (pbuh)”) writes:
“It is a sad fact of history that not many follow “the straight path”….. called by Jesus (pbuh). He was followed by a few disciples who were inspired by God to support him. Not only that, but the non-believers plotted (as they did to Muhammad six centuries later) to kill Jesus (pbuh), but God had a better plan for him and his followers.”

Suzanne Haneef, in her book “What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims” states:
“Finally, when he (Jesus) was in danger of being killed by his own people, God raised him up to himself without his experiencing death. As the Qur’an tells us in the English meaning of the following verses:”

Qur’an 4:155-158 (“The Women”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
155. (They have incurred divine
Displeasure): in that they
Broke their Covenant;
That they rejected the Signs
Of God; that they slew
The Messengers in defiance
Of right; that they said,
“Our hearts are wrappings
(Which preserve God’s Word;
We need no more)” – nay,
God hath set the seal on their hearts
For their blasphemy,
And little is it they believe-

156. That they (Jews) rejected Faith;
That they uttered against Mary
A grave false charge (that she was unchaste);

157. That they said (in boast),
“We killed Christ Jesus
The son of Mary,
The Messenger of God” –
But they killed him not,
Nor crucified him,
But so it was made
To appear to them,
And those who differ
Therein are full of doubts,
With no (certain) knowledge,
But only conjecture to follow,
For of a surety
They killed him not-

158. Nay, God raised him up
Unto Himself; and God
Is Exalted in Power, Wise –

The momentous impact of the words, specifically verse 157, are perhaps difficult for a non-Christian to appreciate.

Footnotes by the translator, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, on the above verses 4:157-158.

“The end of the life of Jesus (pbuh) on earth is as much involved in mystery as his birth, and indeed the greater part of his private life, except the three main years of his ministry. It is not profitable to discuss the many doubts and conjectures among the early Christian sects and among Muslim theologians. The Orthodox Christian Churches make it a cardinal point of their doctrine that his life was taken at the Cross, that he died and was buried, that on the third day he rose in the body with his wounds intact, and walked about and conversed, and ate with his disciples, and was afterwards taken up bodily to heaven. This is necessary for the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and vicarious atonement of sins, which is rejected by Islam. But some of the early Christian sects did not believe Jesus (pbuh) was killed on the Cross. The Basilidans believed that someone else was substituted for him. The Docetae held that Christ never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent or phantom body, and that his Crucifixion was only apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about A.C. 138) denied that Jesus (pbuh) was born, and merely said he appeared in human form. The Gospel of St. Barnabas supported the theory of substitution at the Cross. The Qur’anic teaching is that Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, notwithstanding certain apparent circumstances which produced the illusion in the minds of his enemies; that disputations, doubts, and conjectures on such matters are vain; and that he was taken up to God.”

Yusuf Ali continues in the following footnote:
“There is difference of opinion as to the exact interpretation of this verse (4:158). The words are: ‘The Jews did not kill Jesus (pbuh), but God raised him up (rafa’a) to Himself. One school holds that Jesus (pbuh) did not die the usual human death, but still lives in the body in heaven, which is the generally accepted Muslim view. Another holds that he did die but not when he was supposed to be crucified, and that his being “raised up” unto God means that instead of being disgraced as a malefactor, as the Jews intended, he was on contrary honored by God as His Messenger. The same [Arabic] word rafa’a is used in association with honor in [another verse of the Qur’an] 94:4.”

There are two difficulties encountered when common Muslims or non-Muslims try, by themselves, to interpret all that is contained in these verses; one is in the flawed use of a translation, which can never hope to duplicate exactly the original Arabic, and the other is the sense (which Yusuf Ali implies in his first comments) that the verses in question, so momentous to those holding the Christian faith, are devoid of exacting detail for a reason known only to the author of these words. In fact, there is from the Qur’an itself an admonition to those who dig too deeply into things which we are not given to know.

Qur’anic verse “some verses in Qur’an are clear, and some are not clear”
Qur’an 3:7 (“The Family of Imran”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
“It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad, pbuh) the Book (this Qur’an). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (trials), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save God. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.” And none will receive admonition except men of understanding.”

Concerning this point, Dr. Al-Johani writes:
“Who was the person crucified instead of Jesus (pbuh)? The Qur’an does not elaborate on this point nor does it give any answer to this question. The interpreters of the Qur’an have suggested a few names. But all these are individual guesses not supported by the Qur’an or the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).”

“To sum up,” in the words of Dr. Al-Johani, “Islam considers Jesus (pbuh) as one of God’s great prophets. His mission was to preach the Oneness of God and to lead man to his Lord. [According to the Qur’an] he never claimed to be other than a servant and a Messenger of God…. The Muslims do believe in and are awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus (pbuh). Muslims believe he will come back not as God …, but as Jesus (pbuh), God’s servant. His coming will, according to Muslim belief, correct the misconception which people have developed about his personality and his mission.”

Qur’an 3:55 (“The Family of Imran”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
And (remember) when God said: “O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you ( who worship none but God) superior to those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of God, 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.”

As this ends our presentation regarding the life and mission, death, and ascension of Jesus, son of Mary, Christians may ask the question, “Then how are Muslims saved?”

The Mission of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam

Suzanne Haneef (“What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims,” 1985) offers an introduction to the Muslim concept of the life and mission of Jesus (pbuh):
“In Islam, Isa Maseeh – Jesus the Messiah, God’s peace and blessings be on him – is one of the greatest of the prophets whom Muslims hold in very deep love and respect. The Qur’an confirms that Jesus (pbuh) was born of a virgin mother (Maryam) through the same Power which brought Adam into being without a father, and that by God’s permission during his prophethood he wrought many compelling miracles among his people. He was given the power to speak coherently in infancy, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, and to reach the hearts of men by the words which God revealed to him.”

Qur’an 3:48-51 (“Family of Imran”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
And He (God) will teach him (Jesus (pbuh)) the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunna, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom etc.), (and) the Torah and the Evangel.

And will make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by God’s permission. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.

And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear God and obey me.

Truly! God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.

Worship the One True God

Qur’an 43:63-65 (“The Gold Adornments”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
And when Jesus (pbuh) came with (Our) clear Proofs, he said: “I have come to you with Al-Hikmah (Prophethood), and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ, therefore fear God and obey me, “Verily, God! He is my Lord (God) and your Lord (God). So worship Him (Alone). This is the (only) Straight Path “. But the sects from among themselves differed. So woe to those who do wrong (by ascribing things to Jesus (pbuh) that are not true) from the torment of a painful Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)!

Dr. Al-Johani, in his article, “The Truth About Jesus (pbuh)” states:
“Jesus (pbuh) was a link in a long chain of prophets and messengers sent by God to various societies and nations whenever they needed guidance or deviated from the teachings of God. Jesus (pbuh) was especially prepared by God to be sent to the Jews who had deviated from the teachings of Moses and other Messengers. As he was miraculously supported by God in conception, birth and childhood, he was also supported by numerous miracles to prove that he was a messenger from God. However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry. The Qur’an tells us more about Jesus’ (pbuh) mission in the following “

Qur’an 5:116-118 (“The Table Spread”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
And (remember) when God will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary! Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as two gods besides God?” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.

The verses continue….

“Never did I say to them aught except what You (God) did command me to say: ‘Worship God, my Lord and your Lord’, And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.

“If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, Verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”.

Confirm Torah & give glad tidings of a Messenger to come after him
Dr. Al-Johani states that “In another verse of the Qur’an, Jesus (pbuh) confirmed the validity of the Torah which was revealed to Moses and he also brought the glad tidings of the coming of a final messenger after him. This is clearly indicated in the following verse:

Qur’an 61:6 (“The Ranks”):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
And (remember) when Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of God unto you confirming the Torah (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed. But when he (Ahmed, i.e. Muhammad, pbuh) came to them with clear proofs, they said: “This is plain magic.”

Ahmed, we find in the meaning of the word, is another of the names of Muhammad (pbuh), which means “one who is praised”.
Closeness of Muhammad to Jesus (peace be upon them both)

According to a hadith from the collection of Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith No. 651: Narrated Abu Huraira, r.a.: I heard Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) saying, “I am the nearest of all people to the son of Mary, and all the Prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no Prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus (pbuh).”