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Do the Hadith mention descending from Heavens?

Do the Hadith mention descending from Heavens?

The authentic ahadith which speak of the descent of Hadhrat Isaas, do not mention descending from the heavens. However, even if the ahadith did mention heavens, it would not support the false notion that Hadhrat Isaas is alive, as the Qur’an states:

 

هُوَ الَّذِي يُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ لَكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ رِزْقًا ۚ وَمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ إِلَّا مَنْ يُنِيبُ {14}

 

He it is Who shows you His Signs, and sends down provision for you from heaven; but none pays heed save he who turns to God.(Chapter 40 verse 14)

 

In this verse, Allah Uses the word heavens for the sending down of provisions which is not physical. The authentic ahadith do not mention that Hadhrat Isaas would ascend from the heavens. There are many narrations today, over 100 years after the passing of Hadhrat Ahmadas which mention the word heavens or sky, but were never brought up during his time. These narrations are all weak. The non Ahmadi Muslims often accuse us of quoting weak ahadith. However, in reality they not only quote weak ahadith, but also ahadith which contradict the Holy Qur’an. Majority of these narrations are not even ahadith, rather falsely attributed to the companions of the Prophet Muhammadsaw.

 

The main narration quoted to prove that Hadhrat Isaas is alive in the heavens, is found in the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir.

 

It is stated:

 


عن ابن عباس قال: لما أراد الله أن يرفع عيسى إلى السماء خرج على أصحابه …ورفع عيسى من رَوْزَنَة في البيت إلى السماء

 

Ibn Abbas said: “When Allah intended to raise Isaas to the heavens, he went to his companions… and Isaas ascended to the heavens through an opening in the top of the house” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

 

The full narration explains that Isaas ascended alive to the heavens and the Jews crucified someone else in his place. Firstly, this should be rejected as it is not present in any book of ahadith and contradicts authentic ahadith of Sahih Bukhari. Secondly, it is not found in the earlier ahadith or commentary books, but seven centuries later appears in Tafsir ibn-e-Kathir. These long commentaries and references attributed to Hadhrat Ibn Abbas are not worthy of any attention. Hadhrat Allama Suyuti wrote:

 

وهذه التفاسير الطوال، التي أسندوها إلى ابن عباس غير مرضية، ورواتها مجاهيل، كتفسير جويبر، عن الضحاك، عن ابن عباس.

 

Meaning, that “And these long commentaries that people have attributed to Hadhrat Ibn Abbas are unacceptable. The narrators of these references are unknown. There are, for example, a large number of such references from Juwaybir, Dhahak, and Ibn Jurayj” (al-Itqaan fi Uloomil Qur’an, Page 880)

 

This applies to the narrations found in the tafseer of Ibn Kathir as well. It is not authentic.

 

The anti Ahmadis hide the chain of narration for this falsely attributed athaar. Here is the chain of narration:

 

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ سِنَان، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الْأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ المِنْهَال بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابن عباس قال: لَمَّا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَرْفَعَ عِيسَى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، خَرَجَ عَلَى أَصْحَابِهِ

 

Perhaps they are unaware of the narrators or hide them on purpose, because they are aware that this narration becomes completely unreliable, once the narrators are known.

 

Imam Ibn Kathir was totally wrong in his analysis of this narration. He claimed that this chain is authentic matching the criteria of Imam Muslim, which is totally false.

 

Firstly, Hadhrat Ibn Hazm stated in regards to al-Minhal Ibn Amar:

 

ليس بالقوي ابن حزم وقال  

 

Meaning, he is not strong.

 

Hadhrat Ahmad ibn Hanbal stated that Shu’bah rejected al-Minhal ibn Amr:

 

ترك شعبة المنهال بن عمر

 

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal also stated: “Abu Bishr is more dearer to me and more authentic than al-Minhal:

 

قال عبد الله بن أحمد سمعت أبي يقول أبو بشر أحب إلي من المنهال

 

al-Mufaddal ibn Ghassan al-Ghalabi said: “I heard Yahya ibn Ma’in, while he was mentioning ahadith that al-A’mash narrated from al-Minhal ibn Amr and Yahya ibn Ma’in was putting down his status

 

و قال المفضل بن غسان الغلابى : سمعت يحيى بن معين ، و ذكر حديث الأعمش عن المنهال بن عمرو ، و كان يحيى بن معين يضع من شأن منهال بن عمرو

 

The narration from Ibn Kathir falls into this category as it is al-Amash narrating from al Minhal.

 

It is also said in another place that Yahya criticized al-Minhal ibn Amr:

 

ذم يحيى المنهال بن عمرو 
Minhaal bin Amr is declared weak. Abu Mu’aawiyah bin Abdur Rahman is reliable. However, A’mash has produced such unique ahadith attributed to him that are considered munkir. Abu Haatim does not condone taking any arguments from his testimony. A’mash has also produced this reference of Abu Muaawiyah and thus it is munkir (Tahzeebut-Tahzeeb by Imam Ibn al-Hajar al Asqalani, volume 3, Page 351)

 

It is true that some believed he was strong, but many also declared him weak. Ibn Hajar stated that he is truthful but had erred at times. Muhammad ibn Umar al Hanafi said that he is a story teller and is questionable as well.

 

Furthermore, this narration is not linked to the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw, rather falsely attributed to a companion or perhaps the companion was narrating from Isra’illiyat traditions.

 

al-Imam Ahmad Shakir also criticized these narrations in his edited version of Imam Ibn Kathir’s tafsir and said none of the chain of narration is authentic. Imam al-Razi also mentioned them in his Tafsir-al-Kabir and after he had mentioned them, he rejected them.

 

 

If were to assume that Allah put the looks of Hadhrat Isaas onto someone else, there would be many questions that may be raised. Firstly, why would Allah have to secretly raise a Prophet from the earth, up to the heavens? This would mean that Allah was forced to remove His Prophet from his mission, in fear of the Jews which God Forbid defeated him. Allah States Clearly in the Qur’an:

 

كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا وَرُسُلِي ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ {22}

 

Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ Verily, Allah is Powerful, Mighty. (Chapter 58 Verse 22)

 

How can one then believe that the Jews prevailed and the Messenger of Allah failed in his mission? Secondly, why would Allah let an innocent person die for no reason? The traditions themselves are full of contradictions. Many famous scholars have rejected these narrations in our age as well.

 

The non Ahmadi Muslims often quote that Imam Nasai had included this in his collection, which is part of the Sahih Sittah. Unfortunately, they have not studied the actual story and are unaware of what took place. The story in reality is that Imam Nasai narrated this in his “Al-Kubra” which was his previous collection. A story of Imam Nasai is as follows:

 

“His famous book known as Sunan al-Nasa’i which is taught around the world in every Islamic institute and which possesses a virtue of being one of the Kutub Sittah (the six books generally taught in hadith). In reality when the Imam had finished compiling Sunan Al-Kubra he presented to the governor of Ramalah so the governor asked him “Is it all sahih?” He replied in the negative, thus the governor suggested and requested that he compile another book and gather in there the Sahih Hadith.” (Taken from the official Hadith Website of the Non Ahmadi Muslims, Sunnah.com)

 

After he was told to make a book which is better and more sahih, this so called athaar is nowhere to be found. This narration is weak and contradicts the true opinion of Hadhrat Ibn Abbas which we find in Sahih Bukhari. It also contradicts the Qur’an and makes a mockery out of Islam.

 

The next narration, which is often quoted is as follows:

 

کَیْفَ اَنْتُمْ اِذَا نَزَلَ ابْنُ مَرْیَمَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ فِیْکُمْ وَ اِمَامُکُمْ مِنْکُمْ

 

Narrated Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him: Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him, said “What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. ‘Eisa) will descend amongst you from the heavens…?” (Baihaqi’s Asmaa wal Sifaat 2/432 Hadith 855)

 

As already mentioned, from Surah Al-Mumin, this does not in any way prove that Hadhrat Isaas is alive. However, the writing of this hadith is totally in question as Imam Baihaqi has written, right after presenting this hadith:

 

رَوَاہُ الْبُخَارِیُّ فِی الصَّحِیْحِ عَنْ یَحْیٰ بْنِ بَکْرٍ وَ اَخْرَجَہٗ مُسْلِمٌ وَ مِنْ وَجْہٍ اٰخَرَ عَنْ یُوْنُسَ وَ اِنَّمَا اَرَادَ نُزُوْلُہٗ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ بَعْدَ الرَّفْعِ اِلَیْہِ

 

“Bukhari has narrated this in his hadith from Yahya bin Bakr. And Muslim has taken this hadith from Younus for some other reason. What is implied here regarding the descent of Jesusas from the sky is that it would take place after his spiritual ascension”(Kitabul Asmaa Was Sifat)

 

He writes that Imam Bukhari also narrated this hadith and even gives the chain of narration. Here is the hadith we find in Imam Bukhari’s collection:

 

كَيْفَ أَنْتُمْ إِذَا نَزَلَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ فِيكُمْ وَإِمَامُكُمْ مِنْكُمْ

 

The word heavens (minas sama) is nowhere to be found. In fact, it is no where present in any of the Sahih Sitta books of Ahadith.

 

The anti Ahmadis try to say that when Imam Baihaqi or other muhaddithin say “Bukhari narrated it”, they only mean that the essence of the Hadith has been narrated by him and it may be a completely different hadith that does not even exist in the collection mentioned. This is totally false. They try to quote a example of Imam Baihaqi where he gives a narration which states : “Verily for Allah there are ninety nine names, one less than hundred – whoever remembers them will enter Jannah. And indeed Allah is Witr (One) and Loves Witr.” They say that the chain Imam Baihaqi gave does not lead to this hadith, rather only has the first part. They forget that in Sahih Bukhari this same exact hadith is found. It is narrated:

 

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَفِظْنَاهُ مِنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، رِوَايَةً قَالَ ‏ “‏ لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ اسْمًا، مِائَةٌ إِلاَّ وَاحِدًا، لاَ يَحْفَظُهَا أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَهْوَ وَتْرٌ يُحِبُّ الْوَتْرَ ‏”‏‏.‏

 

Narrated Abu Huraira:

 

Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise; and Allah is witr (one) and loves ‘the witr’ (i.e., odd numbers). (Sahih al-Bukhari, #6410)

 

The narration Imam Baihaqi gave is clearly found in Bukhari. Perhaps he had confused the chain with a similar hadith, but the hadith he quoted is mentioned in Bukhari. Never will the anti Ahmadis be able to show the words “minas sama” from Sahih Bukhari or any other book of Sahih Sitta.

 

Furthermore, when we come to the narrators of this hadith, according to Lisanul Mizan, and Tahzib ut-Tahzib, which are two of the most influential and famous books when it comes to the biographies of the ahadith narrators, the narrators of the narration of Baihaqi are weak.

 

In regards to Yahya bin Abdullah, it is said that he is not a competent authority and is weak and untrustworthy. Yahya had also said he is incompetent (Tahdheeb ut-Tahdhib, Mizan ul-Itidal)

 

قَالَ اَبُوْ حَاتَمٍ…… لَایُحْتَجُّ بِہٖ…… وَ قَالَ النَّسَائِیْ ضَعِیْفٌ…… لَیْسَ بِثِقَۃٍ قَالَ یَحْیٰی…… لَیْسَ بِشَیْءٍ

 

In regards to another narrator named Yunus bin Yazid, it is said that he is also weak.  Yunus bin Yazid has narrated this narration from ibn al-Shibab al-Zahri and it is said about him:

 

قَالَ اَبُوْ زَرْعَۃُ الدَّمَشْقِیْ سَمِعْتُ اَبَا عَبْدِاللّٰہِ اَحْمَدَ ابْنَ حَنْبَلٍ یَقُوْلُ فِیْ حَدِیْثِ یُوْنُسَ عَنِ الزُّھْرِیْ مُنْکَرَاتُ…… قَالَ ابْنُ سَعْدٍ…… لَیْسَ بِحُجَّۃٍ…… کَانَ سَیِّیءَ الْحِفْظِ۔

 

Abu Zarah states that I heard Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal saying that the narrations which Yunus has narrated from Zuhri contain objectionable narrations; Ibn Sa’d stated that Yunus is not a competent authority and Waki says his memory is inadequate

 

According to Mizan ul Itidal, Yunus would occasionally falsify:

 

کَانَ یُدَلِّسُ فِی النَّادِرِ

 

Now the first printed edition of Imam Baihaqi’s book was published in the year of 1328 Hijri, which was after the passing away of Hadhrat Ahmadas. The clerics added the words minas sama on their own by way of distortion and clear tahreef. Some anti Ahmadis claim it was printed in 1313 but this seems to be another fabrication. Imam Sayuti had cited this hadith as well, but the words minas sama are not found. He stated in his book Durr-e-Manthur:

 

وَأخرج أَحْمد وَالْبُخَارِيّ وَمُسلم وَالْبَيْهَقِيّ فِي الْأَسْمَاء وَالصِّفَات قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُول الله صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم: كَيفَ أَنْتُم إِذا نزل فِيكُم ابْن مَرْيَم وإمامكم مِنْكُم

 

Hadhrat Imam Suyuti did not add the words minas sama, which further shows it was a later addition to the narration.

 

The final hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammadsaw is from Kanzul Ummal. It is stated:

 

قال ابن عباس: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “فعند ذلك ينزل أخي عيسى ابن مريم من السماء على جبل أفيق إماما هاديا وحكما عدلا

 

Ibn Abbas narrated: the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah, said: ‘And near it(Bait al-Maqdis) will descend from the Heavens my brother ‘Eisa ibn Maryam on Mt. Afiq as a guided leader and a just ruler.’ (Kanzul Ummal 14/619 Hadith 39726)

 

The anti Ahmadis love to quote two more ahadith. They quote the hadith and claim that it has minas sama present in the narration. In Kitabul Qiyamat of Bab Nazul -e-Isa, there are two ahadith which are attributed to Ibn Abbasra which say that the Messiah will descend on Mt. Afiq. The first narration states:

 

عن ابن عباس قال: “لا تقوم الساعة حتى ينزل عيسى ابن مريم على ذروة أفيق بيده حربة، يقتل الدجال.” كر”.

 

Ibn Abbas had said: “The Hour will not appear until Isa ibn Maryam descends on Mountain Afeeq and with his hand he will kill Dajjal” (Kanzul Ummal, Volume 14, Page 618 Hadith #39725)

 

In brackets he has written kaaf rai, meaning it is from the books of Ibn Asakir. There is no minas sama present in this hadith.

 

The other hadith which also comes from Ibn Abbas includes the word minas sama. It states:

 

قال ابن عباس: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “فعند ذلك ينزل أخي عيسى ابن مريم من السماء على جبل أفيق إماما هاديا وحكما عدلا

 

In this hadith we see the words minas sama. After this hadith it also says kaaf rai, meaning it is from Ibn Asakir as well. There are two narrations about the Messiah descending on Mount Afiq and both are attributed to Ibn Abbas. One excludes minas sama and the other has minas sama.

 

Now the same author who wrote Kanzul Ummal and gave us these ahadith, has written an introduction in his first volume of the ahadith collection. He states:

 

للعقيلي في الضعفاء (عق) ولابن عدي في الكامل (عد) وللخطيب (خط) فإن كان في تاريخه أطلقت وإلا بينته ولابن عساكر (كر) وكل ماعزي لهؤلاء الأربعة وللحكيم الترمذي في نوادر الأصول أو للحاكم في تاريخه أو لابن الجارود في تاريخه أو للديلمي في مسند الفردوس فهو ضعيف

 

Meaning, when I give a hadith from Uqaili’s Dhuafa, I write عق and when I give a hadithh from ibn Adee’s al-Kamil, I put عد. He further goes on to say, that when I give a narration from Khateeb al-Baghdadi I write خط and for Ibn Asakir’s ahadith, I write كر. He then says that all of those rivayaat that are attributed to these four authors, and are attributed to Hakeem al Tirmidhi, or the Tarikh of Hakim, or the tarikh of Ibn Jarud, or Dhailmi’s Musnad al Firdaus, they are all dhaeef.

 

The author of Kanzul Ummal himself says he is putting these narrations from Ibn Asakir and he himself has called all of them weak. How can we base our faith upon weak ahadith which the compiler of the ahadith book, himself calls weak? Furthermore, they contradict the Qur’an and other authentic ahadith.

 

Furthermore, this narration does not have a sanad. The anti Ahmadis never accept any ahadith without a sanad but love to quote them for their false beliefs. In regards to Ibn Asakir, Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlwi stated that there is a fourth category of the ahadith that are nowhere to be found in early centuries. In this category there are two categories. One of the salaf who could not find the source and overlooked them. Secondly, there are the narrations which they found, but, when they realized they are weak, they did not convey them. The ahadith are unreliable and cannot be depended on to support a entire belief. He further stated that ahadith of this kind have misled even the muhadithin. He explained that many books of ahadith which were written include Kitab-ud-Duafa Libn Haban, Tasanif ul-Hakim, Kitab-ud-Duafa lil Uqaili, Kitabul Kamil Libn Adiyy, Tasanif Khatib, Tasanif Ibn Shahin, and Tafsir ibn Jarir (Ujala Nafi, Pages 7-8). Therefore, this narration is weak since it is narrated by Ibn Asakir.

 

They say that Hadhrat Ahmadas gave this hadith in Hamamatul Bushra but took out the words minas sama. In Hamamatul Bushra, never did Hadhrat Ahmadas say the hadith he is quoting, is from Ibn Asakir or from Kanzul Ummal. If Hadhrat Ahmadas said such a thing and then took out minas sama, then there is room for allegation. However, since he has not said such, the allegation holds no value.

 

The word nazul is used in the Qur’an beautifully. Allah States:

 

وَفِي السَّمَاءِ رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ {23}

 

And in heaven is your sustenance, and also that which you are promised. (Chapter 51 Verse 23)

 

Meaning your sustenance is in heaven and everything that you are promised is in heaven. Everything promised is in heaven. If we were to believe that the latter day Messiah will come from the skies physically, and the whole world sees the messiah descending with two angels, who would doubt his truth? It is not possible. Allah States in Surah al Hajj that :

 

وَلَا يَزَالُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْهُ حَتَّىٰ تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَقِيمٍ

 

And those who disbelieve will not cease to be in doubt about it until the Hour comes suddenly upon them or there comes to them the punishment of a destructive day. (Chapter 22 Verse 56)

 

Allah Makes it clear that there will be those who disbelieve till the day of Judgement. The view of the non Ahmadi Muslims contradicts this verse. Would anyone reject a Messiah who has the type of breath which kills the disbelievers, as the non Ahmadi Muslims believe? But this also contradicts the Qur’an because Allah States:

 

يَا حَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ ۚ مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ

Alas for My servants! there comes not a Messenger to them but they mock at him. (Chapter 36 Verse 31)

 

Thirdly, how about the narrations about the coming of the Messiah near a minaret in Damascus, and all of the other locations found in the ahadith? Whether this hadith is authentic or not, the non Ahmadi Muslims would have to eventually do taweel as the other narrations completely contradict this one. Hadhrat Ahmadas has used the second part of this narration to prove that the Messiah would wage a spiritual war, rather than a physical war. Regardless of whether these narrations are accepted or not, they will always support Hadhrat Ahmadas.

 

Another interesting fact to note is that the famous scholar Ibn Qayyimrh who is known throughout the Muslim Ummah as a great scholar and as a pupil of Ibn Tayymiyahra, has told us that there is no connected hadith which states that Isaas has been raised to the heavens:

 

Zoomed in: taken from Zad al-Ma’ad Volume 1, page 84