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AhmadiAnswers | Chapter 3 verse 56
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Chapter 3 verse 56

Four Promises of Allah to Isa عليه السلام

وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ {55}إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ {56}

And they planned, and Allah also planned; and Allah is the Best of planners. When Allah said, ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death and will exalt thee to Myself, and will clear thee from the charges 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.(Chapter 3 verses 55-56)

Allah in these ayahs has made four promises to Isaas.

First Promise:

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ

When Allah said O Jesus I Will Cause thee to die a natural death

 

The Jews wanted to kill Isaas and tried to even crucify him and take his life away because Deuteronomy 21:22-23 and many other verses of the Bible state that one who dies on the cross is an accursed. Allah replies to the plan of the Jews by saying they will not be able to kill Isaas, Allah will cause him to die(meaning a natural death) not an accursed death on the cross by the hands of anyone. This was the first promise of Allah to Isaas in reply to the plan of the Jews.

Second Promise:

وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ

And will exalt thee to myself

Meaning Isaas will be exalted in the Presence of Allah and will be raised spiritually and given nearness to Allah (same type of Raf’a Allah rewards the believers with)

Third Promise:

وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا

And will clear thee from the charges of those who disbelieve.

This means that Allah will clear him of the charges which are the false charges from the enemies (I.e, legitimacy of birth, accursed death) and would show to the people that he was indeed a true Prophet of Allah

Fourth Promise:

جَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

And will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the day of resurrection

This basically means that precedence would be given to the followers of Isaas over the disbelievers till the Day of Judgment. (Muslims are of course included in the believers, as we are true followers of Isaas)

The last three promises have already been fulfilled according to the Non Ahmadis but why do they ignore the first Promise which came first in the plan of Allah? Can they really accuse Allah of a failed plan God Forbid? It is sad to say that the first has been forgotten by Allah and he only completed the latter three promises. First comes his natural death and then come the rest of the promises.

Some non Ahmadis have tried to claim tawaffa does not mean death but this is totally unacceptable according to the Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet Muhammadsaw. Hadhrat Ibn Abbasra who was one of the greatest companions, has narrated:

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ، عَنْ خَالِدٍ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ ضَمَّنِي إِلَيْهِ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ ‏ “‏ اللَّهُمَّ عَلِّمْهُ الْكِتَابَ ‏‏

Narrated Ibn Abbasra: The Prophet (ﷺ) embraced me and said, “O Allah! Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book (Qur’an).”(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Hadith #375)

This amazing companion, whom the Prophetsaw prayed for, stated:

 

عن ابن عباس قوله : ” إني متوفيك ” يقول : إني مميتك

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra has made it clear that the mutawaffaka mentioned here does indeed mean death and he is a companion of Muhammadsaw who should be given much precedence over the scholars of today. He is a companion whose knowledge of the Qur’an was prayed for by our Master Muhammadsaw.

Since the non Ahmadi Muslims have no rebuttal to this ayah either, they begin to sadly state that if this was revealed to Isaas in Jerusalem why was it fulfilled in Kashmir? Since it was revealed in Jerusalem it can only be fulfilled there. This is completely incorrect. In the Qur’an Allah states:

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ وَالٍ

For him (the Messenger) is a succession of angels before him and behind him; they guard him by the command of Allah. Surely, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts. And when Allah wishes to punish a people, there is no repelling it, nor have they any helper beside Him. (Chapter 13 Verse 12)

This ayah was revealed in Mecca. Now if we take the interpretation of the others that the ayah has to be fulfilled where revealed, it would mean that Allah only helped Muhammadsaw in Mecca but after he left Mecca, Allah left Muhammadsaw and did not help him anymore. This interpretation would be completely incorrect. Just like this promise began from Mecca and was fulfilled till the day Muhammadsaw died and Allah always supported him, just like that the Promise began from Jerusalem and stayed till Isaas died a natural death.

The non Ahmadi Muslims also quote the following:

“Allah has brought you forth from your mothers wombs when you knew nothing, and He made for you ears, eyes and hearts, so that you may be grateful.” (Chapter 16 Verse 79)

This verse is simply saying that when we are born we have not received knowledge, but with growth and development, we are blessed with hearing, seeing and feeling. It is a proven fact that the first thing we learn is hearing, then seeing and lastly feeling. An example is, when we are born the Adhan is first said into our ears. This verse does not refer to our physical ears, eyes and hearts, rather refers to the abilities.

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah (ra) relates while describing the pilgrimage that the Holy Prophet said to “Start with what Allah starts with.” (Muslim, Book 7 #2803 , Nisa’i #2965, Tirmidhî, #862, Abu Daud #1905, Ibn Mâjah #3074

The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet thus establishes that the order of the Holy Quran must be kept.

Another verse the non Ahmadis often quote is :

“You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah”

In reality all of this comes together. One cannot be the best nation raised for the good of mankind, without believing in Allah. Secondly this is not a plan of Allah either, so it does not change any fact or affect our argument. Thirdly, taqdir and takhir may be applied in some verses, but it would make no sense to apply it in the ayah relating to the plan of Allah for Hadhrat Isaas.

Before we come to the narration attributed to Hadhrat Ibn Abbasra, in Sahih Bukhari the correct view of the great companion is narrated as follows:

 

عن ابن عباس قوله : ” إني متوفيك ” يقول : إني مميتك

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra stated that Mutawaffika, means death.

The view of Hadhrat Ibn Abbasra was that Hadhrat Isaas has already died and will not return physically. Since the non Ahmadi Muslims cannot respond to this verse and the above narration, they quote a narration of ad-Durr-ul-Mansur which is falsely attributed to Ibn Abbas. Firstly, they condemn a solid and correct reference supported by the Qur’an which is mentioned in Sahih al Bukhari, the most authentic book after the Qur’an. They want us to accept a weak and unauthentic reference which contradicts the Qur’an, and makes no sense.

The reference which they quote is:

وَأخرج اسحق بن بشر وَابْن عَسَاكِر من طَرِيق جَوْهَر عَن الضَّحَّاك عَن ابْن عَبَّاس فِي قَوْله {إِنِّي متوفيك ورافعك} يَعْنِي رافعك ثمَّ متوفيك فِي آخر الزَّمَان

Meaning, Hadhrat Ibn Abbasra “I will cause you to die in the latter days”

Firstly, this reference is without any merit because it is not found in any authentic book. Nor do we find it in Tafseer ibn Jarir at-Tabari which quotes many narrations trying to justify the life of Isaas, nor is it present in Tafsir ibn Kathir. How can this narration be accepted? Why would a Muslim reject the authentic reference of Sahih Bukhari for a fabrication? Furthermore, the belief which is portrayed in this reference makes it seem as if it is the view of the narrator rather than the view of Hadhrat Ibn Abbasra. There are countless of references which are attributed to Ibn Abbas, which have no value at all.

If the word متوفيك means death in the latter days, then it becomes essential that the spiritual rafa has not yet happened because متوفيك comes after رافعك. However, this would be against the Holy Qur’an as it states that the Jews wanted to prove Hadhrat Isaas to be an accursed one, according to the Torah, and did not succeed in killing him on the cross. Rather Allah gave Isaas a spiritual ascension as Allah States in Surah al-Nisa. In the opinion of the non Ahmadis, death before raise as presented in the Qur’an is incorrect and it should be raise before death instead. This thought is completely foolish.

The main reason why this narration must be rejected, even before looking at the authenticity, is because it clearly contradicts the Holy Qur’an and the narrations of more authentic ahadith. Furthermore, the statement of Durr al-Manthur is munqati, meaning unconnected. Ad Dahak had never met Hadhrat Ibn Abbasra according to many scholars. Below is a reference from Mizan al-Itidal by Imam Al-Dhahabi where Yahya Ibn Sa’id Al Qattan said:

“Shu’bah denied at all that al-Dhahak ever met Ibn Abbasra

Shu’bah asked Mushash: Did al-Dhahak listen to Ibn Abbasra and he replied he never saw him at all

Yahya Ibn Sa’id stated that according to us Ad Dhahak is weak

Ibn Hajr also said in Tariqb al Tahdheeb that he was saduq but had a lot of irsals, meaning the absence of the link between the successor and the Prophet. It is written:

الضحاك بن مزاحم الهلالي أبو القاسم أو أبو محمد الخراساني صدوق كثير الإرسال من الخامسة مات بعد المائة 4

 

Some non Ahmadis also accidentally quote Imam Al Razi’s statement. He has said:

والمعنى : أني رافعك إليّ ومطهرك من الذين كفروا ومتوفيك بعد إنزالي إياك في الدنيا ، ومثله من التقديم والتأخير كثير في القرآن

“The meaning is; I will raise you unto me and will purify you from infidels and will cause you to die after I descend you in the word. And examples of advancing and retreating (taqdim and takhir) are numerous in the Qur’an.”(Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/227 under Qur’an 3:55)

The non Ahmadis try to state that according to Imam al-Razi, the rafa was to happen after the tawaffa. This statement in reality, supports the Ahmadi Muslims. Imam Razi has made it clear that mutawaffika means death. Furthermore, Imam Razi in regards to the tafseer of rafa of this ayah, has stated that this is rafa of rank, rather than physically being raised to the heavens. The conclusion of taqdir and takhir of Imam Razi is against his own criteria of this rule. He has stated that this can only apply if another verse of the Qur’an clearly supports the switching of the order. It is just a misunderstanding of the scholar as he knew tawaffa meant death but was unaware of the true meaning of the verse. Furthermore, Allah could have easily mentioned that I will raise you to the heavens and then send you back in this ayah, but nothing of this sort is found anywhere in the Qur’an or authentic ahadith,.

Now the order given by the Qur’an is that death would occur first and after this the raf’a would occur. After this would be the clearing of the charges against him, and lastly the dominance of the followers of Isaas over his opponents. If one was to change the order, where would mutawaffika be put? Would it be put between the exaltation and the clearing of the charges? This is totally baseless as it would mean that unless Isaas dies, the charges against him would not have taken place. If mutawaffika is placed between the clearing of the charges and the natural death of Isaas, it would mean that unless Isaas dies his followers will never become dominant which is also wrong. If we put mutawaffika at the end, the ayah would state that Jesusas would die after the day of resurrection. The truth is clear that mutawaffika was indeed that first promise and it was fulfilled by our Creator.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas states:

“In this verse, ‘I shall cause thee to die’ precedes ‘I shall exalt thee’, which shows that death occurred before exaltation. A further proof is that Allah the Glorious, has said: After thy death I shall place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve (i.e., the Jews), until the Day of Judgment. All Christians and Muslims agree that this prophecy had been fulfilled before the advent of Islam, inasmuch as God Almighty had subordinated the Jews to Christians and Muslims, and they have continued in that condition of subordination for centuries. The verse cannot be construed to mean that such subordination will take place after Jesus returns from heaven.” (Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Volume 3, Page 330, 332)