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Chapter 23 Verse 51

Jesus عليه السلام In India

It is clear from the Holy Qur’an that Hazrat Isaas has died a natural death and will not return. Many often ask that if Isaas has indeed died, where did he end up dying? The fact of the matter is that the mission of Isaas was to preach to the lost tribes of Israel, and these tribes had spread far and wide and stretched all the way to Kashmir in India. Since they stretched out all the way to Kashmir, it is obvious that Isaas also went to Kashmir as the last tribes were present in this area. If one is interested in this topic, they should read the beautiful book called “Jesus in India” by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. The Qur’an itself has indicated to us, that Isaas did indeed travel to Kashmir. Allah States in the Qur’an:

وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ {51}

 

And We made the son of Mary and his mother a Sign, and gave them refuge on an elevated land of green valleys and springs of running water (Chapter 23 Verse 51)

 

Firstly, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas states:

 

“It is a pity that Muslims, on account of their bigotry and ignorance, do not reflect duly on this verse. They are too eager to see Jesus descend from heaven, while the Holy Qur’an testifies that he is dead and was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir, as God Almighty has said:

 

وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ

 

That is: ‘We delivered Jesus and his mother from the hands of the Jews and conveyed them to a region of high mountains which was a place of security and was watered with clear springs.’  This was Kashmir. And this is why Mary’s tomb is not to be found in Palestine, and the Christians claim that she too disappeared like Jesus. How unjust it is of the ignorant Muslims to believe that the followers of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are deprived of converse with God while at the same time they repeat the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that among his people there will be those who will resemble the Prophets of Israel, and there will also be one who will be a Prophet in one aspect and the follower of the Holy Prophetsa in another. He would be the one who will be called the Promised Messiah.” (Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khazain, Volume 22, Pages 99-104 Footnote)

 

Ahmadas also states:

 

“One of the verses of the Holy Qur’an clearly indicates that Jesus and his mother travelled to Kashmir after the incident of crucifixion. It is said:

 

وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ

 

‘We gave Jesus and his mother shelter at a plateau which was an abode of peace and was provided with springs of clear water.’

 

In this verse God Almighty has drawn an accurate picture of Kashmir. The expression Awa in Arabic is used for providing shelter against calamity of misfortune; and before the crucifixion Jesus and his mother underwent no period of hardship as would require shelter. It is thus established that it was only after the incident of the crucifixion that God Almighty led Jesus and his mother to this plateau.” (Kashti-e-Nuh, Ruhani Khazain, Volume 19, Page 17, Footnote)

 

Furthermore, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra provides an amazing commentary of this verse. He states:

 

“The verse constitutes a befitting sequel to the subject dealt with in the few preceding verses, viz., that it is a anvariable Divine Law that God’s messengers are at first rejected and persecuted but eventually they succeed and their reectors come to grief and that in consonance with this Divine Law, Jesus, the last Israelite Prophet also met with severe persecution at the hands of his opponents. They got him hung on the Cross. But true to His law and promise, God delievered him from the accursed death by crucifixion, and to off-set his seeming failure in the early stages of his mission gave him shelter along with his mother in a land of green meadows and running springs, where his mission prospered and where he lived to a ripe old age. As Jesus’s death, like his birth, has become a subject of great controversy, and some confusion and doubt still persist as to how and where he passed the last days of his crowded life, and as the question with the Christian Faith, a somewhat exhaustive note on this very important, albeit baffling religious question is called for.

 

    1. Jesus could not have died on the Cross because he was a Divine Prophet and a righteous servant of God and according to the Bible “He that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deut. 21:3)
    2. On the night before Jesus was nailed to the cross, he had prayed to God in great agony to “take away this cup (of death on the cross) from me” (Mark 14:36 ; Matt. 26:29 ; Luke, 22:42) and his prayer was heard (Heb 5:7).
    3. Jesus had predicted that like Jonah who had gone into the belly of the whale alive and had come out of it alive (Matt. 12:40) he would remain in an excavated sepulchre for three days and would come out of it alive.
    4. He had also foretold that after having delievered his Message to the Israelites in Palestine he would go to seek out the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and would bring them back into the Master’s fold (John 10:16). Even Jews themselves in Jesus’s time believed that the Lost Tribes of Israel had become dispersed in different lands (John 7:34,35)
    5. Jesus had remained hung on the cross only for about three hours (John 9:14) while persons of normal constitutions, had remained on the Cross for as many as three to six days and then died from exhaustion, hunger and exposure.
    6. Immediately after he had been taken down from the Cross Jesus’s side was pierced and blood and water flowed out of it which was a certain sign of life (John 19:34)

 

    1. The Jews themselves were not sure of Jesus’s death because they had asked Pilate to have a guard posted at his sepulchre ‘lest his disciples come by night and steal him away and say unto the people, ‘He is risen from the dead’ (Matt 27:64)

 

  1. There is not to be found in all the Gospels a single recorded statement of an eye-witness to the effect that Jesus had died on the cross or that he was dead when he was taken down from the Cross or when he was placed in the tomb. The Jewss had their own doubts and none of the disciples was present at the scene of crucifixion, all having fled wen Jesus was taken to Calvary.

 

The fact of the case seems to be that, presumiably due to the dream of his wife “to have nothing to do with that Just man,” Pilate had believed Jesus to be innocent and had therefore conspired with Joseph of Arimaethia, a respectable member of the Essene order to which Jesus himself belonged before he was commissioned as a Prophet, to save his life. The trial of Jesus took place on Friday, Pilate having purposely prolonged it knowing that the next day being the Sabbath Day the condemned persons would not be left on the Cross after sunset.

 

When at last he found himself compelled to condemn Jesus, Pilate gave his judgement only three hours before sunset, thus making himself sure that no person of normal health could die in such a short time by remaining on the Cross. He took additional care to see that Jesus was given wine or vinegar mingled with myrrh to render him less sensitive to pain. When after three hours’ suspension  Jesus was taken down from the cross in an unconscious state (Probably under the influence of vinegar which was administered to him) Pilate readily granted Joseph of Armaethia’s request and handed over Jesus’s body to him. Unlie those of the two male factors who were hung along with him, his bones were not broken and Joseph had him placed in a spacious roomm hewn in the side of a rock. There was no medical autopsy, no stethoscopic test, no inquest with the aid of the evidence of those who were last with him (“Mystical Life of Jesus” by H. Spencer Lewis).

 

  1. “The Crucifixion by an Eye-Winess,” a book which was first published in 1873 in U.S.A and which is an English translation of an ancient Latin copy of a letter written seven years after the Crucifixion by an Essene Brother in Jerusalem to a member of this Brotherhood in Alexandria lends further support to the view of Jesus having been taken down from the Cross alive. The book narrates in detail all the events leading to the Crucifixion, the scenes at the Calvary and  also the incidents that took place afterwards.
  2. An ointment, the famous Marham-i-Isa, the ointment of Jesus was prepared and applied to Jesus’s wounds and he was tended and looked after by Joseph of Arimaethia and Nicodemus, a very learned and highly respected member of the Essence Brotherhood.
  3. After the wounds of Jesus had been sfficiently healed he left the tomb in which he was placed and met some of his disciples who “were horrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit.” He assured them that he was no spirit but a man of flesh and bones and had his food with them and walked the whole distance from Jerusalem to Galilee on foot (Luke 24:37-43)

 

All these authentic facts of history show that Jesus did not die on the Cross. The story of his death on the Cross and his having risen from the dead after three days and having bodily gone to heaven may decieve a gullible people holding fantastic beliefs, it cannot satisfy any reasonable person (Enc. Brit, article on “Ascension”.)

 

The fact having been established that Jesus survived Crucifixion, the question still remains if Jesus did not de on the Cross and there is no trace of his tomb in Palestine, the scene of his early missionary activities, where did he go and live and die after the great event? It is now a known fact established by reliable historical data that after the event of Crucifixion, Jesus, finding life unsafe in Palestine, forsook that country for ever and went to seek the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and to preach his message to them. For this purpose he took a long and arduous journey to the East, where those Ten tTribes had lives after their great Dispersion by the Assyrians and Baylonians, first to Assyria, Mesopotamia and Media and then to further East – Afghanistan, Kashmir and India. While yet in Palestine, Jesus had given sufficient indications, though in parables and proverbs, as was his won, that in some future time he would have to leave for Palestine for another country (John 8:21, 10:16, 13:33)

 

After Crucifixion Jesus felt that he was a hunted man and that if he remained in his native place he would be arrested again and probably killed. He, therefore, went into hiding. The news having reached him of the cruel persecution of his disciples he was sorely distressed, and in extreme agony of spirit exclaimed; “the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the son of man hath no where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20) He decided to leave Palestine for all time. From Jerusalem he went to Nazareth and from Nazareth to Damascus where he stayed for some time at a place which is known to this day as Maqam-i-Isa. Finding hmself insecure even in Damascus he left for Nisibin (Raudat al-Safa and Jami al-Tawarikh). He did not feel safe even at Nisibin (Tabari) and left for far-off Kashmir. Finding it unsafe to travel under his real name he henceforward, travelled under the assumed name of Yuz Asaf (Yuz in Hebrew being the same as Yasu and Asaf meaning the gatherer). Hencceforward, Jesus becomes Yuz Asaf and is known by this name till his death. On his way from Nisibin to Kashmir he passed through Iran and Afghanistan. At last he reached his destination.

 

The last vestiges of doubt as to Jesus’s travel to Afghanistan and Kashmir are dispelled that by that very useful book “The Unknown Life of Jesus” written by Nicholas Notovitch, a Russian traveller, who visited the Far East in about 1877, He calls Kashmir “The valley of eternal bliss” which may be regarded as an apt rendering of the Qur’anic words ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ. In this book Notovitch tells us that Jesus came to India, while he was only 14 years of age, lived there for some time, learnt the use of herbs, medicine and mathematics and studied also the Hindu religion and held religious discussions with the Brahmans who ultimately became his enemies. The fact having come to his nowledge that the Brahmans were seeking to kill him, he left India for Nepal and then went to Kashmir and Aghanistan and stopping on the way in Persia he went back to Judea. Sir Francis Younghusband, who was at the time when Nicholas Notovitch visited Kashmir, Birtish resident at the court of the Maharaja of Kashmir, met him near the Zojila Pass.

 

Recent research about Jesus’s travels in the East lends powerful support to Notovitch’s book. The following quotations are very significant”

 

“In Srinigar we first encountered the curious legend about Christ’s visit to the place. Afterwards we saw how widely spread in India, in Laddakh and in Central Asia was the legend of the visit of Christ to those parts (“Heart of Asia” by Professor Nicholus Roerich). All over central Asia, in Kashmir and Laddakh and tibet and even further north, there still exists a strong belief that Jesus or Isa travelled about there (“Glimpses of World History, ” By Jawahar Lal Nehru).

 

One day Raja Shalewahin went to a country in the Himalayas. There he saw a Raja of Sakas (foreigners) at Wein, who was fair of colour and wore white clothes. The Raja asked him who he was. He replied that he was Yusashaphat (Yuz Asaf) and was born of a woman (according to antoher report “born of a virgin”)….. The Raja asked him about his religion. He replied ‘it is love, truth and purity of heart and on account of this I am called ‘Isa Masih’ (Sutta. Bhavishya Maha Purana, Page 282, quoted by Robert Graves and Joshua Podro in “Jesus in Rome”)

 

Finding it impossible to deny the fact of Jesus’s having been taken down alive from the Cross and of his journey to the East, some scholars have taken refuge behind some obscure passages in Notovitch’s book to claim that Jesus came to East before and not after he was commissioned as a Divine Prophet. But this inference appears manifestly to be ill founded. A mere boy of 13 or 14 years of age as Jesus is stated to have been when he came to India, he could not have conceived of undertaking so long and arduous a journey to a far-off land, and thus of exposing himself to mortal danger on the way. After all what attraction or motives Jesus had, at such an early age, in coming over to India and studying the Hindu religion and in having discussion with the Brahmans as to make them his enemes, as we are told in Notovitch’s book. And if at all he came to India, what interest the people of India and Kashmir had in keeping a record of the activities, doings and wanderings of a boy of 13 or 14. It is only God’s great Prophets who in the disccharge of their Divine mission regard no sacrifice too great to suffer. It is, therefore after Jesus hd been entrusted with his Divine mission and had been rejected by the Jews in Palestine, that he forsook that country to seek, in fulfillment of the old Biblical prophecies, the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and undertook the long and dangerous journey to India and Kashmir. It is after he had come to Afghanisan and Kashmir and had preached his Message to the Israelites living there and after hundreds of thousands of people had accepted him and he had lived an eventful life to the very ripe of age 120 (Kanz al Ummal, Vol 6). that records came to be kept of his doings. Early Christian writers and dignitaries of the Church were forced to admit that Jesus had lived up to old age and died full of years. In his “An Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament” (p.610) the famous Biblical scholar Dr. James Moffatt writes: : “Ireneas quotes from the presbyters who are claimed to have been in touch with the apostle John… that Jesus died when he was in his aetas Senior i.e over forty or fifty… “According to tales current in the days of Papies the Lord lived to a great age…aetas Senior [Early History of the Christian Church by Monsignor Louis Duchesne, Volume 1, Page 105]….. ” In the latter he also includes the fact that Jesus must have passed through and been subjected to all the conditions of a complete human life from birth to old age and death” (History of Dogma by Dr. Adolf Harnack, Voume 11, Pp. 277-278).

 

It is also in keeping with the time-honoured practice o f God’s Messengers that they have to do Hijrat after and not before they are entrusted with a Divine mission and Jesus too was true to this prophetic tradition. Other facts of unimpeachable historical evidence, to which we will presently refer, also prove and establish this event of outstanding historical importance. Jesus came to Aghanistan and Kashmir because “Other sheep which are not of his fold” (John 10:16) lived there. His mission could not have become complete unless he should have brought those sheep into the Master’s fold.

 

Here are some of the arguments to show that the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel lived in Afghanistan and Kashmir, after the Israelites were dispersed by the Assyrians and Babylonian Kings:

 

After the death of Solomon and in the reign of his cruel and worthless son whom the Qur’an calls “the worm of the earth” (34:15) a revolt headed by Jeroboam split the Jews into two perpetually hostile camps. The major section, the Ten Tribes assumed the name of Israel and the two tribes of Judah and Bejamin came to be known as Judah. At the invitation of the King of Judah, the Assyrians, under Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser and Sargon invaded Samaria, the capital of the Ten Tribes, destroyed it and carried the Ten Tribes as capitves to Assyria, Mesopotamia and Media. Later on the Assyrian Kingdom was destroyed by the combined armies of Babylonia and Media. When Zedekiah, the King of Judah, revolted against Nebuchadnezzar, the latter, laid seige to Jerusalem, completely destroyed the Temple and carried almost all the inhabitants into captivity. The Ten Tribes were for ever lost to the Palestinian Jewry because when the Assyrians and the Babylonians extended their territories to the East, they carried their captives, the Ten Tribes of srael, to Iraq and Persia for the purpose of colonization and later when the Persians under Darius and Cyrus extended their territories still further East to Afghanistan and India, theses Jewish tribes migrated with them to these countries and thus they became settled in the East — In Afghanistan and Kashmir and even in Samarkand and Bukhara, and were for ever lost to western Jewry.

 

Thus as a result of their conquest first by the Assyrians and the Babylonians and then by the Persians the Jews became dispered to Persia, Afghanistan and Kashmir and even to Khurasan, Samarkand and Bokhara. The Kashmiris and Afghans of today are the descendants of those “Lost Tribes of Israel”. This fact is quite evident from the traditions, history and written records of these two peoples. The names of their twons and tribes, their physical features, their customs, habits, mode and manner of living, their dress, etc, all point in the same direction. Their ancient monuments and old inscriptions also support this view.

 

The fact that there are many places, persons and tribes in Afghanistan and particulary in Kashmir which are named after Isaraelite names, and that the customs, habits, manners, mode of life, form of dress of the Kashmiris, and their physical features resemble those of the Jews, coupled with the fact that their folklore is full of Jewish stories and that their language possesses hundreds of words which in pronounciation and meaning are identical with Hebrew words and that the name Kashmir is in reality meaning “like Syria” (Or it seems to have been named after Kash or Cush, a grandson of Noah), impart a certainty to the view that the Afghans and Kashmiris are largely the descendants of The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel which is incapable of being assailed.

 

When it is established that Jesus did nto die on the Cross and that after having recovered from his wounds and being afraid of his life he left Jerusalem for the East, and when it is also established that the Afghans and the Kashmiris are descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and that in fulfilment the prophecies of the Prophets of yore, Jesus had to search for these tribes to reclam them, there remains no manner of doubt about the fact that he did come to Afghanistan and Kashmir. But the greatest and best proof of his havng come to Kashmir and of having lived and died there is the presence of his tomb in Khanyar Street, Srinagar, Kashmir. There is a omb in this street which is called Rauzabal and is variously known as the tomb of Yuz Asaf, of Nabi Sahib of Shahzada Nabi and even of Isa Sahib. According to owell established historical accounts of this Yuz Asaf came to Kashmir more than 1900 years ago and preached in parables and used many of the same parables as Jesus did. In certain books of history he is described as a Nabi (Prophet. Moreover, Yuz Asaf is a Biblical name meaning “Yasu, the gatherer” which is one of the descriptive names of Jesus as his mission was to gather the lost tribes of Israel into the Master’s fold as he himself says: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also must I brin and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16)

 

The following historical quotations shed some light on this subject:

 

“The tomb next to that of Sayyid Nasir al-Din is generally known as that of a Prophet who was sent to the inhabitants of Kashmir, and the place is known as the shrine of a Prophet. He was a Prince who came to Kashmir from a foreign land. He was perfect in piety, righteousness and devotion; he was made a Prophet by God and was engaged  in preaching to the Kashmiris. His name was Yuz Asaf and he was a descendant of Moses (Tarikh Azami, pp 82-85) … Yuz Asaf wandered about in several lands till he reached a country called Kashmir. He travelled in it far and wide and lived and stayed there till death overtook him” (Ikamal al-Din…pp 358-359)

 

Kashmir legend, I have been told, contains reference to a Prophet who lived here and taught as Jesus did by parables little stories that are repeated in Kashmir to the present day (John Noel’s article in Asia, Oct 1930)

 

The flight of Jesus, therefore to India and his death  in Srinigar is not foreign to the truth rationally or hsitorically” (Tafsir al Manar, Vol 6)

 

The following facts clearly emerge from the above quotations and historical references:

 

  1. The tomb in Khanyar street in Srinigar is variously described as that of Nabi Sahib, Isa Sahib, Shahzada Nabi and that of Yuz Asaf.
  2. This Yuz Asaf was a Prophet of the people of the Book, being a spiritual descendant of Moses
  3. He came to Kashmir from a far-off land.
  4. He was called a Prince (Jesus was also known as Prince of Peace)
  5. He talked in proverbs and parables (so did Jesus)
  6. He was not a follower of Islam as no Prophet, according to Muslim belief appeared after the Holy Prophet.
  7. He was a Jew, because the name Yuz Asaf is a Hebrew name.

 

In view of the above-mentioned facts it is not possible to deny that Jesus did come to the East to preach to the Lost Tribes of Israel, and that Yuz Asaf is Jesus and that the tomb in Khanyar street is that of Jesus. For a better and fuller treatment, however, of this subject see “Masih Hindustan Main” by Ahmad, the Promised Messiah. See also the well-known book, “Nazarene Gospel Restored,” whose authors maintain that though officially curicfied in A.D 30, Jesus was still alive some twenty years after the Ressurrection.” (Five Volume Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Pages 1803-1810)

 

Furthermore, the ahadith also show us that Isaas did indeed travel to Kashmir and clearly hit to his travelling. It is narrated in Kanz-ul-Ummal, which is a collection of ahadith :

 

ا و حى الله تعالى الى عيس ان يا عيس انتقل من مكان الى مكان لئلأ تعرف فتو ذى

 

“God revealed to Jesus thus: “O Jesus! Keep on moving from one place to another’ go from one country to another lest thou shoudst be recognized and persecuted” (Kanz-ul Ummal, Volume 2, Page 34)

 

In the same book it is narrated:

 

كان عيسى ابن مريم يسيح فاذا امسى ا كل بقل الصحراء و شرب ماء القراح

 

“Jesus continuously travelled from one country to another, wherever he happened to be at nightfall, he would partake of the vegetables of the jungle and drink fresh water” (Kanz-ul Ummal, Volume 2 Page 71)

 

And in the same book we also see that it is narrated:

 

قال احب شئ الى الله الغرباء قيل اى شئ الغرباء قال الذين يفرّون بدينهم و يجتمعون الى عيس ابن مريم

 

The Holy Prophetsaw stated: “The people most favoured in the sight of God are the Ghareeb. When asked, what was meant by the term Ghareeb, hesaw replied ‘ They are the people who, like Jesus, the Messiah, have to flee from their country to save them faith?” (Kanz-ul Ummal, Volume 6, Page 51)

 

The non Ahmadi Muslims quite often raise a allegation against this beautiful ayah:

 

وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ {51}

 

And We made the son of Mary and his mother a Sign, and gave them refuge on an elevated land of green valleys and springs of running water (Chapter 23 Verse 51)

 

Their allegation is that in reality this does not relate to Kashmir and that in reality according to the commentaries of scholars, it refers to Maryamas when she was pregnant. They claim that this ayah only refers to the miraculous birth of Isaas. This is a completely false allegation and can only be raised in todays day and age after clarified by Ahmadas by a person who does not have any knowledge of the Arabic lexicon. The words used in this verse are:

 

وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا

 

This translates to “we gave them refuge” and a pregnant woman is never ever referred to as them in the Arabic language and treated as two different people, rather always one person. This itself refutes their interpretations. Secondly the Arabic word  أ وى means he lodged him in the house, he gave him shelter, refuge or asylum in the house. This word is used when a person finds protection, asylum, satisfaction and comfort in a place after he has been through hardships and privations (Lane and Aqrab, and also seen through the Qur’an in 8:73, 11:44, 12:70 and 93:7). This further supports our interpretation as Isaas and Maryamas only stayed in the shelter during his birth for a short period of time rather than a long period of time.