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The Views of Sahaba And Scholars

The Views of Sahaba And Scholars

Although the Qur’an and Ahadith are clear on the death of Isa(as), here are some proofs from scholars for the non Ahmadis.

 

Here is a famous Incident narrated in Bukhari, which is obviously not the saying of Muhammad(Saw) but an incident which took place on his death and proves the ijmaa of the sahaba was that all of the messengers before the Holy Prophet (saw) have already died.

 

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ عُقَيْلٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ، أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ، أَخْبَرَتْهُ أَنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَقْبَلَ عَلَى فَرَسٍ مِنْ مَسْكَنِهِ بِالسُّنْحِ حَتَّى نَزَلَ، فَدَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ فَلَمْ يُكَلِّمِ النَّاسَ حَتَّى دَخَلَ عَلَى عَائِشَةَ، فَتَيَمَّمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهْوَ مُغَشًّى بِثَوْبِ حِبَرَةٍ، فَكَشَفَ عَنْ وَجْهِهِ ثُمَّ أَكَبَّ عَلَيْهِ فَقَبَّلَهُ وَبَكَى‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي، وَاللَّهِ لاَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ مَوْتَتَيْنِ، أَمَّا الْمَوْتَةُ الَّتِي كُتِبَتْ عَلَيْكَ فَقَدْ مُتَّهَا‏.‏ قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ وَحَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ، خَرَجَ وَعُمَرُ يُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فَقَالَ اجْلِسْ يَا عُمَرُ، فَأَبَى عُمَرُ أَنْ يَجْلِسَ‏.‏ فَأَقْبَلَ النَّاسُ إِلَيْهِ وَتَرَكُوا عُمَرَ، فَقَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَمَّا بَعْدُ مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا صلى الله عليه وسلم فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ حَىٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ، قَالَ اللَّهُ ‏{‏وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ‏}‏ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ ‏{‏الشَّاكِرِينَ‏}‏ وَقَالَ وَاللَّهِ لَكَأَنَّ النَّاسَ لَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنْزَلَ هَذِهِ الآيَةَ حَتَّى تَلاَهَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ، فَتَلَقَّاهَا مِنْهُ النَّاسُ كُلُّهُمْ فَمَا أَسْمَعُ بَشَرًا مِنَ النَّاسِ إِلاَّ يَتْلُوهَا‏.‏ فَأَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ الْمُسَيَّبِ أَنَّ عُمَرَ قَالَ وَاللَّهِ مَا هُوَ إِلاَّ أَنْ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا بَكْرٍ تَلاَهَا فَعَقِرْتُ حَتَّى مَا تُقِلُّنِي رِجْلاَىَ، وَحَتَّى أَهْوَيْتُ إِلَى الأَرْضِ حِينَ سَمِعْتُهُ تَلاَهَا أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدْ مَاتَ‏.‏

 

Narrated `Aisha: Abu Bakr came from his house at As-Sunh on a horse. He dismounted and entered the Mosque, but did not speak to the people till he entered upon `Aisha and went straight to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) who was covered with Hibra cloth (i.e. a kind of Yemenite cloth). He then uncovered the Prophet’s face and bowed over him and kissed him and wept, saying, “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you. By Allah, Allah will never cause you to die twice. As for the death which was written for you, has come upon you.”

 

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: Abu Bakr went out while `Umar bin Al-Khattab was talking to the people. Abu Bakr said, “Sit down, O `Umar!” But `Umar refused to sit down. So the people came to Abu Bakr and left `Umar. Abu Bakr said, “To proceed, if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but if (anyone of) you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die. Allah said:–“Muhammad is no more than a messenger, and indeed messengers have passed away before him..(till the end of the Verse )……Allah will reward to those who are thankful.” (3.144) By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this Verse before till Abu Bakr recited it and all the people received it from him, and I heard everybody reciting it (then). Narrated Az-Zuhri: Sa`id bin Al-Musaiyab told me that `Umar said, “By Allah, when I heard Abu Bakr reciting it, my legs could not support me and I fell down at the very moment of hearing him reciting it, declaring that the Prophet (ﷺ) had died.”(Sahih Bukhari  Volume 5, Book 59, Hadith 733)

 

When Abu Bakr(ra) narrated this Hadith, all of the companions were relieved. Hazrat Umar(ra) states that he himself who was at one point ready to kill anyone who says the prophet(Saw) had died said:

state-of-umarra-during-ijma

 

“I became afraid. Both my legs began to tremble, so much so that when I heard that the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) had passed away, I fell to the ground” (Musnad Ahmad)

 

No one mentioned Isa(as) nor does any authentic narration state that anyone even thought about Isa(as). Some have alleged that it is because of the condition of the sahaba that they did not mention Isa(as). I ask them why Moses(as) was then mentioned?

 

It is said in some narrations that Umar(ra) said Muhammad(Saw) went to Allah for forty days and forty nights like Moses(as), no one even thought of Isa(As) at this time. It is narrated that Umar(ra) said:

 

“Some of the hypocrites allege that the Messenger of God is dead. By God, he is not dead but has gone to his Lord as Moses b. Imran went and remained hidden from his people for forty days. Moses returned after it was said that he had died. By God, the Messenger of God will [also] return and will cut off the hands and feet of those who allege that he is dead” (Tabari Volume 9 p 184)

 

This incident is such a huge incident in the history of Islam, and it is quite sad that even after this, many Muslims carry the belief that Isa(as) is alive but the greatest prophet Muhammad(saw) is dead, even though Quran says both have died. After this verse was said by Abu Bakr(ra) during this incident all sahaba understood the clear message that only Allah lives forever, and now even Muhammad(saw) has died but do not worry he was just a messenger and had to die just like all of the messengers before him who have also died, but follow Islam and Allah, because Allah will never die and is eternal.

 

Meaning of Khalat

 

Another baseless reply to this verse of the Holy Quran that the non Ahmadi Muslims try using is that “khalat” means passed not necessarily passed  away but one has to keep in mind the argument being made is that when something possesses a soul and  khalat is used it has no other meaning then death.

 

Also this tafsir of the non Ahmadis agrees with our view on khala as do dictionaries:

 

Tafsirul-Qonawi ‘Ali al-Baidavi, volume 3 and Tafsir Khazin, volume 1, it is stated: The Holy Prophet(sa) will leave this temporary world in the same way as the other Prophets(as) left by a natural death or assassination.

 

khala-meaning-dictionaries

 

Non Ahmadis try to quote ayahs which use khalah and the word death is not used however the ayahs do all indeed refer to death even if not mentioned, when applied to a human being and no location or time is mentioned.

 

The Promised Messiah(as) himself challenged all Muslims in regards to this word and no answer was or will ever be given, as he states :

 

“I am prepared to hand over a reward of 1000 rupees to anyone who can prove from the Holy Qur’an, or any authentic, weak or fabricated Hadith, or the statement of any companion, or from a statement of any other Imam, or from the addresses (Khutubat) or (Dawaaween) of the era of the Jahiliyyah; and from all kinds of poetic verses or from the prose or verse of the Islamic (fusaha) that in the definition of Khalat, there is the meaning that an individual can go into the heavens along with his physical body.”

 

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas(ra) who is a companion whom the Prophet Muhammad(saw) prayed for that Oh Allah may He be taught the Qur’an has stated:

 

 

 

 

 

mutawaffika-1

mutawaffika-2

inni-mutawaffika-mumeetooka1

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas(ra) has made it clear that the mutawaffika here does indeed mean death and he is a companion of Allah who should be given much precedence over the scholars of today. He is a companion who’s knowledge of the Qur’an was prayed for by our Master Muhammad(saw).

 

Hazrat Imam Hasan (ra), grandson of Prophet Muhammad, said after the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (ra) that Hazrat Ali passed away on the 27th of the month of Ramadan, the same night as the night when Jesus Christ spirit ascended to heaven (Taqabat-ul-Kubra, Ibn Sa’ad, Vol. III)

 

Imam Malik, father of one of the 4 schools of Fiqh as well as a doctor, declared, “While most people believe that Jesus did not die, Malik said that he died. Majma Baharul Anwar, Sheikh Muhammad Tahir, Vol. I, p.286)

 

“In the ‘Utbiyya it is written that Malik said that Jesus, son of Mary, died.” (Ikmal al-ikmal, Sharh of Muslim, Vol. I, p. 265)

 

Alama ibn Hayam and Alama Shawkani state, “It has been said that this verse proves that Allah caused Jesus to die before exalting him.” (Baharul Muhit; Tafsir Fatah Qadeer)

 

Imam Hafiz Ibn Qayyim writes, “Had Prophet Moses (as) and Prophet Jesus (as) lived (till the times of the Holy Prophet (saw)), they would certainly have been among his followers.” (Madarej Al Salekeen, Vol. II, p. 263)

 

“As for what is related about the Messiah that he was raised to heaven at the age of 33, there is no sound authority for this which one could turn to.” (Zadi Ma’ad, Vol. I, p. 20)

 

“With the exception of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, a person attains to heaven with his spirit only after death and separation from the body, so the spirits of all prophets went to heaven only after death and separation from the body.” (Zadi Ma’ad, Vol. I, p. 304)

 

Alama Abdul Rahman Sa’di comments, “God honored Jesus by causing his disciples to spread in the world, in his life-time and after his death (mamat).” (Tafsir al-Manan, published in Mecca)

 

Imam ibn Hazm, Amwami Zahiri Qurtabi, states, “Jesus, peace be upon him, was neither killed nor crucified, but God caused him to die and then raised him. The Almighty has said: ‘They did not kill him or crucify him’; and ‘I will cause thee to die and exalt thee’; and ‘I (Jesus) was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die Thou wert the Watcher over them’ and ‘Allah takes souls (yatawaaffa) at the time of death’. Thus there are two kinds of wafat: sleep and death. Jesus in his words ‘When Thou didst cause me to die (falamma tawaaffaita-ni)’ was not referring to sleep, but it is correct that by wafat he meant death.”( Al-Mahalli fil-Fiqh, p. 23)

 

Imam Ibn Hazm adopted the apparent significance of the verse, and believed in his (Jesus’) death((Jalailan, under 3:55)

 

Abul Hasan Ali Hajwairi (Data Ganj Bakhsh) writes, “The Messenger of God said that, on the night of the Mi‘raj, he saw Adam, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and Abraham, in the heavens. Assuredly it was their souls (Kashf al-Mahjub, Ch. al-Kalam fir-Ruh, p. 204)

 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad writes that upon receiving a letter that read, “Dear Maulana: … these Mirza’i [i.e., Ahmadi] people ascribe various views to you, and even give references from Wakil, Tazkira, etc., that you believe in Jesus’ death, and that you praised Mirza (Ghulam Ahmad) Sahib. Please write a conclusive book so that they dare not speak again. You should also state therein that it abrogates all your previous writings and views, thus leaving no scope for anyone to bring up old matters” (Inam-Ullah Khan, Baluchistan). He replied, “1. The death of Jesus is mentioned in the Quran itself. 2. The question of praising or criticizing the Mirza Sahib does not arise because: ‘If you are bad, you cannot be good, He himself is bad who considers you to be bad(Malfuzat-i Azad, compiled by Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Maktaba Mahaul, Karachi, pp. 129, 130).

 

“The belief (in Jesus being alive) by its nature is in every way a Christian doctrine which has appeared in an Islamic guise.” (Naqsh Azad, p. 102, compiled by Maulana Ghulam Rasul Mahr)

 

Lt. Col. Khwaja Abdur Rashid also shared the view that the idea of Jesus Christ (as) ascension to heaven was a Christian influence (Weekly Chatan, 12/1/1958, p. 7)

 

Alama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal writes, “As far as I understand the meaning of this movement, the Ahmadis believe that Jesus died the death of a mortal human being, and the return of the Messiah refers to a person who bears spiritual similarity to him. This belief gives this movement a rational appearance (Khutbat Madras; Newspaper Mujahid, 2/13/1935; Alama Iqbal ka paigham millat-i-Islamiyya kai nam, p. 22)

 

Alama Iqbal who is given much respect in the Muslim Ummah also believed Isa(As) had died and would not come to this world. ( [1] (Armaghan Hijaz, p. 227; Iqbal Nama, ‘Collection of the Letters of Iqbal’, Vol. II, letter to Chaudry Muhammad Ahsan, p. 231; Baqiyat Iqbal, p. 451; Zamindar, Lahore, 7/27/1952)

 

Maulana Sayyid Suleman Nadawi also held this view(Sidq-i Jadid, Lucknow, 10/28/1955)

 

Maulana Muhammad Usman Farqleet also held this view who was a chief editor.[1] (Shabistan Urdu Digest, New Delhi, November 1974, p. 18)

 

In the Mustadrak (Hadith collection) it is reported from Ibn Umar that Jesus lived to the age of 120 years. It is likewise also in the Asabah.” (Tafsir Kamalain)

 

Muhammad Hasan ibn Muhammad Abbas, mujtihad & ustad at Madrassa Nizamiyya, Lucknow, India writes, “The findings of authentic, established books and the Quranic commentaries of the great scholars prove the wafat of Jesus, i.e., that he died. Thus, two verses in particular provide evidence for his death: firstly, inni mutawaaffi-ka wa rafi‘u-ka ilayya; and secondly,falamma tawaaffaita-ni kunta anta-r-raqiba ‘alai-him. These verses are quite sufficient to prove Jesus’ death. If these do not suffice, I can write still more and give Ahadith in support (Tashhiz al-Azhan, April 1921, p. 39)

 

Alama Niyaz Fatehpuri writes, “Thirty-eight years ago I wrote in detail in Nigar that it is clearly proved from the Divine word that he (Jesus) died his natural death (Monthly Nigar, Lucknow, India, June 1961)

 

Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, editor of Zamindar, wrote, “If the moral and spiritual teaching left behind with the Israelites by Jesus after his death is examined, it appears that only such people could benefit from this inheritance as live in cloisters and monasteries, leading the lives of hermits[1] (Punjab Review, compiled by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Vol. I, No. 1, 8/8/1901)

 

Maulvi Abdur Rahman, the Khatib of Jami’ Masjid, Wazirabad, writes, “On around 25th August, taking with  me Maulana Sayyid Inayat-ullah Shah, the Khateeb of Jami‘ Mosque Gujrat, I went to visit Maulana Zafar Ali Khan at Karamabad. Also present there were Mr. Salik the editor of Inqalab and Maulana Chiragh Hasan Hasrat the editor of the daily Ihsan. During the conversation, the mention of Mr. Inayat-ullah Mashriqi came up. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan greatly praised Mr. Mashriqi’s sincerity of heart. In answer to this, I told the Maulana that Mr. Mashriqi’s beliefs ran counter to Islamic teachings. For instance, in his Tazkira he has denied that Jesus is still alive.The Maulana replied: ‘Belief in Jesus being still alive is not an Islamic belief. Many Muslims have rejected it.’ He was supported in strong words by Maulana Charagh Hasan Hasrat. Hearing this denial of Jesus being alive from Maulana Zafar Ali Khan’s tongue pained me beyond words. I said to myself: My God! This is the same Maulana Zafar Ali Khan who has been a leading opponent of the Ahmadis for forty years, and yet his own belief is exactly the same as that of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.”  (Mujahid, 9/12/1935)

 

Al Ustaz Mustafa al-Maraghi writes, “In this verse is the glad tiding of his (Jesus’) deliverance from their (the Jewish) plot and his life reaching its appointed term. They would not be able to harm him as they intended by their evil plan. Tawaaffa means the ordinary death, and raf‘ (elevating) is for the spirit after death. The meaning is ‘I will cause you to die (mumitu-ka), and after death (maut) I will establish you in an exalted position in My presence’, as God has said of the prophet Idris: ‘He elevated him to a high state( (Tafsir al-Maraghi, part III, p. 165 on 3:56)

 

Famous Egyptian Reformist Mufti Muhammad Abduh writes, “In the Tafsir al-Manar, the teacher and Imam (Muhammad Abduh), after taking the apparent meaning of the verse, has stated that tawaaffa bears its obvious significance, i.e., causing to die. The raising (raf‘) comes after that, and it is spiritual elevation.”(Qasas al-Anbiya, by Abdul Wahab an-Najar, p. 428)

 

“Tawaaffa here means causing to die, as in the obvious and comprehensible significance(Al-Manar)

 

Alama Mahmud Shaltut, former Mufti and former Rector of Al-Ahzar University, very strongly expressed that Jesus died first and then his status was raised: “There is no authority in the Quran or the Sunnah which can satisfy the heart upon the belief that Jesus was taken up to heaven with his body and that he is still alive there and that he shall descend therefrom to earth in the last days … The Quranic verses in this connection indicate that God had promised Jesus that He would cause him to die at the appointed time, and elevate him to Himself, and protect him from the disbelievers. This promise has been fulfilled. His enemies could not kill him or crucify him; instead, God caused him to die at the end of his appointed term and elevated him to Himself (Al-Fatwa, published by Al-Idara al-‘Ama lil-Saqafat al-Islamiyya bil-Azhar, pp. 52-58)

 

Lebanese scholar Ahmad Al-Juz writes, “Jesus certainly died on earth according to God’s words inni mutawaaffi-ka which mean ‘I will cause you to die’ (mumitu-ka). Death (maut) is something that is bound to happen, as God said through Jesus’ tongue: ‘Peace be upon me the day I was born and the day I die.’”  (Signed: Ahmad al-Juz)

 

Al Ustaz Abdul Karim al-Sharif writes, “As the Quran has mentioned, God caused the Messiah to die physically, and raised him to Himself and purified him, just as He causes us to die, raises us to Himself, and purifies us (Al-Nafkhat al-Ula min al-Ta’wil)

 

Iranian scholar Zainal Abideen writes in his Tafsir, which was published with the support of the Iranian government, takes (3:65) as meaning Hazrat Isa (as) soul, and not his body, was exalted to Allah (Tafsir, Vol. I, p. 268)

 

Khwaja Hasan Nizami writes, “Westerners believe that Jesus ascended to heaven. The Quran contradicts this Christian belief, for it contains the verse:inni mutawaaffi-ka wa rafi‘u-ka ilayya, i.e., ‘O Jesus, I am about to cause you to die, and grant you exaltation and elevation unto Myself ’. This verse proves the death of Jesus. However, there is another verse saying: wa ma qatalu-hu wa ma salabu-hu wa lakin shubbiha la-hum, i.e., the Jews neither killed nor crucified Jesus, but they fell into doubt. This verse proves that Jesus was not put upon the cross, but died his own death. Rising to heaven does not mean that he went up to heaven but that his status in the estimation of God was raised.” (Roznamcha, 11/16/1931, p. 15)

Maulvi Hafiz Muhammad of Lakhu Kay writes, “Without doubt a son resembles his father. But the Lord lives forever, He does not die, while death overtook Jesus.” (Tafsir, Vol. I, p. 247) Of all the Messengers of God, none survived (Tafsir vol I, p. 320)

 

Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments regarding (3:56), “Read this along with 4:157where it is said that the Jews neither crucified nor killed Jesus, but that another was killed in his likeness. The guilt of the Jews remained. But Jesus completed his life when he died and was taken up to God.”(English Translation of Holy Quran, 1st Ed., footnote)

 

Abul ‘Ala Maududi had his reply to a letter written by Naeem Siddiqi stating, “As to what I have understood from the Holy Quran regarding the death of Jesus … I have already explained it, and you can read it. As to Jesus’ second coming, I cannot put it higher than a possibility because the Quran gives no explanation of it, and the basis of firm faith cannot be laid upon Hadith. It could be that God may send Jesus to earth again, and if He so wishes there cannot be any bar against it. In any case, this point is not part of Islamic doctrine (Habibullah, Chaudry: Rukh Kardar, p. 243)

Editor of the monthly Balagh al-Quran, Lahore writes, “Just as un-Quranic ideas have made the birth of Jesus a riddle, so it is also said about his death that he has been living in the fourth heaven for two thousand years, that he shall return, marry, have children, and then die. The argument … is based upon the words Bal rafa‘a-hu Allahu ilai-hi, the meaning of which we have explained on page 29, that God caused him to migrate (hijra) to Himself, in accordance with His law for all the prophets. For if raf’ be taken to mean lifted up to heaven, then it would have to be believed that the prophet Idris too is alive and living in a high place, as God has said of him: wa rafa‘na-hu makan-an ‘aliyyan (19:57) — ‘We raised him to a high place’. Obviously, just as the word rafa‘na-hu is used about Idris, the meaning of rafa‘a-hu Allahu ilai-hi according to the context is to raise in status by migration (hijra), not raise up to the sky.”

 

“Now let us consider whether Jesus is alive or dead. For this, the following two verses of the Quran should be examined: ‘Muhammad is only a messenger of God; many messengers before him had passed away’ (3:144); ‘The Messiah, son of Mary, is only a messenger of God; many messengers before him had passed away’ (5:75). Both verses contain the expression: ‘Messengers before him had passed away’ (qad khalat min qabli-hi-r-rusul)…if a messenger before Jesus were alive then it could be believed that a messenger before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, i.e. Jesus, was also alive. But if, according to this expression, no messenger before Jesus himself can be believed to be alive, then it should be remembered that Jesus too, as a messenger before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, according to ‘messengers before him had passed away’ is included amongst these prophets and has died. And as, by the clear testimony of the Quran and in accordance with the laws of nature, Jesus has died, neither is the view correct that he went up to the fourth heaven nor can the idea of his return arise. The following verse is also adduced to prove that Jesus is alive: Qul fa-man yamliku min Allahi shai’-an in arada an yuhlika al-masiha ibna Maryama wa umma-hu wa man fil ardi jami‘-an (5:17). Its usual translation runs: ‘Say (O Prophet): Who is it that can interfere in God’s purpose if He wishes to destroy the Messiah, his mother, and all the creatures on earth.’ If … Jesus is believed to be still alive his mother would also have to be believed to be alive because after Masih occur the words umma-hu (his mother). However, as Mary is accepted as having died in accordance with the Divine law ‘every soul must taste death’,Jesus too must be considered dead according to this law.

 

Moreover, since according to the Quranic verdict ‘Muhammad is only a messenger, messengers before him had passed away’, Jesus passed away before Holy Prophet Muhammad, i.e., he died like the other prophets, the verse under discussion must be translated according to the rule that in Arabic the past may be referred using the imperfect [i.e. present or future] tense. Remembering also that the wa (and) in umma-hu wa man fil ard (his mother and all the creatures on earth) indicates companionship, the correct significance of this verse, corresponding to the laws of nature, is this: ‘Say (O Prophet): Who is it that can interfere with God’s purpose if He wishes to destroy, along with the Messiah and his mother, all the creatures on earth.’ In this Quranic verse it is correct to take the imperfect tense as referring to the past, just as in the following verse about the history of Joseph the imperfect tense must be taken to refer to the past: ‘And thus did We give to Joseph power in the land — he had mastery (yatabawwa’u) in it wherever he liked (yasha’u)’. In this verse the two verbs yatabawwa’u and yasha’u are in the imperfect, but they cannot be translated except in the past tense. To say about the deceased Joseph that ‘he has mastery in it wherever he likes’ is absolutely wrong

 

Jesus’ death in his own words‘Did you tell people to take you and your mother as gods besides Allah’? He shall reply: ‘Certainly not! So long as I was among them I watched over them, and did not let them make any such idolatrous utterance. However, when You caused me to die, You were the watcher over them’. Here the words ‘when You caused me to die’ convey that it was after he died that his people made him and his mother gods. This topic is explained in Sura Ma’ida, verses 116 and 117. The words of the verse are: falamma tawaaffaitani kunta anta al-raqiba ‘alai-him — ‘when You caused me to die, You were the Watcher over them’. Since it is proved from the Holy Quran that Jesus and Mary were taken to be gods after the death of Jesus, it follows from this that he has died.” (Balagh al-Quran, December 1963, p. 32, published by the Idara Balagh al-Quran, Samanabad, Lahore)

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, whom Orthodox Muslims tout as a renowned 19thcentury Muslim educationist, social reformer, religious scholar and founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, wrote:

 

The Quran makes mention of Jesus’ death in four places … Firstly in Surah Al Imran, secondly in Surah Maidah, … thirdly in Surah Maryam … fourthly in Surah Nisa.’ Jesus was not killed by the Jews, either by stoning or by crucifixion but he died his natural death, and God raised him in rank and status … From the first three verses it is clear that Jesus died a natural death. However, as the Ulema of Islam had followed the Christians, in accepting that Jesus had gone up to heaven alive, before looking at the Quran, so they have tried to interpret some of the words in these verses to accord with their unsound belief (Tafsir Ahmadi by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Vol. II, p.48)

 

 Referring to the expression ‘in this’ (bihi) in, “And there is none of the People of the Book but will believe in this before his death” (4:159), generally taken to mean in him (i.e. in Jesus) Sir Syed writes: “This points to the words ‘And their saying: we have killed the Messiah’ (4:157), and to their saying, and not to the Messiah. So this means: ‘All the People of the Book, before their death, will believe that Jesus was killed’. After this it is said: ‘And on the day of Judgment he, i.e. Jesus, will be a witness against them’. The word ‘ala (against) is used to indicate loss or harm. So the meaning is that on the Day of Judgment Jesus will be a witness against their belief(Maktub Sir Syed, No. 2, p. 48)

 

The Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s 1st English language daily, reports that a question was posed by a reader from Jeddah who claims that he came across a book entitled “Deep into the Quran” by Dr. Kamal Umar, a Pakistani author, who argues that Jesus Christ (as) died a natural death.

 

“The raising (raf‘) of Jesus means that, at the time of separation, his soul was raised from the lower world to the higher world. And his being in the fourth heaven signifies that the source of his soul’s benefit is the spirituality of that sun’s sky which resembles the heart of the world, and towards that is his place of return. That spirituality is a light which illumines that heaven with its love, and the shining of the rays upon his soul is done by its stimulation. And as Jesus’ place of return is towards its real place of rest, and cannot attain its true development, his (Jesus’) descent in the latter days will be in a different body.”

(Commentary upon verse ‘God raised him to Himself’, p. 65)

 

Muhammad Hasan ibn Muhammad Abbas, mujtahid and ustad at the Madrasa Nizamiyya, Lucknow, India, wrote:

 

“The findings of authentic, established books and the Quranic commentaries of the great scholars prove the wafat of Jesus, i.e., that he died. Thus, two verses in particular provide evidence for his death: firstly, inni mutawaffi-ka wa rafi‘u-ka ilayya; and secondly, falamma tawaffaita-ni kunta anta-r-raqiba ‘alai-him. These verses are quite sufficient to prove Jesus’ death. If these do not suffice, I can write still more and give ahadith in support.”

(as quoted in Tashhiz al-Azhan, April 1921, p. 39)