Allah's Purification of the Prophet Jesus (as) of the Unbelievers

One piece of information provided about the Prophet Jesus' (as) ascension is that Allah will purify him of the unbelievers. It is revealed in the Qur'an:

… raise you up [wa raafi'uka] to Me and purify [mutahhiruka] you of those who are unbelievers. And I will place the people who follow you above those who are unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection… (Surah Al ‘Imran, 55)

The root of mutahhiruka is tahara, meaning "being clean." Islamic scholars regard this word as one proof that the Prophet Jesus (as) was raised alive to Allah. According to them, the interpretation of the verse is: "I am taking you, raising you to Me, and removing you from this environment polluted by unbelievers and sinners." (Zeki Saritoprak, Islam Inanci Acisindan Nuzul-i Isa Meselesi [The Issue of the Second Coming of the Messiah from the Perspective of Islamic Belief], Izmir: Caglayan Publishings, 1997, p. 63) Thus, Allah purified the Prophet Jesus (as) from the unbelievers, the unbelievers' plot to kill him was foiled and they failed to achieve their goal. (Allah knows the truth.)

Moreover, this verse also shows that the Prophet Jesus (as) was purified by his physical separation from an environment containing unbelievers. (Allah knows the truth.) Thus, the assertion that the Prophet Jesus (as) died and that only his soul was raised to Allah is proven false. A spirit-only ascent would mean that he was not purified.

In order for the Prophet Jesus (as) to have been purified in the manner revealed in the verse, he would have to have departed from his surrounding environment in both body and soul. Furthermore, a spirit-only purification cannot apply to a prophet with superior moral values, one who is honored in Allah's Presence and has deep faith, such as the Prophet Jesus (as). Another verse reveals his superior moral values: "Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised up again alive" (Surah Maryam, 33). As a devout believer and a Messenger of Allah, the Prophet Jesus' (as) soul is immaculate. However, his environment was not immaculate, due to the unbelievers' irreligious behavior and corrupt morality. Indeed, our Lord reveals that they were unclean because of their moral corruption:


O you who believe! The idolaters are unclean, so after this year they should not come near the Sacred Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] ... (Surat at-Tawba, 28)

Therefore, purifying the Prophet Jesus (as) means his physical removal from their presence. Thus, Allah purified and protected him by raising the Prophet Jesus (as) to Himself. (Allah knows the truth.)

The Egyptian scholar Khalil Herras offers the following explanation regarding the wisdom of the term "purification":

The purification of the Prophet Jesus (as) from the unbelievers comes about with his salvation from their wicked snares. This cannot take place with the death and burial of the Prophet Jesus (as), but only by his ascension in life to the heavens, for his foes could have inflicted torture on his body, as they did with the person they believed to be him … (Muhammed Khalil Herras, Fasl al-Maqal fi Raf`i `Isa Hayyan wa Nuzulihi wa Qatlihi ad-Dajjal, p. 66)

As Hamdi Yazar of Elmali set out in his commentary, the Prophet Jesus' (as) purification from the unbelievers is manifested by his ascent:

… and with this raising I shall purify you of the deniers and unbelievers, and you will no longer have anything to do with them… (Hamdi Yazir of Elmali, Hak Din Kuran Dili [The True Religion, the Language of the Qur’an], 2:1112-13)


2010-08-04 08:38:32

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