The Error of Those Who Maintain That The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is Dead
The Qur'an and hadith reveal that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die but was raised to Allah's Presence. The Christians also believe this; however, their belief contradicts the Qur'an. In addition, some Muslims also have the mistaken ideas that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) died and will not return. Such a claim is completely unfounded and, as our Lord states, those who make it are only guessing. Allah tells all believers not to speculate on matters of which they have no knowledge:
Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Hearing, sight, and hearts will all be questioned. (Surat al-Isra’:36)
Some people may be taken in by this erroneous belief, because they fail to fully consider what it means to make or believe such a claim. Or, they may be unaware of the responsibility that this will place on them. We do not seek to disparage such people; rather, our goal is to show them their mistake so that they will abandon it. But before they can be made to realize what a great error they are making, they need to consider just what that claim implies. In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that He confounded the unbelievers' plots against the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and that they did not kill him. It is a grave responsibility to ignore a truth revealed as clearly as in the words: "… they did not kill him and they did not crucify him" (Surat an-Nisa’:157). In essence, believing that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was killed means that the unbelievers' plot succeeded, which contradicts the Qur'an.
Some people say that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was not killed but died when his appointed hour came. That is also untrue. According to this error, Allah took the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) soul before the unbelievers could lay their hands on him, and therefore he was not killed by them. Yet the relevant verses clearly demonstrate that this is not the case. Moreover, such logic is flawed. Consider the following analogy: Three people have conspired to kill an enemy in an ambush. Let us further assume that the person in question dies of a heart attack before reaching the ambush site. In such a case, those who set the ambush will presumably rejoice in the belief that they have achieved their objective.
Alternatively, consider the case of someone who goes to an enemy's home to kill him. However, he falls to his death from the balcony rather than as the result of a punch during the fight. The fact that the person in question has died means that his antagonist has attained his objective. A similar analogy can be imagined in the case of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). The unbelievers set a trap designed to kill him. Yet Allah reveals that He foiled that trap. If the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) were to die anyway, this would mean that the unbelievers succeeded, which is not possible. Therefore, he is still alive, will come again at Allah's command, and will make religious moral values prevail over the whole world. In effect, he will die only after he has returned to Earth and lived until he reaches old age. (Allah knows the truth.)
Still other people maintain that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was saved from the unbelievers' trap but then died at an unknown time. Not only does this claim lack any logical foundation, it also raises a number of unanswered questions to which these people offer no logical explanation. Allah caused the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to disappear suddenly while he was still alive. After this, nobody saw or spoke to him ever again. This is an extraordinary situation. If, as these people maintain, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) had lived for a while longer, surely some people would have seen him or spoken to him. Yet we have no such information that such a thing actually happened. Of course, it would have been impossible for him to have lived without moving among the people, speaking to anyone, or communicating his message, for doing so was the sole reason for his creation and being sent to the Children of Israel.
As mentioned earlier, this situation is unique to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). The word tawaffaa is used only to describe his death. In addition, no other prophet was taught the three Divine books: "I taught you the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel" (Surat al-Ma’ida:110) or has been described as: "He is a Sign of the Hour" (Surat az-Zukhruf:61). Only the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised to Allah's Presence while still alive, only his followers will be superior until the Day of Judgment, and only in his case will all members of the People of the Book believe in him before he dies. All of this is an important proof that Allah has approved a very special destiny for the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), and that to fulfill his destiny the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) must be alive in His Presence and return to Earth.
Allah's confounding of the unbelievers' plot against the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and raising him while still alive, in both body and soul, to His Presence is a great miracle. Throughout history, Allah has supported the prophets with various miracles. He revealed the true book, the Qur'an, to Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) transport from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque in a single night (Surat al-Isra’:1) and his prediction that the believers would enter the Sacred Mosque in safety (Surat al-Fath:27) are some of his miracles. The way that Moses' (pbuh) staff turned into a snake and confounded the illusions of Pharaoh's magicians, the way that his hand appeared snow-white to onlookers, and the way that the Red Sea divided in front of Moses (pbuh) and his people as they were being pursued by Pharaoh and his army; the way that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) came into the world without a father, spoke to people while he was still in his cradle, raised the dead, and cured lepers; and the way that the fire was cooled when Abraham (pbuh) was cast into it are other miracles performed with Allah's approval.
The faithful believe in these miracles performed by our Lord, and these miracles increase their joy in belief. Just as one of the faithful believes in all of the prophets' miracles, including those wrought by the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), by the will of Allah, that person must also believe that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was miraculously raised to His Presence.
In addition, those who claim that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has already died have to bear in mind the loss they will suffer when the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) does return. Many of the signs regarding this event, as revealed in the Qur'an and the hadith, have already occurred. It is also great news that his second coming is at hand. That being the case, believers need to experience the excitement, enthusiasm, and joy of that event, and to compete with one another to make the best possible preparations to greet him. Therefore, those who have become caught up in this erroneous belief that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has already died need to abandon their preconceptions, listen to their consciences, and again study in detail what the Qur'an has to say. Only by doing so will they see the truth and be freed from their error.
Nevertheless, it will be useful to examine these mistaken claims once again to see their groundless nature so that those who have been taken in can acquire accurate information.
Claim 1 and Its Refutation
One so-called piece of evidence put forward by those who maintain that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has died is the expression: "… when You took me back to You [tawaffaytanee], You were the One watching over them..." in Surat al-Ma’ida:117. These people interpret tawaffaytanee as biological death. However, as discussed earlier, taking the soul does not always refer to biological death. We will give a brief summary of the preceding arguments here, as follows:
1. The term took me back is the same as that employed in Surah Al 'Imran:55. As we made clear in our analysis of this verse, the word carries different senses than the English word death. An analysis of how tawaffaa is used in the Qur'an makes this clear. We have already looked at Surat az-Zumar:42 in connection with this. Now, we will consider another verse that uses tawaffaa in the same sense:
He takes you back to Himself at night [yatawaffakum], while knowing the things you perpetrate during the day, and then wakes you up again, so that a specified term may be fulfilled. (Surat al-An'am:60)
As Allah states in this verse, He takes the souls of sleeping people. While asleep, people do not die in the normally accepted sense; the soul merely leaves the body for a different dimension for a brief period of time. If this is considered biological death, then the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) died every night of his lifetime. Moreover, this would be true of all people. Clearly, the verse is not saying this.
According to the majority view, tawaffaa is used in the sense of sleep. Therefore, the verse means: "I shall cause you to sleep." In conclusion, we can say that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was placed in a state similar to sleep, was raised to Allah's Presence while alive, and that he merely departed from this dimension. (Allah knows the truth.)
The contemporary Islamic scholar Muhammad Khalil Herras made the following comment:
Similarly, in commenting on on Surat al-Ma’ida:117, Hamdi Yazir of Elmali draws attention to the use of mutawaffeeka in Surah Al 'Imran:55 and says that the word is used in the same sense in both verses. Hamdi Yazir of Elmali gives the following exposition in his commentary:
In other words, the expression "You took me back" refers not to his biological death; rather, it indicates that he was raised to Allah's Presence in a state resembling sleep and thereby removed from this dimension. (Allah knows the truth.)
2.Some people misinterpret the tidings given in Surat al-Ma’ida:116-117 and, as a result, fall into a number of errors. However, when these verses are examined in the light of the following verses and the interpretations of Islamic scholars, the errors of such people are exposed. For example;
And when Allah asks: "Jesus son of Maryam. Did you say to people: 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" he will reply: "Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to say! If I had said it, then You would have known it. You know what is in my self, but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things." (Surat al-Ma’ida:116)
The people in question claim that this question posed by Allah reveals that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) died. However, the expression revealed here deals with our Lord speaking to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) on the Day of Judgment. When the verses following this one are examined, this becomes quite clear:
[Jesus will say:] "I said to them nothing but what You ordered me to say: 'Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness against them as long as I remained among them. But when You took me back to You, You were the One watching over them. You are Witness of all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants. If you forgive them, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise." Allah will say: "This is the Day when the sincerity of the sincere will benefit them. They will have gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. That is the great victory." (Surat al-Ma’ida:117-119)
Moreover, the Qur'an contains other information about the Day of Judgment. Abu Lahab is one example of those told by our Lord, while he was still alive, that he would go to Hell:
Ruin to the hands of Abu Lahab and ruin to him! His wealth has not helped him, nor anything he has earned. He will burn in a Flaming Fire. And so will his wife, the firewood-carrier, with a rope of twisted fiber round her neck. (Surat al-Masad:1-5)
Similarly, Allah reveals in the Qur'an that He, Himself calls people to account on the Day of Judgment and that the guardians of Hell speak with those who have earned suffering for themselves:
O company of jinn and human beings! Did not messengers come to you from among yourselves, relating My signs to you and warning you of the encounter of this day? They will say: "We testify against ourselves." The life of this world deluded them, and they will testify against themselves that they were unbelievers. (Surat al-An'am:130)
Those who do not believe will be driven to Hell in companies. When they arrive there and its gates are opened, its custodians will ask them: "Did messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord's signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this day?" They will reply: "Indeed they did." But the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the unbelievers. (Surat az-Zumar:71)
As we have seen, Allah gives examples of conversations carried out in the Hereafter. The conversation with the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will take place with our Lord in the Hereafter, after he has come to Earth for a second time and then died.
Christians have fallen into serious error by deifying the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). (Allah is surely beyond that.) Those who adhere to this error will have to give an account in Allah's Presence on the Day of Judgment. According to the Qur'an, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will bear witness that they turned away from the true religion, because, like all other prophets, he called his society to believe in Allah as the one and only and to serve only Him. Surat al-Ma’ida:119 says that this event will occur in the Hereafter, which means that it refers to the Day of Judgment, as revealed in the above verses. The sentence "This is the day when the sincerity of the sincere will benefit them" indicates this.
In conclusion, this conversation refers to the future, not the past. In addition, there is no indication given in the verse "when You took me back to You" that can be interpreted in such a way to support the mistaken claim that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) died in the past. Thus, this verse cannot be used as evidence that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has already died.
As stated earlier, the great majority of Islamic scholars agree that these verses refer to the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension to Allah's Presence. For instance, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi said that the verse means "Jesus' (pbuh) raising to the sky."82 Similarly, Ibn Kathir said that this does not point to his death, but describes a conversation that will take place on the Day of Judgment. He also said that the word in the familiar sense of (biological) death is not used in the verse.83 In his book Mawqif al-'Aql, Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri analysed the verse in the following terms: "You took and raised me from among them, and put an end to my relationship with Earth." He then continued: "This is taking by raising to His Presence; it is not killing." Such modern commentators as Hasan Basri Cantay, Omer Nasuhi Bilmen, and al-Sabuni have said that "You took me back to You" means "You raised me from among them to the heavens."84
Claim 2 and Its Refutation
As stated earlier, the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension to Allah's Presence is an important piece of evidence that he never died. People who misunderstand this truth, however, have sought to interpret his ascension in terms of the concepts of time and space, which apply to us. As a result, they assert that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is present in the sky in physical form, which then leads them to deny his ascension to Allah's Presence. But this is a most mistaken view. First and foremost, the intention behind raising the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to His Presence was not so that he could live physically in the heavens, but to take him to a separate dimension, one independent of time and space. (Allah knows the truth.)
Human beings inhabit a dimension bounded by time and space and can only perceive and understand events within that dimension, as far as Allah permits and in the manner desired by Him. However, many verses reveal that there are other dimensions of which we know nothing, such as that inhabited by angels and jinns. With our Lord's approval, angels and jinns can cross from their own dimension to ours. An examination of the relevant verses will clarify this matter for us.
1. Allah is the Lord of the Worlds
One of Allah's names is "Lord of the worlds." This indicates the existence of worlds other than the one known to and inhabited by human beings. (Allah knows the truth.) Allah is the Creator and Lord of all worlds, even of those that are both known and unknown to us and that we can and cannot perceive. This name appears in various verses, some of which are presented below:
[Noah said:] "I do not ask you for any wage for it. My wage is the responsibility of no one but the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat Ash-Shu'ara’:109)
Truly, it is revelation sent down by the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat Ash-Shu'ara’:192)
But when he [Moses] reached it, a voice called out to him: "Blessed be him who is in the Fire and all who are around it. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds!" (Surat an-Naml:8)
But when he reached it, a voice called out to him from the right-hand side of the valley in the part that was full of blessing, from out of the bush: "Moses, I am Allah, the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat al-Qasas:30)
The revelation of the Book, in which there is no doubt, is from the Lord of the worlds. (Surat as-Sajda:2)
You will see the angels circling round the Throne, glorifying their Lord with praise. It will be decided between them with truth. And it will be said: "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat az-Zumar:75)
2. Martyrs Inhabit a Dimension Unknown to Human Beings
Other verses that point to the existence of dimensions are those that reveal the rank and position of martyrs. For example:
Do not say that those who are killed in the way of Allah are dead. On the contrary, they are alive, but you are not aware of it. (Surat al-Baqara:154)
In other words, even though martyrs appear to have died in the biological sense, He states that they are alive, but that we cannot fully understand their true situation. The expression "they are alive, but you are not aware of it" indicates that people have no knowledge of this subject and cannot understand it, for they are only familiar with the conditions of this world. (Allah knows the truth.) Other verses reveal that martyrs live in the manner appointed for them by Allah in a very different dimension, one in which there is no time and space:
Do not suppose that those killed in the way of Allah are dead. No indeed! They are alive and well provided for in the very Presence of their Lord, delighting in the favor Allah has bestowed on them, rejoicing over those they left behind who have not yet joined them, feeling no fear and knowing no sorrow, rejoicing in blessings and favor from Allah, and that Allah does not let the wage of the believers go to waste. (Surah Al 'Imran:169-171)
In this dimension, martyrs are sustained, feel joy, and wish to give glad tidings to those who come later. Those who feel unnecessary doubts and concerns about the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) being raised to Allah's Presence because they fail to understand the essence of this event should, necessarily, also doubt the existence of this dimension. Yet there is no evidence to provoke such doubt. On the other hand, there is a clear proof that, just like martyrs, angels, and jinns, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) inhabits a dimension about which we know nothing, and that he will return to Earth when Allah wills. Allah raised the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to His Presence, and, when the time established by Allah comes, he will return to this dimension, which is bound by time and space.
3. Angels Descend to Earth and Ascend to Allah's Presence
Belief in angels is one of Islam's fundamental tenets of faith. The Qur'an contains some information about these entities: They constantly praise and glorify Allah, do what He tells them to do perfectly and fully, have sincerely submitted to Him, and inhabit a dimension that is not bound by time and space. As regards this last point, consider the following verses:
[This punishment is] From Allah – the Lord of the Ascending Steps. The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years. (Surat al-Ma'arij:3-4)
The expression "a day whose length is fifty thousand years" shows that angels are not bound by the human concept of time. Furthermore, it is a proof that there is a life beyond this concept, one that does not resemble the life in this world and is not bound by the concepts of time or space. It is very possible that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is living in such a dimension. (Allah knows the truth.)
The fact that Allah sends angels to Earth to perform specific tasks shows that there is a transition between the human and other dimensions. Some of their tasks are to transmit Allah's revelations to human beings and to help and support believers:
And when you asked the believers: "Is it not enough for you that your Lord reinforced you with three thousand angels, sent down?" (Surah Al 'Imran:124)
He sends down angels, as He wills, with the Spirit of His command to any of His servants: "Give warning that there is no deity but Me, so have fear of [and respect] Me!" (Surat an-Nahl:2)
Another verse reveals that angels can descend to Earth to carry out various duties approved by Allah:
In it, the angels and the Spirit descend by their Lord's authority with every ordinance. (Surat al-Qadr:4)
In addition, angels were sent as messengers to the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the Prophet Lot (pbuh) to inform them that their peoples would be punished; that they came to Zechariah with the glad tidings of a child; and that they came to Maryam, telling her that Allah had chosen her and that she would bear a son named Jesus. The revelation of the Qur'an to our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) by means of the angel Gabriel, as well as our Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) seeing him, is revealed as follows:
[The Qur'an is] taught him by one immensely strong, possessing power and splendor. He stood there stationary – there on the highest horizon. Then he drew near and hung suspended. He was two bow-lengths away or even closer. Then He revealed to His servant what He revealed. His heart did not lie about what he saw. What! Do you dispute with him about what he saw? He saw him again another time by the Lote-tree of the Final Limit, beside which is the Garden of Refuge, when that which covered the Lote-tree covered it. His eye did not waver nor did he look away. He saw some of the greatest signs of his Lord. (Surat adh-Dhariyat:5-18)
When the angels return to His Presence, this does not mean that they cease to exist, in the terms that apply in this world. They merely move to another dimension and continue living beyond our understanding. Similarly, the fact that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised to Allah's Presence does not mean that he has died. Many verses and hadith confirm the truth of this interpretation. The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is alive in a dimension that surpasses our understanding. Moreover, the fact that angels cross between two dimensions, as Allah wills, shows that this transition is very easy when our Lord so wills. When the time set forth by Allah comes, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth and call people to religious moral values as the messenger of Allah.
All of this evidence indicates that those people who deny that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is still alive and will return fail to appreciate Allah's power and might. Given that Allah, the All-Mighty and All-Powerful, is sovereign over all things, He creates as He wills and has infinite knowledge, whereas all human knowledge is limited to that which Allah permits humanity to have. A human being can only comprehend an event, how it takes place and the wisdom behind it, to the extent permitted by Allah. The fact that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was purified of the unbelievers and raised to Allah's Presence may be one of those events that people cannot fully comprehend. A great miracle took place when the unbelievers came to kill the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Miracles are marvels that strengthen the believers' faith and cause some unbelievers to turn to faith. After they see a miracle, believers turn to Allah and appreciate His infinite might. Their awed respect and sincere love for Allah is reinforced, and their enthusiasm and excitement grow. The way that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was protected from the unbelievers' traps and departed from this dimension in both body and soul is one of these miracles. When the time appointed by Allah comes, another great miracle will take place: the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth. This fact has been imparted in verses and hadith, and is a marvel that all believers need to ponder.
Other Indicative Accounts in the Qur'an
As stated at the beginning, one of the most serious errors made by those who reject the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension is their failure to realize that Allah is not bound by time and space. In fact, there are dimensions, all of which He created, that are unknown and unperceived by humanity. This fact can help us understand the proofs presented for this miraculous event. As stated in the Qur'an:
What are they waiting for, but for Allah to come to them in the shadows of the clouds, together with the angels, in which case the matter will have been settled? All matters return to Allah. (Surat al-Baqara:210)
Allah reveals in another verse that all matters "ascend to" Himself during "a day whose length is a thousand years," according to the human comprehension of time:
He directs the whole affair from heaven to Earth. Then it will again ascend to Him on a Day whose length is a thousand years by the way you measure. (Surat as-Sajda:5)
The fact that "Allah directs the whole affair" is a proof that He is unbound by space and time. Allah knows everything that happens in the universe, down to the tiniest detail. Nothing can be hidden from our Lord, neither an action performed openly nor one believed to have been carried out in secret. This is indicated in the expression that all matters "ascend to Allah."
Another verse describes the position of the believers who made the hijrah (migration) with Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and reveals:
… If anyone leaves his home, migrating to Allah and His messenger, and death catches up with him, Allah will reward him... (Surat an-Nisa’:100)
The phrase "migrating to Allah" indicates that our Lord is not bound by space. These believers left their homes and migrated, together with Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), because of the unbelievers' oppression. They did not, of course, migrate to Allah in the sense bounded by time and space in which we think. Rather, this verse reveals that they left their homes in the hope of Allah's mercy and compassion, and migrated to a new home in obedience to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Abraham's (pbuh) words: "I am going towards my Lord; He will be my guide" (Surat as-Saffat:99), indicates his own migration.
In the same way, the Qur'an refers to people being restored to life, after being put into a state resembling sleep or killed, in a manner outside the familiar concepts of time, sleep, and death. One of these is a reference to someone who was resurrected after being left for dead for hundreds of years. Another refers to the people of al-Kahf (the Companions of the Cave), who were awoken after long years of sleep.
The Man Raised to Life after a Hundred Years
Allah reveals in the Qur'an the following information about them:
Or the one who passed by a town which had fallen into ruin? He asked: "How can Allah restore this to life, when it has died?" Allah caused him to die for a hundred years then brought him back to life. Then He asked: "How long have you been here?" The man replied: "I have been here a day or part of a day." He said: "Not so! You have been here for a hundred years. Look at your food and drink – it has not gone bad – and look at your donkey, so We can make you a sign for all humanity. Look at the bones – how We raise them up and clothe them with flesh." When it had become clear to him, he said: "Now I know that Allah has power over all things." (Surat al-Kahf:10-11)
Allah creates whatsoever He wills, in any manner that He wills, and has dominion over all that exists. Unbound by the concepts of time and space, our Lord can remove people from these concepts whenever He wills and cause them to experience extraordinary events. This is a very easy matter for Allah, for only humanity – not Allah – is bound by time and space. But our Lord, Who is unbounded by anything and is perfect in all respects, creates and makes something happen by saying: "Be!" This is revealed in the following verses:
Our Word to a thing when We will it is just to say to it "Be!" and it is. (Surat al-Kahf:18-19)
He gives life and death. When He decides upon an affair, He says to it "Be!" and it is. (Surah Ghafir:68)
… the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it "Be!" and it is. (Surat al-Baqara:117)
Waking the Companions of the Cave after Many Years
Another example is the Qur'anic account of the Companions of the Cave, a group of young people who sought protection from their oppressive ruler who opposed religious moral values. Allah reveals in the Qur'an the following information about them:
When the young men took refuge in the cave and said: "Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation." So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years. (Surat al-Kahf:10-11)
You would have supposed them to be awake, whereas, in fact, they were asleep. We moved them to the right and to the left, and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you would have turned from them and run, filled with terror at the sight of them. That was the situation when we woke them up so they could question one another. One of them asked: "How long have you been here?" They replied: "We have been here for a day or part of a day." They said: "Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so that he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat. But he should go about with caution, so that no one is aware of you." (Surat al-Kahf:18-19)
Allah does not reveal in the Qur'an how long these young people remained in the cave, although the term "for a number of years" reveals that the period they spent there was not a short one. (Allah knows the truth.) Moreover, Allah reveals in the Qur'an that people estimated that they spent 309 years in the cave. This is another sign that their sleep lasted for quite a while:
They stayed in their cave for three hundred years and added nine. Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed. The unseen of the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. How perfectly He sees, how well He hears! They have no protector apart from Him. Nor does He share His rule with anyone." (Surat al-Kahf:25-26)
Under normal terrestrial conditions, people obviously cannot sleep for such a long period. This sleep, therefore, may not be the type of sleep with which we are familiar. Perhaps they were taken into another dimension, one in which time and space do not apply, and were later sent back to Earth. (Allah knows the truth.)
Just like people waking up from sleep, these people also returned to life. In a similar way, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return to life when he comes back to Earth and, after fulfilling the honorable responsibility imposed on him by Allah, and, as a requirement of the verse; He said: "On it [Earth] you will live and on it die, and from it you will be brought forth," (Surat al-A'raf:25) he will die on Earth, like every other human being. (Allah knows the truth.)
Claim 3 and Its Refutation
Another claim made by those who do not believe in the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is based on Surat al-Anbiya’:34-35. These read as follows:
We did not give any human being before you immortality. And if you die, will they then be immortal? Every self will taste death. We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us. (Surat al-Anbiya’:34-35)
Some people cite these verses as proof that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is dead. However, by doing so they ignore the many clear verses and hadith that proclaim that Allah protected and rescued the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) from the unbelievers' traps. The great majority of Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation. Moreover, the fact that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die and was raised to Allah's Presence does not mean that he is immortal. Furthermore, such a mistaken idea is never proposed when dealing with his second coming. All of the evidence focuses on the facts that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has not died yet, that he will return to Earth, and that his death will take place after that. (Allah knows the truth.)
These deluded people may make such a claim because they have not fully examined or understood the clear evidence that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is not dead. As revealed in: "He is only a servant on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the Children of Israel" (Surat az-Zukhruf:59), the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is a mortal servant created by Allah, just like everyone else. However, some Christians mistakenly deified him (Allah is surely beyond that) because of the many blessings and miracles that our Lord bestowed upon him. Muslims have a deep love and respect for the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), just as they do for all of Allah's prophets. But they are also fully aware that just like all the other messengers, he is no more than a servant created by Allah:
The Messiah, the son of Maryam, was only a messenger, before whom other messengers came and went. His mother was a woman of truth. Both of them ate food. See how We make the signs clear to them. Then see how they have gone astray. (Surat al-Ma’ida:75)
Claim 4 and Its Refutation
Some people suggest that because Christians believe that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and that he will return to Earth, Muslims should not believe such mistaken claims. However, their logic is seriously flawed.
First, it needs to be made clear that Judaism and Christianity were corrupted over the course of time, and that superstitions and errors entered into them. In addition, a close examination of the Torah and the Gospel reveals that a number of beliefs and moral values belonging to the true religion have been preserved. In addition, both books have several aspects in common with the Qur'an. Thus, we can establish which beliefs have been corrupted and which are compatible with the true religion by taking the Qur'an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as our guides.
The Qur'an, the last Divine book revealed by Allah, turned people toward the true path and away from their misguided beliefs. In fact, the Qur'an enabled the Christians and the Jews, who had become divided from each other before its revelation, were given true and Divine information on these subjects. Allah reveals this truth in several verses, as follows:
We have only sent down the Book to you so that you can make clear to them the things about which they differ, and as a guidance and a mercy to people who believe. (Surat an-Nahl:64)
O People of the Book! Our messenger has come to you, making clear to you much of the Book that you have kept concealed, and passing over a lot. A Light has come to you from Allah, and a Clear Book. (Surat al-Ma’ida:15)
The Qur'an describes, in some detail, the lives of Moses (pbuh) and the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), the lives of their followers, their moral values, how Muslims look at Jews and Christians, what their attitudes toward them should be, and other such matters. One piece of information is which Christian and Jewish beliefs and laws have become corrupted. Heading this list is the Christian belief that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is Allah's son. (Allah is surely beyond that.) Based upon this mistaken belief, they have sought to deify the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). (Allah is surely beyond that.) The belief in the trinity is another fundamental, but distorted, Christian belief. Allah reveals that Christians have assumed a major responsibility because they allowed such distortions to enter their religion:
The Jews say: "Ezra is the son of Allah," and the Christians say: "The Messiah is the son of Allah." That is what they say with their mouths, copying the words of those who did not believe before. Allah fight them! How corrupted they are! (Surat at-Tawba:30)
O People of the Book! Do not go to excess in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about Allah. The Messiah, Jesus son of Maryam, was only the messenger of Allah and His Word, which He cast into Maryam, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. Do not say: "Three." It is better that you stop. Allah is only One Allah. He is too glorious to have a son. Everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. Allah suffices as a Guardian. (Surat an-Nisa’:171)
Those who say: "Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam" are unbelievers. Say: "Who possesses any power at all over Allah if He wills to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam, and his mother, and everyone else on Earth?" The kingdom of the heavens and Earth, and everything between them, belongs to Allah. He creates whatever He wills. Allah has power over all things. (Surat al-Ma’ida:17)
Another verse reveals the scale of the responsibility assumed by Christians for developing corrupt beliefs:
They say: "The All-Merciful has a son." They have devised a monstrous thing. The heavens are all but rent apart, and Earth split open and the mountains brought crashing down, at their ascription of a son to the All-Merciful! It is not fitting for the All-Merciful to have a son. (Surah Maryam:88-92)
On the other hand, Judaism and Christianity have preserved such basic items of faith as belief in the Day of Judgment, the prophets and angels, and various values (e.g., honesty, helping others, being patient and altruistic, protecting and feeding the needy, ensuring justice, speaking fair words, and being modest and peace-loving). These items are found in all Divine religions. Some of the virtues of the People of the Book who sincerely believe in Allah are revealed, as follows:
They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah's signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. Allah knows those who guard against evil. (Surah Al 'Imran:113-115)
The Christian belief that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and will return is fully present in the Qur'an, which also reveals which aspects of Christianity are superstitious and which are Divine. Christians make several errors with regard to the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension, due to such corrupt beliefs as the trinity and the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) so-called status as Allah's son (Allah is surely beyond that). In addition, their beliefs that he died to atone for the sins of all humanity and that he ascended to Allah's Presence after dying on the Cross are incompatible with the true religion. Allah reveals in the Qur'an that nobody can atone for the sins of another, for every individual's deeds are his or hers alone. Every person will be called to account on the Day of Judgment alone, and nobody will be able to help anyone else, unless Allah wills it. This is revealed in the following verse:
Whoever is guided is only guided to his own good. Whoever is misguided is only misguided to his detriment. No burden-bearer can bear another's burden. We never punish until We have sent a messenger. (Surat al-Isra’:15)
The Prophet Jesus (pbuh), one of Allah's prophets and messengers, called his people to a great truth: "Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path" (Surah Al 'Imran:51). In other words, he called upon them to serve Allah alone and to live the kind of lives that would meet with His good approval and warned them against the sufferings of the Day of Judgment. Like all other people, he could only do what Allah willed him to do. As revealed in the verse that reports Abraham's (pbuh) prayer, Allah "gives me food and gives me drink; and when I am ill, He heals me; He will cause my death, then give me life; He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning" (Surat ash-Shu'ara’:79-82). Christians, on the other hand, make a grave error by saying that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was crucified to atone for the sins of all humanity.
However, the Qur'an confirms their belief in the second coming. If they had corrupted this belief, there is no doubt that the Qur'an would have rectified this mistake, just as it rectifies all of the corrupted beliefs and concepts that have entered Christianity with respect to this great prophet (pbuh). In conclusion, the unbelievers did not kill the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), for Allah raised him to His Presence. Both Christians and Muslims are waiting for his return. Until that time, he continues to live in a dimension that is unbounded by time and space and the nature of which is known only to our Lord.
Claim 5 and Its Refutation
One of the claims made by those who are unwilling to accept the second coming is that "Believing in Jesus' (pbuh) return means accepting Christianity."
This error is the product of mistaken and distorted logic. The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is a praised, selected, and unique prophet in Allah's Presence. His superior moral values and deep faith are remembered with respect by all believers, who have adopted him as a role model. Praising his moral values, feeling intense excitement at his impending return, and telling all believers of these glad tidings are examples of a proper attitude. Making irrational and illogical excuses, such as the one given above, is unacceptable.
According to this distorted logic, nothing regarding Christianity should ever be mentioned or discussed. In the same way, Moses' (pbuh) correct moral values and exemplary life should never be described, on the grounds that this would mean supporting the Jews. Many Qur'anic verses praise the Prophets Jesus, Moses, Joseph, Abraham, and Jacob (peace be upon them all), as well as their deep faith. Yet according to this mistaken logic, these verses should never be read. These excuses are clearly unacceptable. As we made clear earlier, the People of the Book have several corrupted beliefs and practices that are incompatible with the true religion. These are revealed in the Qur'an, as is the fact that followers of both religions have good and pleasing aspects and beliefs that are compatible with the true religion. Our responsibility is to consider the People of the Book in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and to distinguish between truth and error with the information that we obtain from these sources.
In addition, we must remember that Muslims make no distinction among the prophets and that they hold these people in great respect: "We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us; what was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes; what Moses and Jesus were given; and what all the prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him" (Surat al-Baqara:136). The fact that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth before the Day of Judgment is not a subject that believers should refrain from discussing on the grounds of irrational and illogical pretexts. On the contrary, it is a glad tiding that should be constantly borne in mind with great enthusiasm, passion, and joy.
Another fact reveals these people's error: When the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) returns, he will rule with the Qur'an. Like all of the other prophets, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is a follower of Islam, the true and Divine religion in Allah's Presence. Allah reveals in the Qur'an these facts in the following verses:
The religion with Allah is Islam. (Surah Al 'Imran:19)
He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined upon Noah: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it." What you call the idolaters to follow is very hard for them. Allah chooses for Himself anyone He wills and guides to Himself those who turn to Him. (Surat ash-Shura:13
When the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) returns to Earth, he will eliminate the distorted beliefs of the People of the Book, call people to Islam, and rule with the Qur'an and the Sunnah. These glad tidings are reported in the hadith:
He will lead you according to the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your messenger.85
By the One in Whose hand is my self, definitely the son of Maryam will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will break the cross [annul the worship of the cross], kill the pig [inform that eating pork is forbidden], and abolish the jizya [a head tax on free non-Muslims living under Muslim rule].86
Claim 6 and Its Refutation
Another claim is that "The return of Jesus (pbuh) would eliminate the element of testing." According to this totally groundless claim, those who witness the rising of someone who died thousands of years ago and who have doubts about the resurrection will come to have faith. Therefore, there will no longer be any need for testing people.
This interpretation also lacks any logical foundation. First, as stated before, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die but is still alive in Allah's Presence. Moreover, not everyone will immediately accept this event, as the people in question maintain. At first, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will be met with skepticism, especially from those who do not live by true religious moral values or those who have weak faith. After the second coming, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will wage a great intellectual struggle against all atheistic systems and ideologies, and return the religion to its pure form by eliminating all of its corrupted elements and beliefs. At the end of this struggle, the true religious moral values will rule the world. Indeed, the great Islamic scholar Said Nursi showed that the great majority of people will greet the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) with skepticism, but that sincere believers will recognize him by the light of his faith and immediately obey him:
Allah, the All-Wise and the Generous, Who every time sends angels to Earth from heavens; sometimes renders them in the form of a human being (as in the case of Gabriel, who appeared in the form of Dihya [one of the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) followers]; sends spirits from the universe of spirits, making them appear in the form of human beings; and Who even sends the spirits of the dead saints in their former bodies to Earth, sends Jesus (pbuh) (whose body is in the heavenly world and is alive) to Earth, even if he had really died and gone to the remotest edge of the life of the Hereafter, making him wrapped in a body, for the safe occurrence of the most important issue of the religion of Jesus (pbuh) … Out of His Divine purpose, He promised, and because He promised, He will surely send. When Jesus (pbuh) comes, not necessarily everyone will know that he is really Jesus (pbuh). Those who are close to him and those with profound faith will recognize him, thanks to the light of their faith. Otherwise, not everyone will clearly recognize him.87
As this great teacher reported, when the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) returns, not everyone will recognize and believe in him. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that most of the prophets sent throughout history performed miracles by Allah's will in order to call people to faith. However, a great many people still refused to believe, despite these miracles. On the contrary, they became arrogant and persisted in their unbelief, as did Pharaoh and his court, who refused to believe, despite the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) miracles (e.g., turning his staff into a snake, and his hand becoming as white as snow) by Allah’s grace. The people's response to these miracles is revealed in the following terms:
They said: "No matter what kind of sign you bring us to bewitch us, we will not believe in you." So We sent down upon them floods, locusts, lice, frogs, and blood, signs, clear and distinct, but they proved arrogant and were an evil-doing people. (Surat al-A'raf:132-133)
Allah also reveals that, unless He wills otherwise, those who refuse to believe will not change their minds even if they witness great miracles:
Even if We sent down angels to them, the dead spoke to them, and We gathered together everything in front of them right before their eyes, they would still not believe unless Allah willed. The truth is that most of them are ignorant. (Surat al-An'am:111)
Therefore, regardless of the miracle performed, humanity's environment of testing will never be eliminated. The Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming will be a means through which sincere believers will be distinguished from those who do not believe. With the reason, clear-sightedness, and foresight imparted by faith, sincere believers will recognize the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), obey him wholeheartedly, and support and protect him. Unbelievers or those with weak faith will remain skeptical and doubtful. (Allah knows the truth.) However, their groundless doubts and skepticism will not alter the facts, for Allah's promise of the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return to Earth will be fulfilled, regardless of anyone's plan to prevent this great miracle.
Claim 7 and Its Refutation
Another claim made by those who believe that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is dead is that the Qur'an reveals that Prophet Idris (pbuh) was also "raised up." According to this claim, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), just like the Prophet Enoch (pbuh), was only "raised up" in the sense of station or rank. When the relevant verses are examined in detail, however, this deduction is shown to be inaccurate. The relevant verses are given below:
Mention Idris in the Book. He was a true man and a prophet. We raised him up to a high place. (Surah Maryam:56-57)
… [I will] raise you [Jesus] up to Me and purify you of those who are unbelievers. And I will place the people who follow you above those who do not believe until the Day of Resurrection… (Surah Al 'Imran:55)
And [on account of] their saying: "We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Maryam, messenger of Allah." They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them... Allah raised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nisa’:157-158)
Clearly, there is a great difference between these two states. Since the other prophets' superior moral values and faith are praised in the preceding verses, as is the case with Idris (pbuh), it is revealed that he has been raised in station. However, the verses that precede the one mentioning the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension discuss the unbelievers' plot against him and how Allah protected him by raising him, body and soul, into another dimension unbounded by space and time. Thus, Idris (pbuh) was raised in station, whereas the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was physically removed from this dimension and raised to Allah's Presence. (Allah knows the truth.)
Claim 8 and Its Refutation
Another unfounded assertion made by some people is that "Since Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the last prophet, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will not return." This has no basis in fact. First, it needs to be made clear that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is "the messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the prophets" (Surat al-Ahzab:40). The fact that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth does not, as some people maintain, change that fact. The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will return not as a prophet, but as a messenger who will maintain the law of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and cause religious moral values to prevail worldwide.
Other people put forward another irrational and illogical claim: "If Jesus (pbuh) is not to return as a prophet, then his coming will have no meaning." This violates both reason and conscience. Our Lord has promised this event, behind which He has placed great wisdom. Throughout history, Allah has shown people the true path through the prophets that He has sent to them. Sometimes, during periods when people had turned away from religious moral values and degeneracy had become widespread, He removed people from the darkness of their errors by sending them messengers. These messengers are people sent by Allah as rulers, who have led people to salvation. Indeed, Allah reveals in the Qur'an that people suffering woes and difficulties have prayed to Allah to send them a savior and protector:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah – for those men, women, and children who are oppressed and exclaim: "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!" (Surat an-Nisa’:75)
Of course, Allah answered these prayers and sent them a savior from His Presence, which is a very great blessing. The accounts of Saul (pbuh) and Dhu'l Qarnayn (pbuh) constitute important evidence that Allah has sent messengers as well as prophets to various peoples. Allah sent Saul (pbuh) to his society as a ruler, and the believers had to obey him. Saul (pbuh) and those around him fought against Goliath, the unbelievers' leader. Sincere believers devoted themselves to Saul (pbuh) and obeyed him, while the skeptics could neither understand that Saul (pbuh) had been sent to them as a messenger nor the wisdom in complying with his commands. The ignorant reaction of such people is given in the Qur'an:
Their prophet said to them: "Allah has appointed Saul to be your king." They replied: "How can he have kingship over us when we have much more right to kingship than he does? He does not even possess great wealth!" He said: "Allah has chosen him over you and favored him greatly in knowledge and physical strength. Allah gives kingship to anyone He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing." (Surat al-Baqara:247)
Similarly, Dhu'l Qarnayn (pbuh) was sent as a messenger to his society in order to rescue its members from the difficulties into which they had fallen, and to enable religious moral values to prevail. Allah revealed in the Qur'an that He made this man a sound ruler:
They will ask you about Dhu'l-Qarnayn. Say: "I will tell you something about him." We gave him power and authority in the land and granted him a way to everything. (Surat al-Kahf:83-84)
In our own time, people are living in a world of moral collapse, poverty, and cruelty in which injustice prevails. When the time stipulated by Allah comes, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will be sent back to Earth to enable religious moral values to prevail and lead people from the darkness into the light. With the second coming, atheistic ideologies, which form the basis of cruelty and degeneration, will be entirely eliminated on the intellectual level. And then, by the will of Allah, the peace, security, and abundance for which people are longing will come to prevail.
Claim 9 and Its Refutation
Other people with baseless doubts about the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) exact status and return ask: "Why is Jesus (pbuh) being sent to cause religious moral values to prevail, and not the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)?" Taking these concerns as a pretext, they then raise all sorts of objections.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is an honored and trustworthy messenger in Allah's Sight. Allah revealed His last Book to this great man, who is a role model of abiding by proper moral values, godliness and closeness to Allah, a friend of Allah, and one superior in His Sight. He is also the friend, and protector of all believers. Throughout his life, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) waged an exemplary struggle in the path of Allah and enlightened Arabia, which was buried in spiritual darkness and ignorance, with Islamic moral values. When the time appointed by Allah came to an end, his life, like that of many other prophets, came to an end.
However, Allah ordained a different destiny for the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and promised him that he would return to Earth. This is our Lord's discretion, and surely there is great wisdom behind it. One element of that wisdom (Allah knows the truth) is that only such a miracle will enable Christians and Jews to rescue themselves from the situation in which they find themselves. Christians have many superstitions and distorted dogmas, which the Muslims do not have, such as deifying the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) (Allah is surely beyond that). Thus, the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is of great importance, for it will enable Christianity to rid itself of such distorted beliefs and turn to the true religious moral values of Islam. Although some Christians abide by the true path once they have seen it, others regard this as a betrayal of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and so avoid living by true religious moral values. The fact is, however, that the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return and spreading of the message of the true religious moral values among people will make it easier for these people to turn to Islam in a more rapid fashion. When their own prophet tells them that some of their beliefs (e.g., the trinity and the Prophet Jesus' [pbuh] atonement for humanity's sins) are mistaken, that Allah is the only deity and that the Qur'an really is Allah's final revelation to humanity, Christians will sit up and listen to him. This event will free them from ascribing partners to Allah and other corrupt beliefs, and they will enter Islam in great waves.
Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian. but a man of pure natural belief – a Muslim. He was not one of the mushriku.(Surah Al ‘Imran, 67)
Remember that Allah has promised the believers that religious moral values will prevail on Earth. However, this will happen only if believers totally avoid all forms of polytheism, whether direct or indirect, turn only to Allah, and worship only Him. By the will of Allah, the second coming will represent the start of this auspicious time.
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors; will firmly establish for them their religion, with which He is pleased; and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur:55)
Claim 10 and Its Refutation
Yet another claim is a great deception: "Waiting for Jesus (pbuh) will lead the faithful into idleness." This claim is unacceptable to both reason and conscience. Throughout history, people have sought saviors from Allah at times when immorality was widespread and cruelty and injustice were on the increase. They prayed to Allah to send them a messenger to lead them out of the darkness and into the light. When Allah answers their prayers and sends messengers, sincere believers support and defend them:
Those who believe in him, honor and help him, and follow the Light that has been sent down with him, they are the ones who are successful. (Surat al-A'raf:157)
In fact, Allah's sending of a messenger represents a major source of enthusiasm for true believers, for they know that they need to make the best and finest preparations in order to prepare the environment for him. People exert great effort to prepare themselves and their environments, based upon their joy and love of belief, for this great event. Idleness and apathy, on the other hand, are characteristics of hypocrites and people of weak faith. Those whose faith is weak do not fully believe in the messenger's coming, and when that individual comes, they do not obey him sincerely. History shows many examples of this. For example, the mental state of such people in previous societies is revealed in the following verse:
They swore by Allah with their most earnest oaths that if a warner came to them, they would be better guided than any other community. But then when a warner came to them, it only increased their aversion. (Surah Fatir:42)
Allah states in the Qur'an that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) himself gave the glad tidings that a prophet would come after him – after he had been raised to His Presence. This represented great news, both in the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) own time and for those believers who came after. Allah states in this verse:
And when Jesus son of Maryam said: "O Children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allah to you, confirming the Torah that came before me and giving you the good news of a messenger after me, whose name is Ahmad." When he brought them the clear signs, they said: "This is downright magic." (Surat as-Saff:6)
If any of these claims were true, then Allah would not have revealed by means of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) that He would be sending another messenger at a later date. Alternatively, this revelation should have encouraged the people living at the time to engage in idleness and apathy. However, there is great wisdom in our Lord's giving glad tidings to people by means of a messenger, and, with Allah's permission, true believers will never be idle or apathetic. Believers have deep understanding and reason, both of which stem from faith. Therefore, they comprehend the importance of a messenger's tidings, experience the excitement and enthusiasm of those tidings, and act in the awareness of the need to prepare themselves as much as possible for this great event.
Say: ‘Allah’s is the conclusive argument. If He had willed He could have guided every one of you.’(Surat Al-An‘am, 149)
Those who maintain that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is dead are making a false claim. In addition, the interpretations they present to prove their assertions do not reflect the truth. Our hope is that this book will help all of these misguided people realize their errors and abandon them. Such a moral value is a feature of believers and is praised in the Qur'an.
In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that the believers do not knowingly persist in error (Surah Al 'Imran:135) and abide by the true path once they see it. The best and most accurate information on this subject, as is the case with all matters, is that revealed in the Qur'an and the hadith. In other words, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and was not killed. He will return to Earth when the appointed time comes. Therefore, instead of seeking to ignore or deny this clear truth by using groundless and flimsy interpretations, people should consider just what his return will mean and be excited and stimulated by it. True believers can pray to witness this great event and to experience the environment of beauty and auspiciousness that will ensue.
Allah’s promise is true, but most of them do not know it. (Surah Yunus:55)
80. Ibid., 10.
81. Yazir, Hak Din Kuran Dili, www.kuranikerim.com/telmalili/imran.htm.
82. Sami Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde Mesih'in Dönüsü (The Return of the Messiah in Abrahamic Religions) (Yediveren Books: 2002), 177.
83. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azim, 2:120.
84. Al-Sabuni, Safwat al-Tafasir, 1:375.
85. Sahih Muslim hadiths.
86. Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim hadiths.
87. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection: The Letters, 59.