|When Jesus sensed disbelief on their part, he said, “Who will be my helpers to Allah?” The disciples said, “We are Allah's helpers. We believe in Allah. Bear witness that we are Muslims.” “Our Lord! We believe in what You have revealed, and we follow the Messenger. Then write us down among those who bear witness.” THEY [UNBELIEVERS] PLOTTED AND ALLAH PLOTTED. BUT ALLAH IS THE BEST OF PLOTTERS. (Surah Al 'Imran, 52-54)|
In some people’s opinion, Allah took back the soul of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) before the unbelievers could reach him and the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) died. But in the relevant verses of the Qur’an Allah clearly shows that this claim is untrue.
In addition, this logic is a very false one. We can set the position out with an example: Let us imagine that three people plan to kill an enemy. Let them plan to ambush and kill him. And let us assume that the person they were planning to kill died of a heart attack before he even got to the site of the ambush. In that event, the plotters will think they have achieved their aim and will rejoice accordingly.
Or let us imagine someone who goes to the home of an enemy intending to kill him. Then let us imagine that during the struggle the person intended to be killed falls off the balcony and is killed, rather than dying from a blow from his assailant. The death of that person will mean that his attacker achieved his purpose. One can think of the position of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) in similar terms. The unbelievers set a trap for the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). The aim of the plot was the Prophet’s (pbuh) death. But Allah has revealed that the plot against the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) would be thwarted. Had the death of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) come about in any way, that would mean that events worked out in the way the unbelievers wanted, and that is impossible. The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die in any manner, and he was not killed. Had such a thing happened, it would have been revealed in the Qur’an. The fact is that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised into the Presence of Allah. By Allah’s command, he will then return to Earth and cause the moral values of the true faith to rule the world. And the death of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will take place after he has returned to Earth and lived on it for a while.
Some people, on the other hand, suggest that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was protected against the unbelievers’ plot but died after living for a while longer. Not only is this claim based on no logic at all, it also raises a number of unanswerable questions. These people cannot provide any logical answers to these questions. The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) suddenly disappeared, in the time he was living in and with Allah’s willing, and nobody saw or spoke to him again. This is an extraordinary state of affairs. If, as these people maintain, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) had lived for a while longer, then there would have been witnesses who knew him and who saw and spoke to him. But there is no information to that effect. It is obviously impossible for him to have lived on without mingling with the public and without speaking or preaching to a single person.
One must not forget that the information and statements about the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) in the Qur’an are not revealed in the context of any other prophet. The word “al-tawaffi” is not used to describe the death of any other prophet. Nowhere does Allah say that any other prophet was taught the three Divine books, “... the Book and Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel...” (Surat al-Mai’da, 110). Nowhere does He say of any other prophet, “He is a Sign of the Hour" (Surat az-Zukhruf, 61). No other prophet is described as being raised up, in the sense of the Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) ascending. No other prophet is described as making his followers victorious until the Day of Judgment. No other prophet is described in terms of there being no-one left, by the time of his death, who does not believe in him. These are all significant evidence that Allah has ordained a special destiny for the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and that, in line with that destiny, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is alive in His presence and will return to Earth.
In many verses Allah reveals that the unbelievers would never achieve their goal and that their failure is a requirement of His Divine plan. Some of these verses are given below:
They concocted their plots, but their plots were with Allah, even if they were such as to make the mountains vanish. (Surah Ibrahim, 46)
… Allah always confounds the schemes of the unbelievers. (Surat al-Anfal, 18)
Allah will defend those who believe. Allah does not love any thankless traitor. (Surat al-Hajj, 38)
They are hatching a plot. I too am hatching a plot. So bear with the unbelievers—bear with them for a while. (Surat at-Tariq, 15-17)
1. THEY CERTAINLY DID NOT KILL HIM. ALLAH RAISED HIM UP TO HIMSELF
|.... BUT THEY CERTAINLY DID NOT KILL HIM. ON THE CONTRARY [BAL] ALLAH RAISED HIM UP TO HIMSELF. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nisa’, 157-158)|
"... They certainly did not kill him," "on the contrary [bal] Allah raised him up to Himself…" refer to THE STATE OF BEING ALIVE, THE OPPOSITE OF THE STATE OF BEING DEAD.
Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri offered the following interpretation:
If the term “bal,” which appears in Surat an–Nisa': 158 and which I have translated as “on the contrary,” comes after a sentence expressing a negativity, then, according to the rules of Arabic linguistics, the sentence following it must mean the exact opposite of the one preceding it. The opposite of death is life. This is a requirement of the rules of linguistics. IF WE SAY THAT “THE PROPHET JESUS (PBUH) DIED IN THE NORMAL SENSE,” THEN WE ARE VIOLATING THAT RULE. In that case, the ascension following the expression “on the contrary” would not represent the opposite to the verbs of “killing” and “crucifying” in the negative sentence preceding it... (Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri, Mawqif al-'Aql, Beirut: 1992, 233)
Said Ramadan al-Buti interpreted the same subject in the following way:
For example, if an Arab says: “I am not hungry; on the contrary, I am lying on my side,” this is not a correct sentence. In the same way, there is a discrepancy between the components in the sentence: “Khalid did not die; on the contrary, he is a good man.” What would be correct is to say: “Khalid did not die; on the contrary, he is alive.” ... The term “bal” expresses a contradiction between the preceding and the following words. In other words, “bal” cancels out a previous statement. (Said Ramadan al-Buti, Islam Akaidi [Islamic Catechism], Istanbul: Mavde Publishings, 1996, 338)
2. IN VERSE 55 OF SURAH AL ‘IMRAN ALLAH REVEALS THAT HE WILL CLEANSE THE PROPHET JESUS (PBUH) OF THE UNBELIEVERS.
This cleansing came about with the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) being raised into the Presence of Allah, in body and soul, without dying or being killed:
|... I will take you back and raise you up 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.” According to Islamic scholars, 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.” Thus, Allah purified the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) from the unbelievers, the unbelievers' plot to kill him was foiled and they failed to achieve their goal, in other words the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised alive to the Presence of Allah.
3. ALLAH IS ALMIGHTY, ALL-WISE
|... But they certainly did not kill him. Allah raised him to Himself. ALLAH IS ALMIGHTY, ALL-WISE. (Surat an-Nisa', 157-158)|
Another point is the expression: “Allah is Almighty, All-Wise” (Surat an-Nisa’, 158).
In their commentaries on this verse, Islamic scholars point out that THESE WORDS ARE STATED IN CASE OF AN EXTRAORDINARY PHENOMENON REVEALING ALLAH’S MIGHT AND WISDOM.
For example, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi said:
Allah reveals at the end of the verse that “Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” The intention behind almightiness here is the perfection and immaculate nature of His might, and that behind wisdom is the perfection and immaculate nature of His knowledge. In this way, Allah has indicated the raising of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and that no matter how impossible this may seem to a person, it is not impossible relative to His might and wisdom. A similar situation can be seen in the verse: “Glory be to Him, Who took His servant on a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] to the Further Mosque [Masjid al-Aqsa]…” (Surat al-Isra’, 1). That is because no matter how much such a journey may be impossible relative to the power of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), it is a most easy matter relative to the might of Allah.