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Wednesday September 20, 2017
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THE ASCENT/DESCENT OF HAZRAT ISA (AS)

by Tahir Hussain  with thanks to Waqar Akbar Cheema


The Holy Qu’ran
[3:46] And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and (he shall be) one of the good ones.

See 5:110

[3:55] And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so l will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.

The part requiring special consideration is the sentence "I will take you back [mutawaffeeka] and raise you up to Me." A close examination reveals a most important truth: The verb carries a sense that differs from what is normally meant by "to die." The word translated into English as "to die" comes from the Arabic root waffaa derived from the verb tawaffaa, which does not imply death, but rather taking the soul, or surrender. The Qur'an also reveals that taking a person's soul does not always imply death. For instance, another verse uses tawaffaa to refer not to a person's death, but to taking his or her soul while asleep:

[39:42] Allah takes the souls at the time of their death [yatawaffaa], and those that die not [lam tamut] during their sleep; then He withholds those on whom He has passed the decree of death [al mawt] and sends the others back till an appointed term; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

The word here translated as "taking back" is the same as that used in Qur'an 3:55: tawaffaa. Since a person does not actually die during the night, the word yatawaffaa here refers not to death, but to taking the soul at night. If tawaffaa were being used in the sense of death, then that would mean that all people would be biologically dead during sleep. Thus, Jesus (pbuh) would have died every night of his life. Such an assertion is both irrational and illogical.

Another instance in which sleep is regarded as a kind of death, but which does not refer to biological death, is the following hadith: "'All praise is for God, Who has made us alive after He made us die [sleep] (Al-hamdu li Allah illadhi ahyana ba'da maa amatana; wa ilayhi al-nushoo)' Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) often said this after he woke up." (Narrated by Abu Hudhayfa; Sahih Bukhari; Being the Tradition of Saying and Doings of the Prophet Muhammad as Narrated by His Companions (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), hadith no. 6324, 239; Tafsir Ibn Kathir, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad
Nasib ar-Rafa'i (London: Al-Firdous Ltd., 1999), 176.) No doubt, he used these wise words not to refer to biological death when one is asleep, but rather to a sleeping person's soul being "taken."

Ibn Kathir, the famous Islamic scholar and commentator, used this hadith, along with many other proofs in his commentary on Surah Al 'Imran, to explain that tawaffaa refers to sleep. In addition, he indicated the word's meaning in other verses where it appears. He then gave his opinion using a hadith handed down by Ibn Abi Hatim:

Ibn Abi Hatim says that: "My father told us … from Hassan that the meaning of the verse 'I will take you back...' is this: Here it means that 'I shall kill you with the death of sleep; in other words, I shall cause you to sleep.' So God raised Jesus (pbuh) to the heavens while he was asleep … As an incontrovertible truth, God caused Jesus (pbuh) to die the death of sleep and then raised him to the sky, rescuing him from the Jews, who were inflicting suffering upon him at the time." (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azim, 1:573-76.)

Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari, another Islamic scholar who examined the meaning of tawaffaa, stated that it did not mean death, and drew attention to the use of mawt in Qur'an 39:42: Had Jesus (pbuh) died [which is not the case], then the word mawt revealed in the verse: "God takes the souls [of people] at death" (39:42), would not have been revealed… This is because if, as has been claimed, God had referred to normal death [in the biological sense], then this would have been clearly stated. Since God refers to the fact that the Jews did not kill Jesus (pbuh), but that he was taken and raised to the sky, then one must think of a meaning beyond that of ordinary death. (Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari, Nazra 'Abira fi Maza'im Man Yankur Nuzul 'Isa 'alyhi al-Salam aabla al-Akhira (A Cursory Look at the Claims of Those Who Deny Jesus' Descent before the Next Life) (Egypt: 1980), 34-37.)

Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri, a contemporary of al-Kawthari, cites this verse as evidence and offers the following interpretation: "If we were to take the word tawaffaa as meaning 'killing,' then souls would also have to die." (Sheikh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri, Mawqif al-'Aql (Beirut: 1992), 4:177-79.)

Abu Mansur Muhammad al-Maturidi, regarded as one of the first Qur'anic commentators, also stated that the verse does not refer to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) dying in the familiar biological sense: The thing being referred to in the verse is not passing on in the sense of death, but in the sense of the body being taken from this world.( Abu Mansur Muhammad al-Maturidi, Kitab Tawilat al-Qur'an (Beirut),67.)

The famous commentator and scholar al-Tabari stated that mutawaffeeka is used in the  sense of "removing from Earth" and interpreted the verse in the following terms: In my opinion, the soundest thing is to take this word in the sense of "to take into one's possession," "draw [away] from Earth." In that case, the meaning of the verse is: "I shall take you from Earth and into the heavens." The rest of the verse emphasizes the [believers'] victory over unbelievers in the End Times, which confirms the above idea." (Tafsir al-Tabari, 3:290-91.)

Ibn Taymiyya stated that Surah Al 'Imran: 55 indicates that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die, but most likely experienced a kind of "sleep death." He then wrote: This verse is proof that the death of Jesus (pbuh) is not being referred to… The word al-tawaffi [the infinitive form of the word mutawafeeka used] in the verse requires the death of the soul without that of the body, or of both, but with the existence of another piece of evidence explaining the circumstances in this sense. The meaning may be the death of sleep (as in Surat al-An'am:60). The words at the end of the verse, to the effect that: "I shall separate you purified from the unbelievers," are also along these lines. Had Jesus' (pbuh) body been separated from his soul, then his body would be in the ground, as with the other prophets. (Imam Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu' Fatawa (The Collected Fatwas), trans. by Abdurrahman ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Asimi an-Najdi, (Riyadh: 1991), 4:322-23. (emphasis added by the author))

Ibn Taymiyya also says, "Al-tawaffa in the Arabic language means: to exact fully or take in full. It takes three forms; the first: to take in sleep; the second: to take in death; and the third: to take the body and soul all together." (Al-Jawab Al-Sahih 2/83)

The Islamic scholar Abu Musa al-Ash'ari interpreted Surah Al 'Imran:55 (above) together with Surat an–Nisa':158 (below), and wrote that: "There is a consensus among the community of the faithful [ijma' ummat] that Jesus (pbuh) was raised alive to the heavens." Al-Ash'ari, Al-Ash'ari's al-Ibana 'an Usul al-Diyana, (Cairo: 1986), 2:115.

The tafsir of Jalaluddin Suyuti says [3:55] And mention, when God said, ‘O Jesus, I am gathering you, seizing you, and raising you to Me, away from the world without death, and I am cleansing you of, removing you far away from, those who disbelieved, and I am setting those who follow you, those Christians and Muslims who believed in your prophethood, above those who disbelieved, in you, namely, the Jews, becoming above them through [definitive] argument and the sword, until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me shall be your return, and I will decide between you, as to what you were at variance about, as regards religion.

[4:157-158] And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure. Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Mujahid says about these two ayah: “But so it was made to appear to them they crucified a man other than Jesus while they reckoned that he was Jesus because this other man ‘was made to like [Jesus] to them’ (shubbiha lahum)... They crucified a man whom they saw as [shabbaha] Jesus, and God raised Jesus to Himself, living.” (Mujahid b. Jabr, Tafsir Mujahid, ed, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir b. Muhammad al-Surti (Qatar: Matabi’ al-Duha al-Haditha, 1395/1976 p. 180).

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d.1209 CE) says that 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 that might, and that behind wisdom is the perfection and immaculate nature of knowledge. In this way, Allah has indicated the raising of 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 Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), it is a most easy matter relative to the might of Allah. (Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb, 11:102-3)

Al-Qurtubi: "The interpretation of the verse is: 'I shall raise you to Myself without you dying, cleanse you from the blasphemers, and kill you after your descent from the heavens.' (Al-Qurtubi, al-Jami' li Ahkam il-Qur'an, (Cairo : 1967), 4:99).

Imam Ibn Taymiyya opined: The verse "He raised him to His Presence" … explains that Jesus (pbuh) was raised in both body and soul. (Imam Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu' Fatawa, trans. by Abdurrahman ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Asimi an-Najdi, 4:323)

Said Ramadan al-Buti (interpreted the subject in the same way): The mutual compatibility between the verse's previous and later sections necessarily reveals a fact. 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." To say: "The chairman was not killed; he is a man with a superior station in Allah's Presence" also leads to a break in meaning in the sentence, for his having a high station in Allah's Sight is no obstacle to his being killed. 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)

Furthermore, if the word rafa'a indicated a spiritual rank, then the Qur'an could have used the same term for other prophets. It was not used for the Prophet Muhammad or any other Prophet

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.' He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)' One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,' and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa's followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.' Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.' Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.' The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad .'' This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa'i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

[4:159] And there is not one of the followers of the Book but most certainly believes in this before his death, and on the day of resurrection he (Isa) shall be a witness against them.

Al-Qurtubi interprets the verse in the following terms: When the signs of the Day of Judgment draw near, when Jesus (pbuh) returns alive from the sky to Earth, all members of the People of the Book who are alive will believe in him. All there will be is the Islamic nation (Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jami' li Ahkam al-Qur'an, 6 :10-11)

Al-Tabari interprets the verse thus in his Commentary: When he returns to Earth to eliminate the antichrist [make him ineffective], every one of the People of the Book will believe in Jesus (pbuh) before his death. At that time, all nations will become a single nation under the name of Islam.( Al-Tabari, Jami' al-Bayan, 4:18)

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) he heard Allah's Apostle (SAW) say: By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the Son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizyah (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- "And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures but must believe in him before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them." (Quran 4:159) (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, No. 657; Fateh-ul Bari, Vol. 7, P. 302)

[5:110] When Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you I with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and I when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat and the Injeel; and when you determined out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear arguments, but those who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.

Imam al-Suyuti drew attention to kahlaan in Surat al-Ma'ida:110 when he stated: "This word expresses the fact that he (Jesus [pbuh]) will descend from the heavens before the Day of Judgment, because he was raised to the skies before attaining old age." (Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn)

The tafsir says “...to speak to people (tukallimu’l-nāsa is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the [suffixed pronoun] kāf in ayyadtu-ka) in the cradle, that is, as a child, and in maturity — this implies that he will descend before the Hour, since he was raised up [to God] before middle age, as has already been mentioned in [sūrat] Āl ‘Imrān [Q. 3:55]” (Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, 5:110)

Imam al-Tabari gave the following explanation of these verses: These statements [Surat al-Ma'ida:110] indicate that in order to complete his lifespan and speak to people when fully grown, Jesus (pbuh) will come down from the heavens, because he was raised to the heavens when still young ... In this verse [Surah Al ‘Imran:46], there is evidence that Jesus (pbuh) is living. The Ahl al-Sunnah share that view, because this verse states that he will speak to people when fully grown. He will be able to grow fully only when he returns to Earth from the heavens (Tafsir al-Tabari, 2:528 and 1:247.)

[19:33] And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.

[43:61] And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.

Ibn Abbas (RA) says "In Surat az-Zukhruf:61, Allah indicates that Jesus (pbuh) will appear before the Day of Judgment." (Khasmiri, al-Tasrih, 289-90)

Abu Hurayra, Ibn `Abbas, Qatada, Malik ibn Dinar, Thabit ibn al-Dahhak, Abu Razin, Abu `Ali `Abd al-Rahman, Humayd, and Ibn al-Muhaysin say that the Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is a sign of the Day of Judgment.( Al-Sa'ani, Tafsir 'Abdul-Raziq, 2:163; Ibn Qutayba, Gharib al-Qur'an, 400)

“And indeed he, that is, Jesus, is a portent of the Hour — [the arrival of] it is known by the sending down of him — so do not doubt it (tamtarunna: the indicative nūn has been omitted for apocopation together with the wāw of the [third] person [plural] on account of two unvowelled consonants coming together) but, say to them: ‘Follow me, in the affirmation of [God’s] Oneness. This, to which I command you, is a straight path’.” (Tafsir Jalalayn, Suyuti [43:61])

(And he (`Isa) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) The correct view concerning this phrase is that it refers to his descent before the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says: (And there is none of the People of the Scripture but must believe in him before his death) (4:159). -- meaning before the death of `Isa, peace be upon him -- And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them) 4:159(. This meaning has the support from an alternate recitation of the Ayaat (And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, evidence that the Hour will surely come. Mujahid said: (And he shall be a sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, sign and "One of the signs of the Hour will be the appearance of `Isa son of Maryam before the Day of Resurrection.'' Something similar was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Abbas, `Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Malik, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. Many Mutawatir Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah said that `Isa will descend before the Day of Resurrection as a just ruler and fair judge. (Therefore have no doubt concerning it.) means, do not doubt that it will surely come to pass.(Tafsir Ibn Kathir [43:61])

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (570 - 632/11 CE/AH)
Abu Hurairah (RA) said: Allah's Messenger (SAW) said “What will be your condition when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you from the heavens?” (Baihaqi's Asmaa wal Sifaat 2/432 Hadith 855)

Abu Hurairah (RA) said: “I heard Abul Qasim the Truthful and Trustworthy (i.e. Holy Prophet (SAW)) say: “Then Jesus son of Mary will descend from the heavens and lead the people.”” (Majma' Al-Zawaid 7/349. Haithmi said, Bazzar has narrated it and all its narrators are those of the Sahih [i.e. Sahih Bukhari] except Ali bin Munzar and he is also trustworthy)

Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “And near it will descend from the Heavens my brother Jesus son of Mary.” (Kanzul Ummal 14/619 Hadith 39726)

Th'labi and Zamakhshari mentioned the Hadith from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said; ''Isa will descend from the heavens.” (Tafsir Qurtabi)

“Tabari then mentions that, according to Hasan Al Basri, the Prophet said to the Jews, “Jesus did not die, and he will return to you before the Day of Resurrection.” (The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: The House of Imrān, Page 169 by Mahmoud Ayoub. The hadith is also mentioned in Darul Manthur by Jalaluddin Suyuti)

Narrated Huzaifa the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Mahdi will turn to see and ‘Eisa ibn Maryam would have descended as if water would be trickling down his hair. Then Mahdi will say, ‘Come and lead us in prayers!’ ‘Eisa will say Iqamah has been said for you so he will pray behind a person from my progeny.’ (Al-Hawi 3/114 by Suyuti cf. Abu 'Amr Al-Dani)

Abdul Bin Masood reported that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said, On the night of the Meraaj, I met Abraham, Moses and Jesus (PBUT) and they discussed the Hour. Prophet Abraham (as) was asked, he replied I have no knowledge, then Prophet Moses (PBUH) was asked about it, he replied I have no knowledge. (In the end) Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was asked, he replied, (Allah) promised me before Qayamah, no one knows about its timing except Allah. He said about Dajjal and said I will descend and will kill him. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitabul Fitan Hadith 4079)

When a delegation of sixty men from (the Christian) people of Najran came to the Holy Prophet, their chief priest discussed with him the status of Jesus and asked him as to who Jesus’ father was. The Holy Prophet said…: “Do you not know that Our Lord (Allah) is ever living but death will come to Jesus?” (Tafsir Al-Tabari 6/154 Narration. 6544, Ibn Abi Hatim 9/408. Both have brought it under verse 1 of Surah 3) and a variation as "He (the prophet) said: "Do you not know that He (Allah) is Ever-living, the Eternal and death will come to Jesus?"" (Tafsir Nishapuri 2/199 under surah 3 ayah 1) and Suyuti’s Durr Manthur (2/276) and Tafsir Kabir of Al-Raazi (4/93)

“That Ummah cannot be destroyed in whose beginning is me, in whose end is 'Eisa and in whose middle is al-Mahdi.” (Kanzul Ummal 14/266 Hadīth 38671 cf. Kitabul Mahdi of Abu Na'im, Classified as Hasan by Al-Azizi in Siraj Al-Munir Sharah Jami' Saghir 3/196)

“I swear to God, Who sent me as a true prophet, that of course Jesus (pbuh), son of Mary, will find in my community people to replace his disciples [when he returns close to the period of the End Times].” Suyuti, al-Kasfu an Mujawazati Hazihil Ummah al-Alfu, al-hawi lil Fatawi. 2/248, Tafsir Ruh-ul Bayan. Bursawi 4/262, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Kitab al-'Ilal,p. 89

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught: “How will you be when the Son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the law of the Qur’an and not by the law of Gospel.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, No. 658; Fateh-ul Bari, Vol. 7, P. 304-305)

It is reported by Anas (RA) that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Whosoever from amongst you lives to see Jesus, son of Mary, he should convey my greetings to him.” (Hakim)

Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) reported that Rasoolullah (SAW) said: "How can perish the Ummah (nation) of which, I am at the beginning and Jesus, son of Mary, is at the end?" (narrated in Hakim and Nasai)

Qatada ibn al-Nu'man (d. 22AH)
Qatada expounded on the same verse [4:159], as follows: "When Jesus (pbuh) descends, all religions will believe in him and he will bear witness for them on the Day of Judgment."( Al-Tabari, Jami' al-Bayan, 6:19.)

He stated about Surat az-Zukhruf (43):61 thus:"The appearance of Jesus (pbuh) is an indication of the Day of Judgment." (Al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, 2 :20)

Abu Salamah bin ‘Abd al-Rahman (580 - 652/31 CE/AH)
The people rushed to the Prophet, may Allah bless him, in the apartment of ‘Aisha to look at him. They said: “How can he die since he is a witness to us and we are witnesses to other people? … No! by Allah! He has not died; but he has been raised as ‘Eisa ibn Maryam was made to ascend.” (Tabaqat al-Kubra 2/271)

Umar ibn al-Khattab (586-90 - 644/23 CE/AH)
“’Umar bin al-Khattab said, Whoever said that Muhammad has died I will kill him with this sword of mine and he has been raised to the heavens as was raised ‘Eisa ibn Maryam –may Allah bless him.” (al-Milal wal Nahl p.9 by Al Shahristani)

Safiyya Bint Huyayy (d. 52 AH)
It is narrated from Ummul Momineen Saffiya (RA) that when she visited Bait Al-Maqdis and finished prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque she climbed up to Mt. Olives and prayed there as well and said: “this is the mountain from where Jesus (AS) was raised up to the heavens.” (Al-Tasrih bima Tawatar fi Nuzul Al-Masih Hadith 74 cf. Tafsir Fath Al-Aziz Surah 95)

“...Recommended for later Muslim visitations... Mount of Olives identified as the place of ascension of Jesus to heaven: It was visited by the Prophet's wife, Safiyya...” (Studies In Early Islamic Tradition, Page 83 by Sulaymān Bashīr)

Abu Darr, Al-Hakam ibn 'Amr al-Ghifari (d. 652 CE)
He explained Surat an-Nisa' (4):159 in the following words: "At the moment when Jesus (pbuh) son of Maryam descends, all of the People of the Book will believe in him." (Al-Tabari, Jami' al-Bayan, 6:19)

Ibn Zayd (594 CE - 673 CE)
The son of Zayd Ibn Harithah; In referring to Surah Al 'Imran:46, Ibn Zayd said: "Jesus (pbuh) spoke to people while he was still in the cradle. When he [spiritually] destroys the antichrist, he will speak to people as an adult." (Al-Tabari, Jami' al-Bayan, 3:188)


Abu Hurairah (603 CE - 681 CE)
Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) he heard Allah's Apostle (SAW) say: By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the Son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizyah (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- "And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures but must believe in him before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them." (Quran 4:159) (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, No. 657; Fateh-ul Bari, Vol. 7, P. 302)

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught: “How will you be when the Son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and he will judge people by the law of the Qur’an and not by the law of Gospel.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, No. 658; Fateh-ul Bari, Vol. 7, P. 304-305)

“Abu Hurayra (d.679), a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, urges the community to restore and refine the mosques for the descent of Jesus, the son of Mary. To indicate the imminence of his coming, Abu Hurayra looks around and identifies the youngest of the crowd to tell him, "O my nephew, if you meet him, give him my greetings."” (See al-Humaydi, Al-Musnad, 2:468-69; al-San'ani, Al-Musannaf, 11:372, 399, 400, 401; Inm Lahi'a. 258, 260; Ibn Abi Shayba, Kitab al-Musannaf, 7:490, 493 494, 513; Nu'aym, Kitab al-Fitan, 209, 212, 213, 221, 224, 346 ff.) also found in the book “Messianic Beliefs and Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam: The 'Abbasid Caliphate in the Early Ninth Century” (Studies in Comparative Religion), page 40 by Hayrettin Yucesoy and Frederick M. Denny (15 Aug 2009)

Abd Allah Ibn Abbas (618 CE - 687 CE)
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 375: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet embraced me and said, "O Allah! Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book (Quran)."

Hazrat Umar held him in great esteem and used to tell people "he is the most learned of you all". As an example, Ibn Abbas said that 'Umar used to make me sit with the elderly men who had fought in the battle of Badr. Some of them felt it (did not like that) and said to 'Umar: 'Why do you bring in this boy to sit with us, while we have sons like him? 'Umar replied 'Because of what you know of his position' (i.e. his religious knowledge). One day 'Umar called me and made me sit in the gathering of those people, and I think that he called me just to show them (my religious knowledge). 'Umar then asked them in my presence: 'What do you say about the interpretation of the statement of Allah'.  'When comes help of Allah, and the conquest . . .' (110: 1). Some of them said: 'We are ordered to praise Allah and ask for His forgiveness, when Allah's help and the conquest (of Makka) comes to us'. Some others kept quiet and did not say anything. On that 'Umar asked me: 'Do you say the same, O Ibn 'Abbas?' I replied: 'No'. He said: 'What do you say then?' I replied: 'That is the sign of the death of Allah's apostle which Allah informed him of. Allah said: '(O Muhammad) when comes the help of Allah (to you against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makka) (which is the sign of your death) - you should celebrate the praises of your Lord and ask for His forgiveness, and He is the One who accepts the repentance and forgives' (110:1-3). On that 'Umar said: 'I do not know anything about it other than what you have said'. [Bukhari, Vl, No. 494.]

About the verse Qur'an 4:159: “This verse is proof that Jesus (AS), son of Mary, will appear… All of the People of the Book will believe in him before his death.” (Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, 2:309.) He also said referring to the Holy Qur'an 43:61, “God indicates that Jesus (AS) will appear before the Day of Judgment.” (Khasmiri, al-Tasrih, 289-90)

Ibn Abbas (RA) said, “When Allah intended to raise Jesus (AS) to the heavens, he went to his companions... and Jesus (AS) ascended to the heavens through an opening in the top of the house”. (Ibn Abi Hatim 4/431 Hadith 6266, Ibn Kathir 2/449.  Ibn Kathir called it Sahih)

About the verse, “If you punish them they are your servants”, Ibn Abbas (RA) said, he (Jesus) will say: “These slaves of yours have invited your chastisement by what they said (and believed). And if you forgive them i.e. those whom I left behind me and those who were there when I came down from the heavens to earth to kill Al-Dajjal and they turned back from what they said (i.e. Trinity) and believed in your Oneness…” (Durr Manthur 4/27, 5:118)

Narrated from Ibn Abbas, he said: “… and verily Allah raised him [Eisa ibn Maryam] with his body while he was alive and he will soon return to this world and will be a ruler therein. Then he will die as other people die.” (Ibn S’ad’ Tabaqat Al-Kubra 1/53)

It is narrated from Ibn Abbas about the Ayah “I’ll take you and raise you”; “It means I’ll raise you then will cause you to die near the End of Times.” (Durr Manthur 2/347 under 3:55)

It is narrated from Sa’id bin Jubair from Ibn Abbas [about]; “No one will remain from among the People of the Book but will certainly believe in him before he dies.” He said; “Before the death of Eisa ibn Maryam.” (Tafsir Al-Tabari 9/380 Narration 10794-5 under Qur’an 4:159. Classified as Sahih by Hafiz Ibn Hajr in Fath Al-Bari 10/250, Kitab Ahadith Al-Anbiya, Chapter on the Descent of Eisa ibn Maryam)

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (ra) said, we were discussing about the blessings/superiority of Prophets in mosque, Hazrat Noah (AS) was given a long age, Prophet Abraham (aS) was Khalilullah, Prophet Moses (PBUH) was Kaleemullah and Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was taken to  the skies... (Allama Zamakhshri under ayah 2:253)

"In Surat az-Zukhruf:61, Allah indicates that Jesus (pbuh) will appear before the Day of Judgment." (Khasmiri, al-Tasrih, 289-90)

Haatib bin Abi Balta'ah
Abdullah bin Abd Qaari (RA) narrates that Rasilullaah (SAW) sent Haatib bin Abi Balta'ah (RA) with a letter addressed to Maqoqis the king of Alexandria... Maqooqis asked, "Tell me about your leader. Is he really a prophet?" "He certainly is the Rasul of Allah," replied Haatib (RA). Maqooqis then asked further, "if he really is Allah's prophet, why did he then not curse his people when they drive him out of his town (Makkah)?" Haatib (RA) responded by asking, "Do you not testify that Isa the son of Maryam (AS) was Allah's Rasul"? "Indeed," came the reply. "Then when his people seized him to crucify him," began Haatib, "why did he not pray to Allah to destroy them when Allah raised him to the heavens?" Maqooqis said to Haatib, "You are a wise man who has come from the company of a wise man..." Bayhaqi as quoted in Al Bidaaya wan Nihaaya (Vol.4 Pg,272). Ibn Shaaheen has also narrated this Hadith as mentioned in Isaaba (Vol.1 Pg.300) al-Baihaqi in "Dala'il al-Nubuwwah" Hadith 1737

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (625/3 – 699/50 CE/AH)
“Tonight you have a killed a man on a night in which the Qur’an came down, a night in which Jesus, son of Mary, was taken up, and a night in which Joshua, son of Nuh, the champion of Moses was killed.” The First Civil War, by Ṭabarī, Gerald R. Hawting, p. 232

Muhammad Ibn Ali Abi Talib (633/15 – 700/81 CE/AH)
He was also known as Muhammad Ibn al-Hanafiyya, son of Hazrat Ali (RA) from Khawla bint Jafar and he explained the ayah of the Holy Qur'an 4:159 in these terms: "He will descend before the Day of Judgment. All Jews and Christians will believe in him." (Al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, 2 :241.)

Abu Muhammad Al-Taymi Al-Madani (d. 100/719 AH/CE)
In explaining Qur'an 4:159, Abu Muhammad al-Madani said: "When Jesus (pbuh) descends to Earth, he will make the Antichrist ineffective, and no Jew who does not believe in him will be left on Earth." (Al-Tabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan, 6:19.)

Mujahid B. Jabr Al-Makki (d. 722/104 CE/AH)
He studied under Hazrat Ali (RA) and after his martyrdom, under Ibn Abbas (RA) with whom he went over the explanation of the Qur’an thirty times. On 4:157 and 158 he says : “But so it was made to appear to them they crucified a man other than Jesus while they reckoned that he was Jesus because this other man ‘was made to like [Jesus] to them’ (shubbiha lahum).” (Mujahid b. Jabr, Tafsir Mujahid, ed, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir b. Muhammad al-Surti (Qatar: Matabi’ al-Duha al-Haditha, 1395/1976), p.180

He also says “They crucified a man whom they saw as [shabbaha] Jesus, and God raised Jesus to Himself, living”. (Mujahid b. Jabr, Tafsir Mujahid, ed, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir b. Muhammad al-Surti (Qatar: Matabi’ al-Duha al-Haditha, 1395/1976), p.180

Al-Hasan Al-Basri (642/21 CE - 728/110 CE/AH)
He was brought up in the house of Umm Salama (RA) the wife of the Prophet (SAW) and the mother of the believers. He met many companions, including thirty from the battle of Badr.

He says “I swear to God that Jesus (AS) is at this moment alive in God's presence, and that everyone will believe in him when he returns.” With regard to the Holy Qur'an 4:159, he said: “God raised Jesus (AS) to His presence. He will send him before the Day of Judgment as a holder of rank. Good and bad, all will believe in him.” (Al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, 2:284)

On 4:159 he said "Allah raised Jesus (pbuh) to His Presence. He will send him before the Day of Judgment as a holder of rank. Good and bad, all will believe in him." (Al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, 2 :284)

He also made a similar comment regarding the Holy Qur'an 43:61, saying that the meaning of the verse was that Jesus (AS) would return to earth. (Al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, 2:220)

“...Qurtbui reviews the various views and traditions already cited. He agrees with Hasan Al-Basri and Ibn Zayd that God raised Jesus up to heaven without causing him to die or to fall asleep.” (The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: The House of Imrān, Page 173 by Mahmoud Ayoub)

'Awf reported Hasan al-Basri as saying "he has not yet died" and Abu Raja reported him as saying “He is indeed now alive with God" (Christ in Islam and Christianity, Page 79 By Neal Robinson)

Al-Qasim Ibn Abi Bazza (d. 742/124 CE/AH)
The only student of Mujahid to have copied his tafsir, it says similar to what Mujahid has said in his tafsir. (Al-Tabai, Vol 9, p. 371)

*Non-Muslim - John of Damascus (d. 749 CE)
He wrote "The Fount of Knowledge" circa 746 CE, 114 years after the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) passed away. It was the first critique of Islam geared toward Christians with a chapter entitled "The heresy of the Ishmaelites", in which he says about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, "He says that there is one God, creator of all things, who has neither been begotten nor has begotten. He says that the Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit, but a creature and a servant, and that He was begotten, without seed, of Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron.

For, he says, the Word and God and the Spirit entered into Mary and she brought forth Jesus, who was a prophet and servant of God. And he says that the Jews wanted to crucify Him in violation of the law, and that they seized His shadow and crucified this. But the Christ Himself was not crucified, he says, nor did He die, for God out of His love for Him took Him to Himself into heaven. And he says this, that when the Christ had ascended into heaven God asked Him: ‘O Jesus, didst thou say: “I am the Son of God and God”?’ And Jesus, he says, answered: ‘Be merciful to me, Lord. Thou knowest that I did not say this and that I did not scorn to be thy servant. But sinful men have written that I made this statement, and they have lied about me and have fallen into error.’" (Page 40/41, translation by Rev. G. N. Warwick of the Patristic Society)

Imam Abū Hanīfah Nuʿmān ibn Thābit ibn Zūṭā ibn Marzubān (699 CE - 767/150 CE/AH)
“The emergence of the Dajjal and of Gog and Magog is a reality; the rising of the sun in the West is a reality; the descent of Jesus, upon whom be peace, from the heavens is a reality; and all the other signs of the Day of Resurrection, as contained in authentic traditions, are also established realities.” (Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, Page 20, #99)

Imam Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik ibn Abī 'Āmir al-Asbahī (711/93 - 795/179 CE/AH)
It is written in "Utaybiya" that Malik said the people will be standing and Isa (AS) will descend. (Ikmal al-Ikmal, Sharh of Muslim, Vol. I, p. 266)

Imam Abu ʿAbdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi‘i (767/150 – 820/204 CE/AH)
In the same way that the Prophet ‘Isa (AS) ascended to the heavens at Allah’s command, he will also return to Earth at Allah’s command and will enforce Islamic justice. People whose faith is weak may not regard this as possible. But it is an easy matter after recognizing the might of Allah.” (The Great Book of Scholarship of Shafi’i, Halil Günenç, expanded 2nd edition, p. 23)

Muqatil ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi (d 767 CE)
He related from al-Dahhak ibn Muzahim and Ata ibn Abi Rabah, students of Ibn Abbas. Imam al-Shafi'i declared that "People are all the children of Abu Hanifa in fiqh, of Ibn Ishaq in history, of Imam Malik in hadith, and of Muqatil in tafsîr"

He reiterates that the messianic interpretation of Jesus' return had already been established among Muslim... Jesus... is to appear on mount Afiq near Jerusalem (al-Tabari, Al-Tarikh, 8:376) and he will kill the anti-Christ, al-Dajjal (al-Tabari, Al-Tarikh, 31:27, 8:377). Also found in the book “Messianic Beliefs and Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam: The 'Abbasid Caliphate in the Early Ninth Century” (Studies in Comparative Religion), page 40 by Hayrettin Yucesoy and Frederick M. Denny (15 Aug 2009)

Ibn Jurayj (d. 767 CE)
Jesus asked a disciple to take his likeness, which the disciple did before being killed. Jesus was raised to God. (Tabari, vol 9, p373)

Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak (736/118 - 797/181 CE/AH)
Jesus addressed his followers the night he was raised to heaven, saying “Do not make your living from (teaching) the Book of God. If you refrain from doing so, God will seat you upon pulpits a single stone of which is better than the world and that is therin.” 'Abd Al-Jabbar said, “These are the seats mentioned by God in the Qur'an: upon a seat of truth with a mighty king'” Jesus was then raised to heaven. (Al-Zuhd, Page 507 (no.1447))

Hannad Ibn Al-Sariyy (d. 857/243 CE/AH)
"The day that Jesus was raised to heaven, he left behind nothing but a woolen garment, a slingshot, and two sandals." (Kitab Al-Zuhd, no. 553. Cf. Ibn 'Asakir, Sirat, p.134, no. 122)

Abū Yūsuf Ya’qūb Ibn Ishāq al-Kindī (801 - 873 CE)
Al-Kindi also said: “...Jesus will descend at the time of the afternoon prayer. The world will be prosperous.” (The Muqaddimah: An Introduction To History, Volume 1, Page 192 by Ibn Khaldūn and Franz Rosenthal)

Jarir al-Tabari (838/224 - 923/310 CE/AH)
Tabari says that Mu'awiyah b. Salih reported that Ka'b al-Ahbar said, "God would not cause Jesus son of Mary to die... God revealed to him, 'I will surely receive you and raise you up to me. Anyone whom I choose to raise up to me will not die. I shall send you against the one-eyed deceiver (al-Dajjal), and you will slay him. You will ...then live for twenty-four years, after which I shall cause you to die the death of the living.'" (The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: The House of 'Imran by Mahmoud Ayoub, Page 170) Ibn Hajar Asqalani says that Ka'b al-Ahbar is trustworthy (thiqah). He belongs to the 2nd [tabaqah]. He lived during both Jahiliyyah and Islam. He lived in Yemen before he moved to Sham [Syria]. He died during the Caliphate of `Uthman exceeding 100 years of age. None of his reports are in al-Bukhari. He has one narration in Muslim from Abu Huraira from him on the authority of al-A`mash from Abu Salih. (Taqrib al-Tahdhib, Op Cit., p. 135)

On the verse [3:55] he says: In my opinion, the soundest thing is to take this word in the sense of "to take into one's possession," "draw [away] from Earth." In that case, the meaning of the verse is: "I shall take you from Earth and into the heavens." The rest of the verse emphasizes the [believers'] victory over unbelievers in the End Times, which confirms the above idea." (Tafsir al-Tabari, 3:290-91.)

Imam al-Tabari gave the following explanation of these verses [5:110]: These statements [Surat al-Ma'ida:110] indicate that in order to complete his lifespan and speak to people when fully grown, Jesus (pbuh) will come down from the heavens, because he was raised to the heavens when still young ... In this verse [Surah Al ‘Imran:46], there is evidence that Jesus (pbuh) is living. The Ahl al-Sunnah share that view, because this verse states that he will speak to people when fully grown. He will be able to grow fully only when he returns to Earth from the heavens (Tafsir al-Tabari, 2:528 and 1:247.)

Al-Zajjaj (d. 923/310 CE/AH)
He was a contemporary of al-Tabari and the author of several lexicography works. He says “It is related in al-tafsir that when God wanted to raise Jesus to Himself and purify him from them, Jesus said to his companions: ‘Who among you will accept to have my likeness cast upon them and thus be killed and crucified and enter the Garden?’. One of the men answered ‘Me!’ So his likeness was cast upon him and he was killed while God raised Jesus to Himself. And all of this is not impossible and I have no doubt that he/it appeared so to them. (Zajjaj, Abu Ishaq, Ibrahim ibn al-Sari, Ma ‘ani al-Qur’an wa i’rabuh, p. 129-130)

Imam Abu Ja'far Al-Tahawi (843/239 CE - 935/321 CE/AH)
Regarded as one of the most important Egyptian Hanafi scholars of his time, opined that the return of Jesus (AS) is a major sign of the End Times and stated the need to believe in this truth. (Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Muhammad Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi (853 CE - 944 CE) died 333 AH
While studying the hadith regarding Hazrat Isa (AS), stated that Hazrat Isa (AS) would return to earth and would make the Antichrist ineffective. (Maturidi, Te'vilatü'l Kuran, vr. 239; Sami Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde Mesih'in Dönüsü, Yediveren Kitap, July 2002, s. 238-240)

He also says: The thing being referred to in the verse [3:55] is not passing on in the sense of death, but in the sense of the body being taken from this world.( Abu Mansur Muhammad al-Maturidi, Kitab Tawilat al-Qur'an (Beirut),67)

Abū Al-Hasan Alī Ibn Ismā'īl Al-Ash'arī (874/260 CE - 936/324 CE/AH)
In his book Maqalat al-Islamiyyin wa Ikhtilfa' al-Musallin (The Discourses of the Proponents of Islam and the Differences among the Worshippers), Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash'ari said: “It is a requirement to believe in these elements on which the people of the hadith and the people of the Sunnah are agreed: in God, angels, the books, the prophets, the revelations received from God, and in the words of the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) that the Antichrist will appear and that Jesus (AS) will make him ineffective.” (Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ari, Maqalat al-Islamiyyin wa Ikhtilfa al-Musallin, 295.)

"Ummat-e-Muslima is in agreement that Allah raised Isa (AS) to heavens" (Kitab al-ibana an usul al-diyana page 46)

He interpreted Surah Al 'Imran:55 together with Surat an–Nisa':158, and wrote that: "There is a consensus among the community of the faithful [ijma' ummat] that Jesus (pbuh) was raised alive to the heavens." Al-Ash'ari, Al-Ash'ari's al-Ibana 'an Usul al-Diyana, (Cairo: 1986), 2:115.

Imām Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Ājūrī
Al-Ajuri, regarded as one of the first experts on the Qur'an, stated that Hazrat Isa (AS) will return to Earth in the End Times, for which reason the report must be believed. (Accuri, es-Seria, s. 380-382;Sami Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde Mesih'in Dönüsü, Yediveren Kitap, July 2002, s. 238-240)

----------------------------------------END OF BEST GENERATIONS----------------------------------------

Imam Al-Bayhaqi (994/384 - 1066/458 CE/AH)
Narrated Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him: Allah's Messenger, may Allah bless him, said "What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. 'Eisa) will descend amongst you from the heavens…?" (Baihaqi's Asmaa wal Sifaat 2/432 Hadith 855)

Abū Muhammad 'Alī ibn Ahmad ibn Sa'īd ibn Hazm (994 CE - 1064/456 CE/AH)
Ibn Hazm stated that the report that Hazrat Isa (AS) would return is reliable. (Ibn Hazm, Ilmü'l Kelam, s. 30-32; Sami Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde Mesih'in Dönüsü, Yediveren Kitap, July 2002, s. 238-240)

"Anyone who says that after the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), other than Isa (AS) any Prophet will come then there is not a difference between two people regarding takfir of such" (al-Ahwa' wa al-Nihal page vol 3 page 139 egypt)

Abū Hāmed Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ghazālī (1058 CE - 1111/505 CE/AH)
"...then the Qu'ran would be erased from hearts and not a word of it would be remembered; and the people would return to the poetry, songs, and tales of the pre-Islamic period; then Anti-Christ would go forth and Jesus, the blessings and peace of God upon him, would descend to kill him. The hour when all this occurs would be like the pregnant woman in travail, waiting for the moment of her delivery. (The Secrets of Pilgrimage, Page 17 by Al-Ghazali)

“Out of the Prophets, Jesus Christ did not marry but he will marry after his second advent.” (The Revival of the Religious Sciences, Ihya Ulum Uddin, Secret of Marriages, Page 21)

Allama Zamakshari (467 A.H.-538 A.H)
"If you ask how Muhammad can be the last of the Prophets when Hadrat Isa (Jesus Christ) will appear towards the end of the world? I shall reply that the finality of Prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) means that no one will be endowed with prophethood after him. Hadrat 'Isa is among those upon whom prophethood was endowed before Muhammad(PBUH). Moreover, Hadrat 'Isa will appear as a follower of Muhammad and he will offer prayers with his face towards the Qiblah of Islam, as a member of the community of the Muslims." (Tafsir Kashshaaf Vol. 2, page 215)

Muhammad Ibn Yusuf, known commonly as Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi (745 AH)
"Based on Hadith Mutwatar Ummah has Ijmah on this that Isa (AS) is alive in heavens (Asaama) and will descend during last era" (Tafsir-ul-bahr-il-muhit vol 2 page 473)

Imam Shaarani (973 AH)
“Among Muslims this is truth that Isa (AS) was raised in body to the heavens (Asaama) and it is necessary to believe that because Allah said: Neither the Jews killed him nor were they able to crucify him” (Al yawaqeto o Jawahar vol 2 page 146 egypt)

Syed Ali Hajveri (990 - 1077 CE) (commonly referred to as Daata Ganj Bakhsh)
The famous saint buried in Lahore wrote the following in his well known treatise; "It is related in genuine Traditions that Jesus, son of Mary --God bless him!-- was wearing a muraqqa'a (i.e. patched cloak) when he was taken up to heaven." (Kashf al-Mahjub, Translation by Prof. Renald A. Nicholson, Zia-ul-Quran Publications, Lahore 2001 p.122)

Imam Al-Razi (1149 - 1209 CE)
In his commentary after explaining this verse (3:55) from various angles says; “The meaning is; I will raise you unto me and will purify you from infidels and will cause you to die after I descend you in the word. And examples of advancing and retarding (taqdim and takhir) are numerous in the Qur’an.” (Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/227 under Qur’an 3:55)

Imam Al-Razi - “The [conjunction] ‘wa’ [i.e. and] in the word of Allah ‘mutawaffeeka wa rafiuka’ does not imply sequence. So the verse says the Almighty does all these things but as to how he and when, this depends on the evidence. And it is proved with evidence that he [Eisa A.S.] is alive. There is a saying of the Prophet, on whom be peace, ‘He [Eisa] will return and kill Dajjal’ then afterwards the Almighty will cause him to die.” (Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/226 under Qur’an 3:55)

Muhammad Ibn 'Alī Ibn Muhammad Ibn Al-Arabī (1165 CE - 1240 CE)
Ibn al-'Arabi reported that even though more than a thousand years has passed since Jesus' (pbuh) birth, he is alive in body and soul in God's presence. (Ibn al-‘Arabi, Fusus al-Hikam (Istanbul: 1287), 63; Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Thus according to Ibn Arabi, it was not Jesus or his substitute who suffered death on the cross, but a phanton image which God created expressly for that purpose... He continues: "...When Jesus was taken up to heaven, his disciples did not call anyone to God, but that he answered their call... It will, therefore, be necessary for him to descend once more to the earth in a physical form and follow the Muhammadan dispensation in order for him to attain to its station" (Ibn Arabi,I, pp.190-91)" (The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: The House of Imrān, Page 180/81 by Mahmoud Ayoub)

Ibn Al-Arabi says that the Mahdi will be followed by "seventy thousand Muslims, all descended from Isaac." Together they will besiege Constantinople, chanting "Allah is great... When they pronounce the first takbir the first third of the ramparts of the city will crumble; during the second, the second third [will crumble], and during the third, all the rest of the ramparts will collapse. They will therefore conquer it without using the sword."(Apocalypse In Islam, Page 32 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

"The conquest of the Byzantine City, which is [to say] mighty Constantinople, the Great Battle, which will provide the occasion for the Feast on the plain of Acre, and the [invasion] of the Anti-Christ these events will take place over a period of seven months. Between the fall of Constantinople and the appearance of the Antichrist, eighteen days will elapse. The Antichrist will come from Khurasan, in the East, where the insurrections will take place. He will be followed by the Turks, and the Jews, who will join him at Isfahan, will themselves alone number seventy thousand." (Apocalypse In Islam, Page 32 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

Ibn Arabi gives few further details. Syria retains its central place in the apocalyptic account: Jesus will descend from heaven to the white minaret in Damascus, and the Sufyani will be crushed in the Ghuta, the fertile plain surrounding the city. Ibn Arabi does insist, however, on the avenging mission of the Mahdi, "brother of the sword," warning that "whoever refuses to follow him will be executed... [the ulema] will then reluctantly submit to his authority from a fear of his sword and of his power, and also from a desire to enjoy his favor. The ordinary Muslim will rejoice in his coming more than those who hold an official position." (Apocalypse In Islam, Page 32 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

"When the Mahdi appears, his worst enemies will be the jurists, for they will lose their powers and privileges in relation to the ordinary believers... If he did not possess the sword, the jurists would have sentenced him to death, but Allah will cause him to appear with the sword and nobility. [They] will also submit out of fear and accept his legal opinions, without believing in them, [for] in their heart of hearts these jurists will be convinced that the Mahdi is in error". (Apocalypse In Islam, Page 33 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

The Mahdi's ministers... will assist the Mahdi... They will be five and nine in number, which is to say will be equal to the number of years of the Mahdi's reign." (Apocalypse In Islam, Page 33 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207 - 1273 CE)
"Rumi agrees with the traditional Muslim position on the Crucifixion, based on Q 4:156, namely that a substitute was crucified in Jesus' stead. Rumi believes the switch occured as a "hidden grace of God"... Ascension was possible for Jesus... "Reason gave Jesus wings," says Rumi quoting from Sana' i's Diwan (F 118/107) and the "celestial bird" (Gabriel) bore the prophet aloft. Brother to all the prophets, Jesus shared in the light, which became his "ladder" (II:920)." (All The King's Falcons: Rumi On Prophets and Revelation, Page 93 by John Renard)

Imam Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (1214 CE - 1273 CE)
Al-Qurtubi wrote that he believes in the second coming of Jesus (pbuh) and indicated many trustworthy hadith to back up this belief. (Al-Qurtubi, Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi, trans. byAhmad Hijazi al-Shaqqa, (Beirut: 1986), 2:402-14.)

...The Mahdi will emerge in Morocco and pass the first ten years of his return preaching there...with the appearance of the Antichrist, though he is the worst of the sorcerers, they will pledge their allegiance and serve in his army in the hope of taking their revenge, through him, against the Muslims. At this moment Allah will send down to earth the one whom they swear they have killed... Allah will help [Jesus] triumph... Al-Qurtubi proceeds to chart an apocalyptic geography in which the Antichrist suddenly appears in Khurasan and the Mahdi in the Maghrib, with Jesus descending from the heavens in Damascus to confront the False Messiah. He asserts, moreover, that the Beast is a hairy monster who, on emerging in Mecca, will mark the infidels on their forehead with the seal of Soloman and brighten the visages of believers by brandishing the rod of Moses." (Apocalypse In Islam, Page 36/37 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

"The interpretation of the verse [4:158] is: 'I shall raise you to Myself without you dying, cleanse you from the blasphemers, and kill you after your descent from the heavens.' (Al-Qurtubi, al-Jami' li Ahkam il-Qur'an, (Cairo : 1967), 4:99).

Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (1263 CE - 1328 CE)
"...Christianity teaches that Jesus died on the Cross. Taymiyya states the Muslim position thus: 'In the Qur'an (Sura 4:157) God has made it clear that He has raised up Christ alive and saved him from death.'" (Jesus and the Cross: Reflections of Christians from Islamic Contexts, Page 171 by David Emmanuel Singh)

Ibn Taymiyya stated that Surah Al 'Imran 3:55 indicates that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die, but most likely experienced a kind of "sleep death." He then wrote: This verse is proof that the death of Jesus (pbuh) is not being referred to… The word al-tawaffi [the infinitive form of the word mutawafeeka used] in the verse requires the death of the soul without that of the body, or of both, but with the existence of another piece of evidence explaining the circumstances in this sense. The meaning may be the death of sleep (as in Surat al-An'am:60). The words at the end of the verse, to the effect that: "I shall separate you purified from the unbelievers," are also along these lines. Had Jesus' (pbuh) body been separated from his soul, then his body would be in the ground, as with the other prophets. (Imam Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu' Fatawa (The Collected Fatwas), trans. by Abdurrahman ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Asimi an-Najdi, (Riyadh: 1991), 4:322-23.)

Ibn Taymiyya opined: The verse [4:158] "He raised him to His Presence" … explains that Jesus (pbuh) was raised in both body and soul. (Imam Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu' Fatawa, trans. by Abdurrahman ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Asimi an-Najdi, 4:323)

Ibn Kathir (1301 CE - 1373 CE)
The prophetic hadith reliably report when and where Jesus (pbuh) will return … The reliable and trustworthy hadith about when Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth in his physical body cannot be interpreted in any other manner. Therefore, everyone who has the slightest faith and conscience must believe that Jesus (pbuh) will return to Earth… (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 1:578-82)

Sa'ad Al-Din Masud Ibn Umar Ibn Abd Allah Al-Taftazani (1322 CE - 1390 CE) d 456 AH
Saduddin al-Taftazani stated that the hadith about this event are completely trustworthy. (Saduddin Taftazani, al-Aqaid al-Nasafiyya (Istanbul: 1310/1892), 193-4; Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (1372/773 - 1448/852 CE/AH)
"The Mahdi is of this Ummah, and that Jesus will come down and pray behind him." (Fath al-Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v5, p362)

“...there was no Prophet between Jesus (PBUH) and our Prophet [Muhammad], on whom peace and blessings of Allah and Jesus (PBUH) has no grave.” (Fath Al-Baari 2/160, Kitabul Salaah)

Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti (1445/849 CE - 1505/911 CE/AH)
Al-Suyuti reported that Jesus (pbuh) will come and rule with the law of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace). (Al-Suyuti, Nuzul ‘Isa ibn Maryam Akhir al-Zaman (Suleymaniye Library), no. 1446/9.)

“As-Suyuti says Jerusalem is specially honoured by Moslems... It was at Jerusalem that the prophets sacrificed; that Jesus was born and spoke in the his cradle; and it was from Jerusalem that Jesus ascended to heaven; and it will be there that he will again descend." (A Moslem Seeker After God, Page 115 by Samuel M. Zwemer)

In his commentary, al-Suyuti said, based on reliable hadith, that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) did not die, and then continued: In that case, Jesus (pbuh) was raised to the skies and will
return before the Day of Judgment. (Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, 2:225-27.)

In the matter of Jesus, al-Suyuti upholds a long tradition of Islamic apologetics in refusing to believe in his martyrdom: "They crucified someone other than Jesus, taking him for [Jesus], so great was the illusion of their resemblance. But Allah [had] brought [Jesus] up to Hum alive." Citing the authority of Ibn Hanbal, al-Suyuti adds that "the Anti-Christ will stay on earth as long as Allah wishes it. Then Jesus, son of Mary, will come from the west, attesting the veracity of Muhammad and of his religion and he will slay the Antichrist. Only then will the Hour arrive." Once descended to the white minaret in Damascus under the escort of two angels, and after having pursued the Antichirst, Jesus will kill him at the gate of Lod. Al-Suyuti adds that Jesus will ensure the ulitmate glory of Islam by abolishing all other religions... The triumph of Islam is inevitable, al-Suyuti says, citing Muhammad in this connection: "How could a community perish in which I come at the beginning, and Jesus son of Mary at the end, and the Mahdi, the issue of my descendants, in between?" (Apocalypse In Islam, Page 46 by Jean-Pierre Filiu)

Imam al-Suyuti drew attention to kahlaan in Surat al-Ma'ida(5):110 when he stated: "This word expresses the fact that he (Jesus [pbuh]) will descend from the heavens before the Day of Judgment, because he was raised to the skies before attaining old age." (Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, 1:447)

Ali ibn Abd-al-Malik al-Hindi (d.1567/975 AH)
Ibn Abbas narrated: the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah, said: ‘And near it (Bait al-Maqdis) will descend from the Heavens my brother 'Eisa ibn Maryam.’
(Kanzul Ummal 14/619 Hadith 39726)

Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (1503 CE - 1566 CE)
Jesus (pbuh) will come not as a prophet to the people of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), but in order to implement the law of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). ( Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi 'Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, 68)

Imām-i Rabbānī Shaykh Ahmad Al-Farūqī Al-Sirhindī (1564 CE - 1624 CE)
Imam Rabbani wrote: "Jesus (pbuh) will descend from the sky and will be a member of Prophet Muhammad's (may God bless him and grant him peace) community. In other words, he will be one of his people and will abide by the Divine law." (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani (Istanbul: 1977), 1:436, 545, 722, 820, 846.)

Ahmad Ibn Al-Amin Al-Shinqiti (1872 CE - 1913 CE)
Al-Shinqiti, a modern commentator, wrote: "Both the Qur'an and the generally accepted Sunnah are proofs that Jesus (pbuh) is at this moment alive, that he will descend in the End Times, and that his coming is regarded as one of the signs of the Day of Judgment." (Al-Shinqiti, Adwa’ Al Bayan fi Idah Al Qur’an bi Al Qur’an, 7:273; Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238)

Abu Munteha
Abu Munteha, an Islamic scholar from the Ottoman period, said it was right to believe in the return of Jesus (pbuh). (Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Ali Ibn Sultan Al-Qari (?? CE - 1605/1014 CE/AH)
'Ali al-Qari said that Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is a sign of the Day of Judgment and that when he returns, he will make the Antichrist ineffective. According to al-Qari, belief in this report is obligatory, for the subject is fixed by a number of reports from the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) and his followers.( Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Al-Bayadi
Al-Bayadi draws attention to the fact that the second coming is one of the signs that the Day of Judgment is approaching, and that reliable hadith fully support this information. (Al-Bayadi, Isharat al-Maram min ‘Ibarat al-Imam, 67.)

Mahmud Al-Alusi (1217 AH - 1270 AH)
Al-Alusi said that when Jesus (pbuh) returns, he will rule with the law of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) and the Muslims will be his helpers.( Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Abū Muhammad Ibn Hazm (994 CE - 1064/456 CE/AH)
Ibn Hazm emphasized that: "Anyone who says that Jesus (pbuh) was killed will either be someone who leaves the just religion or an unbeliever." (Ibn Hazm, ‘Ilm al-Qalam, 56-57.)

Al 'Allamah, Imaam Abu Hafs 'Umar Ibn Muhammad An-Nasafi (d. 537)
An-Nasafi stated that this event was one of the major signs of the Day of Judgment. (An-Nasafi, Aqaid (Istanbul: 1310/1892), 193-94; Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Al-Pazdavi
Al-Pazdavi drew attention to the fact that reports of the second coming of Hazrat Isa (AS) are openly revealed in many verses and hadith. (Al-Pazdavi, Ehl-i Sunnet Akaidi (The Doctrine of the People of the Sunnah), trans. by Serafettin Golcuk (Istanbul: 1998), 352; Baybal, Ibrahimi Dinlerde, 238-40.)

Narration
Abu Al-Waleed Al-Haitham narrated from Sawar bin ‘Abdullah Al-Anbari; he said, Mu’tamar narrated to us; he said: ‘My father said’; Harith bin Makhshi narrated: ‘Ali (RA) was murdered the morning of 21st Ramadan. He said; I heard Hassan bin ‘Ali (RA) speaking. He was making an address and talking of the virtues of ‘Ali (RA); he said: ‘He has been killed the night Qur’an was revealed, the night ‘Eisa (AS) was moved and the night Musa (AS) died.’ (Mustadrak Hakim, Hadith 4671. Hakim said it is Sahih)


Refutation
See The Prophet Jesus Did Not Die by Harun Yahya, Page 168 onwards.

http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2010/02/jesus-did-not-die-according-to-quran.html



Reprinted with permission from http://www.secondhandislam.co.uk



 

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