[4:157]...And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him...
[4:157]...And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him...
Between Christians, Muslims and Ahmadi-Qadiyanees
(Maulana) Sohail Bawa (HA)
Khatme Nubuwwat Academy, London: Faithful Islam, Final Prophet: Mercy to Mankind
Due to the closeness of Good Friday, I have been asked to succinctly summarise the key differences between the beliefs of Christians, Muslims and Ahmadi-Qadiyanees.
Since this piece is targeted towards those who are fluent in English, I would like to clarify that Jesus (peace be upon Him) is referred to as Prophet Isa (peace be upon Him) or Isa [son of Mary] (peace be upon Him). Throughout this article I will use the term that Jesus (peace be upon Him) for simplicity and consistency.
The respective beliefs of these three groups can be summarised as followed:
1 (Many) Christians believe that Jesus (peace be upon Him) was crucified on a cross on Friday and killed. He was then resurrected on Sunday.
2 Muslims (unanimously) believe that Jesus (peace be upon Him) was neither crucified, nor killed but lifted up to the heavens (alive). He will descend back to Earth at an appointed time.
3 Ahmadi-Qadiyanees believe that people tried to crucify and kill Jesus (peace be upon Him) but he merely went unconscious. Those around him mistook his unconscious state and assumed that he had died. He revived later on and then went to live his natural life and then passed away. His grave is (supposedly) in Roza Bal (Kashmir).
We (as Muslims) disagree with the Christian interpretation that Jesus (peace be upon Him) died on the cross and some of our reasons are articulated in the following video:
Before speaking about the subject, let me take the time and establish that belief in Jesus (peace be upon Him) is integral part of Islamic creed. A Muslim cannot be a Muslim unless they believe in Jesus (peace be upon Him). This is established from one of the most authentic narrations of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) and it is categorically stated:
حَدَّثَنَا دَاوُدُ بْنُ رُشَيْدٍ حَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ يَعْنِي ابْنَ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ ابْنِ جَابِرٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُمَيْرُ بْنُ هَانِئٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي جُنَادَةُ بْنُ أَبِي أُمَيَّةَ حَدَّثَنَا عُبَادَةُ بْنُ الصَّامِتِ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ قَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَابْنُ أَمَتِهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ وَأَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ النَّارَ حَقٌّ أَدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ مِنْ أَيِّ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ الثَّمَانِيَةِ شَاءَ
Sayyiduna ‘Ubaadah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon Him) said: “Whoever bears witness that there is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad (peace be upon Him) is His slave and Messenger, and that Jesus (peace be upon Him) is His slave and Messenger, a word which Allah bestowed upon Mary (peace be upon Her) and a spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is real, and Hell is real, Allah will admit him through whichever of the eight gates of Paradise he wishes.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
When it comes to the events on the cross, the Holy Qur’aan is equally categorical in describing the sequence of events as follows:
وَقَوۡلِهِمۡ إِنَّا قَتَلۡنَا ٱلۡمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ٱبۡنَ مَرۡيَمَ رَسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمۡۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ لَفِى شَكٍّ۬ مِّنۡهُۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِۦ مِنۡ عِلۡمٍ إِلَّا ٱتِّبَاعَ ٱلظَّنِّۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينَۢا (١٥٧) بَل رَّفَعَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيۡهِۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمً۬ا
[4:157] And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. [4:158] Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.
When these two verses are considered together, we come to 4 natural conclusions:
1 Jesus (peace be upon Him) was not killed
2 Jesus (peace be upon Him) was not crucified
3 Someone was made to resemble Jesus (peace be upon Him)
4 Jesus (peace be upon Him) was raised up
By extension of the belief that Jesus (peace be upon Him) was neither crucified nor killed, Muslims also believe that he will descend (back to Earth) near the day of judgement. The narrations on this topic are many and these are events foretold by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) i.e. he is talking about the future. Let me make it clear, Jesus (peace be upon Him) couldn’t have descended before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) because he is foretelling his coming (back to Earth) in the future and there are other events i.e. breaking of the cross and killing of the swine associated with his coming:
حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا الزُّهْرِيُّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ الْمُسَيَّبِ، سَمِعَ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَنْزِلَ فِيكُمُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ حَكَمًا مُقْسِطًا، فَيَكْسِرَ الصَّلِيبَ، وَيَقْتُلَ الْخِنْزِيرَ، وَيَضَعَ الْجِزْيَةَ، وَيَفِيضَ الْمَالُ حَتَّى لاَ يَقْبَلَهُ أَحَدٌ "
Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah's Messenger (peace be upon Him) said that the Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts). [Bukhari]
When these narrations are studied either individually or collectively, we come to the following conclusions:
1 Jesus (peace be upon Him) will come (to Earth) after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him)
2 Jesus (peace be upon Him) will break the cross
3 Jesus (peace be upon Him)'s time will be so blessed that monetary concerns and troubles will be no more.
The chain of transmission of these narrations that Jesus is alive in the heavens is rigorous and strong to such an extent that Muslim Scholars have written that there is Ijma’a (consensus) on the subject:
وأجمعت الأمة على ماتضمنه الحديث المتواتر من أن عيسى في السماء حي وأنه ينزل في آخر الزمان
There is consensus of this Ummah on the matter which has been narrated in (rigorous) traditions that Jesus (peace be upon Him) in alive in the heavens and will descend in the end times [Imam Abu Muhammad Abdul Haq Al-Andalusi [passed away 541 AH]
وقال القاضي عياض في شرح مسلم : " نزول عيسى عليه السلام وقتله الدجال حق وصحيح عند أهل السنة للأحاديث الصحيحة في ذلك ، وليس في العقل ولا في الشرع ما يبطله ، فوجب إثباته ، وأنكر ذلك بعض المعتزلة والجهمية ومن وافقهم
The coming of Jesus (peace be upon Him) and his killing of Anti-Christ is correct amongst the Ahlus-Sunnah. This matter is narrated in rigorous and authentic tradition and there is nothing which contradicts it logically or from what has been narrated in Islamic law. Therefore it has become an obligation to affirm (this belief). However, some of the heretics from Mu'tazila, Jahmiyyah and those who agree with them have disagreed with (this belief). [Imam Al-Nawawi (1233-1277)
وقد تواترت الأحاديث عن رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - أنه أخبر بنزول عيسى عليه السلام قبل يوم القيامة إماماً عادلاً وحكماً مقسطاً
It has been foretold by Prophet Muhammad as firmly established in the rigorous and Mutawattir traditions that Jesus will descend near the end times as a just and ruler who will establish fairness, justice and equity. [Imam Ibn-Kathir (1300-1373)
This question was also put to the committee of Scholars in Saudi Arabia and they responded as follows:
Question: Is ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam alive or dead? What is the evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah? If he is alive or dead, then where is he now? And what is the evidence for that from the Qur’an and Sunnah?
They replied: ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is alive; he has not died up till now. The Jews did not kill him or crucify him; rather it was caused to appear that way to them. Allah took him up to heaven, body and soul, and until now he is in heaven. The evidence for that is the words of Allah, may He be exalted, concerning the fabrication of the Jews and the refutation thereof (interpretation of the meaning):
“And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah ‘Eesaa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Eesaa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (i.e. ‘Eesaa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) )
But Allah raised him (‘Eesaa (Jesus)) up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise” [an-NIsa’ 4:157-158].
Thus Allah, may He be glorified, declared false the words of the Jews when they claimed that they had killed him and crucified him, and He stated that He took him up to Him. That was mercy from Him to him, and was an honour to him, so that he would be one of his signs, an honour that He bestows upon whomever He will of His Messengers. How many signs of Allah there are in the story of ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him), from beginning to end. The implication of the words “But Allah raised him (‘Eesaa (Jesus)) up (with his body and soul) unto Himself” is that Allah, may He be glorified, took ‘Eesaa (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) up body and soul, so as to refute the claim of the Jews that they crucified him and killed him, because killing and crucifying have to do with the physical body. Moreover, if He had only taken up his soul, that would not rule out the claim of having killed and crucified him, because taking up the soul only would not be a refutation of their claim. Also the name of ‘Eesaa (peace be upon him), in reality, refer to him in both soul and body together; it cannot refer to one of them only, unless there is an indication to that effect. Furthermore, taking up both his soul and his body together is indicative of the perfect might and wisdom of Allah, and of His honour and support to whomever He will among His Messengers, according to what He, may He be exalted, says at the end of the verse: “And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.”
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Qa‘ood. [Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (3/305-306)]
هل عيسى بن مريم حي أو ميت ؟ وما الدليل من الكتاب أو السنَّة ؟ إذا كان حيّاً أو ميتا : فأين هو الآن ؟ وما الدليل من الكتاب والسنَّة ؟
فأجابوا : " عيسى بن مريم عليه الصلاة والسلام حيٌّ ، لم يمت حتى الآن ، ولم يقتله اليهود ، ولم يصلبوه ، ولكن شبِّه لهم ، بل رفعه الله إلى السماء ببدنه وروحه ، وهو إلى الآن في السماء ، والدليل على ذلك : قول الله تعالى في فرية اليهود والرد عليها : ( وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ مَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا . بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا ) النساء/ 157 ، 158 .
فأنكر سبحانه على اليهود قولهم إنهم قتلوه وصلبوه ، وأخبر أنه رفعه إليه ، وقد كان ذلك منه تعالى رحمةً به ، وتكريماً له ، وليكون آية من آياته التي يؤتيها من يشاء من رسله ، وما أكثر آيات الله في عيسى ابن مريم عليه السلام أولاً وآخراً ، ومقتضى الإضراب في قوله تعالى : ( بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ ) : أن يكون سبحانه قد رفع عيسى عليه الصلاة والسلام بدناً وروحاً حتى يتحقق به الرد على زعم اليهود أنهم صلبوه وقتلوه ؛ لأن القتل والصلب إنما يكون للبدن أصالة ؛ ولأن رفع الروح وحدها لا ينافي دعواهم القتل والصلب ، فلا يكون رفع الروح وحدها ردّاً عليهم ؛ ولأن اسم عيسى عليه السلام حقيقة في الروح والبدن جميعاً ، فلا ينصرف إلى أحدهما عند الإطلاق إلا بقرينة ، ولا قرينة هنا ؛ ولأن رفع روحه وبدنه جميعاً مقتضى كمال عزة الله ، وحكمته ، وتكريمه ، ونصره مَن شاء مِن رسله ، حسبما قضى به قوله تعالى في ختام الآية ( وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا )
الشيخ عبد العزيز بن باز , الشيخ عبد الرزاق عفيفي , الشيخ عبد الله بن غديان , الشيخ عبد الله بن قعود
" انتهى "فتاوى اللجنة الدائمة" ( 3 / 305 , 306 )
Therefore, there is no question or doubt that according to Islamic creed Jesus () ascended to the heavens, he is still alive and will descend back down to Earth in the future. Since this is a matter of consensus in Islam, deviation from this belief will make a person fall out of the fold of Islam.
The core belief of Ahmadi-Qadiyanees an introduction to them is presented in this article. Here I wish to touch upon their unique (sic) belief about Jesus (peace be upon Him), they proclaim:
"Ahmadi Muslims (sic) hold the unique belief that Jesus (peace be upon him) survived the crucifixion and travelled towards India to continue his ministry among the Lost Tribes of Israel."
This belief contradicts clear text of Holy Qur’aan and rigorously authenticated narrations of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him). It also does not stand up to the historical and scientific scrutiny. The Christians themselves deny any knowledge of Jesus (peace be upon Him) having ever travelling to India from their scriptures.