Will Jesus Return? - Details From The Qur'an
The accepted faith of most Muslims is that Jesus is alive in Heaven. According to them, Jesus did not die but instead, God raised up to Heaven.
If you are one of those hadith following Muslims, you need to read along the rest of the discussion.
May I ask you: 'do you have evidence from the Qur'an to support your conviction that Jesus is alive and that he was raised alive?' Most probably you don’t have evidence. You simply relied on an accepted opinion of the majority of Muslims, even though they are clearly wrong.
Below are plenty of evidences from the Qur'an to prove that Jesus is not alive -- he is dead and that he was not raised alive in the Heaven.
In reaching a conclusion one must know that a true Muslim should believe in the total Qur'an and only the Qur'an. One must know that God tells us that His book is complete and fully detailed.
No verse in the Qur'an contradicts each other and there is no abrogation of verse(s). The understanding below will not contradict the Qur'an's message and teachings.
There will be no twisting of meanings of verse(s) to reach a conclusion.
One argument for not believing in the death of Jesus is that most Muslims all over the world believe that he is alive in Heaven. Can they be wrong? Just because an opinion is widely accepted by the mass does not validate its authenticity. Billions of Christians believe Jesus is Son of God, so the concept must be correct, right? Wrong. Billions of Hindus and Buddhist believe in their respective religion to be correct, that does not make their religion correct or perfect. Again we know Hindus and Buddhist are wrong. Thus if a notion is upheld by popular opinion, such notion need not become absolute truth.
Natural Death of Jesus
So called "Muslims" all over the world uphold the Christian faith that Jesus is alive. The whole foundation of the Christian faith is rested on this concept and most Muslims overtly support their viewpoint. Somehow the Christian concept has infiltrated into the Muslim faith long ago by the blind following of false hadith and now it seems to be a part of their corrupted version of Islam.
These self-proclaimed Muslims take the help of two verses from the Holy Qur'an to obtain support for their viewpoint. The verses are 3:54 from Surah Al-e Imran and 4:157-158 from Surah An-Nisa’. We will give you correct translation of the verses, word for word, so that you can get the point. It is a sad that many Muslims blame the correct translation to be false and cite incorrect translations as authentic. We will show you several examples of correct and incorrect translations so that any sensible person can find out the true picture.
Analysis of the verse 3:54 from Surah Ale Imran
In the verse 3:54 God says:
"O Jesus! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me and I shall clear you of those who reject Faith, and I am going to make those who follow you above those who reject Faith - until the day of Awakening. Then towards Me is your return, so that I shall decide among you as to in which you used to differ."
They key words here are : Ya Isa, inni mutawaffika wa rafi’uka ilaiya
Meaning: "O Jesus! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me..."
Interpretation of the word ‘wafat’:
The key word here is "wafat" . The most correct meaning of "wafat" is death, or take away soul. If soul is taken away from a person, it is nothing but death. The problem arises with regards to this verse, when Muslims refuse to interpret the meaning of "wafat" as death. Irony is that all scholars who translated the Holy Quran do agree "wafat" means death. Each and every scholar translated the word "wafat" as death in at least 20 different instances in their translations. However, in this particular verse, they interpreted the meaning as ‘take away’ and insinuate physical ascension. These translators did not hesitate to twist the actual meaning of the word of God to support their hadith, of which are full of contradictions and inconsistencies. To see our full article on Hadith, click here.
In the verse 3:54, two conditions are stipulated about Jesus:
First, God will cause his Death.
Second, he will be raised.
The second condition can not take place till the first condition is met. In other words, before Jesus can be raised, first, he must die. Let us see various translations of the same verse.
Correct translation : "O Isa! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me…"
Yusuf Ali : "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself…"
Pickthall : "O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me..."
Mohammad Sarwar : He told Jesus, "I will save you from your enemies, raise you to Myself..."
M. H. Shakir : "O Isa! I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me"
Al-Hilali & M. Khan "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself…."
Farooq-i-Azam Malik: "O Isa (Jesus)! I am going to recall you (from your mission) and raise you up to Myself...."
Ahmed Ali: "O Jesus! I will take you to Myself and exalt you….."
Critique: (****Most Correct, *** Fairly Correct. **Incorrect, *Grossly incorrect)
Yusuf Ali: "take thee" is not the appropriate meaning of "wafat". ‘Take thee’ may mean death in a literal sense, but looks like Yusuf Ali avoided the debate whether it was death or physical rising. Thus he left the issue with plenty of conjecture. Elsewhere, wherever the word "wafat" was used in the Holy Quran, Yusuf Ali translated the word as "take soul" "die" or "death". But in this case he is in utter confusion. Rating ***
Pickthall: "Lo!" is an extra word interpolated in the Quran. "I am gathering" is way off the closest meaning of "wafat". God uses a future verb here, use of "I am" is grossly incorrect. Similarly, "causing" is a present verb and is wrong. By using "ascend" Pickthall is insinuating a physical rising rather than exalt in honor. Rating **
Mohammad Sarwar: He left out the word "O Jesus" in the translation. Here God addressed Jesus by name. To translate the word as God told Jesus is inappropriate. "Save you from the enemies" is extra word interpolated in the Quran! Sarwar totally omitted the word "warafiuka" in his translation, instead interpolated his own thoughts in the translation. Rating * or worse.
M.H. Shakir: "terminate the period of your stay (on earth)" is verbose. This could very well mean death, but when he added ‘on earth’ in parenthesis, his intention is obvious. He is not referring to death. Rather, Shakir is clearly referring to Jesus’ tenure on the earth is over and now he is spending the rest of his life in the outside of the earth. Rating **
Al-Hilali & M. Khan: Translation is identical to that of Yusuf Ali. "take you" is not the appropriate meaning of "wafat". ‘Take you’ may mean death in a literary sense, but looks like Hilali & Khan avoided the debate whether it was death or physical rising. Thus he left the issue with plenty of conjecture. Elsewhere, wherever the word "wafat" was used in the Holy Quran, they translated the word as "die" or "death". Rating ***
Farooq Malik: Strong denial to use 'death' as the meaning - instead there is obvious suggestion that Jesus's mission is temporarily stopped, to be resumed in future! Far too many unwarranted words to justify his conditioned faith learned during childhood or in heresy. Use of 'recall from your mission' is nothing but clear suggestion that death did not occur. Rating *
Ahmed Ali: Utter confusion and awkward denial to use the word 'death'. Ali admits that Jesus will be exalted in status, but confused about what happened prior to exaltation. First Jesus will be taken to God and then exalted. Ali failed miserably in translating the sentence as presented by God. Rating *
From this analysis we can see how these scholars have changed the words of God according to their own will and to support what they learned during their childhood and now they are conditioned to think that way. Some have mistaken the correct use of verbs (Pickthall). Some have omitted key words and interpolated fabricated words (Pickthall, Sarwar, Malik) and passed it over as God’s word! To derive a remote synonym for a word is one thing (Yusuf Ali, Shakir, Al-Hilali & M. Khan. Malik) but to fabricate additional words and omit key words are gross act of negligence and corruption.
The most correct meaning of the word "wafat" is death. Wherever in the Holy Quran the word "wafat" is used, all these translators derived the meaning as death, except in this verse 3:54, where they don’t see "wafat" as death! What is the problem here? Why are they contradicting the meaning of 'wafat'? What stops them from translating the words of God in its true context? They are seeing imaginary words only to support heresy they learned from false hadith.
Here are some of the verses in the Holy Quran where God used the word "wafat". The verses are 2:234, 2:240, 3:193, 4:15, 4:97, 6:61, 7:37, 7:126, 8:50, 10:46, 10:104, 12:101, 13:40, 16:28, 16:32, 16:70, 39:42, 40:67, 40:77, 47:27 etc. In each of the instances, all these scholars translated the word "wafat" as death, or a word very close to death but none of them used a word to mean take away in alive condition. Let us examine some of the verses and see how these translators derived the meaning of "wafat" in these instances.
Yusuf Ali: "…and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous"
Pickthall: "…and make us die the death of the righteous."
Sarwar: "…let us die with the righteous ones."
Shakir: "….and make us die with the righteous."
Hilali & Khan: "……and make us die in the state of righteousness…."
Farooq Malik: "…And make us die with the righteous."
Ahmed Ali: "…And grant us (the glory of) death with the just."
Yusuf Ali: "…until death to claim them…."
Pickthall: "…until death take them…."
Sarwar: "…until they die…"
Shakir: "….until death takes them away…"
Hilali & Khan: "…until death comes to them…"
Farooq Malik: "…until they die..."
Ahmed Ali: "…until death ..."
Yusuf Ali: "…and take our soul unto thee as Muslims!"
Pickthall: "…and make us die as men who have surrendered."
Sarwar: "…let us die Muslims (submitted to God)."
Shakir: "…and cause us to die in submission."
Hilali & Khan: "…And cause us to die as Muslims."
Farooq Malik: "…And cause us to die as Muslims."
Ahmed Ali: "….that we may die submitting (to You)."
Yusuf Ali: "…or We take thy soul…"
Pickthall: "…cause thee to die,…"
Sarwar: "…or you die…"
Shakir: "….or cause you to die…."
Hilali & Khan: "…. - or We cause you to die,- ….
Farooq Malik: "…Or cause you to die…."
Ahmed Ali: "…or take you to Ourself,..."
Yusuf Ali: "…take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting…"
Pickthall: "… Make me to die muslim (unto Thee), …"
Sarwar: "…cause me to die as a Muslim…"
Shakir: "…make me die a Muslim…."
Hilali & Khan: "…cause me to die as a Muslim…"
Farooq Malik: "… make me die as a Muslim …"
Ahmed Ali: "…let me die submitting to You."
You many go ahead and verify the translations of all other verses. If you do so, you will start discovering an emerging corruption by all the so-called Muslim scholars. They misguided you by not translating a word correctly. Given all these facts, may we conclude that Jesus must die first before he can be raised?
Some Muslims say that ‘wafat’ here means death of Jesus after his descent from the Heavens in the later years. Good thing is that these Muslims do agree that 'wafat' means death! Please note, the verse here clearly denotes his relationship with his own people and not with any other people of the later days. The people of the later days would admittedly be followers of Muhammad and not of Jesus.
Interpretation of the word "rafa" – to raise/to exalt:
In the same verse 3:54 use of two words "wafat" and "rafa" may have led you to a double jeopardy. On top of that you are under constant influence of Christian doctrine. As a result you simply believe that Jesus did not die and instead was raised alive in heaven. In doing so, you are actually believing the Christian faith and failing to see the true teaching of the Qur'an. Not only that, now you are making one verse of the Quran contradict another.
The meaning of the word is ‘to raise’, ‘to exalt’. In order to validate the Christian faith, first, you refuse to see ‘wafat’ as death, and then interpret ‘rafa’ as physical ascension. When these two incorrect interpretations are combined, you find that Jesus was raised to the heaven.
Let us examine the use of the word ‘rafa’ in the Quran. The word ‘rafa’ occurred many times in the Quran conveying a meaning of spiritual honor and exaltation. Please note carefully what God says in the verse. He is saying that Jesus will be raised towards Him and not towards Heaven. So the question of Jesus being alive in the Heaven can not arise, because he was not raised in the Heaven. In the literal context even if we think that he was raised bodily near God, question comes, where is God? Is He ensconced somewhere in the sky, in Heaven or in a throne like a king? Didn’t God say that He is omnipresent – in other words, He is present everywhere? Would you say that God is confined in a physical body towards which He raised Jesus? Please answer, how can Jesus be raised to sky or Heaven when God said he will be raised towards Him. And that God is present everywhere (2:115); God is nearer to man than his heart (8:24); God is nearer to man than his jugular vein (50:16).
If that be true, then Jesus could not have been raised physically and bodily in to the sky. If really he was needed to be raised bodily towards God, then he could very well stay in Jerusalem, yet be near God - because God is present everywhere and in Jerusalem too.
This drives home the true meaning of the word ‘rafa’ – exalt in honor and/or exalt in spiritual dignity. This verse tells us that while the Jews were planning to kill him, (he will not be killed, rather) God will cause him to die a natural death and sanctify him against the charges of the enemies. Once again, please notice the sentence: Ya Isa, inni mutawaffika WA rafi’uka ilaiya… that is ‘rafa’ will take place only after the ‘wafat’. ‘Rafa’ after death can not mean physical ascension, but only exaltation in rank. This is more implied when the words ‘I shall clear you of those who reject Faith’ are present with it. This shows that while Jews plotted heinous crime against him, and brought him utter disgrace and condemned him as a cheat and planned to put him to a shameful death on the cross etc. God will instead save him and exalt him in honor and dignity.
Since the use of the word 'rafa' raised Jesus alive, the use of the same word in case of other prophets must do the same thing! Ask yourself, if you know of any other prophet who was raised alive in the Heaven? None? What about Prophet Idris? Regarding Idris, God says in Surah Maryam 19:57 as: And We raised him to an elevated state. (WA rafa’naa hu…). The use of ‘rafa’ here should prompt you to declare that God raised Idris in alive condition in the Heaven or at least to a place hanging high above. If we apply the same logic, in case of Jesus, use of the word 'rafa' kept him alive for 2000 years; therefore the same use of the word 'rafa' in case of Idris must keep him alive for 2000 years or so. The problem now is about these two alive people in the Heaven – Jesus and Idris. The Muslims already made stories and speculations that Jesus will descend from the Heaven in the later days, but what about Idris ? Has Idris come down already or when is he going to descend or is he going to stay there perpetually?
The word ‘rafa’ was used in different places in the Quran to mean spiritual honor and exaltation. Let us see some of the examples:
Prophets Muhammad is exalted by God:
43:32 …And We have raised some of them above others in rank. (…WA rafa’ na…)
94:4 And We have exalted for you your mention (…WA rafa’ NA…)
Prophet Abraham has been exalted by God:
6:84 .We exalt in degrees whom We please (…narfa’u darazaa…)
Prophet Idris has been exalted by God:
19:57 And We raised him to an elevated state. (WA rafa’naa hu…)
Righteous servants of God are raised in degrees:
6:166 …and He raises some of you above the others in degrees…. (…WA rafa’ aa ba’dakum…)
7:176 And had We wished We would invariably exalted him; …. (…rafa’naa hu….)
56:3 It will abase it will exalt (…rafi’aah…)
All good deeds are raised towards God:
35:10 …all pure speech and all good deed, --He exalts it…. (…yarfa’uhu. …)
House of pious believers are raised high by God:
24:36 in (certain) houses which God has permitted to be raised up… (…an turfa’a WA yuzkara…)
From this discussion we see that no where the use of ‘rafa’ meant physical ascension. However, in 3:54, you would interpret physical ascension just to validate the Christian faith. Whereas, if we honestly translate the word 'wafat' as death, then 'rafa' after death cannot mean physical ascension, rather exaltation in honor.
The tendency of traditional hadith following Muslims is to destroy the teaching of the Quran only to validate the Hadith dogma. Believe it or not, many of these Muslims approach the Quran like hypocrites – believe part of it and reject part of it. Many Muslims don’t want to believe in the complete and fully detailed Qur'an. When this is pointed out to them, their defensive answers are:
(1) All Muslims believe Jesus was raised alive, so I also believe it (I don’t care what the Qur'an says);
(2) My forefathers believed Jesus was raised alive, were they wrong? I would rather follow my forefathers (instead of following the teaching of Qur'an).
Unlike others that call themselves "reformists", we are not jumping into conclusions by force, rather we are trying to show you the true picture, and leaving the decision to yourself. With this let us revisit two verses from Surah Ale Imran, 3:53-54.
3:53 And they made plots and God made His plans. And God is the most Excellent of the plan-makers.
3:54 Behold! God said: ‘O Jesus! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me and I shall clear you of those who reject Faith, and I am going to make those who follow you above those who reject Faith - until the day of Awakening. Then towards me is your return so that I shall decide among you as to that in which you used to differ.
In case of each prophets, God made plans against plots made by oppressors. This is the practice of God to protect His messengers at the time of aggression of enemies. God protected Moses, Abraham, Joseph, Lot, Muhammad to name a few. In case of Jesus snatching him away from the enemies and lifting him alive in the Heaven can not be called a subtle and better plan of God when neither was it in the power of Jews nor in the power of anybody to counter it. In fact a better and subtle plan can be designed against another plan when it is contrived in a parallel manner.
Analysis of the verses 4:157-158 from Surah An-Nisa’
Verse 4:157-158 from Surah An-Nisa' are the other two verses often analyzed to prove that Jesus did not die. Let us examine to see if the contention is valid one or a corrupt analysis.
In the verse 4:157-158, God says:
4:157 And (because of) their saying: "Surely we have killed the Messiah, - ‘Jesus, son of Mar-yam" the Messenger of God, and they could not murder him, nor could they kill him by crucifixion, but he was made to resemble to them. And verily those who differ regarding him are certainly in a doubt about him. They have no knowledge about it but are merely following a guess; and they could not kill him for certain;
4:158 On the contrary, God exalted him towards Himself. And God is Exalted in Power, most Wise.
…WA ma qataluhu yaqinan (157). Bal rafa’ahu-llahu ilaihi …..(158)
The Jews always claimed that they killed the Masih, the son of Maryam. God is telling Muhammad that although they claimed that they killed the Messiah, in reality they could not murder him nor could they kill him by crucifixion. Then again, in the very same verse, God is telling that they could not kill him for certain.
Two types of death are being discussed here (a) a general murder (b) killing by crucifixion. The Jews wanted to cause either of the two types of death to Jesus. God assures us that they failed to cause either type of death to him. The traditional Muslim faith is that since Jesus was not murdered or killed by crucifixion, only possibility is that he is alive somewhere! Muslims totally ignore the fact that Jesus could have died a natural death later on! If Jesus died a natural death, it is still valid that the Jews could not (a) murder him or (b) kill him by crucifixion.