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See Death of Jesus according to:
1. Quran || 2. Hadith || 3. Ijma || 4. Early Views || 5. Modern Muslim scholars (1) || 6. Modern Muslim scholars (2) || 7. Modern Muslim scholars (3)

The Death of Jesus
according to Islamic sources - 7

by Maulana Hafiz Sher Mohammad

7. Views of modern Muslim scholars (3)

IV. Ulama of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent (continued)

12. Allama Niyaz Fatehpuri writes:
"Thirty-eight years ago I wrote in detail in Nigar that it is clearly proved from the Divine word that he (Jesus) died his natural death."

(Monthly Nigar, Lucknow, India, June 1961)

13. The chief editor of Al-Jamiat, Delhi, Maulana Muhammad Usman Farqleet, gives his view as follows:

"Had belief in the second coming of Jesus been a fundamental article of faith and a means of salvation according to Islam, the Holy Quran would certainly have mentioned this doctrine explicitly since it claims to contain all matters of guidance: inna ‘alai-na la-l-huda, ‘it is Our responsibility to show that path of guidance’ [92:12]. However, the Holy Quran nowhere speaks of the second coming of Jesus. Hence it is right to conclude that the second coming of any prophet, and that too after the Khatam al-mursalin, is absolutely against the Quran … By saying Khatam an-nabiyyin the Quran has, with "alif, lam", closed the door to every type of prophethood. Furthermore, there is Jesus’ statement that ‘Ahmad shall come after me’; he himself cannot come after Ahmad."

(Shabistan Urdu Digest, New Delhi, November 1974, p. 18)

14. Muhammad Hasan ibn Muhammad Abbas, mujtahid and ustad at the Madrasa Nizamiyya, Lucknow, India, wrote:

"The findings of authentic, established books and the Quranic commentaries of the great scholars prove the wafat of Jesus, i.e., that he died. Thus, two verses in particular provide evidence for his death: firstly, inni mutawaffi-ka wa rafiu-ka ilayya; and secondly, falamma tawaffaita-ni kunta anta-r-raqiba ‘alai-him. These verses are quite sufficient to prove Jesus’ death. If these do not suffice, I can write still more and give ahadith in support."

(as quoted in Tashhiz al-Azhan, April 1921, p. 39)

15. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, in the first edition of his English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran, rendered verse 3:55 as: "I will take thy soul and raise thee to Myself." In the footnote at this point in the first edition, he wrote:

"Read this along with 4:157 where it is said that the Jews neither crucified nor killed Jesus, but that another was killed in his likeness. The guilt of the Jews remained. But Jesus completed his life and was when he died taken up to God."

16. Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi, former deputy head of the Jama‘at-i Islami, writes:

"The meaning is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) too is a messenger of God, just as there had been many other messengers of God in the world. He too may have to face the same kind of trials and tribulations that they encountered. Just as all messengers (tamam rasulun) had had to pass through the stage of death, he too would die one day. His being a messenger of God does not mean that he would not die or cannot be killed."

(Tadabbar Quran, vol. i, p. 287, under verse 3:144, published in Lahore, 1967)

17. Sayyid Abul ‘Ala Maudoodi has written the following upon this topic:

i. "The most appropriate course of action according to the Quran is to refrain from giving further details of raf‘ jismani (bodily ascension) and of maut (death) … In fact, one should consider Jesus’ ascent to be an extraordinary manifestation of Divine power, and leave its exact nature explained briefly as God Himself has left it brief."

(Maulana Maudoodi par itrazat ka ‘ilmi ja’iza, by Maulvi Muhammad Yusuf, Part I, p. 169)

ii. "I think that this issue is among the mutashabihat (unclear verses), for we cannot comprehend the exact nature of Jesus’ ascent, his staying alive somewhere, and his subsequent descent at some future date. What we have been taught about the mutashabihat is that we should not investigate them further, but merely believe in however much has been told to us. To undertake investigation of the mutashabihat, and to be indifferent to the muhkamat (explicit verses), is clear sign of perversity."

(Letter dated 1 January 1951, ref: 760/71, Ichhra, Lahore)

iii. In answer to a letter, Sayyid Abul ‘Ala Maudoodi had his reply written by Mr. Naeem Siddiqi as follows:

"As to what I have understood from the Holy Quran regarding the death of Jesus … I have already explained it, and you can read it. As to Jesus’ second coming, I cannot put it higher than a possibility because the Quran gives no explanation of it, and the basis of firm faith cannot be laid upon Hadith. It could be that God may send Jesus to earth again, and if He so wishes there cannot be any bar against it. In any case, this point is not part of Islamic doctrine."

(Rukh kardar by Chaudhary Habib-Ullah, p. 243)

iv. "The Quran does not explicitly state that God raised up Jesus, body and soul, from earth to heaven. Nor does it clearly say that he died a natural death on earth, and that only his soul was raised up. Thus, on the basis of the Quran, neither of these views can be definitely negated or confirmed."

(Tahfim al-Quran by Maulana Maudoodi, p. 240)

18. Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz writes in his Quranic commentary:

i. Under the verse "They planned, and God also planned", he writes:

"Thus, that nation became divided into two parties, one supporting the truth and the other opposing it. The opponents started using secret means and plans in order to lay their hands on Jesus. Countering this, God produced hidden ways and means of saving him, and it is evident that the means devised by God are superior in every respect. Their final plan was to have Jesus arrested and crucified, so that he would, according to them, die in disgrace and humiliation. But God said to Jesus: Be not perturbed, this conspiracy of theirs can never succeed; you will die a natural death, and I will grant you high ranks; I will take you far beyond the reach of these enemies, and clear you from the accusations coined against you; your followers appear to be weak at this time, but in the end I will make those who follow you to be ever above those who deny you."

(Mafhum al-Quran, Sura 3, vv. 53-54, p.132)

ii. "Verse 156: The list of their crimes does not end here, but carries on further. The denial of truth and persistence in haughtiness and arrogance made them reach such a stage that they levelled a grievous slander against a virtuous woman like Mary. And regarding a glorious prophet like Jesus, to this day they proudly claim to have killed him, making him die in disgrace. However, the fact is that they neither killed him nor made him die, according to them a death of disgrace, by putting him on the cross. What actually happened was different from what they thought had happened, and the reality became obscure to them. On the other side, the people who differ from the Jews on this matter, i.e., Christians, do not know the truth either. Their explanations too are based on conjecture and guess work. Thus neither the Jews nor the Christians know the truth of the event, neither of them having any sure knowledge. The truth is what has been stated above, i.e., Jesus was not killed, nor did he die an accursed death upon the cross as asserted by the Jews, but rather, God elevated him in status."

(ibid., Sura 4, verses 156 to 158, p. 229)

iii. "Verse 117: I (Jesus) said to them only what You (God) commanded me, i.e., worship God, your Lord and my Lord. Whilst I was among them I watched over them (so that they may not go wrong), but when You caused me to die I ceased to be the watcher, and after that You were their guardian, not only theirs but You are the guardian of everything in creation."

(ibid ., Sura 5, verse 117).

iv. "From the above explanations the fact has come to the fore as to how the Holy Quran has refuted this false belief of the Jews and the Christians that Jesus was crucified. As to the Christian belief that was raised up to heaven alive, this does not find support in the Quran either. On the other hand, it contains evidence which makes it clear that, like other prophets, he completed his span of life and died."

(Shu‘la Mastur, p. 72)

v. "The fact is that the concept of Jesus being raised up to heaven alive is a later invention of the Christian religion. The Jews gave currency to the idea — and it seemed to be so on the face of it — that they had killed Jesus upon the cross. The disciples knew that this was not true, but for reasons of expediency they could not contradict it."

(ibid., p. 83)

19. Maulana Sayyid Abdud-Da’im Jalali writes:

"It is recorded in an authentic hadith that the Holy Prophet Muhammad stated: ‘Had Moses or Jesus been alive, they would have had to follow me’."

(Tafsir Bayan as-Subhan, on Part 3, p. 349)

20. Abu Zafar Nazish Rizvi wrote a poem entitled Dastan-e Haram, a verse of which says of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s demise:

"After Moses and Jesus, from the world
Did the honoured Messenger depart to eternity."

(Newspaper Azad, 12 October 1951)

21. Lt.-Colonel Khwaja Abdur Rashid writes:

"As the Ulama of Islam, among whom were many converts from the Ahl al-Kitab, had raised Jesus to heaven, the difficulty then arose for the Quranic commentators as to how he should be brought back in order to die his natural death. Hence, to prove this ‘return to earth’, he was presented as a sign of the Judgment Day. Iqbal grasped the reality, and so it was that he said:
‘Look for the descent of God upon the minaret of your own heart, And give up waiting even for the Mahdi or Jesus’."

(Weekly Chatan, 1st December 1958, p. 7)

22. Maulvi Muhammad Ali of Jalandhar writes:

"One day I was sitting in a mosque in Multan, where a Mirza’i [Ahmadi] was having an argument with a Maulvi Sahib. The Mirza’i kept on repeating that Jesus had died, and the Maulvi Sahib would shake his head in denial. Fifteen or twenty minutes elapsed in this argument. I came and sat with them, and said to the Mirza’i: Please excuse the Maulvi Sahib, and talk to me instead. He at once said: Jesus has died. I raised my hands and said: Let us pray that God grants him paradise."

(Newspaper Azad, Lahore, 25 January 1952, p. 1)

23. Professor Ilyas Barnee, the author of the famous anti-Ahmadiyya book Qadiani Mazhab,states in his book Islam:

"As to the second point, how Christ was raised up to God, it is further explained as below: ‘Behold! God said, O Jesus! I will take thy soul (make thee die) and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of falsehoods of those who blaspheme that they crucified thee is cleared by the Quran)’ — section 6 of sura III Al-e Imran. ‘And I (Christ) was a witness over them (Christians) whilst I dwelt amongst them, (but) when Thou took my soul (made me die) Thou wast the watcher over them and Thou art a witness to all things’ — Section 16 of Sura V Ma’ida. ‘So peace is on me (said Christ) the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life again (at resurrection)’ — Section 2 of Sura XIX Maryam."

(Vide Our Movement, by Mr. Naseem Saifi, p. 71)

24. Khwaja Ibadullah Akhtar, B.A., of Amritsar expresses his view as follows:

i. "We do not wish to say any more on this issue than that Jesus was certainly nailed to the cross. However, he did not die on the cross, nor could have any man died on the cross in such a short period. But he fell into such a state of unconsciousness as to make people suspect that he had died. In that state of unconsciousness he was taken down from the cross, and being thought to be dead, placed in a tomb a sketch of which we have given in this book. When he became conscious, he left the tomb by himself."

(Damishq, p. 54, published by the Steam Press, Amritsar, India, 1911)

ii. "The Christian religion is so bound up with the person of Jesus that if the Christians were to believe that Jesus has died this religion would also be dead Thus this religion is based upon the person of Jesus." (ibid., p. 50)

25. The editor of the monthly Balagh al-Quran, Lahore, writes:

"Just as un-Quranic ideas have made the birth of Jesus a riddle, so it is also said about his death that he has been living in the fourth heaven for two thousand years, that he shall return, marry, have children, and then die. The argument for his being taken up to heaven is based upon the words Bal rafa‘a-hu Allahu ilai-hi, the meaning of which we have explained on page 29, that God caused him to migrate (hijra) to Himself, in accordance with His law for all the prophets. For if raf‘ be taken to mean lifted up to heaven, then it would have to be believed that the prophet Idris too is alive and living in a high place, as God has said of him: wa rafa‘na-hu makan-an ‘aliyyan (19:57) — ‘We raised him to a high place’. Obviously, just as the word rafa‘na-hu is used about Idris, the meaning of rafa‘a-hu Allahu ilai-hi according to the context is to raise in status by migration (hijra), not raise up to the sky.

Now let us consider whether Jesus is alive or dead. For this, the following two verses of the Quran should be examined: ‘Muhammad is only a messenger of God; many messengers before him had passed away’ (3:144); ‘The Messiah, son of Mary, is only a messenger of God; many messengers before him had passed away’ (5:75). Both verses contain the expression: ‘Messengers before him had passed away’ (qad khalat min qabli-hi-r-rusul). According to this, if a messenger before Jesus were alive then it could be believed that a messenger before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, i.e. Jesus, was also alive. But if, according to this expression, no messenger before Jesus himself can be believed to be alive, then it should be remembered that Jesus too, as a messenger before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, according to ‘messengers before him had passed away’ is included amongst these prophets and has died. And as, by the clear testimony of the Quran and in accordance with the laws of nature, Jesus has died, neither is the view correct that he went up to the fourth heaven nor can the idea of his return arise.

The following verse is also adduced to prove that Jesus is alive: Qul fa-man yamliku min Allahi shai’-an in arada an yuhlika al-masiha ibna Maryama wa umma-hu wa man fil ardi jami‘-an (5:17). Its usual translation runs: ‘Say (O Prophet): Who is it that can interfere in God’s purpose if He wishes to destroy the Messiah, his mother, and all the creatures on earth’. If, on the basis of this usual translation, Jesus is believed to be still alive his mother would also have to be believed to be alive because after masih (Messiah.) occur the words umma-hu (his mother). However, as Mary is accepted as having died in accordance with the Divine law ‘every soul must taste death’, Jesus too must be considered dead according to this law. Moreover, since according to the Quranic verdict ‘Muhammad is only a messenger, messengers before him had passed away’, Jesus passed away before Holy Prophet Muhammad, i.e., he died like the other prophets, the verse under discussion must be translated according to the rule that in Arabic the past may be referred using the imperfect [i.e. present or future] tense. Remembering also that the wa (and) in umma-hu wa man fil ard (his mother and all the creatures on earth) indicates companionship, the correct significance of this verse, corresponding to the laws of nature, is this: ‘Say (O Prophet): Who is it that can interfere with God’s purpose if He wishes to destroy, along with the Messiah and his mother, all the creatures on earth’.

"In this Quranic verse it is correct to take the imperfect tense as referring to the past, just as in the following verse about the history of Joseph the imperfect tense must be taken to refer to the past: ‘And thus did We give to Joseph power in the land — he had mastery (yatabawwa’u) in it wherever he liked (yasha’u)’. In this verse the two verbs yatabawwa’u and yasha’u are in the imperfect, but they cannot be translated except in the past tense. To say about the deceased Joseph that ‘he has mastery in it wherever he likes’ is absolutely wrong.

Jesus’ death in his own words On the Day of Judgment God will ask Jesus: ‘Did you tell people to take you and your mother as gods besides Allah’? He shall reply: ‘Certainly not! So long as I was among them I watched over them, and did not let them make any such idolatrous utterance. However, when You caused me to die, You were the watcher over them’. Here the words ‘when You caused me to die’ convey that it was after he died that his people made him and his mother gods. This topic is explained in Sura Ma’ida, verses 116 and 117. The words of the verse are: falamma tawaffaitani kunta anta al-raqiba ‘alai-him — ‘when You caused me to die, You were the Watcher over them’. Since it is proved from the Holy Quran that Jesus and Mary were taken to be gods after the death of Jesus, it follows from this that he has died."

(Monthly Balagh al-Quran, December 1963, p. 32, published by the Idara Balagh al-Quran, Samanabad, Lahore)


In this book we have put forward passages from the Holy Quran, Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ahadith), the unanimous verdict (ijma) of the Companions, observations of the Righteous Caliphs and other Companions, conclusions of the great Imams and early elders of Islam, and the writings of modern Muslim scholars, Arab and non-Arab, of all schools of thought. It is hoped that all this evidence will satisfactorily settle the issue of Jesus’ death, leaving no scope for any doubt or query in the reader’s mind.

Death of Jesus according to: 1. Quran || 2. Hadith || 3. Ijma || 4. Early Views || 5. Modern Muslim scholars (1) || 6. Modern Muslim scholars (2) || 7. Modern Muslim scholars (3)
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