The Death of The Prophet Jesus

Ascension

What is the difference between Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi Muslims?

The fundamental difference between Muslims belonging to the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam and others relates to the death of the prophet Jesus (as). Those outside the jamaat generally believe that God has taken Jesus to heaven with his living body and he still lives in the heavens. They also believe that one day he will descend from the heavens and lead Muslims to victory in a great battle.

We believe that the prophet Jesus (as) died a natural death but not on the cross. This also means that no one will descend from the heavens to lead Muslims to victory in some great battle. In any case, we believe that, in this age, the battle is that of ideas and not weapons.

This is the foundation stone of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claim to being the Promised Messiah. Hazrat Mirza sahib said that because Jesus had died a natural death, he was the Messiah spoken of in the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Thus, if it can be proven from the Holy Quran that Jesus is still alive in the heavens, Mirza sahib’s claim is false. On the other hand, if the death of Jesus can be proven from the Holy Quran then we are right. Below some verses of the Holy Quran are given which speak of the death of Jesus or from which it may be argued that Jesus died a natural death.

Think about these verses without prejudice because on the day of judgement we will each be responsible for our own beliefs and we will not be able to blame our religious leaders.

Let us look at it, step by step.

(1) Does Allah have the same law for everyone or is there variation in it?

…And you will find no change in the laws of Allah… (33:62)

This verse shows that Allah’s laws are the same for everyone in the universe. The law for living things is that they are born, grow and then die. Here the Holy Quran clearly states that there is no exception to this.

(2) What is the law related to humans living or dying?

And We granted abiding for ever to no mortal before you . . . Every soul must taste of death (21:34,35)

Having said that God’s laws are the same for all living creatures, we are told that God has not created any human being who will live for ever. Those who say that Jesus is alive respond by saying that just because Jesus is not dead yet, it does not mean he will never die and that Jesus will die after his second advent. Thus Allah’s law will be fulfilled.

But there is a diffculty here. The purpose of keeping Jesus alive in the heavens for such a long time is that he will descend and lead all nations to the right path. He will lead Muslims to a great victory. So we have to ask whether the Holy Quran has stated a law relating to the condition of living things when they become old. This will tell us whether, if Jesus returns to earth after three or four thousand years, he will be able to carry out the tasks supposedly entrusted to him by Allah.

(3) What does Allah say about the aged people

Allah is He Who created you from a state of weakness, then He gave strength after weakness, then ordained weakness and hoary hair after strength. He creates what He pleases, and He is the Knowing, the Powerful. (30:54)

and

And whomsoever We cause to live long, We reduce to an abject state in creation. Do they not understand? (36:68)

This shows that as living creatures age, they decline in their physical and mental capacity to do and to understand things. Even if Jesus comes back now he will be over 2000 years old. So, according to the Holy Quran he will be feeble in mind and body and unable to carry out any task, let alone the great task entrusted to him.

(4) Does the Holy Quran say anyting about a human ascending to heavens?

And they say : We will by no means believe in thee, till thou . . . ascend into heaven. . . Say : Glory be to my Lord! Am I aught but a mortal messenger (17:93)

The disbelievers of Makkah made this demand of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They told him that they will accept him if he ascends the heavens and brings down a book. Allah Directs the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to reply saying that he is just a mortal, a messenger of Allah and being a mortal it is not possible for him to ascend to the heavens. This establishes the principle that, if it was not possible for the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to ascend into the heavens then no other mortal can do so either.

It also means that if a being ascends into the heavens then he is not a mortal but Divine. If Jesus has asended into the heavens then Christians must be correct that he is part of the Godhead and not a mortal like us.

(5) Does the Holy Quran clearly say anyting about the prophet Jesus being dead, rather than these arguments by implication?

There are many such verses which directly or indirectly speak of death of Jesus.

When Allah said: O Jesus, I will cause you to die and exalt thee in my presence… (3:54)

Here the Holy Quran says that first Jesus will die and then “rafa” (raising) will take place. So, even if Jesus was taken up bodily it was after his death and not before.

The Arabic word used here for death is “mutawaffika” which literally means “to take the whole of something”. Some say that here in case of Jesus it does not mean death but that he was taken up body and soul. However, where ever this word is used in relation to God taking man, it invariably means that God took the man’s soul or caused him to die. Indeed, it is a common idiom of the English language as well, when we speak of some one’s death we say: God took him. When Hazrat Ibn Abbas (r), one of the greatest commentators of the Holy Quran, was asked what the word “mutawaffi-ka”means in this verse. He told the inquirer to read the verse replacing “mutawaffika” with the word “mumi-tika” which literally means “to die”.

And I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die Thou wast the Watcher over them. (5:117)

The Holy Quran tells us that this is the reply prophet Jesus will give when, on the day of Judgement, Allah asks him if he asked his followers to take as Gods himself and his mother. It shows that the Christian beliefs changed after the death of Jesus. If Jesus is still alive then surely Christian beliefs have not altered and Jesus indeed is the Son of God and Mary, the Mother of God.

The is strenghtened by the fact that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that when he is asked the same question about Muslims in the later days distorting the teachings of Islam, he will give the same reply as Jesus. And as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has passed away so has Jesus.

And those whom they call on besides Allah created naught, while they are themselves created. Dead are they, not living. And they know not when they will be raised. (16:20,21)

The one who is called upon most in prayers is Jesus son of Mary. Here Allah not only clearly rebuts the Christian belief that Jesus can help them in any way but also states that he is dead.

The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger: messengers before him have indeed passed away. . . . They both used to eat food. See how We make messages clear to them! (5:75)

Here Jesus is clearly included among other prophets. If one is going to argue that it states that messengers who appeared before Jesus are the ones who are dead, not Jesus; how will the following verse be interpreted.

And Muhammad is but a messenger — messengers have already passed away before him. (3:143)

Would you say that this verse says that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is alive and only the prophets who appeared before him have passed away! Even if you say this, surely Jesus would still be among the prophets who are dead because the verse 3:143 clearly says that messengers who appeared before the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have passed away. Whatever argument you use when considering these verses, you can only come to the conclusion that Jesus died.

It also says that both Jesus and his mother needed food to survive. If Jesus is alive in heaven where is he getting the food from to sustain himself?

The evidence complied above should clearly demonstrate that the Holy Quran tells us that the prophet Jesus died, and that thus no one will be ascending from the heavens to lead the Muslims to victory in any sort of great battle.