Is Jesus dead?
Fatwa No: 84206

  • Fatwa Date:19-5-2002 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 8, 1423
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Question

Is 'Isa Ibn Maryam dead? a man said he is dead. He will never come back.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Allah, The Great and Almighty, disproving a claim of killing Jesus (Alaihi as-Salaam), says: {And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah", - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them [the resemblance of 'Isa (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. 'Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) (Alaihima al-Salaam)]. But Allah raised him ]'Isa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he (Alaihi as-Salaam) is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.} [4:157-158].
This verse states clearly that Allah raised Jesus up unto Himself and saved him from killing. This verse, in fact, constitutes a sufficient answer for every inquirer and doubter.
According to Ibn al-Qayyim , while clarifying this point to some deviant sect, the whole Muslim Ummah believes that Allah has raised Jesus (Alaihi as-Salaam) to the heaven.
Allah Says (interpretation of meaning) in the Qur'an: {And (remember) when Allah said: "O 'Isa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Isa (Jesus) is Allah's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) 'Isa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Qur'an] till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute".} [3:55].
Based on the above verse, Ibn Taymiyyah disproved the claim of Jesus death saying: 'Such a verse gives an evidence that Jesus did not die normally, since if that was the true meaning, then Jesus died like all other believers whose souls Allah takes and then causes them to ascend to the heaven. As a result, such an incident would not be a peculiarity to Jesus .
He added, based on Allah's statement (and purify you from those who disbelieve), that if his soul left his body, this would mean that his body, like all other Prophets, was to be in the ground'.
Based on Ibn Taymiyah 's words, we say that Allah's statement means that He has gathered up and pulled Jesus towards Him, with soul and body, in heaven.
Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {{… - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them [the resemblance of 'Isa (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. 'Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) (Alaihima al-Salaam)]: But Allah raised him ['Isa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he (Alaihi as-Salaam) is in the heavens). …} [4: 157-158].
This verse states that Allah has raised Jesus to Him in body and soul as confirmed in a sound Hadith that "Jesus will descend, in body and soul. And if he died, Allah would not state: (they killed him not, nor crucified him)" .
Thus, scholars say that (I will take you and raise you to Myself) means taking you: soul and body. Therefore, the turm Tawaffa "the Divine's taking of someone" does not necessarily mean in body or soul, nor both are taken except with further evidence. Tawaffa may also mean the state of sleep.
Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {It is Allâh Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.} [39:42].
So, we find no contradiction concerning Jesus' end. In addition, the Tawaffi "Divine's taking of someone" which means death is only related to soul.
Allah knows best.

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