Explanation of Qur'an (4:157-158)
Fatwa No: 87468

  • Fatwa Date:25-4-2004 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 6, 1425
  • Rating:

Question

Please explain the verse: 4:157, 158. I want to give the answer of those who believe that Jesus died.

Answer

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

 

Allah, The Most-High, has honoured and dignified I’sa (Jesus) (Alaihi As-Salaam), and saved him from the Jews who were transgressing him, and He raised him up to the heavens with his body and soul, and he is still so until today. Allah, The Exalted, Says as a response to those who claim that they have killed the Messiah: {And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allâh," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (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. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) ]: But Allâh raised him ['Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allâh is Ever All-Powerful, All Wise.}[4:157-158].

This verse is an evidence that Allah, The Most-High, took him up alive and saved him from being killed.  There is a consensus of the Ummah – as Ibn Qayyim reports in Bayan Talbiss al-Jahmia – that Allah has raised I’sa (Alaihi As-Salaam) to him to the heavens.

In another verse Allah Says: {And (remember) when Allâh said: "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Iesa (Jesus) is Allâh's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allâh) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allâh, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad SAW, 'Iesa (Jesus), Mûsa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurât (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Qur'ân] 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].

Ibn Taymiyah said in response 'to those who claim that they had killed him'. This is an evidence that Allah did not mean by “I will take you” death, because if he meant death by that expression, then I’sa will be like other believers; as Allah takes their souls and raises them (souls) up to the heavens, there is no particularity in that.

Also, the Saying of Allah: {and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Iesa (Jesus) is Allâh's son] of those who disbelieve,}, and if it was that his soul departed away from his body, then his body would have remained on earth like all other Prophets.

In another verse Allah Said: {…but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (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. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) ]: But Allâh raised him ['Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens).} this means that both his body and soul were raised to the heavens.

It is confirmed in the Saheeh that he will descend with his body and soul.  Because if Allah meant that I’sa died, He would have said: ‘They did not kill him, and they did not crucify him, but he died’.

That is why some Ulamah said: “and raise you” means “I take you up”, i.e. with body and soul’.

In Arabic language “Tawafaitu” i.e. I received the amount in full, and “Istawfait” means the same thing.  The word “Tawafa” does not necessarily refer to the “taking” of body and soul.

It can also refer to ‘taking the soul away at the time 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].

[Extracted from Majmou’ al-Fatawi of Ibn Taymiyah, 322-323].

What could be concluded from his text, may Allah have mercy on him, is that the word “Tawafi” in the verse means “the taking away”, i.e. that Allah had taken away I’sa (Alaihi As-Salaam), with his body and soul and raised him to the heavens.

However, the word ‘Tawafi’ which could have the meaning of death, refers to the taking away of the soul only, there is a separation between the body and soul.

Therefore we know that there is no contradiction between the verse mentioned above and other evidences of raising up, but they confirm the same meaning.

 

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa