The Return of Jesus (sws)
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

It is said that the Prophet Jesus (sws) is to return near the end of this world to establish the dominance of truth over falsehood. Is this really so? Was it because of this return that he was lifted alive from the earth and not given death?


There are certain questions which arise on the descension of Jesus (sws) which are hitherto unanswered. Unless a sound answer is given to them, his reappearance cannot be regarded as an established fact. Here are these questions:

1. The Qur’ān is totally silent on this issue. Nowhere has the reappearance of Jesus (sws) been mentioned in it. Since on his reappearance, every Muslim is expected to profess faith, the gravity of the matter demands that it be mentioned in the Qur’ān which is supposed to have every article of faith mentioned in it.

2. Not only is the Qur’ān silent on the issue, it mentions at one place the dominance of the followers of Jesus (sws) over the Jews till the day of judgement:

Remember when Allah said: O Jesus I will give death to you and raise you to Myself and cleanse you from those who have denied. I shall make those who follow you superior to those who reject faith till the Day of Judgement. (3:55)

In other words, everything which is to occur till the Day of Judgement with reference to the supremacy of the followers of Jesus (sws) is mentioned in these verses. This was perhaps the most appropriate place to mention that Jesus (sws) will reappear near the Day of Judgement and be responsible for the supremacy of his followers. But we find nothing of the sort. The question is: Why?

3. At another place in the Qur’ān, the dialogue which will take place between the Almighty and Jesus (sws) on the Day of Judgement is stated. In this dialogue, Jesus (sws) negates the innovations of his followers and proclaims his acquittal from them in the following words:

And remember when Allah will say: O Jesus the son of Mary Did you say to men: ‘Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’. He will say: Glory to you! Never could I say which I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing you would have indeed known it. You know what is in my heart though I know not what is in Yours. For You know full well what is hidden. Never did I say to them except what You commanded me to do: Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord and I was a witness over them while I dwelt with them. When You gave death to me, You were the Watcher over them and You are a witness over all things. If You punish them they are Your servants and if You forgive them You are exalted in power, the wise. (5:119-121) 

This is another very appropriate place where sense and reason demand that the Qur’ān mention the return of Jesus (sws). It should have reported that a little time back he had appeared again on the earth and refuted the self-invented concepts of his followers. So the question is: Why did this great event not find a mention at this place as well?

4. The first Book of Hadīth, the Mu`attā of Imām Mālik contains nothing on this topic. This again is very strange. A person who is writing his book in Madīnah about a hundred years after the death of the Prophet (sws) has nothing to report on this issue, while some of the books of Hadīth compiled much later mention this event. 

5. Not only is the Mu‘attā devoid of any such report, on the contrary, it does mention a dream or vision of the Prophet (sws) in which he saw Jesus (sws) and the Dajjāl circumambulating the Ka‘bah:

`Abdullāh Ibn `Umar reports that the Prophet said: In a dream, I found myself near the Ka‘bah one night. I saw a man near the Ka‘bah of brownish colour, the best of brownish people you could have seen. He had hair till his shoulders, the best you could have seen of such appearance. He combed his hair while they dripped with water and he was leaning on two people ... and circumambulating the Ka‘bah. So I asked: Who is this person? Someone told me that this is Jesus son of Mary. Then suddenly I saw another man who had curly hair and had a blind right eye ... So I asked: Who is this person. Someone replied that this is Dajjāl-Masīh. (Kitāb al-Jāmi`)

The question arises: Is it not this Hadīth which has gradually taken the form of Jesus's reappearance in various Ahadīth reported in other books later on? 

In the light of these questions the reappearance of Jesus (sws) is an issue which needs further attention and deliberation of our scholars. Nothing can be established from the Ahādīth which do mention his arrival unless these questions are answered.

The fact that Jesus (sws) was lifted to the heavens alive, is not supported by the Arabic language as quoted in the verses of Sūrahs 3 and 5 above. The words innī mutawaffīka (I will give you death) explicitly say that Jesus (sws) died on the face of the earth. They cannot be regarded to denote any other meaning unless of course the Arabic language is done away with. The words rāfi‘uka ilayya also are very clear: They mean that his body was lifted to the heavens. In other words, after he died, his dead body was raised to the heavens. This was perhaps to safeguard it from the hands of his opponents who could have mutilated it.


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