Muslims believe that Prophet Isa (Jesus) did not die while being crucified, and that he will return before the end of time.
Brief History Of Prophet Isa
Due to the fact that the Jews had become deaf and blind to the words of God and deviated from the teachings of Moses and the right path, Allah honoured Isa with Prophethood and sent him as a messenger to the children of Israel. Bearing all hardships Prophet Isa spent all day and night conveying the message of Allah. Unfortunately, in spite of his tremendous effort the children of Israel did not respond and accept the message. Seeing that the poor and weak were becoming inclined towards him and fearing they would lose their leadership, the Jews secretly tried to kill him. However Allah saved Prophet Isa from their wicked scheme and gave him greater dignity by raising him alive to the heavens.
“They did not kill him and nor did they crucify him but the resemblance of him (Jesus) was put over another man and those who differ there in, are in doubt. They have no certain knowledge. They are following nothing but conjecture for surely they did not kill him but Allah raised him up to him.”
“When Allah says, Jesus; I will take thee to me and I will purify thee of the unbelievers”
These verses clearly prove that the Jews did not kill Prophet Isa and that he was raised alive to the heavens.
Belief in Prophet Isa’s return
It is due to verses like those mentioned above and many authentic Ahadith we Muslims believe that Prophet Isa is alive in heaven at this moment in time. We further believe due to the following verses and authentic Ahadith that Prophet Isa will return before Qiyamah and his return is a major sign of Qiyamah.
“And he (son of Mary) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the hour.”
Ibne Abbas has said that the meaning of this verse is that Prophet Isa’s descent before Qiyamah is a sign of Qiyamah. (Ibne Abbas/ Musnad)
“There is not a single section of the people of the book that will certainly believe in Jesus before his death and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.”
This verse clearly indicates that before the demise of Prophet Isa, everyone from the people of the book will believe in him. The Jews will disappear as Jews after his demise but at the present the Jews are very much there. The conclusion is clear that Prophet Isa did not die; if so all the Jews would have become believers, which they have not. He will return before Qiyamah and it is then that all the people of the book will believe in him.
The Messenger of Allah said, “A party of my followers will not cease to fight for victory until the Day of Resurrection. He said, then Jesus, son of Mary, will come down. Their Imaam will say, “Come and lead our prayer” He will reply, “Some of you are rulers over others on account of divine honour upon these people.”
Muslim, Narrated by Jabir
The Messenger of Allah said, “By the one whose hands my life is in, surely the son of Maryam will descend amongst you as a just ruler. He will destroy the cross, kill the swine and abolish the tax.”
Bukhari, Narrated by Abu Huraira
The Holy Prophet suddenly came to us while we were talking. He asked, “What are you talking about?” They replied “We were talking about the last hour.” Prophet (s) said, “It will never come until you see ten signs before it,” He then mentioned the Smoke, the Dajjal, the Beast, the Rising of the Sun in its place of setting, the Descent of Jesus son of Mary and Yajuj and Ma’juj.
Muslim, Narrated by Hadrat Hudaifah-b-Osaid
Prophet Isa’s Tasks
Prophet Isa will have three main tasks, when he descends on the Earth for the second time:
- The first and most important will be that he will destroy the Dajjal.
- Protect the Muslims from the barbarous tribes of Yajuj and Majuj by taking them to Mount Tur and then Praying for their (Yajuj and Majuj’s) destruction.
- Reign as a Caliph according to the Quran and Sunnah and elevate Islam
1. Prophet Isa’s Descent And The Killing Of Dajjal
The Dajjal having failed to enter the holy city of Madinah will proceed to Syria gathering his forces on the way.
Imam Mahdi will have arranged the Muslim army and will be on the verge of leading the Muslims in the morning prayer (Abu Umamah / Ibne-Majah) when Prophet Isa will descend to the white Minaret (Nawwas-b-Samaan/Muslim) in the east of Damascus, wearing two garments died with saffron, placing his hands on the wings of two angels.
Prophet Isa’s Appearance
All those that are present will recognise him, as he will look exactly like the description of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . Resembling the Sahabi Urwa bin Masood (Abu- Huraira/ Muslim) the colour of his skin will be reddish white (Ibne Abbas/ Bukhari), he will be well built and his hair will be soft and reach his ears. When he lowers his head, beads of perspiration will fall from it and when he raises his head, beads like pearls will scatter from it. (Nawwas-b-Samaan/Muslim).
Every Kaafir who smells his sweet breath will die and his breath will reach as far as he can see.
Imam Mahdi and Prophet Isa
On seeing Prophet Isa. Imaam Mahdi will take a couple of steps backwards so Prophet Isa can lead the prayer however Prophet Isa will place his hands on the Imam’s shoulder and will say, ”Go forward and lead the prayer as the Iqamah was made for you” thus Imam Mahdi will lead the prayer. (Abu Umamah/ Ibne-Majah).
After the prayer Prophet Isa will say, ”Open the gate”. The gate will be opened and the Dajjal will be waiting behind it accompanied by an army of 70,000 Jews, each armed with a sword and shield. The Dajjal on seeing Prophet Isa among the Muslims will begin to dissolve like salt in water and will begin to flee. Prophet Isa will say to him, ”You will remain alive until I strike you with my spear, ”He will catch up with him at the Eastern gate of Ludd (Ludd is a mountain in Syria. Some say that it is a village in Jerusalem, and some say that it is a village in Palestine) and then Prophet Isa will kill him with a small spear.
The Muslims will thereafter defeat and wipe out Dajjal’s army. The Jews will not be able to hide behind anything on that day. Every time they try to hide behind a stone, a wall, a tree (except a boxthorn tree), or animal. Allah will make these things speak and they will say, ”O servant of Allah there is a Jew hiding behind me. come kill him.”
The Wisdom In The Descension Of Prophet Isa
The Ulama of the Ahlus – Sunnah have given many different reasons in the returning of Prophet Isa to this world or the second time. A few are listed below:
1) The Jews believe that they had killed Prophet Isa, Allah will send him before the end of time to prove that they had not killed him and that he is alive. It is he who will kill the Jews and their leader Dajjal. (Fathul – Bari)
2) Some Ulama have said that Prophet Isa found many virtues of the followers of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the bible and thus he prayed to Allah to make him amongst the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . Allah answered his prayer and he will return for the second time as one of the followers of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . (Ibne-Khathir)
3) It is the Law of Allah that anything that is created from the Earth has to be buried in the Earth and not the Heavens. Thus he will return to the Earth for the second time, kill the Dajjal, live for a period of time and then he will die a natural death and will be buried with Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . (Ashratus-Sa’ah).
2. Prophet Isa and The Ya’juj Ma’juj (Gog Magog)
A short period after Prophet Isa has killed the Dajjal, the two mighty tribes of Yajuj and Ma’juj will appear, causing murder, pillage and devastation wherever they go. The emergence of Ya’juj and Ma’juj is also another major sign of Qiyamah. Through the invocation of Prophet Isa they will be destroyed. (Nawwas-b-Samaan-Muslim).
3. Prophet Isa As A Ruler
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “By him whose hands my life is in, surely the son of Maryam will come down amongst you as a just ruler. He will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the tax. Wealth will be in such abundance that none will care about it and a single prostration in a Prayer will be better than the world and all that is in it.”
Bukhari, Narrated by Abu Huraira
The above hadith clearly indicates that when Prophet Isa returns to the world for the second time he will not reign as a Prophet, nor will he bring a new religion, as Islam is the last religion, the Quran is the last book to be revealed and our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the last Prophet. There is no Prophet to come after him and the Quran has made this fact very clear.
“Muhammad ﷺ is not the father of any of you but is Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the last of Prophet Muhammad ﷺs ”
When Prophet Isa returns for the second time he will reign as a Caliph and not a Prophet, follow the Qur’an and Sunnah and rule according to it. He will break the cross the Christians worship (indicating that he will bring Christianity to an end), elevate and spread Islam through out the world.
He will also kill the pig which the Christians consider Halaal to eat (and use) and abolish the Jizya (tax). During Prophet Isa’s reign they will not pay this tax because he will not accept anything but Islam for the non believers and they will all believe in him.
“There is not a single section of the people of the book (Jews and Christians) but will believe in him and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.”
Secondly there will be an abundance in wealth, so much so that it will flow like water and there will not remain anybody who will want more money, thus this tax will be abolished.
Blessings At The Time Of Prophet Isa
All types of spiritual and worldly blessings will descend on Earth in his time. Wealth will flow like water, everyone will be independent and have surplus wealth and property to the extent that nobody will be in the need of Zakah and Sadaqa thus receiving of Zakah and Sadaqa will be discarded.
All hearts will be free from misery, envy, malice, and jealousy. Each harmful animal will be made harmless. Camels will graze with the lions and the cheetahs with cattle. A little girl will chase a lion and make it run away from her like children chasing a puppy and this lion will not harm her.
Venom will be taken out from all venomous animals, a little boy will put his hand in a snake’s mouth, but it will not harm him. The Jackal will live with the sheep and protect them as if it were a sheep dog. Peace, harmony and tranquillity will prevail in the world.
People will be in complete agreement, wars will cease, the earth will be filled with peace like a silver basin and it will sprout with vegetation like at the time of Prophet Adam. The fertility of the land will increase to the extent that if a seed is planted in a rock, it will sprout. 700 mudd of wheat will sprout without ploughing the land. The earth will produce so much fruit that a large group of people will sit to eat a bunch of grapes or a pomegranate and they will be satisfied and use it’s peel as an umbrella. There will also be blessing in milk. The milk of a single she camel will be sufficient to satisfy the hunger of a large group of people. A cow will produce what is sufficient for a tribe of people, and a sheep will produce milk, which is sufficient for a family of people. Horses will be cheap as they will be never ridden in war and bulls will be expensive, as they will be needed to plough the land.
Life will be very pleasant and enjoyable after his descension and the Muslims will live in comfort in his reign as a Khalifh. (Nawwas-b-Sarnaan-Muslim/Abu Umamah-Ibne Majah)
Many hadith specify that after his descent he will get married and have children and remain on the earth for a period of 19 years after his marriage. (Al-Fitan Nuaim bin Hammad).
Prophet Isa, after his return to the Earth for a second time, will live for a period of time (some scholars have mentioned 40 years in the light of a hadith which can be found in Abu Daud) and thereafter will die a natural death. The Muslims will perform his Janaza (funeral prayers) and according to the hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Amr in Mishkat he will be buried next to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.