Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: When Jesus (Peace be upon him) comes again to this World will he come as a Prophet or will he come as a follower of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)?
Answer: In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate
When the Prophet Isa (Peace be upon him) returns to this world he will be a Prophet and implement the law of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
The Prophet Isa will judge and live according to the shariah of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘There is no prophet between me and him [Jesus Christ]. He shall descend, so recognize him when you see him. He is a man of medium height, [his complexion] is between reddish and white, he will be [dressed] in two yellowish garments. His head looks as if it is dripping water even though it is not wet. He will fight people in the way of Islam, will break the cross, kill the swine, and abolish the annual tax [Jizyah]. Allah will put an end to all religions except Islam during his time. He will slay the Antichrist and he will stay on Earth for forty years. Then, he will die and the Muslims will perform the funeral prayer over him.’ [Abu Dawud and Musnad of Ahmad]
It is clear from this hadith and other similar ahadith that Sayiddna Isa will establish Islam as the only accepted religion and govern by Islamic law.
Will the Prophet Isa follow one of the four legal schools (madhabs)?
Sayyidna Isa (peace be upon him) will be an absolute Mujtahid (able to independently derive rulings from the Quran and Sunnah). Therefore, he will rule according to his own ijtihad, not the ijtihad of any of the Imams of the four schools. This has been stated by the majority of the scholars, including Imam al Subki and Imam Ibn Hajr al Haitami and others [al Ishaa’ah li Isharaat al Saa’ah, Barzanji].
As to whether Sayyidna Isa will descend with the memorisation and knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah, there is no explicit text that mentions this. Ibn Hajr stated, and which is corroborated in other books related to the end of times, that:
‘The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) is far above following another mujtahid Imam, rather he is better placed to make ijtihad. Furthermore, his [Isa’] knowledge of our shariah is either through the knowledge of the Qur’an alone, since nothing is amiss in the Qur’an except that we require other information [further sources and proofs] because of our own shortcomings [in encompassing the Qur’an], and certainly, all the ruling legislated by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were derived from the Qur’an.
For this reason, Shafi’i stated (may Allah be pleased with him), ‘Everything that the Prophet legislated is from what he (peace and blessings be upon him) understood from the Qur’an, so it is not implausible to conclude that Isa (peace be upon him) would do likewise, or through receiving transmission of the Sunnah [directly] from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), for indeed, he met the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in his [Prophet Muhammad’s] lifetime, and so in this regard he [Isa] is considered among the companions [Sahaaba].
It is related by Ibn Adi from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), ‘We were sitting with the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him), when we felt a chill and saw a hand. We asked, ‘O’ Messenger of God, what is this cold and this hand that we saw? He (peace and blessings be upon him) asked, ‘Did you really see him? We answered, ‘Yes.’ The Prophet explained, ‘That was Isa, Son of Mary, he came to give me greetings.’ [al Fatawaa al Hadathiyyah, Ibn Hajr].
The above quoted hadith from Anas, while weak, does correspond with other similar weak hadiths. Despite the weakness of such traditions, the meaning is sound, and as Ibn Hajr states, ‘That which the scholars have recorded, in fact, have unanimously agreed upon, is that he [Isa] will judge according to the Shariah of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
The Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) will remain a prophet and upon his message
Ibn Hajr further clarifies, ‘And Isa is a noble prophet who will remain upon his prophethood and his [original] message, not like some, who are not qualified to do so, state, that he is one of this community. The fact that he will be among the community, and rule by their [Muhammad’s community’s] shariah, does not negate the fact that he is still upon his prophethood and his [original] message.
This last point that Ibn Hajr makes is supported by the fact that on the Day of Judgement, Sayyidna Isa (peace be upon him) will be resurrected as an independent Prophet with his own community of followers (e.g. the true and faithful Christians), and not among the community of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the Muslims.
In conclusion, the Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) will not be a follower of Muhammad in the sense that he will be considered among the Muhammadan community, however, he will be a ‘follower’ of Muhammad in that he will live and judge according to the shariah revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) during his final term on Earth.
Lastly, though well known, but worth mentioning, the second coming of Jesus Christ on earth does not in any way contravene the fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), is the Seal of the prophets and the Final Messenger.
And Allah is Most Knowing.
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Away from the Islamic sciences, Jamir is a qualified homeopath and runs a private clinic in Amman.