Answered by Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael
Question: Assalam alaykum,
I have heard that when Jesus (Peace be upon him) comes to this world he will come as a prophet. But I am confused because we know that Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) is the Final Prophet and Messenger. Could you clarify?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Dear muslim asking about the coming of Isa (Peace be upon him) in the end of times,
We firmly believe that Isa (Peace be upon him) will come back to earth. b. Kathir (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “There are a lot of authentic narrations that show that Jesus (Peace be upon him) will come back to earth before the last day. He will rule as a righteous leader.” (4/132)
Ibn Hajar May Allah be pleased with him also says that there are many authentic narrations about the coming of Jezus (Peace be upon him). (al-Fath: 6/358)
This is also what al-Ubbi said (Sharh Saheeh Muslim: 1/256)
Ibnu ‘Atiyya (May Allah be pleased with him) said in his tafseer: “En de scholars of this community agreed upon the fact that ‘Isa will come back to earth.” (2/473)
Abu Hayyan (May Allah be pleased with him) said that there is a consensus amongst the scholars of Islam that he will come back.” (Nuzul al Maseeh, P.63)
This is also what Imam as-Safarini said in his well known poem Lawami’ al-Anwar (2/94-95), and he added: “And none but those who go against the sharee’a differ about this matter.”
al-Katani said: “This has been affirmed by the Book, the Sunna and the consensus of the scholars.” (Nadhm al-Mutawatir: P.147)
The reason why I mention this is because a lot of neo-‘scholars’ seem to deny the coming of ‘Isa (Peace be upon him).
As for your question about him (Peace be upon him) coming back as a prophet then my answer is:
The noble prophet ‘Isa, son of Maryam, will not descend as a prophet but as a follower of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) . Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was the last of Messengers and Prophets. The fact that he will change some rulings of Islam does not mean that he is a prophet. He does that with the permission of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) , as he mentioned that ‘Isa will do this and did not go against it.
Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “And the time that ‘Isa will come back to you is near. He will come as a righteous, honest, leader.” (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
al-Hafidh al-‘Iraqi said about this hadeeth: “He will come back as a righteous leader that rules with the Sharee’a, and he will not come with a new message or sharee’a that abrogates the former one. And he will not come as a prophet.” (Tarh at-tathreeb: 8/117)
In the narration of Muslim is stated that ‘Isa (Peace be upon him) will choose to pray behind the imam of the muslims that day. Ibnul Jawzi, b. at-Teen, al-Hafidh b. Hajar and others say that this is a clear proof that he will not come as a prophet, and that there is no doubt about that.
Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was the last of prophets, and we who adhere to ahl as-sunna have to believe this. ‘Isa (Peace be upon him) will come as a follower of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) and will rule by the rules of Islam and will pray behind the Imam of the muslims (the Mehdi according to some narrations).
I ask Allah swt to protect us against the fitan of the end of times, amin.
[Shaykh] Sulayman Van Ael
Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael received ijazah from various luminaries in the ten Qur’anic readings, in Ihya Ulum al-Din, in the major books of hadith, in different texts in Guelph classical Islamic sciences–including grammar, tafsir, fiqh, and usul.
Photo: Abdulsalam Haykal