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Will Jesus (Isa) Come Back as a Prophet?

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.

Wassalam
[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

Muslim Convert: Could I still believe in Jesus as a Muslim?

Paris and her fiance planned on strengthening their faith as Christians but they became disillusioned by the churches they visited and reading the Bible created more questions than it answered. This search eventually led to both of them embracing Islam, with Paris converting first. Watch on to see how God guided her and helped her overcome her concerns.


If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

Resources for Seekers

Lessons from the Life of Prophet Jesus, by Habib Ali Al-Jifri

“Between me and him, there is no other prophet” – saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them both

Habib Ali al-Jifri spoke as part of the Muhammed: Master of Change campaign organised by the Radical Middle Way in the United Kingdom. Habib Ali visiting nine cities in 10 days, including St. Philip’s Centre, a Church in the city of Leicester that is well renowned for its extensive interfaith work and which is located next to a mosque names after Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him. The lecture was on the lessons to be learnt from the life of the Prophet Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, on being a good neighbor and fostering co-existence.

Translation by Sidi Wael Zubi.

Where Can I Find Reliable Informations On Jesus?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Can you please advise which websites/articles/books I should refer to to learn about Isa (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him)?

I have been trying to learn about what we believe about his life and death, but keep on ending up on sites that I’m not sure I can trust.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The following should be helpful, insha’Allah: Answers tagged Jesus

Please also see: Crucifixion of Christ – Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah and: Habib Ali al-Jifri – Jesus Christ the Son of Mary and His Most Blessed Mother – Book in PDF and: What Is the Islamic Understanding of Maryam, the Mother of Prophet ‘Isa, Being Married?

And if you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Jesus’s Role as Messiah and Savior According to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism

Answered by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Question: In Christianity, Jesus is considered the Messiah, which means the anointed one and savior. In Islam, he is also the Messiah.  The Christian asks what is the Savior trying to save us from if not from the original sin? In their beliefs, he is here to save us from our sins which is why the crucifixion is so significant in their faith. In Islam, we don’t believe in the crucifixion but then what is the purpose of the title Messiah in Islam? What did Jesus save us from that was different from the other prophets?

Answer: salam alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

Messiah (Greek: Christos) Does Not Mean Savior (Greek: Soter)

The word “messiah” in Hebrew (mashiakh), comes from the same triliteral root as the Arabic m-s-h, meaning “to rub” or “anoint;” this denotes that he has a special quality and exalted status. Therefore, “messiah” does not mean “savior” linguistically; however orthodox (trinitarian) Christians interpret his special quality to be that of a savior (Greek: soter). This is a Christian interpretation. We should remember that the entire concept of the Messiah was borrowed by the Christians from Judaism, then radically reinterpreted in light of Pauline Christology.

Messiah: A Jewish Concept

Jews also call God “Father” (Isa. 64:16), refer to devout Jews as God’s “children” (Psalms 82:6), and have a concept of a holy spirit (ruach qadosh). These terms and concepts are today almost exclusively Christian signifiers due to what post-colonial scholars call linguistic imperialism. In Judaism, however, the Messiah is not divine, begotten of God, nor does he vicariously atone for sin; he is a human being in all respects; terms such as father and son are purely figurative.

However, his special quality is that he ushers in a period of global peace and collects and unites all diasphoric Jews under his banner of justice. In fact, there are orthodox rabbis who say that the Messiah isn’t a person at all; for many it is rather a “messianic age” or “messianic polity” that is anticipated.

The Lukan Jesus Does Not Die forSin

It should also be noted that not all early Christians considered Jesus (peace be upon him) to be a savior in the sense of him dying for the sins of humanity. In fact, most New Testament scholars contend that in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is only a savior in the same sense as Moses was, namely, as one who teaches us how to 1) recognize sin and 2) avoid it. The Lukan Jesus does not die for the sins of anyone; he is the great “prophetic exemplar” whose virtues of patience, compassion, and sacrifice must be cultivated into the lives of all who believe in him.

For Luke, it is repentance (Tashuvah) that makes us right with God, not the death of a savior of some sort. For instance, the pericope of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 demonstrates exactly the opposite teaching of vicarious atonement; the lost son leaves his life of sin with contrition and his father welcomes him back with open arms. The lesson here is repentance not atonement.

Special Quality of Jesus in Islam

So to answer your question: Jesus (peace be upon him) is only a “savior” in the sense that his teaching is a means by which we reorient ourselves toward God; identical to the Lukan Jesus in fact, and identical to all prophets for that matter. His special quality according to Islam is that he heralded the final and greatest Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and will return near the end of time to usher in that earthly kingdom of peace by defeating the forces of the anti-Christ.

And Allah knows best.

The Purpose of Our Lives and the Prophet Jesus

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: What do Muslims live and die for and how do they get to heaven? How does Islam differ from Christianity in regards to Prophet Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him?

 

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question.

I would suggest looking into taking an Islamic theology class with SeekersGuidance. Your questions go back to the very foundations of this religion.

Muslims, like all other human beings, were created to live purposeful lives so that when death overtakes them they leave this world in a state of obedience to God. In the Qur’an, God has promised an eternal reward for those who believe in Him and follow His guidance. Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, was an honored prophet and messenger who brought a message whose essence was later reflected in the teachings of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari

Does the Mahdi Have a Higher Rank Than Prophet `Isa (Peace be upon him)?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: There are various aḥādīth that state that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] will come and rectify Islam. I also understand that he will lead ʿĪsā [عليه السلام‎] along with others in salah, does this mean that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] has a higher ranking than that of ʿĪsā [عليه السلام‎]?

If this is correct, does this mean that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] has a higher status than other Prophets, except of course the Prophet Muhammad?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

No, the Mahdi does not have a higher rank than the Prophets (Allah bless them all).

The line of reasoning mentioned in the question is not valid as the very premise that the mere act of leading another in prayer indicates superiority is not sound.

This is an addition to the fact that:

(a) The narrations on the issue mentioning our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) praying behind an individual of this community, though sound, are probabilistic in their establishment and indication and as such cannot be used to formulate a point of belief (if it indicated one) that goes contrary to decisive texts.

(b) These very narrations indicate the reason for our liege-lord `Isa’s (Allah bless him) refusal to lead prayer when offered to do so, namely to show how Allah has honored the community of Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Thus, when requested to lead he will reply, “No, for some of you are leaders upon others out of Allah’s honoring this community.” [Muslim]

(c) The fact that our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) was offered to lead indicates that people understood his superiority over all others. His refusal was on account of other considerations as mentioned above.

Superiority of Prophets over Non-Prophetic Figures

There are a number of proofs from both the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that demonstrate the superiority of a prophet over non-prophetic saints.

Proofs From the Qur’an

1. The statement of Allah Most High after naming numerous prophets, “each one We preferred above all beings.” (6:86)

Imam Baydawi in his commentary on this verse states, “there is proof in this for their superiority over those other than them from among created things.” [Anwar al-Tanzil]

The reason for this, as Imam Razi clarifies, is that the word used in the Qur’an is “`aalamin”, which refers to every existent thing apart from Allah. This includes non-Prophetic saints as well, as there is no proof that they are exempted from the general purport indicated by the word “`aalamin” within this verse.

Further, this verse also shows the superiority of a single prophet over non-prophetic saints as the purpose of the verse is not to state that all prophets together are given preference and superiority over all of creation but that a single prophet, on account of being given the duty of prophethood, is superior to all other created things who are not prophets.

2. The statement of Allah Most High, “God chose Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of Imran above all beings.” (3:33)

3. The statement of Allah Most High, “Whosoever obeys God, and the Messenger – they are with those whom God has blessed, Prophets, just men, martyrs, the righteous; good companions are they.” (4:69)

This verse indicates four ranks among those blessed by Allah, with the Prophets (Allah bless them) coming foremost.

Proofs From the Statements of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

1. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said, “I stated, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, which person is most afflicted [in this world]?’ He replied, ‘The messengers then the most superior and then the most superior after them.’” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad (with a sound chain according to Ahmad Shakir)]

This narration clearly shows that the messengers are the most superior of all people as affliction has been made commensurate to one’s superiority in the religion.

2. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Allah selected my companions over all created things apart from the messengers and prophets.” [Bazzar]

If the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) are superior to all created things apart from those Allah sent as messengers, it logically follows that these messengers are superior to all created things including the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

All of the above goes to show that the rank of a prophet is superior to the rank of a non-prophetic figure. As Imam Mahdi is a non-prophetic figure, it is contrary to our creed to consider him superior to our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him).

Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Allah Breathing His Spirit Into Jesus? The Possible Meanings of this Verse & The Approach of Sunni Islam Towards Ambiguous Texts

Answered by Ustadh Faraz Khan

Question: What is the meaning of the verse that states Allah blowing His spirit into Jesus?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

InshaAllah you are well.

The verse in question is, “So We breathed into him of Our spirit” (66:12)

What the Scholars of Exegesis Have Mentioned

According to works of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), the expression “Our spirit” means “a spirit created by Us.” Of course, every human’s spirit is created by Allah Most High. The spirit of our Master `Isa (peace be upon him), however, is singled out with this expression as a way of honoring him. This ascription of honor (idafat al-tashrif) is quite common in the language of the Qur’an, such as “the house of Allah,” “the she-camel of Allah,” etc. That is, a house or she-camel so incredibly honored and so very special, that it is ascribed to Allah, who is of course utterly transcendent above using a house or she-camel, may He be glorified and exalted. Similarly, the spirit that Allah created for our master `Isa (peace be upon him) is so honored and special, it is ascribed to Allah directly, who is utterly transcendent above having His own spirit.

Another explanation given is that such an ascription is used to indicate that Allah created that thing without any intermediary or “means.” So the she-camel of Allah was created directly by Him without a womb, and the spirit of ‘`sa (peace be upon him) was created directly by Him without any means that Allah normally uses in the act of creation.

With respect to the expression “We breathed,” most exegetes mention that it was actually the Archangel Jibril (peace be upon him) who breathed the spirit into `Isa (peace be upon him). The act is ascribed to Allah in the verse, however, since He Most High is the One who commanded Jibril to do so. Therefore, “We breathed” actually means “We sent Jibril, who breathed.” [Qurtubi, Nasafi, Biqa’i, Abu Suud]

Imam Razi, however, interprets it as metaphorical, stating that the nature of the spirit is such that, once it is created in the body, it spreads to every part of the body, just as air that is breathed into a vessel. Hence according to him, there was no literal “breathing” that took place. And Allah knows best.

Dealing with Ambiguous Verses

The verse in question is considered one of the ambiguous verses (mutashabihat). With such verses, the outward apparent meaning of it cannot be taken literally with respect to Allah Most High, who is well-exalted and transcendent above all things temporal. This is established in clear, unequivocal verses such as “There is nothing like unto Him” (42:11) and “And He has no equivalent” (112:4).

Classically, there were two historical approaches among Muslim scholars in dealing with such verses. The first was, after negating the outward literal meaning, to consign the matter completely to Allah Most High without any attempt to interpret the verse (tafwid); this was the approach of the first few generations (salaf).

The second approach was to attempt to interpret the verse in a matter befitting His majesty (ta’wil), yet without affirming it with certainty since other meanings could also be correct; this was the approach of scholars of later generations (khalaf), who were forced to do so in order to safeguard the understanding of Allah’s transcendence from the incorrect beliefs of various sects that arose in their time. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]

And Allah knows best.

wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Are `Isa And Yahya (Allah be well please with them) Considered Cousins In Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Gibril Haddad

Question: Are `Isa and Yahya ibn Zakariyya considered cousins in Islam like in Christianity? Does this mean Maryam had a sister who was married to Zakariyya, while Zakariyya was also the guardian of Maryam?

Answer: `Alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

May the blessings of the second half of Ramadan shower from heaven on us and you and all Muslims.

Yes, our liegelords `Isa Ibn Maryam and Yahya b. Zakariyya b. Adi (or Awi), upon our Prophet and all of them blessings and peace, were maternal cousins, in Islam as in Christianity, per the authentic hadith of Isra’ and Mi`raj in which the Holiest Prophet explicitly called them so: “Then I was taken up to the second heaven and Jibril asked for it to open. It was opened for us and, lo and behold! I was in the presence of the two maternal cousins (ibnay al-khaala), `Isa Ibn Maryam and Yahya b. Zakariyya.”

Yes, it means that Maryam had a sister who was married to Zakariyya, upon all of them peace–her name was Ashba` (or Ashya`) bt. `Imran b. Maathaan and their mother was named Hanna bt. Faaqoodh (or Faaqood) b.Qaabeel–at the same time as Zakariyya was Maryam’s guardian just as the Qur’an states, because `Imran died when Hanna was pregnant with Maryam. All of them were from the Prophetic House of Dawud, upon them peace.

Zakariyya was reportedly 92 when Ashba` became pregnant with Yahya, while Maryam was reportedly 15 when she became pregnant with `Isa. The two were born within six months of each other, Yahya first, and Maryam died reportedly aged 53, five years after `Isa was raised up, upon all of them peace.

During their respective pregnancies, it is reported that Maryam visited her sister, whereupon Yahya, inside her belly, ‘leapt for joy’ according to the account found in Luke’s Gospel, but in al-Tabari it says Ashba` said to Maryam: “I feel that the one I am carrying in my womb has prostrated to the one you are carrying in yours.” And that is the meaning of the confirmation in the verse: {Yahya, confirming a word from Allah}.

Sources:

Al-Balansi, Tasfir Mubhamat al-Qur’an sub Q 3:33.
Ibn Qutayba, al-Ma`arif (p. 52).
Al-Nawawi, Tahdhib al-Asma’ wal-Lughat (2:152-153, 2:355).
Al-Tabari, Tafsir sub Q 3:35, 3:39.

At this point the aforementioned Gospel (1:46-55) cites a famous prayer of praise and servanthood known as the “Magnificat” that Maryam relatedly raised, and which I cite here (interlinear English translation of Jerome’s 5th-c. CE Latin Vulgate translation from the NT Greek) not only because it is full of tawhid, sums up the lofty Divine relationship with the Israelite Prophets, and is one of the most moving passages in the entire Bible but also (i) because there is an invocation of blessing on our Prophet Muhammad and his House implied in its last line (“Abraham and his posterity”), and (ii) bearing in mind that the Prophet said that Maryam would be betrothed to him in Paradise:

46 Et ait Maria: [Magnificat anima mea Dominum:

And Maryam said: [My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.

and my spirit exults in The God my Savior;

48 Quia respexit humilitatem ancillæ suæ:

Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;

ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes,

for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;

49 quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: et sanctum nomen ejus,

Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His
Name;

50 et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.

And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.

51 Fecit potentiam in brachio suo: dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.

He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the
conceit of their heart.

52 Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the
lowly.

53 Esurientes implevit bonis: et divites dimisit inanes.

He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away
empty.

54 Suscepit Israël puerum suum, recordatus misericordiæ suæ:

He has given help to Israel [=Ya`qub], His little servant, mindful of
His mercy

55 sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini ejus in
sæcula.]

Even as He spoke to our fathers–to Ibrahim and his posterity forever.]

Allah knows best.

Was-Salam,
GF Haddad