Monday, September 9, 2013

‘Jesus is in the Third Heaven’

Religious beliefs sometimes have a tendency to challenge common sense. Thus, the Christians hold the belief that the founder of their religion, i.e., Jesus, Son of Mary is the literal ‘Son of God’. Likewise, defying gravity, logic of reason and experience of history, sections of the Muslims continue to hold the belief that the Prophet Jesus (as) is still ‘alive’, two millennium after his birth and they say that he would physically descend in our times among the Muslims as their Imam!
No doubt, in the Muslim spiritual tradition, Jesus (as) is one of the great messengers of the Almighty, celebrated along with Hadhrat Muhammad (sa). However, the ‘belief’ on or the myth of, a physically alive Jesus crept into Islam/among the Muslims in the medieval period when the influx of Christians into Islam led to a mixing of ‘cultures’ and the dogmas of the Christians found their way into, replacing the traditional Muslim understanding on the matter, shaped by the Qur’an and taught by the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa). In a special Sermon delivered on September 07, 2013 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius throws searching light on the physical death of Jesus (as), as emerging from the express Qur’anic verses and the opinions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) on the matter.    

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:

Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

Fa lammaa tawaffay tanii kunta ‘Antar-Raqiiba ‘alayhim: wa ‘Anta ‘alaa kulli shay-‘in Shahiid.

But when You cause me to die, You were the Guardian over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. (Al-Maida 5: 118)

Death and life are not alike. If God has given us life, He also decreed death for us, humans, and all living creatures that He has placed in the universe. And verily, in death, there is life and in life, there is death.

The verse which I just recited to you clearly shows that Jesus died before the depravity of the Christians. Therefore, if this verse “Fa lammaa tawaffay tanii” meant that Jesus ascended bodily to heaven and if God had nowhere in the Quran mentioned the death of Jesus (or the belief that Jesus is alive which has deviated hundreds of thousands of people), it would imply (God Forbid) that God had made him immortal to make people polytheists or without religion, and that the error would come, not from people, but from God Himself because He implemented all means to cause them to deviate from the right path! The religion of the cross is going to experience death only with the acceptance of the death of Jesus (as). What good is there for the Muslims in supporting the Christians in saying that he is alive, and thus at the same time contradicting the teachings of the Holy Quran? Let him die in peace so that the true religion of God may live! Through His Word, God Almighty testified that Jesus is indeed dead.

In the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) says:

The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely, Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. See how We explain the Signs for their good, and see how they are turned away. (5: 76)

And when Allah will say,

 “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to men, ‘Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?’”,

he will answer,

“Holy are You. I could never say that to which I had no right. If I had said it, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Your mind. It is only You Who are the Knower of hidden things. (5: 117)

And verily, when addressing the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), Allah told him:

We did not grant everlasting life to any human being before you. If then you should die, shall they live here for ever? (21: 35)

In addition, the Holy Prophet (saw) saw him (Jesus) in a vision among the dead during his famous celestial journey (Miraj). It is time, Oh Muslim brothers and sisters that you embrace the righteous belief. The Holy Prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (saw) not only certified the death of Jesus, saying that he saw him among the dead, but also by his own death finally resolved the controversy surrounding the death of Jesus.

It is clear that our opponents deviate as well from the Quran as that of the Sunnah, because death is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (saw). If Jesus is still alive, then the death of the Holy Prophet (saw) is an insult to his glory! Therefore, you (the Muslims) will neither be the people of the Quran nor those of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (saw) if you do not acknowledge the death of Jesus (as).

Ibn Abbas (ra) reported that the Holy Prophet (saw) said (in a sermon):

 “Oh people! You will be gathered to your Lord (on the Day of Judgement) ... and some people from my Ummah will be taken and dragged towards hell. I shall say: ‘Oh Lord, but these are my people’.

He will be replied: ‘You do not know what they did after you’. Then I shall say as did that righteous servant of God (i.e., Jesus) say: ‘I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when You cause me to die (tawaffaitani) You were the Watcher over them’ ...” (Bukhari; the verse being from Surah Al-Maidah)

Adam is in the first heaven … Joseph is in the second heaven, and his cousins Yahya (John the Baptist) and Jesus are in the third heaven, and Idris is in the fourth heaven.” (Kanz al-‘Ummāl, Vol. vi, p. 120)

“Aishah (ra) said that, in his illness in which he died, the Holy Prophet said:

Every year Gabriel used to repeat the Holy Quran with me once, but this year he has done it twice. He has informed me that there is no prophet but he lives half as long as the one who preceded him. And he has told me that Jesus lived a hundred and twenty years, and I see that I am about to leave this world at sixty’.”

(Hujjaj al-Kirāmah, p. 428; Kanz al-‘Ummāl, Vol. 6, p.160, from Hazrat Fatima; and Mawāhib al-Ladinya, Vol. 1, p. 42)

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Had Moses or Jesus been alive, they would have had to follow me.” (Al-Yawaqit wal-Jawahir, p. 24; Fath al-Bayan, Vol. 2, p. 246; Tafsir Ibn Kathir, under verse 81 of Al-Imran)

The Holy Prophet (saw) said: May the curse of Allah be upon the Jews and the Christians who made the graves of their prophets into places of worship.” (Bukhari)

“When a delegation of sixty men from the (Christian) people of Najran came to the Holy Prophet, their chief priest discussed with him about the status of Jesus and asked him as to whom Jesus’ father was. The Holy Prophet said: ‘Do you not know that a son resembles his father?’ They replied: ‘Yes’. He said: A-lastum ta‘lamūna anna rabba-nā lā yamūtu wa anna ‘Īsā ata ‘alaihi-l-fanā, i.e., Do you not know that our Lord lives forever while Jesus perished.”

Do not imagine that I deny the excellence of Prophet Jesus (as). God is not an unjust God. He sends His prophets into this world and in return they fulfil their missions as per the instructions of their Lord. Likewise, Jesus (as) had a mission; to find and gather the lost “sheep” tribes of the House of Israel, and by the Grace of Allah, he succeeded in his mission, and died at the age of 120 years as the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) has made us understand clearly. He married and had children like all prophets.

But that also does not mean that the prophecy of the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) concerning the advent of Jesus son of Mary is false. On the contrary, it is absolutely true and is in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran that Allah will continue to send His Messengers to warn mankind and as a harbinger of good news for all people. Verily, there shall be many Jesus son of Mary not the same Israelite prophet in flesh and blood, but those who shall resemble him in spiritual quality and nobility in the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) who will prove the beauty of Islam and the Holiness of the Seal of all prophets (saw).