Islam

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Islam

Islam                                     

A Photo ofthe Valley of Kashmir

“And
We made the son of Mary and his mother a Sign,  and gave them shelter on an elevated land of
green valleys and springs of running water. “

(The Holy
Quran: Chapter 23, Verse 51)

We now
examine the debates that are occurring within the religion of Islam. DO Muslims
believe in Jesus? Those unfamiliar with the religion of Islam might be
surprised to discover they do, and also there is great controversy surrounding
his position.

Islamic teaching on Jesus Christ is that he was indeed the Messiah sent to the Jews,who were the chosen people of God at that time. Jesus, referred to as ‘Isa’ inthe Islamic scripture, the Quran, was sent to remove the corruption andhypocrisy that had crept in to Judaism. The Quran makes very bold claims aboutJesus diametrically opposed to the orthodox Christian view. The view of Jesusas a literal Son of God, as well as the third part of a holy trinity areexplicitly mentioned and rejected.

Yet, even
in the Muslim world there is still division about other aspects of Jesus’ life.
What is the contention with Jesus in the Muslim world?

Interestingly
enough it boils down to three things that many will have thought were purely
Christian beliefs: The Crucifixion, the ascension, and the Second Coming.

Jesus in the Quran

The Quran
says:

“That they
said (in boast), ‘We killed Jesus Christ the son of Mary, the Messenger of
Allah,’ but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to
appear to them.

And those
who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only
conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.Nay, Allah raised him
up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.”

(Quran,
Chapter 4, vs.157-158)

The Quran
speaks of a future meeting between Jesus and God in the following words:

“And
when Allah will say, ‘O Jesus, son of Mary, didst thou say to men, ‘Take me and
my mother for two gods beside Allah?’ he will answer, ‘Holy art THOU, I could
never say that which I had no right. If I had said it, Thou wouldst have surely
known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind.
It is Thou alone Who art the Knower of all hidden things; “

(Quran,
Chapter 5, vs.117)

Islamic Traditions

Below are
some Islamic written traditions regarding the life span of Jesus.

“During his
last illness, the Holy Prophet (saw) said to his daughter Hazrat Fatima (ra),
“Once in every year, Gabriel recited the Quran to me. This year he recited
twice. He also told me that every succeeding prophet has lived to half the age
of his predecessor. He told me that Jesus, son of Mary, lived to 120 years.
Therefore, I think, I may live to about 60 years.” (Mawahib-ud-Duniya by
Qastalani, Vol. I, p. 42); (Kanzul Ummal, Vol. VI, p. 120, 160 from Hazrat
Fatima (ra)); (Hujjaj al-Kiramah, p. 428); (Hakam)

“Tabarani
says regarding this Hadith, “Its narrations are reliable, and it is reported in
a number of different versions.” Moreover, Hazrat Ayesha (ra), Hazrat Fatima
(ra), and Hazrat Ibn Umar (ra) all related it.”

“Hazrat
Aishah [a wife of Muhammad’s], God be pleased with her, relates from the Holy
Prophet Muhammad: ‘Jesus, son of Mary, lived to the age of 120 yars.’” (Hujaj
al-Kirama, p 428)

“Hazrat
Fatimah [a wife of Muhammad’s], God be pleased with her, relates from the Holy
Prophet: ‘Jesus, son of Mary, lived to the age of 120 years.’” (Kanz-ul-Ummal,
vol. vi, p. 120)

“In the
Mustadrak (a Hadith collection) it is reported from Ibn Umar that Jesus lived
to the age of 120 years. It is likewise also in the Asabah.” (Tafsir Kamalain).

The Jesus
Debate

 

So what is the fuss about? Current day Islamicorthodox thinking in regards to Jesus holds fast to the idea that he willreturn as an apocalyptic Prophet. In his book “Jesus Will Return”popular Islamic scholar Harun Yahya states:

“From
what has been related so far, it is clear that Jesus (as) did not die but was
raised to the presence of Allah. However, there is one more point that is
underlined by the Quran: Jesus will come back to earth.”

Authentic
sayings of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are reported to have said:

“..the
son of Mary will soon descend among you as a just judge, and he will break the
cross, kill the pig and bolish Jizyah (taxation)…”

“Then
Isa son of Mary peace be upon him will descend..”

“There
is no prophet between me and him, that is, Isa, peace be upon him. He will
descend. When you see him recognise him..”

If Jesus in
buried in Kashmir are these prophecies incorrect? In what sense could they
still hold meaning?

Judas on
the Cross?

Some
orthodox interpretations have proposed the “Substitution Theory” This
states that Allah replaced Jesus with Judas Iscariot so rapidly that the switch
was not noticed.

While Judas
was crucified, Jesus was taken up to heaven. This is said to explain the
Quran’s words that Jesus was not killed nor crucified but it was made to appear
this way.

Another
possibility is that Jesus survived the Crucifixion and was made to appear dead
but in fact had survived.

Imam
Shaltut’s Fatwa

Remember
the time when Allah said, ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death
and will raise thee to Myself, and will clear thee of the charges of those who
disbelieve, and will exalt those who follow thee..”

(The Holy
Quran Chapter 3, Verse 56)

Perhaps the
single largest threat to the orthodox Islamic view of Jesus from its own
community is from Imam Shaltut a deep and powerful Islamic scholar who became
the highest Islamic authority of the most prestigious Muslim school on earth,
Al-Azhar University. In October, 1958, he became Rector of Al-Azhar University.
His religious and scholastic credentials within the world of Islam were
impeccable. He issued a “fatwa” (decree) stating that God promised Jesus a
natural death.

The full
text of the Fatwa can be downloaded here Below is a summary of Imam Shaltut’s
fatwa:

1. The Holy
Quran and Sacred sayings of the Prophet of Islam do not support the belief that
Jesus is alive in heaven now.

2. The
Quranic verses show that God had planned for Jesus to die a natural death and
not die at the hand of those trying to crufify him

3. Anyone
not believing Jesus to be alive in heaven is not contravening any Islamic
belief.

What is
left of the second coming?

 

The Ahmadi Muslims believe that the hadithreferring to the return of Jesus are metaphorical, and point to some otherindividual who will appear. This individual will be someone who will carry thesame peaceful qualities of Jesus

In support
of this viewpoint of a spiritual, rather than a physical, return of Jesus
Christ, it is very interesting that the Ahmadis reference a Christian
source—the Gospels—as an example:

“Verily I
say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater
than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of
heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the
kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all
the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this
is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
(Matthew 11: 11-15)

 In Matthew 11:11-15 Jesus Christ claims thatJohn the Baptist, a contemporary of Jesus who baptized Jesus, actually is the“return” of Elias, who the Old Testament foretold would return. Drawing aparallel, the Ahmadiyya viewpoint claims Jesus Christ will not returnphysically—as orthodox Muslims and orthodox Christians believe—since hisphysical body is here on earth at the Rozabal.

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