The word ‘rafa’ was used in different places in the Quran to mean spiritual honor and exaltation. Let us see some of the examples:
Prophets like Muhammad(pbuh) are exalted.
43:32 …And We have raised some of them above others in rank. (…WA rafa’ na…)
94:4 And We have exalted for you your mention (…WA rafa’ NA…)
Ibrahim(pbuh) has been exalted by Allah.
6:84 ….We exalt in degrees whom We please (…narfa’u darazaa…)
Idris(pbuh) has been exalted by Allah.
19:57 And We raised him to an elevated state. (WA rafa’naa hu…)
servants of Allah are raised in degrees.
6:166 …and He raises some of you above the others in degrees…. (…WA rafa’ aa
7:176 And had We wished We would invariably exalted him; …. (…rafa’naa hu….)
56:3 It will abase it will exalt (…rafi’aah…)
good deeds are raised towards Allah.
35:10 …all pure speech and all good deed, –He exalts it…. (…yarfa’uhu. …)
of pious Muslims are raised high by Allah.
24:36 in (certain) houses which Allah has permitted to be raised up… (…an turfa’a WA yuzkara…)
From this discussion we see that no where the use of ‘rafa’ meant physical ascension. However, in 3:54 verse, you would interpret physical ascension just to validate the Christian faith. Whereas, if we honestly translate the word ‘wafat’ as death, then ‘rafa’ after death cannot mean physical ascension, rather exaltation in honor.
The tendency of Muslims is to destroy the teaching of the Quran only to validate the Christian dogma. Believe it or not, many Muslims approach the Quran like hypocrites – believe part of it and reject part of it. Muslims don’t want to believe in the total Quran. When this is pointed out to you, your defensive answers are:
- all Muslims believe Jesus(pbuh) was raised alive, so I also believe it (I don’t care what the Quran says);
- if I believe Jesus(pbuh) was not raised alive, then I become Qadiani, and I don’t want to be a Qadiani;
- my forefathers believed Jesus(pbuh) was raised alive, were they wrong? I would rather follow my forefathers (instead of following the teaching of Quran).
I faced similar dilemma when I was approaching the truth. Eventually I was able to reconcile the verses of the Quran and not make one verse contradict another. I was able to come out of the influence of Christian faith in Islam and find out the true meanings. At this time I don’t care what Qadianis say. My identity is Muslim, my religion is Islam and I believe what Allah and Rasul say.
My aim is not to blame you for believing in certain way. My aim is to show you that you have been kept in darkness, away from the truth. Unlike others, I am not jumping into conclusions by force, rather I am trying to show you the true picture, and leaving the decision to yourself. With this let us revisit two verses from Surah Ale Imran, 3:53-54.
|3:53||And they made plots and Allah made His plans. And Allah is the most Excellent of the plan-makers.|
|3:54||Behold! Allah said: ‘O Isa! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me and I shall clear you of those who reject Faith, and I am going to make those who follow you above those who reject Faith – until the day of Awakening. Then towards me is your return so that I shall decide among you as to that in which you used to differ.|
case of each prophets, Allah made plans against plots made by
oppressors. This is the practice of Allah to protect His messengers at
the time of aggression of enemies. Allah protected Musa, Ibrahim, Yusuf,
Lut, Muhammad (pbu them) to name a few. In case of Jesus(pbuh) snatching
him away from the enemies and lifting him alive in the Heaven can not be called
a subtle and better plan of Allah when neither was it in the power of
Jews nor in the power of anybody to counter it. In fact a better
and subtle plan can be designed against another plan when it is contrived
in a parallel manner.
Analysis of the verses 4:157-158 from Surah An-Nisa’