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The Advent Of 'Isa Pt1

 
The Muslim belief that Jesus(pbuh) will be sent back to the world by Allah The Beautiful, is based upon oral tradition, ie., the Hadith Compilations. There is no mention whatsoever in Al-Qur'an about this matter. A strange departure from Sunnat-Allah, whereby HE invariably Reveals HIS Intent to send a Messenger in HIS Preceding Revelations as well as to the Messenger to which they were/are entrusted. This piece - and its follow-up - seeks to investigate the Hadeeth reports about the advent of Isa and examine them in the light of Al-Qur'an.


Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.4. Hadith 657;
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet(pbuh) said; "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, surely Isa, the son of Maryam will shortly descend amongst you (Muslims), and will judge mankind justly by the Law of the Qur'an (as a just ruler), he will break the cross and kill the pigs and there will be no jizyah. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it.

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.4. Hadith 658;
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet(pbuh) said; "How will you be when the son of Maryam, Isa, descends amongst you, and he will judge people by the Law of the Qur'an and not by the Law of the Injeel."



It may be noted, that there appear to be contradictions contained within these reported sayings -

a) If, as is stated, Jesus(pbuh) will judge mankind by the Law of the Qur'an, why will he be granted permission by Allah(swt) to abolish the jizyah tax paid by non-Muslims ?

b) Further, will Jesus(pbuh) also be granted permission to compell mankind to accept him, believe in him, and follow him ? This seems to be the assumption, given that mankind is spoken of, and not merely the believers. Again, this contradicts the Statement in 2:256, where Allah(swt) says, there is to be no compulsion in religion.

c) Are we, then, to conclude, that Jesus(pbuh) will judge mankind according to some, but not all, of the Laws of the Qur'an. However, it is difficult to accept this, since believers know, that the only rightful Law-Giver is Allah(swt), and He has never permitted any Prophet or anyone, to create or institute their own laws, neither has He ever given the right to any Prophet or anyone to ignore, over-ride, abolish, or abrogate His Laws and Revelations.


According to Al-Qur'an, which is the Authoritative/Definitive Word of Allah SWT;

Surah 3 Al-'Imraan, Verse 59
...in the Sight of Allah, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust, and then said unto him, "BE !" - and he is.


Surah 61 As-Saff, Verse 6
.....Jesus, the son of Mary, said : "O Children of Israel ! Behold, I am an apostle of Allah unto you, (sent) to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains of the Torah, and to give (you) the glad tiding of an apostle who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.


Surah 3 Al-'Imraan, Verse 55
Recall when Allah said : "O Isa, surely I shall make you die and am lifting you to ME, and am cleansing you from those who disbelieve, and shall place those who follow you above those who deny you till the Day of Judgement ; then to ME shall be the return of you all ; then I shall decide between you concerning that in which you have been
differing.

One ponders upon this matter deeply. If 'Isa were to return, proceed to carry out the acts and institute those Laws as enumerated in the Traditions, causing everyone to become a Muslim - what differences would remain? For it is upon these very divergences of beliefs and practices which will form the basis of Allah SWT's Judgments.



Surah 4 An-Nisaa, Verse 157
And for their saying : "We put to death the Messiah' Isa, son of Maryam, a Messenger of Allah. Yet they killed him not, nor did they send him to the cross, but it only seemed to them (as if it had been) so; And surely those who differ therein are in doubt about it ; they have no True knowlege thereof; they but follow a conjecture, of a surety they killed him not.


Surah 4 An-Nisaa, Verse 158
But Allah raised him unto HIMSELF, and Allah is Ever Mighty, Wise.


Surah 4 An-Nisaa, Verse 159
And there is none among the People of the Book but shall surely believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Judgement he shall be a witness against them."


Thus, Allah The Beautiful reveals that those from amongst the People of the Book are brought to a realisation of the truth regarding Isa (pbuh) upon their demise, and further, that he (ie., Isa (pbuh) ) will "be a witness against them."


Surah 5 Al-Maa'idah, Verse 75 
The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle : all (other) apostles had passed away before him : and his mother was one who never deviated from the truth ; and they both ate food (like other mortals).


Surah 5 Al-Maa'idah, Verse 116
...Allah said : " O Jesus, son of Mary ! Didst thou say unto men, "Worship me and my Mother as deities beside Allah? 
(Jesus) answered : "Limitless art THOU in THY Glory ! It would not have been possible for me to say what I had no right to (say) ! Had I said this, THOU wouldst indeed have known it! THOU knowest all that is within myself, whereas I know not what is in THY SELF.....

Surah 5 Al-Maa'idah, Verse 117
Nothing did I tell them beyond what THOU didst bid me (to say) : "Worship Allah, (Who is) my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer." And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst ; but since THOU hast caused me to die (TAWAFFAYTANI),THOU Alone hast been their Keeper : for THOU art Witness unto everything.


The above beautiful and moving dialogue between Allah (swt) and HIS Beloved Messenger and Prophet Isa (pbuh) does not make reference to any subsequent task that had to be performed by Isa (pbuh), on his "second" return/descent. On the contrary, the Verses clearly state the mission of Isa (pbuh) and how he (in his own words) sought to accomplish it. And, it clearly states that 'Isa DIED a natural death - "YOU have caused me to die."


I am afraid that I am not able to find any mention, in the Qur'an, that Allah(swt) intends to send Jesus(pbuh) back into the world. Were this to be the case, it would suggest that the mission with which he was entrusted, and the Message he sought to convey, had not been accomplished or completed.


Both Jesus(pbuh) and his mother, Maryam(rda), are described as a "symbol (of Our Grace) unto all people." (21:91).
It must be borne in mind that each of Allah(swt)'s Chosen Ones represent different signs or symbols, manifesting - in all cases - His Grace and Mercy, as also many other of HIS Perfect Attributes.


An important Statement is made by Allah The Beautiful in HIS Wise and Beloved Book, regarding four believing communities. These four communities are identified as the Jews, Christians, Nuns and Monks, and Muslims - all of whom worship Allah (swt) in their own designated places of worship.


Surah 22, Al-Hajj, Verses 39-40
Permission (to fight) is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged - and, verily, Allah has the Power to succour them - : those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying, "Our Sustainer is Allah!
For, if Allah had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, (all) monasteries and churches and synagogues and masaajid - in (all of) which Allah's Name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed (ere now).And Allah will most certainly succour him who succours HIS cause : for, verily, Allah is Most Powerful, Almighty.


Thus, it seems rather odd that Allah The Beautiful, Who in the above Verse states that Monasteries, Churches, and Synagogues must be preserved and safeguarded for those believers who worship HIM in them, will fall into disuse and destruction, or may be converted into Masaajid, once Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has announced and begun the (apparent) mission entrusted to him. At the same time, it might be as well to recall, that Allah (swt) has expressly given permission to Muslims to marry Jewish and Christian women. Again, somewhat at variance with the notion that all Jews and Christians will cease to be, since, upon the (supposed) advent of Isa (pbuh), all will be required or compelled to accept Islam.

The Jews and Christians are already a recognized part of Islam, as the Books bestowed upon the earlier Prophets (pbut) are mentioned many times in Al-Qur'an, and as the followers are described as "Ahl-Al-Kitaab".


And, herein lies yet another contradiction. We know, accept, and believe, that the Final Testament of Allah The Beautiful is intended for all times/places/peoples. When we bear this absolute Truth in mind, we realise that the above verse - and indeed, all verses - relates not merely to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but rather, is a Statement of principle which is to be the basis of all interaction between the believing communities - to be applied at all times, in all places, by all those who claim to believe in the One God. Furthermore, if anyone, or any community, threatens these places of worship, the believers are given express Permission by Allah (swt) to take up arms and defend them. Where does all this fit in with the idea/belief that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will be sent back to this world by Allah (swt), in order to make everyone into a Muslim ?

 
Surah 3 Al-'Imraan, Verse144
And Muhammad is only an apostle ; all the (other) apostles have passed away before him: if, then, he dies or is slain, will you turn about on your heels?


Surah 21 Al-Anbiyaa, Verse 107
And (thus, O Prophet,) We have sent thee as (an evidence of Our) Grace towards all the worlds.


Surah 33 Al-Ahzaab, Verse 40
(And know, O believers, that) Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but is Allah's Apostle and the Seal of all Prophets...


Surah 5 Al-Maa'idah, Verse3
....Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My Blessings, and Willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.....


Thus, the religion chosen for mankind by his Creator - Islam - has been completed, and perfected. To suggest or believe, as many Muslims do, that Allah(swt) intends to send Jesus(pbuh) back into this world, implies that Islam has yet to be confirmed, completed, and perfected, and that it requires further proofs or signs or evidences or miracles, in order for mankind - collectively - to accept it.


Surah 6 Al-An'aam, Verse109
Now they swear by Allah with their most solemn oaths that if a miracle were shown to them, they would indeed believe in this (divine writ). Say: "Miracles are in the power of Allah Alone." And for all you know, even if one should be shown to them, they would not believe

Verse 110
so long as We keep their hearts and their eyes (turned away from the truth), even as they did not believe in it in the first instance: and (so) We shall leave them in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.

Verse 111
And even if We were to send down angels unto them, and if the dead were to speak unto them, and (even if) We were to assemble before them, face to face, all the things (that can prove the truth), they would still not believe unless Allah so Willed. But (of this) most of them are entirely unaware.


Allah The Beautiful states in Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, Verse 62 :
....those who have attained to faith (in this Divine Writ), as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians - all who believe in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous deeds - shall have their reward with their Sustainer ; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.


Surah 5, Al-Ma'idah, Verse 48 :
....Unto every one of you have WE appointed a (different) Law and way of life. And if Allah had so Willed, HE could surely have made you all one single community : but (HE Willed it otherwise) in order to test you by means of what HE has vouchsafed unto you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works ! Unto Allah you all must return ; and then HE will make you understand all that on which you were wont to differ.


Thus, it is quite evident from the above Statements of Allah The Beautiful, that the earlier believing communities ( ie., the Jews and Christians) may be assured that Allah (swt) will accept them, providing they fulfill the conditions of their Faith. And, it is part of Allah (swt)'s plan of Creation, that there exist - side by side with one another - different communities following particular laws, as contained in the Revelations of Allah (swt) - yet united in the fundamentals and essentials of religion, as stated above in 2:62.


This principle established by Allah (swt) is, however, contradicted by the belief (derived from the Hadeeth) that Jesus (pbuh) will be sent back into the world, apparently, in order to demolish or destroy the differences that exist between the monotheistic communities in matters of Faith, ways of worship, and religious Laws. Would not such an act - or series of actions - performed by Jesus (pbuh), result in the establishment of one single community ? Again, attention is drawn to the above, 5:48.


It is difficult to accept the belief, held by Christians/Muslims, that Allah The Beautiful intends to send His Prophet Jesus(pbuh) back into this world. I do not believe that the Qur'an warrants such an idea. It is also problematic to accept the belief that a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) identified as Imam Mahdi, will precede the descent of Jesus(pbuh). The Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) is described as the "Seal of all Prophets" and it is stated in the same verse, that he is not the father of any one man. Following upon this, is it reasonable to believe that, though he was not the father of any of his closest male companions or relatives, he will, nevertheless, be a FOREFATHER of a man known as Imam Mahdi ?

Most of these beliefs are derived from reported sayings of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) contained in the Hadith compilations. However, it as well to bear in mind, that these are not his actual words. We cannot accept hearsay evidence - such testimony is always rejected in any court of law. Only that which is compatible with Al-Qur'an is acceptable.


Surah 6 Al-An'aam, Verse 116
Now if thou pay heed unto the majority of those (who live) on earth, they will but lead thee astray from the path of Allah : they follow but (other people's) conjectures, and they themselves do nothing but guess.


Allah SWT States that Al-Qur'an is specifically designed/intended for "People who think"
Thus, it is incumbent upon believers to engage their faculties of reasoning not only about Allah SWT's Book/Signs, but also about every single thing. This is the method by which we attain Truth and free ourselves from all forms of falsehood. Al-Qur'an is Al-Furqan, it is the Criterion by which we recognize/differentiate between true/false; good/bad; right/wrong. 25:30 Reveals that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) will say that his people "discarded Al-Qur'an". We must ensure that we are not amongst those to whom our Beloved Prophet was referring.

 

Allahu 'Alam

 
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