The Rising Of Christ To Heavens

Question

I wanted to know if Christ was really raised to heavens. Which Qur'ānic verse or sound narrative explains this event?


Answer

The rising of Christ to heaven has been expressed in the following Qur'ānic verse of Ṣūrah Āl 'Imrān:

إِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوْا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوْا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ [سورة آل عمران/55]

Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. (Q 3:55)

The word used in this verse is "mutawaffīka". We have translated it as 'I will put you to death'. This is its general translation. Actually in this verse it does not implicate death like an Urdu word 'intiqāl'. Like the word 'intiqāl' which actually implies replacement but is interpreted as death when spoken for a person, the word 'tuwaffī' carries the meaning of completion but when spoken regarding a person is interpreted as death. So this verse actually refers to death of Christ and explicates that Allah Almighty has raised his body to heaven at the time of his demise.

In ḥadīth corpus, narratives about second coming of Christ have been reported. These narratives imply that Christ will die after his second coming. Known ḥadīth books do not mention any sound narrative validating the raising of Jesus alive. In 'Ṭabrī' explaining the above verse, a narrative has been reported that the Holy Prophet (sws) said that Jesus has not died yet and will return to this world. But 'Ṭabarī' also carries different exegetical remarks narrating that 'Abdullah b. 'Abbās said that the word mutawaffīka means mumītuka.

Tranlated by: Abid Mahmood Hashmi.

About the Author

Talib Mohsin


Mr Talib Mohsin was born in 1959 in the district Pakpattan of Punjab. He received elementary education in his native town. Later on he moved to Lahore and passed his matriculation from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Lahore. He joined F.C College Lahore and graduated in 1981. He has his MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Punjab. He joined Mr Ghamidi to learn religious disciplines during early years of his educational career. He is one of the senior students of Mr Ghamidi form whom he learnt Arabic Grammar and major religious disciplines.

He was a major contributor in the establishment of the institutes and other organizations by Mr Ghamidi including Anṣār al-Muslimūn and Al-Mawrid. He worked in Ishrāq, a monthly Urdu journal, from the beginning. He worked as assistant editor of the journal for many years. He has been engaged in research and writing under the auspice of Al-Mawrid and has also been teaching in the Institute.

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