Assalamo Alaikum wa Rahmatullah:
I appreciate respected Syed Akhtar Sahib efforts to continue the discussion concerning the death of Hadhrat Isa bin Maryam (may peace be on him); but I am rather surprised at his attempt to discredit the use of rationality, intellect, Logic and historical facts. He appears to suggest that we should blindly accept whatever fantastic ideas we may want to believe while interpreting some verses of the Holy Quran and forget about the claim of the Holy Quran that Islam is the Deen of Nature (Fitrat). We are very well aware that Allah is All-Powerful and He can do whatever He wants to do. No one is denying the Power of All-Mighty; but we should not forget that Allah is All-Wise (al-Hakim) as well, and He has asked us repeatedly to use our rationality, wisdom, reasoning and faculty of understanding. Otherwise, there will be no difference between us and the Christians who want to win argument saying "The Bible says so!" The Hindus have their mythology, and if allow them the argument that God being All-Powerful can do whatever we can think of, then it will be easy for the Hindus to claim why then God cannot appear in the form of an Avatar, or allows the monkeys to help win a war. God is All-Powerful and All Mighty, but at the same time He has made His laws and he does not break His own Sunnah -- Sunnah-tul-Allah. For the living and the dead on the earth, He has declared His Laws not to be broken (77:25). There are more that 750 verses (ayaat) in the Holy Quran that most certainly and emphatically invite us to use the God-given mental abilities. He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, has indeed been granted abundant good; and none would be reminded except those endowed with understanding (Sura 2: ayat 269.) Thus Allah makes His commandments clear to you that you may understand (Sura 2:Ayat 242). Allah condemns the nonbelievers as those who do not use their rationality, their reasoning. Most of them do not use their understanding (Sura 5: Ayat 103) & (Sura 29: Ayat 64)
Instead of trying to properly understand the meanings of the Arabic words such as rafaâ (exaltation) and wafat(natural death) used in the Holy Quran, we cannot kill a rational and logical arguments that are based on the use of the same word in other places in the Holy Quran. We have to use our intellect to understand the meaning of the word rafaâ in the light of the Quranic usage. It is evident that wherever the word rafaâ is used for human beings in the holy Quran, it always means exaltation of one's spiritual station-- achieving the nearness to Allah in the spiritual sense. Nowhere in the Holy Quran the word rafaâ is used for the uplifting of men with their physical bodies. Moreover, it is astonishing that the word tawaff and its variations are used more than 20 times in the Holy Quran, and at every place it means death taking of one's soul out of one’s body, but when the same word is used for Isa bin Maryam (peace be on him) the translators try to give a different mean as if it means lifting up with the physical human body.
I am surprised that respected Syed Akhtar Sahib could not see the relevance of the Jews trying to defame Hadhrat Isa (peace be on him) and Allah frustrating their plans. The Jews wanted to see Jesus to be killed or crucified and thus proving that he was an accursed of God and impostor according to their Scripture, but Allah saved him from being defamed in this humiliating manner, and exalted his spiritual station. And they (the Jews) planned, and Allah also planned; and Allah is the best of the planners. (Sura 3: Verse 54) That’s why Allah had promised to Hadhrat Isa bin Maryam (peace be on him) that he will die a natural death and then will be exalted. When Allah said, O Jesus, I will cause you to die and will exalt you to Myself, and will clear you from the charges of those who disbelieve, and will place those who follow you above those who disbelieve (i.e., the Jews), until the day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, and I will judge between you concerning that wherein you differ. (Sura 3: Verses 55).
Here, most clearly the natural occurring of Jesus being caused to die a natural death is mentioned in the Holy Quran before his exaltation. There is no need to change the Holy Quran by trying to change the sequence of events that are very clearly and emphatically stated in the Holy Quran.
How does Allah save His prophets and Messengers when their enemies try to kill them? Not by lifting them up in the sky with their physical bodies. There was time when the kuffar of Mecca wanted to kill our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him). How did Allah save him in the cave of Thur ? Did Allah pick him up physically, or did He plan to save him? Allah let a spider make a web in the mouth of the cave and a bird lay eggs in its nest before the arrival of the nonbelievers at the mouth of the cave of Thur. The nonbelievers had their vicious plans to catch, kill him the Prophet and thus to defame him, but Allah had His a better than theirs to save him in an amazing manner.
It is very strange that Almighty and All-Wise Allah should plan and save His most beloved Messenger keeping him on the earth, but when the life of Isa bin Maryam was in danger, He lifted him up to the sky with his physical body as if Allah could not think any other way to save His prophet!
Allah sends a prophet with a specific mission. By saving his life, Allah allows him to achieve his mission. That’s why he saved our master Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him). If Jesus was sent to Bani Israel as their Messiah with a mission, then the question arises what happened to the completion of his mission if Allah decided to pick him up? Then most certainly the very mission for which he was sent by Allah to the Children of Israel could have failed! It is hard to believe that Allah would abandon His own mission given to a prophet.
I am glad to note that respected Syed Akhtar Sahib mentions the Martyrs being kept alive. I did not deny that fact that the Martyrs should not be called as dead. As a matter of fact I made appoint that the Martyrs are alive but still their physical bodies are most certainly buried in the graves here on the earth. If the body of Jesus is buried in the earth like those of the Martyrs, then we should not have any problem in accepting the fact that he too is alive like them.
Similarly, respected Syed Akhtar sahib did not deny the fact that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) saw some of the prophets, namely Adam, Idris, Yahya, Mosa and Ibrahim (peace be on them all) along with Jesus. We all know that the bodies of all those prophets of Allah are buried in the earth. Same is the case of Jesus. His body is buried in the earth, and he is alive among other prophets who are alive as the Prophet saw them alive and even talked with some.
Respected Syed Akhtar sahib asserts that Jesus is where Allah has ordained him to be. It is not within our knowledge, or even our business to know that. But Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has informed us exactly where Jesus is in the heavens. He is with Adam, Abraham, Moses and Yahya (peace be on them all) and all other prophets who have left their mortal bodies in the earth and are in heavens near Allah. Jesus is no exception.
Respected Syed Sahib mentions the case of the godly man in the court of Prophet Solomon who brought the actual physical throne of Queen Bilquis from her kingdom from hundred of miles in the blink of an eye! It again depends on the translator how the Arabic phrases are understood. In the blink of and an eye does not mean within one-second. As a proverbial use, this phrase is used to mean quickly faster than one may expect. In the same context, the earlier verses of Sura Al-Namal show that mutual negotiations between the Queen of Saba (modern day Yemen ) and Hadhrat Solomon were going on. Hadhrat Solomon who was a king of Palestine sent her a letter, and the Queen consults with her Chiefs, and decides to send her envoys to Hadhrat Solomon with gifts. Those envoys were sent back to the Queen with a message from Hadhrat Solomon (peace be on him). Keeping the distances in mind, and also the modes of transportation used, it would be easy to imagine that in the blink of an eye means the fastest possible way.
There are some other supernatural phenomenon mentioned by respected Syed Sahib and each one of them deserves a separate discussion to understand them properly. Therefore, at present I suggest we should limit our discussion to the verses and the historical events that concern the life and death of Hadhrat Isa bin Maryam (peace be on him).
Discussing verse 4:159, respected Syed Akhtar sahib conveniently says that it refers to two different events and he claims that one event will happen in future at Jesus’s second appearance from occultation. Before proceeding any further, may I ask where in the Holy Quran the second appearance of the same Jesus from his occultation is mentioned? I shall be much obliged if respected Syed sahib would kindly refer to the name of the Sura and the verse number!
Requesting your prayers,