The Return Of Jesus (as) To Earth
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 Qur'an: Jesus (as) will come
back to earth.
The Qur'an explicitly declares the return of Jesus (as) to earth. Many
verses contain explicit statements regarding this matter. The proofs revealed
in the Qur'an take this form:
(1) Surah Al 'Imran 55 is one of the verses indicating that Jesus (as)
will come back:
When Allah said, "'Isa, I will take you back and raise
you up to Me and purify you of those who are disbelievers. And I will
place the people who follow you above those who are disbelievers until
the Day of Rising. Then you will all return to Me, and I will judge between
you regarding the things about which you differed. (Surah Al 'Imran: 55)
The statement in the verse, "And I will place the people who follow you
above those who are disbelievers until the Day of Rising" is important.
Here, there is reference to a group strictly adhering to Jesus (as) and
who will be kept above the disbelievers until the Day of Judgement. Well,
who are these adherents, then? Are they the disciples who lived in the
time of Jesus or are they the Christians of today?
Before he was raised up to Allah, the followers of Jesus (as) were few.
After his ascension, the essence of the religion degenerated rapidly.
Furthermore, the people known as the disciples faced serious pressure
throughout their lives. During the succeeding two centuries, having no
political power, those Christians having faith in Jesus (as) were also
oppressed. In this case, it is not possible to say that early Christians
or their successors during these periods were physically superior to the
disbelievers in the world. We might logically think that this verse does
not refer to them.
When we look at the Christians of today, on the other hand, we notice
that the essence of Christianity has changed a lot and it is quite different
from what Jesus (as) originally brought to mankind. Christians embraced
the perverted belief that suggests that Jesus (as) is the son of God and
similarly held the doctrine of the trinity (The Father, Son and the Holy
Spirit). In this case, it is flawed to accept the Christians of today
as the adherents of Jesus (as). In many verses of the Qur'an Allah states
that those having faith in the trinity certainly are disbelievers:
Those who say that the Messiah, son of Maryam, is the
third of three are disbelievers. There is no god but One God. (Surat al-Ma'idah:
In this case, the commentary of the statement, "And I will place the
people who follow you above those who are disbelievers until the Day of
Rising" is as follows: first, it is said that these people are the Muslims
who are the only true followers of the authentic teachings of Jesus (as);
second, it is said that these people are the Christians, whether or not
they hold idolatrous beliefs, and that could be seen to be confirmed by
the dominant position that nominal Christians hold on the earth today.
However, both positions will be unified by the arrival of Jesus (as),
since he will abolish the jizyah, meaning that he will not accept that
Christians and Jews live with any other religion than Islam, and so will
unite all the believers as Muslims.
The Prophet and last Messenger of Allah (saas), has also given the glad
tidings of the return of Jesus (as). The scholars of hadith (reports and
traditions on the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad) say that
the hadiths on this subject, in which Allah's Messenger (saas) said that
the Prophet Jesus (as) will descend amongst people as a leader before
the Day of Judgement have reached the status of mutawatir. That means
that they have been narrated by so many people from each generation from
such a large group of the Companions that there can be no possible doubt
of their authenticity. For example:
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger, peace
be upon him, said, "By the One in Whose hand is my self, definitely the
son of Maryam will soon descend among you as a just judge, and he will
break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the jizyah, and wealth will
be so abundant that no one will accept it, until a single prostration
will be better than the world and everything in it. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah
bless him and grant him peace, saying, 'A party of my ummah will never
stop fighting for the truth victoriously until the Day of Rising.' He
said, 'Then 'Isa ibn Maryam, peace be upon him, will descend and their
amir will say, "Come and lead us in prayer," but he will say, "No! some
of you are amirs over others," as Allah's showing honour to this ummah.'"
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated, "The Prophet, peace be upon him,
said: 'There is no prophet between me and him, that is, 'Isa, peace be
upon him. He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognise
him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments,
looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not
be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break
the cross, kill the pig, and abolish the jizyah. Allah will cause to perish
all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Dajjal and will live on
the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray
over him.'" (Abu Dawud)
(2)Earlier in this section, we analysed verses 157-158 of Surat an-Nisa'.
Just after these verses Allah states the following in Surat an-Nisa 159:
There is not one of the People of the Book who will not
believe in him before he dies; and on the Day of Rising he will be a witness
against them. (Surat an Nisa': 159)
The statement above "who will not believe in him before he dies" is important.
The Arabic text of this sentence reads: Wa-in min ahli'l-kitabi illa la
yuminanna bihi qabla mawtihi.
Some scholars stated that the "him/it" in this verse is used for the
Qur'an and thus made the following interpretation: There will be no one
from the people of the Book who will not have faith in the Qur'an before
he (a person from the people of the Book) dies.
Nevertheless, in verses 157 and 158, which are the two verses preceding
this verse, the same "him" is undoubtedly used for Jesus (as).
Surat an-Nisa' 157:
And (on account of) their saying, "We killed the Messiah,
'Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah." They did not kill him and they
did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue
about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just
conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him.
Surat an-Nisa' 158:
Allah raised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.
Just after these verses in Surat an-Nisa 159, there is no evidence indicating
that "him" is used to imply someone other than Jesus (as).
Surat an-Nisa' 159:
There is not one of the People of the Book who will not
believe in him before he dies; and on the Day of Rising he will be a witness
In the Qur'an, Allah informs us that on the Day of Judgement, the "tongues
and hands and feet will testify against them about what they were doing"
(Surat an-Nur: 24 and Surah Yasin: 65). From Surah Fussilat 20-23, we
learn that "hearing, sight and skin will testify against us." In none
of the verses however, is there reference to "the Qur'an as a witness".
If we accept that the "him" or "it" in the first sentence refers to the
Qur'an - though grammatically or logically we have no evidence whatsoever
- then we should also accept that the "he" in the second statement also
refers to the Qur'an. To accept this however, there should be an explicit
verse confirming this view. However, the commentator Ibn Juzayy does not
mention the possibility of the Qur'an being the "him" referred to, and
Ibn Juzayy transmitted the views of all the major commentators in his
When we refer to the Qur'an, we see that when the same personal pronoun
is used for the Qur'an, there is generally mention of the Qur'an before
and after that specific verse as in the cases of Surat an-Naml: 77 and
Surat ash-Shu'ara: 192-196. The verse straightforwardly defines that People
of the Book will have faith in Jesus (as) and that he (Jesus (as)) will
be a witness against them.
The second point is about the interpretation of the expression "before
he dies." Some think this is "having faith in Jesus (as) before their
own death." According to this interpretation everyone from the people
of the Book will definitely believe in Jesus (as) before he/she faces
their own death. In Jesus' time however, Jews who are defined as the people
of the Book not only did not have faith in Jesus but also attempted to
kill him. On the other hand, it would be unreasonable to say that Jews
and Christians who lived and died after the time of Jesus had faith -
the type of faith described in the Qur'an - in him.
To conclude, when we make a careful evaluation of the verse, we arrive
at the following conclusion: Before Jesus' (as) death, all the People
of the Book will have faith in him. (Tafsir of Omer Nasuhi Bilmen)
In its real sense, the verse reveals plain facts, which are:
Firstly, it is evident that the verse refers to the future because there
is mention of the death of Jesus (as). Yet, Jesus (as) did not die but
was raised up to the presence of Allah. Jesus (as) will come to earth
again, he will live for a specified time and then die. Secondly, all the
people of the Book will have faith in him. This is an event which has
yet not occurred, but which will definitely happen in the future.
Consequently, by the expression "before he dies", there is a reference
to Jesus (as). The People of the Book will see him, know him and obey
him while he is alive. Meanwhile, Jesus (as) will bear witness against
them on the Last Day. Allah surely knows best.
(3)That Jesus (as) will come back to earth towards the end of time is
related in another verse in Surat az-Zukhruf 61.
Starting from az-Zukhruf 57, there is reference to Jesus (as):
When an example is made of the son of Maryam ('Isa) your
people laugh uproariously. They retort, "Who is better then, our gods
or him?" They only say this to you for argument's sake. They are indeed
a disputatious people.
He is only a slave on whom We bestowed Our blessing and
whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel.
If We wished, We could appoint angels in exchange for
you to succeed you on the earth. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 57-60)
Just after these verses, Allah declares that Jesus (as) is a sign of
the Day of Judgement.
He is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it. But
follow me. This is a straight path. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 61)
Ibn Juzayy says that the first meaning of this verse is that Jesus (as)
is a sign or a precondition of the Last Hour. We can say that this verse
is a clear indication that Jesus (as) will come back to earth at the end
times. That is because Jesus (as) lived approximately six centuries before
the revelation of the Qur'an. Consequently, we cannot interpret his first
coming as a sign of the Day of Judgement. What this verse actually indicates
is that Jesus (as) will come back to earth towards the end of time, that
is to say, during the last period of time before the Day of Judgement
and this will be a sign for the Day of Judgement. Allah surely knows the
The Arabic of the verse "He is a Sign of the Hour" is Innahu la 'ilmun
li's-sa'ati… Some people interpret the pronoun hu (he) in this verse
as the Qur'an. However, the preceding verses explicitly indicate that
Jesus (as) is mentioned in the verse: "He is only a slave on whom We bestowed
Our blessing and whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel." (Prof.
Suleyman Ates, Yuce Kur'an'in Cagdas Tefsiri (The Contemporary Tafsir
of the Holy Qur'an), vol. 6, p. 4281)
Those who cite this pronoun as referring to the Qur'an go on to quote
the next part of the verse "Have no doubt about it. But follow me" as
evidence. However, the verses preceding this one refer totally to Jesus
(as). For this reason, it appears that the pronoun hu is linked to those
preceding verses and also refers to Jesus (as). In fact, great Islamic
scholars declare that to be the case, based on the use of the pronoun
both in the Qur'an and in the hadith. Muhammad Hamdi Yazir of Elmali offers
the following explanation in his commentary:
The statement in the verse, "He is a sign of the hour" is an indication
that the Hour will come and the dead will be resurrected and stand up.
Jesus, both with his return to earth and his miracle of resurrecting the
dead and also with his prophesying the rise of the dead is a sign of the
Hour. It is also reported in the hadith that he is a sign of the Last
In Sahih Muslim, it is also stated that the hadiths in which it is said
that the Prophet Jesus (as) will descend amongst people at the end of
time have reached the degree of being mutawatir, i.e. narrated by so many
people in each generation that it is not possible to have any doubt of
their authenticity, and that it is counted as one of the major signs of
the Day of Rising. (Sahih Muslim, 2/58)
Hudhayfah ibn Usayd al-Ghifari said, "The Messenger of Allah (saas) came
to us all of a sudden as we were (busy in a discussion). He said: 'What
are you discussing?' We said: 'We are discussing the Last Hour.' Thereupon
he said: 'It will not come until you see ten signs before it' - and (in
this connection) he made mention of the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast,
the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of 'Isa the son of Maryam
(as), Yajuj and Majuj, and landslides in three places, one in the east,
one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire will burn forth
from the Yemen, and drive people to the place of their assembly." (Sahih
(4) Other verses indicating the second coming of the Jesus (as) are the
When the angels said, "Maryam, your Lord gives you good
news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, 'Isa, son of Maryam
of high esteem in this world and the hereafter, and one of those brought
near. He will speak to people in the cradle, and also when fully grown,
and will be one of the righteous," she said, "My Lord! How can I have
a son when no man has ever touched me?"
He said, "It will be so. Allah creates whatever He wills.
When He decides on something He just says to it, 'Be!' and it is. He will
teach him the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah and the Injil…" (Surah
Al 'Imran: 45-48)
In the verse, it is heralded that Allah would instruct Jesus (as) about
the Injil, the Torah and the "Book." No doubt, this book in question is
very important. We come across the same expression in the Surat al-Ma'idah
Remember when Allah said: "'Isa, son of Maryam, remember
My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest
Spirit so that you could speak to people in the cradle and when you were
fully grown; and when I taught you the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah
and the Injil; and when you created a bird-shape out of clay by My permission…"
(Surat al-Ma'idah: 110)
When we analyse the "Book" in both of the verses, we see that it may
indicate the Qur'an. In the verses, it is stated that the Qur'an is the
last divine book sent apart from the Torah, the Zabur and the Injil. Besides,
in another verse in the Qur'an, next to the Torah and the Injil, the word
"Book" is used to indicate the Qur'an.
Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining.
He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what has there
before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Injil, previously... (Surah
Al 'Imran: 2-3)
Other verses in which "book" refers to the Qur'an reads:
When a Book does come to them from Allah, confirming
what is with them - even though before that they were praying for victory
over the unbelievers - yet when what they recognise does come to them,
they reject it. Allah's curse is on the unbelievers. (Surat al-Baqara:
For this We sent a Messenger to you from among you to recite Our Signs
to you and purify you and teach you the Book and Wisdom and teach you
things you did not know before. (Surat al-Baqara: 151)
In this case, we may well consider that the third book that will be taught
to Jesus (as) will be the Qur'an and we could assume that this will be
possible only if he comes to earth at the end of time. Jesus (as) lived
approximately 600 years before the revelation of the Qur'an. When we look
at the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), we understand that when the Prophet
Jesus (as) comes for the second time, he will command with the Qur'an,
not the Injil. This indeed conforms exactly with the meaning in the verse.
Surely Allah knows the best.
This is also explained in a hadith:
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him,
said, "By the One in Whose hand is my self, definitely the son of Maryam
will soon descend among you as a just judge, and he will break the cross,
kill the pig and abolish the jizyah, and wealth will be so abundant that
no one will accept it, until a single prostration will be better than
the world and everything in it. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The 'ulama (Islamic scholars) say that the meaning in this hadith of
his acting as a just judge/ruler is that he will judge by the shari'ah
of Islam, i.e. by the judgements in the Book of Allah, the Qur'an, and
in the Sunnah of the Last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, may Allah bless
him and grant him peace. Allah surely knows best.
(5) Allah tells about the death of Jesus (as) in one verse in Surah Maryam
('Isa said,) Peace be upon me the day I was born, and
the day I die and the day I am raised up again alive. (Surah Maryam: 33)
When we consider this verse together with Al 'Imran 55, it indicates
a very important truth. In the verse in Surah Al 'Imran it is stated that
Jesus (as) was raised up to the presence of Allah. No information is given
in this verse about death or killing. Yet in Surah Maryam 33 information
is given about the day when Jesus (as) will die. That second death can
only be possible if Jesus (as) dies after returning to and living on earth.
Only Allah knows for certain.
(6) Another piece of evidence about Jesus (as) returning to earth appears
in verse 110 in Surat al-Ma'ida and in Surah Al 'Imran 46 in the form
of the word kahlan. The verses say:
Remember when Allah said, " 'Isa, son of Maryam, remember
My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest
Ruh (Spirit) so that you could speak to people in the cradle and when
you were fully grown (kahlan)... (Surat al-Ma'ida: 110)
He will speak to people in the cradle, and also when fully grown (kahlan),
and will be one of the righteous. (Surah Al 'Imran: 46)
This word appears only in the above two verses in the Qur'an, and only
in reference to Jesus (as). The meaning of the word kahlan used to refer
to Jesus' adult state is along the lines of, between 30 and 50 years old,
someone who is no longer young, someone who has reached the perfect age.
Islamic scholars agree on translating this word as indicating the period
after 35 years of age.
Based on a hadith reported by Ibn 'Abbas to the effect that Jesus (as)
ascended to heaven in his early 30s, at a young age, and will stay another
40 years when he returns, Islamic scholars say that Jesus' old age will
be after he returns to earth. (Muhammed Khalil Herras, Fasl al-maqal fi
raf'i 'Isa hayyan wa nuzulihi wa qatlihi'd-Dajjal, Makatabat as-Sunnah,
Cairo, 1990, page 20)
Close study of the verses in question easily shows how right Islamic
scholars are on this question. In looking at the verses of the Qur'an,
we see that this statement is only used for Jesus (as). All the prophets
spoke to people and called them to the true path. They all communicated
their message in maturity. Yet there is no such statement in the Qur'an
about any other prophet. The statement is only used to refer to Jesus
(as) and his miraculous situation. That is because the words "in the cradle"
and "when fully grown" that follow each other in the verses are stressing
two miraculous periods.
In fact, in his work The Commentary of at-Tabari, Imam at-Tabari gives
the following explanation of these verses:
These statements (Surat al-Ma'ida, 110) indicate that in order to complete
his lifespan and speak to people when fully grown Jesus (as) will come
down from heaven. That is because he was raised to heaven when still young.
In this verse (Surah Al 'Imran, 46) there is evidence that Jesus is living,
and Ahl al-Sunnah share that view. That is because in this verse it is
stated that he will speak to people when fully grown. He will only be
able to grow fully when he returns to earth from heaven. (Imam at-Tabari,
The Commentary of at-Tabari, Vol. 2, page 528, Vol. 1, page 247).
Some people however, interpret the word "when fully grown" in a manner
far removed from its true meaning and do not analyse it in the context
of the general logic of the Qur'an. These people maintain that prophets
have always been mature adults, for which reason the expression refers
to all the lives of the prophets. Of course the prophets were mature adults
whom Allah raised. Yet in Surat al-Ahqaf Allah reveals that the age of
full maturity is forty. It is revealed in this verse that:
We have instructed man to be good to his parents. His
mother bore him with difficulty and with difficulty gave birth to him;
and his bearing and weaning take thirty months. Then when he achieves
his full strength and reaches forty, he says, "My Lord, keep me thankful
for the blessing You bestowed on me and on my parents, and keep me acting
rightly, pleasing You. And make my descendants righteous. I have repented
to You and I am truly one of the Muslims." (Surat al-Ahqaf: 15)
The word kahlan, therefore, also points to Jesus' return to earth just
like all the other information given in the Qur'an. Only Allah knows for
As seen, verses on Jesus' (as) return to the earth are very explicit.
Similar expressions to these are not used in the Qur'an regarding other
prophets. All these expressions, however, are used about the Prophet Jesus
(as). The significance of this is clear.
There Are Other Examples of People in the Qur'an Who Left the World and
Then Returned After Hundreds of Years
A man who was resurrected after a century
One of these people is a man who remained dead for a century. This is
related in Surat al-Baqarah:
Or the one who passed by a town which had fallen into
ruin? He asked, "How can Allah restore this to life when it has died?"
Allah caused him to die a hundred years then brought him back to life.
Then He asked, "How long have you been here?" He replied, "I have been
here a day or part of a day." He said, "Not so! You have been here a hundred
years. Look at your food and drink - it has not gone bad - and look at
your donkey so We can make you a Sign for all mankind. Look at the bones
- how We raise them up and clothe them in flesh." When it had become clear
to him, he said, "Now I know that Allah has power over all things." (Surat
In the verses given in the previous pages, there is mention of the fact
that Jesus (as) did not die but was "taken back." In the verse above,
the man, however, definitely died. Consequently, even a dead person can
rise again by the will of Allah. This is explicitly related in the Qur'an.
There are other similar examples in the Qur'an.
The Companions of the Cave awoke after years
Another example is related in the story of the "Companions of the Cave"
related in Surat al-Kahf.
Allah relates the story of young men who were compelled to take refuge
from the cruel tyranny of the ruler of the time in a cave. It is related
that they fell asleep and were woken up after years of sleep. The relevant
When the young men took refuge in the cave and said,
"Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to
right guidance in our situation." So We sealed their ears with sleep in
the cave for a number of years. (Surat al-Kahf: 10-11)
You would have supposed them to be awake whereas in fact they were asleep.
We moved them to the right and to the left, and at the entrance, their
dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you
would have turned from them and run and have been filled with terror at
the sight of them.
That was the situation when we woke them up so they could
question one another. One of them asked, "How long have you been here?"
They replied "We have been here for a day or part of a day." They said,
"Your Lord knows best how long have you been here. Send one of your number
into the city with this silver you have, so he can see which food is purest
and bring you some of it to eat. But he should go about with caution so
that no one is aware of you." (Surat al-Kahf: 18-19)
The Qur'an does not explain exactly how much time the young men spent
in the cave. Instead, the duration of this period is implied by the words
"for a number of years." People's guess at this period however was rather
high: three hundred and nine years. Allah says:
They stayed in their Cave for three hundred years and added nine.
Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed. The Unseen
of the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. How perfectly He sees, how
well He hears! They have no protector apart from Him. Nor does He share
His rule with anyone." (Surat al-Kahf: 25-26)
Surely, what matters here is not whether this period
is short or long. The point is, Allah takes some people back, either by
making them sleep, or simply making them die from this life for a particular
period and then revives them. Just like people waking from a dream, Allah
gives them life again. Jesus (as) is one of these people and, at the due
time, he will live again in this world. After fulfilling his task, he
will die just like any other human being in accordance with the commandment
of the verse in which He said: "On it you will live and on it you will
die and from it you will be brought forth." (Surat al-A'raf: 25)