Eschatological Descent Of Jesus Muslim Views

The Quran tells us that the universe will come to an end. In fact, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam agree that there will be a Day of Reckoning. The Quran describes this day as the Doomsday, The Hour, The Great News, and The Day of Judgment (1). Some Quranic verses and the tradition give us an idea of when this event will occur. In the tradition literature, this subject is discussed under the title of “Doomsday Manifestations.”

According to Islam, the eschatological descent of Jesus is one of such manifestations. Jesus, along with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, John, and Muhammad, is considered one of the elite Prophets. Muslims believe that Jesus received a revealed book, the Gospel, from God, that he was born of a virgin, did not have a human father, and lived a sinless life. He is given titles of honor and pictured as a wandering preacher who performed miracles and spoke beautiful words. Many Sufis use his words in their prayers. The Quran states that Jesus’ people tried (and failed) to crucify him, for someone took His place on the cross or tree. After this he ascended to the heavens, having promised to send a comforter (Muhammad).

Muslims have surrounded Jesus with many pious legends. Some believe he will return and marry in the distant future. A grave site has been reserved for him. Others say he will judge the world at the end of time, that He will help Islam rule and that he will be Muhammad’s last Companion. Still others assert that he will appear at the eastern white minaret of the Damascus mosque or that he will appear in Jerusalem. He will pursue the Antichrist and, overtaking him at the gate of Lydda (a town near to Jerusalem) will slay him.

Islamic scholars interpret some Quranic verses and tradition pointing to the second coming as a significant pre-Day of Judgment event (2). The earliest Muslim scholars subscribed to this belief so staunchly that they attached it to the eminence of the Day of Judgment. At various times, expectations ran so high that commoners prepared a white horse and brought it to the white minaret in Damascus where they believed Jesus would reappear. Reputable texts give no credence to such details, although they have been dramatized by interpreters of lesser reputation. Jesus appears in the horizon at dawn and leads the people against the Antichrist who, finding himself helpless before such power, dissolves into nothingness.

Will this eschatological event occur? Is there any truth to this belief? How has the subject been treated in Islamic theology literature? These are some of the questions and issues that occupy Muslims. The starting point in seeking answers is the Quran.

Much of what the Quran teaches about Jesus is acceptable to Christians: the virgin birth, his sinlessness and ascension into the heavens, and his miracles. The Quranic evidence for Jesus’ descent is somewhat obscure and ambiguous, but later Muslim traditions took up the idea eagerly. According to them, Jesus is still alive in the heavens and will return to signal the Last Days (3) (4). The Quran, which considers Jesus as one of the great Prophets, mentions him as ‘Isa (25 places), al-Masih (Anointed One, Messiah), al-Nabi (Prophet), al-Rasûl (Messenger), Min al-Muqarrabin (of those close to God), Mubarak (Sacred One), Qawl al-Haq (True Word), ‘Abd Allah (Servant of God), and in 33 places as Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).

Before delving into this subject further, we will examine the events leading up to it. For example, his Second Coming necessarily implies his Ascension to the heavens alive. This begs the question: Did Jesus die on the cross or ascend to the heavens alive?

The Question of Jesus’ Death

This very contentious question has given rise to several schools of thought. One Quranic interpretation is that Roman soldiers charged into a cottage where Jesus was believed to be with twelve of his disciples. During the attack, one person disappeared. Soldiers took one of the twelve remaining men and crucified him. Another school of thought states that when the soldiers entered the house, they could not determine which man was Jesus for everyone had taken on his physical attributes. So they picked one man and crucified him (5).

While the Quran offers us no details on this point, it clearly states that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified. Moreover, those who attempted to kill him were never sure if they had accomplished their goal or not (4:157-58). We know that someone was crucified, but just who this person was remains uncertain. According to Jewish and Christian sources, that person was Jesus. This view, however, is not accepted by everyone. The Quran rejects Jesus’ crucifixion and death outright.

The Quranic Account of the Death of Jesus

“And remember when Allah said: ‘O Jesus. I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you of those who disbelieve’” (3:54). In other words, Jesus was not executed. A perusal of the classical and more modern literature on this verse will clarify matters.

According to Ragheb al-Isphahanî (d.1696), mutawaffika (I will take you) as used in this verse does not mean death in the sense we understand it, even though he mentions that Ibn ‘Abbas, a noted Companion, understood this literal meaning (6). Al-Tabari (d.922), a well-known Quranic scholar, states that mutawaffika means “to take and raise him to the heavens.” After offering several interpretations, he expresses his preference as follows: “In my opinion, a healthier view on the meaning of mutawaffika is ‘to take from earth and raise to the heavens.”(7) Moreover, the verse as a whole points to Jesus’ eschatological descent and a war against the non-believers that ends in a great victory for the believers.

The noted Islamic theologian al-Maturîdî (d.944) mentions several views, one of which is that even though the verse first mentions Jesus’ death and then his ascension to God, his death is postponed until after the second coming. God says: “I will take you and raise you to myself… to the day of resurrection: Then shall you all return unto me…” However, the probable meaning of literal death cannot be dismissed entirely (8). Al-Maturidî does not state his own view. If, however, mentioning one view before another amounts to a personal preference, one can argue that he believes that Jesus was not killed before his ascension. This uncertainty, however, does not apply to his Second Coming, as al-Maturidî cites several relevant traditions and the subsequent slaying of the Antichrist (9).

Al-Zamahksharî (d.1143), a Mu’tazilite scholar and Arabic linguist, argues that Jesus “will die a natural death after his victory over the Antichrist, not at the hands of the nonbelievers.”10 The famous Quranic interpreter Ibn ‘Atiyya (d.1152) interpreted the verse to mean that Jesus “will die a second time after descending to the Earth and slaying the Antichrist.”(11) Based on this, he seems to accept the view that Jesus ascended to the heavens after his death, whereas he claims that Jesus is still alive. Abu al-Faraj al-Jawzî (d.1200), who defines mutawaffika as “to take something completely,” writes that Jesus was raised from the Earth to the heavens by God. At the same time, he does not rule out the remote possibility of normal death: “The real death of Jesus shall take place after his Second Coming.” (12) The noted Muslim theologian al-Razî (d.1209) gives what he calls a “sensible” interpretation: “I will complete your life and then take your soul. I shall not leave you in their hands to kill you. I will raise you to My heavens and place you next to my angels. They will not have the chance to kill you, for I will protect you.”(13)

Ibn Kathir (d.1372), a prominent Quranic interpreter, offering the same explanation, interprets the word mutawaffika as “sleep” and mentions several verses in support of his stance (14). A similar explanation, that Jesus ascended to the heavens and will return before the day of Judgment, is held by many people, among them Jalal al-Din al-Suyutî, who uses the pertinent tradition literature to verify the meaning of tawaffa as “sleep.”(15)

Other respected Quranic scholars interpret tawaffa as “death as applied to Jesus.” However, this death will take place after the Second Coming and the Antichrist’s subsequent defeat. This means that Jesus is currently alive. Upon his Second Coming, Jesus will effect various social reforms and refute a number of established Christian belief (16).

The Ottoman mystic scholar Bursevi accepts the traditional explanation and gives additional details: “When Jesus witnesses the virtuosity of the Prophet Muhammad’s community in the Preserved Tablet, he asks God to count him as one of Society of Muhammad. God accepted this sincere supplication and pronounced him a member of the Society.”(17) The Quranic scholar al-Alusi (d.1854) offers an entirely different hypothesis: Jesus ascended to the heavens alive and awake, stripped of all human needs and attributes.18 In fact, he now lives in a world unknown to us.

Some contemporary Turkish and Egyptian scholars hold different views. Omer Riza Dogrul asserts that as Jesus could not have been killed; he must have died naturally (19). According to the Egyptian Islamic scholar al-Qasimî, both literal and metaphorical interpretations are possible, although he appears to favor an idiomatic meaning for tawaffa (20). The Indian Muslim scholar Abul Ala Maududi writes: “The word mutawaffika in the Arabic text is from tawaffa, which literally means ‘to take and to receive’ and ‘to seize the soul’ is not its lexical but rather its metaphorical meaning. Here it means ‘to recall from mission.’”(21) He severely criticizes those who adapt the literal meaning (death) for tawaffa, and accuses them of claiming that God cannot express Himself clearly. Kawthari, who lived during the last phase of the Ottoman Empire, also emphasizes a metaphorical meaning based on his historical analysis of the word’s meaning and on further examples from the Quran. During the Quran’s revelation its audience would not necessarily understand this word to mean “death,” for then the Quranic usage of mawt in another verse would lose its significance as “death.” The Quran contains several words whose true meanings would be distorted if their contemporary meanings were ascribed to them. For example, today risalah means “letter,” while its original meaning in the Quran is “prophethood.”(22)

The Egyptian reformers Muhammad ‘Abduh and Rashid Rida accept the lexical meaning of “death.” According to Rida, Jesus literally died and his soul rose to the heavens. In conversation, it is not unusual to signify “soul” when the name of a person is mentioned, for the soul is the individual’s essence. Therefore when the Quran talks about Jesus in this verse, it means his soul (23).

Mahmood Shaltut, a more contemporary Egyptian scholar, is certain of Jesus’ literal death. He cites two verses that mention Jesus’ forthcoming death and report his death (4:157 and 3:5). Several contemporary interpreters even try to explain this issue in terms of an energy-matter relationship, but provide no supporting evidence. According to them, Jesus had such a strong spiritual stature that his physique became energy (spirit) and ascended to the heavens, similar to Muhammad’s Ascension. Mutawaffika naturally would refer to his death as tawaffa, “to call in a loan at the end of its term,” is commonly used in that sense. But the verb also is used for nightly slumber. Therefore we cannot be certain that actual death is implied here.

Quranic Verses and the Crucifixion

“And because of their saying: ‘We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah’, but they killed him not nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man, and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no knowledge; they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not. But Allah raised him up unto himself. And Allah is ever All-powerful, all wise.” (4:157-58)

The verses have been interpreted in two ways: Jesus did not die but ascended to the heavens, or he really died. Early Quranic scholars offered various interpretations. Mujahid ibn Jabr (d.722), a scholar belonging to the first generation after the Prophet’s death, claimed that “they crucified someone other than Jesus, whom they mistook for Jesus,” and that “Jesus ascended to the heavens alive.” (24) According to Ibn Hazm, a famous Muslim theologian, Jesus did not die and is alive in the heavens, as the above verses clearly indicate (25). Once again, the above verses remind us that Jesus has not died, will return before the Day of Judgment, and eventually will die a natural death. In fact, Jesus is known to have said: “So peace is upon me the day I was born, the day that I die… (19:33),” which shows that he is still alive. It must be remembered, however, that since Jesus uttered these words in his cradle, they cannot serve as evidence that he is still alive.

The Quran tells us that faith always triumphs over evil. If Jesus’ enemies crucified him, this would be a victory for evil. On the other hand, the Quran states clearly that God defends the faithful (22:38). Therefore, Jesus could not have been crucified (26).

Arguments against Jesus’ crucifixion are considerably more convincing than those favoring it. But, adherents of each school have asked, if he is not dead, why is his second coming delayed until soon before the Day of Judgment? Those who say he has died already deny the Second Coming.

Elmalili Hamdi Yazir, the best-known Turkish interpreter of the Quran, concurs with the majority view, basing himself on the tradition: “Jesus has not died and will reappear shortly before the Day of Judgment.” (27) As Jesus has not yet completed his appointed task, he will return and complete it, and then die. This is the prevailing view among Muslims (28). Relying on the verses: “Every soul shall taste death” (3:185) and “We granted not to any man before the permanent life” (21:34), Ismail Fenni Ertugrul, a contemporary Turkish scholar, accuses Elmalili of hiding his real opinion. According to him, the above verses clearly presupposes the death of Jesus (29). But such criticism is groundless, for Elmalili does not contradict these verses, as all Islamic scholars agree that Jesus eventually will die and be resurrected in the Hereafter.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (d.1960), the most influential Muslim scholar of the twentieth century, has defined five distinct levels of life and places Jesus in the third level (along with the angels). The first level, where we live our lives, is very restricted. The second level is that of Khidr and Elias, which is free to some extent and allows its inhabitants to be present in numerous places at the same time. The third level is that of Enoch and Jesus who, removed from human requirements, enter an angelic life and acquire a luminous fineness. Quite simply, Enoch and Jesus are present in the heavens with their earthly bodies. In this life, Jesus is more like an angel than a human being. The fourth level is for martyrs, and the fifth level is for the spirits of the dead in their graves (30).

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Quranic Verses Inferring the Eschatological Descent of Jesus

Whether the Quran addresses the Second Coming of Jesus has been a matter of contention among Quranic scholars. Three Quranic verses have been advanced as evidence. The first refers to what Jesus said. Some classical interpreters, with the exception of the Mu‘tazilite al-Zamakhsharî, based themselves on tradition literature and inferred the Second Coming from: “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity…” (3:45). According to them, the future tense in the verse implies the unfinished nature of Jesus’ mission. So, if he is to speak to people it will have to be after his second coming.31 Some contemporary scholars also hold this view, notably al-Ghumarî, who says that Jesus’ speaking to these people refers to an extraordinary event, as he spoke thus while still in his crib. Before his ascension, Jesus preached among his kinsmen. However, the verse contains the word al-nas, indicating that he will speak to humanity. This necessitates his Second Coming (32).

What is actually emphasized here, and in (19:29-31), is the miracle of Jesus speaking when still an infant. The verse also suggests that Jesus will speak to people. Of course he spoke to people as an adult before his ascension. In no way can one infer from the verse’s context that such an event will take place after his Second Coming. Those who claim this offer no concrete supporting evidence. The verse’s implied meaning of the second coming, I believe, appears at best to be forced, probably in a effort by interpreters to provide additional support for tradition that deal with the subject.

The second relevant verse is: “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in Him before his death” (4:159). Again they offer a weak argument for such an inference. Al-Zamahkhsharî assigns the pronoun bihi (in him) to Jesus, and infers the second coming in the context of the verse. Al-Suyutî and al-Qarî (d.1605) infer a similar meaning.33 According to al-Baydawî, if both pronouns bihi and mawtihi refer to Jesus, his death can be considered real only after his Second Coming (34). ‘Abd al-Hamid, an al-Azhar scholar, puts forward this verse to those who claim that the Quran does not mention clearly or even hint about the second coming (35). The best interpreters of the verse are the Prophet’s Companions. Al- Ghumarî points out that Ibn ‘Abbas and Abu Hurayra, two Companions with an outstanding command of Arabic grammar and knowledge of the Quranic mission, interpreted the above verse in a way that infers the descent of Jesus (36). The Prophet’s grandson Hasan agrees with this interpretation (37). Therefore the majority of Muslim Scholars believe that Jesus is expected to return.

The verse: “And he (Jesus) shall be a sign of the Judgment Day…” (43:61), according to a number of classical and contemporary Quranic scholars, refers to the eschatological descent of Jesus (38). In this verse, la ‘ilmun can be recited in three variations. The first, la ‘ilmun, refers to knowledge of the Day of Judgment; the second, la ‘alamun, points to a sign of the Day of Judgment; and the third, la dhikr, as a warning of the Day of Judgment (39). Al-Azhar’s official fatwa on the Second Coming offers this verse as evidence (40). There will be a Second Coming, because it has been foretold to be a sign of the Hour of Resurrection. Moreover, Western scholars, e.g., Parrinder, also point to this verse as evidence when speaking of the Second Coming (41).

Shaltut and al-Kawthari differ in their interpretation. Shaltut does not accept the second and third verses as indisputable evidence. For the meaning of the above verse, he prefers al-Tabarî’s interpretation that the virgin birth of Jesus is itself a sign of the Hour of Judgment (42). This verse addresses those who deny the Hereafter. This miraculous birth is offered to provide evidence of the Hereafter to unbelievers. According to al-Kawthari, who diametrically opposes Shaltut, pertinent Quranic verses and traditions necessitate a belief in the Second Coming. However, he does not directly respond to Shaltut’s views; rather, he accepts the majority view by faith without insisting on concrete evidence. In his opposition to the majority view, the contemporary scholar Ibn ‘Ashur, like al-Kawthari, fails to offer any convincing supporting evidence (43).

In the context, the pronoun hu naturally refers to Jesus. The statement is then interpreted as meaning that Jesus is one of the signs by which the coming of the Hour is to be known. Then the return of Jesus is, of course, one of the signs of the only Quranic passage supporting this view. But according to other scholars, the pronoun refers to the Quran, while still other interpreters think that it refers to Muhammad. In my opinion, these two latter interpretations are not credible, for these verses are generally about Jesus. Therefore the meaning would be “Jesus is the sign of the Day of Judgment.” The problem is that the exact aspect of Jesus that is supposedly a sign of the Day of Judgment is not mentioned. As a result, many interpretations are possible.

For example, some scholars imply that Jesus’ virgin birth is a sign: God is showing us His power. Therefore, the all-powerful God Who created Jesus without a father can create the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment. The verse compares Jesus’ creation with that of Adam, presenting both events as evidence of God’s infinite power. When God mentions Jesus as a sign of the Hour, the first meaning that logically comes to mind is his miraculous birth. According to other scholars, the verse indicates the second coming, because there is a close relation between Jesus and the Hour. Therefore, as Jesus is mentioned as a sign of the Hour, his descent must be meant.

The fourth verse cited as evidence is: “And peace be upon me the day I was born and the day I die and the day I shall be raised alive” (19:33). The resurrection of Jesus, which is mentioned in the verse, is not general but rather signifies his second coming, according to those who read it as a proof for such an event. They base this on the fact that the same verse also mentions his future death. In other words, Jesus did not die on the cross (44).

Another indirect proof is: “He (Muhammad) does not speak of his own desire. It is only an inspiration that is inspired” (53:3-4). This verse literally explains that whatever Prophet Muhammad says is an inspiration from God. It is narrated with a strong chain of transmitters that the Prophet was talking to his Companions about the second coming. Therefore this verse is a proof that Prophet Muhammad was inspired about the second coming (45).

Unlike most interpreters, Shaltut opines that all of the above proofs violate the verses’ literal meaning. He claims that interpreters devised such meanings to avoid conflict with some of the second-coming traditions narrated by such famous Companions as Abu Hurayra. Therefore, he believes that there is no trustworthy evidence from either the Quran or the Sunnah on this subject. The Syrian scholar al-Buty claims that Shaltut changed his view about the second coming, adopted the majority view during his last illness, and then buried all documents connected with his old views (46)

But why did Shaltut deny the second coming despite all the proofs mentioned above? It seems to me that he viewed the majority interpretation as unreasonable and against general Islamic principles. He thinks that the coming of a person from heaven is impossible, and therefore denies all such statements. They based their evidence on God’s power, saying: “He is able to do all things” (67:1) and therefore He can bring Jesus. They think of a bodily descent. Is the descent of Jesus from heaven to be considered materially?

In semantic terms, nuzul (descending) does not necessitate a material descent, for other verses treat this descent as a manifestation of God’s bounty. For example: “He sent down for you eight pairs of cattle” (39:6) (47). We cannot say that the animals descended from the heavens, but we can say that they descended to us from God’s mercy. Moreover, in some traditions nuzul is used in relation to God: “God descends every night to the first heaven, the heaven of world…” (48) Of course it is not a physical descent. Therefore, in this sense, the descent of Jesus in his second coming can be spiritual. His coming from the heavens means that God will send him from His Mercy to be a mercy to humanity.

There is another, more spiritual approach to this issue. According to this interpretation, the descent of Jesus means that Christian spiritual leaders will purify Christianity and return it to the original religion of Jesus. Meanwhile, they do not deny the possibility of Jesus’ physical descent. Because of his strong spirituality, Jesus can come and go and appear in different human forms. But the focal point, according to this opinion, is his spiritual domination of the Earth in alliance with Islam. The true religion, which comes from the togetherness of Islam and Christianity, will be powerful enough to defeat materialism, communism, and atheism. This view is shared by the prominent Turkish scholars Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, the Indian scholar Siddik Hasan Khan, and partly by ‘Abduh. Therefore, the Second Coming can be a strong means for dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

By Zeki Saritoprak, Ph.D.*


FOOTNOTES

* Zeki Saritoprak is an Associate Faculty in the Department of Semitics at The Catholic University of America and Research Associate at Georgetown University-Center for Muslim Christian Understanding in Washington, D.C. The author wishes to thank Seyyid Hussein Nasr, Sidney Griffith, Theresa Ann-Druart, and Monica Blanchard.

1- See Abd al-Bâqî, Muhammad Fuâd, al-Mu’jam al-Mufahras li Alfâzi’l-Qur’ân al-Karîm, (Istanbul: 1982) pp. 370-1, 581-2, 775-80.

2- al-Halimî, Ebû Abd Allah al-Husayn b. Hasan, al-Minhâj fî Shu’ab al-imân, (Cairo:1979,) vol.I, p. 142; al-Sarakhsî, Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abî Sahl, Sifatu Ashrât al-Sâa, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris , nr. 1800; ed. by Zeki Saritoprak, (Cairo:1993) p.35; al-Haythami, ‘Abû’ al-Abbas Ahmad b. Hajar, al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fî al-Mahdî al-Muntazar, ed. by Muhammad Zaynuhum-Muhammad ‘Azab, (Cairo: 1986) p. 84; al-’Azemâbâdî, Abû al-Tayyib Muhammad ‘Ashraf b. ‘Amîr b. ‘Alî, ‘Awnu’l-Ma’bûd Sharhu Sunani ‘Abî Dâwûd, vols.I-XIV, (Madina: 1989) vol. XI, pp. 424-5; al-Manshalilî, ‘Alî al-Mâlikî, Risâle fî Ashrâti’s-Sâa wa ‘Ahvâli Yawmi’l-Qiyâma, ms. Cairo: Dâr al-Kutubi’l-Misriyya, nr. B-19690) fol. 1a-3b; al-Shafi’î, ‘Ahmad ibn al-Faqîh, ‘Ashrâtu’s-Sâa, ms. Cairo: Dâr al-Kutub al-Misriyya, Tasawwuf, nr. 2191, fol. 3a-6b; al-Qarî, Ali b. Sultan al-Harawi, Sharh al-Fiqhi’l-akbar, (Cairo: 1323 A.H.) p. 112; al-Mashrab al-Wardî fî Haqîqati’l-Mahdî, ms.Istanbul: Köprülü, nr. 1509, fol. 200a-200b; al-Bayadî, Kamâl al-Dîn ‘Ahmad, Ishârât al-Marâm min ‘Ibârâti al-’Imâm, ed. by. Yûsuf Abd al-Razzâk,(Cairo: 1949) p. 67; al-Tâî, Kamâl al-Dîn, Risâle fî al-Tawhîd wa al-Firaq al-mu’âsira, (Beirut, n.d) p. 106; al-Kashmirî, Muhammad Anwar Shâh al-Hindî, at-Tasrîh bimâ Tawâtara fî Nuzûli’l-Masîh, ed. by Abd al-Fattah ‘Abû Ghudda, (Aleppo: 1965) pp. 9-11.

3- For details see F. E. Peters, Allah’s Commonwealt: a History of Islam in the Near East, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973) p.51.

4- Abd al-Baqi, al-Mu’jam, pp. 494-5.

5- for details see al-Razî, Muhammad b. Umar Fakhr al-Dîn, Mafâtîh al-Ghayb, (Beirut: n.d). vol. XI, p. 100.

6- Ragheb al-Isfahânî, al-Mufradât fi Alfaz al-Quran, (Istanbul: 1986) p. 830.

7- al-Tabarî, Abû Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarîr, Jâmi’ al-Bayân ‘an Ta’wîli al-Qur’ân, (Beirut, 1984; ed. by Muhammad Mahmud Shakir, (Cairo, n.d) vol. III, pp. 290-1.

8- al-Mâturidî, Abû Mansûr Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Mahmûd, Ta’wilat al-Quran, . ms. Haci Selim Aga,(Istanbul) nr.40 fol.80a-80b.

9- Ibid., fol. 239a.

10- al-Zamakhsharî, Abu al-Qâsim Jârullah Mahmûd ibn Omar, al-Kashshâf ‘an Haqâiqi al-Tanzîl wa ‘uyûni’l-Aqâwîl fî Wujûhi’t-Ta’wîl, (Beirut: n.d.) vol. I, pp. 432-3.

11- Ibn ‘Atiyya, Abû Muhammad ‘Abd al-Khaliq b. Ghâlib b. ‘Atiyya al-Andalusî, al-Muharrar al-Wajîz fî Tafsîr al-Kitâb al-’Azîz, (Faz: 1977) vol. III, p. 105; XIII, p. 255.

12- Ibn al-Jawzî, ‘Abd al-Rahmân b ‘Alî ibn Muhammad, Zâd al-Mathîr fî ‘Ilmi al-Tafsîr, (Beirut: 1964) vol. I, pp. 396-7.

13- al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb, vol. II, p. 100, VIII, p. 67

14- Ibn Kathîr, Imâd al-Dîn Abu al-Fidâ ‘Ismâ’îl b. Umar, Tafsîr al-Qur’ân al-’Azîm, (Beirut, 1969) vol. I, p. 575.

15- al-Suyutî, Jalâl al-Dîn ‘Abdarrahman, al-Durr al-Manthur fî al-Tafsîr bi al-Ma’thur, (Beirut: n.d.) vol. II, pp. 225-7.

16- al-’Andalusî, Abû Hayyân Muhammad b. Yûsuf, Tafsîr al-Bahr al-Muhît, (Beirut: 1983) vol. II, p. 473.

17- Bursawî, ‘Ismâ’îl Haqqi, Ruh al-Bayan, (Istanbul: 1389) vol. II, p. 41.

18- al-’Alûsî, Abu al-Fadl Shihâb al-Dîn Sayyid Mahmud, Ruh al-Ma’anî fî Tafsîr al-Quran al-’Azîm wa Sab’I al-Mathanî, (Beirut, n.d.) vol. III, p. 179.

19- Dogrul, Omar Riza, Tanri Buyrugu, (Istanbul: 1980) p.97.

20- al-Qasimî, Muhammad Jalâl al-Dîn, Mahâsin al-Ta’wîl, ed. By M. Fuâd ‘Abd al-Bâqî, (Beirut, 1978) vol. IV, 107.

21- Maudûdî, S. Abul A’la, The Meaning of the Quran, (Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1985).vol. II, p. 34.

22- al-Kawtharî, Muhammad Zâhid, Nazra ‘Abire fî Mazâ’imi man Yunkir Nuzûla ‘Isâ Qabla al-Akhira, (Cairo: 1987) pp.99-100.

23- Rida, Rasheed, Tafsîr al-Manar, (Cairo: 1954) vol. III, p. 169.

24- Mujahed, b. Jabr Abu al-Haccâc, Tafsîru Mujâhed, ed. by ‘Abd al-Rahmân al-Tâhîr, (Qatar: 1976) pp. 180-1.

25- Ibn Hazm, Abu Muhammad ‘Alî b. Ahmad al-Zâhirî, Ilm al-Kalam ‘Alâ Mazhabi Ahli al-Sunnati Wa al-Jamaa, ed. by Ahmad Hijâzî al-Saqâ, (Cairo, 1989) pp. 56-7.

26- see Anawati, George, “Isa”, Encyclopedia of Islam, (second edition), (Leiden: l978) vol. IV, p. 84.

27- see Bukhari, Mazalim:31; Buyu’:102; Muslim, Iman:242; Ibn Maja, Fitan:33.

28- Yazir, Elmalili Hamdi, Hak Dini Kur’ân Dili, (Istanbul: 1992) vol. II, pp. 372-3.

29- Ertugrul, Ismail Fenni, Hakikat Nurlari, (Istanbul:1949) pp. 221-4.

30- Nursi, Bediüzzaman Said, The Letters, Trans. by Sukran Vahide, (Istanbul: Sozler Publication, 1994) p. 22.

31- al-Tabarî, Jami al-Bayan, vol. VI, p. 420; al-Qurtubî, ‘Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b.Ahmad, el-Jâmi’ li ‘Ahkâm al-Quran, (Beirut:1967) vol. VI, 11; al-Baydawî, Abu Said Abd Allah b. Umar, Anwar al-Tanzil, (Cairo: n.d.) vol. II, p.19; al-Alusî, Ruh al-Maani, vol. VI, p. 13.

32- al-Ghumarî, ‘Abd Allah b. Siddîk, Iqama al-Burhân ‘Alâ Nuzûli Isâ fî Akhiri al-Zamân, (Cairo: 1974) p.97.

33- al-Suyutî, al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. II, pp. 241-2; al-Qarî, Ali b. Sultan al-Harawi, Mirqat al-Mafâtîh, (Cairo: 1309) vol. V, p. 221

34- al-Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzil, vol. I, p. 240

35- Abd al-Hamîd, Muhyi al-Dîn, “Bab al-Fatwâ”, Majalla al-Azhar, XLVIII, Issue: 4, (Cairo: 1972) p. 552.

36- al-Ghumarî, Iqama al-Burhan, pp. 100-1.

37- Ibn Atiyya, al-Muharrar, vol. IV, pp. 305-6.

38- Ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abd Allah, Tafsîru Ibn Mas’ûd, ed. by Muhammad Ahmad Isâwî, (Riyad:1985) p.560; al-Thawrî, ‘Abu ‘Abd Allah Sufyân b. Masruq, Tafsîr, (Beirut: 1983) p.273; al-Tabarî, Jami al-Bayan, vol. XXV, pp. 90-1; al-Razî, Mafatih al-Ghayb, vol. XXVII, p. 222; Khan, al-Sayyid Muhammad Siddîq al-Qanûjî, Fath al-Bayân fî Maqâsid al-Qur’ân, (Cairo: 1965) vol. VIII, p. 428.

39- see Anawati, “Isa”, EI2, vol. IV, p. 84.

40- al-Tair, Mustafâ, “Nuzûl al-Masîh Min ‘Alâmât al-Sâ’a”, Majalla al-Azhar, issue:6, (Cairo:1971) p. 515.

41- Parrinder, G., Jesus in the Quran (London: 1967) p. 124.

42- Shaltut, al-Fatawa, pp. 74-5.

43- Ibn Ashûr, Muhammad Tâhir, Tafsîr al-Tahrîr wa al-Tanwîr, (Tunisia: 1984) vol. XXV, p. 243.

44- see Parrender, p. 122; Anawati, “Isa” EI2, vol. IV, p. 84.

45- Ibrahim al-Tuwijary, “Iqama al-Burhan”, Majalla al-Buhooth al-Islamiyya, , vol. XIII, (Riyadh: 1985).pp. 104-105.

46- Said Ramadan al-Buty, Kubra al-Yaqiniyyat, (Beirut: 1994) p. 352.

47- cf’sending down iron 57:25; clothing, 7:26.

48- Bukharî, Da’awat, 14, Tawhîd, 35.

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