In line with previous posts, I am putting in some short and to the point bullet-points about Ahmadiyya and Christianity for your use. These excellent points were very kindly sent in by a reader. May Almighty Allah bless him enormously and keep educating us.
Who Was Hadrat ‘Isa (‘alayhi al-salam)
- It should be stressed that similar to main-stream Islam, the Ahmadi viewpoint regarding the position of Jesus stresses on the fact he was just a Messenger of God and not part of any Trinity (4:172).
- He was born from the virgin Mary (19:21) and given the title of Messiah (3:46), the long awaited figure by the Jews.
- He performed numerous miracles; extraordinary speech in his youth, curing illnesses and raising the dead. The Ahmadi understanding of these miracles differ from many non-Ahmadi Muslims as they are interpretet, on a case-to-cae basis, literally, allegorically, and scientifically.
The Main Difference is the End of Jesus’ (‘alayhi al-salam) Life
- Where main-stream Muslims believe that prior to his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:36), Jesus was physically lifted to Heaven (Ibn Kathir commentary on 4:157). However this view is rejected by the Ahmadiyya Community, as it cannot be sourced to the Holy Quran nor any authentic tradition of the Holy Prophet, nor Bible for that matter.
- Rather, we see in Holy Qur’an that the Jewish people at his time attempted to kill Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) by crucifixion (4:158) and that he was saved from it and carried on his mission to the remaining tribes of Israel to whom he was sent (3:50).
- It was in 732 BCE when the King of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser III invaded the northern Kingdom of Israel where 10 of the 12 tribes resided. After the invasion he deported majority of its population to the east, which settled, scattered around Judea and to east during the time of Jesus, these Jews are often called those who lived in the Diaspora. The remaining two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) remained in Judea to whom Jesus was able to preach prior to his crucifixion ordeal, but afterwards he traveled further east to complete his mission to preach to all the children of Israel.
Although the gospel accounts of Jesus’ (‘alayhi al-salam) life talk about his ‘death’ on the cross and his subsequent ‘Resurrection’, there are numerous problems with the narratives if we come to this conclusion and hints that he actually survived the cross ordeal:
- After finding out the plan of the Jews, that they wished to public execute him, Jesus prays intensely in the Garden of Gethsemane for God to foil their plans (Matt 26: 36-46). It should be noted that he did not fear for his own life, but only that if the Jewish plan went ahead, then Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) would have failed his mission and his disciples and all those who believed him to be the Messiah would abandon such belief. It was for the sake of them and his mission that he prayed to God so intensely.
- Shortly afterwards, Jewish soldiers from the Temple came to arrest him (John 18: 2-4, 10-12) and brought him to trial in front of the Sanhedrin or Jewish council (Mark 14: 53-55, 61-64) where he was declared to be guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death. But such a sentence could only be carried out by the Romans, so Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate the Governor of Judea. There Pilate was forced to carry out their wishes and Jesus was subsequently sentenced to the cross.
- He was taken to Golgotha where he was then offered wine to dull the pain (Mark 15: 22-27), but he refused since he still held hope that his prayers would be answered and that he would not die on the cross.
- As the hours dragged on and when Jesus felt himself slipping into unconsciousness, fearing that God may have abandoned him he cries out: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach-thani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15: 34) After which he passed out.
- The Sabbath, which begins at dusk on Friday was approaching, and therefore the criminals on the cross had to be taken and killed immediately by law. The two thieves on either side of Jesus were executed, but the soldiers saw that Jesus was unconscious and thought him already died, but to ensure that he was not faking it, they pierced his side with a spear, resulting in blood and water coming out of Jesus’ side (John 19: 31-34), a sure sign that his heart was still pumping and that he was alive, though the soldiers did not know this.
Taken Down From the Cross
- When Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) was taken down, he was handed to his followers, which they took and applied 100 pounds worth of myrrh and aloe on his body (John 19: 38-42). Both ointments are renown for their healing properties, used in medicine, and are completely against any Jewish Burial custom. It further shows that the followers of Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) knew that he was alive and immediately applied these ointments/medicines to stop the bleeding and speed up his recovery.
- After the above, Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) was then placed in an airy tomb, remained there the night recovering from his wounds. He then he met Mary Magdalene who arrived on the dawn on Sunday only to find the tomb empty. Not knowing where he was, she wept outside the tomb, but was then greeted by Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) who she failed to recognise, mistaking him for a gardener (John 20: 1, 11-17). The obvious question here is: why? It is obvious that he was in disguise, not wanting to attract the attention of the authorities who would have simply placed him back on the cross.
Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) Meets his Disciples
- Later, Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) met his disciples who were unaware that he had survived the cross. Some doubted it was him until they saw and touched him, recognising that it was the same Jesus in the same body. Hungry after his long ordeal, Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) then asked for food (Luke 24: 36-43), illustrating further that it was the same Jesus who had survived the cross and not a resurrected body which would not require sustenance.
- Remaining with his disciples a little longer, Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) then moved on, outside the reach of the Roman authorities. He could not have traveled West as that would have led him into Europe and towards the headquarters of the Roman Empire, plus few Jews lived in Europe compared to the Middle East and Asia where they had lived since being banished from their homeland centuries back.
- He traveled through Jewish communities preaching and teaching and finally ending up in Kashmir where he passed away, a natural death (Holy Quran 3:56).
Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) Passed Away (Qur’an & Hadith)
- In the ”Holy Qur’an,” Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam) is recorded as having said ”…Thou didst cause me to die…” (fa lamma tawaffaytani)
- In the book ”Sahih al-Bukhari,” it is recorded that the Holy Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) delivered a sermon in which he said: ”O People, a number of the followers of my Ummah would be taken to hell, thereupon, I shall say, O my Lord, these are my Companions. Then I will be told, You do not know what they contrived after you. At that time, I shall say precisely what the righteous servant – Jesus son of Mary – said: ”And I was witness over them as long as I remained among them, but since Thou didst cause me to die, Thou hast been the Watcher over them.”
- In the ”Holy Qur’an,” Almighty Allah said to Hadrat Jesus (‘alayhi al-salam): ”O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death…” (ya Isa, inni mutawaffika)
- In the book ”Sahih al-Bukhari,” Hadrat Ibn ‘Abbas is recorded as having said that this reference means physical death.