What is the ruling on the who says that the return of Isa Alayhis Salam is not to be taken literally because he has died but figuratively

Fatwa ID: 01692

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

What is the ruling concerning one who says that the return of Prophet Eesaa (`alayhi al-salaam) is NOT to be taken literally because he has died. Rather, all the hadiths that speak about his return are to be taken figuratively to mean that during the end of Times, Muslims should follow the minhaaj of Prophet `Eesaa (`alayhi al-salaam) in place of the example of Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)? Is such a person still within the bounds of Ahl al-Sunnah? Within the bounds of Islam?

 Answer:

Bismillah

It is one of the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah to have faith in the descending of Saaiduna Isa Alayhis Salaam. (Sharhul Aqaid p.174)

Saaiduna Jabir raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said.” a section of my people will not cease to fight for the truth and prevail till the Day of Resurrection. He said, Isa, the Son of Maryam will then descend and their ameer will invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he will say Allah has honoured this people and so some of them are leaders over others: (Sahih Muslim)

Saaiduna Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “By him in whose Hand my soul is in, the time will surely come when Ibn Maryam (the son of Maryam) will descend among you as a just judge.  He will break the cross, kill the swine and end war and wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it and one sajdah will be better that the world and what it contains.”   (Sahih Bukhari p.490 v.1)

Saaiduna Abdullah bin Mughaffal raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) has stated that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “Allah has not sent a trail after the creation of Adam Alahi Salam up to the Last Hour as severe as the trial through Dajjal.  And I have related such things about him as no Prophet before me has…. Then Isa Alayhis Salam will descend and confirm the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and follow his Shariah.  He will be a guided Imam and a just ruler and he will kill the Dajjal.”   (Tarabani)

Regarding your question, if the brother just meant that Saaiduna Isa Alayhis Salah would not come physically, then we will call such a person a Fasiq or a transgressor for having such a belief. He will not be considered to be out of the fold of Islam for holding such beliefs. (Raddul Muhtar p.299 v.2)

This is because one should be precautious when it comes to doing takfir and calling another Muslim a disbeliever. It is narrated by Saaiduna Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said, “When a person says to his brother, ‘O disbeliever!’ then disbelief returns to one of the two of them.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Imam Nawawi raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) has said, “They (scholars) differ as regards the interpretation of this “returning,” So it is said, “kufr returns upon him if he is making that lawful”. And it is said, “It is taken to refer to the Khawarij,” since they declare believers to be disbelievers.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim p.50 v.2)

However, if he believs that Saaiduna Isa Alayhis Salah has passed away then we can with certainty say that he is out of the fold of Islam as his belief totally contradicts what Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an:

“Yet they killed him not, nor did they send him to the cross, but it was made dubious to them…” (Surah Nisa v.157)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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