30 Verses of the Holy Quran which prove the Natural Death of Jesus Christ(as)
by Farhan Iqbal, Missionary, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada
In his book, Izaala-e-Awhaam, the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), has listed 30 verses of the Holy Quran that prove that Jesus Christ(as) has passed away. This list is available in Ruhani Khazain, vol. 3, p. 423-437.
We present the list below along with a brief summary of the argument given by the Promised Messiah(as).
Translation: When Allah said, ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death and will exalt thee to Myself, and will clear thee from the charges of those who disbelieve, and will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, and I will judge between you concerning that wherein you differ. [3:56]
Proof: The word mutawaffeeka means “I will cause you to die”. Whenever God is the fa’il (subject) and man is the maf’ul (object), it always refers to death. It means that God takes the soul of the man. In this case, it applies to Jesus(as) which in turn means that he has passed away.
Here are two examples of the usage of the word tawaffaa, meaning death:
Translation: And if We show thee in thy lifetime the fulfilment of some of the things with which We have threatened them, thou wilt know it; or if We cause thee to die before that, then to Us is their return, and thou wilt see the fulfilment in the next world; and Allah is Witness to all that they do. [10:47]
‘O my Lord, Thou hast bestowed power upon me and taught me the interpretation of dreams. O Maker of the heavens and the earth, Thou art my Protector in this world and the Hereafter. Let death come to me in a state of submission to Thy will and join me to the righteous.’ [12:102]
Translation: On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. [4:159]
Proof: This means that Jesus Christ(as) did not suffer an accursed death by dying on the cross. Instead, God exalted him to himself. The word rafa’a here refers to a kind of death which is dignified and exalted. The same word has been used in reference to Hazrat Idrees(as) in reference to the exaltation of his status (see 19:58).
Translation: Since Thou didst cause me to die, Thou hast been the Watcher over them. [5:118]
Proof: In the whole of the Quran, the word tawaffaa means taking of the soul and leaving aside the (physical) body as mentioned in 32:12, 10:105, 4:16, 7:38, and 6:62. The same word or one of its varying formations has been used in 23 places in the Quran always in reference to death and taking of the soul. Similarly, the word tawaffee has been used in reference to death in the Ahadith, and the entire collection of Sihah Sitta (6 authentic books of Ahadith).
Translation: And there is none among the People of the Book but will believe in it before his death. [4:160]
Proof: This verse means that none among the various groups of the Israelites disbelieved in Jesus Christ(as) prior to his death. This leads us to the conclusion that Jesus Christ(as) travelled towards the East in search of the lost tribes of Israel and delivered his message to them. Collectively, a group from among each of the 12 tribes of Israel believed in the message of Jesus(as). He eventually reached Kashmir (present-day India) and his tomb is in Sirinagar. Read more about this here.
Translation: The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely, Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. [5:76]
Proof: It is clearly stated that both Jesus(as) and his mother no longer eat food as understood from the Arabic word kaanaa, which is for past tense. Just as Mary(as) no longer eats food and has died, the same applies to Jesus(as).
Translation: And We did not give them bodies that ate no food [21:9]
Proof: No physical body can remain without food. This is the practise of God. Why should we believe Jesus(as) to be an exception to this?
Translation: And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels? [3:145]
Proof: The reasoning of this verse is as follows: If it is necessary for a Prophet to live forever in this world, then present an example of such a Prophet from the past. If Jesus(as) were considered as an exception to this, the verse will lose its meaning.
Translation: We granted not everlasting life to any human being before thee. If then thou shouldst die, shall they live here for ever? [21:35]
Proof: This verse explains that all people are subject to only one Way of God. No one has escaped death, nor will anyone escape death in the future. Everyone gets old and eventually dies, and Jesus Christ(as) is not an exception to this rule.
Translation: Those are a people that have passed away; for them is what they earned, and for you shall be what you earn; and you shall not be questioned as to what they did. [2:135]
Proof: All Prophets constitute a group that has passed away.
Translation: And has enjoined upon me Prayer and almsgiving so long as I live. [19:32]
Proof: If Jesus(as) never died, it means that he is obliged to continue to offer prayers and pay the Zakat. However, as he is in heaven, he cannot give Zakaat and cannot encourage others to give Zakaat or to offer the kind of prayers he used to offer while on earth. These actions relate to a physical earthly body and cannot continue in heaven.
Translation: ‘And peace was on me the day I was born, and peace there will be on me the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up to life again.’ [19:34]
Proof: There are only three episodes mentioned here for Jesus(as), namely, his birth, death, and life in the hereafter. If his physical ascent to heaven and physical descent from heaven were supposed to occur, they should have been mentioned here.
Translation: And there are some of you who are caused to die prematurely, and there are others among you who are driven to the worst part of life with the result that they know nothing after having had knowledge. [22:6]
Proof: There are only two things destined for humans: (1) Premature death; and (2) Death from old age. Jesus(as) is also subject to this destiny.
Translation: And for you there is an abode in the earth and a provision for a time [2:37]
Proof: The Arabic preposition la-kum (for you) refers to all humans and clearly means that humans reside on earth with their physical bodies, and do not ascend to the realm of the hereafter.
Translation: And him whom We grant long life — We revert him to a weak condition of creation. [36:69]
Proof: This means that whoever reaches old age sees a reversal of their powers. That is, he begins to lose his strengths. If Jesus Christ(as) has been alive physically for more than 2,000 years, it means that his strengths must have all been lost which is a condition that only leads to death.
Translation: It is Allah Who created you in a state of weakness, and after weakness gave strength; then, after strength, caused weakness and old age. [30:55]
Proof: This verse also points out that no one is exempt from the influence of old age. Everyone experiences loss of strength as they grow older, and eventually they die.
Translation: The likeness of the present life is only as water which We send down from the clouds, then there mingles with it the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat. [10:25]
Proof: In this verse, humans are compared to earth-produce. They are born, followed by growth, and then they eventually die. Jesus(as) is not exempt from the laws of nature.
Translation: Then after that you must surely die. [23:16]
Proof: This again refers to the laws of God causing death, and no exception has been made for Jesus Christ(as).
Translation: Hast thou not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky, and causes it to flow in the form of streamlets in the earth and then brings forth thereby herbage, varying in its colours? Then it dries up and thou seest it turn yellow; then He reduces it to broken straw. In that verily is a reminder for men of understanding. [39:22]
Proof: These verses indicate that just like herbage eventually dries up and dies, human beings also live for a period of time on earth and then die.
Translation: And We never sent any Messengers before thee but surely they ate food and walked in the streets. [25:21]
Proof: According to this verse, prophets used to eat food but no longer eat food. For the physical body to exist, it needs nourishment through food. Since all the prophets do not eat food any longer, they are all dead, including Jesus Christ(as).
Translation: And those on whom they call beside Allah create not anything, but they are themselves created.
They are dead, not living; and they know not when they will be raised. [16:21-22]
Proof: All those persons who are considered ‘gods’ according to these verses are dead. Jesus Christ(as) is also believed to be god and he is dead.
Translation: Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah has full knowledge of all things. [33:41]
Proof: This verse clearly states that no prophet can come who breaks the seal of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet(sa). Only one who is a follower of the Holy Prophet(sa) in the truest sense can come as a Prophet. Hence, Jesus Christ(as) cannot come as he was Prophet for the Israelites.
Translation: So ask those who possess the Reminder, if you know not. [16:44]
Proof: This verse prompts us to consult the books of the Jews and Christians in order to learn the truth. We do this in order to find out that if a Prophet’s return is prophesied for the future, does he himself return or the prophecy is metaphorical? We learn that Jesus Christ(as) has already stated that such prophecies are metaphorical. We should check the example of the prophecy of the return of Elijah fulfilled metaphorically.
Translation: And thou, O soul at peace! Return to thy Lord well pleased with Him and He well pleased with thee. So enter thou among My chosen servants, And enter thou My Garden. [89:28-31]
Proof: This set of verses makes it clear that human beings cannot enter the group of people who are in heaven without first dying. In the Hadith of mi’raj (where the Holy Prophet(sa) visited heaven in a state of vision), Jesus Christ(as) was seen by the Holy Prophet(sa) in heaven.
Translation: It is Allah Who has created you, and then He has provided for you; then He will cause you to die, and then He will bring you to life. [30:41]
Proof: According to this verse, there are only 4 events in the life of a human: (1) He is born; (2) He receives nourishment and grows; (3) He dies; (4) He is raised. These are the four stages, and no exception has been made for Jesus Christ(as).
Translation: All that is on it (earth) will pass away. And there will remain only the Person of thy Lord, Master of Glory and Honour. [55:27]
Proof: Everything in the world is in a state of decline and decay. That means that every physical body is progressing toward eventual death. God Almighty used the word faanin (in a state of decay), and not yafnee (will decay). That means that decay and death is not a single event to occur at some future date. Instead, human beings are in a constate state of decay. The physical body of Jesus Christ(as) is not exempt from this.
Translation: Verily, the righteous will be in the midst of Gardens and streams, In the seat of truth with an Omnipotent King. [54:55-56]
Proof: According to this verse, entering paradise means that one has returned to God Almighty. Hence, if Jesus(as) has risen to God, it means he has returned to God, which in turn means that he is in heaven. That can only be if he is dead.
Translation: But as for those for whom the promise of a good reward has already gone forth from Us, these will be removed far from it. They will not hear the slightest sound thereof; and they shall abide in that which their souls desire. [21:102-103]
Proof: This verse is in reference to Hazrat Aziz(as) and Jesus Christ(as) and it states clearly that they have entered heaven.
Translation: Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you be in strongly built towers. [4:79]
Proof: This verse again points out that death and the factors which cause death are always present for the physical body. This is the Way of God, and here, again, no exception has been made for Jesus Christ(as).
Translation: Whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from that. [59:8]
Proof: This verse prompts us to accept the sayings of the Holy Prophet(sa). We present one example from his sayings that proves that Jesus Christ(as) has passed away:
Hazrat Jabir bin ‘Abdullah(ra) reported, “I heard Allah’s Messenger(sa) saying the following one month before his death: ‘You asked me about the Last Hour whereas it’s knowledge is with Allah alone. I, however, take an oath and say that none upon the earth—the created beings—would survive at the end of one hundred years. [https://sunnah.com/muslim/44/310]
That means that all living persons at the time the statement was made were to die within 100 years. This includes Jesus Christ(as).
Translation: ‘Or thou ascend up into heaven’…Say, ‘Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as a Messenger.’ [17:94]
Proof: The disbelievers had asked the Holy Prophet(sa) to raise himself to heaven and they were told through Divine revelation that it is not the Way of God to raise a human body to heaven. If we are to suppose that Jesus Christ(as) did rise bodily to heaven, it would render the reasoning of this verse invalid and lead to a contradiction in the Holy Quran. Hence, the purely established truth in this matter is that Jesus Christ(as) did not go to heaven in his physical body. Instead, he died and his soul went to heaven.