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Jesus in Ahmadiyya Islam

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  Part of a series of articles on
Ahmadiyya Islam


Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Prophecies · Claims · Death · Writings

Views & Belief
Five Pillars of Islam  · Qur'an  · Sunnah  · Hadith  · Jesus  · Prophethood  · Jihad

Branches</small>
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community · Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement

Literature
Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya  · Commentary on Surah Al-Fateha  · The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam  · Malfoozat  · Tafseer-e-Kabeer  ·

Buildings and Structures
White Minaret · Mubarak Mosque

The Ahmadiyya Movement believe that Jesus of Nazareth did not die on the cross, neither did he ascend physically to heaven. Instead, that he survived the ordeal of crucifixion and later migrated eastwards where he died a natural death in Kashmir.

Overview

According to the late 19th Century writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, the theological basis of the Ahmadi belief is that Jesus was only “in a swoon”[1] when he was taken down from the cross. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad interpreted the phrase in Deuteronomy 21:31: kī qilelat Elohim taluy, “… for a hanged man is the curse of God”, as suggesting that “God would never allow one of His prophets to be brutally killed in such a degrading manner as crucifixion. Following his ordeal, Jesus was cured of his wounds with a special ointment known as the 'ointment of Jesus' (marham-i ʿIsā).”[2].

After his Resurrection from the tomb, Jesus had fled Palestine to avoid recapture and journeyed eastwards towards India. Jesus later settled in Kashmir until he died a natural death at a full old age[1][2], and was laid to rest in Srinagar, Kashmir. The prophet Yuz Asaf said to be entombed there (at what is now known as the Roza Bal) is said to be that of Jesus of Nazareth.[3]

According to Kashmiri tradition and ancient manuscripts, Yuz Asaf is said to have been a Prophet who had travelled from Palestine during the 1st century and was a man who had miraculous healing powers.[4]

The Ahmadiyya Movement also hold the belief that the prophecy concerning the second coming was fulfilled in the personality of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the movement and one whom they also regard as the Muslim Imam Mahdi (Promised Messiah).

Jesus on the Cross

Biblical accounts

Ahmadis illustrate how the notion of Jesus having survived the Cross could be understood from various Biblical scriptures.[5]

  1. Jesus had prophesied that his fate would be like that of Jonah (the story of Jonah is one of survival). (Matt. 12:40)
  2. Jesus was placed on the cross for only a few hours. Death by crucifixion usually takes several days so could not have occurred. While he was placed on the cross his legs were left intact. This would have prevented death by respiratory distress. As blood and water were reported to have 'gushed' from the spear wound, this was sign of a beating heart.
  3. Jesus prayed to be rescued from death on the cross (Matthew 21:22)
  4. Pilate, having sympathy for Jesus, secretly devised to save him by setting his Crucifixion shortly before Sabbath day
  5. The Gospel of John records that Nicodemus brought myrrh and aloes (John 19:39). These healing plants, particularly aloe plants, are considered medicinal and applied to wounds.
  6. After he had awoken from swoon(resurrection), Jesus bared his wounds to Thomas (John 20:25-7), showing he did not have a supernatural, resurrected body, but a patient's body. He was also seen in the flesh by a large number of his followers, baring the same wounds that he had suffered from his ordeal on the Cross.(Luke 24:38,39)
  7. After his wounds had sufficiently healed Jesus left the tomb and met some of his disciples and had his food with them and walked on foot from Jerusalem to Galilee (Luke 24:50)
  8. Jesus had prophesied that he would go to seek out the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel (John 10:16). The Jews of Jesus's time believed that the Lost tribes of Israel had become dispersed in different lands (John 7:34-35)
  9. Being a Divine Prophet Jesus could not have died on the Cross because according to the Bible “He that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deut. 21:23)
  10. There is not to be found in all the Gospels a single recorded eye-witness statement that Jesus was dead when he was taken down from the Cross or when he was placed in the tomb.

After surviving crucifixion, Jesus fled to Galilee. He later left Palestine along with several disciples migrating eastwards to further preach the Gospel to the Lost tribes of Israel (John 10:16) - that had scattered as far as Afghanistan and northern India. Jesus eventually settled in Kashmir where he was given the name Yuz Asaf (meaning “Leader of the Healed”/"Son of Joseph").

Quranic accounts

The verses in Chapter Al-Nisa (4:158-159) of the Quran describe that Jesus did not die on the Cross and that God had “raised” Jesus unto himself.

[4:158] And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no definite knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this conjecture into a certainty;

[4:159] On the contrary, Allah raised him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Ahmadis interpret the Arabic word "raised" in these verses to mean “exalted”. In other words, Jesus' rank and status was elevated to become closer to God. As the Quran speaks of God being omnipresent in the Earth and in the Hearts of mankind, God is not to be regarded as being confined exclusively to the Heavens alone. [6].

Natural Death of Jesus

To further support the notion that Jesus had, like any mortal man, died, Ahmadis use the Quran verse 5:76:

[5:76] The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely Messengers the like unto him had passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. See how We explain the Signs for their good, and see how they are turned away. (Jesus is being compared to Mary - whom did not ascend bodily)

In contrast to the Ahmadiyya view however, the majority of Orthodox Islamic clerics believe that after his crucifixion, Jesus was physically raised up to the heavens. As such Orthodox Muslims believe that Jesus is presently alive and is resting in the same physical form that he possessed prior to his attempted crucifixion. He is also expected to return in the same earthly body during the End times. Some[who?] clerics alternatively suggest that the person whom was crucified was not that of Jesus himself, but someone else in his place (i.e an impostor/lookalike). Either way, orthodox clerics regard the Ahmadiyya views as heretical and dismiss those who disagree with the traditional orthodox interpretations as kufr (non-believers).

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, this aspect of Ahmadi belief is one of three primary characteristics that distinguish Ahmadi teachings from general Islamic ones, and that it has provoked a fatwa against the movement.[3]

Second Coming of Jesus

The Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) indicate that Jesus would return during the latter days, and that he would be a follower of the Prophet Muhammed. He would promote the cause of Islam rather than fostering a new religion.[7]

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad professed that the predicted Second Coming of Jesus in Muslim and Christian religious texts did not indicate that Jesus of Nazareth himself would return, but that of a person similar to Jesus (mathīl-i ʿIsā).[2] In other words, a return in likeness to Jesus, his personality, his circumstances and his original peaceful teachings in uncorrupted form would return. Ahmadi's believe this prediction was fulfilled in the personality and spiritual teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and furthered by the movement.[8] [9].

Furthermore, Ahmadi's commonly depict that the expected coming of a Latter day Messiah is commonly represented across all major faiths. The original prophecy historically diverged into separate distinct theories and interpretations whereas the original prophecy was characteristically designated to only one single Messiah. As such, Ahmadi's adjorn that prophecy of all world faiths has been unified by the advent of the Promised Messiah (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad). Moreover, Ahmadis maintain that all faiths will gradually converge inclining towards Ahmadiyyat. That such process would follow a correlative pattern of circumstances and take a similar amount of time that it took for Christianity to rise to dominance (roughly 300 years).

Breaking of the Cross

The Islamic Hadith describe that the Imam Mahdi would "fight alongside Jesus to Break the Cross". Ahmadi's regard that the teachings of Jesus being a mortal man, who lived and died a natural death is a testimony of this prophecy being fulfilled as it will eventually render the traditional Christian worship of the Cross and doctorine of the immortatility of Jesus as meaningless.

Jesus in India

The notion of the Jesus having travelled India is not exclusively founded by the Ahmadiyya Movement. Numerous articles and books have been written and several documentaries discussing the topic in depth. Prior to the Ahmadiyya claim Nicolas Notovitch had also researched and studied the evidence of Jesus in India. Unlike Notovitch however, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed that Jesus had travelled towards India post-crucifixion.

Yuz Asaf

"Yus Asaf" is the traditional Kashmiri name for Isa (Jesus).

Many of the local people in Kashmir also traditionally hold a belief that Yuz Asaf was a Prophet who had travelled from Palestine and who had miraculous healing powers.

Tomb of Mary

The Ahmadis believe[1] that Mary accompanied her son on the journey to Kashmir.

Numerous Muslim and Persian documents — the Tafir-Ibn-I-Jarir, the Kanz-al-Ummal, and the Rauzat-us-Safa — have references that contribute to the theory of Christ's escape. Some of these also mention that Jesus was accompanied by Mary, and there is another burial place in Pakistan, along his theoretical route to Kashmir, known as Mai Mari da Ashtan, or "resting place of Mother Mary." [10]

Tomb of Jesus

During his research into Jesus' death, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had initially suggested that Jesus may have been buried in either Galilee, or Syria, until eventually discovering enough evidence to back his conclusion that the tomb of Jesus was located in Srinigar, Kashmir. Thus, Ahmadis believe the tomb of Jesus is presently located in the Srinagar region of Kashmir.

Many ancient literary works[which?] in Kashmir testify to the fact that Yuz Asaf and Jesus are the same person. One old manuscript describes the shrine of Yuz Asaf as the grave of Issa Rooh-Allah, (Jesus the Spirit of God). The importance of this modest shrine has been preserved in the memory of the descendants of the ancient Israelites to this day. They call the shrine, "The tomb of Hazrat Issa Sahib", "The Tomb of Lord Jesus".

The building constructed is called "Roza bal" or "Rauza Bal". "Rauza" is a term used to denote the tomb of a celebrated personality, someone noble, wealthy or saintly. Ahmadis give the Yuz Asaf enshrined the epithet Shahzada Nabi, “Prophet Prince”. In accordance with Jewish tradition, the tomb is arranged with the feet pointing in the direction of Jerusalem.

Given the strong presence of orthodox Muslims and militancy in the region, many of the Kashmir residents choose to distance themselves away from the Ahmadiyya claim of Prophet Yuz Asaf as being the Prophet Jesus.

Literature

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Faruqi 1983, p. 98.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Schäfer & Cohen 1998, p. 306
  3. 3.0 3.1 Houtsma 1913, p. 260
  4. BBC Four Documentaries – Interview on Did Jesus Die?
  5. Jesus in India
  6. Jesus in India
  7. Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab Al-Malahim, Book 37, Number 4310
  8. “A Prophet Like Unto Moses”, The Promised Mehdi and Messiha, by Dr. Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, Islam International Publications Limited
  9. The Four Questions Answered, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, AAIIL 1996
  10. Mystery of the Martyr's Tomb: Part Two

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