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See Death of Jesus according to:
1. Quran || 2. Hadith || 3. Ijma || 4. Early Views || 5. Modern Muslim scholars (1) || 6. Modern Muslim scholars (2) || 7. Modern Muslim scholars (3)

The Death of Jesus
according to Islamic sources - 3

by Maulana Hafiz Sher Mohammad

3. Evidence of the Ijma‘ of the Muslim Nation

According to Muslim belief, after the Holy Quran and then the Hadith, the Consensus of the Muslim Community (Ijma‘) is a binding argument which every Muslim must accept. So, having proved from the Quran and the Hadith that Jesus died a natural death in his own time, it is necessary to see what decision, explicitly or implicitly, the Ijma‘ has given in this respect.

Umar’s saying

After the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s death, the first Ijma‘ of the Muslims, in which all the Companions of the Holy Prophet participated, decided this very issue of Jesus’ death. All authorities — collectors of Hadith, commentators of the Quran, and historians — record that when the Holy Prophet died, Umar (God be pleased with him) started saying:

"The Holy Prophet has not died, and shall not die until God kills the hypocrites."
(Dur Mansur, vol. IV, p. 318)

"The hypocrites say that the Holy Prophet (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) has died. But he has not died. He has gone to see the Lord, as did Moses when he stayed away from his people for forty days and returned after it was thought that he had died. By God! the Holy Prophet too will certainly return as Moses returned, and cut off the hands and feet of those who say that he is dead."
(Sirat Ibn Hisham, Egypt, vol. III, p. 464)

Abu Bakr’s arrival and speech

We find in Hadith that Abu Bakr (God be pleased with him) arrived, saw the Holy Prophet, and:

"He uncovered his face, bent down, kissed him, wept, and said: ‘I would give my father for you, O Prophet of God; God would never give you two deaths, and you have died of the death that God had ordained for you.’ Abu Salmah says: Ibn Abbas told me that Abu Bakr came out, and Umar was talking to the people. He told him to sit down, but he refused. He told him again, and he still refused. Abu Bakr then recited the Kalima, and the people turned their attention to him, leaving Umar." (Bukhari, Kitab al-Jana’iz)

Hazrat Abu Bakr then announced:

"Whoever among you worships Muhammad, Muhammad has indeed died; but whoever worships Allah, Allah lives on for ever, never dies. Allah says: ‘Muhammad is only a messenger; messengers before him have indeed passed away...’ (the Quran, 3:144)."
(Bukhari, Kitab al-Mughazi)

The Companions’ reaction

Bukhari records:

"By God, it was as if the people did not know that God had revealed this verse until Abu Bakr recited it. Then (it was as if) the people had learnt it from him; and whomever one heard, he was reciting this verse (i.e. ‘Muhammad is only a messenger; messengers before him have indeed passed away...’)"
(Bukhari, Kitab al-Jana’iz)

Hazrat Umar related:

"I was so shocked that my feet could not support me and I fell to the ground when I heard him recite it (i.e. the verse) that the Holy Prophet had indeed died." (ibid., Kitab al-Mughazi)

Companions agreed on death of all prophets

Umar’s contention that the Holy Prophet had only gone to visit the Lord, and would be returning, was refuted by Abu Bakr, proving that all previous prophets had died — and consequently also the Holy Prophet. Had Umar or any other companion believed that Jesus was alive in heaven, he would certainly have spoken out against Abu Bakr’s deduction from the verse that all previous prophets were dead. This shows that none of the companions even imagined that Jesus, or any other prophet, was still alive and had not died.

This incident establishes the companions’ consensus — the first Ijma ‘ after the Holy Prophet — that all prophets are dead. It also disproves any isolated reports ascribed to certain companions that Jesus is alive in heaven, for such odd reports contradict the Quran, the Hadith, and the Ijma‘ of the companions, and must therefore be rejected.

The Imam of the Age, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, has written exactly the same:

"No companion is recorded as denying this argument put forward by Hazrat Abu Bakr which proves the death of all previous prophets. And this despite the fact that all the companions were present there. They were all silent upon hearing the argument. This proves that all the companions agreed on this point; such agreement constitutes conclusive evidence, and cannot be in error." (Tiryaq al-Qulub, p. 285, Sign no. 72)

Next: 4. Early Views


 Death of Jesus in: 1. Quran || 2. Hadith || 3. Ijma || 4. Early Views || 5. Modern Muslim scholars (1) || 6. Modern Muslim scholars (2) || 7. Modern Muslim scholars (3)