Islam from a Biblical Perspective XX
After the emergence or the "rising" of the Mahdi, the second most important event among the Major Signs is the return of Jesus Christ.
Muslims, of course, reject the idea that Jesus was or is the Son of God. Second, in Islamic belief, Jesus never died on a cross for the sins of mankind. The Qur'an specifically denies that Jesus was ever crucified or that He ever experienced death. Muslims believe that after Allah miraculously delivered Jesus from death, He ascended into heaven alive; in a similar fashion to the Biblical narrative regarding Elijah.
To the Islamic mind, Jesus was not in any way a "savior". Jesus was merely another prophet in the long line of prophets that Allah has sent to mankind. When Jesus returns, it most certainly will not be to restore the nation of Israel to the Jewish people. Nor will Jesus' purpose be to save and deliver His faithful followers from the ongoing persecution of the Antichrist. When Jesus comes back, He comes back as a radical Muslim.
Many of the Hadiths that refer to Jesus do not call Him by the name Jesus, but Isa. The Qur'an gives Him, and which most Muslims use, is Isa or al-Maseeh; the Messiah. Other common titles that Islam uses when referring to Jesus are Hadrat Isa; Honorable Jesus, Isa bin Maryam; Jesus son of Mary, or Nabi Isa; Prophet Jesus.
The following is an excerpt from an Islamic tradition. Jesus' return is usually described as taking place just outside Damascus:
At this very time, Allah would send Christ, son of Mary, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two angels. When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it.
The Subordinate of the Mahdi
At this time, Jesus descends to meet the army of the Mahdi, which will be preparing for battle: Muslims will still be preparing themselves for the battle drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus, son of Mary would descend.
Islamic scholars seem to be in universal agreement that the Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the prayers. Jesus will then refuse this request and will defer instead to the Mahdi to lead the prayer:
The Messenger of Allah said: A section of my people will not cease fighting for the truth and will prevail until the day of resurrection. He said: Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their (Muslims) commander (the Mahdi) would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say: No, some amongst you are commanders over some.
Jesus will then pray behind the Mahdi as a direct statement regarding Jesus' inferiority of rank to the Mahdi:
Jesus Christ will decline the offer and invitation of Imam Mahdi to come and lead the Muslims in prayer and say his prayer behind Imam Mahdi. Jesus (peace be upon him) will come and will perform the obligatory prayers behind the Mahdi and follow him. Jesus will be following the Mahdi, the master of the time, and that is why he will be offering his prayers behind him.
Jesus the Faithful Muslim
He will perform the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca called hajj: The Prophet said: Verily Isa ibn Maryam shall descend as an equitable judge and fair ruler. He shall tread his path on the way to Hajj (pilgrimage) and come to my grave to greet me, and I shall certainly answer him.
Jesus Will Institute Islamic Law
The Mahdi, as the caliph (vice-regent) and imam (leader) of the Muslims is clearly superior to Jesus in Islam, Jesus remains a leader of the Muslim community. Jesus' primary purpose will be to oversee the institution and the enforcement of Islamic shariah law all over the world:
Ibn Qayyim mentioned in Manar al-munif that the leader... is the Mahdi who will request Jesus to lead the Muslims in prayer.
Jesus will remain on the earth, not as a prophet, but as one of the community (ummah) of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims will follow him as their leader. According to Shalabi, the Mahdi will lead the Muslims in prayer, and Jesus will rule the Muslims according to the divine law (shariah):
Jesus, the son of Mary will descend and will lead them judging amongst them according to the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad.
Jesus: The Greatest Muslim Evangelist
He will lead many Christians to convert to Islam. Those who do not convert to Islam, the Qur'an states that Jesus will be a witness against them on the Day of Judgment:
There is not one of the People of the Scripture (Christians and the Jews) but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them. (Sura 4:159)
Mufti Muhammad Shafi and Mufti Mohammad Rafi Usmani in their book, Signs of the Qiyama (the final judgment) and the Arrival of the Maseeh (the Messiah), explain that the phrase "will believe in him before his death" means the Christians and Jews will: ...confirm that he is alive and has not died and he is not God or the Son of God but (merely) His (Allah's) slave and Messenger, and Isa (Jesus) will testify against those who had called him son of God, the Christians, and those who had believed him, the Jews.
Sheikh Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, clearly articulates the Islamic perspective regarding Jesus' evangelistic role when He returns: "Like all prophets, Prophet Jesus came with the divine message of surrender to God Almighty, which is Islam. This verse shows that when Jesus returns he will personally correct the misrepresentations and misinterpretations about himself. He will affirm the true message that he brought in his time as a prophet, and that he never claimed to the son of God. Furthermore, he will reaffirm in his second coming what he prophesied in his first coming bearing witness to the seal of the Messenger, Prophet Muhammad".
In his second coming, many non-Muslims will accept Jesus as a servant of Allah Almighty, as a Muslim and a member of the community of Muhammad. Al-Sadr and Mutahhari likewise articulate this same expectation: "Jesus will descend from heaven and espouse the cause of the Mahdi. The Christians and the Jews will see him and recognize his true status. Christians will abandon their faith in his godhead. Jesus Will Abandon His Christianity When Jesus returns, He does not come to convert most Christians to Islam but to abolish Christianity entirely".
Four specific things that Jesus will do when He returns? Jesus is said to:
1. Break crosses
2. Kill all swine
3. Abolish the jizyah tax (a Muslim tax on non-Muslims)
4. Kill the Muslim antichrist and his followers
The Prophet said: "There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descend to the earth... He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam".
Shafi and Usmani explain that to "break the cross" means to "abolish the worship of the cross".
Sideequee M.A. Veliankode states in Doomsday Portents and Prophecies:
"Jesus, the son of Mary will soon descend among the Muslims as a just judge... Jesus will, therefore, judge according to the law of Islam... all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative".
Harun Yahya likewise affirms this belief in his book, Jesus Will Return, when he says, "Jesus will remove all systems of disbelief in that period".
The ruling of Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368) from The Reliance of the Traveller, the classic Shafi manual of Islamic jurisprudence: "The time and the place for the poll tax is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace)"
Jesus the Slayer of the Jews
Beyond the "accomplishment" of abolishing Christianity on a worldwide scale, another of Jesus' primary jobs is to kill a figure known as the Dajjal, or the Muslim version of the Antichrist. Jesus will kill not only the Dajjal but also all of the Dajjal's followers, most of whom will be Jews.
Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair in an article entitled 'Who Is the Evil Dajjal?' elaborates: "The Yahudis (Jews) of Isfahaan will be his (the Dajjal's) main followers".
Apart from having mainly Yahudi followers, he will have a great number of women followers as well. Listing the events of the last days as they occur, Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair, Author of 'The Signs of Quiyama' (Judgment Day), begins: "His followers the Yahudis, will number seventy thousand... Then Hadrat Isa (Honorable Jesus) kills the Dajjal at the Gate of Hudd, near an Israeli airport, in the valley of Ifiq. The final war between the Yahudis will ensue, and the Muslims will be victorious".
Jesus: A Good Muslim Family Man
After converting the world to Islam and killing unbelievers, the Dajjal, and his followers, Jesus is said to marry, have children, and eventually die: The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is Jesus... He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. After his descent on earth, Jesus will marry. He will have children, and he will remain on the earth nineteen years after marriage. He will pass away and Muslims will perform his funeral prayer and bury him next to the Prophet Muhammad.