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February 2nd, 2010

Are Muslims getting tired of looking at the sky?

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, Mujaddid of 14th Islamic Century said, (in my words) a time will come when Muslims will be tired of looking at the sky in hope of descent of Isa AS (Jesus).

Dr. Khalid Zaheer, a modern Islamic scholar in Pakistan, is friend of Javed Ahmad Ghamdi sahib. Dr Khalid Zaheer in reply to questions about ‘The Return of Jesus’ has given the same kind of answers that HMGA gave. On his website he answers questions:

In reply to questions based on Ahadith on return of Jesus he writes:

i) All those ahadith were created under the influence of information about Jesus’s return that Christian traditions were mentioning

If a strong Sanad of a Hadis is traced back to the Prophet SAW, it means that the Prophet SAW had indeed uttered those words. The Ahadis I mentioned are classified Sahih, which means that it is a high probablity that the Prophet SAW had said those words and they were not CREATED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT JESUS’S RETURN THAT CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS WERE MENTIONING.

ii) They were referring to the metaphorical return of Jesus: the spirit of Islam would be revived close to the judgment day like Jesus revived the spirit of Torah.

If it was metaphorical, then please explain how metaphorical the following Hadis can get:

Isa ibn Maryam will descend in the east of Damascus at the white minaret, donned in two Saffron coloured garments, his hands on the wings of two angels. If he lowers his head, it will drip and when he raises it, those drops will fall down like shining pearls.
[Jami Tirmidhi Hadith 2247, Classifed as Sahih by Allama Albani]

iii) The mention of the arrival of al-Masihuddajjal by the prophet, alaihissalaam, was mistaken by some narrators to be suggesting the arrival of Jesus himself.

Highly un-probable after the above two replies.

If a Hadis or a Subject is not mentioned in Muwatta of Imam Malik, it does not mean that that Subject does not exist at all, because a lot of jurisprudence is derived from other books. And if Imam Malik did not mention Ahadis related to Jesus’s second-coming in his book, there could have been several other reasons. Probably, the Muslims were so aware of those teachings that he did not consider them necessary. Probably he FORGOT to mention them. Probably, he did not obtain an authentic Sanad of those Ahadis yet.

It is an established truth that Ahadis do claim the second-coming of Jesus. Only the Munkireen-e-Hadis can reject this truth.

If one reads several ahadith in Bukhari, all supported by strong asnad, that those who lower their garments beneath ankles are going to enter the hell shouldn’t one believe it? Why should one then accept the condition that it is going to be a case only if such an act is done out of arrogance? Clearly there were other ahadith explaining the true picture but there were many complete ahadith that made those uncompromising statements without any conditions mentioned. Why should one explain a complete hadith whose message is unequivocal.

If one reads several ahadith with reliable asnad that everyone who recites the kalima shall enter the paradise, why should one not believe in it literally and forget about the fact if it applied to hypocrites or not?

What should one do of a hadith like this one that comes from a reliable source: Ibn Umar, a companion, claimed that the prophet, alaihissalaam, mentioned that if ladies cry over a dead body, the deceased gets punished for it. When Aisha, radhiallahu anha, learnt about it, she responded by saying that he misunderstood it; his statement couldn’t be correct because it went against the Qur’an which tells us that none shall share the burden of the other. And she went on to say that the reality of the incident was that a Jew got killed and his relative ladies were crying; the prophet said that while he was getting punished, these ladies were crying over his death. Ibn Umer, may Allah be pleased with him, got the two statements confused. Do we not learn from this incident that we must always see ahadith in the light of the Qur’an?

And what should one do of the two ahadith mentioning the same incident of the arrival of Jibrail, alaihissalaam, in human form when one of them mentioned that the prophet stated that the fact that nobody knew what was in the wombs of mothers except Allah and the other didn’t? Both ahadith appear in Sahih Muslim. The one by Abu Hurairah states that the prophet, alaihissalaam, made the above claim. The other, by Umer, didn’t mention that claim. Should we accept the unscientific statement in one of them which ran contrary to the Qur’an as well or should we accept the more reasonable one that was reported by Umer, may Allah be pleased with him?

And I can go on and on. The point is that it is a mistake to equate hadith with the prophet’s statement. A hadith is a claim and not a certainty. Certainly, there is no reason to reject hadith with sound asnad unless there are evidences against it that are strong enough to justify it. Ofcourse, one can disagree on whether a reason is good enough to reject a hadith or not.

If we can call the person who rejects a hadith or a group of them because to him those ahadith are against the understanding of the Qur’an a Munkire Hadith, what would we call the person who rejects a clear meaning of the Qur’an because he believes that there are ahadith that were suggesting a meaning different from the Qur’an?

I have not even clearly rejected the ahadith on the return of Jesus. All I am suggesting is that the idea is contrary to the Qur’anic message. I still want to accept the ahadith, that’s why I offered a suggestion that was meant to explain the ahadith without compromising the meanings of the Qur’an. I am sure your criticism against my explanation carries weight. But what else can I do? Should I compromise the message of the Qur’an?

Let us also not be under any mistake about the fact that all ahadith were not known to all Muslims in the first two centuries of the Muslim calendar while Qur’an and sunnah (like Salat, Zakat etc) were; not even to the scholars. That’s why Imam Abu Hanifa (80-150 H) was accused of not knowing many ahadith. Even companions of the prophet didn’t know all of them. In fact one can say with complete authority that there wasn’t a single companion who knew all ahadith. Then there is confusion and about the meanings of some ahadith some of which I have referred to above. How can such a source of knowledge be a part of the original message of Islam which not all Muslims fully knew? Hadith is an explanation of the original message of Islam that we find in the Qur’an and sunnah and as such it cannot go against the clear verdicts of the two sources. There can be no new belief nor an injunction derived from ahadith. However ahadith provide details and explanations of what has already been mentioned in the Qur’an and sunnah or in the human nature.

Let me also clarify that our dispute is not regarding the question as to who loves the prophet, alaihissalaam, more. In fact, a person who loves the prophet can adopt a stance that we should be extra careful in accepting information about the him. The dispute in reality is about the issue as to what measures were adopted by the Almighty to deliver the message of Islam to the mankind. We insirt that God adopted foolproof measures to communicate His message to the mankind in thwe form of Qur’an ands sunnah. Others are insisting that the work done by humans like Bukhari, Muslim was also so significant that it must be accepted by Muslims as a part of the original Islam. We believe that the scholars who compiled ahadith were great; we salute them. But they were humans. What they have gathered is not an undiluted message of Islam. They have attempted to collect information aboiut the explanation fo the original Islam. They have done a great job. However, they were humans and therefore the end result of their efforts were not fault free.

The ahadith on beard you have mentioned are incomplete. There are more facts about the issue than you have mentioned. We need to be first clear about the status of ahadith.

7 Responses to “Are Muslims getting tired of looking at the sky?”

  1. 50% of this planet is looking at the sky and waiting for Jesus, i.e christians and muslims.

    Irregardless if this theory is wrong or right, it has a major following…

  2. @Bashir:
    “Irregardless if this theory is wrong or right, it has a major following…”

    And now the following is changing.

  3. What is it changing too??? Islam and Christianity are still growing.

    I have tried to explain this before, I will try again.

    At one point in the evolution of the human it was a common idea that from time to time some men physically ascended and descended, as allah willed. The laws of gravity were unknown to most of mankind until just 300 or so years ago.

    We are still not sure as to the totality of the laws of physics, at one point we thought that Newtonian physics was totally correct, obviously, Einstein changed things. Maybe in the future we will discover another version of physics that will be much better than that of Einstein. That remains to be seen.

    Muslims believed that Idris was physically raised to heaven (see chapter 19 verse 57), m. ali writes that this verse was revealed very early at mecca, possibly the 5th year (see m. ali, 1917 commentary on Quran).

    Around the same time they believed that Muhammad physically went to heaven and physically returned.

    About 7 years later (at medina) came the detailed story of Esa ibn Marymam (see chapter 4). In Mecca Allah told us three things about Esa (courtese of Chapter 19):

    1. He was blessed when he was born
    2. He will be blessed when he dies(date unknown)
    3. He will be blessed on the day he is restored to life/returned to life/raised to life

    4. Such was the story of Esa Ibn Maryam

  4. 1. There are now many Christians who don’t believe that Jesus will physically return, just as most Christiuans today don’t believe in the literal version of the Biblical account of the creation of the world.

    2. It makes no sense to say that because gravity had not yet been discovered, therefore people believed that men could ascend. Everyone from the earliest times saw and knew that things fell down to earth! What the discovery of gravity told us was that things fall down because the earth attracts them.

    3. Many Muslims always believed that the raising of Idris was in rank, and not bodily.

    4. During Miraj, the Holy Prophet visited prophets such as Abraham and Moses. If he ascended physically, then they too must have got there physically. But everyone believes that they died. In fact, the tomb of Abraham in Hebron is regarded as a sacred site by Muslims. How did Abraham get from that tomb to physically sitting in heaven to meet the Holy Prophet?

    5. The three events: birth, death, and raising, are mentioned for every human being in 23:12-16. They are mentioned for Yahya (John the Baptist) in the same words as for Jesus in 19:15.

  5. “At one point in the evolution of the human it was a common idea that from time to time some men physically ascended and descended, as allah willed. The laws of gravity were unknown to most of mankind until just 300 or so years ago.”

    I fully agree with above. Why talk of 300 years ago, even today with growing intensity the above paragraph manifests in our modern lives. All one has to do is go to the nearest cinema or bookstore, and we will see gravity (and laws of physics) defying action heroes, which are basis of billion dollar industry namely – Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Fantastic four, Iron Man and so on. They all are virtuous and evil fighting men. They all stand for goodness on earth. They are kind to women and children. They arrive on scene to prevent a crime. The all have dedicated following…..etc.

    If Jesus is left as a plain mortal, then there is not much that he accomplished. But he has to be elevated by his fans to an action hero to have some impact.

    Whether Jesus of Bible or action heroes of Marvel, they all are figment of human imagination. For older fiction, we use the term Mythological and for current fiction, we call it Comical. Both can be grouped under Nonsensical.

  6. For ZA:

    1. What percentage of christians are moving away from the idea that Jesus will not physically descend?

    2. Gravity was a new discovery by Newton. If the muslims would have been able to figure this out, then this world would be dominated by muslims and muslim empires.

    2.a. It so happened that Allah allowed the Europeans (KAFIRS) to discover the secret of gravity. Muslims had not even figured out that the sun was the center of the solar system. If you think they did, show me some type of credible proof.

    3. What muslims believed that idris wasnt physically lifted? Show me the evidence! I read Suyuti, he was a very famous mujadid, he has a high rank in the eyes of allah. After Muhammad, Suyuti maybe in the top 100 muslims…thats a different topic..I’m just giving his level of expertise.

    4. I have answered this before, I DONT KNOW. It doesnt make a difference, maybe Allah has some secret rules that we dont know of, remember, Allah can do what he wills.

    4.a. Imam Maliki’s view comes to mind, shortly after Jesus’ escape, allah caused Jesus to die. Maybe all the prophets that have died are alive in heaven! WHY NOT? Why is this so hard of a concept to grasp.

    Sahih Bukhari
    Volume 6, Book 60, Number 110:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “No prophet gets sick but he is given the choice to select either this world or the Hereafter.” ‘Aisha added: During his fatal illness, his voice became very husky and I heard him saying: “In the company of those whom is the Grace of Allah, of the prophets, the Siddiqin (those followers of the prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them), the martyrs and the pious.’ (4.69) And from this I came to know that he has been given the option.

    4.d. From the above hadith is it obvious that all prophets and martyrs and sadiqs and saleh are alive in heaven.

    5. It seems that at mecca allah was clarifying that jesus was a mortal. I am still 100% sure of this. From the info that I have seen, this appears to be the case.

  7. @Bashir:

    If you can understand Urdu, I will recommend you to watch following video.
    In his speech on occasion of 2009 annual gathering of LAM, in Lahore, Dr. Khursheed Alam Tareen tells, Muslims knew long before Copernicus, Kepler and Newton, based on information provided in Holy Quran, about Solar System and Gravitation force.

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