Story of the End of Jesus’ Mission

In this section, the translations and commentary of the narration (verses of Surah An-Nisa’, :157-159) about the end of the mission of Jesus (Peace be upon him) will be reviewed. This story is selected due to the importance of the topic for Muslims and Christians, the existence of differences in the understanding of some aspects of this story by some translators of the Qur’an, and the brevity of its coverage in the Qur’an.

While the controversy about the personality of Jesus is the major difference between Islam and Christianity, Jesus can be considered as the common link between Muslims and Christians. The more this common link is explored and understood in objective ways, the more harmony can be expected.

The Islamic beliefs about Jesus do not intend in any way to belittle his role or degrade his great personality.

On the contrary, these beliefs depict Jesus in a most respectable manner and place him as high in status as Allah Himself has placed him.[1]

The Qur’an provides a vivid picture of the life of Jesus (Peace be upon him), especially about his true his birth, his mission, and the end of his mission. The Qur’an clarifies in clear terms that Jesus was a human being and servant of Allah, born in a miraculous way by his virgin mother (Mary), sent as a messenger and prophet of Allah to people and that he was neither crucified nor killed, but raised by Allah at the end of his mission.

While the life of Jesus was full of amazing miracles that could easily convince any person with common sense to believe in him and follow his message, many of his people opposed him and rejected him. Beyond that, they tried to crucify and kill him.  While knowing him to be a messenger of Allah, they not only tried to kill him but also boasted about killing him. This showed the severest state of their hardened hearts.

At the mention of Jesus and the claim of killing him, Allah has taken the opportunity in the Qur’an to strongly refute their claim that they were successful in having him killed. Although they thought that he was killed, in reality he was not. People were just confused on this matter. Although the Christians also believe that he was killed on the cross and was then resurrected and taken to heaven, they do not have any solid data about the facts in this respect. If we look at the Christian sources, we find that there are so many different versions, narrations, and reports that it is impossible to say exactly what transpired. None of the four Gospel writers was a disciple of Jesus and none of the disciples personally witnessed the crucifixion in any way. They all had escaped and gone into hiding because of the fear from the Roman authorities.[2] That is why the Qur’an says that they had no knowledge but followed only conjecture.[3]

The Qur’an categorically says in the two verses that will be reviewed in this section that he was neither killed nor crucified but that Allah raised him towards Himself.

This story is narrated in the Qur’an to clarify a significant misconception that has existed among many people of the world about the ending of the mission of Jesus (Peace be upon him).

The story is also meant to make the point that Allah can save His special servants by extraordinary means from their opposition.

[1] Hammudah Abdalati, Islam in Focus. American Trust Publications, Indiana, 1975 p. 153.
[2] “They all forsook him, and fled.” Gospel of Mark 14:50.
[3] Ayub Hamid, The teachings (of the Qur’an [online), Islamic Reflections email list.

Source: Alukah

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