Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 22 Nov 2020


How can we correlate the mainstream Muslim and Ahmadiyya beliefs about Jesus not dying on the cross with the Christian belief of His death and resurrection?

[Śrī Anil asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! Please grace us with Your response to the following questions.- At Your Divine Feet -anil

The mainstream Islamic belief regarding the crucifixion of Jesus, is that Jesus did not die, but rather, that he was raised alive to heaven, and that he is present in heaven with his physical, worldly body and life. They quote the following verse from the Quran as evidence.

[4:157-158] And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allāh;’ 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; On the contrary, Allāh raised him to Himself. And Allāh is Mighty, Wise.

However, the Ahmadiyya faith, founded by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad believes that Jesus did not die on the cross but that He finally died in Kashmir in India at the age of 120 yrs. They give the following interpretation of the above Quranic verse:

He was made to appear like, or was made to resemble: Clearly it was Hazrat Jesus whom the Jews tried to crucify or slay. Nobody else can be meant here, for there is absolutely no reference to any other person in the context. The context cannot be twisted as to make room for somebody else of whom no mention at all is made in the verse. To what then was Hazrat Jesus made like? The context provides a clear answer to that question. The Jews did not kill him by crucifixion, but he was made to appear to them like “one crucified”, and thus it was that they wrongly took him for dead. It was thus Hazrat Jesus who was made to resemble “one crucified”. This interpretation is not only in perfect harmony with the context but is also clearly borne out by all relevant facts of history. Raised him to Himself: It does not mean physical raising up to heaven, but in the sense of exaltation of ranks and spiritual nearness.

Following is the belief of Ahamdis: Although Jesus was nailed to the cross, he did not perish on it. He was removed from the cross in a state of unconsciousness. Ahmadi Muslims believe that Jesus came under the care of his devoted followers after he was removed from the cross. He was placed in the tomb where he recovered from his ordeal. The Gospels too describe that Jesus was still in his earthly body of flesh and bones after emerging from the tomb (Luke 24:39). An analysis of the post-crucifixion period described in the Gospels reveals that Jesus led a low-profile existence. He hurriedly travelled away from the locality of the crucifixion.

Ahmadi Muslims believe that the physical ascension of Jesus to Heaven is a later interpolation. The term “heaven” is used for spiritual bliss which the righteous enjoy after a mortal life. Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24). Out of twelve tribes of Israel, only two were in the region where Jesus preached. The other ten tribes, as a result of exile, were domiciled in the eastern countries, especially in Afghanistan and Kashmir. It was imperative for Jesus to migrate eastwards to complete his mission. There is overwhelming evidence that the people of Afghanistan, Kashmir and neighbouring regions are of Israelite ancestry. Their physical features, languages, folklore, customs, and festivals attest to their Israelite heritage. Evidence also comes from the names they give to their villages, their monuments, and ancient historical works and inscriptions. The presence of Jesus in India is recorded in the ancient Indian literature, and records of Kashmir. Jesus came to Kashmir from the Holy Land during the reign of Raja Gopadatta (49-109 AD) to proclaim his prophethood to the Israelites. He was known as Yusu (Jesus) of the children of Israel. It is recorded that great number of people recognized his holiness and piety and became his disciples.

Swami, how to reconcile these two views (main stream muslim belief and Ahamadia belief) to come to a consensus?]

Swāmi replied: All this analysis only brings a headache because the procedure of analysis is travelling on a confused path. Jesus raised the dead body of Lazarus to life when He was alive. This one miracle is sufficient to prove that Jesus was the Human Incarnation of God, possessing all types of divine miraculous powers. Even if He had died on the cross, there is every possibility of rising back to life after three days. What is wrong if I say that the dead body of Jesus was kept in the closed cave for three days and He rose back to life after three days? All these are misinterpretations trying to prove that Jesus did not have any divine miraculous power. These people should answer how Jesus performed so many miracles while He was alive. If those miracles are false, we consider their interpretation to be true because their interpretation is based on Jesus not having any miraculous power. Certainly, many people do not accept the Human Incarnation of God because of their ego and jealousy. After all, life (prāṇamaya kośa) is an item of this imaginable creation, which is generated, maintained, destroyed and which can even be regenerated by the unimaginable God present in the Incarnation.