One of the greatest beliefs in the Holy Bible, Qur’an, and Hadith is the soon return of Isa Al-Masih from heaven to earth. The most common term that is used in the Islamic literature is “nuzul Isa”, which is considered to be one of the most greatest signs in the history of the world, “And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.” (Al-Zukhruf 43: 61)
Isa the Sign of the Day of Judgment
The Qur’an declares that Isa Al-Masih is a sign of the Day of Judgment, “He is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it. But follow me. This is a straight path.” (Al-Zukhruf 43:61)
Ibn Juzayy says that the first meaning of this verse is that Isa is a sign or a precondition of the Last Hour. We can say that this verse is a clear indication that Isa will come back to earth at the end times. That is because Jesus lived six centuries before the revelation of the Qur’an. Consequently, we cannot interpret his first coming as a sign of the Day of Judgment. What this verse actually indicates is that Isa will come back to earth towards the end of time, that is to say, during the last period of time before the Day of Judgment and this will be a sign for the Day of Judgment.
The Arabic of the verse “He is a Sign of the Hour”…” Some people interpret the pronoun (he) in this verse as the Qur’an. However, the preceding verses speaks about Isa Al-Masih “He is only a slave on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel”(Al-Zukhruf 43:60)
In Sahih Muslim, it is also stated that said that the Prophet Isa will descend among people at the end of time have reached the degree of being mutawatir, which means narrated by so many people in each generation that it is not possible to have any doubt of their authenticity, and that it is counted as one of the major signs of the Day of Rising. (Sahih Muslim, 2/58)
Hudhayfah ibn Usayd al-Ghifari said, “The Messenger of Allah came to us all of a sudden as we were (busy in a discussion). He said: ‘What are you discussing?’ We said: ‘We are discussing the Last Hour.’ Thereupon he said: ‘It will not come until you see ten signs before it’ – and (in this connection) he made mention of the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of ‘Isa the son of Maryam, Yajuj and Majuj, and landslides in three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire will burn forth from the Yemen, and drive people to the place of their assembly.” (Sahih Muslim)
What do the Qur'an Commentators say about His return?
According to Al-Baidawi, “He (Al-Masih) will descend in the Holy Land at a place called Afik with a spear in his hand; with this he will kill al-Dadjal (Anti-Christ) and come to Jerusalem at the time of the salat (prayer) of the morning prayer; the Imam will give place to him but he will refuse and will worship behind him according to the shariah of Muhammad; then he will kill the swine, break the crosses, lay all synagogues and churches in ruin and kill all Christians who do not believe him. The last statement is based on the following verse from the Qur’an: “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgement he will be a witness against them” (Al-Nisa 4: 159).
The consensus of commentators is that the time of his coming will be according to the fixed will of Allah. It is generally agreed that Isa will descend in the Middle East where he will destroy the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and all his hosts. He will break the cross as a declaration forever against all the false notions that he was crucified. He will kill the pig and will make pork universally prohibited. He will abolish the Jiziyah (tax) which was imposed on non-Muslims who kept their own religion rather than Islam, for in the last day everyone will be required to embrace Islam so the tax will be redundant.
He will usher in an era of peace and prosperity unknown before and will rule over the earth for forty years the world community will be one and all will believe in the Islamic Christ. He will be a just ruler and a fair judge and will act and instruct others on the Qur’an and Hadith. He will also lead people in the ritual prayer. During this period all other religions besides Islam will perish and Jihad will cease. Wealth will be abundant and the receiving of Zakat (tithe) and Sadaqa (gifts) will end as there will be no poor to receive them! There will be peace, harmony and tranquillity during his time in the world. There will be no animosity for a period of seven years; all hearts will be free from miserliness, envy, hatred, malice and jealousy. For forty years no one will fall ill or die; snakes, scorpions and wild animals will not harm anyone and camels will graze among lions, cheetahs with cattle and the jackals with goats. He will marry and have children, and he will die after forty years and be buried in Medina alongside the tombs of Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Umar.
The traditions have developed a system which seeks to perpetuate the superiority of Islam; Islam will be victorious while the other religions that once received a revelation, but either disobeyed or corrupted that revelation, will perish. The traditions have developed the Islamic Christ of the Qur’an who is ‘illustrious in this world and the next’, but is mortal, and like Muhammad and all mankind will die.
The Bible clearly explains that He was a unique person who suffered death once (Hebrews 9: 28), never to die again, one who is now gloriously alive in heaven and on His return as King all will kneel before Him as He ushers in a righteous kingdom (Phil. 2: 5-11)
What will the second coming of Isa establish in Islam?
Muslims contend that the ‘descension’ of ‘Isa to the earth will bring to conclusion the long confrontation between the monotheism of all the prophets on the one hand, and the polytheist deviations that infiltrated the teachings of Isa after his departure on the other. These deviations were said to be encrypted in the Christian creeds which led them to deifying Isa and making him both the son of God and one part of a triune god.
This confrontation will be a major aspect of human history because the Qur’an repeatedly exposed these Christian distortions and its unheeded warnings to those who follow the Christian faith will be upheld on the last day. The matter will be settled by Isa himself, who will come and rectify all the false representations concerning himself and remove these unwholesome beliefs kept by generations of Christians. He will preach pure monotheism.
Isa’s second coming will put things in the right direction and lead people to the Straight Path “And when Isa brought clear proofs, he said, I have come to you with wisdom and to make clear to you some of that over which you differ, so fear Allah and obey me. Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path.” (Al-Zukhruf 43: 63-64)
So Isa is coming to establish Allah’s Kingdom and lead people to the Straight Path that is built on worshiping, fearing Allah, and obeying Isa Al-Masih. It is important to see that Isa’s relationship to Allah is different than our relationship to Allah, if we have the same relationship who should have said “Allah is our Lord”.
The Descent of Isa Al-Masih (His peace be upon us)
The Qur’an and Hadith have foretold the Descent of Isa (His peace be upon us).
The Qur’an speaks very clearly about the descent (the Second Coming) of Isa Al-Masih (His peace be upon us), “There shall not be anyone from People of the Book, but shall believe in him before his death and on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) shall be a witness against them.” (Al-Nisa 4: 159)
Furthermore, the Qur’an declares that Isa’s return to Earth is a major sign of Yawm Al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection), “And he (Isa) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Resurrection); therefore have no doubt about it (the Hour). And follow me (Allah), this is a Straight Path.” (Al-Zukhruf 43: 61)
Ibn Abbas has said that the meaning of this verse is that Prophet Isa descent is a sign of Al-Qiyamah. (Musnad Ahmad)
Huzaifa bin Usaid reported that Prophet Mohammad suddenly came to us while we were talking. He asked, “What are you talking about?” We replied, “We were talking about the Last Hour.” The Prophet said, “It will never come until you see ten signs before it. He then mentioned the Smoke, the Dajjal (Anti-Christ), the Daabba, the Rising of the Sun from the place of its setting, the Descent of Jesus son of Mary (from Heaven), Yajuj and Ma’juj (Gog & MaGog)…” (Sahih Muslim).
Even the Hadith describes how Isa Al-Masih looks like, “Abu Huraira narrated that Prophet Mohammad said: “There is no prophet between me and him (Isa Al-Masih). He shall descend so; recognize him when you see him. He is a man of medium height, (his complexion) is between reddish and white; he will be between (or dressed in) two slightly yellowish garments; His head looks as if it is dripping water even though it is not wet. He will fight people in the cause (for the sake) of Islam, will break the Cross and kill the swine (pig) and abolish Jizya (tax on Christians and Jews); and Allah will put an end to all religious sects except Islam during his (Jesus’) time. He (Jesus) will slay the Antichrist (Dajjal) and he will stay in the World for 40 years. Then, he will die and the Muslims will perform the funeral prayer for him.” (Abu Dawud and Musnad Ahmad).
Some narrations of the Hadith indicate Isa will descend in Damascus, while other narrations indicate Jerusalem.
Some narrations indicate Isa will kill the Anti-Christ in Lud (near Tel Aviv, Israel), while other narrations indicate it will be near Afiq, close to Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee). Some scholars such as Al-Ahwazi believe that Lud does not refer to a name of a city or location, but rather it means Fitna (strife, trial, or tribulation). Mujm’e bin Jariya Al-Ansari narrated that Prophet Mohammad said: “Son of Mary (meaning Isa) will kill the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) at a door of Lud.” (Tirmizi, Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Hayan, Abu Dawood Al-Tayalisi). Tirmizi classified it as a Sahih Hadith.
The Hadiths proclaim that Isa Al-Masih will descend as a Just Judge, Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, “By whom my soul is in his hand, soon, the Son of Mary (Jesus) will come down to be among you as a just Judge. He will break the cross, kill (outlaw raising) the pig, and abolish the Jizya (tax on Christians & Jews because Christianity and Judaism will end). There will be abundance (surplus or outflow) in Wealth (and money) to the extent that no one will accept it (if you want to give charity) and a single prostration (in prayer to Allah) will be better than the World and all what is in it.” (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
The Hadith lists all types of spiritual and worldly blessings will descend on Earth in His time.
– There will be an abundance in wealth. Wealth will flow like water. People will no longer have to pay Zakat (tax) and Sadaqa(charity).
– All hearts will be free from misery, envy, malice, and jealousy.
– Each harmful animal will be made harmless. Camels will graze with the lions and the cheetahs with cattle. A little girl will chase a lion and make it run away from her like children chasing a puppy and this lion will not harm her. Venom will be taken out from all venomous animals, a little boy will put his hand in a snake’s mouth, but it will not harm him. The wolf will live with the sheep and protect them as if it were a sheep dog.
– Peace, harmony and tranquility will prevail in the world. People will be in complete agreement, wars will cease, the earth will be filled with peace like a silver basin and it will sprout with vegetation like at the time of Prophet Adam.
– The fertility of the land will increase to the extent that if a seed is planted in a rock, it will sprout. The Earth will produce so much fruit that a large group of people will sit to eat a bunch of grapes or a pomegranate and they will be satisfied and use its peel as an umbrella.
– There will also be blessing in milk. The milk of a single she camel will be sufficient to satisfy the hunger of a large group of people. A cow will produce what is sufficient for a tribe of people, and a sheep will produce milk, which is sufficient for a family of people.
– Horses will be cheap as they will be never ridden in war and bulls will be expensive, as they will be needed to plough the land.
– Life will be very pleasant and enjoyable after Jesus’ descent from Heaven and people will live in comfortably during Jesus’ reign as a Muslim Caliph.