The ascension to the heavens of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) and his return to the earth are miracles that the Holy Qur’an reveals and the Hadith bears testament to.
The Holy Qur’an reveals that the unbelievers devised a plot to take the life of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam). But the unbelievers failed, as Allah Ta’ala states:
“And they (infidels) devised their plot. And Allah also devises his own plan. And surely Allah is the best of planners.” [Surah 3, Verse 54]
This verse reveals the plot of the infidels to kill Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam). In Tafseer Noorul Irfaan it is stated that this verse means that Allah Ta’ala made one of the murderers look like Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) whom they then crucified, thinking that it was Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) that they crucified.
Allah Ta’ala further states in the Glorious Qur’an:
“Remember when Allah said, “O Isa I shall let you reach full age and raise you towards Myself and I shall purify you from the infidels and I shall make your followers superior to those who reject until the Day of Resurrection.”” [Surah 3, Verse 55]
From this verse the physical departure of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) to heaven is proven; he is physically alive there and just before Qiyaamah he will return to the earth and propagate the religion of Islam, then he will enter into marriage, die a physical death and will be buried in the Roza-e-Mubarak of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and he will live for forty years after coming to earth. The words “I shall purify you from the infidels” in the above verse mean that Allah Ta’ala will protect Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) from the crowd of disbelievers so that they will not be able to crucify him. [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
Furthermore, Allah Ta’ala mentions in the above verse, “I shall make your followers superior to those who reject until the Day of Resurrection”, i.e. a group of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam)’s true followers will dominate the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection. Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) did not have many followers during his tenure on earth and with his ascension the religion that he had brought degenerated rapidly. Over the next two centuries, those who believed in Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) were oppressed because they had no political power. Therefore, we cannot say that the early Christians dominated the unbelievers in the sense indicated by the verse given above. At present, Christianity is so far removed from its original state that it no longer resembles the religion taught by Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam). Therefore the above words show a clear message: There has to be a group of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam)’s followers who will exist until the Last Day. Such a group will emerge after his second coming, and those who follow him at that time will dominate the unbelievers until the Last Day.
In another Verse Allah Ta’ala says:
“And for their saying: “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Mariam, Messenger of Allah.” Whereas they slew him not and neither crucified him, but another was made to resemble him for them. And indeed those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have not the least knowledge about it, but are merely following conjecture. And undoubtedly, they slew him not. But Allah raised him towards Himself and Allah is Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [Surah 4, Verses 157-158]
Christians today believe that Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) was crucified on the cross but the Holy Qur’an clearly disproves this. The reality revealed in the above verses is clear. The Romans, abetted by some Jews’ agitation, attempted to kill Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) but did not succeed. The expression “but another was made to resemble him for them” reveals this fact. Allah Ta’ala showed them a look-alike and raised Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) up to the heavens. Our Rabb also reveals that those who made that claim had no knowledge of the truth.
In yet another verse Allah Ta’ala states:
“And certainly, he (Isa) is a sign of the Hour. So do not have doubts about it and follow Me. This is the straight path. And let not Shaitaan misdirect you. Undoubtedly, he is your open enemy. [Surah 43, Verses 61-62]
Firstly, these verses tell us that the descent of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) on the earth prior to Qiyaamah is a certainty, because it is one of the signs of Qiyaamah. We also learn that Shaitaan is our open enemy and will try to prevent us from having the correct beliefs regarding the second coming of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam). [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
Secondly, the above verse can only refer to the second coming of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) close to Qiyaamah, because he lived six centuries before the revelation of the Holy Qur’an and we cannot consider his first life on earth as a sign of the Day of Judgment. The verse therefore refers to his second coming on earth before the Day of Judgment and in that context his return is a sign of the Hour’s imminent arrival.
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has revealed many important matters in the Hadith about Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam)’s return, as well as the things that will happen before and after this event. Numerous Ahadith have been recorded, a few of which are mentioned below:
“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, the son of Mariam (Hazrat Isa Alaihis Salaam) will certainly invoke the name of Allah for Hajj or for Umrah, or for both, in the valley of Rawha. [Sahih Muslim]
“It [the Day of Judgment] will not come until you see ten signs.” …In this connection the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned the smoke, Dajjaal, the rising of the Sun from the west, the descent of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam)… [Sahih Muslim]
“By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Mariam (Hazrat Isa Alaihis Salaam) will shortly descend amongst you people as a just ruler. [Sahih Bukhari]
“How will you be when the son of Mariam descends amongst you and he will judge people by the Law of the Qur’an?” [Sahih Bukhari]
“Doomsday will not take place until Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) comes as a fair ruler and a just Imam.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) is the greatest collector of Ahadith on the second coming of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam). He states, “The emergence of the Dajjaal and of Yajuj and Majuj is a reality; the rising of the sun in the West is a reality; the descent of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) from the heavens is a reality; and all the other signs of the Day of Resurrection, as contained in authentic Ahadith are also established realities.” [Al-Fiqh al-Akbar]
Many Islamic scholars have also dealt with this subject in great detail. When all the scholarly views are considered together, it becomes apparent that there is a consensus that Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) will return to earth.
The great Islamic scholar Hazrat Sayyid Mahmood Alusi (Rahmatullah Alaih) gives examples from the views of other Islamic scholars and explains that the Islamic community has reached a consensus regarding the second coming of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam), and that it is essential to believe in the return of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) to earth. [Tafseer Roohul Ma’ani]
Another Hadith used by Islamic scholars is one which was narrated by Hazrat Jabir Ibn Abdullah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) which says, “Anyone who denies Imam Mahdi’s coming has denied what was revealed to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Anyone who rejects the second coming of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) has become a disbeliever.
There is reference to this hadith in very important Islamic resources such as Arful Wardi fi Akhbar Mahdi by Hazrat Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti (Rahmatullah Alaih), as well as other authentic literature such as Faslal Khitaab and Maani al Akhbar.
Imam Rabbani (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that in another Hadith, our Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The Companions of the Cave will be the helpmates of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam). He will descend to earth at the time of Imam Mahdi, who will join with Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) to destroy Dajjaal (Antichrist). During the time of his rule, the Sun will be eclipsed on the fourteenth day of Ramadaan, and during the first part of that day, the Moon will grow dark. These occurrences will be contrary to custom and the astrologers’ calculations.” [Maktubaat, Vol. 2]
Everyone with the smallest speck of faith and fairness has to believe that Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam) will return to earth before the Day of Qiyaamah. Only those who oppose Allah Ta’ala’s Divine Book and His Beloved Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will deny his second coming.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Hidayat to believe in the truth and the Taufeeq to spread the truth to those that are not aware of the reality of Hazrat Isa (Alaihis Salaam), Ameen.