Here is Surat Al `Imran 3/55:

[Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ. source

In Turkish translation, the bold part is translated as "I will cause your death" or "I will kill you". What is really write in this verse? Does this verse say Jesus(puh) dead somehow, or not dead?

Please, give answers supported by Quran, word meaning (from Arabic), maybe historical background. A mixture would be great! Please don't give answers supported by hadith, I already know enough hadith which says or implies Jesus(puh) is not dead. Thanks.

EDIT: I am well aware that Quran says clearly Jesus(puh) didn't being killed by Jews or Romans. I am wondering that if Jesus(puh) is dead someway else, or raised up alive.

Also can anyone give some example sentences with their English translation about different meanings of the word Mutawfeka which seems to be the Arabic word translated as "take"?

  • various scholars have different opinions.. Interpreting Qur'an 3:55 Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 23:50
  • @Wiser If you know Arabic, can you give some example sentences with their English translation about different meanings of the word Mutawfeka?
    – kalahari
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 1:21
  • no, but all i've found is this page. This might help u Tafseer on 3:55 Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 21:15
  • Who is the Second Messiah at the last paragraph in that tafseer? If I understand true, the writer of this tafseer tells us that Jesus(puh) is dead now and will come again in the future. And his adjective will be Ahmad. But I was thinking Ahmad is one of the names of Mohammad(puh). Both names are from the same root (mhmd) for certain.
    – kalahari
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 23:02
  • yes yes yes, that is where muslims use to prove that Jesus prophesied about our nabi(pbuh)... Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 19:59

4 Answers 4


Mutawafik متوفيك has many Arabic meanings

  1. It means receive you after death, that's why in Arabic when you say someone is dead you say he is Mutawafi متوفي, from the verb Tawafa توفَّي

  2. It also means receive completely, that's why in Arabic when someone receives a payback for a debt it is said توفي الدّين 'Tawfa AlDayn', Tawafa means receives completely, and AlDayn means the debt.

  3. Also the verb Tawafa was used at the time of prophet PBUH as to sleep, so when you say he is mutawafy kaleelan متوفي قليلاً , mutawafy means sleeping, and kaleelan means for a short period. But this verb is not used at all in modern Arabic with this third meaning, only in classic Arabic it has this meaning, and when checking Quran words meaning we have to return to classic Arabic.

That's why in classic Islamic interpretations, there is a huge debate whether Jesus was dead and Allah received him after his death, or he has a trip to heaven alive.

BTW, I am a native Arabic speaker, and I teach Arabic (modern and classic)

  • if we consider Jesus has died then what you'll do about these: 43:61 (وَإِنَّهُۥ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ فَلَا تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا وَٱتَّبِعُونِ ۚ هَٰذَا صِرَٰطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ) and these hadiths: “There is no prophet between me and him (Jesus), and he shall descend. He… will stay in the world for forty years; then he will die and the Muslims will offer the funeral Prayer for him.” (Abu Dawood, Ahmed)"
    – user606669
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 15:59
  • Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425: Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts.
    – user606669
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 15:59

About the Verse in Surat al-I'mran (3:55) ibn Kathir (see also in qtafsir) quotes in his tafsir a lot of different interpretations among them:

  • that the taking life and raising are just revealed in reverse order (by Qatada)
  • it is life taking (by Ali ibn abi Talha from ibn A'bass may Allah be pleased with them)
  • a life taking (death) for a couple of hours/days quoting the number of each (by ibn Ishaq from different narrators)
  • Most interpretators said that the life taking or death means: sleep as Allah says in Surat al-Ana'am (6:60)

And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein that a specified term may be fulfilled. Then to Him will be your return; then He will inform you about what you used to do.

and in Surat az-Zumar (39:42)

Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.

And the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to thank Allah for giving him life after taking it (known dua'), when he woke up!

And they quoted also as an evidence the following Verses:

And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.(157) Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.(158)

[Surat an-Nissa' (4:157-158)]

And ibn Kathir added a Hadith (marfu') to al Hassan al-Basry that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told the Jews: "I'ssa didn't die, and he will return to you before yawm al-Qiyama"

Imam at-Tabari added an other interpretation that Allah used is grabbing/holding = قابِض which means Allah is raising (alive) him from Earth and holding him close to his closeness and raising him from the Mushrikyn and Kufar. And he added a lot of narrations on the authority a sahabi like ibn az-Zubair and Ka'b al-Ahbar or some Tabi'yn like al-Hassan al-Basri.

Ibn 'Ashur in his tafsir however says the clear meaning of متوفيك is the apparent meaning taking his life (leaving him die or determined a time of death for him) while Arabs use it figuratively when speaking about sleep. 'Isa being (really) dead is the view held by ibn 'Abbas, and Wahb ibn Munabbih and also imam Malik who said he died at the age of 31, ibn Rushd (the grandfather) in his al-Bayan wa-Tahssil البيان والتحصيل said: he died at the age of 33 a real death not a figurative one.
He also said that pretending that "taking life" here refers to lifting it from this world is a creation of a new meaning in the Arabic language without any evidence. He also quoted the other interpretations saying that many of these interpretations are based on sahih ahadith saying that 'Isa will come back before Judgement day, but it is possible that Allah will give him a new life or return his life to him, some of these interpretations gave a duration for his death and his resurrection (like 3 hours then he lifted him to HIM in the heavens to give resurrect him -also an interpretation of Wahb ibn Munabbih- or 7 hours etc.) while ibn 'Abbas and Malik refused to give a duration nor explain how this resurrection or how to reconcile with their interpretation of death and the ahadith prophesizing his come back. He also pointed and commented the hadith which was compiled in sahih Muslim saying this may mean that 'Isa will not die again and will be lifted directly to al-Akhirah and ahaidth quoting the differences between the life of souls like in here sahih Muslim.


Chapter 3 Verse 55 [Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.

It is straight forward in english i can not speak or understand any other language and i come from a christian up bringing. So if you read it in Turkish and it says "I will cause your death" you should logically think that if you go up to the heavans in any form of transport you will loose your breath which will cause you to die, so to me its obvious that Jesus (PBUH) must of had some change in creation for him to still be in heavan to this day.

  • Thanks for answer. But I was looking for a guy who knows Arabic to translate exact word in that particular point. I am not looking for a logical explanation of how it can be. If I assume Jesus(puh) is not dead, then it could happen with some way we don't know. Allah is surely capable of that. I am looking for what is written here.
    – kalahari
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 20:15

Jesus is dead, the term "take" in this context means to take the breath of one, killing them and raise their soul up. Jesus wasn't crucified, that's true, he was resurrected and then killed in God's willing and raised to Heaven. He won't return back, that's Muslim myths stemming from Christian myths, mostly due to the Turks and all that were Christians before Islam and incorporated their beliefs into the religion.

  • How do we know that he was resurrected? Also if he was resurrected, then did he was raised alive or did he died a 2nd time?
    – kalahari
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 19:44
  • What I meant is that when Jesus was nailed to the cross, he survived and then fled away and lived the last days of his life before he died, when he died, he won't return, he didn't die a 2nd time, he went to Paradise for his duty. Jesus was the King of the Jews, he was not a Messiah for the whole world, don't think he is. Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 0:30
  • According to this verse Surat An-Nisā' 4/157, he wasn't crucified. As far as I understand, he was tried to be crucified. But they couldn't do it. So, they couldn't kill him. The problem starts after that. Did he lived his last days in somehow and then died, or was he taken away around that time of crucifixion? Is it obvious according to Quran or not? Or are we the ones today who can't understand what was clear once?
    – kalahari
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 7:57
  • It says he didn't die on the cross, but not that he never was nailed to it. When he survived the crucifixion, his story pretty much ends there, we don't have enough or any more records about him, in the Gospels, he reportedly said goodbye to his disciples before being raised to the Heavens, But in Quranic context, we should understand it as "died, then his soul came to us." Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 17:33
  • I am good with the alive raising. But the 4/157 is very clear that they didn't crucified Jesus(puh). The verse doesn't say that he didn't die on cross, rather it says Jews didn't kill him, they couldn't even crucify him. By the way, which Turks you mentioned about Christian myths? Are there specific names?
    – kalahari
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 17:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .