The following narration has been widely circulated by the Ahmadiyyah sect.

The following narration has been taken from Tafsir Tabari:-

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And the following narration has been taken from Ibn Hajr's works:-

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I have read somewhere that one of the narrators in this chain is "Ali Ibn Abi Talha" and he is weak, according to Kitab Al-Irshad, page 393-395. Who is "Ali" in this narration? Is it Ali Ibn Abi Talha and is he weak in this narration or is he someone else? I am not sure about this.

I want to know the authenticity of these narrations. Can someone please verify if these narrations are Sahih (authentic)?

1 Answer 1


The given quote is a narration in the tafsir of the verse:

إذ قال الله يا عيسى إني متوفيك

Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you..."

Quran 3:55

That Ibn Abbas explained إني متوفيك as إني مميتك i.e "I will give you death...". This has been recorded by Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim, and you may find it mentioned in nearly all books of Tafsir.

The chain of this report is as follows:

ثنا أبو صالح، حدثني معاوية بن صالح، عن علي بن أبي طلحة، عن ابن عباس

Abu Saleh (Abdullah bin Saleh) narrated from Mu‘aawiyah bin Saleh who narrated from Ali bin Abi Talha who narrated from Ibn Abbas

There are at least two issues with the chain:

  • Abu Saleh / Abdullah bin Saleh had poor memory and made many mistakes.

  • Ali bin Abi Talha did not ever meet Ibn Abbas, so the chain is severed.

وإسناده ضعيف، أبو صالح- وهو عبد الله بن صالح- سيىء الحفظ، وعلي بن أبي طلحة لم يدرك ابن عباس


قلت: وهذا سند ضعيف لانقطاعه بين على بن أبى طلحة وابن عباس وعبد الله بن صالح , وهو كاتب الليث فيه ضعيف


Still a group of scholars have accepted tafsirs through this route. Among them is Bukhari who has quoted them in his chapter on Tafsir as mu’aallaq reports i.e. without citing the chain of transmitters. When Bukhari does that the chain may not qualify his conditions.

Note however that even if we accept this report to be authentic, it does not lend credence to the belief of the Ahmadiyyah that Jesus is dead and will not have a second coming. Rather it can imply either one of the following:

  • Ibn Abbas held the same view as the people of the book that Jesus had died temporarily and was then resurrected. This is compatible with him being alive now and returning in the end of times. Such has been narrated from Ibn Ishaq and Wahab ibn Munabih, with whose narration Tabari has grouped it.

  • Ibn Abbas held the view that Jesus would die, i.e. in the end of times. This is essentially the same view as many other exegetes. Again it is compatible with Jesus being alive and returning in the end of times.

That is because there are stronger narrations from Ibn Abbas which prove the life and second coming of Jesus, for example:

حدثنا أحمد بن سنان، ثنا عبد الرحمن يعني ابن مهدي، عن سفيان عن ابن حصين، عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس قوله: وإن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته قال: قبل موت عيسى عليه السلام

Ibn Abbas said regarding the verse:

And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in him before his death.

Quran 4:159

Before the death of Jesus

Ibn Abi Hatim, Tabari - [classed as Sahih by Ibn Hajar ( جزم بن عباس فيما رواه بن جرير من طريق سعيد بن جبير عنه بإسناد صحيح), all the transmitters are Thiqa and AFAIK narrators of Bukhari and Muslim]

حدثنا هاشم بن القاسم، حدثنا شيبان، عن عاصم، عن أبي رزين، عن أبي يحيى، مولى ابن عقيل الأنصاري، قال: قال ابن عباس: ... {وإنه لعلم للساعة} [الزخرف: 61] ، قال: هو خروج عيسى ابن مريم عليه السلام قبل يوم القيامة

Ibn Abbas said regarding the verse:

And indeed, he will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour,

Quran 43:61

It is the descent of Jesus son of Mary before the Day of Judgement

Sahih ibn Hibban, Musnad Ahmad, [classed as Hasan by al-Arnaa’oot and al-Albani. All narrators are the narrators of Bukhari and\or Muslim except 'Asim although Bukhari and Muslim have narrated from him when coupled with others]

  • Thank you, dear. You have clarified this brilliantly.
    – Ren
    Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 11:48
  • @UmH- Is it true that some scholars have accepted it? islamweb.org/en/printfatwa.php?id=281764
    – Ren
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 18:06
  • 1
    @Ren Read my answer following the third block quote.
    – UmH
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 4:39
  • "Ibn Abbas held the same view as the people of the book that Jesus had died temporarily and was then resurrected.... Such has been narrated from Ibn Ishaq and Wahab ibn Munabih, with whose narration Tabari has grouped it." ----- Dear UmH, I never knew that Ibn Abbas believed in the resurrection of Christ. Can you please quote those narrations? I will really appreciate that. Please. Thanks.
    – Ren
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 19:59
  • 1
    Imam Tabari in his Tafsir has recorded the various interpretations of متوفيك. One of those is that it means death. Under this category Tabari records three narrations. The first is the one of Ibn Abbas that you have asked this whole question about. The second is of Ibn Ishaq narrating from Wahb ibn Munabbih that Jesus was dead for some time and then resurrected, and the third is of Ibn Ishaq saying that the Christians claim that he was dead for a certain period and then returned to life. ibb.co/djvGWxC
    – UmH
    Commented Jul 31, 2021 at 12:12

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