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This is one of the proofs Ahmadis use to show Jesus (as) is dead, taken from: How do Ahmadis justify their belief that Jesus (as) is dead?

"The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely, Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. See how We explain the Signs for their good, and see how they are turned away." (5:75).

In this verse Allah is refuting Jesus's (as) divinity by saying that Messengers like him passed away. But what's the point of mentioning this if Jesus (as) is the only exception to this rule and he is still alive?

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All Messengers?

The verse does not necessarily say that all the Messengers passed. News about a genus does not necessarily apply to all individual members of it. As an example consider the verse:

الذين قال لهم الناس إن الناس قد جمعوا لكم فاخشوهم

Those to whom the people said, "Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them."

Quran 3:173

Now it is understood that not all of people (every single human in existence) said this. Rather only one man ( Nuaym ibn Masud) or at most a few people from the hypocrites said it. Hence An-Naas does not necessarily apply to every individual Insaan. Similarly what is said about Ar-Rusul does not necessarily apply to every individual Rasool.

Also keep in mind that Muhammad ﷺ was alive at the time of the revelation of this verse. And Muhammad ﷺ is a Messenger. Hence it is understood that this verse does not necessarily mean all the Messengers.

Passed Away?

Secondly the verse does not say that the Messengers passed away i.e. died. Rather it means passed or gone - meaning existed before. It is possible that some Messengers did not die but rather passed on by being lifted up alive like Jesus, and according to Israelite reports also Enoch and Elijah. As evidence of this see the verse:

سنة الله التي قد خلت من قبل

[This is] the established way of Allah which has occurred before.

Quran 48:23

It is understood that Allah's Sunnah has not died.

Point of the verse

The point of this verse is not to say that Jesus is not divine because he is dead. Rather it is an answer to those who claimed divinity for Jesus because of his miracles.

ما المسيح وإن ظهرت الآيات على يديه فإنما جاء بها كما جاءت بها الرسل ; فإن كان إلها فليكن كل رسول إلها ; فهذا رد لقولهم واحتجاج عليهم

Although miracles occurred at the hand of Jesus miracles also occurred at the hand of previous Prophets. So if Jesus is divine then they (previous Prophets) should also be divine. This was a response to their saying.

Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Being alive in heavens was not the Christian argument for Jesus's divinity. Because they also have similar beliefs about some other Prophets like Elijah and Enoch whom they do not consider to be divine.

Conclusion:

In conclusion this verse is not evidence for the death of Jesus. And we have other evidence that Jesus is alive in heavens and will return at the end of times.

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  • Are there Islamic sources that show that other prophets besides Jesus (as) are still alive? Apr 5, 2023 at 16:17
  • Is there any meaning of Khalat that indicates that someone who has Khalat "passed on" can still return to this world? 2:135, 3:147, 3:144, 7:38, 13:6, 13:30, etc. If not than how can it be said that Jesus (as) is Khalat. Apr 5, 2023 at 16:22
  • About Enoch there is 19:57 in whose exegesis which some of the salaf have narrated similar to the Israelite reports. There is also the case of Khidr regarding whom there is disagreement on whether he is a prophet and on whether he is alive or on when he died.
    – UmH
    Apr 5, 2023 at 16:22
  • In Ruh ul Maani under 18:65 Al Aalusi puts forward the hadith: "None amongst the created beings who had been living by that time (during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle).... 'Abd al-Rahman has interpreted these words of Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) as: The ages (of the people) would be diminished." to show that Ilyas (Enoch?) and Khidr passed away. Can the same Hadith then not be used for Jesus's (as) dead? Apr 5, 2023 at 18:41
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Salam,

Not all verses of Qur'an are to be understood literally but interpreted with compliance with other verses too; otherwise one may get trapped in what is called superficial contradictions.

has revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺ the Book, of which some verses are precise—they are the foundation of the Book—while others are elusive. Those with deviant hearts follow the elusive verses seeking ˹to spread˺ doubt through their ˹false˺ interpretations [Al-Imraan 3:7]

Now , you say that :

what's the point of mentioning this if Jesus (as) is the only exception to this rule...

You seem to imply that all prophets should be identical, which is not true :

And these Messengers (who have been designated to guide people), We have exalted some of them above the others. Among them are such as were spoken to by Allah Himself, and some He exalted in other respects. [ Al-Baqarah 2:253]

Moreover, prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) is above all the Prophets.

As for Isa (p.b.u.h.), Qur'an explicitly says that:

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. [An-Nisā':157]

Combined with this answer, it is sufficient to conclude that no verses refers to death of Jesus, either implicitly or explicitly.

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  • All prophets before Isa (as) are identical in the sense that they passed away. If God just meant to show that Jesus is like other prophets then he would not have mentioned that other prophets passed away but would have omitted this and simply said he's like the messengers before him. This mention of passing away is laghw (useless) if it does not apply to Jesus (as) and the Quran saying laghw is against the beauty of the Quran Apr 6, 2023 at 16:43
  • Not all prophets are equal. Some are granted more than others. But what is the precedent for Jesus to be granted 2000+ years of physical life, the majority of which he is enjoying in heaven? What greatness did he do to deserve this? If anyone deserves this it is the Holy Prophet (sa). Not the humble Messiah for the Bani Israil. Apr 6, 2023 at 16:46
  • @MunassarAlam Are you sure you read the verse mentioned in last ? Apr 6, 2023 at 18:58
  • Yes. The Quran rejects the idea that the Jews killed Jesus (as). There is not a rejection that he didn't die of natural causes like everyone else does. It is just that he wasn't murdered. Where is it said that Jesus (as) didn't die of natural causes? Apr 6, 2023 at 19:53
  • @MunassarAlam Did Isa lived naturally after that incident ? Apr 6, 2023 at 19:55

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