From this answer: https://islam.stackexchange.com/a/79270/54227

  1. ​ "And those on whom they call beside Allah create not anything, but they are themselves created. They are dead, not living; and they know not when they will be raised." (16:20-21)

Since Jesus (as) is worshipped besides Allah, he is included in this verse. He is but a created being, and he is dead, not living. I find this verse especially interesting, as if it were untrue then Christians would be praying to a being besides Allah who is alive and might actually hear their cries and intercede for them. But no, this verse disproves that idea very clearly.

I want to know how do Muslims who believe Jesus (as) is alive can respond to this argument.

1 Answer 1


The phrase أموات غير أحياء (they are dead not living) means the idols which were worshiped by the pagans of Quraysh, since they are non-living objects*. It is not said about 'everything' which is worshiped besides Allah by any religion. This should be evident to anyone who reflects on the matter, because of the following counter-examples:

  • Christians also pray to the Holy Spirit as they consider him to be part of the Trinity. Is the Holy Spirit dead? If the Holy Spirit is dead then who was bringing this revelation to Muhammad ﷺ?

  • Various pagans worshiped the angels (17:40) and jinn (37:158) and the Quran says that in reality they call upon Satan (4:117, 36:60). Are the angels dead? Is satan dead?

  • Various groups through history have practiced worship of living humans, such Pharaoh (28:38) or Nimrod (2:258). Were those humans dead at that time?

The answer to all of the above questions is clearly 'No'. Because it is understood that the verse is implicitly specific not general, and is talking about the idols. And there exists other evidence because of which we know that angels and jinn are alive. Similarly there exists other evidence because of which we know that Jesus is alive.

Hence this verse does not prove the death of Jesus (عليه السلام).

*: Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Tafsir al-Baghawy, Tafsir Ibn Kathir

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