Dr. Zakir Naik very rightly observed that Muslims are the only nation on this earth that honour Prophet Isa (as) as he should be honoured. The mention of Isa’s (as) or Jesus’ life has been scripted in such an enthralling manner in the Quran that if words could paint a picture, they would have presented a beautiful portrait of this remarkable personality.
Allah (swt) has bestowed upon Isa (as) the title of Wajeehan (the one held in honour in this world and the Hereafter). A certain number of misguided Jews and Zionists have dishonoured Isa (as) and his mother Maryam (as) with all sorts of fabricated and despicable allegations. But, Alhumdulillah, we hold Isa (as) in the highest esteem that befits a true prophet and a righteous slave of Allah (swt).
The birth of Isa (as) was a miracle by Allah (swt) to test the Iman (faith) of many. This also proved to be a treacherous trap set by Satan through which he succeeded in misguiding millions of people. The Jews adopted one extreme by maligning and rejecting Prophet Isa (as). The Christians, on the other hand, accepted the other extreme by revering him to such a level that they declared Isa (as) to be the son of Allah (swt).
Torah was the Book sent to Musa (as) and Injeel was revealed to Isa (as). Isa (as) memorized both books to invite the children of Israel to the way of Allah (swt). Most of them remained misguided and adamant in disbelief. However some pledged their aid and loyalty to him. They were called Hawariyyun (‘Hawari’ means ‘support’ in Arabic).
For years, the children of Israel had awaited the arrival of their Messiah, who would ultimately raise them to the supreme position of the most honourable nation. Through his leadership, they aspired to control the world and its riches. However, when they realized that Isa’s (as) agenda was not in line with theirs, and he was a humble slave of Allah (swt) on a mission to propagate the truth, they rejected him. They also maligned his legitimate birth. The Quran exposes their nefarious crimes: “And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (as) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse).” (An-Nisa 4:156)
Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer explains that the children of Israel conspired against Prophet Isa (as) and complained about him to the king, who was a disbeliever. They claimed that Prophet Isa (as) was misguiding people, discouraging them from obeying the king, and causing disunity among people. The king became furious and sent his men to capture Prophet Isa (as) to torture and crucify him.
When they surrounded Prophet Isa’s (as) home, Allah (swt) raised him up to the Heaven. He put the image of Isa (as) on another man who was present in the house, while it was still dark. They captured him believing him to be Isa (as); they tortured and crucified him. Allah (swt) deceived them and hardened their hearts as a curse.
His Return (the Second Coming)
“And he (Isa, son of Maryam) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour (Day of Resurrection) [i.e. Isa’s descent on the earth]. Therefore have no doubt concerning it (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)…” (Az-Zukhruf 43:61)
In a Hadeeth it is mentioned: “While the Imam is going forward to them [the Muslim soldiers] in Fajr Salah, Isa (as), son of Maryam (as), will descend. The Imam will step back to let Isa (as) lead people in Salah, but Isa will place his hands between the man’s shoulders and say: ‘Go forward and lead the Salah for the call to commence that Salah (Iqamah) was made for you,’ and so the Imam will lead the people in Salah.” (Ibn Majah)
On another occasion, the Prophet (sa) indicated: “Ten signs will appear before the Day of Judgement of which Isa’s second coming is the main one.” (Muslim)
His Mission to Kill Dajjal after His Second Coming
Dajjal will ultimately be killed by Isa (as) at a place called Ludd, which is a few miles from Tel Aviv. Some of us may have heard of the Ludd International Airport. This has been mentioned in the following Hadeeth: “It will be at this very time that Allah will send Christ, son of Mary. He will descend at the white minaret on the eastern side of Damascus, wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When he lowers his head, there will fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he raises it up, beads like pearls will scatter from it. Every non-believer, who smells the odour of his body, will die, and his breath will reach as far as he is able to see. He will then search for him (Dajjal), until he catches hold of him at the gate of Ludd and kills him.” (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah (rta) has related: “The last hour will not start, until the Romans occupy Al-Amaq or Dabiq (two cities close to Aleppo in Syria). An army, comprised of the best of the people of the earth then, will come from Al-Madinah and challenge them. When they camp face to face, the Romans will say: ‘Let us fight those, who captured some of us.’ The Muslims will say: ‘Nay! By Allah, we will never let you get to our brothers.’ They will fight them. A third of the Muslim army will flee in defeat, and those are the ones Allah will never forgive. Another third will be killed, and those are the best martyrs before Allah. The last third will be victorious, and this third will never be stricken with Fitnah. And they will capture Constantinople (Istanbul). While they are dividing war booty after hanging their swords on olive trees, Shaitan will shout among them saying: ‘Al-Masih Dajjal has cornered your people.’ They will leave to meet Ad-Dajjal in Sham. This will be a false warning. And when they reach Sham, Ad-Dajjal will then appear. When the Muslims are arranging for battle and the prayer is called for, Isa, son of Maryam, will descend and lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allah (the false Messiah) sees him, he will dissolve just as salt dissolves in water, and if any of him were left, he would continue dissolving, until he died. Allah will kill him with the hand of Isa and will show the Muslims his blood on his spear.” (Muslim)
His Life after His Second Coming
“…During his (Isa’s) time, Allah will destroy all religions except Islam and Allah will destroy Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the false Messiah). Safety will then fill the earth, so much so that the lions will mingle with camels, tigers with cattle and wolves with sheep. Children will play with snakes, and they will not harm them…” (Abu Dawood)
Abu Hurairah (rta) stated a Hadeeth: “Isa will say Ihlal (loud calling to say Talbiya) from the mountain of Ar-Rawha for Hajj, Umrah or both.” (Ahmad)
Abu Hurairah (rta) has narrated that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “By Him (Allah) in Whose Hands my soul is, surely the son of Maryam, Isa will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) and will judge mankind justly by the Law of the Quran (as a just ruler) and will break the cross and kill the pigs and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are under the protection of the Muslim government. This Jizya tax will not be accepted by Isa. Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts.” (Bukhari)
In another narration, Abu Hurairah (rta) stated that Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “How will you be, when the son of Maryam (Isa) descends amongst you, and he will judge people by the law of the Quran and not by the law of the Injeel (Gospel)?” (Bukhari)
Allah’s Messenger (sa) stated: “There will be no prophet between me and the coming of Isa… He (Isa) is surely coming and will stay on earth for forty years, after which he dies and Muslims will perform burial Salah on him.” (Abu Dawood)
The evidences from the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Isa’s second coming are very powerful, and Muslims are obliged to believe in them. His role is of great significance in times to come, as he will be the final piece to the puzzle leading to the Hour, Insha’Allah.