بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
نحمده ونصلى على رسوله الكريم
نحمده ونصلى على رسوله الكريم
Jawaid Ahmad Ghamidi is a contemporary Islamic scholar who is the founder of al-Mawrid Institute. He is a controversial figure for going against many of the accepted principles and beliefs of Ahlus Sunnati wal-Jama’ah. However, one of the correct beliefs of Mr. Ghamidi, in which he differs from the Muslim mainstream, is that the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is dead, not alive. Mistakenly, the Muslim mainstream believe that Jesus never died, rather, Allah physically lifted him up in his body toward the Heavens, where he remains till this day. Ghamidi, who emphasizes the study of the Holy Qur’an, rejects the mainstream Muslim doctrine that Jesus is alive and correctly affirms that Jesus died. For his correct belief, Ghamidi raised a storm of controversy and became the object of scorn of the so-called “orthodox” ‘Ulama.
However, many people are unaware that while Ghamidi affirms that Jesus died, he simultaneously believes that Allah physically raised up his lifeless body to the heavens. Ghamidi says:
“The words rafi'uka ilayya also are very clear: They mean that his body was lifted to the heavens. In other words, after he died, his dead body was raised to the heavens. This was perhaps to safeguard it from the hands of his opponents who could have mutilated it.”
At the outset, let me point out some apparent flaws in Ghamidi’s novel and bizarre doctrine. Firstly, there is no mention of “heavens” in these Verses, rather Allah Most High is saying to Jesus: “I shall raise you up to Myself” (3:55) and “Rather, Allah raised him up to Himself” (4:198) Secondly, Ghamidi claims that the rationale for Allah raising up Jesus’s lifeless body to the heavens was to protect it from his opponents who could have mutilated it. This is a strange argument considering the fact that the Jews murdered many Prophets, as the Holy Qur’an affirms (2:61, 87), yet there is no mention of Allah Most High raising up the bodies of those murdered Prophets in order to safeguard them from mutilation.
Now let us examine the merits (or rather lack thereof) of Ghamidi’s argument that Jesus’s lifeless body was raised up to the heavens.
The word رفع does indeed mean “to raise” or “ascend”, but the context of its usage will determine whether it is signifying an ascension of the body or an ascension of the soul only. For example, Allah Most High says regarding the true Prophet Idris:
وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا
And We raised him to a high station
As the commentators have explained, this refers to the fact that Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) was raised to al-Jannah (Paradise). Obviously, the Prophet Idris was raised to the heavens or to Paradise, but with his soul not body. Those who believe that Prophet Idris is alive in heaven like Jesus must answer whether or not Idris too will return to this world like Jesus and descend from the sky. Since this belief is held with particular relation to Jesus, it must be admitted that Prophet Idris was not raised to the heavens in his body, but in soul only. The reader should keep in mind that the meaning of death is complete separation of soul and body. Some commentators explain that an Angel carried Prophet Idris in his body into the heavens, where the Angel of Death came and caused him to die there. However, this story must be rejected as it clearly contradicts the verdict of the Holy Qur’an that human beings are meant to live and die on the surface of the Earth, from where they shall be taken out and resurrected from their graves (7:25).
The Holy Qur’an and Sunnah plainly teach us that physical human bodies do not ascend into the Heavens. Rather, the Angels are sent by Allah to take out the soul of human beings and carry them up towards Allah, as mentioned in Surah 70:4 for example. Furthermore, let the reader consider the following Hadith which explains the reality of the raising of the soul (not body) to the Heavens:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ : " الْمَيِّتُ تَحْضُرُهُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ صَالِحًا قَالُوا : اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ اخْرُجِي حَمِيدَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ ثُمَّ يُعْرَجُ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيُفْتَحُ لَهَا فَيُقَالُ : مَنْ هَذَا فَيَقُولُونَ : فُلاَنٌ . فَيُقَالُ : مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الطَّيِّبَةِ، كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ ادْخُلِي حَمِيدَةً، وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ . فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الَّتِي فِيهَا اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ السُّوءُ قَالَ اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْخَبِيثَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الْخَبِيثِ اخْرُجِي ذَمِيمَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِحَمِيمٍ وَغَسَّاقٍ . وَآخَرَ مِنْ شَكْلِهِ أَزْوَاجٌ . فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ ثُمَّ يُعْرَجُ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَلاَ يُفْتَحُ لَهَا فَيُقَالُ : مَنْ هَذَا فَيُقَالُ : فُلاَنٌ . فَيُقَالُ : لاَ مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الْخَبِيثَةِ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الْخَبِيثِ ارْجِعِي ذَمِيمَةً فَإِنَّهَا لاَ تُفْتَحُ لَكِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ فَيُرْسَلُ بِهَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ تَصِيرُ إِلَى الْقَبْرِ
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Angels come to the dying person, and if the man was righteous, they say: ‘Come out, O good soul that was in a good body, come out praiseworthy and receive glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven, and it is opened for it, and it is asked: ‘Who is this?’ They say: ‘So-and-so.’ It is said: ‘Welcome to the good soul that was in a good body. Enter praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it is brought to the heaven above which is Allah. But if the man was evil, they say: ‘Come out O evil soul that was in an evil body. Come out blameworthy, and receive the tidings of boiling water and the discharge of dirty wounds,’ and other torments of similar kind, all together. And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven and it is not opened for it. And it is asked: ‘Who is this?’ It is said: ‘So-and-so.’ And it is said: ‘No welcome to the evil soul that was in an evil body. Go back blameworthy, for the gates of heaven will not be opened to you.’ So it is sent back down from heaven, then it goes to the grave.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)