Friday, 7 July 2017

Sermon of al-Hassan (RA) and Spiritual Ascension of Jesus

Was Jesus of Nazareth (peace be upon him) raised up to the Heavens in his earthen body or Jasad? A close reading of the Quran al-Karim will persuade the unbiased to summarily dismiss such a notion. Allah Most High says that none of the Prophets were given a Jasad which could be sustained without eating food (Sura 21:8). And He says that both Jesus and his virtuous mother Mary used to eat food (Sura 5:75). Therefore, when the Quran al-Karim speaks of the ascension of Jesus of Nazareth to Allah, it must be understood as a spiritual ascension and not bodily.
 
When the Prophet’s fourth successor and honorable relative, Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi TalibRA was martyred, his son, sayyidina al-HassanRA, who was also the beloved grandson of the Prophet delivered a sermon to the people, in which he stated:
 
ولقد قبض في الليلة التي عرج فيها بروح عيسى بن مريم ليلة سبع وعشرين من رمضان
 
“And he (Ali) was taken in the Night in which the Ruh (spirit) of Jesus ascended, the twenty-seventh of Ramadan.”
 
Reference: Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, v.3 p.37; Majma al-Zawa’id, v.9 p.146
 
 

 
Some individuals, who insist on defending their blind belief in the bodily ascension of Jesus Christ to the Heavens, claim this narration is weak. Waqar Akbar Cheema, a debater who runs the Let Me Turn the Tables site, wrote an article posted on February 3, 2011 in which he said: “This narration has quite a number of problems: In its chain is the narrator Al-Ajlah bin ‘Abdullah who has been criticized by the scholars.”
 
But Cheema’s polemical article did not fully research the issue of the status of the narrator Ajlah b. Abd Allah b. Hujayya al-Kindi. I refer the reader to a more detailed analysis of the scholarly criticism regarding Ajlah. The conclusion is that Ajlah is acceptable, and so this narration is sound and a proof that the Prophet’s own grandson, sayyidina al-HassanRA believed that Jesus ascended with his Spirit not in his earthen body.

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