Questioner: Some scholars say that Jesus’ descent عليه السلام or that the hadith of the Anti-Christ [Al-Maseeh ad-Dajjaal] is weak and that it has no basis because Jesus عليه السلام… i.e., after a human passes away or was living on earth, he will not return again until the Day of Resurrection, he will not return to earth again, and the aayah they used as a proof is, “[Mention] when Allaah said, “O Jesus! Indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself …” Aali-Imraan 3:55 to the end of the aayah, so it means that his death has taken place, so how will he be able to descend after his death?
Al-Albaani: The answer, quite frankly, is that those who make such statements … and the onus is on the narrator, i.e., you are the narrator so the onus is on you, you are the one who is transmitting [what they said, i.e., the onus is on you to have asked the question correctly and thus the answer I give will be based upon what you asked].
So the quotes that you just transmitted are from people who are not scholars, why [are they not scholars]? Because where does a scholar take his knowledge from? “Allaah said … Allaah’s Messenger said …” okay, after, “Allaah said … Allaah’s Messenger said …” we have nothing except what the Salaf as-Saalih said.
How do we understand what Allaah said in His Book and what His Prophet said in his hadith? [We do so] according to what the Salaf as-Saalih were upon. And I will remind you of the aayah, “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers–We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” Nisaa 4:115
So now, this quote which you narrated to us from those people, is it, “… the way of the believers …” [as mentioned in the above aayah?] Is it the way of the Salaf? Is it the way of the four Imaams? Fourteen Imaams? Forty? As we mentioned, the scholars of the Muslims, maa shaa Allaah [are great in number].
I say: this is not the way of the believers, this is the way of one of two men:
Either an ignorant Muslim or a kaafir who is concealed amongst the Muslims and who tries to scheme against or corrupt the creed of the Muslims with philosophising like the type you mentioned.
And which is what? That Allaah said, “O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself …” … we say to this person: what does, “… indeed I will take you …” mean? Is the word al-Wafaah [which is the word used in the aayah] only used to mean death in the Arabic language? The answer is no, because al-Wafaah [death] comes with the meaning of sleep? True or not?
Al-Albaani: “And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein [i.e., by day] that a specified term may be fulfilled.” An’aam 6:60
Questioner: Allaah takes [Trans. note: same verb as the one used in the aayah mentioned in the question about Jesus] the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” Zumar 39:42
Al-Albaani: Yes, the aayahs in the Noble Quraan explain each other. So the verb الوفاة/al-Wafaah [lit. death] does not mean death [here], and concerning this ayaah that which comes after, “… indeed I will take you …” explains it. Who is being addressed? Jesus. So let us, by way of explanation, say, “… indeed I will take you, O Jesus …” in soul and body, and [then Allaah said] , “… and raise you to Myself …” who is being addressed here? Jesus. Namely, [“I will raise you to Myself …”] [both] your soul and your body.
Like His Saying, the Most High, in Surah al-Israa which [brother] Abu Bakr mentioned just now, even though in doing so he was wrong [i.e., in a previous question], “Exalted is He Who took His Servant [i.e., Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Haraam to al-Masjid al-Aqsaa …” Al-Israa 17:1 some of the tafsir scholars of the past and hadith scholars said that the Prophet’s Ascension was by his soul and not his body, but the people of knowledge refuted them, saying, [in the aayah] “Exalted is He Who took His Servant [i.e., Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Haraam to al-Masjid al-Aqsaa …” the servant is in body and soul, likewise Jesus is body and soul, so He said, “… indeed I will take you …” i.e., I will take your body and soul and raise you up to Me, i.e., just as you are, with your body and your soul.
The clear Arabic tongue mentioned in unanimous [mutawaatir] hadiths from the Prophet عليه السلام supports this meaning, in some of those hadith he said, “Verily, Jesus the son of Mary will descend among you as a just judge. And so [he] will break the cross and kill the pigs, and wealth will become so abundant that no one will accept it. And a [single] prostration that day will be more beloved to a believer than the world and everything in it.” Bukhaari and Muslim.
So, the Prophet عليه السلام confirmed this raising which was mentioned in the previous aayah, “… and raise you to Myself …” and there is an ending [to this], which is that this revered individual who will be taken up [to Allaah] in both body and soul will then descend as a just ruler, break the Cross, kill the pigs and so on until the end of the hadith.
So Jesus عليه السلام is alive in Heaven.
He will descend to establish for these Christians who took him as a deity instead of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, that he is a servant on one hand and that Muhammad عليه السلام is better than him on the other, since he will judge by his [i.e., Prophet Muhammad’s عليه السلام] sharee’ah and will be a part of his Ummah.
Such that in another authentic hadith there occurs that he said, “Jesus the son of Mary will descend by the white minaret in the eastern part of Damascus on the wings of two angels,” this is in Sahih Muslim in another hadith [it is mentioned that] when he descends at Fajr time, it will have been established for Muhammad the Mahdi [to lead it], Muhammad the son of Abdullaah al-Mahdi, well-known as The [Imaam] Mahdi, so the prayer would have been established for him to lead, but when he sees that Jesus عليه السلام has descended he will ask him to go forward to lead it, but Jesus will say, ‘No, an honour bestowed by Allaah on this Ummah.’ So Jesus the Prophet of the Christians and the Jews who disbelieved in him–will follow [Imaam] Mahdi in prayer, [Mahdi] who is a person from the Ummah of the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.
All of these hadiths are authentic.
For this reason, al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani and many others like him from those well-acquainted with the science of hadith say that the hadiths about the belief concerning the descent of Jesus عليه السلام at the end of time are unanimous [mutawaatir]. It is not the hadith of [only] one person which maybe authentic and maybe weak [no, it is unanimous].
Hadiths which have come from different paths of narration as you just heard now. Just now I quoted you three hadiths without straining myself [i.e., they are so well-known and numerous], you see, so if a person wanted to gather all of the hadiths [about this] for you … one time I gathered forty authentic hadiths [about it], some of the [hadiths of the] Companions have more than one path of narration … etc.
So how is it [then] said about this hadith, “It is weak.”
It [really] means that it is not possible that any hadith can be regarded as authentic by such people.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 528.