Short Answer: Jesus is one of the most controversial and misunderstood figures in all of history. When Jesus returns, he will settle all of the controversial questions so that those who previously rejected him will see the man and now believe in him. In the Muslim tradition Jesus returns and dwells on earth for seven years. On the other hand, there is no need for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to return.
Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you for your question.
Dr. Shabir Ally, from Let the Quran Speak, addresses this question in the video below:
Dr. Shabir Ally:
This is an interesting question, based on the Muslim belief that Jesus will return at the end of times so why Jesus and not the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).[…]
“So why Jesus in the first place?”
Dr. Shabir Ally:
“Yes, if we were to justify that belief, you would say that for one thing the Quran says that Jesus speaks to people in his cradle and also in his manhood.
Now the terminology for manhood in the Quran may indicate something that is about forty years old at least.
We know that many of the prophets received a revelation when they were about forty years old; specifically in the case of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Now the Gospels report that Jesus, on whom be peace, was about thirty years old when he began preaching.
And then about three years later he was crucified, so that would be about 33 years old, and that would mean that he didn’t live till forty.
So in the Muslim tradition he returns, he dwells on earth for seven years and so he becomes forty and that will fulfill the prophecy in the Quran that he will speak to people in his cradle and also in his manhood—which would be something like forty.
That seems to be one justification or explanation for this salient belief.
Another explanation is that Jesus is one of the most controversial and misunderstood figures in all of history as there have been many prophets and messengers of God.
And we believe Jesus, on whom be peace, was a prophet and a messenger of God, and that other people took him to be God despite his own teachings.
Now, at the same time there are some people who rejected him altogether.
So here we have like two extremes, on the one hand some rejecting him altogether, on the other hand some others deifying him.
And Muslims, we believe, have the balance view between the two extremes.
Well we can keep telling people about this balanced view but some people will not believe us.
But the idea is that when Jesus himself returns that will settle all of the questions so that those who previously rejected him will see the man and now believe in him.
And those who previously deified him will see him now arriving in this context coming and becoming, being a part of the Muslim community in praying along with them, praying to the God that he always prayed to.
They will now have no questions remaining they will realize that Jesus is a man, a human being, a prophet of God who has been erroneously made into a God by the thinking of others.
“So why not the Prophet Muhammad then?”
Dr. Shabir Ally:
“I would say that there is no need for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to return as there has been no need for any of the umpteen prophets.
We believe that there have been some 124,000 prophets in all of history, and the Quran says to every nation we have sent prophets and messengers but they will not all return.
Only Jesus is specifically singled out in this regard in Muslim and Christian belief as the one who will return towards the end of time.
Some people thought that John the Baptist will also return some thought that Elijah will return.”
I hope this helps answer your question. You can also check out more from Let the Quran Speak at the link here.
Please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam’s archives)