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If Jesus Wasn’t Crucified … Then Who Was?


Mr. Everyman

Reply Date

Apr 01, 2018


1. In Quran 4:157 the Chief Priests are satisfied that they have killed the false prophet, Jesus. But, it only SEEMED to them [as if it had been so]. Instead of saying Jesus had been replaced by Judas and contradicting the Gospels, why not say that Jesus SEEMED to the Chief Priests killed but went through a clinical death with an out of body experience? Then, after Allah revived Jesus the ascension happened as the New Testament and Quran say. Neither scripture is contradicted. 2. The Chief Priests, Pharisees, and Romans could be confused. They were some distance from the cross. The people at the cross were his mother, Mary Magdalene, and the disciple John. How can you realistically claim the mother of Jesus, standing near Him, would not recognize him?



Jesus Between Crucifixion and Who Was Crucified

Salam (Peace) Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

The whole issue is about what really happened and not about making up a story so everyone is satisfied.

The verse you quoted clearly states that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified:

{That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of Allah”; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise} (Quran 4:157-158) [emphasis added]

Mentioning that he went through a clinical death with an out of body experience, implies that he was indeed crucified, but did not really die from that horrifying experience; that’s why he resurrected and eventually ascended to heaven.

Since he was not crucified, he was not harmed to begin with, so there is no need to mention clinical death; and he was raised to the heaven by God’s will.

There are still lots of common grounds between Islam and Christianity regarding this subject. Even it is mentioned in the bible, in accordance to the Quran:

[A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.] (John, 16:16)

For us Muslims, the word “Father” that is used repeatedly in the bible in mistranslated from the Aramaic, to Greek then to English; the original word is Rabb, meaning Lord.

For Muslims, verse 4:157 is taken as is, since we really do not have any further details, except that God is telling us that Jesus was not the one who was crucified and it only appeared to everyone who was present.

One interpretation of that verse is that God made Judas, the disciple that betrayed Jesus, look exactly like Jesus (peace be upon him). However, we don’t have any further details other than God is capable of anything and everything, and if He wishes something, He says to it be and it is.

Sayyid Abu Aala Al-Mawdudi mentions in his book – Towards Understanding the Quran – concerning the above verses:

This verse is explicit on the point that the Prophet Jesus Christ was rescued from crucifixion and that the Christians and the Jews are both wrong in believing that he died on the cross.

A comparative study of the Quran and the Bible shows that most probably it was Jesus himself who stood his trial in the court of Pilate, who sentenced him to death, but they could not kill or crucify him, for Allah raised him to Himself.

This is what happened, Pilate knew fully well that Christ was innocent and had been brought in his court out of jealousy.

So he asked the crowd whether Jesus Christ should be released on the occasion of the Festival or Barabbas, a notorious robber. But the high priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas and for the crucifixion of Jesus.

After this, God, Who can do any and everything He wills, raised Jesus to Himself and rescued him from crucifixion and the one who was crucified afterwards was somehow or other taken for Christ.

Nevertheless, his miraculous escape does not lessen the wicked crime against Jesus, because those who perpetrated it knew it well that the one, whom they crowned with a crown of thorns, and on whose face they spat and whom they crucified with disgrace was Christ, the son of Mary.

Regarding the matter of how “it was made doubtful for them” that they had crucified Jesus, we have no means of ascertaining this. Therefore, it is not right to base an answer on mere guess-work and rumors an answer.

As for “those who have differed”: the Christians, they do not agree in their versions of crucifixion. The very fact that they offer so many different accounts of the matter is by itself proof that they possess no definite knowledge of it and are, therefore, in doubt about it.

One version is that the person who was crucified was not Jesus but someone who bore his likeness, whom the Jews and the Romans had disgracefully put on the cross, while Jesus was standing nearby and laughing at their folly.

Another version is that the one who was nailed to the cross was Jesus, but he did not die on the cross and was alive when he was taken down from it.

Some others say that he died on the cross but came to life afterwards and met his disciples more than ten times and talked to them. Still others say that death due to crucifixion occurred on the physical body of Jesus and he was buried but the Divine Spirit within him was raised.

There are still others who say that after his death Jesus came to life with his body and was raised with his body. Obviously, if the Christians had any knowledge of the truth, they would not have given so many different versions of it.

Assuming that Mary (peace be upon her) was present during the alleged crucifixion, she really thought that it was her son. Whoever was crucified instead of Jesus (peace be upon him) must have looked exactly like him.

Without any further clarifications, the Muslims, have to go by what the Quran mentions, i.e. that Jesus was not crucified, since it has been proven that it is the word of God.

I hope this helps answer your questions.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

5 Muslims’ Beliefs about Jesus’ Second Coming

Pagan Origins of Easter Traditions

Did Pilate Release Jesus?

About Maen Khalifa

Maen has many years of experience in dawah work. He formerly worked as the Ask About Islam Editor and a consultant.

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