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Copyright © 2009 Joseph A Islam: Article last modified 12th October 2012



The second coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is not a belief that is supported by the Quran. There are numerous verses and theological juxtapositions which actually serve to negate the concept.


There is also absolutely no mention of Masih ad-Dajjal (False Messiah / Antichrist) in the Quran or of the trial that he will allegedly inflict. These beliefs emanate from Islamic secondary sources, not the Quran.


Dajaal is formed from the root word 'Dal-Jiim'Lam' which means to smear a camel with tar to conceal its bodily defects and further means to lie, mix, confuse and to conceal the truth with falsehood. Dajaal is also synonymous with 'Sihr' which means to make false appear to be true and to cause something to be imagined differently from what it really is; to deceive, beguile, delude, to embellish by falsification or deceit and is a kind of enchantment, or fascination which captivates.


The fact that such a major trial has escaped total mention in the Quran is an extremely difficult proposition to accept and should not be taken lightly for earnest searchers of the truth. This is especially true if we consider the following verse which claims that the Book of God (Quran) is fully detailed for mankind's guidance.



"Say: "Shall I seek for judge other than God? - when He is the One who has sent to you the Book, explained in detail (Arabic: Mufassalan)." They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it has been sent down from your Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt"






 Source: Edward Lanes Lexicon  [1]







Very powerful verses will be noted from the Quran. In this exchange, it is clear that from the point Prophet Jesus (pbuh) departs from his people till the day of Resurrection, he has absolutely no knowledge of anything that his people have done after his ministry ended on Earth.


Clearly, if there was a second coming before resurrection, it is only reasonable to expect Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to have become apprised of all that had transpired from the moment he left Earth the first time to the point when he returned a second time. This would have included the beliefs and doctrines of various denominations within Christianity and those that took his name as Lord.



And when God will say: O Jesus son of Mary! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides God, he will say: Glory be to You, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, You would indeed have known it; You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in your mind, surely you are the great Knower of the unseen things. I did not say anything to them except what you commanded me with: That worship God, my Lord and your Lord, and I was a witness over them as long as I was among them, but when you caused me to die (Arabic: Tawafaytani), you were the watcher over them, and you are witness of all things.



Illustration - Joseph Islam





(a)    This dialogue is taking place on the Day of Judgment where Prophet Jesus (pbuh) suggests that he has no knowledge of what has happened since his demise on Earth and after his ministry ended. There is no mention of a second coming prior to the Day of Judgment.


From the discourse it is clear that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) only came to Earth once acting as a witness over his people. If indeed there was a second coming before the Day of Judgment, he would have had clear knowledge of what had happened since his first departure from his people.  There is absolutely no indication or evidence of this in the verse and the statement, "but when you caused me to die (Arabic: Tawafaytani), you were the watcher over them, and you are witness of all things"

(b)   Prophet Jesus's
(pbuh) second coming, belief in Dajjal, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) living amongst his fellow Muslims for 40 years teaching the Quran and Hadith, the defeat of Dajjal, Imam Mahdi's appearance - All these beliefs cannot be found anywhere in the Quran and are only sourced from Islamic secondary sources.


Some popular misinterpreted verses used as support for a second coming will be discussed later in the article.


Note the use of the word ‘Tawaffaitani’ in verse 5.117 which will be discussed in more detail in the next section which means the taking away of the soul in death.







The following verse clearly stipulates that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) would be caused to die first and then raised (to a high station).


Note two key Arabic words:



    (i)    Mutawafeeka - Root: W-F-Y (Meaning to die or Death)


    (ii)   Rafiuka - Root: Raffa (To be raised / raised to a high station)




When God said: "O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause you to die (Arabic: Mutawafeeka), and shall exalt you (Arabic: Rafiuka) to Me, and cleanse you of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow you [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, to the Day of Resurrection. In the end, to Me you must all return and I shall judge between you with regards to all on which you differed.



Illustration - Joseph Islam



(i)                 Mutawafeeka - Root: W-F-Y (Meaning to die or Death)


Tawaffaa:  Cause to Die, Take soul in Death or Sleep, in completeness.



Tawaffaa: He causes to die

(perfect 3rd person masculine singular verb form V)

Tawaffat: They take away the soul

(perfect 3rd person female singular verb form V)

Tawaffaitanii: You caused me to die
 (perfect 2nd person masculine singular verb form V)


Tatawaffaa: She causes to die

(imperfect 3rd person feminine singular verb form V):

Yatawaffaa: He causes to die.
 (imperfect 3rd person masculine singular verb form V


Tawaffanii: Let me die; Let it be that I die.

Yutawaffaa: He has died

(past participle 3rd person masculine singular verb form V)

Yutawaffauna: They die.

(3rd person masculine plural verb form V.)

Mutawaffiika: Cause you to die a natural death

(apparent derivative masculine singular verb form V)

Yastaufuuna: They take exactly the full.

(perfect 3rd person masculine plural verb form X ):



This root word and its derivates have been used numerous times in the Holy Quran to signify death or the removal of the soul at death.

Here is the usage in the Quran for the verb Tawaffa:


perfect active:  4:97, 5:117, 6:61, 47:27
imperfect active: 4:15, 6:60, 7:37, 8:50, 10:46, 10:104, 13:40, 16:28, 16:32, 16:70, 32:11, 39:42, 40:77
imperative: 3:193, 7:126, 12:101
imperfect: pass. 2:234, 2:240, 22:5, 40:67
participle active: 3:55


(perfect: when an action is done or is complete; imperfect: an action which is incomplete or in the process of completion)


Some examples:



"It is God who creates you and takes your souls at death (Arabic: Yatawaffakum); and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for God is All-Knowing, All-Powerful"



“Our Lord! surely we have heard a preacher calling to the faith, saying: Believe in your Lord, so we did believe; Our Lord! forgive us therefore our faults, and cover our evil deeds and make us die (Arabic: Tawaffna) with the righteous”



"You take revenge on us only because we believed the tokens of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord! Vouchsafe to us patience and make us die (Arabic: Tawaffana) as men who have surrendered (Arabic: Muslimina)"


“But how (will it be) when the angels take their souls at death (Arabic: Tawaffathum), and smite their faces and their backs?” 


002.234 (Part)

“Such of you as die (Arabic: Tawafuna) and leave behind them wives, they (the wives) shall ...”


002.240 (Part)

“(In the case of) those of you who are about to die (Arabic: Tawafuna) and leave behind ...”


002.281 (Part)

“And guard yourselves against a day in which ye will be brought back to God (Arabic: Tawafa)...”


004.015 (Part)

“houses until death take them (Arabic: Tawafuna) ...”


004.097 (Part)

“Lo! as for those whom the angels take in death (Arabic: Tawafahuma) while they wrong themselves ...”


006:061 (Part)

“when death comes to one of you (Arabic: Tawafatho) ...”



               (ii)   Rafiuka - Root: Raffa (To be raised / raised to a high station)


Whenever the act of ‘Raf’ (raising /elevating) of a human being is attributed to God, the meaning ‘honouring’ or ‘exalting’ is deduced which is correct in this context.


Here are all the derivates of the verb Rafa’a


(Perfect active) 2:63, 2:93, 2:253, 4:154, 4:158, 6:165, 7:176, 12:100, 13:2, 19:57, 43:32, 55:7, 79:28, 94:4, (imperfect active) 2:127, 6:83, 12:76, 35:10, 49:2, 58:11, (perfect pass) 88:18, (imperfect pass) 24:36, (participle active) 3:55, 56:3, (participle pass) 52:5, 56:34, 80:14, 88:13.


The expression that ‘God exalted him unto Himself’ denotes the elevation of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) into God’s special grace. This has nothing to do with him being raised alive. This term is also not exclusive to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as is evident in the following verse where the same expression ‘rafa’nahu’ (We exalted him) has been used for Prophet Idris:



”And make mention in the Scripture of Idris. Indeed! he was a saint, a prophet; And We raised him to high station. (Arabic: Rafa’nahu)



Illustration - Joseph Islam



It is clear from the Quranic verse 3:55 that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was caused to die (Arabic: muTawafeeka) when his ministry was ended on Earth and then was raised and admitted to God's special grace (Arabic: rafiuka)








One day God will gather the messengers together, and ask: "What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)?" They will say: "We have no knowledge: it is You Who knows in full all that is hidden."


There is no exclusion for Prophet Jesus (pbuh) in this verse and resonates Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) comments captured in 5:116-117








‘And they said (in boast), "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, messenger of God" However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him (Arabic: Salabuhu), but it appeared so to them; and, verily those who hold conflicting views thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere conjecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him’



‘Nay, God exalted him  (Arabic: rafa-ahu) to Himself - and God is indeed almighty, wise’


Clearly note the claim by the Jews that they killed 'the apostle of God' as a rebuke when they clearly did not believe him to be an apostle of God. This is no different from the rebukes (and in a similar manner) made by the contemporaries of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that rebuked him with the title 'Messenger of God' 25:7.  Also the term 'Salabuhu' means to 'put to death in a certain well known manner' which may include crucifixion but is not necessarily restricted to it.


This verse has become quite a significant point of discussion between scholars from various disciplines and within Muslim-Christian dialogue. All the Quranic narrative informs us is a response given by God to the arrogant claims made by the Jews which asserted that they killed Prophet Jesus (pbuh). This is clearly rebuked by the statement ‘they killed him not’.


A further refutation is provided in verse 4:158 by God's statement that He caused to ‘rafa'a Prophet Jesus (pbuh) which clearly implies that He raised him to a high station possibly rebuking any inherent arrogant claims that they (the Jews) convicted Jesus (pbuh) as a criminal and as a false Prophet. There is no mention of ‘rafa'a of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) alive in this verse as this would contradict 3:55 above where it is clearly mentioned that he was caused to ‘Tawaffu’  i.e. he was given death.


Reconciling the two, it is clear that God took the life of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) in death before the Jews had a chance to kill him as a direct consequence of the result of their actions.


See related article [1] below. 





Verses 4:157-158 are discussed above. The context of the discourse is a reference to a period of time during Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) ministry. Verse 4:159 is a continuation of verse 4:158 which is more than alluded to by the conjunction 'wa' (and). There is no break in the discourse or theme.

"AND (wa) there is not from the People of the Book ..."

From verse 4:159 it is clear that the reference is still to those who had been touched by Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) ministry and were given clear evidence of truth yet still denied him (4:157). They were not going to believe in him and what his ministry represented before his death. It is in this context that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is also presented as a witness against them on the Day of Judgment 'yakuna alayhim shaidan'. 

There would be no point in Prophet Jesus (pbuh) being presented as a witness against those who had believed in the veracity of Prophet Jesus’s (pbuh) ministry. Therefore, the point of witness is against those who did not believe in the truth that was revealed to them and not those who did establish belief. 

It is also important to remember in the context of the discourse that the People of the Book that are referred to are the Jews which is clear from verse 4:153 and not the Christians. These verses do not address the Christians (4:153ff). 

The fact that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will only be a witness against his people who witnessed his ministry is also confirmed by another verse of the Quran.

“…That worship God, my Lord and your Lord, and I was a witness over them as long as I was among them, but when you caused me to die (Arabic: Tawafaytani), you were the watcher over them, and you are witness of all things."

The traditional position that makes use of verse 4:159 out of context to support Prophet Jesus’s (pbuh) second coming, arguably needs to provide unequivocal evidence from the Quran for its position, that: 







The lifecycle of Jesus is portrayed as no different from other Prophets as can be seen when compared to that of Prophet Yahya.



"So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!



So Peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!


In this we can conclude that there is no difference in the way Prophet Yahya (pbuh) is spoken about and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) in terms of their life-cycles. There is no allusion to being born, then being raised alive, then returning, then dying, then being raised.








“One day God will gather the messengers together, and ask: "What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)?" They will say: "We have no knowledge: it is You Who knows in full all that is hidden."” 



“Then will God say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to you and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! you made out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and you did breathe into it and it became a bird by My leave, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! you brought forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) you when you did show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.'” 



“"And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Messenger: they said, 'We have faith, and do bear witness that we bow to God as Muslims'"” 



“Behold! the disciples, said: "O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?" Said Jesus: "Fear God, if ye have faith."” 



“They said: "We only wish to eat thereof and satisfy our hearts, and to know that you have indeed told us the truth; and that we ourselves may be witnesses to the miracle."” 



“Jesus the son of Mary said: "O God our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us - for the first and the last of us - a solemn festival and a sign from Thee; and provide for our sustenance, for You are the best Sustainer (of our needs)."” 



“God said: "I will send it down unto you: But if any of you after that resists faith, I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on any one among all the peoples."” 


It is inconceivable that such an anticipated event for the Muslims as the second of coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) would fall shy of mention in the above narratives or indeed the whole Quran.







It is worth comparing the following verses:



“Muhammad is no more than a messenger: many were the messengers that passed away before him...”


TRANSLITERATION: Wama muhammadun illarasoolun qad khalat min qablihi alrrusulu...



Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him


TRANSLITERATION: Ma almaseehu ibnu maryama illarasoolun qad khalat min qablihi alrrusulu...”









“Before you, also, the apostles We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: If you realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message”



“Nor did We give them bodies that ate no food, nor were they immortals (Arabic Khalidun)


The word ‘Khalidun’ in classical parlance carries both the meaning of a very long time or being immortal. Both verses combined clearly indicate that no Prophet before Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) still lives or is living somewhere in a state hidden for a very long time.  In this context the following messages are clear

(i)                  The messengers were mortals

(ii)                Their mortal bodies were sustained by consuming food

(iii)               They have all demised.


The third point is once again reiterated in the following verses:



“We granted not to any man before you permanent life (here): if then you should die, would they live permanently?”



“Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. to Us must you return”







Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as Sign of the Hour


Many Muslims make use of the following verse without any bearing on context to prove the second coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)



"And most surely it is / he (Arabic: innahu) a knowledge (Arabic: la'ilmun) of the hour, therefore have no doubt about it and follow Me: this is the right path"


The first point to note is that many commentators make quite an unnecessary laboured connection of the pronoun 'hu' in the Arabic term 'Innahu' as a reference to Prophet Jesus (pbuh), interpreting the term as 'indeed he (Jesus (pbuh))...'. This in turn sets up the pretext for Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming as can be seen in the translation below.


Illustration - Joseph Islam


The pronoun 'hu' in 'innahu' may be a reference to 'Prophet Jesus (pbuh)' or to him being quoted as an example from the signs that were given to him and those that have been elaborated through the teachings of the Quran. However, what is actually being referred to as 'knowledge' (Arabic: la'ilmun) of the hour will be examined further below in the light of the verse context and other Quranic verses.


The reader of the Quran would be advised to remember two main points here:


(1) If verse 43:61 is read within the context of its preceding verses 43:57 onwards, it is clear that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is being mentioned only as an example to the disbelievers of Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) time who ridiculed it. They questioned whether Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was indeed better than their Gods. The comparison of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) with their Gods is a very interesting point to note. Worshippers of God(s) (regardless of being false Gods), have an intrinsic expectation from their deities to be able to bring them good or harm, create or destroy them. 


Although the Quranic narrative does not advance what 'examples' of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) were being quoted, it is clear from the general discourse and the disbelievers comparison with their deities, that certain signs granted to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) were at the heart of the discussion. This seems consistent with previous verses such as 4:46 onwards where signs of Prophet Moses (pbuh) were also mentioned. Hence there is a strong undertone that it was the special signs that were granted to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to indicate the power of the ultimate Creator is what seems to have threatened the disbelievers. So much so, that  it caused them to make a comparison with their Gods.


Consistent with this understanding, in 43:49, God further clarifies that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was merely a slave of God who was bestowed favours and was an example for the Children of Israel. It is at this point, one finds the mention of the knowledge of the hour. The addressee's are still the people of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to whom this is being narrated. Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming representing a sign of the hour to Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) contemporaries (who would not have any recourse to witness such an event) does not make any logical sense. Furthermore, it would make absolutely no sense to address this verse as an understanding of 'Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming' to the contemporaries of Muhammad (pbuh) who were already clearly in doubt.


(2) The Quran explicitly and consistently informs its readers that nothing in the Heavens or the Earth has knowledge of the hour. This knowledge is ONLY with God and that it can befall almost suddenly with no premise. Therefore this knowledge cannot be referring to Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming as this would establish a premise. (i.e. The Day of Judgment cannot arrive until Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming). This is in direct contradiction to the Quran's overarching message with regards the possibility of an almost sudden Day of Judgment. This is further elaborated in the next section.


Whether the pronoun 'hu' is taken as a reference to Prophet Jesus, (pbuh) or to the example being quoted in the Quran, the term ‘wa Inna hu la ilm’ is present tense like ‘tabiuna’ which is a present tense verb and consistent with the narrative. This clearly proves that the addressees are the People of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and this narrative was not for a future generation.




Now that it clear that the addressees are Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) contemporaries to whom the example of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is being quoted, the context becomes even clearer if one continues to read with the following verses. 43:63 clearly informs the reader that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) came with clear signs (Arabic: bayinati)



"When Jesus came with Clear Signs (Arabic: bayinati), he said: "Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of that on which you dispute: therefore fear God and obey me" 


The nature of these signs which are being quoted to the contemporaries of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are known to us by other verses of the Quran such as 3:49.



"And will make him a messenger to the Children of Israel, (saying): Indeed! I come to you with a sign (Arabic: biayatin) from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by God's leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by God's leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers"



Illustration - Joseph Islam 


In verse 3:49; Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is being referred to as a sign from the Lord by virtue of him (amongst other things) blowing life into a clay bird (This is analogous to the Resurrection, where God will grant life to the lifeless) and raising the living from the dead (Again analogous to what God will do on the Day of Resurrection).


The 'knowledge' being imparted is thus:


Why do you think it is impossible for God to raise you and all of mankind from death when He can create a child without a father and His servant can breathe life into a clay bird and raise the dead?


This has no relevance to Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming.







The Quran consistently informs us that nothing in the Heavens nor the Earth has knowledge of the Hour. This knowledge specifically resides with God and no one else. There are also no indications or premise given in the Quran that would inform one when the hour will come to pass as this would contradict the Quranic maxim that the Day of Judgment may come on you suddenly.



"And those who disbelieve shall not cease to be in doubt concerning it until the hour overtakes them suddenly, or there comes on them the chastisement of a destructive day"



"And to God belongs the unseen of the heavens and the Earth, and the matter of the Hour (of doom) is but as a twinkling of the eye, or it is nearer still. Indeed! God is able to do all things" 


See also: 43:66; 6:31


The enquiry for signs or knowledge of the hour has been clearly rebuked in the Quran.



“Men ask you of the Hour. Say: The knowledge of it is with God only. What can convey (the knowledge) unto thee? It may be that the Hour is nigh 


Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) second coming would imply that the Day of Judgement could not take place until Prophet Jesus (pbuh) reappears. (An unwarranted premise). This is in direct contradiction to the above verses as this introduces an unwarranted dependency on a particular event to occur before the hour comes to pass.







The second coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and the belief that he was raised alive finds no support in the Quran and from the evidence cited above is clearly negated.



Related Article:

(1)    Understanding the Crucifixion of Jesus (pbuh) from a Quran's Perspective 




[1] LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 3, Page 853




Joseph Islam

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