Facts From Fiction

Jesus Descending from the Skies – A Big Issue for the Entire Ummah

Shahzad Ahmad & Zafir Malik, UK

The claims and the truthfulness of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (as), have once again been the subject of intense debate on social media. Despite the modern platform and new mediums of engagement, unfortunately it is the same age-old baseless arguments that continue to be churned out by the opponents of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) ever since he made his claim of being the Messiah of the latter days. 

In their desperate attempts to evade the Holy Qur’an and authentic traditions – the fundamental sources of Islam – these so-called ‘academics’ and ‘scholars’ want to malign the character of the Promised Messiah (as); which is nothing more than a smokescreen to conceal the frailties of their own beliefs. 

Among the subjects they dare not debate is a subject that forms the very core argument of the Promised Messiah (as)’s claim; that Jesus (as) has died. This is because not only do they fall flat upon trying to prove Jesus (as) to be alive in the heavens in light of the Holy Qur’an, but by doing so they will have no choice but to grapple with a host of serious questions and a great dilemma in entertaining a belief that Jesus (as) will descend physically from the heavens. However, we shall provide just a few of the great predicaments that arise if Jesus (as) were to physically return.

Logical Fallacies about Jesus’s (as) ‘Descent

Let us suppose prophet Jesus (as) was actually taken up physically to heaven; let’s ignore the fact that not a single Qur’anic verse mentions that Jesus (as) went to the ‘sky’ and put aside the 30 verses that state he has died. For argument’s sake, let us assume Jesus (as) is actually in the heavens, (even though nobody can actually pinpoint exactly which direction heaven is from earth), let’s use our imagination and say Jesus (as) is soaring through space like superman and manages to reach the outermost layer of the atmosphere – the exosphere – some 100,000 miles above the earth’s surface. Assuming he doesn’t get hit by the 8000+ satellites orbiting the Earth in this layer, the simple question is how will he breathe?

Anyone who knows anything about mountaineering will know that above 8000 meters, the oxygen levels are so limited that the body’s cells cannot cope and begin to die one by one. Hence why this altitude is adequately termed the ‘Death Zone’ and specialist breathing equipment is needed to cope. So imagine what it would be like for Jesus to be descending from some 100,000 miles above the earth. Not to mention his interspace travel from wherever he is coming from!

Imagine a person is accidentally ejected from the International Space Station and is not wearing a spacesuit. He wouldn’t die immediately, but within 15 seconds he would lose consciousness due to the deoxygenated blood flowing to the brain. [1]

And if he stayed there for longer than 2 minutes, all of his organs would shut down, resulting in death.[2]

Not to mention that the person would have expanded to twice the normal size because the nitrogen in their bloodstream under the surface of the skin would collect together as bubbles. [3]

Let’s not forget about the temperature – or to put correctly – lack of temperature in space. As there is nothing to keep you insulated, you would freeze. Oh and I almost forgot about the harmful UV rays incoming from the sun. Without the protection of the earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, it would result in sunburn from UV radiation within a matter of seconds. [4]

And speaking of satellites, while Jesus (as) is descending, who will pick him up on their satellites first, USA, Russia or China? 

The fact is that to hold such a view is extremely disrespectful and against the honor of prophets. In fact, among the great tasks of the Promised Messiah (as) was to once against establish the honor and sanctity of the Prophets of Allah. As such, in relation to Jesus (as), he writes, 

‘We inform our readers that our belief concerning Jesus (as) is extremely noble. We most sincerely believe that he was a true prophet of Allah, and He loved him. As the Holy Qur’an tells us, we hold firm faith that he most sincerely believed in our lord and master prophet Muhammad Mustafa (may peace and blessings of  Allah be on him) for his salvation, and that he was one  of the hundreds of obedient servants of the Law of  Moses. Therefore, we hold a great esteem for him in accordance with his exalted status.’ [5]

Allah is All-Powerful – So Why Can’t He send down Jesus from the Heavens?

Someone could certainly ask at this point that, very well, but if God is All-Powerful, then what is stopping Him from allowing such an extraordinary miracle which breaks all the established laws of nature? Well, that is problematic for two reasons, amongst many others. Firstly, Allah the Almighty Himself states: 

فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللّٰہِ تَبۡدِیۡلًا  وَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللّٰہِ تَحۡوِیۡلًا ﴿۴۴

‘But thou wilt never find any change in the way of Allah; nor wilt thou ever find any alteration in the way of Allah.’ [6]

Now, if before Jesus (as), there was a prophet who ascended into the heavens or descended from there, then we would have a precedence from before and therefore such a miracle would not contravene the aforementioned verse. However, since the time of Adam (as), there has never been a prophet who performed such a miracle. 

Secondly, Allah the Almighty is not bound by the laws which He has created, however, for Him to break His own laws would mean His laws are not perfect and He had to contravene His own laws to for Jesus (as) to demonstrate the miracle of ascending to the heavens.

However, the greatest dilemma in all of this for the Muslims is how they will reconcile such a ‘miracle’ to those demonstrated by the greatest Prophet, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)? The disbelievers of Makkah demanded the same miracle from the Holy Prophet (sa) to ascend into the heavens and bring down a book for them as a sign. However, Allah the Almighty told the Holy Prophet (sa) to simply reply to them: 

قُلۡ سُبۡحَانَ رَبِّي هَلۡ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَرٗا رَّسُولٗا

‘Say, “Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as a Messenger.”’ [7]

The Holy Prophet (sa) clearly stated that despite being a prophet of God, he was still a human being and thus such demands were against human characteristics. So would Jesus (as) supersede the Holy Prophet (sa) in this?   

Jesus; Superhuman or mere Mortal?

Even if we suppose, for the sake of argument, that Jesus (as) was to descend imminently, that would mean he remained alive in the heavens in his bodily form for over a staggering 2,000 years. Entertaining such a belief once again poses a great dilemma for our fellow Muslim brothers as it stands in clear contradiction of the Holy Qur’an. For example: 

مَّا ٱلۡمَسِيحُ ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٞ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِهِ ٱلرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُۥ صِدِّيقَةٞ ۖ كَانَايَأۡكُلَانِ ٱلطَّعَامَ ۗ

‘The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely, Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food…’ [8]

The Holy Qur’an clearly states that Jesus (as) and his mother used to eat food. The fact that the past tense has been used and moreover mention of his blessed mother has been linked to him, proves that this is a reference of the past. The verse says that ‘they used to eat food’ but now no longer do. In the case of Mary (as), it is clear that she no longer eats as she has passed away. And since the dual form of the verb is used, it means the same is the case for both people in question.

The Arabic words used are: كَانَا يَأۡكُلَانِ i.e. the past tense and the present tense have been used together. This construction in the Arabic Language is used when a particular action is no longer done, known as ‘Istimrar’. For example, if someone used to play football, but they no longer do, the same construct would be used. 

کنتُ ألعب کرۃ القدم

‘I used to play football’.

From this the reader understands the obvious fact that he no longer plays football.

However, for those who believe Jesus (as) to be still alive in the heavens means he has remained alive without any food. But this directly contradicts a clear verse of the Holy Quran. Whilst specifically referring to prophets, the Holy Qur’an states: 

وَمَا جَعَلۡنَٰهُمۡ جَسَدٗا لَّا يَأۡكُلُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُواْ خَٰلِدِينَ

‘And We did not give them bodies that ate no food, nor were they to live forever.’ [9]

Thus, Jesus (as) being no exception would not have been able to survive 2,000 years without any form of sustenance and yet the Holy Qur’an states that he ‘used to eat’.

The idea of Jesus remaining in the heavens, alive for all these years poses yet another dilemma and that is becoming miraculously immune to the natural phenomenon of ageing and the subsequent changes in human faculties, which even the Holy Prophet (sa) was not immune from. The Holy Qur’an clearly states:  

وَمَن نُّعَمِّرۡهُ نُنَكِّسۡهُ فِي ٱلۡخَلۡقِ ۚ أَفَلَا يَعۡقِلُونَ 

‘He to whom We grant long life is afflicted by Us with a decline in his faculties.’ [10]

Thus, if Jesus was going to appear in the same bodily form as he went into the heavens, then it would mean that in all this time, he remained free from any changes to his bodily form and human faculties and was exempt from the aforementioned phenomena mentioned by Allah the Almighty Himself. 

In short, taking into account all the above aspects, one is left with no choice but to come to one of two conclusions: either Jesus (as) will appear in direct contradiction of the verses of the Holy Qur’an (and yet was to come as a follower of Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa)) or he possesses superhuman faculties which no other human, including the Holy Prophet (sa) possessed. 


[1] https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2013/space-human-body/

[2] https://www.space.com/30066-what-happens-to-unprotected-body-in-outer-space.html

[3] https://www.space.com/30066-what-happens-to-unprotected-body-in-outer-space.html

[4] https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2013/space-human-body/

[5] Nur-ul-Qur’an, Part 2, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 9, p. 374

[6] The Holy Qur’an, 35:44

[7] The Holy Qur’an, 17:94

[8] The Holy Qur’an, 5:76

[9] The Holy Qur’an, 21:9

[10] The Holy Qur’an, 36:69