The perfect death of Isa in Quran and Bible

Prof. Faouzi Arzouni: Investigates Isa's crucifixion and death from Quranic verses contrasting some traditional miss-interpretations.

Surah The cow 2, 253-b                 (Shakir)

… He is exalted by many degrees of rank;


Surah Al Miriam 19, 33


Isa said:”Peace be upon me the day I was born,

the day I die and the day I will be raised alive.”


We now look in detail at the days Isa historically passed away (Good Friday), then rose to be alive again on the third day (Easter Sunday) and 40 days later was raised to heaven alive (Ascension day) The verse above does not separate the two later events, but the historic records from the Injil do. However, the sequence put forth in Surah 19,33 is ‘birth’, ‘death’ and ‘rise’, not otherwise. I would like to make clear to any researching and honestly seeking Muslim, that although the Qur’an texts do not contradict any of the earlier revelations, they do not give details on how these events happened.

Indeed the earlier texts had been recorded through eyewitnesses, circulated and the authentic text had been  in use among Jews & Christians with binding lasting authority for Muslims too, as endorsed in the Qur’an. The Prophets of Allah, long before the time of Isa searched carefully and tried to figure out what was yet to come concerning those events as recorded in the Injiil:


Injil,       1. Peter 1, 10-11               (NIV)


Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care. 11. Trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ (Ruh-ullah) in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.


In the books of the Prophets (Anbian) those extraordinary events in Isa’s life and in world history were foretold centuries earlier already, leaving the Jews with a prophetic expectation of what was going to happen when the Messiah would come, so decreed by the Almighty Allah:


Anbian,                Hosea 6, 1-2       (NIV)


1 ‘Come; let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces (flogging, crucifixion) but he will heal us;  he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. (grave)

2. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, (resurrection)
    that we may live in his presence. (Ascension)


The next prediction from the Zaboor exalts Isa Al Masih, the chosen one; above all, as his body would not decay in the grave, but Allah would raise him with his human body to life again.


Zaboor,                Psalm 16, 10       (CEV)

10 I am your chosen one.  You won’t leave me in the grave or let my body decay. (Resurrection)


The testimony of those events (born, die, and rise) in retrospect as recorded in the Holy Quran tell us of the same intension of Allah to make him die, then raising Isa to himself, to clear him from the unbelieving Jews, in order to vindicate his plan, and secure salvation for all true followers.


Surah Ahl-e- Imran 3, 55              


And when Allah said, “Isa, I will make you die and raise you to Myself and clear you of those who disbelieve (Jews) and I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection.  Then you will return to me and I will judge between you in matters in which you used to dispute.”


The followers of Isa Al Masih are promised a superior life because of this death and resurrection until the coming judgment day. The same was already understood centuries earlier as recorded in the following Zaboor, compiled by Dawood. This prophecy on the resurrection also describes Isa’s Mission as coming from Allah as a “daily burden bearer” and as a “savior from death”:

Zaboor,                Psalm 68, 18-20                 (NIV)

18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people,
even from the rebellious – that you, Lord God, might dwell there.

19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

 

Isa Al Masih's death on a cross


Surah Al Miriam 19, 33

Isa said: ”Peace be upon me …  the day I die….


Many of today’s Muslim dispute about whether Isa Al Masih really died, and they suggest he will die after his second coming to this planet. However the following verse in the Holy Quran unmistakably makes it clear that before Allah took him up to himself, he ‘caused him to die’.


Surah Ahl-e- Imran 3, 55              


And when Allah said, “Isa, I will make you die and raise you to Myself and clear you of those who disbelieve (Jews) and I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection.  Then you will return to me and I will judge between you in matters in which you used to dispute.”


It is vital to understand the true meaning of the Arabic word, “Mutawaffika” in this verse. The correct translation into English would be: "O Isa! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me...

 

The key root word here is "wafat". We have it in Urdu and Persian too. The most correct meaning of "wafat" is death, or take away soul. If the soul is taken away from a person, there is nothing left but a dead body.

 

Many Muslims will do their best to cover up and misdirect from the true meaning of this word.

 Those who do not want Isa to die contend that “Mutawaffika” refers to Isa‟s second trip to the earth. On this trip, Isa will die. Others argue that “Mutawaffika” in 3:55 cannot be translated as “to cause to die” simply because they do not believe that he died.

 

In the verse 3:55, two conditions are stipulated about Jesus that first, Allah will cause his death, and second, he will be raised. The second condition can not take place till the first condition is met. In other words, before Jesus can be raised, first, he must die.

 

Let us examine various translations of the same verse from Arabic into English (www.quranbrowser.com)


Pickthall:              (And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me,

 

Yusuf Ali:             Behold! God said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself

 

Shakir:                  And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me…

 

Sher Ali:                Remember the time when ALLAH said' `O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death and will raise thee to Myself, …

 

Khalifa:                                Thus, GOD said, "O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me, …

 

Arberry:               When God said, 'Jesus, I will take thee to Me and will raise thee to Me …

 

Palmer:                                When God said, 'O Jesus! I will make Thee die and take Thee up again to me

 

Rodwell:               Remember when God said, "O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to die, and will take thee up to myself…

 

Sale:                      When God said, o Jesus, verily I will cause thee to die, and I will take thee up unto me, ..

 

Progressive:       God said: “O Jesus, I will let you die, and raise you to Me…

 

Maulana Muhammad Ali:           When Allah said: O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee

 

Wahiduddin Khan:          God said, „O Jesus, I shall cause you to die and will raise you up to me…

 

Shabbir Ahmed:                               ”O Jesus! I will cause you to die of natural causes and I will exalt you in honor…

 

Rashad Kalifa:                   Thus, GOD said, “O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me

 

Muhammad Asad:          “Lo! God said: “O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me…

 

Muhammad Ahmed & Samira: When God said: “You Jesus I am, I am making you die and raising you to Me..

 

Abdul  M. Daryabadi:     Recall what time Allah said: O 'Isa! verily I shall make thee die, and am lifting thee to myself…

Amatul Rahman Omar: (Recall the time) when Allâh said,`O Jesus! I will cause you to die a natural death…

,

Free Mind:                          God said: "O Jesus, I will let you die, and raise you to Me…

 

From this analysis we can see how these scholars have changed the words of Allah according to their own will and bias to support what they learned during their childhood from Mullahs.

 

Wherever in the Holy Quran the word "wafat" is used, all these translators derived the meaning as death, except in this verse 3:55, where they don’t see "wafat" as death!!!!

What is the problem here? Why are they contradicting the meaning of 'wafat'? What stops them from translating the words of Allah in its true context?  

 

An other obvious verse about Isa Al Masih’s death is from Surah Al Mai’dah (the tables):

 

Surah Al-Ma'ida               5:117

 

I told them only what you commanded me: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness over them while I remained among them, and when you made me die, you became the watcher over them. And you are witness over everything.

 

Again also here, according to the Quran Jesus actually died before ascending into heaven. It clearly says that: "… I was a witness over them while I remained among them, and when you ‘made me die’ or ‘cause me to die’ (tawafaytani)."  you became the watcher over them. And you are witness over everything   S. 5:117 (M.H.Shakir)

 

The words “mutawaffeeka” (future tense) and “tawafaytani” (past tense) stem from the verb “tawaffa”.(basic form) This verb always means death when God or angels are the subjects. This therefore implies that the Quran clearly teaches that Christ did die before being raised to God.

 

Here are some of the verses in the Holy Quran where Allah used the word "wafat" (noun).

The verses are 2:234, 2:240, 3:193, 4:15, 4:97, 6:61, 7:37, 7:126, 8:50, 10:46, 10:104, 12:101, 13:40, 16:28, 16:32, 16:70, 39:42, 40:67, 40:77, 47:27 etc. In each of the instances, all these scholars translated the word "wafat" as death, or a word very close to death but none

of them used a word to mean ‘to take away in alive condition”.

 

You may go ahead and verify the translations of all other verses. If you do so, you will start

discovering an emerging corruption by most of the translators. They misguided the world by translating a word “mutawafaki’ incorrectly. Given all these facts, may we conclude that Isa Al Masih must die first before he can be raised?  Correct ?

 

The following Hadith about the day of judgment, collected by Al-Bukhari is further proof that Jesus died: "On the authority of Ibn Abbas: The Prophet of Allah said, '...Then I will say as the pious slave Jesus, son of Mary, said: 'And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you caused me to die ("tawaffaytani") you were the watcher over them, and you are a witness to all things...'"(see, Bukhari, Nuhammad Ibn Ismail. Sahih of al Buhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 1984, vol. 3, number 3263. See also vol. 4, number 4349, 4463.)


The Passion of the Christ is one of the greatest and goriest movies of all time. Few years ago Mel Gibson’s depiction of the final hours and crucifixion of Jesus Christ hit hard and will go down as an all time classic, internationally, and especially among us Muslims. The film portrays all the events around the crucifixion of Isa Al Masih to the closest biblical detail including some Catholic tradition around the person of Mary, Isa’s mother. The actors voice the whole story in the original languages Aramaic, (Hebrew dialect of Galilee, Isa spoke) Hebrew (language of the pure Jews, Latin (official language of the Romans) and Greek (literal language) spoken at that time by the educated elite around Palestine and Israel. With some Arabic or even Urdu background, and the fact it is an action tragedy movie this film has been widely understood in Pakistan and left a deep impact among Pukhtun, Punjabi, and Sindhi; educated and less educated alike.


The historic question widely arose and was widely discussed whether Isa, really died “on the cross”. Unfortunately, the only verse in the Holy Qur’an mentioning the term “crucifixion”, is the most misunderstood verse on the subject.  Consequently, this again led to a lot of confusion and disagreement among scholars. Ordinary Muslim just copy an opinion or just leave it up to Allah, saying that he knows best. This is a very cheap excuse of avoiding genuine research, as we are not only dealing with the world biggest religious central believes for salvation of mankind, but also we are dealing here with the zero point in human history.


The verse in Surah An Nisa 4,157 (the only mention of the crucifixion in the entire Quran) says clearly, that the Jews boasted to have killed Isa, but they did not, but it seemed so to them; whereas actually the Romans crucified Isa Al Masih. We proved this culturally, (the Jews would have stoned him for blasphemy) historically, (the Romans were occupying Palestine and according to their own law executed criminals on the cross) and theologically, as in conformity with all the prophecies in the earlier holy books.


Let’s look again closely at the Arabic text as well as at the many popular English translations of the verse:


Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (authors hint at the Romans):


"... and they (the Jews) have said, 'Verily we have slain Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of Allah'. But they slew him not, neither crucified him, but it seemed to them as if (they did it)…. They did not kill him with certainty (as they handed him over to the Romans who crucified him)


In studding this passage from various translations already I have deeply regret to see, that the various translations into English have given a meaning of the text according to their own preconceived bias. There is a game play around the word “… [shubbiha lahum]…” Where throughout Islamic history, Muslims have made up complete fiction around the events of Isa on the cross, and later sell it as the word from Allah to the less religiously educated.


Look at the following versions carefully, and then you will understand how many interpretations can result:


Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (Pickthall)

And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.

 

Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (Yusuf Ali)

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger 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:-

 

Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (Sahih International)

And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.

 

Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (Muhsin Khan)

And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]:

 

Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (Shakir)

And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Maryam, the messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.

 

Surah An-Nisa   4,157     (Dr. Ghali)

And for their saying, "Surely we killed the Masih, Isa son of Maryam, (The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary) the Messenger of Allah." And in no way did they kill him, and in no way did they crucify him, but a resemblance of him was presented to them (i.e. the matter was made obscure for them through mutual resemblance). And surely the ones who differed about him are indeed in doubt about him. (Or: it, "that") In no way do they have any knowledge about him except the close following of surmise, and in no way did they kill him of a certainty.

If we look now at the Arabic word “… [shubbiha lahum]….” It “seemed so to them (the Jews)”   we go from here to there….


…but it appeared so unto them.

…was made to appear to them,

…but [another] was made to resemble him to them.

…but the resemblance of 'Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man),

…but it appeared to them so. (Like Isa)

…resemblance of him was presented to them (i.e. the matter was made obscure for them through mutual resemblance).


Indeed, as the second part of the verse suggests there is much assumption, conjuncture, but little knowledge among Muslims today of what really happened on 3rd April 33AD at the site of the cross outside Jerusalem in ancient Palestine.


In the Muslim world today probably the most widely-known view on this question is that God caused someone else (a substitute) to appear to be Isa, and that that substitute was crucified in his place, while God took Isa directly to heaven alive. Less well-known, but nonetheless widely held, is the view that Isa himself was indeed nailed to the cross, but that he only lost consciousness on the cross and subsequently revived in the tomb. This view, which has been popularized by the polemical writings of Ahmed Deedat, is most commonly found in South Asia today.


The substitution tradition, which is also very common in Pakistan nowadays, holds that Allah caused the appearance of Isa to fall upon all of his disciples, so that the Jews were unable to tell which of them was Isa.  Another tradition holds that Isa asked his disciples for a single volunteer who would receive the appearance of Isa and be crucified in his place.


The various schools of thought among scholars have mentioned several different interpretations:

1) The Jews deliberately crucified another person and lied about it,

2) A man named Titayus was sent by “Judas the chief of the Jews” to kill Jesus, but Allah caused Titayus to appear like Jesus, and he was crucified instead,

3) The man charged with guarding Jesus was caused to look like Jesus and was crucified in his place,

4) Jesus asked his twelve disciples for a volunteer, and one man volunteered and was made to look like Jesus and was crucified,

5) A hypocritical disciple who proposed to betray Jesus was caused to look like Isa and was crucified.


These interpretations are mutually contradictory and incompatible with one another.


Now, I think that the substitution theory also gives some grammatical problems to the Quran text. What is the grammatical subject of the verb “shubbiha”? If you say that its subject is Christ, [this will not work because] he is not supposed to have been made to resemble someone else: he is the one whom someone else is supposed to have been made to resemble! 

On the other hand, if you say that its subject is the one who was killed, [this will not work] because there is no mention [in the text] of the one who was killed. The most suitable answer is to reckon”shubbiha” as an impersonal passive verb, meaning simply: “it appeared so to them” or “it was obscure/doubtful to them.” or they thought so….


Did Isa Al Masih die on the cross and then rise from the dead? Surprisingly, throughout the centuries there has never been just one, single “correct” Islamic answer to the question of whether Isa died on the cross. It has never been just a simple “yes-or-no” question and the many versions contradict each other more than any other event in Islamic history.

Swoon Theory of Ahmed Dedad & Zakir Naik...

A partial list of the interpretations which I have found in the major commentaries includes the following:

1) The substitution theory, (5 differing theories on who’s the substitute of Isa)

2) The sleep theory (including loss of consciousness on the cross),

3) Waffat=to take away: not physical death (various, what Allah “seized” and when),

4) Chronological transposition, with eschatological death and resurrection,

(to happen in future)

5) Allah “brought an end to Jesus’ earthly lifespan,” (abberufen/called up)

6) Allah “took Jesus totally, in body and soul,”

7) “Agnosticism” or “Allah knows better” as to when and how the dying and rising take place

8) The Sufi vision of death to self and to carnal desires,

9) “Like the martyrs, Isa died a real death, but is alive with Allah,” and

10) Real, literal death [mawt] and resurrection [baath] (like Christians believe)

Which option do you as a true searching, thinking, believing Muslim accept to have happened? If there is still any doubt and confusion in your heart and mind, don’t just say “Allah knows better” as those who disagree know nothing. These problems all disappear when we interpret the Qur'ān as correctly saying that it was ‘not the Jews but the Romans that killed Jesus’. 


Therefore Sura 4, 157-158 are really part of an anti-Jewish polemic whose aim is not to deny the crucifixion as such, but to vindicate Isa’s prophet hood before the unbelieving Jews, who defamed his recognition as ‘Messiah’. Well, it is important for us truly discerning Muslims to understand, that according to the Holy Qur’an, the Jews actually did not kill Isa  themselves:


Surah An-Nisa   4,157-158:


"... and they (the Jews) have said, 'Verily we have slain Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of Allah'. But they slew him not, neither crucified him, but it seemed to them as if (they did it)…. They did not kill him with certainty (as they handed him over to the Romans who crucified him)


 No; Allah took him up unto himself" (The resurrection on the third day)


Yes, the Jews wanted to kill Isa al Masih. They wanted to stone him for blasphemy as commanded in the Tawrat of Moses. However, they had to take him to the Romans, since being under Roman occupation; they had no authority to execute anyone. In the following event, the Jewish High Priest handed him over to the Romans, to be tried and killed by them, so they would be clean to eat at the Passover Eid-Festival:


Injiil, John 18, 28-31        (CEV)

It was early in the morning when Jesus was taken from Caiaphas to the building, where the Roman governor stayed. But the crowd waited outside. Any of them who had gone inside would have become unclean and wouldn’t be allowed to eat the Passover meal. 29. Pilate came out and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man? 30. They answered, “He is a criminal! That’s why we brought him to you.” Pilate told them, “Take him and judge him by your own laws”

The crowd replied, “We are not allowed to put anyone to death. 32. And so what Jesus said about his death would soon come true.


Isa Al Masih earlier said he would be ‘lifted up’ which meant he would die on a cross.

The Romans killed criminals by nailing them on a cross, but they didn’t let the Jews kill anyone this way. 

As a historic fact, in spring 33AD, the Jewish leaders handed him over to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate,

who then gave him the death sentence by crucifixion. So, technically, it was the Romans who did the actual killing.


But more importantly, Isa’s death was indeed part of Allah's sovereign -plan and purpose.  In fact 700 years earlier Allah announces through his Prophet Isaiah the rejection, suffering, sacrificial death for mankind, for the forgiveness of sin, and healing from sickness through Isa Al Masih:


Anbian,                Isaiah 53, 12 (in part)      (NIV)
…because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors…

The third reason why the Jews could not kill Isa in Surah 4, 157-158 is that Isa himself prophesied that, “No man takes my life, but I lay it down."  Therefore, the Jews who thought that they had done it, had actually not, because Jesus was a willing sacrifice for the sins of the world as opposed to being killed by the Jews by conspiracy. 


So true Muslims and Christians can agree three fold with the Quran in saying, "They slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them". 

Furthermore we have the written proofs of other early historians concerning Isa’s crucifixion:


  1. Tacitus, an early second century man and Roman historian describes Christians as those who received their name from ‘Christ, who had been executed by sentence of procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius (Annals 15:44)
  2. Flavius Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, in his Antiques of the Jews also wrote about Jesus and his crucifixion: ‘Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us had condemned him to the cross.

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi,
Author, Historian & Debator


In conclusion that apart from the Bible or the Qur’an we are not short of historic evidence whether the crucifixion was an illusion or a reality. These two historians even mention that it was the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, who executed Isa Al Masih. These records, together with the reliability of the Injil, the opposing Jews, the disciples, who lived together with him for 3 years, the Roman soldiers at the cross, Isa himself, together with the writings of the early historians cannot be easily dismissed.


Both, the historic fact that he actually died and his own claim to call Allah his father we have recorded in the Holy Injiil.

In one verse on the cross, when he gasps his last breath in his physical body, it says:


Injil,       Luke 23:46           (CEV)

46 Jesus shouted, “Father, I put myself in your hands!” Then he died.

Prof. Faouzi Arzouni on Isa's own predictions about his suffering, death and resurrection

At the event of His death, Isa Al Masih not only proclaimed in submission Allah to be his father, but also fulfilled his own many predictions about his own death on the cross, like this first one at the beginning of his ministry.


Injil,       Mark 9:31            (CEV)

31. …because he was teaching the disciples that the Son of Man would be handed over to people who would kill him. But three days later he would rise to life.

And the last one just before he was arrested, tried, flogged, mocked and crucified to death:


Injil,       Matthew 26:1-2                (NIV) 1. When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

If this Qur'ānic passage is indeed still unclear to you, and gives no definite interpretation either-, if Surah Al-'Imran 3:7 warns against arrogantly reading one's own personal interpretation into unclear verses-, and if the Qur'ān itself would be unclear regarding Jesus, it is obviously best to consult the Holy Injīl just as the Qur'ān advises:


Surah Yunus 10:94   (Sahih International)            

So if you are in doubt, about that which we have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. (Christians) The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.

Then why not going now to the earlier scriptures?

In the Injil, we find in all four records by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the detailed story on Isa’s death, his burial, the resurrection on the third day, and his ascension into heaven back to Allah.

We have chosen the best extracts of these events here to illustrate the details of the facts we have summarized beforehand in Quranic terms from
Surah 19, 33 & 3, 55 & 4,157.

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Author, Historian & Debator

Injil,       Matthew 27       (CEV)     The crucifixion (1)

(Jesus Is Taken to Pilate) 1.  Early the next morning all the chief priests and the nation’s leaders met and decided that Jesus should be put to death. 2 They tied him up and led him away to Pilate the governor. (The Death of Judas)   3 Judas had betrayed Jesus, but when he learned that Jesus had been sentenced to death, he was sorry for what he had done. He returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and leaders 4 and said, “I have sinned by betraying a man who has never done anything wrong.”

“So what? That’s your problem,” they replied. 5 Judas threw the money into the temple and then went out and hanged himself.

6 The chief priests picked up the money and said, “This money was paid to have a man killed. We can’t put it in the temple treasury.” 7 Then they had a meeting and decided to buy a field that belonged to someone who made clay pots. They wanted to use it as a graveyard for foreigners. 8 That’s why people still call that place “Field of Blood.” 9 So the words of the prophet Jeremiah came true,

“They took the thirty silver coins,
the price of a person among the people of Israel.
10 They paid it for a potter’s field,
as the Lord had commanded me.”

(Pilate Questions Jesus) 11 Jesus was brought before Pilate the governor, who asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”  “Those are your words!” Jesus answered. 12 And when the chief priests and leaders brought their charges against him, he did not say a thing.

13 Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear what crimes they say you have done?” 14 But Jesus did not say anything, and the governor was greatly amazed.

(The Death Sentence) 15 During Passover the governor always freed a prisoner chosen by the people. 16 At that time a well-known terrorist named Jesus Barabbas was in jail. 17 So when the crowd came together, Pilate asked them, “Which prisoner do you want me to set free? Do you want Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 Pilate knew that the leaders had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous.

19 While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man. I have had nightmares because of him.”  20 But the chief priests and the leaders convinced the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be set free and for Jesus to be killed. 21 Pilate asked the crowd again, “Which of these two men do you want me to set free?”

“Barabbas!” they replied. 22 Pilate asked them, “What am I to do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?” They all yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”  23 Pilate answered, “But what crime has he done?”  “Nail him to a cross!” they yelled even louder.  24 Pilate saw that there was nothing he could do and that the people were starting to riot. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of them and said, “I won’t have anything to do with killing this man. You are the ones doing it!”  25 Everyone answered, “We and our own families will take the blame for his death!”

26 Pilate set Barabbas free. Then he ordered his soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip and nail him to a cross.

(Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus) 27 The governor’s soldiers led Jesus into the fortress and brought together the rest of the troops. 28 They stripped off Jesus' clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. 29 They made a crown out of thorn branches and placed it on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand. The soldiers knelt down and pretended to worship him. They made fun of him and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” 30 Then they spit on him. They took the stick from him and beat him on the head with it. (Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross) 31 When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross. 32 On the way they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross.

33 They came to a place named Golgotha, which means “Place of a Skull.” 34 There they gave Jesus some wine mixed with a drug to ease the pain. But when Jesus tasted what it was, he refused to drink it.

35 The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross and gambled to see who would get his clothes. 36 Then they sat down to guard him. 37 Above his head they put a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.

39 People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and 40 shouted, “So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days! If you are God’s Son, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The chief priests, the leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said, 42 “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the king of Israel, he should come down from the cross! Then we will believe him. 43 He trusted God, so let God save him, if he wants to. He even said he was God’s Son.” 44 The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.

(The Death of Jesus) 45 At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o’clock. 46 Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”

The last words of Isa Al Masih are so important, that I am inserting here two scriptures from Zaboor of Dawood and Mark’s Injil. ....because when Isa on the cross said, "Alahi Alahi, lama sabachthani," he was using the Aramaic cognate of the Arabic word "Allah."  In his own words on the cross he quoted and fulfilled the Hebrew words in Zaboor 22, 1 given to Dawood 1000 years earlier in his own dialect:

 

Zaboor,                Psalm 22:1          (NIV)

 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

 

Injil,       Mark 15:34          (NIV)

 

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”

(Which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).


At this point of the crucifixion sequence, people still thought Elijah would come to save Isa from the cross, because they did not understand his Northern dialect of Hebrew, the Aramaic language. The original Injil was written in Greek language. Therefore this phrase of Isa’s last words were given to us in its original language (just as in the Film: The passion of the Christ) and then translated for the Greek reader, as you see in brackets above, which is authentic part of the original Injil text in Greek. Many of my Pakistani friends just are not able to believe, that Allah would let him die, and this makes it difficult to accept the word of the Injil as it is written. Other Muslim fiends argue, that if he was himself Allah and died, how would Allah continue to exist for 3 days? Allah-u-Akbar! Again we see here that Al Masih was both, 100% true God and 100% real human in one person, the “Son of God” is the “Son of Man” at the same time and perfectly united. He the eternal perfect sacrifice made complete atonement for our sin, guilt and shame.  During the Passover in AD 33, Friday 3rd of April, Isa Al Masih, the son of man, was crucified on that hill outside Jerusalem. He fulfilled His mission from Allah. He became the perfect sacrifice promised to Abraham 2000 year earlier (see chapter 4) Only he could and took upon himself the separation with- and forsakenness by- the heavenly Father on the behalf on the whole human race, and you and me,  Let’s all remember this as we read on to his death:

Injiil,     Matthew 27       (CEV)     The crucifixion (2)

47 Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” 48 One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus. 49 Others said, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.” 50 Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.

51 At once the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart. 52 Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. 53 Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.

54 The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”

55 Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance. 56 Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were some of these women.


Isa’s death was His greatest achievement and Allah’s greatest act of mercy. The power of love conquered the love of power. It was no mistake, no misfortune, and no accident. He was not a martyred victim, but a mighty victor, a true Muslim’s champion, Allah’s hero. Allah-u-Akbar.  The Father in heaven sent Him to hunt out and destroy the devil (Shaitan) and evil (haram). The living “Kalimat-ullah” overthrew our greatest enemy, Satan; our biggest curse, sin; and our final foe, death. The world ran true to form when it crucified the Messiah. Allah also ran true to form in what He did about it. He turned red blood into royal redemption (Al Quffarah). Men took a beautiful tree, stripped it, and twisted it into the stark beams of the cross. It was their logo of hate. Isa Al Masih picked it up, stained it with His life’s pure blood, and gave it back to us, fallen humanity. His logo of love, the stained cross. He invested that tree with a glory it never had before. Its wood became a door of hope. It made us worth all that we cost to be saved for ever.

Today, we still have the same attitude that Allah could not have let Him die since he was a prophet.  We do not understand that He, the perfect one, willingly and consciously died for our sins, so that we all can be forgiven and accepted by Allah through the complete sacrifice of His only “Son”. This was Allah’s perfect and foretold plan of redemption and mercy for all Muslim believers, yes for all humanity:


Injiil,   Colossians 1:20           (CEV)

20 And God was pleased for him to make peace
by sacrificing his blood on the cross,
so that all beings in heaven and on earth
would be brought back to God.

Prof. Faouzi Arzouni on Isa's own death - a defeat?