Exposing more of Shabir Ally’s misinformation
We continue with our rebuttal (https://answeringallah.com/what-type-of-messiah-does-the-quran-say-jesus-happens-to-be-pt-2/).
The Return of Christ: More Islamic Proof for Jesus’ Davidic Messiahship
In the video, after stating that some of the Muslim scholars believed that Mary was of Levitical descent, from the priestly line of Aaron, Ally went on to say that this would be interesting,
“Because in the New Testament Jesus is shown to be the Son of David, he’s of the Davidic line, which would mean that he’s of that kingly descent. And when people hail him as the Messiah they thought that that means that he is the Davidic Messiah. But a problem occurs in that if he’s the Messiah he should have ruled, and he didn’t rule; of course, Christian generally believe that when he comes back he will rule. But our Jewish friends say, ‘Well okay, in that case when he comes back we’ll believe that he’s the Messiah. But so far he hasn’t proven himself to be the Messiah. When he comes back and he rules, he will prove himself to be the Messiah and then we’ll believe he’s the Messiah. But so far it doesn’t look like he is.’”
Ally went on to say that,
“In the Islamic view, on the other hand, there is no mention that he is of Davidic descent. And Margaret Barker in her book, “Christmas: The Original Story,” actually remarked on this fact that in the Quran, and neither Mary nor Jesus are shown to be of Davidic descent. And that would probably explain why Mary is called sister of Aaron, in order to show that she’s actually not of Davidic descent, but actually Levitical. And in that case Jesus would qualify still as Messiah, but as a priestly Messiah. And in that case the idea of his crucifixion does not present a problem. See, if he was to be the Davidic Messiah and then he was crucified it would mean that somehow the crucifixion disproves his claim to Messiahship. But if he was a priestly Messiah then all he has to do is be a priest, a religious teacher, and in that case the fact that they crucified him would not count against his authenticity as God’s priestly Messiah.”
This is a rather bizarre and strange objection coming from a Muslim whose tradition makes it obligatory for Muslims to believe that Jesus Christ will physically descend from the heavens in order to rule as a just ruler and righteous judge:
… Allah’s saying…
(And he (`Isa) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) The correct view concerning this phrase is that it refers to his descent before the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says…
(And there is none of the People of the Scripture but must believe in him before his death) (4:159). — meaning before the death of `Isa…
(And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them) (4:159). This meaning has the support from an alternate recitation of the Ayat… (And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, evidence that the Hour will surely come. Mujahid said…
(And he shall be a sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, sign and “One of the signs of the Hour will be the appearance of `Isa son of Maryam before the Day of Resurrection.” Something similar was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Abbas, `Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Malik, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. MANY MUTAWATIR HADITHS report that the Messenger of Allah said that `Isa will descend before the Day of Resurrection as A JUST RULER AND FAIR JUDGE…
(Therefore have no doubt concerning it.) means, do not doubt that it will surely come to pass. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 43:61 http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/43/57)
Another Muslim source concurs and goes so far as to say that this is a multiply attested tradition (mutawatir), which means that no true Muslim can reject it:
The Hadiths on Jesus Are “Tawatur”
The hadiths relating Jesus’ second coming are reliable [tawatur]. Research shows that scholars share this view. Tawatur is defined as “a tradition which has been handed down by a number of different channels of transmitters or authorities, hence supposedly ruling out the possibility of its having been forged.”8
Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani, an Islamic scholar, explains the concept of tawatur hadith as follows:
News of mutawatir, are the news upon which so many transmitters agree; to such an extent that, according to the tradition, it is unlikely for so many transmitters to reach to a consensus on a lie. This being the situation, if statements and meanings agree with one another, then this is called mutawatir lafzi [verbal mutawatir]. If there is common meaning yet contradiction between statements [words], then it is called mutewatir-i manawi [mutawatir by meaning].9
In his Al-Tasrih fi ma Tawatara fi Nuzul al-Masih, the great hadith scholar Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri writes that the hadiths about Jesus’ second coming are all reliable, AND QUOTES 75 HADITHS AND 25 WORKS by companions of the Prophet and their disciples (tabi’un).
In the Sunni school of Islam, Imam Abu Hanifa is the greatest collector of hadiths on Jesus’ second coming. In the final part of his Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, he states that:
The emergence of the Dajjal and of Gog and Magog is a reality; the rising of the sun in the West is a reality; the descent of Jesus, upon whom be peace, from the heavens is a reality; and all the other signs of the Day of Resurrection, as contained in authentic traditions, are also established realities.10
Jesus’ second coming is one of the ten great signs of the Last Day, and many Islamic scholars have dealt with the subject in great detail. When all of these views are considered together, it becomes apparent that there is a consensus on this event.
For instance, in his work Lawaqi Al-Anwar Al-Bahiyah, Imam al-Safarini expresses that Islamic scholars agree upon this issue:
THE ENTIRE UMMAH (Muslim community) has agreed on the issue that Prophet Jesus, the son of Maryam, will return. There is NO ONE from the people who follow Muslim laws who oppose this issue.11
In his commentary Ruh al-Ma`ani, the great Islamic scholar Sayyid Mahmud Alusi gives examples from the views of other Islamic scholars and explains that the Islamic community has reached to a consensus regarding Prophet Jesus’ second coming12, that information regarding this issue is well-known to the extent of being mutawatir by meaning, and that it is essential to believe in Prophet Jesus’ return to Earth.
Imam Kawthari also stated his views regarding Prophet Jesus’ coming as follows:
The tawatur in the hadiths regarding Prophet Jesus’ second coming is mutawatir-i manawi. Aside from the fact that each one of the sahih and hasan hadiths may indicate different meanings, they all agree upon Prophet Jesus’ second coming. This is actually a fact which is IMPOSSIBLE TO DENY for a person who is well acquainted with the knowledge of hadith… The hadiths related to the appearance of Mahdi and Dajjal and Prophet Jesus’ second coming are tawatur; it is certainly not an issue that is considered doubtful by experts on the hadith literature. The reason why some who deal with Ilm al-Kalam (science of theology) agree that it is essential to have faith in the hadiths related to the signs of Doomsday yet have doubts about whether some of these hadiths are mutawatir or not, is their inadequate knowledge about hadiths.13
The great Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir states his views after commenting on the related verses and explaining the related hadiths:
These are narrated from the Messenger of God as mutawatir and in these hadiths, there are explanations regarding how and where Prophet Jesus will appear…The authentic and mutawatir hadiths about Prophet Jesus’ return to Earth IN HIS NOBLE BODY is immune to any opposing interpretations. Consequently, everyone with the smallest speck of faith and fairness HAS TO BELIEVE in Prophet Jesus’ second coming; only those WHO OPPOSE to God’s Book, His Messenger and Ahl al-Sunnah may deny Prophet Jesus’ second coming to Earth.14
Another explanation about the hadiths’ reaching the level of tawatur is as follows:
Muhammad al-Shawkani said that he had collected 29 hadiths and, when he had recorded them all, he said: “Our hadiths have reached the level of tawatur (reliable), as you can see. With this, we reach the conclusion that the hadiths on the anticipated Mahdi, the Dajjal, and Jesus’ second coming are mutawatir (genuine).”15
At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, al-Bazzaz, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, al-Tabarani, and al-Musuli recorded many hadiths narrated by the Companions, such as `Ali, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, Talha, Abu Hurayra, Anas, Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, Umm Habiba, Umm Salama, `Ali al-Hilali, and `Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn Jaz, upon whose narrations they based their collection on.16 For instance, Ibn Hajr Al-Haythami in the book Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muhriqa, al-Shablanji in his book Nur al-Absar, Ibn Sabbagh in his book Al-Fusul Al-Muhimma, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Sabban in his book Is`af ar-Raghibin fi Sirat al-Mustafa wa Fada’il Ahl Baytihi at-Tahirin, and Muhammad Amin Suwaidi in his book Saba’ik az-Zahab, wrote that the hadiths about Jesus’ second coming are reliable.17
These hadiths are recorded by the Ahl as-Sunnah scholars and hadith experts in their own works. For instance, Abu Dawud, Ibn Ahmad Hanbal, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, an-Nasa’i, al-Tabarani, al-Rawajini, Abu Nu`aym al-Isfahani, ad-Daylami, al-Baihaqi, as-Salabi, Hamawaini, Manawi, Ibn al-Jawzi, Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Sabban, al-Mawardi, al-Khanji al-Shafi, as-Samani, al-Khwarizmi, ash-Sharani, ad-Daraqutni, Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki, Muhibbuddin at-Tabari, Ibn Hajr al-Haythami, Shaikh Mansur `Ali Nasif, Muhammad ibn Talha, Jalaluddin as-Suyuti, al-Qurtubi, al-Baghawi and many more deal with the subject in their books.
`Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda reveals that the hadiths about Jesus returning to Earth and killing the Dajjal have reached the degree of being mutawatir.18 In his Nazm al-Mutanathir min al-Hadith al-Mutawatir19, al-Kattani stated that “the descent of Jesus is established by the Sunnah, and Ijma al-Ummah (concensus of the Islamic community), and the hadiths on this issue and Dajjal and the Mahdi are mutawatir. In his commentary Al Bahru Al-Muhit, Ibn Atiyya al Garnati states that the Islamic community has the common belief that Prophet Jesus is alive, that he will come back at the End Times and that the hadiths about this issue are mutawatir. (Harun Yahya, pp. 56-65 http://www.harunyahya.com/en/Books/2684/the-signs-of-prophet-jesus; capital and underline emphasis mine)
Islamic Scholars Consider Prophet Jesus’ Coming as a Matter of Aqidah (Faith)
In almost all works that dwell on the essence of faith of the followers of Sunnah, there is reference to Prophet Jesus’ coming to Earth before the Last Day, his struggle against Dajjal and his killing him, and the pervasion of the morality of true religion over the Earth. Assessing the evidence from the Qur’an and the news provided by hadiths altogether, Islamic scholars have adopted faith in Prophet Jesus’ return AS AN IMPORTANT TENET OF FAITH. The related explanations are as follows:
- In verse 157 of the Surat an-Nisa’, God commands, “…They did not kill him and they did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them….” This verse, together with many others, reveal that Prophet Jesus is alive in God’s sight and indicates that he will come to Earth for a second time. Reaching to consensus on this issue, Islamic scholars state that advocating a contrary suggestion IS BY NO MEANS POSSIBLE. For instance in his commentary of this verse, Ibn Hazm stresses that someone who says Prophet Jesus is murdered would revert back from Islam or become a disbeliever.
- The fact that the hadiths pertaining to Prophet Jesus’ second coming are mutawatir, that is, so clear as to be immune to any doubts, is a great evidence for Muslims. Furthermore, there exists NOT A SINGLE DIFFERENT HADITH that maintains otherwise – that is, any hadith that suggests that Prophet Jesus will not return.
- Another evidence used by Islamic scholars is the hadith narrated by Jabir Ibn Abdullah which says, “Anyone who denies Mahdi’s coming has denied what was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. Anyone who rejects Prophet Jesus’, son of Maryam, coming HAS BECOME A DISBELIEVER. Anyone who does not accept Dajjal’s appearance has also become a disbeliever.” There is reference to this hadith in very important Islamic resources such as, Fasl al-Khitab by Khwaja Parsa Bukhari, Maani al-Akhbarby Muhammed ibn Ibrahim Kalabadhi, Al-Rawd Al-Unufby Suhayl, Arf-ul-wardi-fi Akhbar Mahdi by Jalaluddin Suyuti. This aside, Sheikh Abu Bakr has explained the chain of people who narrated this hadith. It is as follows (from the last person to the first): Muhammad Ibn Hasan, Abu Abdullah al-Hussein Ibn Muhammad, Isma’il Ibn Abi Uways, Malik Ibn Abas, Muhammad Ibn Munkadir, Jabir Ibn Abdullah.20
- The abundance of narrators who reported the hadiths related to Prophet Jesus’ coming and their trustworthiness is another issue to which Islamic scholars draw attention. Some of the narrators who reported these hadiths are: Abu’l Asas as-Sanani, Abu Rafi, Abul Aliyya, Abu Umama al-Bahili, Abu’d Darda’, Abu Hurayra, Abu Malik al-Hudri, Jabir Ibn Abdullah, Hudhayfa Ibn Adis, Safina, Abu Qatada, Uthman Ibnul ‘Aas, Nafi’ Ibn Kaysani, Al Walid Ibn Muslim, Ammar Ibn Yathir, Abdullah Ibni Abbas…
As a result of all this information, Islamic scholars have considered faith in Prophet Jesus’ return to Earth and the pervasion of the morality of the true religion as an important essence of faith. (Ibid., pp. 66-69; capital and underline emphasis ours)
Interestingly, Ally himself accepts the Islamic teaching that Christ shall return physically to the earth:
Muslims also generally believe that Jesus will return to earth before the Day of Judgment. This belief is not clearly stated in the Quran although two verses (4:158 and 43:61) have been interpreted as possible references to this event. This belief is, however, stated in many sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and found in the most authentic collections of his sayings. (Jesus Christ the Messiah [sic]: A Belief Shared by Muslims and Christians, April 1, 2012 http://islaminfo.com/jesus-christ-the-messiah-a-belief-shared-by-muslims-and-christians.html)
Thus, Ally has no choice but to accept that Jesus’ return to rule as a judge makes him A DAVIDIC MESSIAH, not a priestly one since it is the Davidic Messiah who rules and reigns, not the priestly Messiah. This, therefore, means that the same objection leveled by Jews against Christians can equally be lodged against Muslims. Per Ally’s logic, the Jews have every right to tell their Muslim friends that they will only believe in Jesus once he physically returns to the earth to rule and judge. It is only then that they will accept the fact of his being their Messiah, he who was to come from the line of David in order to rule over the nations.
With that said, Ally’s claim that Islam depicts Jesus as a priestly Messiah introduces more problems for him to solve, as we shall see in the next segment of our rebuttal.