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No Decisive Evidence that Jesus Was Raised Awake or Sleeping


اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ‎ I came across this narration - Al Hassan reports that Ibn Masud رضي الله عنه said "Allah raised Prophet Isa while he was asleep". [Tafsir Ibn kathir Ibn abi hatim]Is this authentic?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is impossible to know the state in which Prophet Jesus (Isa) – peace be upon him – was raised, whether he was asleep or awake, except through revelation, either in the Quran or the Sunnah. As far as we know, there is nothing explicit about it in the Quran or the Sunnah, which cannot be interpreted otherwise, indicating that Allah raised him while he was sleeping. The narration mentioned in the question is not a Hadith attributed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) rather; it is the saying of al-Hasan al-Basri  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who was one of the Imams of the Tabi’is (the generation that followed that of the Companions).

In Surat Al-Imran [Quran 3], there is evidence that indicates – possibly – that he was asleep when Allah, the Al-Mighty, raised him; Allah Says (what means): {[Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I [مُتَوَفِّيكَ Mutawafeeka] will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve…} [Quran 3:55]

There have been many interpretations regarding what is meant by the word مُتَوَفِّيكَ Mutawafeeka (in Arabic which is mentioned in the verse), which is translated as ‘take you’. Most interpreters of the Quran said it meant sleep, giving evidence that in other verses in the Quran, the term Mutawafeeka referred to sleep. Ibn Kathir  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his Tafsir: “The majority of the scholars said: “What is meant by Mutawafeeka here is sleep”. Allah Says (what means): {And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein that a specified term may be fulfilled. Then to Him will be your return; then He will inform you about what you used to do.} [Quran 6:60] Allah also Says (what means): {And Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term.} [Quran 39:42]” [End of quote]

However, some other interpreters of the Quran say that what is meant by Mutawafeeka in the verse is real death and that the verse means: “I will raise you to Me and [Mutawafeeka] take your soul; meaning after that.

As you see, there is no decisive statement on the matter that cannot be interpreted otherwise, indicating that Allah raised Prophet Jesus (Isa) while he was sleeping. Also, investigating and scrutinizing whether he was raised while asleep or awake is not beneficial and does not result in any action; the important thing is to believe that Allah the Al-Might raised him to Himself, and that the Jews did not kill him and did not crucify him, as Allah Says (what means): {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. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Quran 157:158]

For more benefit on explanation of Quran [4:157-158], please refer to Fatwa 87468.

Allah knows best.

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