Islamic View of Jesus' Death

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The issue of the crucifixion and death of Jesus (Isa) is important to Muslims as they believe that Jesus will return before the end of time. Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified, but was raised bodily to heaven by God, a belief also found in the Gospel of Basilides. However, this view is disregarded as agnostic by Christians who only accept the 4 gospels contained in the New Testament as genuine. The other 28, seldom publicised, are viewed as heretical.

Depending on the interpretation of the following verse, Muslim scholars have abstracted different opinions. Some believe that in the Biblical account, Jesus' crucifixion did not last long enough for him to die (minority view, held mainly by Ahmadiyya) while others opine that God gave someone Jesus' appearance, causing everyone to believe that Jesus was crucified (majority view). A third explanation could be that Jesus was nailed to a cross, but as his body is immortal he did not "die" or was not "crucified" [to death]; it only appeared so. In opposition to the second and third foregoing proposals, yet others maintain that God does not use deceit and therefore they contend that crucifixion just did not occur. The basis of all of these beliefs is the following verse in the Qur'an:

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:- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

—Qur'an, sura 4 (An-Nisa) ayat 157-158[1]
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