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Disclose Unlawful Relations to a Potential Wife!

Question 053: Should a man disclose unlawful relations to whom he wants to get married? Is he allowed to lie in order to get rid of evil if she asks about his past relations?

Answer 053: Islam, however introduce the trustfulness and honesty as the biggest capital in a couple’s life and says that where there is honesty in a family, there is no ground for any misunderstanding and misconception and if a husband and wife want to betray or deceive each other and tell each other lies, then there is no way they can trust each other, but one mustn’t disclose his sins (small or big) to anyone. He must keep his secrets (regarding his sins) to himself. From Islam’s perspective the self-respect a person has for himself is so significant that he can only confess his sins before Allah in the sense of asking for forgiveness.

Not only will he not lose his respect but by confessing before Allah he will gain more. This is something solely restricted to Allah , for no other person even if he were to be a trustworthy person, is capable of returning one’s respect (that has been lost when he confesses to that person), let alone increasing it.

On top of that, based on the tawhidi (monotheistic) viewpoint in Islam the sole cause for everything in this world is Allah [1] and no one can do anything without his permission especially granting forgiveness and pardon which has not been assigned to any individual or character in Islam other than Allah (swt) himself.

In this regards, Imam Javad (as) says: If you come to know about the secrets of each other no one of you would bury one another. This means that after knowing your friends’ secrets you would fed up with them in a way that never bury their bodies.[1]

In order to avoid discrediting others and spreading prostitution no one is allowed to disclose his/her unlawful relations with others, according to Islam. One must only confess his/her mistakes and sins before Allah (SWT) and truly ask for His forgiveness, then Allah (SWT) will forgive him/her. In the holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Say: O My servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah Surely Allah forgives the faults altogether Surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful”.[2]

Note: Once someone said in front of Imam Ali (as), “Astaghfirullah” (I ask Allah’s forgiveness), then Imam Ali (as) said, “Your mother may lose you! Do you know what ‘istighfar’ (asking Allah’s forgiveness) is?”[3]

‘Astighfar’ is meant for people of a high position. It is a word that stands on six meanings:

  1. To repent over the past.
  2. To make a firm determination never to revert to it.
  3. To discharge all the rights of the people so that you may meet Allah quite clean with nothing to account for.
  4. To fulfill every obligatory act which you ignored (in the past) so that you may now do justice with it.
  5. To aim at the flesh grown as a result of unlawful earning, so that you may melt it by grief (of repentance) till the skin touches the bone and a new flesh grows between them.[4]
  6. To make the body taste the pain of obedience as you (previously) made it taste the sweetness of disobedience. On such occasion you may say: ‘astaghfirullah’.[5]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index:  Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

[1] لا مؤثر فی الوجود الا الله

[1] . Sheikh Sadouq, Muhammad bin Ali, Amali, Pg. 446, Aalami Publication, Beirut, 1400 A.H.

[2] . Surah al-Zumar, verse 53.

[3] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 93, Pg. 285.

[4] . Adopted from answer 139 (Index: How to Repent from Sins (high on drug) committed in the month of Ramadan).

[5] . “الجنة محفوفة بالمکاره و جهنم محفوفة باللذات و الشهوات” Wasa’ilul-Shia, vol. 15, pg. 309, section 42 (the section that speaks of refraining from haram desires and pleasures).

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Organ Donation / Brain death and Donation of an Organ

Question 404: What is the ruling on organ donation after death?

Answer 404: According to Sayyid Sistani (ha), it is not permissible, as a measure of precaution, to cut an organ of a dead Muslim if he bequeathed, unless a Muslim’s life is in danger.[1]

The grand maraja’ opinions regarding donating or removing the organ of a patient who suffers from brain death are as follows:

Ayatollah Khamenei: Generally speaking, if a patient suffers from irreversible brain damage which results in the disappearance of all kinds of neurological activities associated with deep coma plus inability to respire and response to all motor sensory stimulations and volitional move and if the removal of the organs from the patient described in the question would precipitate his death, it is not permissible. Otherwise, if the removal of such organs is made with his prior permission, or the use of the removed organ is the only way to save a respectful life, there is no objection to it.[2]

Ayatollah Sistani: There is some detail in this matter. If the removal of the particular part or organ would inflect serious harm [on the donor], as in the case of removing an eye or amputating a hand or a foot, it is not permissible. Otherwise, it is permissible, as in the case of skin graft and bone marrow or one kidney, in case the other kidney is healthy assuming that its owner is consenting to it. That is only when the donor is not a child or an insane person. If it were permissible, taking money for it would have also been permissible. It is not permissible to remove any organ from a dead body of a Muslim, such as an eye or the like to transplant it in another’s live body. If such an act was carried out the person who did it must bear the responsibility of paying compensation. It is necessary to bury the severed organ. However, it is not obligatory to remove it after it has been transplanted where the spirit has entered it.

If a patient has died neurologically while his heart and liver are still functioning with the help of a medical apparatus, he is not considered to be dead. Therefore, it is not at all permissible to remove his organs and transplant them to another needy patient.  If the doctor pulls out the plug and the Muslim patient dies because of it, he will be considered killer. There is a problem in enforcing the will [of the deceased] and in allowing the removal of the organ.

Sayyid Sistani (ha) also says: It is permissible to donate our organ upon our death, but it is not permissible, as a measure of precaution, to cut an organ of a dead Muslim if he bequeathed, unless a Muslim’s life is in danger.

Note: An organ extracted from the body is ritually impure (najis) irrespective of whether it came from a Muslim or a non-Muslim. And when it becomes, by rejuvenation, part of a Muslim’s body or of someone who is considered a Muslim, it becomes tãhir.[3]

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: If brain death is certain and definite and the person is pronounced to be like a dead body (although some of the rules like Ghusl, prayer, shrouding and Ghusl of a dead body do not apply to him), there is no problem in removing his organ to save the life of a Muslim.

Whenever brain death is completely certain and the patient is never likely to reverse to normal life, there is no problem in removing some of his organs (like heart or kidney or other organs) to save the life of a Muslim irrespective of whether he has made a will in this regard or not but it is better to get the consent of the dead body’s guardian.

Ayatollah Saafi Golpaygani:  According to me, it is not permissible to remove the organ of a Muslim who has not died yet, though it is certain that his brain is dead.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Organ Donation.

[2] . For further information, please refer to: the official website of the office of the Supreme Leader, rules regarding Organ Donation.

[3] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Organ Donation.

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Shaking Hands with non-Mahram Man or Woman

Question 603: Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatahu. Generally what is the ruling on Shaking Hands with non-Mahram? Can a woman shake her hands with a non-Mahram provided that she is wearing gloves? I am looking for the Fatwa of Ayatullah Sistani on this issue.

Answer 603: Shaking hand without a barrier, such as gloves is not permissible, unless refraining from shaking hands will put you in a considerable harm or unbearable difficulty. In the latter case, you are allowed to shake hands to the extent of necessity only.[1]

What is clear and for sure is that one’s encounter with a non-mahram must be in a way that there is no sin or fear of sin involved.[2]

As far as physical contact between a non-mahram man and woman and shaking hands goes, one must say:

The great maraji’ have said in general: “Shaking hands with a non-mahram is impermissible, unless there is something that prevents direct contact [like gloves], or secondary rulings apply to the situation, such as Darurah (urgency and having no choice).”

For instance, Imam Khomeini says: It isn’t permissible for a man to touch the body of a non-mahram, even if it is the hands or face, unless it is done with gloves or over a cloth, given that there are no bad intentions and that the hand of the woman isn’t squeezed. The same goes for a woman in regard to a non-mahram man.

Also, it is permissible for a man to touch a woman and vice versa in extenuating circumstances (Darurah) when the only solution is physical contact, like in the cases of medical attention and saving one who is drowning or on fire[3]. Nonetheless, even in these cases, one should only confine himself to the amount of contact needed for the situation and no more.[4]

Considering the above mentioned issues, the circumstances aren’t urgent ones and Darurat doesn’t apply, therefore, if you are going to do so, you must somehow block direct contact using gloves and the like in order to refrain from haram.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index:  Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

Index: Ways to Greet in Islam with Muslims and Non-Mahram, answer 369.

Index: Chatting on the internet with non-Mahram, answer 350.

Index: Impermissibility of confirming marriage tie with others during Iddah (waiting period), answer 554.

Related Link: Facebook.

[1] . The Official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Hand Shaking.

[2] Tawdih al-Masa’il of the maraji’, vol. 2, issue 2442; Ibid, pg. 809, second question; Masa’ele Jadid, vol. 1, pp. 137-138.

[3] For further information, see: Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, questions 36 and 37; Jami’ al-Masa’il, Ayatullah Fazel, vol. 1, issue 1717; Ajwibah al-Istifta’at (Farsi version), question 1310, pg. 290.

[4] Nijat al-Ibad, Imam Khomeini, pg. 364, issues 23 and 24.

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Beating Wife / Getting married without permission of parents

Question 602: Salaam! I’m a 20 years girl married to a Shia (I’m Sunni). When I married him I was married to a Christian (I’m a revert). There was not a sheikh, no witnesses and no Wali for me. My family doesn’t know about marriage. What is the ruling on getting married without permission of parents? This man started to beat me every day. Is this marriage valid?

Answer 602: According to the Shia point of view, the baligh virgin girl who can distinguish between what is to her benefit and what isn’t, must get her father’s or paternal grandfather’s (in the case of not having a father) permission if she wants to get married. In the case of her father or paternal grandfather not being present in a way that she can’t get their permission, and her having the need of getting married, their permission will no longer be a condition. [1] The same goes for the woman who isn’t a virgin; she doesn’t need to get permission either, if her virginity was lost to a previous husband. In the case of her virginity being lost by a mistaken intercourse, or even adultery, it is a mustahabb precaution to get permission if possible (which means it is better, although it still isn’t a condition and isn’t wajib).[2]

Therefore, if you have already got married and your virginity was lost to the previous husband, you don’t need to get your parents’ permission. And if you recited the marriage contract your marriage with him (Shia man) is valid.

Note: There is no problem for a Shia man to marry a Sunni woman, but if he fears to be misguided by her, it is not permissible for him to do so. [3]

The necessity of wife’s obedience to her husband is restricted to conjugal matters and the husband does not have the right to force her to do the washing up, cleaning, cooking and the likes.

The problems concerning household chores should be solved through understanding, sincerity, cooperation, sacrifice and selflessness of both husband and wife. Therefore, the husband even does not have the right to reprimand or rebuke his wife for not doing these jobs what to speak of bullying and beating her.

The man should know that he has not brought home a maidservant or a slave woman; rather he has brought home a partner, colleague, friend and helper, one whom he can expect to be available for sexual pleasures only.

Therefore, beating is not the act that Islam has allowed it without any condition. However, we don’t know the reason which is behind why your husband beats you every day!

So, try all your best to understand each other by providing a situation and condition in which both of you can discuss about your marriage and even the reason which is behind beating you.

It should be noted that according to the teachings of Islam and the tradition of great role models of our religion the atmosphere shadowing over a marital life at home must be full of intimacy and friendship as opposed to selfishness, self-centeredness and arrogance. If a wife and husband are friends with each other, most of the issues which pose themselves as predicaments will be easily resolved.

But, if you have already discussed with him about such issues and he wouldn’t like to leave his bad actions and there is no logical and canonical reasons behind them, try to convince him visit a professional psychologist or an Islamic scholar.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Permissibility of getting Divorce when your partner has lied, answer 295.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

 Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

May your life be filled with health, joy, love and happiness!

[1]. Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, Pg. 387, issue 2376.

[2]. Ibid, vol. 2, Pgs. 458-459.

[3]. Ayatullah Vahid, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.3, issue 1298; Ayatullah Tabrizi, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.2, issue 1298; Ayatulah Nouri, Istifta’at, vol.1, question 668; Ayatullah Safi, Hidayatul-Ibad, vol.2, Al-Qawl fil Kufr; Imam Khomeini, Tahrirul-Wasilah, vol.2, Al-Qawl fil Kufr, Ayatullah Khamenei (istifta’), question 16 and 143; Ayatullah Makarem, Istifta’at, vol.1, question 708; Ayatullah Sistani, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.2, issue 215; The office of Ayatullah Fazel and Ayatullah Bahjat (narrated by Porseman).

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The Role of Lamentation for Imam Hussain (as) in Reviving Society

Question 052: Asssalamu alaikum, I am not sure whether this matter was discussed here before. How to explain fact of Lamentation for Imam Hussain (as) and mourning for Him and other members of family for so many days in the month of Muharram, when some sunni brothers and sisters will call it a bidah as there are hadiths claiming you can only mourn after somebody for max 3 days and only women is allowed to grieve after her husband for 40 days. JazakAllah Khair.

Answer 052: The incidents that have taken place in the history of every society can have great effects on the destiny of that society and other societies. If an incident has been useful and effective in its own place, then reviewing and reconstructing it and keeping it alive can have a lot of benefits and effects for humanity. Hence, forgetting it can entail enumerable irreparable damages to human society. That is because the events take place in the history of nations at great material and spiritual cost in the sense that those nations lose their great men and go through a lot of hardship, difficulties and deprivations. Read More

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Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj 2017 message

Question 601: We would appreciate you sending us the new message of Supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha) issued on the occasion of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage season? I.e. Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj 2017 message.

Answer 601: The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha) issues a message on the occasion of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage season as follows. Read More

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Mutahhirat: Transfer clean an Insect Blood

Question 600: In the act of Intiqal where if a creature lands on you and sucks your blood, you can whack them and for some animals, the blood (Insect Blood) doesn’t make your skin najis, is that the same thing for lice?

Answer 600: There are number of things that clean other unclean things. 1. Water 2. The Land, 3. The Sun 4. Transformation (Istihala) 5. 2/3 Evaporation 6. Transfer (Intiqal) 7. Islam 8. Dependency (Taba’iyat) 9. Removal of the Actual Unclean Substance 10. Disappearance of a Muslim 11. Purification (Istibra) of animal which feeds on najasat 12. Draining of the usual quantity of blood from the slaughtered body of an animal.[1]

As it is previously mentioned, transfer (Intiqal) is a cause of cleanness of an unclean substance. This means that if the blood of a human being, or of an animal whose blood gushes forth when its large vein is cut, is sucked by an insect, normally known to be bloodless, and it becomes part of its body, the blood becomes Pak. This process is called Intiqal. But when a blood-sucking leech sucks human blood during some treatment, it will be najis, because it is not considered as part of its body it is considered as human blood.[2]

If one kills an insect (mosquito, lice or …) which has sat on one’s body, and blood which it has sucked comes out, it will be considered Pak, as it was destined to be its part.

If the time gap between its sucking and it being killed is very small that people saying it is the blood of human being or there is doubt about whether it is its blood or blood of human bineg it would be considered as Najis, according to maraja.[3] But, Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: Even if the time gap between its sucking and it being killed be very small it was destined to be its part and then considered as Pak, however, as a recommended precaution, one should avoid such blood.[4]

In Tahrir al-Waliah Imam Khomeini (ra) says: Transfer is a cause of cleanness of an unclean substance when transferred and added to another thing and is considered a part of it, as the blood of blood spurting animal is transferred to an animal not having a spurting blood, (when the blood of a human being is transferred into a mosquito).

The same rule shall apply if what is transferred is something other than blood and the object to which it is transferred is other than an animal, like a plant, etc.

If it is known that there has been no addition of the transferred thing being added, or there is doubt about it as it has not taken place in the stomach of the animal (whom it has been transferred), for example, in a way that it could be attributed to that animal, in such case the blood sucked by a leech shall continue to be unclean.[5]

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Rules conderning Mutahhirat; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Mutahhirat » Introduction, issue 149.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Mutahhirat » Transfer (Intiqal), issue: 210.

[3] . Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 126, Issue: 206.

[4] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Mutahhirat » Transfer (Intiqal), issue: 211.

[5] . Tahrir al-Wailah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, chapter concerning things that clean other things (Mutahhirat).

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Whoever knows himself knows his Lord / Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu

Question 274: Salam, “Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu” One who truely knows himself has already come to know Allah. Could you please eleborate further on that? How can one know Allah if he recognizes himself? What does that mean? What is the “self” (nafsu) which makes us recognize God? Does this mean that if we recognize the true purpose of our existance in this world we have recognised God i.e True existance belings to Him because He is independant and Needless and He alone is worthy of being worshiped. Everything belongs to Him and under his control (InaliAllah wa ina ilayhe rajaoon)?

Answer 274: The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said: “Whoever knows himself knows his Lord.[1]

The Arabic version of this hadith is as follows: Read More

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Jesus is Alive / Crucifixion of Jesus

Question 599: I was confronted with a question about what Islamic beliefs are about crucifixion of Jesus (asked by a female student in school). I told her that Jesus did not actually die on the stake but God transformed Judas into the appearance of Jesus, with the fake Jesus being killed on the stake, and that the real Jesus did not tell anyone about the truth of who actually died. The girl then asked me “But doesn’t that give God a deceptive character for he is tricking the people of the time by making them think that Jesus died on the cross, thereby resulting in the rise of Christianity?” I did not have a complete answer to this question regarding Allah’s character so I told her to wait. Thank you.

Answer 599: According to the following verses of the holy Quran, their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, but Allah (SWT) says: they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (looks like Isa).

In this verse of the holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “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”.[1]

وَ قَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسيحَ عيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَ ما قَتَلُوهُ وَ ما صَلَبُوهُ وَ لكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَ إِنَّ الَّذينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فيهِ لَفي‏ شَكٍّ مِنْهُ ما لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلاَّ اتِّباعَ الظَّنِّ وَ ما قَتَلُوهُ يَقينا

Note: the word “Rasool Allah” is not their saying. Because, if they believed in his Risalat (prophethood) they would never kill Jesus. It is the saying of Allah, the Almighty.

Q: How it appeared to them so (looks like Isa)?

A: Ibn Abbas narrated: Allah (SWT) has metamorphosed those who cursed prophet Isa and his Mother. When Judah, the head of Jews realized, he afraid that Isa would make dua for him (Judah) too. Thus, Judah gathered all the Jews together and they came to an agreement to kill Isa. As the holy Quran says, Allah has sent Gabriel to help the Prophet: “We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, manifest proofs, and confirmed him with the Holy Spirit.”[2]

When the Jews surrounded and asked the Prophet Jesus, He said: Allah antagonizes you, the Jews. So, they made attack on the Prophet with the intention to kill him, but the Gabriel gave him a shelter where there was a whole in the roof and then raised him to the heaven.

Judah assigned one of his collaborator to enter the house where Jesus was, with a treacherous intention, but couldn’t find him, so that the man became confused for a short period of time. Those who were outside of the house thought that the collaborator is fighting with Isa. At that moment, Allah changed the man into a form similar to Jesus, and when the man came outside people thought he was Isa and then seized and crucified him.

Some say the man was facially look like Isa, but not physically. Some say his face was look like Isa and body was like Titanus’s body. Other say if he was Titanus, so where is Jesus? And if he was Jesus where was Titanus?[3]  That’s why it appeared to them so (looks like Isa).

Vahab bin Munabbah said: Jesus along with seven apostles were in a house where they had been surrounded. When they (the Jews) entered the house Allah changed the apostles into a form similar to Jesus. They said: we are bewitched! Show us Jesus or we would kill you all. Jesus said: which one of you give his life to Paradise? A man named Sirjis said: Me! He then came outside and introduced himself ‘Jesus’ and then they seized and crucified him and Allah raised Jesus to heaven on that time. Mujahid and Qatadah said: All of the apostles had not changed into a form look like Jesus, but one of them.

According to Tabari, what Vahab has been said is strongly considered as Sahih than the other narration related in this issue. Because, considering that Jesus told them, if one of you become look like me you will go to the Heaven, so that Allah changed all of them into the form similar to Jesus and then when the Jews killed one of the apostles it appeared to them (the Jews) so look like Isa.[4]

In Tafsir al-Mizan it is said that those who wanted to kill Jesus were Roman armies who didn’t know him exactly. So, they may killed a person other than the prophet Jesus. It is also said that there were two persons named Messiah, but five hundred years apart from each other. The first Messiah was the real and didn’t crucify, but the second who was false crucified instead. As a result, the Jews are in doubt which of the Christian Calendar is correct.[5]

Now, we should answer the question why Allah changed the man into a form similar to Jesus that since they intended to kill him Allah, the Almighty has devised a plot (Makr) in order to save the Prophet’s life from the plotting of the Jews. In this regards, there is a verse of the holy Quran in which mentioned: “Then they plotted [against Jesus], and Allah also devised, and Allah is the best of devisers.”[6]

The Arabic version of this verse:

وَ مَكَرُوا وَ مَكَرَ اللَّهُ وَ اللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْماكِرين‏

The meaning of “Makr”: The literal meaning of “Makr” is devising and planning.  It can be good or evil[7] as well as it being capable for being for good or for evil.  However, some believe “Makr” to mean tricking and when attributed to Allah, to refer to the punishment of tricking and deception.[8]

The “Makr of Allah”: When examining the verses in which the word “Makr” has been used,[9] we realize that the meaning of “Makr” is simply devising and planning and that it could be good or evil.  For example in the verse “وَ يمكرون و يكمر اللَّه واللَّه خَير الماكِرين”,[10] the word “يَمكُرُون” refers to the plotting of the Mushrikin (Pagans) that intended to kill the prophet or imprison him and the phrase “يَمكُرُ اللَّهُ” refers to Allah’s devising and commanding the prophet to immigrate.  The very fact that the word “مكر” is used along with the adjective “السَّيِئّى” (evil) in the Quran[11] proves that “Makr” can be good or evil.

Therefore, the many verses that attribute Makr to Allah refer to his supreme regulation and management of matters, because He is the true owner of all devising and there is no devising separate from his. As a result, Allah has supremacy over all planners[12], and the verse from Surah Ra’d[13] clearly states that Allah is the supreme deviser and that the plotting of others is nothing compared to His[14]. [15]

Another question which now arises is why does the holy Quran use the term “mutawaffik” –for the prophet Jesus- which means “I will cause you to die”?

The verse of the Holy Quran in which Allah, the Almighty use the term is as follows:

“O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me…”

What has given rise to this question is that a few translators of the Quran have translated the term “mutawaffika” in the verse as “causing to die”, yet there are some other translations of the Quran which are not in conflict with Prophet Jesus being alive: “(And remember) when Allah said: “O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee (from amongst people) and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve.”[16] It is necessary to know that the word “tawaffa” is derived from the root word “wafa” which has been used in different meanings including death, taking, completing, etc.[17] In this connection, fulfilling a promise or a vow is also considered “wafa” which is in fact completing and accomplishing it. Hence, if a person takes back completely what he has lent to someone, it is said in Arabic, “tawaffa daynahu”.

Majma’ul Bahrain being one of the lexical works explains the foregoing verses as such:

“أي مستوف أجلك، و معناه إني عاصمك من أن تصلبك الكفار و مؤخرك إلى أجل أكتبه لك و مميتك حتف أنفك لا قتلا بأيديهم و رافعك إلى سمائي”.

That is to say, “O Jesus, I terminate your period of stay” and that means I am going to protect you against the infidels so that they are unable to crucify you and I delay your death until a natural death is prescribed for you.[18]

Thus, although the term “tawaffa” also means death as also used in the same meaning in some other verses[19], it does not necessarily mean ‘death’. In fact, there are verses in which the same term has been used in other meanings. One of those verses is the following:

“وَ هُوَ الَّذي يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَ يَعْلَمُ ما جَرَحْتُمْ بِالنَّهارِ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُكُمْ فيهِ لِيُقْضى‏ أَجَلٌ مُسَمًّى ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِما كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُون”[20]

“And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled; then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing.”

Certainly, the word “yatawaffakum” in this verse does not mean “death”; rather it means nightly sleep which is repeated every twenty four hours.  This is another form of taking the soul which is not death. Therefore, the verse in question should not be interpreted as a definite sign of Jesus’ death. When it comes to the fate of Prophet of Jesus, peace be upon him, here are a few points to mention:

  1. Christians are of the view that he was crucified to death but the Quran explicitly denies this saying:

“وَ ما قَتَلُوهُ وَ ما صَلَبُوهُ وَ لكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ….وَ ما قَتَلُوهُ يَقينا”[21]

“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.”

  1. Although the Quran denies Jesus’ killing or crucifixion, there is not any verse to indicate clearly that he has not died in any other form or that he is alive.
  2. Verses such as verse 55 of Surah Aal-e Imran (the verse in question) and verse 117 of Surah al-Maedah do not clearly indicate the death of this great prophet but they do indicate clearly that the Prophet’s existing relationship with the material world is different from when he lived among his followers.
  3. There are many narrations in Shias’ and Sunnis’ authentic books which denote that Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, is alive. With reliance on these narrations, we can come to know that he is alive, even if we do not find a straight verse in this regard. We shall draw your attention to two instances of these narrations:

1-4. The Messenger of Allah said to Jews:

“أن عيسى لم يمت و أنه راجع إليكم قبل يوم القيامة”

“Jesus has not died and he will return to you before the Day of Judgment.”[22]

2 – 4. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“و من ذريتي المهدي إذا خرج نزل عيسى ابن مريم لنصرته فقدمه و صلى خلفه”

“And of my descendant is Mahdi; when he reappears, Jesus son of Mary will descend to help him. Mahdi will lead the prayer and he will pray behind him.”[23]

  1. Even if, unlike the existing narrations, we ignore the other meanings of “tawaffa” and believe on the basis of the above-mentioned verses that he is dead, yet still this meaning is not in conflict with his being alive in the present time. That is because, according to some verses in the Quran, there was a person who was revived one hundred years after his death.[24] Therefore, it is possible that the same incident may have occurred with Prophet Jesus (AS).[25]

[1] . Surah Nisa, verse 157.

[2] . Surah Baqarah, verse 87.

[3] . Majma al-Bayan fee Tafsir al-Quran, Vol. 6, Pg. 133.

[4] . Translation of the book Majma’ al-Bayan fee Tafsit al-Quran, Vol. 6, Pgs. 133-137.

[5] . Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 5, Pg. 216.

[6] . Surah Ale Emran, verse 54; Majma’ al-Bayan fee Tafsir al-Quran, Vol. 4, Pgs. 89-90; Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 3, Pg. 323.

[7] Qurashi, Seyyed Ali Akbar, Qamuse Quran, vol. 6, pg. 265.

[8] Al-Munjid, translation, Muhammad Bandar Riki, vol. 2, pg. 1820.

[9] A’raf:99 and 123; Fater:10 and 43; Ra’d:33 and 42; Saba’:33; Yunus:21; Ale Imran:54; Nahl:26 and 45; Naml:50 and 51; Nuh:22; Ibrahim:46; Yusuf:13; Ghafir:45.

[10] Anfal:30.

[11] Fater:43.

[12] Ale Imran:54.

[13] Ra’d:42.

[14] Tabatabai, Seyyed Muhammad Husein, Al-Mizan, Farsi translation, Musavi Hamedani, vol. 12, pg. 355, 20 volume version, Entesharate Eslami Publications.

[15] . Adopted from answer 062 IQ.

[16] Aal-e Imran, 54: (Pickthal translation).

[17] Ibn Manzur, Lesan al-Arab, vol.15, p. 398 and 399, first edition, Adab Publications, Qom Seminary, 1405.

[18] Majma’ul Bayan, vol.1, p. 444, term “Wafa”, Murtazawi Library, Tehran, 1375 (Persian calendar).

[19] Nisa, 97; Muhammad, 27; Yunus, 46; Sajda, 11.

[20] An’am, 60.

[21] Nisa, 157.

[22] Ibn Abi Hatam, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim, vol.4, p. 1110, hadith 6232, Maktabat Nazar al-Mustafa al-Baz, Saudi Arabia, 1419 A.H.

[23] Sheikh Saduq, al-Amali, vol.1, p. 218, Islamic Library Publications, Tehran, 1362 (Persian calendar).

[24] Baqarah, 259 ” فَأَماتَهُ اللَّهُ مِائَةَ عامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَه‏”.

[25] . Adopted from answer 6595 IQ.