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The Return of Jesus

Signs of the Last Day (Ashrāṭ al-Sāʿah)

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) & Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj

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ʿĪsā, the Messiah, son of Maryam (ʿalayhimā al-Salām) is one of great Messengers of Allāh. He was sent to Banī Isrāʾīl but was rejected by them and ultimately, in their eyes, killed by them. However, the Qurʾān teaches us that they did not actually kill him, rather it was made to seem so to them, and that Allāh raised him up to Himself.

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّـهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ

They said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, ʿĪsā, the son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allāh.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those who disagreed about him are (in reality) beset with doubts.[1]

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

Allāh said, ‘ʿĪsā, I will take you back and raise you up to Me: I will purify you of the disbelievers. To the Day of Resurrection I will make those who followed you superior to those who disbelieved.’[2]

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We are taught in the Qurʾān and Sunnah that ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will return towards the end of time and it is then that the Ahlu’l-Kitāb will all believe in him as he truly is: a Messenger of Allāh (ʿalayhi al-Salām), neither an imposter, a divine being nor the son of Allāh.

وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا

There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.[3]

The aḥādīth concerning the return of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) are mutawātir, and the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) highlighted the special relationship that he has with ʿIsā,

“The Prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one. I, more than any other person, have more right to ʿĪsā, son of Maryam, in this world and the next, for there was no Prophet between me and him.”[4]

In another ḥadīth, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “I hope that I would live long enough to see ʿĪsā, but if my death comes before that, whoever meets him should convey my salām to him.”[5]

Description

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) is a well-built man of middle height,[6] light brown skinned with a broad chest, and straight, ample hair that hangs down beyond his ears.[7][8] He looks like ʿUrwah b. Masʿūd.[9]

The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“In a dream, I saw myself at the Kaʿbah and Allāh showed me a brown skinned man,[10] a colour that is as beautiful as a brown man could be, with combed hair that hung down over his ears. His hair was dripping water, and he was leaning on the shoulders of two men while circling the Kaʿbah. I asked, ‘Who is this man?’ I was told, ‘This is the Messiah, son of Maryam.’”[11]

Where will he Descend?

While the Mahdī is ruling as the Imām or Khalīfah of the Muslims, and preparing for battle against the forces of the Dajjāl in Syria, shortly after having conquered Constantinople, ʿĪsā b. Maryam (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will return to earth. He will descend close to the white minaret to the east of Damascus just before Fajr time.[12] He will be wearing garments lightly coloured with saffron and his hands will be placed on the wings of two angels. Whenever he lowers his head droplets fall, and whenever he raises his head, precious stones that look like pearls fall.[13] The Mahdī and others will ask him to lead them in prayer but he will refuse saying, ‘Your Imām should lead,[14] as a grace from Allāh.’”[15]

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will not have returned as a new Prophet but rather as follower of the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), adhering to the Sharīʿah he brought.[16] As such, he will accede to the authority of the Khalīfah at the time, the Mahdī. Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “How will you be when the son of Maryam descends amongst you, judging by the law of the Qurʾān and not the law of the Injīl?”[17] and he once told ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, “Were Mūsā alive today, he would have no option but to follow me.”[18]

The ummah of Islām will start with the best of people and end with the best of people. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“An ummah that has me at its beginning, the Mahdī in its middle, and ʿIsā at its end can never be destroyed.”[19]

After they have prayed Fajr, the Muslims will go out to face him;[20] this will be the final battle fought between them and the armies of the Dajjāl. The very fragrance of the breath of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will kill any disbeliever it reaches, and it will extend out for as far as the eye can see.[21] The battle will be so fierce that the forces of the Dajjāl will flee and hide behind boulders and trees, but those boulders and trees themselves will cry out, ‘Muslims, there is a Yahūdī (that allied with Dajjāl) behind me, come kill him!’[22] except for the Gharqad tree because that is their tree.[23]

As soon as the Dajjāl sees ʿĪsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām), he will start to dissolve just like salt dissolves in water and run away. ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will pursue him and kill the Dajjāl with his lance at the gate of a place called Ludd (near Tel Aviv, in today’s Israel).[24] He will show the blood on his lance to those around him,[25] proving conclusively that he was just a human being and in no way divine.

The group with ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will be the saved sect of the time mentioned by the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). “There will always be a group of my people fighting to make the truth uppermost until the Last Day.”[26] The army with ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will be saved from the Fire,[27] and the group of people who, by Allāh’s help, survived the Dajjāl will pass by ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) who will stroke their faces and inform them about their grades in Paradise.[28]

What will he do?

He will be a judge, fair and even-handed. He will break the cross,[29] literally and symbolically proving once and for all the falsehood of Christianity; destroying the symbol. He will abolish the jizya,[30] and kill all swine.[31]

Wealth will become abundant, flowing so copiously throughout the lands that there will be none to accept it if offered in charity,[32] even the most valuable camels will be left untended because people are just not concerned about their worth anymore.[33] At that time a single prostration will be worth more than the earth and all that it contains.[34] Abū Hurayrah, after quoting this ḥadīth, commented, ‘Recite if you want,

وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا

There is not one of the People of the Book who will not believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.[35][36]

He added, ‘Meaning that they will believe in him before he dies.’[37]

He will call the people to Islām and during his time, Allāh will end all religions except Islām.[38] Safety will fill the earth, so much so that the lions will mingle with camels, tigers with cattle and wolves with sheep. Children will play with snakes, and they will not harm them,[39] the sting or poison of every such animal will have been taken away.[40] Rancour, hatred and envy will disappear for a time. [41]

After the Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj (discussed next) are killed, the time of Jihād will have ended,[42] and so swords will be taken as scythes, the sky will bring down rain, the earth will freely grow its produce,[43] and people will take to tilling the land.

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will perform Ḥajj or ʿUmrah, saying the talbiyah from Rawḥāʾ (a place on the way to Makkah from Madīnah).[44]

The Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj (Gog and Magog)

The Qurʾān teaches us of a just and righteous leader whose vast dominion extended across the earth, covering the east and the west. He was given the title, Dhū’l-Qarnain. This king is not Alexander the Great as surmised by some, but rather lived thousands of years before him.

During his travels he came across a population who were being terrorised by two tribes called the Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj and they asked him to build a barrier for them that would hold them back and protect them.

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيْنَ السَّدَّيْنِ وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوْمًا لَّا يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ قَوْلًا ﴿٩٣﴾ قَالُوا يَا ذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِنَّ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَهَلْ نَجْعَلُ لَكَ خَرْجًا عَلَىٰ أَن تَجْعَلَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُمْ سَدًّا ﴿٩٤﴾ قَالَ مَا مَكَّنِّي فِيهِ رَبِّي خَيْرٌ فَأَعِينُونِي بِقُوَّةٍ أَجْعَلْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ رَدْمًا ﴿٩٥﴾ آتُونِي زُبَرَ الْحَدِيدِ ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا سَاوَىٰ بَيْنَ الصَّدَفَيْنِ قَالَ انفُخُوا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَعَلَهُ نَارًا قَالَ آتُونِي أُفْرِغْ عَلَيْهِ قِطْرًا ﴿٩٦﴾ فَمَا اسْطَاعُوا أَن يَظْهَرُوهُ وَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوا لَهُ نَقْبًا قَالَ هَـٰذَا رَحْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّي ۖ فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ رَبِّي جَعَلَهُ دَكَّاءَ ۖ وَكَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّي حَقًّا ﴿٩٨﴾ وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَمُوجُ فِي بَعْضٍ ۖ وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَجَمَعْنَاهُمْ جَمْعًا

He travelled on; then, when he reached a place between two mountain barriers, he found besides them a people who could barely understand him. They said, ‘Dhū’l-Qarnain, Gog and Magog are ruining this land. Will you build a barrier between them and us if we pay you a tribute?’ He answered, ‘The power my Lord has given me is better than any tribute, but if you lend me your strength, I will put up a fortification between you and them: bring me great lumps of iron!’ and then, when he filled the gap between the two mountainsides, he said, ‘Work your bellows!’ and then, when he had made it glow like fire, he said, ‘Bring me molten metal to pour over it!’ [Their enemies] could not scale the barrier, nor could they pierce it. He said, ‘This is a mercy from my Lord. But when my Lord’s promise is fulfilled, He will raze this barrier. My Lord’s promise always comes true.’ On that Day, We shall let the surge against each other like waves. Then the Trumpet will be blown and We shall gather them all together.[45]

He built a mighty barrier, completely sealing them away. So complete in fact that we do not even know where it is or where they are, just somewhere to the east – perhaps underground. But the Qurʾān also teaches us that one day the Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj will break free and unleash their terror on the world once again.

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فُتِحَتْ يَأْجُوجُ وَمَأْجُوجُ وَهُم مِّن كُلِّ حَدَبٍ يَنسِلُونَ

Until when the peoples of the Gog and Magog are let loose and they swarm swiftly from every highland.[46]

They will be let loose after the killing of Dajjāl.

Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “Lā ilāha illAllāh! Woe to the Arabs for an evil that has drawn near. Today the size of this was opened of the barrier holding back Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj,” and he made a circle with his two fingers. Zaynab asked, ‘Messenger of Allāh, will we be destroyed if there are righteous amongst us?’ He replied, “Yes, if filth and evil is allowed to increase.”[47]

Their Appearance:

They will have wide faces, small eyes, with a redness or blondness in the hair, and faces like beaten iron or shields.[48] Unlike the Dajjāl who is clever, scheming and plotting; they just want to kill, maim and destroy. They are almost animalistic in nature, have conjugal relations with whichever of their women they want.[49]

They are two tribes of human beings[50] and there are multitudes of them. “On the Day of Resurrection, Allāh will say, ‘Ādam bring out from your children the people destined for Hellfire.’ He will ask how many and Allāh will reply, ‘From every thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine.’ On that day, hearing that, the child will become grey haired and every pregnant woman will drop her load. It will then be said, ‘You have a sacrifice in the Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj,’ i.e. they make up a large proportion of this.”[51] Another narration has, “One of us, nine hundred and ninety nine of them.”[52]

Behind that barrier, the Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj tribes dig every day until they see the rays of the sun peeking through from the other side. They then rest by night, only to find the next day that the barrier has been restored to how it was previously. Then one day, at time that Allāh has decreed, after having dug, they will say, ‘Let us return tomorrow, in shā Allāh’ and the next morning they will find that the barrier has not been restored. They will break through and swarm through, swooping down from every highland, slaughtering everything in their path. They will drink lakes and ponds dry, and ruin everything they pass,[53] coming from somewhere east of Madīnah.[54] The first of them will pass by the lake of Tiberius, drinking from it, and it will be dry by the time the last of them passes by it who will observe, ‘Once there used to be water here.’[55]

People will flee in terror, barricading themselves and their livestock in cities and fortresses. Once all the people have fled, and Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj reach Bayt al-Maqdis,[56] they will say, ‘This is the people of earth sorted.’ They will then shoot arrows and spears into the sky which will fall back down covered in blood, and they will claim that they have killed the inhabitants of the heaven.[57]

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) and his companions will withdraw to Mount Ṭūr after Allāh tells them that they have no hope of defeating Yaʾjūj and Maʾjūj and there, they will be besieged; food will become so scarce that the head of an ox would be dearer to them than one hundred dīnārs.[58]

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) and his companions will make duʿā to Allāh[59] and eventually Allāh will send a type of worm to the back of their necks which will kill them, and they will die like locusts piled one on top of the other. The Muslims will awake the next day and hear no sound from them and so send one of their own to investigate what has happened. He will return and give them the glad tidings that the enemy has died. The Muslims will then leave and find that there is not even a hand span of land that is free of their corpses.[60] They will let loose their animals to graze, but having nothing to eat, they will instead grow fat on their flesh, as if they were grazing on the best vegetation they ever found.[61] The earth will fill with the stench of their rotting corpses, and ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will again make duʿā for relief. Allāh will send birds with necks like the necks of Bactrian camels, which will pick them up and throw them wherever He wills. Then Allāh will send down rain that will wash them away into the sea, and clean house and earth until it is left like a smooth rock or mirror.[62] Then it will be said to the earth, ‘Bring forth your fruits and bring back your blessings.’ On that day a group of people will eat from a (single) pomegranate and it will suffice them, and they will seek shelter beneath its skin. Allāh will bless a milk-camel so that it will be sufficient for a large number of people, and a milk-cow will be sufficient for a whole tribe and a milk-ewe will be sufficient for a whole clan.[63]

The time of war will have come to an end,[64] and the Muslims will use the shields, bows and arrows of the Yaʾjūj and Maʿjūj as firewood for seven years.[65] And they will once again make Ḥajj and ʿUmrah at the Kaʿbah.[66]

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) Passes Away

ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) will remain on earth for forty years after killing the Dajjāl and then pass away. The Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him,[67] and bury him.[68]

Some narrations which are weak mention that he will be buried as the fourth grave alongside the Prophet, Abū Bakr and ʿUmar,[69] or that he will be buried with the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).[70]

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] al-Nisāʾ 4:157

[2] Āli ʿImrān 3:55

[3] al-Nisāʾ 4:159.

This is the view of ibn ʿAbbās and ibn Masʿūd in explanation to this āyah, and the view preferred by Ṭabarī: that they will all believe in him (AS) before his death. As such the āyah is referring to his return since it is at that point that they will all believe in him; before that time, as we can see, they either reject him or hold a false belief in him.

[4] Bukhārī #3442-3443, Muslim #2365

[5] Aḥmad #7970-7971-7978-9121

[6] jaʿd: can refer to someone who is well built, or someone who has curly hair. Nawawī, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2:195, 2:200 argues that most scholars state that the first is meant here since most reports mention that ʿĪsā (AS) has straight hair.

[7] Bukhārī #3438

[8] Bukhārī #5902, Muslim #169

[9] Muslim #167

[10] Some narrations mention that he was brown skinned, and some that he was light skinned. Both sets of narrations can be reconciled by stating that his complexion was light brown.

[11] Bukhārī #3440-3441-5902, Muslim #169

[12] Aḥmad #14954

[13] Muslim #2937

[14] Aḥmad #14954

[15] Musnad al-Ḥārith, Muslim #156

[16] Aḥmad, Muslim #155

[17] Ibn Ḥajr, Fatḥ 7:304

[18] Aḥmad #15156

[19] Nasāʾī

[20] Aḥmad #14954

[21] Aḥmad #14954

[22] Bukhārī #2925-3593, Muslim #2921, Aḥmad #5099

[23] Muslim#292

[24] Musim #2937, Abū Dāwūd #4321, Tirmidhī #2244

[25] Ḥākim 4:482

[26] Muslim #156

[27] Nasāʾī #3175

[28] Muslim #2937

[29] Bukhārī #2222-2476-3448, Muslim #155

[30] Some scholars have understood this to mean that the only thing he will accept from the non-Muslims will be Islām.

[31] Bukhārī #2222-2476-3448, Muslim #155

[32] Bukhārī #2222-2476-3448, Muslim #155

[33] Muslim #155

[34] Bukhārī #3448, Muslim #155

i.e. simply because money is seen as having such little value; or that people will have realised how close the Last Hour will be and therefore, worship is more precious to them than anything else.

[35] al-Nisāʾ 4:159.

This is the view of ibn ʿAbbās and ibn Masʿūd in explanation to this āyah, and the view preferred by Ṭabarī: that they will all believe in him (AS) before his death. As such the āyah is referring to his return since it is at that point that they will all believe in him; before that time, as we can see, they do not believe in him or hold a false belief in him.

[36] Bukhārī #3448, Muslim #155

[37] Aḥmad #7903

[38] Abū Dāwūd #4324

[39] Abū Dāwūd #, Aḥmad #9270

[40] Ibn Mājah #4075, Aḥmad #10261

[41] Muslim #155

[42] Aḥmad #9323

This will happen after the Yaʿjūj and Maʿjūj are killed as mentioned in Nasāʾī, al-Kubrā #8659

[43] Aḥmad #10261

[44] Muslim #1252

[45] al-Kahf 18:92-99

[46] al-Anbiyāʾ 21:96

[47] Bukhārī #3346-3598-6530-7059-7135, Muslim #2880

[48] Aḥmad #22331

[49] Nasāʾī, al-Kubrā #11271

[50] Ibn Kathīr mentioned that there is no difference concerning this.

[51] Aḥmad #19901

[52] Bukhārī #3348-4741, Muslim #222

[53] Ibn Mājah #4081, Aḥmad #3556

[54] Tirmidhī #3153, Ibn Mājah #4079-4080, Aḥmad #11731

[55] Muslim #2937, Ibn Mājah #4075

[56] Tirmidhī #2240

[57] Tirmidhī #3153, Ibn Mājah #4079-4080

[58] Ibn Mājah #4075

[59] Ibn Mājah #4081

[60] Muslim #2937, Ibn Mājah #4075

[61] Ibn Mājah #4079-4080, Tirmidhī #3153, Aḥmad #11731

[62] Muslim #2937, Ibn Mājah #4075-4081

[63] Muslim #2937, Ibn Mājah #4075

[64] Nasāʾī, al-Kubrā #8659. cf. Aḥmad #9323

[65] Ibn Mājah #4076, Tirmidhī #2240

[66] Bukhāri #1593

[67] Abū Dāwūd #4324, Aḥmad #9270-24511

[68] Aḥmad #9632

Some narrations indicate that he will remain seven years before dying. Some such as ibn Kathīr said that he will have already lived for thirty three years before being raised up, and then he will remain seven years during his second coming. However, a narration of Ṭayalisī has, “He will live for forty years after having descended…” and Aḥmad #24511 mentions he will live forty years after killing the Dajjāl

[69] Bukhārī, al-Tārīkh #839

[70] Tirmidhī #3617

About Shaikh Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi

Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi was born and brought up in High Wycombe. He currently studies with Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad and, previously, Shaykh Abu AbdiRahman Al-Libee. He graduated from Imperial College from the faculty of Electronic Engineering. He currently works as a Software Engineer and is the chairman of WISE (Wycombe Islamic Society). He is very active in his local community, especially with his Masjid and working with youth. He has translated a number of books such as 'The Criterion between the Friends of Allah and the Friends of Shaytan,' and 'Relief from Distress (the Dua of Yunus 'alayhī al-Salām),' both by Ibn Taymiyyah as well as many others. He has also written an explanation of Surah al-Fatihah called ‘The Spiritual Cure.’ He currently gives weekly circles in High Wycombe on a variety of topics covering aqidah, fiqh, hadith, tafsir and Arabic Language. He is also a Lecturer for MRDF.

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