Where is Jesus? The Case of the Missing Messiah

By Qasim Rashid

The case of the missing Messiah is a mystery that has intrigued countless minds through the ages. Pope Innocent III predicted Christ’s return and doomsday in 1284. William Miller made his call in October, 1844. Alexander Dowie launched his campaign at the turn of the 20th century. Edgar Whisenant added his pitch for September, 1988. Some throw Nostradamus and Sir Isaac Newton, too, in the ring of doomsday predictors.

And then there is Harold Camping, a quasi-theologian Christian who swears “beyond a doubt” that May 21st, 2011 will hail Christ’s return — and doomsday. Camping was already wrong once before in 1994, but there is a much deeper issue that many are missing.

Orthodox Muslims believe Jesus ascended to heaven, and await his descent to save Muslims and destroy their opponents. Many Christians believe the same, only this time Jesus saves Christians. Jews believe Elijah’s descent from heaven will hail in the Messiah’s coming and victory for the Chosen People. Multiple other religions promulgate similar views but regardless of the religion, each proclaims an absolute monopoly on truth and personal assurance of salvation upon the Messiah’s return.

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Categories: CHRISTIANITY, Islam

6 replies

  1. He was to come back 2000 years ago and the Christians are still awaiting, note the words, ‘this generation will certainly not pass away.’ Here are the verses from the Gospel of Matthew:

    “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

    “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    (Matthew 24:30-34)

  2. May be the words “but my words will never pass away” means that “it will never happen”? Sorry, that is meant cynical… But seriously:

    It would be interesting to find out exactly WHEN the Muslims started to believe in the story that Jesus is alive in heaven and will come back. I am sure that during the life time of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) that was not the case, otherwise, when the Holy Prophet (pboh) died the Muslims would have said: “No, he should go to where Jesus is”. – My feeling is that this belief started when the Muslims reached to Egypt and many Christians converted to Islam and – unfortunately – brought some of their beliefs with them. Can historians confirm?

  3. You are right, the companions of the Holy Prophet did not believe that Jesus was alive. This is demonstrated in the incident, when Hadhrat Abu Bakr advised the grieving party that was gathered at the demise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, with the following verse, implying that all prophets are deceased and there is no natural choice but that they should at the conclusion of their life time:

    “And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Indeed, all Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels? And he who turns back on his heels shall not harm Allah at all. And Allah will certainly reward the grateful.” (Al Quran 3:145)

  4. It’s hard to feel bad for someone whose doomsday predictions caused so much anxiety, but 89-year-old Harold Camping’s recent admission that he’s “flabbergasted” the world didn’t end last weekend sounds somewhat pitiful.

    “It has been a really tough weekend,” Camping said Sunday, after emerging from his Alameda, California home for the first time to talk to a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m looking for answers … But now I have nothing else to say,” he said, adding that he would make a full statement today.

    Camping’s PR aide, Tom Evans, told the L.A. Times that the group is “disappointed” that 200 million true believers weren’t lifted up to heaven on Saturday while everyone else suffered and eventually died as a series of earthquakes and famine destroyed the Earth. “You can imagine we’re pretty disappointed, but the word of God is still true,” Evans said. “We obviously went too far, and that’s something we need to learn from.” The group posted 2,000 billboards around the country warning of the rapture, while Camping–an uncertified fundamentalist minister–spread the word on his radio show.


  5. In his first radio broadcast since his doomsday prediction failed to pan out in a spectacularly public fashion, the California preacher insisted his was an error of interpretation, not fact.

    What’s more, he has another calculation for the day the world will end – October 21, 2011.

    Camping had kept a low-profile since Saturday, the day he had forecast for the return of Jesus Christ to Earth. He and his devoted followers have been warning for months that on May 21, a select 2% to 3% of the world’s population would be taken to heaven. Those left behind would face months of tribulation before perishing in the Earth’s destruction, which Camping said would happen on October 21.

    This is the basis for his new prediction, which Camping claims is not new at all. He told listeners on his Family Radio broadcast Monday that God is “loving and merciful,” and had decided not to punish the humanity with five months of destruction.

    But he maintains that the end of the world is still coming.

    “We’ve always said October 21 was the day,” Camping said during his show. ” …

    However, Camping said his group would not be mounting another advertising push. In the months leading up to May 21, Family Radio billboards popped up across the country, warning that the end was near.

    “I don’t have any responsibility. I’m only teaching the Bible. I’m telling … this is what the Bible says. I don’t have spiritual rule over anybody … except my wife as the head of the household.”


  6. Prophet isa ibn maryam was raised up alive and that he will come back again. the prophet (saw) stated clearly that isa ibn maryam will come again before the hour.

    ” And (remember) when Allah said: “O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify ﴿save﴾ you from those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. ” [3:55]

    Al Hasan reports that Ibn mas’ud said “Allah raised `Isa while he was asleep.” [tafsir ibn kathir and ibn abi hatim]

    “And because of their saying, “We killed Al-Masih `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,” but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not.) (158. But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.) (159. And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.” [4:157 – 159]

    Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas 9ra) reported that the prophet (saw) said, “Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.’ He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa’s followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.’ Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.’ Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.’ The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad .” This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa’i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. [tafsir ibn kathir]

    Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,”By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Maryam (`Isa) will shortly descend among you as a just ruler, and will break the cross.” Abu Hurayrah then said, “Read if you will (And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.)” Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

    Also a hadith in musnad ahmad reported by ibn mas’ud that clearly proves that isa was raised up alive into the heaven. the prophet (saw) met isa during the ascension and isa said that he will go return to earth to kill the dajjal and preach Islam.

    Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
    “How will you be when Al-Masih, son of Maryam (`Isa) descends among you while your Imam is from among yourselves.” Imam Ahmad and Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

    Imam Ahmad and abu dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said; “The Prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one. I, more than any of mankind, have more right to `Isa, son of Maryam, for there was no Prophet between him and I. He will descend, and if you see him, know him. He is a well-built man, (the color of his skin) between red and white. He will descend while wearing two long, light yellow garments. His head appears to be dripping water, even though no moisture touched it. He will break the cross, kill the dajjal in palestine, perform hajj and preach islam. Isa will remain for forty years and then will die, and Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him. ”

    for more info see


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