Praise be to Allaah.
The Qur’aan states that
‘Eesa (peace be upon him) was not crucified or killed, and that he was
lifted up to heaven. There is no text of the Revelation that tells us the
details of what happened on the day when that was made to appear to the
Jews, but there is a saheeh report from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased
with him) that the Messiah (peace be upon him) said to those of his
companions who were with him in the house: “Which of you will be made to
look like me and be killed in my stead, and he will be with me in the same
level as me (in Paradise)?” A young man who was one of the youngest of them
stood up, and he said to him: “Sit down.” Then he repeated it and that young
man stood up again, and he said: “Sit down.” Then he repeated it again and
that young man stood up and said, “I (will do it).” He said: “You are the
one.” So he was caused to look like ‘Eesa and ‘Eesa was lifted up from a
window in the house to heaven. Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said in his Tafseer (4/337), commenting on this report: This is a
saheeh isnaad going back to Ibn ‘Abbaas. Similarly it was narrated from more
than one of the salaf that he said to them: “Which of you will be made to
look like me and be killed in my stead, and he will be my companion in
Paradise?” End quote.
Then he (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said (4/341): Ibn Jareer favoured the view that all of his
companions were made to look like ‘Eesa. End quote. This was mentioned in a
report narrated from Wahb ibn Munabbih which was narrated by Ibn Jareer (may
Allaah have mercy on him) and quoted by Ibn Katheer (4/337), in which it
states that when they surrounded ‘Eesa and his companions and entered upon
them, “Allaah made them all appear in the form of ‘Eesa and they said to
them, ‘You have bewitched us; send forth to us ‘Eesa or we will kill you
all,’ until they sent forth one of their number after ‘Eesa promised
Paradise to him, and they took him and crucified him.”
But Ibn Katheer said after
that: This is a very strange story. End quote.
He also (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said (4/341): Some of the Christians claim that Judas Iscariot
– who is the one who led the Jews to ‘Eesa – is the one who was made to look
like ‘Eesa so they crucified him, and he said: I am not the one you want, I
am the one who led you to him. Allaah knows best what really happened. End
With that, Ibn Katheer (may
Allaah have mercy on him) concluded his discussion of this topic: Allaah
knows best what really happened.
Knowledge of this matter is
of no great benefit; if we needed to know that, our Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have told us.
And Allaah knows best.