What is the creed of the Muslims with regard to ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam? Also what is the ruling as to the saying that he was killed and crucified.
The Answer by Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen:
The belief of the Muslims regarding ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam, may Allaah’s Salaah and Salaam be upon him, is that he is one of the noble Messengers. In fact he is one of the five Messengers foremost in their resolve. They are Muhammad (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), Ibraaheem, Moosaa, Noah and ‘Eesaa (may Allaah’s Salaah and Salaam be upon them all). Allaah, The Most High, mentioned them in three places in His Noble Book. So, He Said in soorat al-Ahzaab :
And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you (O Muhammad (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), and from Noah, Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosaa (Moses), and ‘Eesaa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary); We took from them a strong covenant. [Qur’aan, soorat al-Ahzaab (33): 7].
Also in sooart ash-Shoora, Allaah Said:
Your Rabb (Allaah) prescribed for Noah (Nooh), and that which We revealed to you (O Muhammad: Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), and that which He prescribed for Ibraaheem, Moosaa, ‘Eesaa–that you should establish the Religion, acting upon what is prescribed, and not split into sects with regard to it. [Qur’aan, soorat ash-Shooraa (42): 13].
We belieive that ‘Eesaa (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) is a human from the children of Adam created from a mother without a father, and that he is a slave-worshipper of Allaah and His Messenger. So he is a slave, one who is not to be worshipped, and a Messenger, not to be denied. And that he does not possess any of the qualities of Rubbobiyyah. Rather he is as Allaah has Said:
‘Eesaa is not but a slave of Ours whom We Granted Our Favour to him (blessed with guidance and Eemaan,) and We made him a sign to the children of Israel. [Qur’aan, soorat azZukhruf (43): 59].
And that he (may Allaah’s Salaah and Salaam be upon him) did not command his people to appoint him and his mother as gods besides Allaah. In fact, he told that which Allaah has Commanded him with:
Worship Allaah, my Rabb and your Rabb. [Qur’aan, soorat alMaa’idah (5): 117].
And that he, ‘Eesaa (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) was Created by the Word of Allaah (Be!) as Allaah, The Most High, Says:
Verily, the likeness of ‘Eesaa before Allaah, (in Allaah’s Sight,) is the likeness of Adam. He Created him from dust, then (He) Said to him: “Be”- and he was. [Qur’aan, soorat aal- ‘Imraan (3): 59].
And that there is no Prophet between him (‘Eesaa) and Muhammad (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), as Allaah, The Most High, Says:
And (remember) when ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam, said: ‘O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allaah unto you, confirming the Torah (which came) before me, and giving glad tiding of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.’ But when he (Ahmed, i.e. Muhammad Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) came to them with clear proofs, they said: “This is plain magic”. [Qur’aan, soorat as-Saf (61): 6].
And no one’s faith will be complete until he believes that ‘Eesaa is Allaah’s slave and Messenger, and that he is free from and high above what the Jews described him with, – they said he was son of a prostitute conceived by way of fornication. We seek refuge in Allaah from this. Allaah, The Most High, cleared him of all of that. Also the Muslims disassociate themselves from the way of the Christians who went astray in their understanding of the reality with regard to ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam, since they have appointed him and his mother as gods besides Allaah. And some of them said: “He is the son of Allaah,” and others said: “Allaah is the third of three (Trinity).”
As far as him (‘Eesaa) being killed and “crucified,” then Allaah, The One free from all imperfection and The Most High, categorically and decisively denied that he was killed or crucified. So He, The Most Mighty and Most Magnificent, Said:
But they (the Jews) they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that man), 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. But Allaah raised him up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allaah is All-Powerful, AllWise. And there is none from the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him (i.e. ‘Eesaa, as a Messenger of Allaah and a human being) before his (‘Eesaa’s, or a Jew’s or a Christian’s) death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he (‘Eesaa) will be a witness against them.” [Qur’aan, soorat an-Nisaa’ (4): 157-159].
Therefore anyone who believes that ‘Eessa, son of Maryam, may Allaah’s Salaah and Salaam be upon him, was killed and crucifixion then he has denied the Qur’aan. And anyone who denies the Qur’aan is an unbeliever. So we believe that ‘Eessa (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) was neither killed nor crucified. But we say that the Jews drew on themselves the sin of killing and crucifixion, since they claimed that they killed ‘Eesaa, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allaah, while in reality they killed him not. Rather they killed someone who was put there to resemble him, because Allaah put the resemblance of ‘Eesaa over a man from amongst them, and they killed and crucified that man. And then they said that they killed ‘Eesaa, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allaah. Thus the Jews drew upon themselves the sin of killing and that of crucifixion in their testimony concerning themselves. And as to ‘Eessa, son of Maryam, Allaah, The Most High, cleared him of that, and protected him and raised him up unto Himself in the heavens.
And he shall descend to earth at the end of time (before the establishment of the Hour), and he will judge by the Sharee’ah of Muhammad (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), then he will die on earth and will be buried in it; then he will be raised (ascend) just like the rest of the children of Aadam, since Allaah, The Most High, Says:
Thereof (the earth) We Created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. [Qur’aan, soorat Taahaa (20): 55].
He (Allaah) Said: Therein (the earth) you will live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (i.e. resurrected). [Qur’aan, soorat al-A’raaf (7): 25].
Translated by Dr Saleh as Saleh rahimahullaah