Jesus through Shiite Narrations
Translated by: Al-Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen
Chapter 9: His Ascension
1. Jàbir al-Ansàri reported that the Prophet (‘s) taught ‘Alí and Fàtimah this prayer, and said to them, “When a misfortune descends upon you or you are afraid of a king’s injustice or something is lost, you should perform a good ablution, say a prayer with two rak‘at, raise your hands to heaven and say,
‘O Knower of the hidden and the secrets! O Obeyed One! O Most Knowing! O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O Vanquisher of the parties against Muhammad (‘s)! O Out Witter of Pharaoh for Moses! O Savior of Jesus from the hands of the unjust! O, Deliverer of the people of Noah from drowning! O, Compassionate for the tears of Ya‘qub! O Remover of the Difficulties of Job! O Savior of Jonah from the darkness! O Doer of every good! O Guider to every good! O Shower of every good! O Commander to every good! O Creator of the good! O Good-doer! You are Allah. I want from You what you know I want, and You are Omniscient of all that is hidden. I ask you to bless Muhammad and his descendants.’ Then ask your need, both of you. It will be answered, God willing.” (Mustadrak al-Wasà’il, 8, 214, 9286)
2. (A part of the psalm “Mashlul” is:) “O He who returned Joseph to Ya‘qub! O He who removed the harm from Job! O He who forgave the sin of David! O He who raised Jesus the son of Mary and saved him from the hands of the Jews! O He who answered the calling of Yunus in the darkness! O He who chose Moses by the Words! …” (Al-Misbàh, 262)
3. It is reported that Abu ‘Abd Allah (‘a) said, “… as for the occultation of Jesus, the Jews and the Christians are agreed that he was killed, so Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, belied them by His saying,
They did not kill nor crucify him, but it appeared to them so (4:157).
Likewise, the occultation of al-Qà’im (‘a), then the community will deny it.” (Bihàr, 51, 220, 9)
4. I asked him [Imam] about the nights of the month of Ramadàn in which ghusl [major ritual ablution] is recommended. Then he said, “The nineteenth, the twenty-first and the twenty-third.” And he continued, “On the night of the nineteenth, it is written who will go on the hajj, and every wise affair will be distributed in it. On the night of the twenty-first, Jesus (‘a) was raised and the executor of Moses was taken in it, and the Commander of the Faithful was taken in it….” (Tahdhíb al-Ahkàm, 4, 196)
5. It is reported that Habíb ibn ‘Amr said, “When the Commander of the Faithful passed away, Hasanu stood and spoke. He said, ‘O you people! On this night Jesus the son of Mary was raised.'” (Bihàr, 14, 335, 1)
6. It is reported that Abu Ja‘far (‘a) said, “On the night when ‘Alí (‘a) was murdered no stone was lifted from the face of the earth unless beneath it was found pure fresh blood, until the first break of dawn. It was the same on the night Yusha‘ ibn Nunu, and it was the same on the night when Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) was raised, and it was the same on the night when Husaynu was murdered.” (Bihàr, 14, 336, 4)
7. ‘Amr ibn Sa‘íd said, “A man who was from al-Madínah came on the night of ‘al-Furqàn’, [the night in which right and wrong were distinguished] when Muslims and polytheists were ready to fight each [at Badr] and said, ‘This night is the night of the seventeenth of Ramadan.’ Then I came to Abu ‘Abd Allah (‘a) and said to him what he had said. He said, ‘He who was from al-Madínah denied it. You want the night that the Commander of the Faithful received a blow. He received a blow on the night of the nineteenth of Ramadan nineteen, and it is the night in which Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) was raised.'” (Tafsír al-‘Ayyàshí, 2, 64, 68)
8. It is reported that in response to questions put to him by his son, Zayd, Imam Sajjàdu said, “O my boy! Certainly the Ka‘abah is the house of Allah, and whoever makes the pilgrimage to the house of Allah, intends to come before Allah, and the mosques are the houses of Allah, and whoever tries to get to them, tries to get to and intends to come before Allah, and one who prays, as long as he is praying, stands before Allah, the mighty and magnificent. Verily, Allah, the blessed and exalted, has spots in the heavens, so whoever is elevated to one of these spots is elevated to Him. Have you not heard that Allah, the mighty and magnificent, says that the angels and the spirit are elevated to Him. And Allah, the mighty and magnificent, says, in the story of Jesus the son of Mary (‘a):
“Nay, Allah took him up to Himself.” (4:158),
Allah, the mighty and magnificent, says:
“To Him the good words ascend, and He elevates the good deeds to Himself.” (35:10). (Faqíh, 1, 198, 603)
9. Abu Basír said, “I heard from Abu Ja‘far al-Bàqir (‘a), ‘The Sàhib hadha al-‘amr [the twelfth Imam] is similar to four prophets. He is similar to Moses, Jesus, Joseph and Muhammad (‘s).’ I said, ‘What is his similarity to Moses?’ He said, ‘Fearing and waiting.’34 I said, ‘What is his similarity to Jesus?’ He said, ‘It was said of him what was said of Jesus.’35 I said, ‘What is his similarity to Joseph?’ He said, ‘Prison and absence.’36 I said, ‘What is his similarity to Muhammad?’ He said, ‘When he takes his stand, he will follow the way of the Apostle of Allah, except that he will explain the legacy of Muhammad, and for eight months his sword will flash while there is disorder until he satisfies Allah.’ I said, ‘How will he know when Allah is satisfied?’ He said, ‘Allah will cast mercy into his heart.'” (Bihàr, 52, 347, 97)
10. It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a) said, “Nine thousand three hundred thirteen angels will descend to the Qà’im, and they are the ones who were with Jesus when Allah raised him to Himself.” (Bihàr, 14, 339, 15)
11. It is reported that al-Ridà (‘a) said, “When the Jews wanted to kill Jesus, he called upon Allah by our truth,37 then He saved him from being murdered and raised him.” (Bihàr, 14, 339, 14)
12. It is related in the tafsír attributed to Imam Hasan ‘Askarí that regarding the verse:
“and We strengthened him with the holy spirit” (2:87)
He said, “He is Gabriel, and this was when Allah raised him through a hole in his house to heaven, and He cast his likeness on the one who had desired to kill him, so he was killed instead of him.” (Bihàr, 14, 338, 10)
13. Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a) said, “It is as if I were looking at al-Qà’im (‘a) outside of Najaf mounted on a horse… When he raises the flag of the Apostle of Allah (‘s) thirteen thousand and thirteen angels come down to him each of whom looks to him, and they are those who were with Noah on the ark, and they were with Abraham when he was cast into the fire, and they were with Jesus at his ascension…. (Bihàr, 19, 305, 47)
14. It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a) said, “It is as though I were looking at the Qà’im outside Najaf. He is mounted on a black and white horse with a white forehead. Then he hastens his horse, so there will be no one in any city who will not think that he is with them in their city. When he unfurls the standard of the Apostle of Allah (‘s) thirteen thousand thirteen angels will descend, all waiting for the Qà’im (‘a), and they are the angels who were with Noah in the ark, and they were with Abraham, the friend of God, when he was cast into the fire, and they were with Jesus (‘a) when he was raised, and four thousand three hundred thirteen distinguished of these angels in ranks were present on the day of the battle of Badr, and four thousand came down wanting to fight with Husayn ibn ‘Alí (‘a), but he did not allow them, so they ascended to ask permission, after receiving which they came back down, but Husayn had been killed. So they remain separated, dust covered and weeping by the grave of Husayn (‘a) until the Resurrection Day. Between the grave of Husayn and heaven is a passage of angels.” (Bihàr, 52, 325, 40)
15. It is reported that Abu al-Hasan al-Ridà (‘a) said: “…And all of the [eleven] Imams after the prophet were killed, some by the sword, the Commander of the Faithful and Husayn, peace be with them, and the rest by poison. The tyrants of their times killed every one of them, and indeed this was done to them, truly, not like anything the extremists (ghulàh) or the delegators (mufawidah), may Allah curse them. They say, ‘They (the Imams) were not really killed, and it was only a likeness of their affair that appeared to them.’ So, they lied, may the wrath of Allah be upon them. Indeed, the affair of none of the prophets of Allah and His authorities, peace be with them, appeared doubtful to the people, except the affair of Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) alone, for he was raised from the earth alive and his soul was taken between heaven and earth, then he was raised to heaven and his soul was returned to him, and that is what the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, is about:
“When Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take you to Me, and I will raise you to Me (3:55)”
Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, said, narrating the speech of Jesus on the Resurrection Day:
“And I was a witness over them, so long as I was among them, but when You took me to Yourself, You were Yourself the watcher over them. You Yourself are witness over everything.” (5:117)…
And since it is permitted that all of the prophets and His messengers and authorities after Adam (‘a) were born of fathers and mothers, but among them Jesus was born without any father, it will be permitted that his affair appeared doubtful to the people, but not the affairs of the other prophets and authorities, peace be with them. Likewise, it was permitted for him to be born without a father, but not the others. Allah, the mighty and magnificent, only wanted to make his affair as a sign and mark for it to be known by this that He has power over all things.'” (Bihàr, 25, 117)
16. It is reported that during his final pilgrimage, the Apostle of Allah said, “…And Jesus the son of Mary remained among his people for forty years.” (Bihàr, 37, 184, 69)
17. It is reported, “Hujjat ibn al-Hasanu in his qunut38 prayed, ‘…And I supplicate You with the supplication of Jesus Your spirit when he supplicated You and You saved him from his enemies and You raised him to Yourself….'” (Bihàr, 82, 233)
18. Abu Ja‘far (‘a) said, “Verily, Jesus (‘a) invited his companions [to come] the night when Allah would raise him to Himself. So, they were gathered before him at evening, and they were twelve men. He brought them into a house, then he came out to them from a fountain in a corner of the house while the water was flowing from his head, and he said, ‘Verily, Allah revealed to me that He will raise me to Him now, and He will free me from the Jews. Which of you will bear my semblance, then be killed and crucified and be with me at my level?’ A youth among them said, ‘I, O Spirit of Allah!’ He said, ‘So, you are he.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Beware! Among you there is one who will disbelieve in me before twelve men become disbelievers.’ A man among them said, ‘I am he. O prophet of Allah!’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you feel it in yourself, you are he.’ Then Jesus (‘a) said to them, ‘Beware! After me you will divide into three sects. Two sects will blaspheme Allah and they will be in the Fire, and one sect will follow Sham‘un, be true to Allah, and they will be in the Garden. Then Allah raised Jesus from the corner of the house, while they were looking at him.” Then Abu Ja‘far u continued, “Verily, the Jews came seeking Jesus that night, and took the man about whom Jesus (‘a) had said that he would disbelieve in him before twelve men became disbelievers. And they took the youth upon whom the semblance of Jesus had been cast. Then he was killed and crucified. And the one about whom Jesus (‘a) had said that he would disbelieve in him before twelve men became disbelievers disbelieved.” (Bihàr 14, 336, 6)
19. Abu Ja‘far al-Bàqir (‘a) said, “When the Apostle of Allah (‘s) ascended to heaven, he ascended on a ruby red couch crowned by green emeralds borne by angels… When he ascended to the seventh heaven Jesus (‘a) met him, offered him greetings of peace, and asked him about ‘Alí (‘a). He said to him, I appointed him as a successor in my community (ummah). He said, “You appointed a good successor. Know that verily Allah made the angels obey him.” Then Mosses and the prophets, one by one, met him and he spoke with them. They told him the same thing that Jesus (‘a) said….” (Bihàr, 18, 303, 7)
20. Hishàm ibn Sàlim reported that Abu ‘Abd Allah (‘a) said, “Gabriel, Míkà’íl and Isràfíl brought al-Buràq to the Apostle of Allah. The Apostle of Allah [about his ascension to the Heaven] said, ‘… Gabriel brought me down [from al-Buràq] and said, ‘Recite the prayer.’ I prayed. He said, ‘Do you know where you prayed?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You prayed at a pure [town] and your pilgrimage will be to it.’ Then I rode [on al-Buràq] and we went [to] where Allah willed. Then he said to me, ‘Come down and recite the prayer.’ I came down and prayed. He said, ‘Do you know where you prayed?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You prayed at Tur Saynà, where Moses spoke with Allah.’ Then I rode and we went where Allah willed. Then he said to me, ‘Come down and recite the prayer.’ I came down and prayed. He said, ‘Do you know where you prayed?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You prayed at Bethlehem, in the district of Jerusalem (Bayt al-Muqaddas), where Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) was born.’ Then I rode and we went until we arrived at Jerusalem (Bayt al-Muqaddas.) Then I tied al-Buràq by the link by which the prophets tied it, and entered the Mosque while Gabriel was with me. We found Abraham, Moses and Jesus, among the prophets gathered by the permission of Allah… Then I was raised to the second heaven. There were two men, like each other in it. I said, ‘O Gabriel! Who are these?’ He said to me, ‘The cousins John and Jesus the son of Mary.’ Then I greeted them and they greeted me. I asked God’s forgiveness for them. They asked God’s forgiveness for me too, and said, ‘Welcome righteous brother and righteous prophet!’ The angels in that heaven were similar to the angels in the first heaven and they were humble. Allah created their faces as He wanted. All of them glorified and praised Him with different voices.” (Tafsír al-Qumí, 2, 3-8)
34. See (28:21).
35. That is, that he had been killed.
36. There is in another narration: “As for Jesus, it that is said that he died, but he did not die. As for Joseph, it is absence from his people so that he does not know them and they do not know him.” Taqríb al-Ma‘àrif, 190
37. That is, Jesus swore by the truth of the Imams, seeking intercession through them.
38. A part of the formal prayer of Islam in which personal supplications are made.