Does the Qur’an deny the death of Jesus?



For Muslim Christians or just Christians the Qur’an is not from God and therefore not authoritative, so strictly speaking what it claims would change nothing.  However, Muslims claim it is from God and that it denies the death of Jesus.  I would like to ask them whether that is necessarily the case.

Quran : 4:157-158

Ninety percent of the time, my Muslim friends will immediately quote, “They killed him not, they crucified him not, but it was likened unto them [orit appeared into them]. They killed him not knowingly, but God raised him and God is the most merciful of merciful.” (Qur’an, Surah 4:157-158).

In their minds, this verse says that God would never have allowed a great prophet like Jesus to be crucified by His enemies.


But does this verse really say that Jesus did not die?

Is that how most Muslim scholars themselves interpret it? What does, “They killed him not knowingly,” mean? The fact of the matter is that there are different contradicting interpretations of this verse amongst Muslim scholars.


There are various ways of interpreting Surah 4:157-158. One of them would be to remember the Jews’ attitude toward Christ. When Jesus was taken to the Roman governor, they did not believe He was the Messiah. They wanted to get rid of Him. By saying, “They killed him not knowingly,” the Qur’an simply states that they killed Jesus without knowing He was the Messiah.


Another possible way to interpret the passage (Surah 4:157-158) is that the unbelieving Jews intended by the crucifixion of Jesus to shame Him in the eyes of the world. The death He would suffer would then destroy and invalidate His mission in the eyes of the world. However, the Jews failed to accomplish their goal. In fact, by the crucifixion, Jesus was glorified when God raised Him up to be with Him. He became the key figure of human history.

Throughout the years countless people have turned to Jesus ChristJewsArabsAsiansEuropeans and people from all other nationalities and classes of society have experienced the life changing power of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.


Conclusion? It is not possible – despite what people usually think – to reach a definite conclusion based on this single and ambiguous verse. Muslim scholars are unsure about the end of the life of Jesus on earth. They disagree about whether He died or was raised alive to heaven without dying. Any conclusion from Surah 4:157-158 asserting that Jesus did not die involves speculation and theory. In fact, there are other verses in the Qur’an which say Jesus was killed.


This is the first reference from Jesus that he will die.


Quran : Surah Maryam 19:33 

In this verse, Jesus is reported to say: “Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!” (Qur’an, Surah Maryam 19:33).

Quran: (3:55Lo! God said: O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die (mutawaffeeka), and shall exalt thee (rafiu-ka) unto Me and cleanse thee of (the presence of) those who are bent on denying the truth; [….].


Let us continue:

Quran: (5:117Nothing did I tell them beyond what Thou didst bid me (to say): ‘Worship God, (who is) my Sustainer as well as your sustainer.’ And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst; but since Thou has caused me to die (tawaffaita-ni) , Thou alone hast been their keeper.
Interpretation of the word ‘wafat‘: The key word here is “wafat” .

The most correct meaning of “wafat” is death, or take away soul.  If soul is taken away from a person, it is nothing but death. The problem arises with regards to this verse, when Muslims refuse to interpret the meaning of “wafat” as death.


Irony is that all scholars who translated the Holy Quran do agree “wafat means death.


Each and every scholar translated the word “wafat” as death in at least 20 different instances in their translations.  However, in this particular verse, they interpreted the meaning as ‘take away‘ and insinuate physical ascension.

Here are some of the verses in the Holy Quran where Allah used the word “wafat“.

The verses are 2:2342:2403:1934:154:976:617:377:1268:5010:4610:10412:10113:40,
16:2816:3216:7039:4240:6740:7747:27 etc.

You can look up these verses online, here is the link : Just type the verse under the search tab. If you want to take a look at the Arabic text in English, on the left side of page, click on under Language “English” then highlight “Transliteration”. You will see the word used “Wafat

In  each of the instances, all these scholars translated the word “wafat” as death, or a word very close to death but none of them used a word to mean take away in alive condition.

We have Jesus speaking of his death in the cradle saying: “So peace is on me the day that I will die,” Quran: Maryam 19:33 And we have God telling Jesus: “I will cause thee to die and raise thee to Myself” Quran: al-Imran 3:55 And in last verse we have Jesus saying: “when Thou didst cause me to die” Quran: al-Ma`idah 5:117.

We see clearly from Quran that Jesus died and rise up to life and took up to heaven.

 Muslim scholars, who believe that Jesus did not die, find themselves in a dilemma at verses like this one. Many of them attempt to respond by saying that this is a future event. Jesus will come back to this world some day to do many great and wonderful things, and then He will die.

However, we read almost an identical passage in QuranSurah Maryam 19:15 about Yahya (John the Baptist):

So Peace on him [Yahya] (John the Baptist) the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!”

Bible : Matthew 14,1012 :

10 So John was beheaded in the prison,11 and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.12 Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.

Muslims recognize the fact that Yahya (John the Baptist) died and was buried.

I don’t know of any Muslim who would shift the death of Yahya (John the Baptist) to the future! All know that Yahya (John the Baptist) died. Therefore, following the plain meaning of the parallel verse, no one should shift the death of Jesus to the future. In fact there isn’t a single verse in the Qur’an showing that Jesus will return to die.

Yahya (John the Baptist) who died; the parallel statement clearly shows that Jesus also died.


QuranSurah Al-Imran 3:55 and Surah Al-Maida 5:116-117

Another Qur’anic passage that speaks of the death of Jesus is Surah Al-Imran 3:55:

Behold! Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take thee to Me [Arabic: mutawaffeeka, meaning ‘I will cause you to die’] and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection.’”


Still another is:“I (Son of Marywas a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up [Arabic: tawaffaitani, meaning, ‘caused me to die’] Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Maida 5: 117).


These Qur’anic texts show that Christ died, even though they do not discuss how His death took place. Were the Biblical and other historic records of Jesus’ crucifixion untrue, we would expect the Qur’an to have many verses stating that Jesus did not die on the cross.

The truth is that, in more than 6,000 Qur’anic verses, there is not a single one that clearly refutes Jesus’ crucifixion.


Although Arabic is not my mother language and though I have read the Qur’an many times, I am not an expert in the interpretation of the Qur’an. However, I have tried to show that not all Muslim scholars deny the death of Jesus (as you may think)! The Qur’an contains very little material about what actually happened.

There are quite a few question marks over the real meaning of the above verses. So, there is extensive contradiction and confusion in what Muslim scholars have to say about the death of Christ.

Some have denied the death completely, and explained it as sleeping or death from having lusts; others have accepted the death but differed in their understanding of its duration: three hoursseven hours or three days!

Further more many Muslim’s are not aware of the verses below coming from the Quran that honors Jesus above all and is glorified by God as we must believe in him and we are told Jesus second coming on the day of judgement where he will take back his kingdom. 

And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;- ” Quran 4:159

And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.” Quran 43:61

Luke 21:27NIV. “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Bible, Hebrews 9:28, “So also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and He will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time He will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for Him.”

Therefore, if you are to know the truth, you need to be open-minded and look somewhere else – at extra-Qur’anic evidence.

That is precisely the reason for this website!