Shaykh ‘Ali ‘Izz ad-Din ibn al-Atsir (r.a.) on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (a.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad (r.a.) was better known as Shaykh ‘Ali ‘Izz ad-Din ibn al-Atsir al-Jazari (r.a.).  He was an Arab or Kurdish historian and biographer who wrote in Arabic and he was from the famous ibn al-Atsir family.  Shaykh ibn al-Atsir (r.a.) lived a scholarly life in Mosul.  He often visited Baghdad and for a time, travelled with Sultan Swalah ad-Din’s (r.a.) army in Syria.  He later lived in Aleppo and Damascus.  His chief work was a history of the world, al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh, “The Complete History.”

Shaykh ibn al-Atsir (r.a.) wrote, in al-Kamil, concerning Jesus Christ (a.s.), “The learned have differed concerning his death before his being raised up.  Some say, ‘He was raised up and did not die.’  Others say, ‘No, Allah Made him die for three hours.’  Others say, ‘For seven hours, then He Brought him back to life.’  And those who say this are expounding His Saying:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
يَـٰعِيسَىٰٓ إِنِّى مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَىَّ (٥٥)

… “O Jesus!  I will Take thee and Raise thee to Myself ….” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:55)

And when the Jews seized the person who had been Made to resemble him, they bound him and began to lead him with a rope and say to him, ‘You were raising the dead.  Can you not save yourself from this rope?’  And they were spitting in his face and putting thorns on him; and they crucified him on the cross for six hours.  Then Joseph the carpenter asked for him from the governor who was over the Jews, whose name was Pilate and whose title was Herod, and buried him in a grave which the aforementioned Joseph had prepared for himself.  Then Allah (s.w.t.) Sent down the Messiah from Heaven to his mother, Mary (a.s.), when she was weeping for him, and he said to her, ‘Verily Allah has Raised me to Himself and nothing but good has befallen me.’  And he gave her instructions, and she gathered the disciples to him and he sent them through the earth as messengers from Allah and he ordered them to convey from him the Message Allah (s.w.t.) had Commanded him.

Then Allah (s.w.t.) Raised him to Himself and the disciples scattered where he commanded them.  The Messiah’s (a.s.) Raising up was three hundred and thirty-six years after Alexander’s conquest of Darius.”

It is important to note that Shaykh ibn al-Atsir (r.a.) was only conveying what he had gathered.  We have historical evidence that Pontius Pilate may have been the governor of Ideorum, what the Romans called Judea.  Herod Agrippa, the usurper was a distinct person and an enemy of the prophets.  Also, “Joseph the carpenter” here, refers to Joseph of Arimathea, not Joseph, the supposed spouse of Mary (a.s.).

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