Question 65:

What is the believers’ view on the second coming of Christ at the end of time? Will he come for all people or only for Christians? Are there Muslim teachers who believe that Jesus will judge mankind at the end of time?


Answer: This question is best answered by Muslims. We shall only point to some relevant data from the core writings of Islam, the Quran and the Hadith.

Starting point for Islamic teaching about Jesus coming at the end of time is Sura 4:159, which should be read in conjunction with the preceding verses:

[4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him - they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him. [4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death.

Explanation of verse 4:159 by A. Th. Khoury (in: „Der Koran. Arabisch-Deutsch“. Übers. und wiss. Kommentar. Bd. 5 Gütersloh, 1994, S. 257f.)

4:159 (158): Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death. This refers to the Jews and to Christians. The statement either refers to the death of each human being among the Jews and the Christians: before they die they will believe in Jesus, in accordance with the truth about him: He is the true messiah, sent by God (this aimed at the Jews. See above 4:157), and he is not God’s son but Gods servant (this aimed at the Christians: 4:171-172). This occurs either in the last moments of life, commanded by the Angels which receive the soul of the dying person, or after death, when it is too late.

According to another interpretation, the words before his refer to Jesus: Before Jesus dies, here presumably in the end times after his coming again, all Jews and Christians who are still alive will come to the right faith in him.

On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them (2:143).

The Quran says: The day will come when we will raise from every community a witness from among them, (16:89; cf. 16:84). Thus Jesus will witness against the Jews who did not want to believe in him, and also against the Christians who had a wrong belief in him.

According to Islamic tradition (e.g. according to the Hadiths, but which not all Muslims consider to be reliable) Jesus will come down from Heaven into the Holy Land at the end of time. He will behave like a perfect Muslim: He will destroy the Antichrist and say the prescribed morning prayer in Jerusalem, where he positions himself behind the Imam among the faithful Muslims. He will then abolish everything which is contrary to Islamic law, kill the pig, and remove signs, things and buildings which are contrary to strict orthodox Islam (such as crosses, churches and synagogues). He will witness against the Jews and the Christians and he will kill all Christians who have not turned to Islam. Then he will reign over a completely united Kingdom where he will reign as a just king and the whole creation will have 40 years of peace. To become like the other prophets in all things he will also marry and have children. Then he will die and he will be buried in Medina next to Muhammad and the first caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar. Then the Hour of Judgment comes. God will sit in judgment of the world and in his almightiness decide, who will be allowed to plead for the people. Jesus will be among those that are graced, because the Quran counts him among those who are esteemed by God in this world and in the hereafter (3:45), i.e. those who are prophets on earth and have the right to plead on the Day of Judgment. Furthermore, at the time of the Resurrection and the Judgment Jesus will witness over the “people of the book” (4:159). (On the Hadiths which refer to Jesus coming again at the end of time, see Ibn Kathïr, “Tafsïr al-Quran”, I, P. 547-552.) As already stated, Muslims in the past and today have strongly differing views in terms of the level of credibility to be accorded to the Hadiths of Ibn Kathïr (ca. 1300-1373). The words of many of these Hadiths can be found in the popular and polemic tract by Muhammad Ata ur-Rahïm and Ahmad Thomson, “Jesus, Prophet of Islam”. London: Ta-Ha Publishers, 1996, P. 271-278.

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