Translation Chapter 24

The women visit ‘Īsā al-Masīh’s tomb

24 On the first day of the week[1], at the first light of dawn, the women went to the tomb carrying the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord ‘Īsā. 

4 While they were still at a loss what to make of this, suddenly two men in shining clothes stood near them. 5 The women were frightened and bowed down with their faces to the ground. But the two men said to them, ‘Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? 6 He is not here; he has been raised! Remember how he told you, when he was still in Galilee, 7 “The Son of Man[2]must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified and on the third day rise from the dead.”’8 Then the women remembered his words.       

9 They returned from the tomb, and reported all these things to the eleven and the other disciples. 10 It was Maryam Magdalene, Johanna, Maryam the mother of Ya’qūb, and some other women with them[3]who told these things to the Companions[4].11 But their words seemed like nonsense to the disciples, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He stooped down to look inside, and saw only the strips of linen cloth. Then he left, astonished, wondering what had happened.                   

The stranger on the road to Emmaus

13 On that same day, two of the disciples were walking to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[5]from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking to each other about all that had taken place. 15 While they talked and discussed together, ‘Īsā himself came up and started walking with them, 16 but they were prevented from recognising him. 17 He asked them, ‘What are you debating about while you’re walking?’

They stood there, with sad faces. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, replied, ‘Are you the only person staying in Jerusalem who doesn’t know what has happened there these past few days?’              

19 ‘What has happened?’ he asked them.

‘It’s about ‘Īsā of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, esteemed by Allah and all the people to be powerful in word and in action.20 Our chief imāms[6]and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21We were hoping that he was the one who was going to redeem the Ban-i Isrā’īl[7]. And besides all this, it’s now the third day since these things happened. 22But then some women from our group astonished us. They went to the tomb at dawn this morning, 23 but they didn’t find his body there. They came back saying they had also seen angels appear, who said that ‘Īsā is alive.24 Then some of those who’d been with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see ‘Īsā.’                    

25 ‘Īsā said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have said! 26 Did not al-Masīh have to suffer these things and then come into his glory?’ 27 And starting with (the Taurāt revealed through) Mūsā, and with all the Prophets[8], he explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about himself.                  

28 They drew near the village where they were going. ‘Īsā kept walking as if he were going further, 29 but the two disciples urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, it will soon be evening and the day’s about to end.’ So he went in to stay with them.       

30 While ‘Īsā was with them at the meal, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, ‘Weren’t our hearts on fire within us when he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?’

33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and the others with them, gathered together, 34 saying, ‘The Lord really has been raised! And he’s appeared to Simon![9]

35 Then the two disciples described to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognised ‘Īsā when he had broken the bread.

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)appears to his disciples

36 While they were still speaking about these things, ‘Īsā himself stood in their midst and said to them, ‘As-salāmu ‘alaykum.’

37 The disciples were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. 38 ‘Īsā said to them, ‘Why are you so shaken? Why are doubts arising in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet[10]. See that it’s I myself! Touch me and see. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as you see I have.’

40 Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 While they still could not believe it out of joy and wonder, he asked them, ‘Have you got anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of roasted fish,43which he took and ate in their presence.       

44 ‘Īsā said to them, ‘This is my teaching that I gave you while I was still with you: everything that is written about me in the Taurāt of Mūsā, the Prophets and the Zabūr must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, ‘This is what is written: al-Masīh must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and in his name repentance and forgiveness of sins must be proclaimed to all nations[11], starting from Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these events. 49 I myself am sending upon you what my heavenly Father has promised[12]. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)is taken up into heaven

50 Then ‘Īsā led the disciples out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them[13].51While he was blessing them, he parted from them and was taken up into heaven[14]. 52 The disciples prostrated themselves before him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they spent their time continually in al-Bayt ul-Muqaddas, praising Allah.

 

[1]Sunday.

[2]‘The Son of Man’ is a title al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)often used for himself. For more details, see Appendix E, ‘The Title: “the Son of Man”‘.

[3]Women disciples were the first to discover the empty tomb of Sayyidnā ‘Īsā (hpbuu), and also the first to meet him after he had been raised from the dead (see Injīl, Matthew 28:9, John 20:14-16). In the Jewish culture of that time, women generally had low status in society and their testimony in law was often disqualified - “Let not the testimony of women be admitted” (Josephus, Antiquities 4:219. This view was not based on the Taurāt, but was a widespread cultural assumption). The record of women being the first witnesses, points to the truthfulness of these accounts in the Injīl. If these accounts were fabricated stories, the writers (coming from that culture) would never have written that women were the first to witness the empty tomb and post-resurrection appearances of al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu).

[4]In the Greek language in which the Injīl was originally written, the word is ‘apostoloi’ or ‘sent ones’.

[5]Or about twelve kilometres. In the Greek language in which the Injīl was originally written, ‘sixty stadia’.

[6]Often translated, ‘chief priests’ – this type of imām was descended from Prophet Hārūn (pbuh)and served in al-Bayt ul-Muqaddas. Their role is summarised in 1stBook of Chronicles 23:13:

Hārūn was set apart, he and his descendants for ever, to dedicate the most holy things, to offer qurbānī in the presence of the LORD, to serve him and to give blessings in his name for ever.

[7]Many Jews were expecting al-Masīh to come as a king who would overthrow the pagan nations who ruled over the Ban-i Isrā’īl (at that time, the Romans), and thus rescue them from their oppressors. See Appendix C, ‘The Title: “Al-Masīh”’.

[8]The Jewish Scriptures were sometimes referred to as ‘Mūsā and the Prophets’ (or, as in Luke 16:16, ‘the Taurāt and the Prophets). Sometimes the Jewish Scriptures were divided into three parts, ‘the Taurāt of Mūsā, the Prophets and the Zabūr’, as ‘Īsā al-Masīh(hpbuu)does in v44.

[9]Simon in v34 is the same as Peter (pbuh)in v12. See 6:14.

[10]Al-Masīh ‘Īsā’s hands and feet bore the scars where the nails were driven through to attach him to the cross. See Injīl, John 20:25-27.

[11]It is clear from al-Masīh Isa’s words here that he saw his message as being not just for the Ban-I Isrā’īl but for the whole world. Similarly, the Qur’an speaks of the Injīl as ‘a guidance to mankind’ (Āl-’Imrān3:4) – not only for the Ban-i Isrā’īl.

[12]This promised gift is the Holy Spirit, as ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)makes clear in Injīl, Acts 1:4-5, 8;

‘Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for what the heavenlyFather promised, which you have heard me speak about. For Yahyā gave ritual washing with water, but in a few days time you will be ritually washed with the Holy Spirit... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses...’

Much earlier Allah had promised to send his Spirit:

‘And afterwards,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’
(Book of the Prophet Joel 2:28).

‘And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my laws and be careful to obey what I judge to be right.’(Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 36:27).

This promise is fulfilled ten days after ‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)is taken up to heaven and is recorded in Injīl, Acts 2:1-4.

When the day of the Eid of Pentecost came, all the disciples were together in the same place. 2 Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a forceful rushing wind, which filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared tongues as of fire, that were dividing up and came to rest on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in different languages as the Spirit gave them ability to speak...

[13]‘Īsā al-Masīh (hpbuu)may have used the words with which Prophet Hārūn (pbuh)had been instructed to bless the Ban-i Isrā’īl:

 ‘The Lordbless you
    and protect you;
 the Lordmake his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lordlook with favour on you
    and give you peace.’
(Taurāt, Numbers 6:24-26)

[14]See Qur’an, Āl-’Imrān3:55, God said, “O Jesus, I shall cause you to die and make you ascend to Me...”(TK).