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20. For Readers of the Qur'an

3) Christ Raises the Dead

It is astonishing to see that the Qur'an testifies twice the fact that the Son of Mary gave life to the dead, only by his word. He who meditates over these reports finds some important principles:

In Sura Al 'Imran 3:49, Christ explains his miracles in the present tense on the basis of the experience of life freeing the dead out of the soil.

In Sura al-Ma'ida 5:110, Allah confirms to the Son of Mary, in the past tense, after raising him into His presence, that he really had sent forth the dead, alive, out from their graves. These two testimonies prove the reality of Christ raising the dead and confirm it legally.

Jesus said, in his Qur'anic testimony, that he gave life to such deceased persons who were really dead. In his words dwells the life-giving power of Allah and from his heart comes the spirit of life.

Christ released those who were imprisoned in the grave, for he has overcome the power of death and has broken its authority. The Son of Mary snatched the dead bodies from the teeth of death and returned them alive as they were before. The grave is never the end for Christ and his followers, for Jesus is the Life-Giving Spirit of Allah; whoever believes in him shall live with him forever.

These two Qur'anic testimonies about resurrected people appear neither in the singular nor in the dual, but in the plural form. This indicates that Christ, according to the Qur'an, raised, at least, three or more people from the dead. These reports confirm that raising the dead was neither an accident, nor a deliberate deceit based on apparent death, but a striking fact that happened several times.

These two verses in the Qur'an testify also that Christ did not execute these miracles alone, by himself or by his own power, but with permission from Allah and with support of His Spirit. Sura Al 'Imran 5:110 clarifies that the Almighty strengthened the Son of Mary with the Spirit of the Holy, so that he could perform his astounding miracles. This testimony confirms that Allah, his Spirit, and Christ together performed these miracles; thus, these three appear as an indivisible unity in action.

With respect to this fact, Christ says in the Gospel, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do; for whatever the Father does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19)

We read seven times in the Gospel about the raising of the dead during Jesus' ministry on earth: Matthew 18:9-26; 10:8; 11:5-6; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 7:11-17, 22-23; 8:40-56; John 11:1-45. Of these testimonies of eyewitnesses we attach great importance to the reports of Luke, the Greek physician, who examined carefully the reality of the dead being raised by Christ. He testified that it was true.

Reports from the Gospel, on how Christ Raised the Dead:

Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43 -- 21 When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered about Him; and He stayed by the seashore. 22 And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet, 23 and entreated Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, that she may get well and live." 24 And He went off with him; and a great multitude was following Him and pressing in on Him. … 35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" 36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." 37 And He allowed no one to follow with Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 And they came to the house of the synagogue official; and He beheld a disturbance, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He said to them, "Why make a disturbance and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." 40 And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41 And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"). 42 And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this; and He said that something should be given her to eat.

Luke 7:11-15 -- 11 And it came about soon afterwards, that He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large multitude. 12 Now as He approached the gate of the city, behold, a dead young man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." 14 And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise!" 15 And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

John 11:17-26 and 32-45 -- 17 When Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about three kilometers off; 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary still sat in the house. 21 Martha therefore said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother shall rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 32 When Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, 34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept. 36 And so the Jews were saying, "Behold how He loved him!" 37 But some of them said, "Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have kept this man also from dying?" 38 Jesus therefore again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" 41 And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that You sent Me." 43 And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." 44 He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." 45 Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and saw what He had done, believed in Him.

Who is able to raise the dead? The common answer to this question is that nobody is able to raise the dead but God. This convincing answer shows us the high rank, which the Son of Mary had with God.

Jesus said to her,
"I am the Resurrection
and the Life;

he who believes in Me
shall live
even if he dies,
and everyone who lives
and believes in Me
shall never die.
Do you believe this?"
(John 12:25 and 26)

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