How Will We Recognize Jesus When He Returns
My faith as a Muslim requires that I believe in Jesus and his second coming. Now that the final Muslim prophet called Muhammad has departed from this world(1400 years ago), we are again repeating the vicious cycle of complacency, violence, hatred and disregard for God's commandments. Some of us enjoy being left to their own will to do whatever they desire. Others look in earnest for a leader that can guide them to something meaningful in life - even if it means joining cults and singing hymns of hatred. Yet, a small number struggle to hang on tight to the rope of righteousness praying all the while that a divine light will be sent amidst this time of fear and insecurity. Jesus, how we wait anxiously to have you guide us to the Lord Most High, the Father who created you, your mother Mary and all of us - His servants.
When Jesus come, how will we recognize him? Would he recognize us as his followers? Or would he recognize another group? Are there any group left in this world worthy of being recognized by the pure and sinless Jesus? I fear so much, that Jesus would be walking down the street, passed by my shoulder and I would not know that it is him. Some of you Christians, must have hints on how to recognize him. For us Muslims, we rely on the word of God in the Qur'an and the prophecy of our last prophet Muhammad. Muhammad was once brought up to the heavens by the archangel Gabriel, and as he climbed each level of the heavens, he met up with several great prophets of God. He said: "I met Moses on the night of my Ascension. As I thought, he was a tall person with lank hair....(snipped due to irrelevancy) I met Jesus. He was one of moderate height and was red-faced as if he had just come out of the bathroom...." (Bukhari collection 3437)
In another instance, the Prophet Muhammad said: "The prophets are like brothers with different mothers, their religion is one, but their mothers are different. I am worthier of Jesus(in brotherhood) than others, because there was no Prophet between me and him. He will come down from the heaven, and when you see him you will recognize him. He is a man of middle height with a complexion of red and white, of graceful stature. His head will seem to be dripping with water though it will not be wet. He will be having two staffs....." (Ahmad collection 2:437)
He also said: "He will stay for 40 years on the earth. He will descent (somewhere) in Damascus, after the morning prayer is called. ..." After this prayer, he will go in pursuit of the AntiChrist, and kill him. (Narrated by Abu Hurayrah)
It somehow bothered me when I read about his description of having hair dripping from his head. It seems to be such a strange description of a man's feature. Fortunately, I came upon another reading about Jesus final hours on earth, based on the Islamic belief.
The Prophet Muhammad narrated this story about Jesus to his companion, Ibn Abbas:"When God wanted to lift Jesus up to heaven, Jesus came to his companions in the house. There were 12 people among his disciples and others. He had just taken a bath, and his head was still dribbling with water. He said to them, "There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me."
Jesus said: "Who from among you willing to take on my appearance and be killed in my place, so he will reach my rank (in heaven)? A youth came forward. But Jesus told him to sit down. Then he repeated the same question and the same youth stood up and came forward and said, "I". Jesus said, "You are the one." Then, the appearance of Jesus appeared on him, and Jesus was lifted up to the heaven from the window of the house."
As a believer of the Qur'an and Muhammad, I am amazed to learn how Jesus was taken up to his Lord fresh after his shower, while his hair was still wet, and will be returned back to earth with no change happening to him physically since that day. He will be fresh from the shower - is my inference about his appearance when he descends back to guide us all to his one true God.