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The raising of Jesus

The second part of the sentence (‘I shall raise you towards myself’) emphasizes that Jesus has a body. Jesus is not the name of just a spirit, but of a spirit and a body. Interpreting the raising of Jesus in the sense that the act of raising was spiritual only, and not physical, is therefore erroneous. As far as the word, raf‘ (raising) is concerned, there are occasions when it is also used to indicate the raising of ranks, as in the following verses of the Qur

) an: Rafa

( a ba

) dakum fawqa

ba ) din darajatin (‘and raised some of you

in ranks over others’) (6.165); yarfa ( illa-

hullazina amanu minkum wallazina utul ( ilma (‘and Allah will raise up in rank those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge’) (58.11). Although it is obvious that the word

raf‘, in the sense of the raising of rank or status, has been used figuratively in the context of these verses, there is no reason here to think that the verb can only be used figuratively. Moreover, by using the word ila (towards) along with the word raf‘ at this particular place, the possibility of such a figurative meaning has been rejected. What is said in this verse is rafi

( uka ilayya (‘I shall raise you

towards myself’) and there is no reason to think it is not meant literally. There is also the verse from the sura

al-Nisa (4.157), which refutes the belief of the Jews; what is said here is wa ma qataluhu yaqinan barrafa

( ahullahu ilayhi:

that is, they certainly did not kill Jesus, rather God raised him towards himself. This later expression is used to mean the raising of the spirit and the body.