وَاِنْ مِنْ اَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ اِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهٖ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهٖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيٰمَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهٖيدًا
: Wa-in min ahli alkitabi illalayu/minanna bihi qabla mawtihi wayawma alqiyamati yakoonuAAalayhim shaheeda
And there is none Of the People of the Book But must believe in him Before his death; And on the Day of Judgement He will be a witness Against them -
There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them -
M. H. Shakir
There is not one of the followers of the Book but most certainly believe in this before his death, and on the day of resurrection he (Isa) shall be a witness against them.
A. J. Arberry
There is not one of the People of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them.
According to these translations all the people of the Book (all the Jews and Christians) must believe in Jesus before his death. We all know that the Jews do not believe in Jesus and the Christian Churches also adopted pagan doctrines and they also denied the true teachings about Jesus and went astray.
Since all the people of the book do not believe in Jesus some Muslims use this verse as a proof that Jesus did not died but God took him to heaven and on the Judgment day he will return and then die and before his death all the people of the book will believe in him!
If that so and all the people of the Book will believe in him it means all of them will be in heaven! Is this what the Quran teaches? Do we find anywhere in Quran says all the people of the Book will be in heaven?! No. And if all of them will believe in him why “he will be a witness against them.”? Obviously there is something wrong with this translation.
Now let’s see the translation of this verse word by word to English.
And there are
(of) the Book
surely he believes
And (on the) Day
(of) the Resurrection
he will be
The right translation is:
“And there are from the People of the Book (those) who will surely believe in Him before His death. And on the day of Resurrection He will be a witness on them.”
We all know that the disciples who believed in Jesus were Jews, and some other also believed in Jesus before his death and we know them as a Christians. So, it is clear that the right translation is: “And there are from the People of the Book (those) who will surely believe in Him (for ex. the disciples) before His death. And on the day of Resurrection He will be a witness on them.”
There are two verses in the Quran where Jesus summarizes his relationship with his people.
The verses is from Surah Ma'idah 5:116-117.
5:116 And behold! Allah will say: ‘O Isa, son of Maryam was it you who said to the people (-- the Christians, especially the Roman Catholic) "Take me and my mother for two deities besides Allah?" He will say: "Glory to be to You! It is not fit for me to say what is not right for me. If I had said that, You would then have known it indeed. You know what is in my mind, while I do not know what is in Your mind. Surely you are the great Knower of hidden matter
5:117 "I did not say to them anything except about what You had ordered me, namely, "serve Allah, my God and your God" and I was witness over them so long as I was with them, but when you caused me to die (wafat), You were Watcher over them. And You are a Witness over all things
This is another definite evidence of death of Jesus. Allah questioning Jesus whether he taught his people to take him as a god. Jesus reply that he did not teach so, and he bears witness that during his lifetime his people did not take him and his mother as gods besides Allah.
We all know that (most of the) Christians do regard Jesus as God (in trinity) and Mary as a goddess. If Jesus is yet to die, this should not have happened. How to reconcile this verse? According to the verse, the Christians were supposed to take Jesus and his mother as deities only after his death (wafat)!! And his death is yet to happen!!!! The answer is if this has to happen, then according to the verse Jesus must have died. It is only after his death people accepted him and his mother as god and goddess.
And on the second coming of Jesus will be on the Judgments day. It means the end of our time. So there will be no place and no time for the people of the Book to believe in Jesus or deny him.
“Behold! Allah Said: "O Jesus! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me and I shall clear you of those who reject Faith, and I will make those who follow you above those who reject Faith - until the day of Resurrection. …”
They key words here are : Ya Isa, inni mutawaffika wa rafi'uka ilaiya
Meaning: "O Jesus! I shall cause you to die and I shall exalt you towards me….."
Interpretation of the word ‘wafat':
The key word here is "wafat" . The most correct meaning of "wafat" is death, or take away soul. If soul is taken away from a person, it is nothing but death. The problem arises with regards to this verse, when Muslims refuse to interpret the meaning of "wafat" as death. Irony is that all scholars who translated the Holy Quran do agree "wafat" means death. Each and every scholar translated the word "wafat" as death in at least 20 different instances in their translations. However, in this particular verse, they interpreted the meaning as ‘take away' and insinuate physical ascension.