Jesus in India
The Ahmidiyya sect of Islam believe Jesus did not die on the cross but swooned. Jesus then went to India where He was known as Yuz Asaf (“leader of the healed”) and died at the age of 120.
The Ahmadiyya base their belief on Quran 23:50,1
And We made the son of Maryam (Mary) and his mother as a sign, And We gave them refuge on high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams.
“It is a pity that Muslims, on account of their bigotry and ignorance, do not reflect duly on this verse. They are too eager to see Jesus descend from heaven, while the Holy Qur’an testifies that he is dead and was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir, as God Almighty has said:وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍThat is: ‘We delivered Jesus and his mother from the hands of the Jews and conveyed them to a region of high mountains which was a place of security and was watered with clear springs.’ This was Kashmir. And this is why Mary’s tomb is not to be found in Palestine, and the Christians claim that she too disappeared like Jesus. How unjust it is of the ignorant Muslims to believe that the followers of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are deprived of converse with God while at the same time they repeat the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that among his people there will be those who will resemble the Prophets of Israel, and there will also be one who will be a Prophet in one aspect and the follower of the Holy Prophet in another. He would be the one who will be called the Promised Messiah.”2
The Ahmadiyya claim is not supported from history
I have not come across credible evidence for the historical claim of Jesus in India. Historian Philip Jenkins says about the Jesus in India theory,
I cannot prove a negative. I cannot prove that Jesus never traveled. But there is absolutely no evidence from the ancient record that he went to India. It seems unlikely that he visited India, because if there had been even the slightest vague memory of an ancient tradition claiming that Jesus visited India – then the Christians living in India would not have claimed that Thomas founded their church. They would have claimed that Jesus founded it. And the tradition about Thomas as founder has distinct, well-known, long-running historical roots (Conversation with Philip Jenkins).
Here is an example of the unsubstantiated theories about Jesus in India, “Jesus in Kashmir”:
This documentary doesn’t give any credible evidence that Jesus died and was buried in India. However, there’s a lot of untrue information in this documentary and unsubstantiated assertions:
“Many of us associate crucifixion with death, but many biblical experts feel that Jesus had not died on the cross.”
Answer: It would be nice if we were told who these biblical experts are but names are not given.
The documentary refers to Jesus’ body being “scratched.” (23:13-23:22).
Answer: The Scriptures teach that Jesus’ body was pierced and not scratched. (John 19:34)
The documentary goes on to say that after Jesus’ body was “scratched” blood and water came out, “This can happen only if the person is alive” (23:13-23:22).
Answer: This is untrue according to the peer reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association.3
“…One day, Shalivahan, the chief ot the Sakyas, went into the Himalayas. There, in the Land of the Hun (Ladakh, a part of the Kushan empire), the powerful king saw a man sitting on a mountain, who seemed to promise auspiciousness. His skin was fair and he wore white garments.
“The king asked the holy man who he was. The other replied: ‘I am called a son of God, born of a virgin, minister of the non-believers, relentless in search of the truth.’ The king then asked him: ‘What is your religion?’ The other replied, ‘O great king, I come from a foreign country, where there is no longer truth and where evil knows no bounds. In the land of the non-believers, I appeared as the Messiah. But the demon Ihamasi of the barbarians (dasyu) manifested herself in a terrible form; I was delivered unto her in the manner of the non-believers and ended in Ihamasi’s realm.’
“‘O king, lend your ear to the religion that I brought unto the non-believers: after the purification of the essence and the impure body and after seeking refuge in the prayers of the Naigama, man will pray to the Eternal. Through justice, truth, meditation and unity of spirit, man will find his way to Isa in the center of light. God, as firm as the sun, will finally unite the spirit of all wandering beings in himself. Thus, O king, Ihamasi will be destroyed; and the blissful image if Isa, the giver of happiness, will remain forever in the heart; and I was called Isa-Masih.’ After the king heard these words, he took the teacher of the non-believers and sent him to their pitiless land.”
Answer: If this is the “greatest evidence” for Jesus in India, then it is problematic because it is my understanding that the Bhavishya Maha Purana is a “19th century redaction of a text purporting to tell future events” (see Bhavishya Maha Purana),
Even though serious scholars do not consider Bhavishya Purana as authentic, in the recent times it appears that the exporters of Hinduism have projected this as authentic. The word Bhavi means future. Bhavishyam actually means “consequence of”. The whole history of mankind here is explained as a consequence of the fall of man and God’s plans of redemption. This is a text that has grown over a period of 2000 years starting from the 3rd or even the 4th century B.C. The suggested upper and lower limits of the period are 450 or 500 B.C. to 1850 A.D. In the course of this growth and evolution, later-day material was added to the original stuff that formed the core. What is more, the later-day material was added in the form of predictions for the future. Events of the seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth centuries were incorporated as if they were foreseen by the sages of the epic period. This device of collecting past events and passing them off as predictions is a literary evolution of a rather unique kind” (The Bhavishya Purana, Introduction [New Delhi: D.K. Publications Ltd], 2000, pp.6-9; quoted in M.M. Ninan, “The Story of Indian Thomas Churches: What Really Happened in India,” pp.127-128).
You may be interested in:
References for Jesus in India
Slomp, Jan, “The Gospel of Barnabas”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations 1500 – 1900, General Editor David Thomas.
Jan Slomp, The Gospel of Barnabas in recent research
Lost Years of Jesus in Wikipedia
- Ahmadiyya versification of the Quran is slightly different. In the Ahmadiyya version of the Quran it is Quran 23:51, not verse 50.
Ahmadiyya commentary on Quran 23:51:
The Holy Qur’an: With English Translation and Commentary Vol. 5 (Tilford, UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 1988), 1804.
Ahmadia Answers, Ahmadi Quran 23:51
- The Essence of Islam: Volume III, by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, pp.136.f; also quoted in “With Love To Muhammad The Khatam-un-Nabiyyin: The Ahmadiyya Muslim Understanding of Finality of Prophethood” by Farhan Iqbal and Imtiaz Ahmed Sra, p.338
- William D. Edwards, MD; Wesley J. Gabel, MDiv; Floyd E. Hosmer, MS, AMI; “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ”; Journal of the American Medical Association 21 March 1986; Volume 255.