Quran on Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) عليه السلام Being Raised in Body & Soul
By Zaid Shah

Understanding the Classical Arabic Term "mutawaffi"

Published in: Self
Date: 03 / 10 / 19

Islam is the most logical religion with no room for blind following of dogmatic concepts. The faith appeals to human reason hence we see that Islam is the only religion continuing to grow in our age of rationalism compared to others. But, & unfortunately, where many accept fundamentals of Islam based on pure reason there is also a growing trend of rejection of such beliefs that reason cannot comprehend. Such as subject of Prophet Isa being raised in body & soul in to heavens without death. Many modern Muslims have started claiming that the term mutawaffi (Quran 3:55) used for Prophet Isa refers to "death" hence rejecting his return. 

Allah said: "Jesus, I will take you back (mutawaffika) and raise you up to Me". Mufti Muhammad Shafi in his Ma'ariful Quran comments that the term mutawaffi takes tawaffi as its verbal noun with its root being “waffiyun”. Lexically the word means “taking in full”, in fact all derivatives of this term such as wafaa (he paid, to him fully), ifaa (looked upon fully), istifaa (received it fully), contain the same meaning of doing something “in full”. This meaning of the term and its derivatives is universally accepted by all classical Arabic lexicons. The famous Arabic-Lexicon of Edward Lane also lists all these terms with same meaning. Mufti also quotes great Imam ibn Taymiyyah who said tawaffi has three meaning: ‘to take in sleep’, ‘to take in death’, & ‘to take the soul and body altogether’. 

Many classical Arabic terms have more than one meaning. Tawaffi (taking in full) has been commonly used when someone experiences death and their soul is taken away. Despite such usage of this term does not limit its meaning only to “death” and does not deprive it of its inherent meaning of "taking in full". 

Zaid Shah

About the author

I carry a passion for Researching, Learning & Writing on Various Islamic Topics. To read more of my work You can also visit my personal blog website www.rizqankareem.com.

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