It is time to turn the tables by taking a typical Muslim objection leveled against Christianity and use it against Muhammad to show how he fails the very criticism which Muhammadans level at the New Testament writings.
Muslims often appeal to statements of Christ and the Apostle Paul, which they misinterpret to mean that Jesus was supposed descend during the lifetime of his disciples in order to castigate the reliability of the New Testament (Cf. Matthew 16:28; 24:34; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
In light of this, I am going to demonstrate that according to the so-called sound narrations, it was Muhammad who actually believed that Jesus was going to physically descend during the lifetime of his own followers.
Pay attention to the wording attributed to Muhammad as he describes the descent of Jesus:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425 *)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary WILL SOON DESCEND AMONGST YOU and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it.” Abu Huraira added “If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): — ‘And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e. Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them.” (4.159) (See Fateh Al Bari, Page 302 Vol 7) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said: By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish Jizya and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287 *)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah observed: What would you do when the son of Mary would descend AMONGST YOU AND WOULD LEAD YOU AS ONE AMONGST YOU? Ibn Abi Dhi’b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: YOUR LEADER AMONGST YOU. Ibn Abi Dhi’b said: Do you know what the words: “He would lead as one AMONGST YOU” mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would LEAD YOU according to the Book of your Lord (hallowed be He and most exalted) and the Sunnah of your Apostle. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0292)
Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descent (to the earth). When YOU see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310 *)
This next report provides a detailed explanation of all that is supposed to transpire when Jesus returns:
An-Nawwas b. Sam`an reported that Allah’s Messenger made a mention of the Dajjal one day in the morning. He sometimes described him to be insignificant and sometimes described (his turmoil) as very significant (and we felt) as if he were in the cluster of the date-palm trees. When we went to him (to the Holy Prophet) in the evening and he read (the signs of fear) in our faces, he said:
What is the matter with you? We said: Allah’s Messenger, you made a mention of the Dajjal in the morning (sometimes describing him) to be insignificant and sometimes very important, until we began to think as if he were present in some (near) part of the cluster of the date-palm trees. Thereupon he said: I harbor fear in regard to you in so many other things besides the Dajjal. If he comes forth while I am among you, I shall contend with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth while I am not amongst you, a man must contend on his own behalf and Allah would take care of every Muslim on my behalf (and safeguard him against his evil). He (Dajjal) would be a young man with twisted, contracted hair, and a blind eye. I compare him to `Abd-ul-`Uzza b. Qatan. He who amongst you would survive to see him should recite over him the opening verses of Sura Kahf (xviii). He would appear on the way between Syria and Iraq and would spread mischief right and left. O servant of Allah! adhere (to the path of Truth). We said: Allah’s Messenger, how long would he stay on the earth? He said: For forty days, one day like a year and one day like a month and one day like a week and the rest of the days would be like your days. We said: Allah’s Messenger, would one day’s prayer suffice for the prayers of day equal to one year? Thereupon he said: No, but you must make an estimate of time (and then observe prayer). We said: Allah’s Messenger, how quickly would he walk upon the earth? Thereupon he said: Like cloud driven by the wind. He would come to the people and invite them (to a wrong religion) and they would affirm their faith in him and respond to him. He would then give command to the sky and there would be rainfall upon the earth and it would grow crops. Then in the evening, their pasturing animals would come to them with their humps very high and their udders full of milk and their flanks stretched. He would then come to another people and invite them. But they would reject him and he would go away from them and there would be drought for them and nothing would be left with them in the form of wealth. He would then walk through the waste land and say to it: Bring forth your treasures, and the treasures would come out and collect (themselves) before him like the swarm of bees. He would then call a person brimming with youth and strike him with the sword and cut him into two pieces and (make these pieces lie at a distance which is generally) between the archer and his target. He would then call (that young man) and he will come forward laughing with his face gleaming (with happiness) and it would be at this very time that Allah would send Jesus, son of Mary, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels.
When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it. Every non-believer who would smell the odor of his self would die and his breath would reach as far as he would be able to see. He would then search for him (Dajjal) until he would catch hold of him at the gate of Ludd and would kill him. Then a people whom Allah had protected would come to Jesus, son of Mary, and he would wipe their faces and would inform them of their ranks in Paradise and it would be under such conditions that Allah would reveal to Jesus these words: I have brought forth from amongst My servants such people against whom none would be able to fight; you take these people safely to Tur. And then Allah would send Gog and Magog and they would swarm down from every slope. The first of them would pass the lake of Tiberias and drink out of it. And when the last of them would pass, he would say: There was once water there. Jesus and his companions would then be besieged here (at Tur, and they would be so much hard pressed) that the head of the ox would be dearer to them than one hundred dinars and Allah’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would supplicate Allah, Who would send to them insects (which would attack their necks) and in the morning they would perish like one single person. Allah’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would then come down to the earth and they would not find in the earth as much space as a single span which is not filled with their putrefaction and stench. Allah’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would then again beseech Allah, Who would send birds whose necks would be like those of Bactrian camels and they would carry them and throw them where God would will. Then Allah would send rain which no house of clay or (the tent of) camels’ hairs would keep out and it would wash away the earth until it could appear to be a mirror. Then the earth would be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing and, as a result thereof, there would grow (such a big) pomegranate that a group of persons would be able to eat that, and seek shelter under its skin and milch cow would give so much milk that a whole party would be able to drink it. And the milch camel would give such (a large quantity of) milk that the whole tribe would be able to drink out of that and the milch sheep would give so much milk that the whole family would be able to drink out of that and at that time Allah would send a pleasant wind which would soothe (people) even under their armpits, and would take the life of every Muslim and only the wicked would survive who would commit adultery like asses and the Last Hour would come to them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 7015 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=041&translator=2&start=0&number=7015)
The foregoing makes it abundantly clear that Muhammad thought Jesus was returning as an Apostle, a Messenger after him, to kill the antichrist and usher in Islam universally as he rules the world as a just judge. All of this was to take place during the lifetime of Muhammad’s companions, which never happened.
In case a Muslim argues that this is not what Muhammad meant, I repost the precise wording of Muhammad as recorded in the aforementioned hadiths so the readers don’t miss it:
1. “… the son of Mary will SOON DESCEND AMONGST YOU and will judge mankind justly…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657).
2. “… will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people (Muslims)…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425).
3. “…WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287)
4. “… How will YOU be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658)
5. “… would descend AMONGST YOU AND WOULD LEAD YOU AS ONE AMONGST YOU…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0292)
6. “… When YOU see him, recognize him…” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310).
7. “… until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU as a just ruler…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656).
The language of the foregoing ahadith is explicitly clear, leaving no room for ambiguity. Muhammad was addressing his contemporaries and told them that “Jesus would SOON descend among YOU,” and “lead YOU,” meaning his very own companions. It is therefore certain that Muhammad was limiting this to the generation of his own followers. However, this event never happened since Muhammad’s companions all died and Jesus did not descend among them to lead them or to kill the antichrist.
Therefore, Muhammad stands condemned as a false prophet for mistakenly predicting that the coming of the antichrist and Jesus’ descent to kill him would soon take place during the generation of his own companions.
Muhammad’s False Prophecies (in Qur’an and Hadith)