This observation I learned from an Ahmadiyya as this group claims that Jesus did indeed die.
4:157. That they said (in boast) "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the Apostle of Allah"; but they killed him not nor crucified him but so it was made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge but only conjecture to follow for of a surety they killed him not. 4:158. Nay Allah raised him up unto Himself; ... 5:75 The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; ... 3:144 And Muhammad is but a Messenger. Verily all Messengers have passed away before him ... (Translation by Maulvi Sher Ali)
Does 3:144 not not imply that Jesus has died?
This contradicts the standard Muslim interpretation of 4:158 that God raised him to himself alive and he will come back to die after his second coming, i.e. after and not before Muhammad.
The word used here for "messengers" is al-russul, which means THE messengers (al = the, russul = messengers), indicating that this verse refers to ALL the messengers.
If I were to translate it, it would be like:-
For a detailed discussion of the Qur'anic passage on the crucifixion (4:157-158) see chapter 5: "Jesus Christ: Crucified?" in Chawkat Moucarry's Islam and Christianity at the Crossroads and Sam Shamoun's article The Crucifixion of Christ - A Christian Critique of the Quran.
It is interesting to make some observations how different the verse 3:144 is rendered by the various translators of the Qur'an. They are clearly struggling with this problem. For this verse, it seems the above Ahmadiyya translation is indeed closest to the actual meaning.
As such, accepting the Ahmadiyya interpretation, the contradiction would be resolved. But it remains a contradiction in the classical and orthodox understanding of the Qur'an.
Contradictions in the Qur'an
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