39. Did Isa walk to India after his crucifixion?

The Bible does not give us any evidence to conclude that Jesus travelled to India after His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven. In Mark chapter 16 verses 19 -20 we read: ‘When the Lord Jesus had finished talking to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord. Worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.’ Jesus never tried to deceive His disciples. It is unlikely that He would have gathered His disciples together and commanded them to ‘go into all the world and make disciples’ (Matthew 28 verses 18-20), only to change His mind and go to India to do the work Himself. We know that the Apostle Thomas was later lead by the Holy Spirit to go to India and proclaim the Kingdom of God, and he was martyred in India, and he is buried there.

Some Muslim theologians like the late Ahmed Deedat have asserted that Jesus did not die after he was beaten and crucified. They say that he just swooned in the tomb, and then got up out of the guarded and stone covered entrance to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and walked to India. Frankly this idea seems more miraculous than the resurrection. The Ahmadiyyah sect of Islâm has elaborated this story to pin point all the places Jesus stopped en route to India.

An Urdu treatise written by the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyyah Movement in Islâm, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) made this claim about Jesus walking to India. He sought to enhance this claim to make his birth look like the place of the Messiah’s birth so he could claim to be the Messiah. He further elaborated the claim by claiming to have found the body of Jesus buried in a tomb in Kashmir. The theme is the escape of Jesus from death on the cross, and his journey to India in search of the lost tribes of Israel. Jesus is alleged to have reached Afghanistan, and to have met the Jews who had settled there after deliverance from the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar. From Afghanistan Jesus is alleged to have gone to Kashmir, where other Israelite tribes had settled. There it is alleged he made his home, and in time he died; and a tomb recognised as that of Jesus is located in Srinagar.

The Qur’an, though, concurs that Jesus was raised up to Allâh from the earth but it does throw doubt on whether Jesus was crucified. See surah 4 Al Nisa (Women) ayah 157. See also surah 3 Al ’Imran ayah 55 ‘Behold Allâh said: O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to myself and clear thee of all falsehoods of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith to the Day of Resurrection, then shall you all return unto me and I will judge between you and the matters wherein you dispute, and to those who reject faith I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and the hereafter nor will they have anyone to help’.

The rationale for the Islâmic argument that Jesus was not crucified is based around the logic that if Allâh had a son He would not let him die on a cross just as he helped Abraham avoid the death of his son. However, it can be seen from the arguments put forward in this book that in some cases the Qur’an argues that Jesus is not the Son of God/Allâh and in some other places it provides evidence that Jesus is the Son of God. The reader has to make up his own mind based on the evidence.