Why was Isa (peace be upon him) singled out to be lifted up into heaven?
Given that Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was the best of the Prophets, why was he not lifted up into heaven instead of Isa? And why did Allah single out Isa to be lifted up into heaven and not any of the other Prophets?.
Praise be to Allah.
Allah has encompassed all things by His mercy and knowledge and He has encompassed all things by His might and power. Glory be to Him; His is great wisdom, His will is always executed and His might encompasses all. He chose whom He wanted among mankind to be Prophets and Messengers, bringers of glad tidings and warners, and He raised some of them above others in status, and He singled out all of them for whatever characteristics He wanted, by His grace and mercy. He singled out for His close friendship His close friend (khaleel) Ibrahim and Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them), and He singled out each Prophet for whatever He wanted of signs and miracles that were appropriate to his time, by means of which proof could be established against his people, out of wisdom and justice on His part. No one can put back His command, and He is the Almighty, the Wise, the One Who understands the finest mysteries and is Well Acquainted with them. Not every virtue on its own implies superiority. The fact that Isa was singled out to be lifted up into heaven whilst still alive happened according to the will and wisdom of Allah. It was not because he was superior to his fellow Messengers, such as Ibrahim, Muhammad, Musa and Nooh (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them), for they were given characteristics and signs which imply that they are superior to him.
To sum up, this matter has to do with Allah, Who decides as He wills; He is not to be questioned about what He does because His knowledge and wisdom are perfect. Moreover, asking about that does not affect any action or confirm any belief; rather the one who asks about that may become confused and filled with doubt. The believer is required to accept things that are Allah's affairs and strive hard in matters that are human concerns such as belief and action. This is the way of the Prophets and Messengers, the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and of the guided early generations of this ummah. And Allah knows best.
And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings and peace upon all Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood