Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
What really happened to Prophet Īsā (Jesus) [peace and blessings upon him]? If he was not crucified nor killed in accordance to our Islamic beliefs, what did happen to him?
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.
In respect to what really happened to Īsā (Jesus) [peace and blessings upon him], Almighty Allāh explains in the Qur’ān,
“And their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allāh”. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allāh raised him to Himself. And ever is Allāh Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Qur’ān 4:157-158)
Abdullāh ibn Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with him) elaborated on the ascension incident by relating, “When Allāh intended to uplift Īsā (Jesus) to the sky, Īsā (Jesus) came out to his companions and [at that time] there were 12 companions that were present in the house; He came out to them, not exiting the house while his head was dripping of water and said, “Among you there is a person who will disbelieve in me 12 times before he places his faith in me.”
He then proposed, “Which one of you is prepared to bear my [physical] resemblance, be killed in my place and [end up] with me in my rank [in Paradise]?”
A young man, who was the youngest among them stood [and offered himself] however Īsā (Jesus) ordered him, “Be seated,” and repeated the proposal [to his companions]. [Again] the young man stood up but Īsā (Jesus) instructed him to sit down and then once again repeated his offer. The young man stood up once more and said, “I [am ready].”
Īsā (Jesus) then said, “[In that case] you have been selected.”
The young man was then given the [physical] resemblance of Īsā (Jesus) [by Allāh] while Īsā (Jesus) ascended from the window of the house to the sky. Later the Jewish pursuers came and seized the [young man] who looked like Īsā (Jesus) and killed him.”
(See: Al Durr al Manthūr)
And Allāh Knows Best