THE ASCENSION OF PROPHET ^ISA (JESUS SON OF MARY)
When Prophet ^Isa (Jesus) was 33 years old, the blasphemers among the offspring of Israel plotted to kill him, but Allah saved him from their harm. Ibn Abi Hatim and an-Nasa'iyy narrated from the route of Ibn ^Abbas that he said:
Prophet ^Isa was in session with twelve of his elite companions in a house. He told them that among them would be who would blaspheme in the future. Then he asked them, "Who among you would want to be made to look like me, be killed in my place, and be my companion in Paradise." The youngest among them stood up and said, "Me." Prophet ^Isa told him to sit, then repeated his same question. Again, the same young man said, "Me." Again, Prophet ^Isa told him to sit, then again asked the same question. After the same young man volunteered for the third time, Prophet ^Isa received the Revelation that this young man would be the one who would be made to look like him and killed instead of him. Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky from an opening in the ceiling of the house. When the Jews came after Prophet ^Isa, they saw that young man, whom Allah made to look like ^Isa. They took him, thinking he was Prophet ^Isa, and crucified him.
It should be noted here there are two widespread false stories about this matter. In one, it is claimed that one of ^Isa's students was paid a great sum of money to lead those Jews to ^Isa however Allah made him look like ^Isa, so they though he was ^Isa and they crucified him. In another, it is said that the person killed in place of ^Isa was the leader of the Jews. Both of these stories are false.
After Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky, his nation lived following his guidance, teaching, and methodology for two hundred (200) years. However, the nation of Prophet ^Isa did not remain steadfast to Islam. Three hundred (300) years after Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky, those who were following the ones who had perverted the teachings of Prophet ^Isa became very numerous, and those who were truly following the Religion of Islam were few and weak. After some five hundred (500) years, none of the believing Muslims of ^Isa's nation were left. When Prophet Muhammad was revealed, he was the only Muslim worshipping only Allah from among the people of the earth.
PROPHET ^ISA'S DESCENT TO EARTH
Prophet ^Isa, peace be upon him, is still alive--in the second sky--worshipping Allah. He will descend to earth before the Day of Judgment and his descent will be one of the great signs of the nearing of that Day. Prophet Muhammad informed us ^Isa will descend to earth at a place on the eastern side of Damascus, with his hands on the wings of two angels. He will meet a group of Muslims getting ready to perform the Prayer, with the Mahdiyy as their Imam. The Mahdiyy will ask Prophet ^Isa to lead them in that prayer, however, ^Isa will ask the Mahdiyy to stand imam for them--as a sign that Prophet ^Isa will rule with the rules revealed to Prophet Muhammad. After this one time, ^Isa will lead the people in prayers because he has a higher status than the Mahdiyy.
After he descends, Prophet ^Isa will rule the earth with the Shari^ah of Prophet Muhammad, the Shari^ah Muslims are ordered to follow until the Judgment Day. He will break the cross, kill the pig, and abolish the jizyah (compulsory payment by the People of the Book to the Muslim state), because in the rules of Prophet Muhammad the jizyah is only applicable until the descent of ^Isa. He will kill the Dajjal, an ugly, evil blasphemer who claims himself as God, and who misleads many people to blaspheme. Prophet ^Isa will perform Hajj and travel to visit the grave of the Prophet to salute him, and to greet him by saying, "As-salamu ^alaykum ya rasul Allah", as narrated by Abu Dawud at-Tayalisiyy and others.
During his time, the people of Ya'juj and Ma'juj will appear and cause great destruction to the earth and devastation to the Muslims. Prophet ^Isa will take the believers to Mount at-Tur to supplicate Allah there to relieve them from these people. Allah will answer their du^a' and destroy all the people of Ya'juj and Ma'juj. After that, Prophet ^Isa will rule the Muslims and there will be a time when peace, comfort, and safety will prevail. Prophet ^Isa will live for forty (40) years on earth after he descends. He will marry and have children. Then, he will die and be buried. ^Adullah Ibn Salam said, "It is written in the original Torah that Prophet ^Isa will be buried next to Prophet Muhammad" (in the chamber of Lady ^A'ishah.)
Prophet ^Isa was a messenger of Allah revealed to convey to the people the religion of Islam and to call them to worship Allah, their Creator. Muslims believe in his prophethood and in his truthfulness in conveying that message. Prophet ^Isa is alive now, living in the second heaven, worshipping Allah. He will return to earth before the Day of Judgment and will rule the Muslims with the Shari^ah of Prophet Muhammad. Peace be upon this respected, honored and beloved Messenger of Allah.
Praise be to Allah, and Allah knows best.
(وَالسَّلامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا)
Verse #33 of Surat Maryam means: [Peace was on me the day I was born. Peace will be on me on the day I will die and on the day I am raised alive again.]
And Allah knows best.