But Satan caused them both to slip by means of it and drove them out of the state in which they were. And We said: ‘Go forth; some of you are enemies of others, and for you there is an abode in the earth and a provision for a time.’ (2:37)
This verse clearly fixes earth as the place of life-long abode for man. As long as he lives, man's corporeal existence is to remain confined to the terrestrial world. Once a person dies, his astral body or the soul departs and joins the dead in the celestial world, leaving behind the physical body to decay, disintegrate and become fodder for the lesser creatures—‘dust to dust’, in other words. Man is born in the mundane, lives in the mundane and is going to die in the mundane. It is like a prison with death being the only possible avenue of escape. This verse rejects the idea of Jesus or, for that matter, anybody else going up to the heavens alive. Holy Prophet saw in his special vision known as the Mairaj, saw him in the Second Heavens accompanied by Prophet Yahya. This reference is from Sahih Bukhari:
Narrated by Malik bin Sasaa that the Holy Prophet saw said: “while I was lying in the Kaaba ... and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven ... I saw Adam there. Gabriel said to me, ‘This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O' pious son and pious Prophet saw.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven... there I saw John and Jesus who were cousins to each other. Gabriel said to me, ‘These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.’ So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings and said, ‘You are welcomed, O' pious brother and pious Prophet saw...”
This evidence is also problematic for a living Jesus. What is he doing among the dead? Such absurd intermixing of the living and the dead is intellectually indefensible and exposes religion to ridicule. Muslims would be well-advised to reject the idea of a living Jesus, an idea which grants him a supra-human status and elevates him above the creation and encroaching upon divinity. It is a deeply damaging belief, which is contrary to Tauheed and is helpful to Christians in their claimed divinity and son ship of Jesus.