There are at least 30 verses of the Quran that support the former view and I will present a few:
"I said nothing to them except that which Thou didst command me: `Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord' and I was a witness over them as long as I remained among them, but since Thou didst cause me to die, Thou hast been the Watcher over them, and Thou art Witness over all things." (Quran, 5:118)
"O Jesus! indeed I will cause thee to die and exalt thee to Myself, and will clear thee of (the charges of) those who disbelieve, and will place those who follow thee above those who deny thee, until the Day of Resurrection." (Quran, 3:56)
The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; surely Messengers like unto him had indeed passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food." (Quran, 5:76)
Jesus was exalted (or raised) to God after his death like all other righteous servants of God. The words `exalt thee' or `raise thee' come after the words `cause to die'. We have no right to change the order of the Holy Quran. It is reported that the Holy Prophet s.a.w. was asked, whether he would make the circuit of Safa first or that of the Marwa. He replied, Abdao Bima Bada-Allaho--I shall start with what Allah has started. Hence, we have to keep the order of the Quran.
Another verse of the Holy Quran runs thus:
"And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, (all) Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn your back on your heels?" (Quran, 3:145)
In this verse of the Holy Quran the passing away of all the Messengers who came before the Holy Prophet s.a.w has been pronounced; and the passing away has been adjudged only in two ways, either by death or through assassination. Had there been any third way of passing away (like that of ascending to heaven) it should have been mentioned by God. As a matter of fact this verse (3:145) has been revealed specifically to declare the death of Hadhrat Jesus, as the passing away of other Messengers had already been mentioned in 5:76.
One argument taken against the death of Jesus is that the verse uses the word 'tawafee' which some claim can be translated as something other than 'death'. Yet, Imam Bukhari in his book, Sahih Bukhari--the most authentic book after the Book of God, has quoted the saying of Hazrat Ibn Abbas under the commentary of Verse 5:118: "Qaala Ibno Abbasin Mutawaffeeka Mumeetoka", i.e., Hazrat Ibn Abbasra said, the meaning of Tawafee is death. Imam Bukhari has named a Bab (Chapter)--Babo Tawaffiyo Rasool-ullahi Sallallaho Alaihi Wa Sallam, in which the Holy Prophet s.a.w has connoted the meaning of Hazrat Jesus' Tawaffee as that of his own Tawaffee. The Holy Prophet s.a.w said:
"On the day of Qiyamat some people of my Ummat would be taken towards Hell. Then I shall say, `O my Lord! these are my companions', Then it would be said! `thou don't know what they innovated after thee'. Then, I shall say as the righteous servant said: `I was a witness over them as long as I remained among them, but since Thou didst cause me to die, Thou hast been the Watcher over them.'" (Bukhari)
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
"...But they killed him (Jesus) not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubt, with no (certain) knowledge but only conjecture to follow, for a surely they killed him not; Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise." (4:158-159)
Some claim the words in verse 4:159 Bal Rafa'ahollaho Ilaihi --"Nay Allah raised him up unto Himself" shows that Allah lifted Hadhrat Jesus'AS body to heaven. As a matter of fact the referred Arabic words simply mean that Allah exalted him to Himself. Here the exaltation is the exaltation of the soul of which the Jews were trying to deprive him by putting to death through crucifixion, but Allah frustrated them in their evil designs. The detail of their failure is given in Part One of this publication.
In the Holy Quran, the Traditions of the Holy Prophet s.a.w, the Commentaries and in the Arabic idioms, whenever the word Rafa'a is used by Allah for a human being, it always connotes exaltation of ranks and spiritual nearness, because no fixed abode can be, or has ever been, assigned to God as the Holy Quran declares: "And He is Allah, both in the heavens and in the earth." (6:4) "So withersoever you turn, there will be the face of Allah." (2:116) "And We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein." (50:17) Hence, Rafa'a Ilallah does not necessitate one's physical ascension to heaven, rather this Rafa'a--exaltation is achieved on this very earth.
As a matter of fact that word Rafa'a has never been used in the entire Holy Quran nor in the Traditions of the Holy Prophet s.a.w as a connotation of physical ascension to heaven as is clear from the following references:
Wa Rafa'anaaho Makaanan Aliyyaa = "And We exalted him (Hadhrat Idris) to lofty station." (Quran, 19:58)
Likewise see: 24:37; 80:14-15; 56:35; 58:12, 7:177.
Idha Tawaza Al-Abdo Rafa'ahollaho Ilas Samaa Is-Saabiati = "When a person shows humility, Allah lifts him up to the seventh heaven." (Kanzul Ummaal Vol. 2, page 53)
This Hadith clearly shows that even if the word Samaa had been used here instead of Allah, the verse could not have meant anything else but spiritual honor and exaltation. Will you believe that every act of humility literally lifts a person up to heaven in both body and spirit? Certainly, there can be no bigger folly than such an inference. Why then draw such inference in the case of Jesus? Why should he be sent up to heaven alive? Was not this earth sufficient for him as the Quran declared:
Alam Najalil Arza Kifaatan Ahya'an Wa Amwaatan = "Have We not made the earth sufficient for the living and the dead?" (77:26-27)
All the Muslims are aware of the fact that there occurs the word Warfa'anee (and exalt me in ranks) in the prayer which the Holy Prophet s.a.w used to pray between two Sajdas (prostrations). (Kitab Ibn Maja) All the Muslims supplicate this prayer between two Sajdas in their Salat, but does any one ever think that he is supplicating for his physical ascension to heaven? Or, is there any doubt regarding the Holy Prophet s.a.w Rafa'a (exaltation of ranks) despite his sojourn on this very earth?
In the Commentary of the Holy Quran known as Tafseer Saafi under the verse Maa Muhammadun Illa Rasool Qad Khalat Min Qablihir Rusul (3:145) the demise of the Holy Prophet s.a.w has been mentioned in he following words:
Hatta Idha Da'a Allaho Nabiyyahoo Wa Rafa'a Hoo Ilaih = "Until when Allah called His Prophet and exalted him to Himself."
Now here are words Rafa'a Hoo Ilaihi used for the Holy ProphetSAW had never been interpreted as his corporal ascension to heaven. Is it not strange and outright blasphemy to interpret the word Rafa'a for the Holy Prophet s.a.w as exaltation of his ranks, and for Jesus as his physical ascension to heaven?
Another argument taken by our non-Ahmadi brothers and sisters is that the Holy Prophet s.a.w is reported to have said:
Kaifa Antum Idha Nazala Feekum Ibno Maryama Wa Imaamokum Minkum = "How would it be with you when the son of Mary will descend among you and you will have a leader raised from among you." (Bukhari)
The word Nazul, it is argued, signifies that Hadhrat Jesus must come down physically from the high heavens, hence, he is physically alive in heaven. Besides, the Holy Prophet s.a.w said that the son of Mary will come, so it must be Hadhrat Jesus himself who should come personally.
In the first place it should be remembered that the word Nazala may mean "he descended" but it cannot by any stretch of meaning, signify "he descended physically from the heavens". There is not the slightest justification for this. The same word is used about the coming of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. Says the Holy Quran:
Qad Anzalallaho Ilaikum Dhikran Rasoolan Yatloo Alaikum Aayaatillahi = "Allah has indeed sent down to you a Reminder, a Messenger, who recites unto you the clear signs of Allah." (Quran, 65:11-12)
But No one can say that the Holy Prophet s.a.w came down from the heavens physically. Then God says:
Wa Anzalnal Hadeeda = "And We sent down iron" (Quran, 57:26)
and we know that it is not thrown down from the heavens. Likewise the word Nazool has been mentioned about cattle in 39:7; about raiment in 7:27. Even this word had been used for each and every thing in 15:22 where Allah says:
Wa In Min Shai-in Illaa Indinna Khazaainohoo Wa Maa Nonazzilohoo Illaa Biqadarin Ma'aloom = "And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures thereof and We send it not down except in known measure." (Quran, 15:22)
Hence, it appears that all things in nature descend from God--are gifted by God--and yet they do not drop from Heaven. Their creation takes place in and on and through this very earth. Therefore, the word Nazool (descend), when used for the coming of the Messiah, can have no other meaning. It can only point to the importance, the blessedness and the spiritual significance of the Promised Messiah. It is not in the least intended to suggest that he would physically drop from Heaven to earth.
And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn your back on your heels?" (Quran, 3:145)
Regarding the above quoted verse (3:145), it should be noted that when the Holy Prophet s.a.w died, the companions became stupefied with grief. Hadhrat Umar r.a, of all persons, was so afflicted that he unsheathed his sword and declared that whosoever said the Holy Prophet s.a.w was dead would lose his head. Imam Bukhari reports:
Abdullah Bin Abbas narrated that Abu Bakr came out while Umar was conversing with the people. He said to Umar to sit but he refused to comply with. So, the people turned towards him (Abu Bakr) and left Umar. Then Abu Bakr said: Whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever amongst you worshipped Allah, let him know that Allah is living, there is no death for Him. Allah has said, `And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him...' By God, the people did not know that God had sent down this verse until Abu Bakr has recited it. So, the people in their entirety learnt it from him; then, whosoever amongst the people heard it recited it. Then Saeed Bin Musayyeb has told me, that Umar swearing by God said, did not know of this verse till he heard it from Abu Bakr, and consequently his legs could not support him, he staggered and fell down in an outburst of grief. (Bukhari)
Now, if the companions present on this occasion thought that Hadhrat Jesus had been alive in Heaven for 600 years, they would have stood up and pointed out to Hadhrat Abu Bakr, that it was wrong to say that all the earlier prophets had died. If Hadhrat JesusAS could remain alive, why not the Holy Prophet s.a.w? All the companions who heard this verse and heard Hadhrat Abu Bakr's argument based upon the verse, not only remained silent but began to rejoice over it and went about the town reciting it. This proves beyond doubt that the companions agreed with Hadhrat Abu Bakr's interpretation of the verse that all prophets had died.
Other miscellaneous quotes supporting the Death of Jesus
We will not believe except if you ascend to Heaven. And we will not believe in your ascent unless you bring to us from Heaven a Book which we may then read (Quran, 17:94)
In reply to this challenge, God did not empower the Holy Prophet s.a.w to show the miracle which his deniers asked him to show. Instead, God made the Prophet say:
Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as Messenger. (Quran, 17:94)
Knowing this, how can we think the Holy Prophet s.a.w should die in the normal way and be buried here in this earth, and Hadhrat Jesus should go to heaven and remain alive for these two thousand years?
And those on whom they call beside Allah create not anything, but they are themselves created. They are dead, not living; and they know not when they will be raised. (Quran, 16:21,22)
Hadhrat Jesus is also among those to whom they -the Christians in particular- call on beside Allah (5:73), hence, he is dead.
The Holy Prophet s.a.w said: "If Moses and Jesus had been alive, they would have had to believe in me and follow me." (Zurqani, Vol. VI, p. 54, Tibrani Kabeer, Alyawaqeet Wal Jawahir, Vol. II, p. 23) ?
During his last illness, the Holy Prophet s.a.w said to his daughter Hadhrat Fatima: "Once in every year, Gabriel recited the Quran to me. This year he recited twice. He also told me that every succeeding prophet has lived to half the age of his predecessor. He told me that Jesus, son of Mary, lived to 120 years. Therefore, I think, I may live to about 60 years." (Mawahib-ud-Duniya by Qastalani, Vol. I, p. 42, Kanzul Ummal Vol. 6, p. 160)
Imam Malik said Hazrat Jesus had died. (Majma Biharul Anwar, Vol. I, p. 286)
Lastly, in the Miraaj, The Holy Prophet s.a.w met with all the dead prophets. Why then, was Jesus in that vision if he had been alive?
This link below gives further opinions of prominent sunni and shia scholars throughout time relating to the death of Jesus:http://www.alislam.org/library/ref/jesus.htm