Jesus ('Isa) (Upon whom be peace), just as all the other prophets, is a chosen slave of Allah whom Allah assigned to summon people to the true path. However, there are some attributes of Jesus distinguishing him from other prophets, the most important one being that he was raised up to Allah and that he will come back to earth again.
Contrary to what most people believe, Jesus was not crucified and killed nor did he die for any other reason. The Quran tells us that they did not kill him and they did not crucify him and that Allah raised him up to Him. In none of the verses, is there an actual reference to his murder or that he was killed, apart from the verse (ayah) which denies that it happened. Furthermore, the Quran acquaints us with some events from the life of Jesus which have not yet happened. Thus, his second coming to earth is a prerequisite for these events to happen. There is no doubt that the Quran's revelations will surely happen.
Despite this, however, many people assume that Jesus passed away some thousands of years ago and that thus it is unlikely that he will return. This is a misconception arising from lack of knowledge about the Quran and the Sunnah. A careful scrutiny of the Quran will render an accurate understanding of the verses about Jesus possible.
Our Prophet also told us that Jesus will be sent back to earth and related that in that time, which is called "the end of time", there may be a period in which the earth will attain unprecedented peace, justice and welfare. The "end times" refers to the period of time close to the end of the world. According to Islam, in this time, there will be the terrible trials of the Dajjal (Anti-Christ), many earthquakes and the emergence of Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog) after which the ways of the Quran will prevail and people will extensively adhere to the values it introduces.
In their dreams, people always long for better. A more beautiful landscape, a more delicious food, a more socially promising society .. The later period of "the end of time" expresses a period which entirely embraces all these favorable concepts, "the better", "the more beautiful" etc. It is a blessed period people have been longing for ages. It is the glorious time of welfare and abundance, of justice and peace. It is the time when all these blessings will supersede injustice, immorality, conflict and wars. It is surely the blessed time when Islamic morals will penetrate to every aspect of life.
THE EXPECTED SAVIOR
In every age, Allah answered the call of His slaves who desperately needed His help. This also holds true for this age and for the future. As it was the case with the earlier ages, in our day, too, it is expected that Allah will save people from the injustice of the system of disbelief and present them with the beauties of Islam.
It is especially expected that the Islamic world will find a way out of the corruption it experiences today and the sincere believers will communicate the values of Islam to the whole world. Surely, as in every age, today people hope that a savior will appear. This savior, who will take mankind from the "darkness to the light," is the religion of Islam. The people leading the way to live by these superior values will defeat all the systems that deny Allah, and they will render corrupted ideologies invalid.
In brief, Allah will help each people as He did in previous ages. Allah promises this to His slaves who sincerely turn to Him and have deep fear of Him.
THE RETURN OF JESUS TO EARTH
An examination of the verses about Jesus in the Quran indicates that Jesus neither died nor was killed, but he was raised to the presence of Allah. In Surat an-Nisa, it is related that Jesus was not killed but raised to the presence of Allah. The related verse follows:
And (on account of) their saying, "We killed the Messiah, 'Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah." They did not kill him and they did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him. Allah raised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nisa: 157-158)
From what has been related so far, it is clear that Jesus did not die but was raised to the presence of Allah. However, there is one more point that is underlined by the Quran: Jesus will come back to earth. That Jesus will come back to earth towards the end of time is related in another verse 43:61. [detailed references are available in the book related to other verses: 3:45-48; 3:55; 4:157-159].
Starting from Surat az-Zukhruf: 57, there is reference to Jesus :
When an example is made of the son of Maryam ('Isa) your people laugh uproariously. They retort, "Who is better then, our gods or him?" They only say this to you for argument's sake. They are indeed a disputatious people.
He is only a slave on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 43-59)
If We wished, We could appoint angels in exchange for you to succeed you on the earth. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 43-60)
Just after these verses, Allah declares that Jesus is a sign of the Day of Judgment.
He is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it. But follow me. This is a straight path. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 43:61)
Ibn Juzayy says that the first meaning of this verse is that Jesus is a sign or a precondition of the Last Hour. We can say that this verse is a clear indication that Jesus will come back to earth at the end times. That is because Jesus lived six centuries before the revelation of the Quran. Consequently, we cannot interpret his first coming as a sign of the Day of Judgment. What this verse actually indicates is that Jesus will come back to earth towards the end of time, that is to say, during the last period of time before the Day of Judgment and this will be a sign for the Day of Judgment. Allah surely knows the best.
The Arabic of the verse "He is a Sign of the Hour" is "Innahu la 'ilmun li's-sa'atiÉ" Some people interpret the pronoun "hu" (he) in this verse as the Quran. However, the preceding verses explicitly indicate that Jesus is mentioned in the verse: "He is only a slave on whom We bestowed Our blessing and whom We made an example for the tribe of Israel" 
In Sahih Muslim, it is also stated that the Hadith in which it is said that the Prophet Jesus will descend amongst people at the end of time have reached the degree of being mutawatir, i.e. narrated by so many people in each generation that it is not possible to have any doubt of their authenticity, and that it is counted as one of the major signs of the Day of Rising. (Sahih Muslim, 2/58)
Hudhayfah ibn Usayd al-Ghifari said, "The Messenger of Allah (saas) came to us all of a sudden as we were (busy in a discussion). He said: 'What are you discussing?' We said: 'We are discussing the Last Hour.' Thereupon he said: 'It will not come until you see ten signs before it' - and (in this connection) he made mention of the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of 'Isa the son of Maryam, Yajuj and Majuj, and landslides in three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire will burn forth from the Yemen, and drive people to the place of their assembly." (Sahih Muslim)
JESUS IN THE RISALE-I NUR COLLECTION
In the Risale-I Nur collection, a Quranic commentary written by Said Nursi, also known as Bediuzzaman (the Wonder of the Age),one of the greatest Islamic scholars of the 20th century, there is extensive reference to the end of time and the second coming of Jesus .
It is a fact that today Muslim communities embrace different thoughts. However, a great number of Muslims from various cultures agree that Bediuzzaman was one of the greatest scholars of the 13th century (Muslim Calendar). That is why the detailed descriptions of the end of time by Bediuzzaman are of great importance for all Muslims.
In his explanations regarding the end of time, Bediuzzaman states that two philosophical movements, described as serious endeavors to establish disbelief, would cause disorder on earth. The first one will be a covert threat to Islam while the second class of movements will openly reject the existence of Allah. The second current is materialist and naturalist understandings that affirm that matter is an absolute being, which has existed since eternity and which will exist until eternity. The two movements further hold that living beings accidentally came into existence from non-living matter. (Naturalism is known as the philosophical dimension of Darwin's theory of evolution.)
This definition surely provides the basis of all ideologies denying the existence of Allah. Since early times, materialists opposed all religions revealed by Allah, fought against their supporters, oppressed people, waged wars and opened the way to every sort of degeneration in society.
Jesus , too, in his second coming to earth, will struggle against these materialist and naturalist movements and, by the will of Allah, will gain victory over them. Bediuzzaman draws attention in his books to the materialist movement:
The Second Current: A tyrannical current born of Naturalist and Materialist philosophy will gradually become strong and spread at the end of time by means of materialist philosophy, reaching such a degree that it denies God. 
Bediuzzaman heralds that Jesus will come to earth at such a period when disbelief will dominate the earth. As stated in the following words of Bediuzzaman, in his second coming to earth, Jesus will rule with the Quran and eliminate all bigotry in Christianity. Uniting against disbelief, Christians who have embraced Islam and Muslims will prevail over the disbelieving ideologies by the guidance of the Quran. The related section in the Risale-i Nur follows:
At that point when the current appears to be very strong, the religion of true Christianity, which comprises the collective personality of Jesus , will emerge. That is, it will descend from the skies of Divine Mercy. Present Christianity will be purified in the face of that reality; it will cast off superstition and distortion, and unite with the truths of Islam. Christianity will in effect be transformed into a sort of Islam. Following the Quran, the collective personality of Christianity will be in the rank of follower, and Islam, in that of leader. True religion will become a mighty force as a result of its joining it. Although defeated before the atheistic current while separate, Christianity and Islam will have the capability to defeat and rout it as a result of their union. Then the person of Jesus , who is present with his human body in the world of the heavens, will come to lead the current of true religion, as, relying on the promise of One Powerful Over All Things, the Bringer of Sure News has said. Since he has told of it, it is true, and since the One Powerful Over All Things has promised it, He will certainly bring it about. 
In all his descriptions of the second coming, Bediuzzaman indicates that Jesus will remove all the systems of disbelievers in that period. He further adds that he will receive great support from Muslims. Jesus will act as a Muslim and pray behind the imam of the Muslims, and work together with the right-acting people from the Islamic world, and will assume leadership in spreading the Quran and its teachings, and remove the ongoing violence of the system of the disbelievers:
It will be the truly pious followers of Jesus who will kill the gigantic collective personality of materialism and irreligion which the Dajjal will form - for the Dajjal will be killed by Jesus' sword - and destroy his ideas and disbelief, which are atheistic. Those truly pious Christians will blend the essence of true Christianity with the essence of Islam and rout the Dajjal with their combined strength, in effect killing him. The narration: "Jesus will come and will perform the obligatory prayers behind the Mahdi and follow him," alludes to this union, and to the sovereignty of the Quran and its being followed. 
In the history of mankind, that Jesus will be sent back to earth for a second time by Allah is surely a divine favor to all humanity. Only a minority of people will enjoy this occasion. He will then be a blessed "savior" sent to all mankind. Indeed, in times when violence and disorder were increasingly experienced in the world, human beings begged a "helper" from Allah. Accordingly, Allah responded to their plea:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah - for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!"? (Surat an-Nisa: 75)
As mentioned earlier, the "savior" in our time is the penetration of the Quranic values to our souls and society. Upon his second coming, Jesus will wholeheartedly adhere to these revealed values favored by Allah and strive purely to spread them to people all over the world.
The knowledge of unseen and future events is something only known to Allah. Yet, it is certain that those who expect this blessed period and this person must at that time undertake important obligations. Just as Jesus will protect and guide all believers, the believers will also have to give wholehearted support to Jesus and help him in the services he renders for the sake of Allah. This time, in other words, during his second coming, believers should never make him ask again, "Who will be my helpers to Allah?"(Surah Al 'Imran: 52) Otherwise, one will feel deep regret and torment both in this world and hereafter. Allah clearly threatens those who are ungrateful:
Then we sent our Messengers one after another, at intervals. Each time its Messenger came to a community they called him a liar so We made them follow one another too and turned them into myths and legends. Away with the people who have no faith! (Surat al-Muminun: 44)
On the other hand, those who follow him, who provide him sincere support and adopt the revealed values brought by him may well hope to earn the good pleasure, mercy and eternal paradise of Allah. This is a definite promise and good tidings given by Allah:
Allah has sent down a reminder to you, a Messenger reciting Allah's Clear Signs to you to bring those who have faith and do right actions out of the darkness into the Light. Whoever has faith in Allah and acts rightly, We will admit him into Gardens with rivers flowing under them remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. Allah has provided for him excellently! (Surat at-Talaq: 11)
We are grateful to Allah, the Almighty, Who will honor such of His slaves as He wills on such a great occasion as the second coming of Jesus and grant them this important opportunity to gain merit for their lives in the hereafter.
And peace be upon the Messengers. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds! (Surat as-Saffat: 181-182)
*. : Upon whom be peace
1. Prof. Suleyman Ates, Yuce Kur'an'ın Cagdas Tefsiri (The Contemporary Tafsir of the Holy Quran, vol. 6, p. 4281)
2. Said-i Nursi, The Letters, The Fifteenth Letter, p.53
3. Said-i Nursi, The Letters, The Fifteenth Letter, p.54
4. Said-i Nursi, The Rays, The Fifth Ray, p. 493
Excerpts taken from Harun Yahya's book, titled "Jesus will Return". First English edition published in February 2001. To order this book, click here.