Monday, April 11, 2011

The End Times

Like both Christianity and Judaism, Islam has a point when history is brought to a conclusion -- the final hour or the end times.  In Islam, Christianity and Judaism, this end time is a conflict between nations and God’s Messiah.  Both Christianity and Islam, see Jesus as the Messiah, while Judaism rejects Jesus as Messiah. Judaism however, looks to the coming of their Messiah at the end of days.
All three faiths see the coming of an antichrist.  Although the term used might differ in each, they see an end times world leader who opposes God and his rule.  The Muslims call him, Dajjal; in Judaism he is called Armilus; while in Christianity he is known as theAntichrist or the Beast.  In all three faiths, the Messiah defeats this end times world leader, who opposes God’s law.  God's law for the Muslims is the Quran.
Also, playing a prominent role in end times events for all three faiths, is the appearance of Gog and Magog.  These nations arementioned in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 38 & 39), in the book of Revelation (Chapter 20) and in the Quran (Surah 18:94,97, 21:96). Gog and Magog head a group of nations opposed to God in the end of days.
Another character playing a prominent role in Islam, especially in the Shia sect is the Mahdi.  Mahdi comes either before or with the return of Jesus, to set things in order.  There is dispute within Islam regarding his nature and function.  The Shia sect views this individual as the 12th Imam, hidden until the time when he should appear.   

According to the Quran, the end times is hidden by Allah, who will reveal the time when it is at hand. 
15. Lo! the Hour is surely coming. But I will to keep it hidden, that every soul may be rewarded for that which it striveth (to achieve)
Surah 20:15
63. Men ask you of the Hour. Say: The knowledge of it is with Allah only. What can convey (the knowledge) unto thee? It may be that the Hour is nigh.
Surah 30:63
Even though the time is hidden, according to the Quran, there are signs, which Muslims are told to watch for  These signs are recorded in the 81st and 82nd Surahs.  They list environmental events which effect the whole earth.  
1. When the heaven is cleft asunder, 2. When the planets are dispersed,
3. When the seas are poured forth, 4. And the sepulchres are overturned,
5. A soul will know what it hath sent before (it) and what left behind

Surah 82:1-5. Al-Infitar 
1. When the sun is overthrown, 2. And when the stars fall,
3. And when the hills are moved,
6. And when the seas rise,
10. And when the pages are laid open,
11. And when the sky is torn away, 
Surah 81:1-3, 6, 10-11
In addition to the Quran, the Hadith (or traditions) also focuses on end-times.  The Hadith refers to the end times as the Last Hour.   In fact, the 41st book of the Sahih Muslim Hadith deals entirely with the Last Hour. In the Last Hour, Muslims view events leading to the return of Jesus, son of Mary.  Sahih Muslim lists ten signs leading to the return of Jesus.
Hudhaifa b. Usaid Ghifari reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to us all of a sudden as we were (busy in a discussion). He said: What do you discuss about? They (the Companions) said. We are discussing about the Last Hour. Thereupon he said: It will not cone until you see ten signs before and (in this connection) he made a mention of the smoke, Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of Jesus son of Mary (Allah be pleased with him), the Gog and Magog, and land-slidings in three places, one in the east, one in the west and one in Arabia at the end of which fire would burn forth from the Yemen, and would drive people to the place of their assembly. Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6931

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