May 19, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
As we stated last time, it may surprise some Christians to know that Muslims have an end-time doctrine. They have certain events that they are looking for and expecting to occur in the end of days. As one studies the eschatology of Islam, that is their doctrine concerning end things or end times, it is amazing how eerily parallel their beliefs are to the biblical predictions of a final world empire controlled by a warlike military leader.
It would be helpful to note that in the Quran, the last days are noted by several terms:
- Day of uprising
- Day of separation
- Day of reckoning
- Day of awakening and sending forth
- The last day
- The hour
Many Muslims teach that the last days will be preceded by three trumpet blasts. At the first blast, all creatures in heaven and the earth will be struck by terror. At the second blast, all creatures in heaven and the earth will die. At the last blast, forty years after the first two blasts, all will be raised again for the judgment. The length of judgment will be one thousand years. (Some Islamic scholars say it will be fifty thousand years.)
It is important for every Christian believer to understand that Muslims believe they will one day control the entire world and everyone will convert to their religion. As disturbing as that is, it is even more disturbing when we consider how most Muslims actually feel about Jews and the state of Israel, especially the strong feelings about Muslims living in the Middle East.
The split between the two divisions of Islam, Sunni and Shiite, eventually became so great that eleven of the twelve early leaders of Islam from the Shiite branch were poisoned or killed by their opposition. According to Shiite belief, it is this twelfth leader who will play a role at the end of days. Many Shiites in Iran have a teaching called the Doctrine of the Twelver. The twelfth imam was the twelve-year-old son of the eleventh imam. At age twelve, this young boy, destined to be a chosen imam of the Shiite branch, disappeared off the street in the city and was never heard from again.
Since the graves of the other eleven are known and the grave of the twelfth has never been discovered, the tradition states that the twelfth caliph has been supernaturally protected by God for the past twelve hundred years. Most say he is in a desert in Arabia. Still others believe he is in Iraq. Since the disappearance of the twelfth imam in A.D. 878, the Shiite sect has been expecting this twelfth prophet to reappear at the end of days and become the final unifier of Islam. Called the Mahdi, this man, according to Islamic tradition, will be a military expert who will bring the world under the control of Islamic law and justice.
The word Mahdi translates as “the guided one.” The Shiites believe the Mahdi will be guided so directly by God that he will be divinely protected by God from all error and sin in all he does. He will interpret Islam to all men and lead the final Islamic revolution that will convert the world to the Islamic faith. Shiites believe the Mahdi will be both a political and military leader of great conquest.
There are numerous traditions concerning this mysterious person. The Islamic holy book, the Quran, has little to say concerning this person. Most traditions about the Mahdi developed in the eighth century or later. While both the Sunni and the Shiite branches have a teaching on the Mahdi, the Shiites have the strangest teaching, believing he will appear toward the end of the world. Below are a list of teachings from Islamic tradition concerning the Mahdi and the end of days.
- His name will be Muhammad, and he will trace his lineage as a direct descendent through Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad.
- The name of his father and Muhammad’s father will be the same.
- He will have the disposition of Muhammad.
- He will have a bald forehead and a high, hooked nose.
- He will have a distinctive mole (the “mark of a prophet”) and a V-shaped aperture between his front teeth.
- He will appear just before the end of the world, during a time of great difficulty.
- He will convert the world to the Islamic faith.
Most Muslims believe the Mahdi will arise from the East. Other traditions state that this man will unite Muslims into a single united kingdom. If men do not submit to his teaching and instruction, he will beat them into submission until they return to Allah. Of course, those who rebel against him will meet a swift death by the sword of Islam. Many Islamic nations still behead people for certain crimes.
As we look at these Islamic traditions concerning the last days, it is becoming clear in my opinion, that the Islamic Mahdi and the Biblical Antichrist are one and the same individual! We will have much more on this next time as we continue our look at what every Christian needs to know about Islam.
The Weekly Word is found in Daniel 9:27. Here the Bible says,
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.” [Dan. 9:27 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson