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Apocalypse in Islam

Apocalypse means a revelation or unveiling of something otherwise hidden, particularly the future. Apocalyptic literature, therefore, often describes the signs and events that signal the advent of the end of the world and generally is written by and appeals to those who feel the world's injustice, oppression, and disenfranchisement.

There is a fast-growing belief in Muslim countries that the end of the world is at hand and with it the Great Battle, prophesied by both Sunni and Shii tradition. The year 1979 was a turning point in the rise of contemporary millenarian speculation, and subsequent events in the Middle East have been incorporated into the intellectual universe of apocalyptic propagandists. Christian and Jewish visions of the Final Judgment have stimulated alarmist reaction in Islamic lands, both in the past and today.

The apocalyptic literature, in the strict sense of the word, began with the Jews in the 2d century BC; in fact it developed as an aftergrowth of the prophetical literature, from which it differs less in kind than in degree. For more than three centuries it had sought to revive the drooping spirit of the people by revelations of a near future when, after one last dreadful onset of a hostile world, Jahveh would appear in. the person of His Messiah to conquer the nations of the world and to set up the kingdom of glory for Israel. Every time the political situation culminated in a crisis for the people of God the apocalypses appeared, stirring up the believers.

In spirit, form, plan, and execution they closely resembled each other. Their differences sprang only from the difference of the times, for every apocalyptic writer painted the filial catastrophe after the model of the catastrophes of his day, only on a vaster scale and with deepened shadows. They all spoke in riddles; that is, by means of images, symbols, mystic numbers, forms of animals, &c., they half concealed what they meant to reveal The reasons for this procedure are not far to seek clearness and distinctness would have been too profane as only the mysterious appears divine, but it was often dangerous to be too distinct.

The apocalyptic writers in their works supplied revelations on all possible questions, but their principal achievement was regularly a revelation of the history of mankind in general and of the people of Israel in particular: in their most essential features the apocalypses are political manifestos.

The book of the New Testament called "Revelation of John" so long passed for the most obscure and difficult document of early Christianity that scholars hesitated to apply to it the historico-critical method of investigation. Since this hesitation has been overcome, it appears that the matter of the book is neither obscure nor mysterious, although many special points still remain to be cleared up.

As Jesus Christ had promised to come again, the Jewish expectations of a Messiah who should be revealed continued unabated among many of His disciples; that which as Jews they had hoped from the first and only advent they now deferred till the second. True, the kingdom of God which He had promised did not tally with the materialistic hopes of the people, but on the other hand He had not infrequently Himself employed the figurathe language of the prophets and apocalyptic writers; and, after He had left the earth, many sayings borrowed from the Jewish apocalypses were put in His mouth by a vitiated tradition.

Muslims retained some - indeed, many - apocalyptic materials. There ares some in the Qur'an, but mainly in Hadith. Few apocalyptic ahaadith entered the canonical Sunnite collections; and since most of those hadiths not in those collections were Shi`ite, many assumed that apocalyptic was a specifically Shi`ite genre. It turns out that this view is anachronistic, and reflects the ectent to whicht the Shi`a preserved their books better. Much more has been recovered and published. In Islam's first centuries, everyone was focused on the End Of The World - "The Hour", in their own terms. Ibn Abi Shayba, `Abd al-Razzaq and especially Nu`aym b Hammad compiled whole books on the topic.

David Cook suggests that Islam began as an apocalyptic movement and has retained a strong apocalyptic and messianic tone. Cook demonstrates convincingly that there has been a marked upsurge of interest in eschatological motifs in the modern period, especially since the Six-Day War of 1967. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary Muslim apocalyptic writings, Cook convincingly demonstrates the influence of non-Islamic sources on such literature, tracing anti-Semitic strains in Islamist thought in part to Western texts and traditions.

Through a meticulous reading of current documents, incorporating exegesis of everything from holy texts to assertions of supernatural phenomena, Cook shows how radical Muslims may have applied these ideas to their own agendas. By exposing the undergrowth of popular beliefs contributing to religion-driven terrorism, this book casts new light on today's political conflicts.

There are both minor and major signs that point to the climactic event in Islamic eschatology namely, "the Hour," the time of resurrection and judgment. The Second Coming of Jesus in Islamic end time events, but it is not considered to be the decisive event. Rather, the beginning of the end times is marked by the appearance of the Antichrist, who is called the Dajjal.

As recorded by Bukhari, Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (SAWS) said: "The Hour will not come until the following events have come to pass: people will compete with one another in constructing high buildings; two big groups will fight one another, and there will be many casualties --- they will both be following the same religious teaching; earthquakes will increase; time will pass quickly; afflictions and killing will increase; nearly thirty dajjals will appear, each of them claiming to be a messenger from Allah; a man will pass by a grave and say, 'Would that I were in your place'; the Sun will rise from the West; when it rises and the people see it, they will all believe, but that will be the time when 'No good will it do to a soul to believe in them then, if it believed not before'; and a wealthy man will worry lest no one accept his Zakat [charity]."

One narration states that an army from the East (most likely from Khorasan) carrying black banners will lay the foundation for the Mahdi's future dominion, six years before the Mahdi appears. The name "Khorasan" is said to be derived from Persian words that mean "land where the sun rises". Khorasan (a region that includes Afghanistan, Taijikstan, Northwestern Pakistan, Northeastern Iran, etc.).

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) said unusable space at the top of the UAEs 19 tallest buildings was an average 19 percent of their total height, a measure it called the vanity height. The building with the largest vanity height is the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai, of which 29 percent or 244 meters is unusable.

Among the minor signs of the hour, the Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah." [Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 2 :: Hadith 47 ]

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ".........when you see barefooted, Unclad, deaf and dumb (ignorant and foolish persons) as the rulers of the earth - that is one of the signs of the Doom. And when you see the shepherds of black camels exult in buildings - that is one of the signs of Doom......"

Al-Mahdi (the Mahdi) is an Arabic word which means " The Guided ". In Persian, Turkish and Urdu languages, he is called Mehdi (instead of Mahdi). The Mahdi is the title of this important Muslim leader, not his actual name. He is supposed to be a descendant of Prophet Mohammad. The Mahdi is mentioned in several Hadiths. There will be signs indicating the rise of the Mahdi, some of them will occur immediately before he appears and some of them during the initial period after he appears.

Sunni Muslims are expecting at least 3 main individuals to appear in the End Times: (1) One caliph (ruler) whose is referred to as Mahdi (good man), (2) Anti-Christ (evil man), and (3) Jesus Christ (good man).

The recommended governing method of the Muslim nation in Islam is called Khilafa (Caliphate) headed by a Khalifa (Caliph) who rules all lands controlled by Muslims. Some of the signs that indicate the beginning of the End Times is soon include the quick victories of the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria and its establishment of an Islamic Caliphate, headed by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi who seems to fit the characteristics of a man called the Sufyani mentioned in several Hadiths of Prophet Mohammad. However, the Hadiths about the Sufyani are mostly considered weak.




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