Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
What Islam REALLY Wants: The Coming of Al-Mahdi!
This is a summary of some of the information provided in Joel Richardson's book Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah where all quotations from Muslim sources may be found.
by Ray Faircloth and John D. Keyser
The Islamic Revival
If trends remain fairly constant Islam will become the world's largest religion within 20 years. It is presently the fastest growing religion in the world at a rate of four times faster than Christianity. In the U.S.A. the annual growth rate prior to 9/11 was 4%. Since then indicators are that it has risen to 8% with 85% coming from the African-American population. Islam is also the fastest growing religion in Europe.
Islam is on the march -- as it was in Muhammed's day. Throughout the Western world mosques are springing up like mushrooms in a farmer's field! In 1970, the once Christian populated Bethlehem area -- where the Messiah was born -- had only five mosques. By the end of 1997 it sported 72, and on Fridays the whole area in front of the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square is packed with Muslim worshippers because there is no longer room for them all to pray in the Mosque of Omar.
In the United Kingdom more than 1,000 churches have been turned into mosques, and more than 100 new mosques have been built -- more than a quarter of them in London.
In typical Western stupidity, Western leaders have opened up their country's doors to a Muslim immigration that will, in all likelihood, DESTROY Western culture. The West has opened its arms to Muslims, and Islam is spreading in the Western world today almost as rapidly as the plague in medieval times!
Islam is the BIGGEST EVIL facing the Western world. At the October 1999 synod of Europe's Catholic bishops, Archbishop Giuseppe Bernadini of Smyrna quoted an important Muslim figure speaking at an Islamic-Christian meeting. Addressing the "Christians" in his audience, the Muslim leader said:
"Thanks to your democratic laws, we shall invade you; and thanks to our religious laws, we shall dominate you."
Another Muslim leader said -- at the same meeting:
"You have nothing to teach us, and we have nothing to learn."
Time and time again Muslim leaders have told us of their ARROGANT intentions, but Western leaders do not want to believe them -- so they simply IGNORE the rapidly developing threat. Millions of Muhammed's followers are all-too-easily invading Europe and America through immigration. And a TIME BOMB is ticking its way toward a MASSIVE Islamic explosion in the West.
The Quran is composed of 114 chapters called Surahs.
The Sunna aids in giving proper understanding of the Quran. The Sunna is made up of two types of literature -- the Haddith and the Sirat.
Hadith literature contains largely the Islamic beliefs about the end times. There are also many commentaries and modern-day writings about the subject.
Basic Islamic Eschatology
The minor signs are similar to the Messiah's reference to "the birth pangs," yet not as occurring before the Major Signs but taking place concurrently with the Major Signs.
The major signs. These all concern the Last Day and the coming of:
1). The Muslim Antichrist -- Ad Dajjal
2). The Muslim Yeshua -- Isa Al-Maseeh
3). The Muslim Messiah -- Al-Mahdi. The Guided One. Shia Muslims refer to him as Al-Mahdi alMuntadhar. The Awaited One.
Al-Mahdi -- the Muslim Messiah -- will restore the Caliphate and the purity of the Islamic faith so that Islam becomes the standard for all nations, making a just world without oppression. He will be a descendant of Muhammad and of the descendants of Fatimah. When he returns he will become the final Caliph acting as vice-regent for Allah on earth and will lead a revolution to establish a new Islamic world order. This will include multiple military campaigns (jihad) including the invasion of many nonMuslim countries.
The white flag -- Al-Liwaa -- is the flag of the Islamic state and of the leader of the Muslim army. The black flag -- Ar-Raya -- is the flag of jihad and is carried into battle.
When an army bearing black flags comes from the East from the area of Khorasan (in Iran) or from central Asia, then the appearance of the Mahdi is imminent. When he appears riding on a white horse (literally or symbolically Muslims see the Mahdi as fulfilling the description of the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6) he will lead the army to re-conquer Israel. Jerusalem will then be the location of the Caliphate and the center of Islamic rule. One particular hadith places the timing of this event when a final peace agreement is made between the Arabs and the Romans (interpreted as Christians) and mediated through a Jewish priest. This agreement is for 7 years. He is described as having supernatural power over the wind and the rain and the earth, and flocks will be in abundance. In Antioch, he will discover certain scrolls of the Torah that he will use to convert Jews to Islam. Finally, he will discover the Ark of the Covenant in the Lake of Tiberius and install it in Jerusalem.
Iran and the Mahdi
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is expecting the Mahdi. The entire Muslim world -- Sunni, Shi'ite and the smaller sects -- have been flooded for decades with propaganda that the "Signs of Qiyamah" are unfolding. It is wrong to consider Ahmadinejad to be "crazy" or a "lunatic" for thinking these are the End Times. In this he is simply a faithful Muslim who has been told the overwhelming "evidence" that the signs of Qiyamah are unfolding. Given the many "proofs" offered, it is the most reasonable thing in the world to expect the Mahdi to appear -- and to want to ASSIST HIM in his prophesied victory over the Dajjal (Israel and the West).
Ahmadinejad is expecting a great, charismatic Muslim leader who will "bring justice" to the world. This is quite misleading. The Mahdi is foretold in the Hadith to be predestined TO KILL many people in warfare -- and then to convert the survivors, WORLD-WIDE, to Islam. That is what the code-word "justice" means to a Muslim.
It is frequently said that Ahmadinejad is determined to "create chaos" in the world in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi. The name of the Hajjatieh Society has been associated with Ahmadinejad in this respect. This society believes that they must "create chaos" in order to hasten the Mahdi's appearance -- they talk about "paving the way" for the returning Mahdi. Don't be fooled by these terms -- they are both interchangeable. Ahmadinejad has been quoted as saying that he wishes to "pave the way" for the return of the Mahdi by enlarging the Jamkaran mosque, building roads and hotels for pilgrims (for the movement and billeting of armies), and by developing NUCLEAR WEAPONRY for the Mahdi's army.
Various imiams have been preaching that when there is a nuclear exchange, Allah will suspend the laws of physics so that ONLY INFIDELS (Jews and Westerners) will be killed by the nuclear blasts and radiation fallout. They are even saying that Muslim real estate -- like the Dome of the Rock -- will be untouched by the blast! The "Mahdi" can nuke Jerusalem in the morning and move into a home there in the afternoon! Ahmadinejad may be a trained engineer, but I would not be surprised at all if he believes Allah will fix it so that his nukes kill only infidels.
It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to allow someone who believes that there is no future because the "Signs of Qiyamah" are unfolding to get his hands on a nuclear arsenal. The philosophy of "mutually assumed destruction" that worked so well with the Soviet Union would have ABSOLUTELY NO INFLUENCE on Ahmadinejad and others who believe these are the End Times -- that there is no future anyway and who look forward to martyrdom.
Comparison of the Mahdi with the Biblical Antichrist
Christians who erroneously see the Scriptures as presenting the non-dispensational futurist view of prophecy will readily begin to see similarities between Islam's Messiah -- the Mahdi -- and their idea of the biblical Antichrist who, according to them, is described in the Scriptures in the following forms: The Beast, the abomination that causes desolation, the desolator, the man of lawlessness, the little horn, the Assyrian, the King of Babylon, the King of the North, and Gog. Actually, it is more likely that the Mahdi and his forces are referred to in the Bible as the False Prophet.
Both biblical eschatology and Islamic eschatology paint a picture of one who is a political, military and religious world leader from the Middle East, one who will target first Jews to force conversion or destruction upon them in a final holocaust that takes place within Israel. Similarly, Christians will be targeted for the same purpose. The goal is a one-world Islamic religion.
The Mahdi Attacks Jerusalem
When black flag carrying armies arrive in Jerusalem from Khorasan (Iran) they set up their flags on the Dome of the Rock so that Jerusalem becomes the center of Islamic rule and all Jewish rule is abolished. Some consider this synonymous to Zechariah 14:2:
"I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people [who submit to the false prophet's rule] will not be taken from the city."
The Seven-Year Treaty
The Mahdi makes Islam's fourth and final treaty with "the Romans" (Christians or the West) but it is made with a descendant of Aaron, i.e. a Cohanim or priest. This treaty is also for seven years. Some also believe this is a reference to Daniel 9:27:
"He will confirm a covenant with the many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of a temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
This, however, was fulfilled long ago by Antiochus Epiphanes.
Changing the Laws and the Times
The Mahdi will change the law by instituting the Islamic Shariah law. He will change the times by imposing the mandatory observation of the Islamic Hijra calendar over all those who become subject to him. This will make the week run from Saturday to Thursday with Friday as the sacred day of prayer. Many, of course, equate this to Daniel 7:25:
"He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time."
The energetic "little horn" in Daniel 7 that speaks words against the Most High, changes religious worship and laws, and wears out the holy ones (verse 25), is the same "little horn" that in Daniel 8 acts arrogantly against YEHOVAH God, takes away the daily sacrifice (verse 11), and destroys the holy ones (verse 24). Both "little horns" arise from the latter stages of the Greek Empire, and they each blaspheme YEHOVAH, persecute the Jews, and outlaw Judaism. Thus it is evident that the "little horn" of Daniel 7 is not a future antichrist, but Antiochus Epiphanes, the "madman" whose actions were clearly prophesied by Daniel.
The Rider on the White Horse
In their book, Al Mahdi and the End of Time, Muhammad Ibn ‘Izzat and Muhammad ‘Arif, two well-known Egyptian authors, claim to identify the Mahdi from the Book of Revelation, quoting Hadith transmitter Ka'ab al-Ahbar.In one place, they write,
‘Izzat and ‘Arif then go on to say:
“I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets… For instance, the Book of Revelation says: 'And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him…went forth conquering and to conquer.'”
“It is clear that this man is the Mahdi who will ride the white horse and judge by the Qur’an (with justice) and with whom will be men with marks of prostration (zabiba) on their foreheads.”
Revelation 6:2: "I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer."
Muslims take note of Revelation 6:2 in the Bible and apply it to the Mahdi, as do Christians who hold the dispensationalist view of this rider as being the Messiah.
However, this is incorrectly seen as a description of the Antichrist by those Christians who hold the non-dispensational futurist view. This rider is seen by them as imitating YEHOVAH God's ride on a white horse when He returns (Revelation 19:11). They believe the bow is indicative of the false peace of his peace treaty.
The Muslim Yeshua
The Muslim references in English to Yeshua the Messiah (usually called Isa, Hadrat Isa, Isa bin Maryam or Nabi Isa) are as one who is not the adopted Son of YEHOVAH God, never died on the tree for mankind's sins, and is not a savior. He is merely a prophet who is subordinate to the Mahdi. In the last days his return will be close to a mosque in Damascus where he meets the army of the Mahdi. He is a radical Muslim whose primary purpose is to enforce the Shariah law on all those who are subjugated and he will certainly attempt to force all Jews and Christians to convert to Islam on the pain of death. In doing so he will have abolished Christianity and all religions so that Islam becomes the one-world religion. He destroys the Muslim Antichrist -- the Dajjal -- and all his Jewish followers. Further his time on earth is for only approximately 40 days during which time he marries and has children and then dies.
Some believe there are several distinct similarities to the Bible's description in Revelation 13:11-14 of the "false prophet" as a lamb with two horns, inasmuch as he deceptively appears to be like the real "Lamb of God" but is subordinate to the Antichrist and forces all to worship him and to be under their law "so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is the name of the beast" (Rev. 13:11).
The Dajjal: Islam's Antichrist
The Dajjal is described in Muslim literature as being a deceiver who has miraculous powers, even being able to heal the sick. There is confusion over which eye he is blind in, but he has the word kaafir, meaning infidel, written between his eyes. He will claim to be Yeshua the Messiah and be capable of traveling at great speeds on a giant mule which will take him to all parts of the world. Yet he will not be allowed to enter the cities of Mecca, Medina or Damascus which are the places in which Muslims are directed to seek refuge from the Dajjal. He will be followed by Jews, in particular women. He will defend Israel against the Mahdi and deceive Muslims into forsaking Islam. In the city of Lod in Palestine he will be killed by the Islamic Yeshua. Some see parallels with the biblical Yeshua. The Dajjal is quite often equated with Israel and the West (infidels, crusaders, etc.).
The Revived Islamic Empire of the False Prophet
Many Christians mistakenly anticipate a revived Roman empire. However all the nations that are noted in the Scriptures as last days enemies of Jews and Christians, that is, the many nations that attack Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2), are currently Islamic nations. These are noted in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 (if it is proven that Gog is a figure for the Antichrist). Detailed studies of the nations of Ezekiel 38 reveal that the common belief that Russia is one of these nations is not correct. Also, as well as any European connection, there are indications that a component or adjunct of Antichrist will come out of the Middle East. These nations surrounding Jerusalem amount to ten nearby (Palm 83) and eight at a relatively short distance, of which five occupy modern-day Turkey.
The territories occupied by the nations/tribes named in Psalm 83 are roughly as follows: Edom in modern Jordan: Ishmaelites in modern Saudi Arabia; Moab in modern Jordan; Hagrites -- the territory bordering modern Jordan and Saudi Arabia; Gebal -- probably modern Golan Heights and nearby in Syria; Ammon in modern Jordan; Amalek in the modern Sinai peninsula and the Negev; Philistia -- modern Gaza Strip, part of the Palestinian authority; Tyre in modern Lebanon; Assyria -- modern Syria and Iraq.
The important thing to notice is that the Psalmist here lists a group of nations/tribes which immediately surround Israel on all sides. The nations of Ezekiel 38, on the other hand, are a great distance from Israel, although they too are found in all directions. While the Gog and Magog of Revelation 20:8 is probably a prophecy about a different event, John picks up the point from Ezekiel that this confederacy comes from the four corners of the earth. There is no correspondence or overlapping between the nations of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38.
What we see by comparing the main prophecies of the final conflict is this sequence: An invasion of Israel by her immediate neighbors (Palm 83; Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 35; Joel 3) -- an inner circle of nations. Jerusalem is taken captive (Zechariah 14 and Ezekiel 35). The Lord (YEHOVAH God) returns and delivers Jerusalem, and defeats Israel's surrounding enemies, and establishes His Kingdom on a renewed earth. Israel dwells in peace and safety, without walls or gates (Ezekiel 38:8, 11 ). There is an invasion of Israel by an outer circle of nations -- from the four corners of the earth (Ezekiel 38). The outer circle of invaders is defeated. The Kingdom [of YEHOVAH God] expands peacefully, (Psalm 72).
It is VERY significant that both the inner and outer circles of nations described above are all ISLAMIC NATIONS (the false prophet of Revelation?). It's also interesting that the only list of 10 confederate nations or tribes anywhere in Scripture is in Psalm 83. These may be the ten heads or ten horns mentioned elsewhere.
A Brief History
In 395 AD the Roman empire was divided into a western section and an eastern Byzantine section. In 410 AD Rome fell to the Visigoths but, by having shifted its capital to Constantinople, the Roman empire continued until it finally fell to the Turks in 1453 AD. From this time on the Turkish Ottoman empire, which already had control of Jerusalem from 637, became the next power of note until its end came in 1909. However, the Islamic Caliphate ruling that empire was not abolished until 1923, from which time the Islamic world is awaiting its restoration.
The Antichrist Spirit of Islam
By its denial of the biblical Yeshua as being YEHOVAH's adopted Son and the true Messiah, Islam exhibits an antichrist spirit so that the Muslim version of Yeshua is as just another prophet. Additionally, the denial of Yeshua dying as the sacrificial lamb to cover mankind's sins is the very specific spirit of Antichrist that would be seen "in the last hour" (I John 4:2 and 2 John 7-9), that is "those who do not abide in the teaching of the Christ." In Philippians 3:18 Paul speaks of those who "walk as enemies of the cross of Christ." This would include the Islamic teachers who deny that Yeshua the Messiah died for mankind.
Islam's Ancient Hatred for the Jews
Because there has been a very long history of Arab hatred of Jews back through the time of Haman and even to Pharaoh, Islam has continued that hatred since its inception. This hatred is of a genocidal nature, whereby, although it is anticipated that Christians will in the last days convert to Islam, the non-converting Jews will all be destroyed. Islamic literature demonstrates this hatred often to the point of belief that the resurrection cannot begin until there are no Jews left. Even zoo animals are said to have previously been Jews. Notably this ideological hatred of Jews is identical to that of 20th-century Nazism.
Islam's Practice of Beheading
Decapitation has been quite common among Muslims whenever Mahdist movements confront non-Islamic religions. According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi, or "the guided one" will come before the end of time to usher in a worldwide, perfect Islamic state. Every few generations, a charismatic leader emerges claiming to be the Mahdi. Since the Mahdi is the harbinger of just government, then any leader (or religion) he challenges is by nature corrupt. The fervor of such claims often leads the Mahdists to label Jews and Christians unbelievers, allowing them to invoke Qur'anic verse 47:3 and behead captives.
Revelation 20:4: "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands."
John 16:2: "Indeed the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God."
These are end-time scenarios indicating that a major way of persecuting and killing Christians will be by beheading, and that those who do it will be motivated by their religion. Such a religious system would have to think it was divinely appointed and have to be worldwide to fulfill these words.
Since the beginning of the new century there have been many reports of the beheading of foreigners and Christians by Islamic radicals in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and a few other countries. Is this practice actually officially approved by Islam? An examination of Islamic tradition and history shows that beheading is the very heritage of Islam. It is commanded in the Quran as a specific method of killing enemies and was the favored method of killing by Muhammad and his followers. Many examples from throughout history are given in Richardson's book.
Again these aspects of Islam add to the picture that it fits the role of supporting the end-time false prophet, the Mahdi who fills the office of Caliph and therefore originates from within a Muslim country.
Islam's Goal of World Domination
Many apologists for Islam try to play down this goal of world domination by saying that they are only reacting in self-defense rather than taking the offensive. The fact is that Islam views itself as the only true religion and all others must submit to the will of Allah, whether by persuasion or by force, and with the corollary of death for those who do not submit. One Islamic commentator stated that Muslims have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and to be over every nation. So they do indeed engage in offensive war to establish Allah's kingdom. Sadly -- and misleadingly -- the Western media so readily disseminates the apologists' attempt to hide the real Muslim agenda.
Writes Abd El Schafi --
"...the concept of an offensive war to spread the faith is a GENUINE ISLAMIC CONCEPT; it is known as a Holy War for the sake of God [Allah]...Muslim scholars have explicitly determined that this is the ESSENCE of Islam. They also indicate that if sufficient military power is available to Islamic countries, they ought to attack ALL OTHER COUNTRIES in order to force them to embrace Islam....Those who say that the Islamic wars were always defensive do NOT understand Islam and have NOT read sufficient history. It should be evident that offensive wars to spread Islam are the HEART of the entire religion of Islam. They embody the meaning of 'Striving for the cause of God [Allah]' -- holy war to make the Word of God [Allah] supreme over the whole world."
Jihad -- Holy War
Jihad means "striving." There are five forms of jihad in Islam. The one that concerns outsiders is called "Jihad al-kuffaar" (striving against the disbelievers). This means that Muslims are not just waiting for the Mahdi to reappear before they strive for global domination, but are obligated to be daily striving for it regardless of the means. Indeed, it is a religious duty that is well documented in Muslim literature that Muslims must physically fight against those who do not believe in Allah because warfare has been ordained for them.
Holy war in Islam is a CONTINUING IDEAL that will last to the day of resurrection! It is a PLAN in which it is incumbent on ALL Muslims to fight -- in the name of Allah -- those who reject Islam. This concept started in the 6th year of the Hegira and continues to the present. Do the people of Europe, America and the East -- as well as the governments of the world -- understand this?
We have been led to believe that Islam has only waged defensive wars, yet Muslims themselves declare that defensive warfare was a TEMPORARY strategy at the beginning of Islam. In fact, believe it or not, Muslims are concerned that the popular notion that Islamic wars were nothing more than defensive wars is a deception invented by the people of the West to divert Muslims away from allowing the DREAM of Holy War to be revived in their hearts! Those in the West who truly understand Islam are afraid that the Islamic "dream" would set off a holy, offensive war in order to establish Allah's state on Earth (an Islamic government) and to make Allah's word supreme. Then Western civilization would collapse and we would be plunged back into the Dark Ages.
The 1990 Muslim Manifesto said that "living in Britain [or the U.S.] or having British [or U.S.] nationality by birth or naturalization does not absolve the Muslim from his or her duty to participate in Jihad."
Richardson's conclusion on this point is that what is called "the religion of peace" is responsible for over 90% of all fighting presently in the world...with the involvement of over 400 recognized terrorist groups."
The Use of Dishonesty and Deceit
Islam is a religion that rationalizes and justifies lying and purposeful exaggerations in the interests of the defense and promotion of Islamic religion and culture.
Muslim propagandists take advantage of the fact that Westerners do not read Arabic and therefore (out of ignorance) do not know the reality of the Islamic faith as recorded in the books of Muslim scholars. Therefore, Muslim missionaries roam across Europe and America, East and West, writing a slew of books and pamphlets, declaring with a loud voice: "How great Islam is! It is the religion of peace, of social justice, equality, women's rights and dignity." Unfortunately, many naive and gullible people believe these claims and are deceived and sucked in by this message.
The Doctrines of Kithman and Taqiya -- Last Days Deception
Kithman is a command to deliberately conceal one's religious beliefs and is mainly practiced by Shia' Muslims in order to mislead outsiders as to the true nature of Islam.
Taqiya is essentially the same as kithman and includes the idea that one will even deny one's religion if it serves to protect the Muslim. Both are used to justify the murder of an enemy of Islam or to gain prosperity. Deceptive tactics are used in attempts to polish the image of Islam, making it more attractive to prospective converts. The Islamic general view is that "any end justifies the means."
Matthew 24:24: "For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: "The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
The False Prophet Himself Demands Worship
Islam rejects the worship of any man. So how can we understand this apparent contradiction? A possible explanation might be that because of the deep spiritual state of deception that the total Islamic world leadership will be in, and the fact that they will have given their allegiance to the Mahdi at a stage many years prior to his announcement of being God, to deny him after this point would be the ultimate shame for Islam. Considering that he will have accomplished so many of Islam's goals it will be hard to deny him. In Revelation 13:4 he is apparently acclaimed with the refrain, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" He will have defeated Israel, established the Caliphate in Jerusalem, destroyed many of the Jews and largely converted the world to Islam.
However, no doubt, many individual Muslims will find the very idea of worshiping a man as God intolerable and will desert Islam in spite of the severe consequences. Nevertheless Satan will appear to have achieved his purposes.
With this last thought we must agree with Richardson that individual Muslims should not be treated as if they are the enemy. Many of these people are simply pawns in a system that they have been brought up in. They must be prayed for that they will see the real issues in the end-times.
For Christians to be prepared it will not be primarily about stockpiling food or finding a safe route of escape from one's city. Rather it is a matter of being spiritually prepared so that one understands what is going on as things unfold in order to escape or avoid the worst of situations if possible and to be spiritually strong so as to endure that most difficult of all times.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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