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The Return of Jesus and the End Times

The Establishment of God’s Nation under Jesus

The killing of the False Messiah will traumatize the Christians and Jews who had followed him, for it will finally reveal to them that he was not what he had claimed to be.  In fact, the role of Jesus in his defeat will convince most of the surviving Christians, at least, that the False Messiah had indeed been the Anti-Christ prophesied in their own scriptures.  The Prophet of Islam, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“The son of Mary will soon descend among you and will judge justly(according to the Law of God[1]): he will break the cross and kill the pig…” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

The breaking of the cross may be figurative or literal: the destruction of erected idols in churches and tearing down of crosses from their steeples, as well as forbidding the use of personal crosses as symbols of religion;  or the destruction of the myth that he was executed by the Romans on a cross at the instigation of the Jews.  Likewise, the killing of the pigs may be both literal and figurative: literally conducting a campaign to kill all pigs so the consumption of their meat becomes impossible, allowing them to be killed, or simply re-imposing the ban God made since time immemorial[2]  on eating their flesh, effectively forcing pig farmers to get rid of their stock by culling.  In effect, two of the mainstays of widespread Christian practice will be removed, indicating that the religion as taught by modern Christians would henceforth be defunct, and marking a return to the religion as originally intended (Islam).

“… and there will be no Jizya.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Furthermore, after the massive losses of life among the Jews, the death of their leader will prove to the Jews that he had been yet another false hope.  Possibly, the False Messiah’s claim of divinity may well have already sowed seeds of doubt in their hearts, anyway, so when Jesus announces that the Jizya[3] will no longer be a means by which non-Muslims can avoid submitting to the will of God, they will be ready to give up following the guidance of their Rabbis in favor to returning to the guidance[4]  of God.  The fact that no Jizya will be accepted underlines the abolishment of all religion except one.  The People of the Book will be required to follow the Law of Islam which Jesus will impose.  The die-hards that refuse will be hunted and killed rather than allowed to continue in their outmoded faith.

“The hour will not come until the Muslims fight against the Jews and kill them.  The Jews will seek shelter behind stones and trees, but the stone or the tree will speak: “O servant of God, there is a [die-hard] Jew behind me, so come and kill him!”  But the Gharqad tree will not speak out because it is partial to the Jews.” (Saheeh Muslim)

No mention of the fate of those who are neither Muslims nor People of the Book is mentioned at this stage, but we believe some of them will also fall under the sway of the rule of Jesus, or die.  Perhaps others will be destroyed by those who are referred to as the Gog and Magog.

The Invasion of the Gog and Magog[5]

Who the Gog and Magog are, exactly, is not known, though it is known from a hadeeth, found in the two principal books of authentic narrations (Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim), that they are of the nations of mankind[6].  Of them, the Quran says:

“When he reached a valley between two mountains, he found a people who could barely understand a word.  They said; O Dhul Qarnayn!  Verily, Gog and Magog are doing great mischief in the land.  Will you accept a tribute from us so that you build a barrier between us and them?” (Quran 18:93-94)

After Dhul Qarnayn carried out their request (without exacting tribute), he told them:

“This is a Mercy from my Lord, but when the Promise of my Lord comes, He shall level it to the ground.  And the Promise of my Lord is ever true And on that day, we shall leave some of them to surge like waves on one another…” (Quran 18:98-99)

This means that they will be a people who are not under the jurisdiction of Jesus when he accepts the pledge from former Jews and Christians.  And it is the Gog and Magog who will be the final threat to the believers before his reign of peace.  Again, the Quran says:

“When the Gog and Magog swoop down from every ridge, and the true Promise draws near, you will see the disbelievers, their eyes staring fixedly, in horror; They will say, ‘woe to us; indeed were heedless of this – and we were wrongdoers.’” (Quran 21:96-97)

Not even Jesus will be able to withstand the coming of the Gog and Magog, for they will swarm the land destructively, like locusts.

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that the prophet said that only the Muslims who retreat into their cities and strongholds with their cattle and sheep will survive the onslaught.[7]  It is also said:

God will reveal to Jesus, son of Mary, “I have brought forth people from among My creatures against who none will be able to fight.  Take my worshippers safely to Mount Tur.” (Saheeh Muslim)

The Gog and Magog will be so many that when the last of the horde passes through a lake bed from whose water the first rank had drunk, they will bewail,‘There used to be water here, once.’ Anybody not from themselves, except for the Muslims in their strongholds and refuges, will be killed, and the horde will declaim, ‘We have defeated the people of earth.  Now only the people of heaven are left [for us to defeat].’  On that, one will fire an arrow into the sky, and it will fall back to earth blood-stained.[8]

Though the Gog and Magog will think they have obtained victory, their very boast would be their downfall, for the blood on their weapons will be nothing but a test from God.  The next article will deal with how the Gog and Magog will be defeated, and what happens after that.

Footnotes:

[1] It is by this Law, the Shariah that is based on the Quran and way of Muhammad, that Jesus will rule with equity and justice.

[2] As it is recorded in the Torah, as well as in the Quran.

[3] Jizya: The tributary poll tax taken from the People of the Book who, under the protection of the Islamic nation of which they citizens, are free to practice their religion.

[4] God uses the word ‘Al-Furqan’ to describe both what was revealed to Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, that which was revealed to Moses and Aaron, as well as other prophets. Many of the original teachings, undistorted by rabbinical additions and interpretations, support and precede the Law prescribed by the Last Prophet, which is the final shape of the Law of God.

[5] Gog and Magog pronounced Yajuj wa Majuj in Arabic.

[6] The Prophet said: “Among you are two nations that never approach anything but they overwhelm it with their large numbers; the Yajuj and Majuj.”

[7] In Musnad Ahmad

[8] ’Musnad Ahmad

Belief in Prophets

According to Islam, God created humans for a noble purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. In order to convey the purpose of their existence to humans, God sent clear and practical instructions through His prophets.

Muslims believe that a prophet was selected for every nation at some point in its history. Some of the prophets of God include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Muslims believe there were about 124,000 prophets in all, of whom only 25 are mentioned by name in the Quran, the holy book of Islam.

Each prophet conveyed the same essential message

Each prophet conveyed the consistent divine message of worshiping one God and living a morally upright life. However, the message of these prophets was lost, abandoned, or changed over time, with only parts of the original message remaining intact. God sent Muhammad (pbuh) as the final prophet to all of humanity in the 7th century C.E. to restore the divine message of all prophets.

Islam, Judaism and Christianity share the core concept that God sent prophets to guide their fellow people. However, Islam also differs from these two faiths on important aspects related to prophethood. For instance, Islam teaches that all prophets of God were of high moral character and did not succumb to the sins their people committed. Therefore, Islam exonerates Aaron even though the Old Testament depicts him as someone who worshipped the golden calf. In addition, Islam strongly rejects deification of prophets. So, Jesus is revered as a prophet of God. At the same time, Islam recognizes that prophets were capable of human errors of judgment, but these unintended mistakes did not diminish their superior integrity.

Muslims honor all prophets

Muslims are obligated to believe in and honor all of the prophets, and to testify that prophethood has been completed with the coming of Prophet Muhammad.

“Say, ‘We believe in God and in what was sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and what was given to Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we devote ourselves to Him.’” (Quran, 2:136)

6  Muslims loves Jesus

Muslims respect and venerate Jesus Christ. They consider him to be one of God’s greatest messengers to humankind. The Qur’an re-affirms his miraculous birth and his miraculous abilities. Furthermore, his mother Mary is regarded as one of the most pure and exalted women of all creation. As the Quran says:

“Behold! the angel said: ‘God has chosen you and purified you and has chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary! God gives you the good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near to God’” (3:42).

Muslims believe Jesus is a Prophet of God

Islam regards its teachings to be a re-affirmation and culmination of the teachings of previous monotheistic religions like Judaism and Christianity. Hence, all Muslims believe in Moses and Jesus as Prophets of God.

Prophet Muhammad was commanded to recite in the Quran:

“Say, we believe in God and that which was revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes and that which was entrusted unto Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have submitted” (3:84).

Miraculous birth of Jesus

The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and an entire surah (chapter) of the Quran is entitled “Mary.” The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:

“She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so; God creates what He wills. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, “Be!” and it is.’” (Quran 3:42-7)

Jesus was born miraculously through the same power that had brought Adam into being without a father: “Truly the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was.” (Quran 3:59)

During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said: 

“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, a figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God’s leave.” (Quran 3:49)

Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran, Jesus is reported as saying that he came: 

“To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me.”(Quran 3:50)

Jesus’ Miracles and Message

God granted Jesus many miracles which began right after his blessed birth. The Quran testifies that in defense of his mother and of the truth, Jesus spoke as an infant, saying, “‘I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet; made me blessed wherever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live’” (19:30-31). This miraculous speech silenced the detractors.

Throughout his youth, Jesus remained dutiful to his mother and developed quickly in intelligence, wisdom and devotion. He astounded the learned and was greatly admired by his companions. Jesus claimed to be a sign of God and a Messenger to the Israelites.

When he came of age, Jesus began to travel and preach throughout the land of Palestine. He taught the scripture that God sent to him, known as the Injeel (Good News or Gospel), which confirmed the truth of previous holy books.

Jesus taught that love and mercy overcome hate and anger. He stressed that only true and sincere faith in the Creator and obedience to Him can bring a person salvation in this life and the hereafter. To reinforce his message, God granted him the ability to perform miracles. He healed the sick, uplifted the distressed and revived the dead. All of these miracles happened with God’s permission, and Jesus never took credit for them himself.

According to the Quran, Jesus said,

“…I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I will make the shape of a bird for you out of clay, then breathe into it and, with God’s permission, it will become a real bird; I will heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life with God’s permission; I will tell you what you may eat and what you may store up in your houses. There truly is a sign for you in this, if you are believers. I have come to confirm the truth of the Torah which preceded me, and to make some things lawful to you which used to be forbidden. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. Be mindful of God, obey me: God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him– that is a straight path.”

Jesus led a simple and pious life, attracting an inner circle of devoted followers who listened to his teachings with fervor and humility. These disciples included Peter, Barnabas and John, who helped spread Jesus’ message of submission to the One God.

A Test of Wills

As the message of Jesus began to gain wider acceptance, a small group of hypocritical and self-serving men began plotting against him. They were the priests and leaders of the Jewish people, whose status and wealth depended upon their position as the sole interpreters of religion to the masses. They pursued him and his followers, and plotted to crucify him on a Roman cross. They were sure they had killed him, but God protected Jesus, saved him from their schemes and raised him up to Himself. God says in the Quran, “[They] said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him – God raised him up to Himself. God is Almighty and Wise” (4:157-158).

Hence, Islam teaches that God rescued the noble Jesus by removing him from this world. God raised him to the heavens, to a place near Him, and will cause him to return to this world at a later time.

With their messenger gone, the devoted followers of Jesus tried to maintain the purity and clarity of his teachings. However, in the next few centuries, different beliefs about Jesus developed amongst some of the early Christians. They held that he was divine, calling him the son of God, which eventually became the dominant Christian belief. In contrast, others maintained he was not the literal son of God or God Himself, but a messenger sent by the One God. Muslims share this second view of the early Christians, holding that Jesus was sent to guide his people just like the other prophets before him. “[This is] a statement of the Truth about which they are in doubt: it would not befit God to have a child. He is far above that: when He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran, 19:34-35)

Restoring Jesus’ Legacy

Muslims believe that every nation received a messenger from God. Just like the prophets before him, Jesus’ message lasted in its original purity for a period of time, but the scripture he received was slowly altered and his original call to absolute monotheism became corrupted. Six centuries after Jesus, God sent His last messenger, Muhammadp, and revealed His final scripture, known as the Quran. Prophet Muhammadp was sent to all of humanity and he confirmed the miraculous birth of Jesus, the miracles he performed and the essential truth of the message that God chose to reveal through Jesus.The Quran has been preserved in its exact original form for over 14 centuries. Through this final revelation, God protects His guidance for the entire human race, containing the same core message sent to all prophets and messengers of the One God, including Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Noah, peace be upon them.

According to the Quran, Jesus himself puts any false claims about his identity to rest: “‘I told them only what You commanded me to: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” I was a witness over them during my time among them. Ever since You took my soul, You alone have been the watcher over them: You are witness to all things’” (5:117).

Today, Muslims seek to follow the original message of Jesus and all the prophets before him as confirmed by God’s final messenger, Muhammadp. Islam literally means ‘submission’ to God and is the same way of life followed by all the messengers of God. Only by following the original call of God’s messengers can we find clear direction and tranquility in our lives.

Mary the Mother of Jesus

The Virgin Mary. Mary, the Pure. Mariam, upon whom be peaceThis blessed woman’s life is evident through many stories and teachings. She has a prominent, significant, and revered role in the Quran and Islam.

The story of the Blessed Mary is a truly beautiful one. She descended from the family of Amram, the father of Moses. Her parents were Anne and Joachim (Imran in Arabic). They were both very pious, religious people. Anne was also immensely caring and motherly. She loved children, and both Anne and Imran yearned for a child. They were both very old, but by the grace of God, Anne conceived. They were both utterly overjoyed. Anne dedicated her unborn child to be a muharrar – a person freed from all worldly affairs and specially committed to the service of God.

Tragically, Imran died during Anne’s pregnancy. Anne realized her baby would need a father to raise her child. She was expecting a boy, who she believed would grow into a prophet. However, God sent her a girl. She was pleased with this, despite the fact that she’d been expecting a boy, and was very grateful. She prayed to God for refuge for her child.  Lots were drawn to decide who would care for the child between several men. Anne’s sister’s husband, Zachariah, was a prophet. Zachariah had no children of his own. Many men tried to cheat and draw the lots in their direction, as they wanted to raise Mary, but the wind repeatedly drew it towards Zachariah.

Zachariah was very good to Mary, who grew into an extremely righteous, gentle woman. She was so pious that she was given her own special section of the temple in which she was brought up to worship God and study her religion. She dedicated her days to God.

God would provide Mary with food. When Zachariah would come to feed her, he would find that she already had provisions. At first he assumed that someone else in the temple had given it to her, but soon after he realized that the food was unseasonable. He asked Mary where it had come from. She replied that it was from God.

Whilst Mary was in her temple, the Angel Gabriel came to her. He informed her that she would be giving birth to Jesus. Mary was a pious woman, and she was entirely chaste, so naturally she asked how this would happen. The Angel told her that God needs only to say, ‘Be,’ and it will be done.

Mary went to a remote place, usually described as an island, as the time of labor drew closer. She was alone – Joseph was not with her, as he is in other tellings of the story. According to the Quran, Mary is completely alone. This gives her more of an honor. She was not only alone while giving birth, she also later endured the stigma of being a single mother. In that place and in that time, this was an extremely difficult thing. She had no one except God, and according to the Quran, she put her full and complete trust in Him, despite the enormity of the task.

Mary, despite being Blessed, was as human as any of us, and she suffered the pangs of labor. She was comforted with food and water. She only had to shake the tree she lay under, and food would be provided to her. She eventually gave birth to Jesus, and returned to her home.

Homecoming was not easy for Mary. Her people immediately accused her of being unchaste. They said that she was born of good people who she had shamed. Mary did not reply to them, but instead she pointed to the baby Jesus. The people mocked her, asking her how she could expect an infant to reply.

Jesus, though he was only a baby, spoke to them. He began,

“Surely I am a servant of God; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet” (Quran, 19:30).

Immediately this shows that Jesus was a human as well, just as his mother was. Mary then brought up her son for the duration of her life.

Mary was a great woman, not only for her story but for who she was. She was chosen by God to give birth to one of the most important figures in mankind. She was always kind, gentle, sweet, and pious. In Islam, she is very highly regarded. She has a chapter in the Quran entirely dedicated to her, and is seen as one of the most important women. Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said that the best women of humankind are four: Mary, the mother of Jesus, Asiya, the wife of the Pharoah, Khadija, the wife of Prophet Muhammad, and Fatima, his own daughter.

In summary, Mary is one of the most revered women in history and in Islam. She was one of the greatest people in the history of humankind.

The angels said to Mary: “Mary, God has chosen you and made you pure: He has truly chosen you above all women.” (Quran, 3:42)

Mary, The Blessed

Mary was a righteous woman whose mother had dedicated her to God’s service even before she was born. As a child, she lived an admirable life marked by good health and piety. She was raised by the wise Zachariah, who instilled in her a beautiful sense of faith in God. As a young woman, Mary sought to purify herself further for her Lord. She withdrew from her people to a sanctuary in the east, where she could meditate in seclusion and peace.

During this period, on a day that seemed no different from the rest, the angel Gabriel visited her in the form of a man. Fearful of the stranger, Mary prayed for protection. He comforted her, declaring that God sent him to announce the glad tidings of a faultless son. Stunned, Mary asked how this was possible since no man had ever touched her. Gabriel replied,

“‘This is how God creates what He will: when He has ordained something, He only says, “Be,” and it is’” (Quran, 3:47).

When she felt the baby within her, Mary fled her sanctuary, fearing what people would do or say when they heard the news. In her anguish, she cried out,

“‘I wish I had been dead and forgotten long before all this!’” (Quran, 19:23).

The angel Gabriel reassured her of God’s blessings and she found shade and a cool spring. Under a date-palm in the warmth of late summer, she made her dwelling, and there bore the child who was unlike any other in human history.

Shortly thereafter, the Quran recounts that Mary returned to her community carrying the child who was to be called the “Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary” (3:45). When her people saw the baby in her arms, they could not believe their eyes. They accused her of being unchaste and implied that she had ruined her family name and reputation. Gabriel had already instructed her to abstain from conversation (19:26). So, Mary simply pointed towards the child.

Who is Jesus?

There are varied beliefs about Jesus among people of different faiths. Many believe he is God or the son of God. Some maintain that he was simply a very wise man. Others do not recognize Jesus at all, religiously or historically. The Islamic position regarding Jesus comes from the Quran, the last revelation of God preserved in its original form, in which God relates the story of Jesus in great detail. The Quran tells us that Jesus said,

“‘I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet’” (19:30).

This brochure summarizes the reality of Jesus according to Islamic teachings.

Muslims believe that Jesus was a human being appointed by God as His messenger. His birth was extraordinary and he was blessed with great miracles from God (Allah in Arabic). In essence, God chose Jesus to deliver the same unified message that past prophets had brought to humanity: to worship the One God and to lead a morally upright life in order to attain salvation in the eternal life after death.

Jesus lived about 2,000 years ago in ancient Palestine when the Roman Empire was at its zenith. He was not conceived normally, but was miraculously implanted in the womb of a young woman named Mary by the command of God. In this sense, Jesus was a “word” from God and a special sign for humanity. In fact, he was the last in a long line of messengers sent to the Jewish people.

 

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