Articles and Outlines - World Religions - The Islamic Revival and The End of Days


The Islamic Revival and The End of Days

Author: Russ Wise
Date: 4/14/2010 12:52:12 AM


A comparison of Christian and Islamic teaching regarding the End Times


As an observer of world religions and their demographics, I have seen the rise of Islam as a potential threat to the status quo. It has become increasingly apparent that things are about to change in a large way. The growth of Islam in itself is somewhat disturbing, but the decline of the Christian west is equally troubling.


            Although this is true it is more distressing when one begins to consider the spiritual ramifications of these changes. In light of the end times it is important that we – as Christians – gain an understanding of the potential outcomes that await us. We serve ourselves well by gaining as much understanding as we can regarding the Last Days and their implications.


Islam on the Rise


The rise of Islam is a well documented occurrence over the past few years. Unless one has been asleep on a distant star it would be apparent to the casual observer that Islam has been gaining a foothold across the globe. The question for those outside the Islamic tradition is this: How will such a revival affect me and those whom I love?


This is certainly a legitimate question since growth projections predict that Islam will out pace Christianity within the next twenty to thirty years. According to some reports Islam is growing at a rate four times faster than Christianity. This growth is occurring through evangelism within Islam and through a higher birth rate in the Muslim community.


This increase in Muslim population globally is in keeping with their evangelistic zeal. However, a surprising aspect of this growth comes by an unexpected event – the bringing down of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001.


Shortly after September 11, The New York Times published an article identifying several reasons for this growth. The Times states that “6 million adherents (reside) in the United States” and that “Islam is said to be the nation’s fastest growing religion, fueled by immigration, high birth rates and widespread conversion.” 1 The article continues by stating that “some clerics say they have seen conversion rates quadruple since Sept. 11 . . .  The vast majority of converts are African-Americans, who make up about a third of Muslims in the United States.” Some reports indicate that the conversion rate within the United States is primarily made up of those who formerly claimed Christianity as their initial faith.1A In other words, sixty thousand individuals who previously considered themselves to be Christians embraced Islam as their new-found faith annually – or 80 percent raised within the Christian tradition. It is also worthy of noting that 85 percent of American converts are African-American who had once been a part of the Black Church. This phenomenon within the black community causes some to see a reordering of the inner-city – one that will ultimately give rise to the Islamification of Americas urban centers.


            We have already seen this trend throughout Europe. Islam has gradually taken predominance in major European cities through immigration and birth rate. Immigration has played a large role in Europe because Germans, Spaniards, the Dutch, and French among others have been unable or unwilling to maintain a healthy reproductive rate within their respective countries. Therefore, they have been forced to rely upon immigration to sustain their economies. They are now beginning to see the religious implications of their earlier choices. In America we are facing a similar scenario by implementing family planning and thereby causing a situation where our population remains just above replacement levels.2 If we had not traveled the road of family planning we would be experiencing more robust population growth and potentially a more healthy economy. According to demographers “you need a total fertility rate of 2.1 live births per woman” to sustain a population at its current level. “That’s what America has: 2.1, give or take. Canada has 1.48 . . . and Europe as a whole has 1.38.” 3 It should be obvious that such a low birth rate will bring about the inevitable – self-extinction.


This information is vital in understanding our future. The decline of the West – both demographically and spiritually – and the seemingly exponential growth of the Muslim population and religion sets the two opposing powers at great odds. As we consider the End Times and how Christianity and Islam will play out their respective roles we must, first, recognize the growing influence of prophecy within each tradition and how it affects our eternal outcome.


Ancient Words – Truth or Fable


            The two traditions – Christianity and Islam – have greatly influenced our world and each tradition is best understood by understanding their respective holy books, the Bible and the Quran (Koran). These texts offer their readers the most correct and authoritative instruction regarding the End Times. While the Bible offers its readers this level of instruction, it is only somewhat true where the Quran is concerned.


            Islam recognizes other sources of revelation beyond the Quran. These include Hadith literature as well as the Sunna. The Hadith is the compilation of all the recorded sayings and deeds of Muhammad the Prophet. The Sunna on the other hand is not only a record of the Prophet’s sayings, but his teachings and customs – his tradition.


            The Sunna, according to Dr. Anis Shorrosh, is the noting of a “command” or “an example” set by Muhammad. Muslims believe that Muhammad’s actions and sayings were divinely guided by God and that “his words and acts became forever divine rules of faith and practice.” 4 The Sunna (according to Islamic belief) is on par with the Bible. But the Quran is superior to both – Muslims believe it (the Quran) to be the very word of God. The Sunna has been compiled from twenty to fifty thousand Hadiths where only 4,800 to 7,275 were chosen as being authentic, depending on the scholar (Abu Da´ud or Bukhari) who made the judgment. It is interesting that the selection of those Hadiths believed to be authentic were done so in a subjective manner, whereas someone employing an analytical process would discount them. The Muslim accepts them as authentic simply because he is told of their value within Islamic Tradition. In my view his desire to pattern his life in the ways of Muhammad over-shadows his reasoning abilities.


            The Bible enjoys a great amount of historical evidence to support its teaching whereas the Quran has no supporting documentation. Muslims believe the Quran to be the literal words of Allah and therefore treat it with great respect and honor. On the other hand the Muslim view of the Bible is diminished by the fact that they believe it to be corrupt since it was written by man. In either case, neither the Christian nor the Muslim reads the holy writ of the other’s faith. The Muslim simply believes the Imam’s teaching where the scriptures are concerned. The Christian, hopefully, exercises some intellectual honesty in discerning the trustworthiness of scripture rather than taking another’s word for its veracity.


            Although the Quran does not exhibit much evidence regarding archaeological or manuscript finds, the Bible has ample support where its veracity is concerned. Dr. Gary R. Habermas cites that documents like the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the accuracy of the Old Testament, and over 5,000 complete and partial ancient texts confirm the accuracy of the New Testament, making the Bible the most thoroughly documented piece of ancient literature.6 Detractors from the biblical text have uniformly stated that the Bible is “full of errors” and cannot be trusted. Robert M. Bowman, Jr. explains that most variances between ancient New Testament texts are mostly in the category of spelling and punctuation. When all texts and versions are examined together, there is virtually no theological difference between the first century and today.7 Regarding the Quran, we can offer no evidence for its veracity because all the evidentiary material was destroyed after it’s compilation and therefore any potential evidence is unavailable for scrutiny.


            William Federer makes this observation concerning potential corruption within the text: Those who think the Law of Moses and Gospels were corrupted cannot explain which verses were corrupted, when they were corrupted or by whom. If the Law of Moses and Gospels could be corrupted by mortal man, then so could the Quran.8


            The reality of punctuation and spelling errors in the biblical text is a minor consideration where veracity is concerned. The fact that such errors do not distort the doctrinal significance of the text is a tribute to the trustworthiness of the scriptures.


Now that we have some understanding of the source documents concerning our study it is time to take a closer look at the key players who live out this drama. We will now offer a brief overview of each of these players and the role each one plays in our End Time scenario.


The Guided One


            One of the major tenets of Islam is the belief in the Last Days and Judgment. Many Muslims await the coming of the Mahdi – the Twelfth Imam who will restore the Caliphate. He will be recognized as the final Caliph of Islam and the Ruler of the World. He will not only rule the Muslim world, he will also rule the non-Muslim world. He is believed to be the Messiah, the Awaited Savior, and he will initiate a new world order.


            Of course, this understanding of End Time events causes one to attempt to reconcile the differences between Islamic and biblical revelation regarding judgment and the end of time. Both Islam and Christianity have their own understanding of the events surrounding end time scenarios. The Mahdi (The Guided One) is certainly one of the major players along with Jesus Christ, the False Prophet, and the Antichrist.


Who is this Jesus?


            Jesus has always had an identity problem. Some consider him to be a moral man, others a teacher, yet others see him as a prophet who points mankind to the one God. All of these possibilities have merit. However, the biblical Jesus is more than these identities would suggest. He claimed to be God, not just a good moral teacher – a prophet. The Bible offers us several occasions where Jesus made such a claim. One is found in Matthew 26:63-65 where the high priest asks Jesus if he is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus responded by saying, You have said so. Upon hearing Jesus’ reply the high priest tore his robes and said, He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. Certainly we can agree that the high priest would know when he heard blasphemy in his presence. Of course Jesus’ blasphemy was claiming deity and the court’s judgment reflected the only verdict that was just – death by crucifixion.


            Another scripture offers us Jesus’ declaration of deity. Matthew 16:15-17 tells us of Peter’s confession regarding Christ’s deity. Jesus asked his disciples who they believed him to be. Peter confessed, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus did not condemn Peter for making a hasty judgment, instead he answered him by saying, Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jo´na! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.5 Once again Jesus receives praise worthy only of God and as a bonus he identifies himself as God’s (the Father’s) Son.


            The Bible speaks of Jesus as the Messiah – the Savior of mankind. He establishes himself as the only way to God – the Father (John 14:6). The Jesus of scripture does not allow for any other interpretation. However, the Muslim Jesus (Isa) is a different persona in every way.


            Islam does not allow for an understanding of Jesus as Savior or Deity. He is denied such a place of distinction. And he is certainly not the Son of God. Islam is a strict monotheistic religion and thusly sees (Isa, Muslim term for Jesus) Jesus as a mere prophet. He cannot be considered to be equal to God in any fashion or form. The Quran is clear in its teaching regarding Jesus and his place in Islamic understanding. An example of this is found in Sura 112:1-2, Say that Allah is One, the Eternal God. He begot none, nor was He begotten. None is equal to Him. Another example is found in Sura 4:48, Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. Islam clearly teaches that God/Allah is not a triune deity, but is a singular deity. Sura 5:17 makes a much stronger statement concerning the deity of Jesus. Verily they are disbelievers and infidels who say, ‘The Messiah, son of Mary, is God.’ The difference between these two understandings of the biblical Jesus and the Muslim Isa (Jesus) is apparent.


Before we consider further differences between Jesus and Isa (the Muslim Jesus) it would be instructive to compare the two Messiahs recognized by Islam. Whereas the Quran notes that Jesus, the son of Mary, is the Messiah, Islam awaits another whom they consider to be more effectual – the Imam Mahdi. It is interesting to note that the Quran mentions Jesus as the Messiah (Sura 3:40), but does not mention the Mahdi as the Muslim Messiah. According to most Muslim scholars the Imam Mahdi is only mentioned in the Hadiths.



































Jesus Christ


Imam Mahdi


1. Messiah and Savior of mankind. In his second coming to earth Jesus will bring salvation to those who await him. Heb. 9:28


1. Messiah or Savior. Mankind’s ultimate salvation is to be found in him.


2. He will engage all nations that attack Jerusalem and destroy them. Zech. 12:9; 14:3


2. He will restore divine order and usher in a time of prosperity throughout the world.              


3. He will restore Jerusalem and reward the faithful. Rev. 22:12


3. He will restore the purity of Islamic faith.


4. He will pour out his blessing and grace on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Acts 2:17; Isaiah 2:2


4. He will free the oppressed and restore social order.


5. He will rule from Jerusalem. He will separate the sheep (believers) from the goats (unbelievers). He will judge the works of man. 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:6-8, 16; 2 Tim. 4:1; Matt. 25:31-46


5. He will restore the Caliphate. He will rule from Jerusalem.


6. He will establish a new world, a new earth, an Eternal Kingdom. Dan. 2:44


6. He will rule the whole world. His rule will last seven years.


7. He will be a “military” leader leading Israel and her allies against the forces of evil. Zech. 14:2


7. He will be a military leader.


8. He will conquer Israel for Yahweh.


8. He will re-conquer Israel for Islam.


 


9. He will establish Islamic rule through Sharia Law.


According to Islam the Muslim Jesus (Isa) is to be an evangelist. Upon his return he will declare himself to be a Muslim and encourage Christians to embrace Islam as the true faith. The Muslim Jesus will be the defender of the Mahdi and serve him with total allegiance.


Antichrist Realities


            We have noted the subtle differences between Jesus and Isa and the parts they play in the End Time drama. It is equally important for us to understand the key differences between the Antichrist of Ezekiel/Revelations and ad-Dajjal (the Liar/Deceiver) of Islam. The Dajjal is believed to be the Antichrist according to Islam, although in reality he is Jesus Christ. Likewise, the Antichrist is recognized as the Imam Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam – the Hidden Imam. As we consider the similarities between the two personalities the comparison will become clear.




























The Antichrist


Ad – Dajjal


1. Satan’s primary agent on earth.


1. Satan’s primary agent on earth.


2. He has multiple names: The Beast (Rev. 13:4), The Man of Lawlessness, The Son of Destruction, The Man of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3), The Assyrian (Micah 5:5; Isaiah 10:5, 14:25).


2. According to the Hadith he will be blind in the right eye (Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 7005, Ibn Umar). Other Islamic traditions indicate the left eye.


3. He will be a powerful political and military leader.


3. He will exemplify great powers and perform miracles.


4. He will set himself up in God’s Temple and proclaim himself to be God (2 Thess. 2:4).


4. He will claim divinity and to be the person of Jesus Christ.


5. He will inspire and demand worship (Rev. 13:4, 8).


5. He will be worshipped as deity. He will deceive Muslims and they will forsake Islam.


6. He will make war with the Saints and conquer them during the Tribulation.


6. He will defend Israel against the Imam Mahdi and the Muslim (Jesus) Isa.


7. The Antichrist will establish a seven year treaty with Israel.


7. The Imam Mahdi will establish a seven year treaty with the Christians.


This seven year treaty cannot be overlooked. There will not be two periods of peace initiated by world rulers. Therefore, the only possible conclusion one might make is that these two periods of peace will coincide, but initiated by two different rulers depending on one’s tradition.


Another interesting fact regarding the Antichrist is that he will desire to change the set times and the laws (Daniel 7:25). This is particularly noteworthy because Islam desires to replace the Gregorian9 calendar with the Islamic Lunar calendar (Hijri).10   According to Islamic belief the Gregorian calendar is corrupted since it does not offer a precise accounting on days. In their view, the Islamic calendar based on the moon and its cycle is far more accurate and trustworthy for their observance of religious activities such as Ramadan.


The west was established under the Judeo-Christian rule of law based on the Ten Commandments. The Middle East is ruled by Islamic Law known as the Sharia. The Imam Mahdi and the radical Islamists who seek his return will attempt to institute Sharia as the standard throughout the world. Under Sharia the Sabbath (day of worship) will also change. The Jew observes the Sabbath on Saturday and the Christian Sabbath is on Sunday, but the Muslim faith recognizes the Sabbath as Friday and a new world order governed by Islam in the last days would establish Friday as the only day to be accepted as the legitimate Sabbath. 


Another Jesus!


According to Islam the Jesus of biblical distinction is a prophet and he is not divine in any form, nor is he considered to be a member of the Godhead (which does not exist in their view). He is simply a prophet who serves Allah and when he returns to earth he will serve the Mahdi. Islamic tradition recognizes two distinct individuals who represent Jesus: one of biblical note who is believed to be an imposter and another of Islamic belief (Isa) who will eradicate the Jews and is therefore considered to be the real thing. The biblical Jesus is considered to be an imposter largely because he will be supportive of the Jewish people whereas the Muslim Jesus will return as a radical Muslim and seek their destruction. A comparison of the two – Jesus and Isa – will allow us to see the key differences between the two.































Jesus Christ


Isa – the Muslim Jesus


1.  He will serve Yahweh.


1.  He will serve Allah and the Imam Mahdi.


2.  He will come as the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.


2.  He will be a devout Muslim.


3.  He will enforce Yahweh’s standard.


3.  He will be the enforcer of the Sharia.


4.  He will draw all men unto himself and save those who have placed their faith in his redemptive works on the cross.


4.  He will be an evangelist and convert the unbelievers to Islam.


5.  He will restore God’s rule on earth.


5.  He will abolish Christianity.


6.  He will defend the Jews.


6.  He will seek to destroy the Jews.


7.  He will judge all of humanity.


7.  He will kill the Antichrist – the Dajjal.


 


8.  Once his work is complete he will take a wife and begin a family.11


Jesus is more than a social revolutionary or a prophet. Some simply view him as a way-shower who points mankind toward their personal divinity. The above material indicates a clear difference between the biblical Jesus and Isa (the Muslim Jesus) as portrayed in Islam.


            Jesus is the Messiah – the only way to the Father. He is not a way-shower, he is The Way.12 He claimed to be deity, but yet he was a humble servant who offered his life for those whom God had sent him to deliver from their transgressions – their sin. He re-established the broken link between man and God. The scriptures tell us that God so loved mankind that He gave Himself for our redemption – our salvation. Our response, if we are truly aware, is to acknowledge and accept His gracious gift of eternity with our Creator.


            The biblical Jesus is more than man’s Savior; he desires to be our Lord as well. Salvation is a wonderful gift! Our Father desires more for us – He seeks our full allegiance and for us to glorify Him alone. We can only be complete once we acknowledge our lack and accept Him as our Redeemer.


In Closing


            As we move closer to the End of Days it will become more imperative that we fully understand the prophetic teachings found in scripture. Although these prophecies are somewhat difficult to discern they are (can be) understandable. Our responsibility is to diligently uncover the Truths that lie within the pages of God’s Word so we can rightly identify the Savior and King of our redemption. We cannot allow ourselves to be persuaded by every doctrine that tickles our ears because it appears to suit our sensibilities.


            We must study to correctly discern God’s Truth and make certain that we follow the true Jesus of scripture. It saddens me to see those who claim to be Christian, but then embrace the tenets of Islam and believe them to be superior to biblical Truth. They have become deceived (in many instances) by their own desires and truly do not understand the Gospel of Christ Jesus. In fact, they have once again placed themselves under the law rather than following the path that leads to God’s undeniable Grace.


Notes:



  1. Wilgoren, Jodi, Islam Attracts Converts by the Thousands, New York Times, 10/22/2001.

1A. These statistics of individuals who had previously embraced the Christian faith and converted to Islam were taken from Joel Richardson’s book, The Islamic Antichrist, WND, 2009, pgs. 4-5.



  1. Steyn, Mark, America Alone, Regenery Publishing, Inc. 2006, p. 2, 10, 39-40, 53-54.

  2. Ibid., p. 2. Today, women in more than 60 countries, ranging from Austria, Canada, and Poland to Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, don’t bear enough children to keep the population growing. In a handful of countries, women average just one child over a lifetime, less than half the replacement rate. http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_1_birthrates.html

  3. Shorrosh, Anis A., Islam Revealed, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1988, p. 22.

  4. Jesus’ claims to deity. Jesus clearly claimed to be the Messiah and Son of God:

·   Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he is the Messiah (Jn 4:25-26)


·   Jesus affirmed Peter's statement that he is the Messiah and Son of God (Mt 16:15-17, see also Mk 8:29-30, Lk 9:20-21)


·   Jesus told the high priest that he is the Messiah and Son of God (Mk 14:61-62, Mt 26:63-64, Lk 22:70)


The Jews understood that Jesus was equating himself with God: "He was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God" (Jn. 5:17-18).


Other places where Jesus equated himself with God:


·   Jesus told the Jews, “I and the Father are one.” (Jn 10:24-38)


·   Jesus told the disciples, “You call me ‘Teacher and “Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” (Jn 13:13)


·   Jesus forgave sins, which only God had the authority to do (Mk 2:5-11, Lk 5:20-24)


·   Jesus said that he had seen Abraham and that he is eternal: "'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!'" (Jn 8:57-58)


·   Jesus said that he had seen God, which no one else could do (Jn 6:46)


In all the situations listed above Jesus did not – at any time – rebuke those who identified him as deity.



  1. Federer, William, What Every American Needs to Know About the Quran, Amerisearch, Inc., St. Louis, MO., 2009, p. 37.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid., p. 38.

  4.  http://www.infoplease.com/spot/gregorian1.html

  5. See: http://moonsighting.com/articles/islamcal.html

  6. http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/jesus.html

After his descension on earth, Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) will marry. He will have children, and he will remain on earth 19 years after marriage. He will pass away and Muslims will perform his Janaza Salaat and bury him net to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). (Tirmidhi)   From: Hadhrat Esa (Alaihis Salaam): The Truth Revealed and Major Signs of Qiyamat
by Mufti Afzal Hoosein Elias (May Allah reward him for his work in producing these kitaabs, aameen.) from the original (with references): "Aalalaat-e-Qiyyamat aur Nuzul-e-Eesa."   



  1. John 14:6.

 


 


 




Author's Comments:
This study takes on greater importance because we are experiencing dynamic changes in our world religious culture. Islam is making its mark on each continent around the globe. The trend cannot be ignored. The second coming of Christ and the teachings of Islam provide us with a backdrop for our understanding the scriptures and its teaching in a biblical environment. This study is offered as a beginning point to better understand the spiritual implications facing each believer in Jesus Christ.



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