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Part II: Is Imam Mahdi the Biblical Anti-Christ?

August 2, 2014

Recently, one of the subscribers to my blog replied to my earlier post titled “Is Imam Mahdi the Biblical Anti-Christ?” He quoted a hadith (tradition) and posed a question: “The Prophet said: There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans. The fourth will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Aaron (Honorable Aaron, the brother of Moses) and will be upheld for seven years. The people asked, “O Prophet Muhammad, who will be the imam (leader) of the people at that time?” The Prophet said: He will be from my progeny and will be exactly forty years of age. His face will shine like a star… ”

If you pay attention to the above-quoted hadith, it is clear that:
a) The fourth peace treaty between Muslims and Romans will be mediated by someone from the progeny of Aaron (brother of biblical Prophet Moses).
b) During this time, Imam Mahdi will lead Muslims.
c) Imam Mahdi is said to be from Prophet Muhammad’s pbuh progeny (an Arab). And, based on my extensive research, Prophet Muhammad is not of progeny of Aaron, the brother of Prophet Moses pbuh.

Hence, I am concluding that the peace mediator and Imam Mahdi are not the same person. I did some further research about the Romans, Imam Mahdi and the Antichrist (Dajjal in Arabic). Let me begin…. 🙂

Note on Biblical Antichrist Prophecy

From the Holy Bible we know that the Antichrist:

1. Will be a human being (Daniel 7:24-25)
2. Will have a peace treaty (covenant) with Jews (Daniel 9:27)
3. Will be one of the 10 kings (Daniel 7:8)
4. Will come to power after he removes 3 of those 10 kings (Daniel 7:8)
5. He was, is not (in John’s time) and will be (Revelation 17:8)
6. He will sit in the temple of God and will claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
7. He will not regard the God of his fathers and will be a homosexual (Daniel 11:37)
8. He will have an image made after him (Revelation 15:12)
9. He will be promoted by a false prophet (Revelation 13:11-12)

Those are but some of the descriptions the Bible gives regarding the Antichrist. I noted the 9 and stopped there because among those 9 characteristics are things that would disqualify the Antichrist from being a Muslim, let alone be Imam Mahdi. Here is why:

a. Israel is a real state during the reign of the Antichrist. Obviously, Israel became a state in 1940s—way before Imam Mahdi’s advent. Muslims and Judeo-Christian West have been at war for several decades over this state of Israel that is built on the blood of mostly Muslim people. Why would Imam Mahdi support such a state?
b. The Holy Bible mentions that the Antichrist will not regard the God of his fathers. Obviously, this is in reference to the God Jews believed in. That the Antichrist’s fathers believed in the Jewish God confirms the hadith of Prophet Muhammad stating that the mediator of peace between Muslims and Romans will be of the progeny of Aaron, brother of Prophet Moses. Also, the fact that he has a covenant with Israel for 7 years or so, speaks that he will be at first highly accepted by them as a leader.
c. The antichrist comes from 10 kings. Remains to be seen who those kings are and which countries they rule. I believe that he will be among the last 10 Israeli political leaders, will remove three in power and will remain to be 8th in a row after.
d. The antichrist used to exist before St. John’s time, did not exist during his time and is prophesized to come. Islam does not teach that a human being, be he a prophet or Imam Mahdi, can exist for such a long time. It’s been centuries, if we are to believe St. John. Unless, St. John is talking about a system in place or Israel that once existed and had an evil ruler over them: Israel that was with an evil, antichrist ruler, Israel that was not anymore during St. John’s time and Israel with another evil rule to come. If we believe the Bible, Islam (as per the biblical teachings) did not exist before or during the time of St. John. Imam Mahdi was certainly NOT alive in St. John’s time. Even if we take into consideration Shia Muslims’ belief of Mahdi’s occultation: their understanding puts Mahdi’s birth way after John’s “he was, now is not, and yet will be” prophecy.
e. Now on to some of the major characteristics: Antichrist as a homosexual and proclaiming himself “God.” We all know that to be a homosexual is against Islamic religion (is a great sin). Also, even worse sin is for a human to claim to be divine. If we are to follow the Holy Bible, the Antichrist will first become a king, and then will proclaim divinity. He will sit in the temple. The temple is the third temple that is in the plans already. Obviously, Muslims will never accept a leader who destroys their third holiest site: Al-Aqsa mosque (which is not the Dome of the Rock!). I believe that the destruction of the Al-Aqsa will precede the building of the Third Jewish Temple, after which the Antichrist will appear.
Muslims believe that the antichrist will first be a tyrant, then will claim prophethood and then will proclaim himself divine. If Muslims regard the Antichrist as a tyrant, he cannot be then Imam Mahdi because Imam Mahdi is to help Muslims achieve true Islamic state. Anyone claiming prophethood after Prophet Muhammad pbuh is believed a false one. Islam teaches that God SWT may forgive humans all sins, EXCEPT blasphemy. And it is blasphemous for a human to say that he is divine. Hence, Imam Mahdi will never proclaim himself as divine. Only the Antichrist will do so.

f. Also, according to the Bible (Gospel), the Anti-Christ will have an image made in his likeness and will demand that people pay homage to it. For those who do not know, religious Muslims follow the Biblical commandment that forbids art of anything that lives on Earth or is in the Heaven. Statues or drawings of anything, according to Muslim religious leadership is forbidden. And Muslims cannot worship with a statute or an image in front of them. They are not to bow to anyone or anything, but Allah (God) Almighty. Imam Mahdi, the true one, will never demand worship because as a true Muslim he could never do that.

g. Further, the Anti-Christ is to imitate Jesus pbuh. Of course, as Muslims believe, Jesus pbuh was allowed by God Almighty SWT to perform miracles. To imitate Jesus, the Anti-Christ is expected to be allowed by God to make miracles. Imam Mahdi is NOT believed to perform miracles. He will be an ordinary human being, religious Muslim, who will help lead Muslims to gain victory over the forces of evil and oppression.

Quick Notes On Hadith Traditions

Hadiths are collections of sayings/teachings attributed to Prophet Muhammad pbuh, his family members, friends and earlier Muslims. There are hundreds of thousands of Hadiths assembled by various Muslim writers during the time after Prophet Muhammad’s pbuh death. Some Muslims claim and believe that the Hadith collecting had begun during the life of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Certainly, hadiths contradict each other about it: some state that Prophet Muhammad pbuh forbade writing down anything besides the Qur’anic verses and others say that he approved of hadith collecting.

Many Muslims believe that the Hadith collections are supplemental to the Islamic Revelation—the Noble Qur’an, and contribute in large portion to the official Islamic Law—the Sharia. A large group of Muslims (mainly the Arab Muslims) believe that neither the Qur’an nor Hadiths can be understood independent of each other. Other Muslims believe this absurd, as they believe the Qur’an judges the hadiths, but not the other way around. Regardless, majority of the world’s Muslims are frequently called Sunnis. Following the Hadith teachings constitutes the Sunnah (the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and interpretations of the Qur’an). However, other Muslim sects too, such as Shias, have collections of Hadiths that they abide by. Often, their hadiths differ from the ones mentioned in the Sunni hadith collections.

Generally, Hadiths are considered not part of the Revelation (the Qur’an). However, there are Hadiths called Hadith Qudsi. These Hadiths are believed to be Holy, separate from the Qur’an itself but believed to be direct revelation from God (Allah) SWT to Prophet Muhammad pbuh, conveyed through chain of other Muslims believed to be reliable sources.

All hadiths are not authentic/ reliable. First compliers of hadiths have collected hundreds of thousands hadiths and through difficult study many had been eliminated as fabricated. Today, some Muslims are beginning to question, too, whether Hadiths deserve another closer look to their authenticity. For many, many years Muslim scholars have studied the Hadiths and actually established a whole new study: the Science of Hadith. The Islamic scholars have determined that all hadiths fall into the following categories:
1. Sahih: The genuine Traditions, the authentic ones.
2. Moothaq: Almost like the Sahih but the narration is not as strong as those of the Sahih.
3. Hassan: The fair Traditions although inferior in matter of authenticity.
4. Dha’eef: The weak Traditions which are not so reliable.
Whether ALL the hadith about the Romans are Sahih (authentic), I am not competent to judge. Further research is needed to determine their strength.
Now that you understand the hadith classifications and a little bit about what hadiths are, we shall proceed. ☺

What Does the Noble Qur’an Say About Imam Mahdi, the Dajjal (the Antichrist) and the Romans?

Neither Imam Mahdi, nor Dajjal, is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an. Rather, the Qur’anic End Time prophecies are depicting the final destruction phase of Earth and humanity as we know it.
Many Muslims believe that the Qur’an’s silence about the Dajjal is not relevant because Dajjal is not important and that is why Allah SWT decided to ignore him. Plus, the antichrist is much mentioned in the previous Revelation: the Gospel. Regarding Imam Mahdi, it is understood that Muslims are to appoint just leaders and the Qur’an has no need to further detail End Time personalities that are to lead Muslims.
However, the Romans are mentioned. In the Noble Qur’an there is a whole chapter titled The Romans (Surat Ar-Rūm, chapter 30). In its verses (ayats) 2-4 Allah Almighty talks about the Romans. The interpretations of the meaning of these verses from Arabic are:
“2 The Byzantines have been defeated 3 in the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. 4 Within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice.”
Byzantines obviously refers to the Christian Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire). Therefore, in the context of the Qur’an’s chapter The Romans, it is referring to the Eastern Christians. The ‘believers’ in the above verses is referring to Muslims. Muslims will rejoice, it is said in the verse 4, over Byzantine victory. Wait, what? Why? Well, although Muslims have taken stance from the start that Christianity and Islam have some major differences, they still understood from the Qur’an that the Christians are followers of the earlier Revelation—the Gospel (Injeel in Arabic). And a Muslim cannot be a true Muslim without believing that the Gospel was a Revelation from Allah SWT. Hence, Muslims felt closer to other people believed to follow monotheistic beliefs (the Christians).

Note on the prophecy: the above verses from the Qur’an are referring to the war of 613/614 AD between Byzantine Christians and fire worshipers, the Persians. This war cost the Christians much loss: hundreds of lives, territory and destruction of the Holy Sepulcher. Suffering from such devastation, it did look like Byzantium will not survive. However, starting EXACTLY 8 or 9 years later (as per the Qur’anic prophecy) Byzantium, under the leadership of emperor Heraclius, got back Armenia (622 AD), defeated Persians at the battle of Nineveh (near Baghdad) in 627 AD and recaptured Jerusalem in 630AD.
Who Is Imam Mahdi And What Does the Title “Imam” Mean?

First, lets define who holds the title of an imam. According to the http://www.islamic-dictionary.com an imam is:

(1) The person who leads a congregational prayer
(2) The Muslim leader who runs the Masjid (Mosque)
(3) A Khalif (leader of the Muslim peoples)
(4) A normal leader of Muslims, but this leader usually provides at least some spiritual guidance
(5) Any one of 12 infallible members of the Ahlulbayt (family of the Prophet) (AS) (Shia belief)
(6) Any one of the 4 recognized fallible grand scholars of the Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah (Sunni belief)
(7) Any scholar who is deemed educated enough, usually a mujtahid (a very educated Muslim makes up his own ruling on the permissibility of an Islamic law but only for himself)
(8) An `Alim
(9) An Ayatollah
(10) A Mufti (the main religious leader of a town/city)
(11) A person who is given the special status of Imam by God; e.g. Prophet Abraham (PBUH).
(12) A book containing the record of a person’s deeds is called an Imam in verse 17:71 in the Qur’an.

As we can see, “imam” has multiple meanings. However, no Muslim would say that an “imam” can be a Messiah. Even Shias, who believe that Imam Mahdi is to be the last, Rightly Guided Muslim leader/Imam, do not believe him to be a Messiah. The Messiah title is only given to Jesus pbuh, both in the Qur’an and the Hadith collections! Ok, so if Mahdi is not a Messiah, then who is he? Certainly, he would fall under one, some or all of the definitions above. We can say that Imam Mahdi is the second to last Muslim leader of this world (the last one being Prophet-Messiah Jesus pbuh).
Muslim beliefs about Imam Mahdi differ. Please refer to my first post “Is Imam Mahdi Biblical Anti-Christ).

What Do Hadiths Say About the Romans?

Byzantine Empire has long been gone. Over the centuries the borders have changed, but not the growing Christian population. Today, we have Christian majority in the Americas, Europe and Russia. Further, like among the Muslims, Christians have split into various sects. If the hadiths that mention End Time Romans are authentic, they certainly do not tell us which Christians those would be. Muslim eschatology scholars are not sure either. Some believe the End Times hadith prophecies refer to the European and American Christians as the Romans. A small minority of the scholars claims that “the Romans” refers to the Orthodox Christians (the Balkans and Russian regions). One of those minority scholars is sheik Imran Hosein. He says: “Ar-Rum (the Romans) in the Qur’an is easy to identify. It is the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’; which had established the Byzantine Empire with Constantinople as its capital…The Byzantine Empire has disappeared today, but the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’ has not. If we want to find Rum, where is the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’ today? Answer, the headquarters is now in Russia. If I am wrong I invite you to correct me. And so when the Prophet (SA) said, ‘You will make an alliance with Rum’, my answer is it’s going to be an alliance with Russia” (http://www.imranhosein.org/faq/28-muslim-village/326-rum-rome.html).

I have found hadiths deemed authentic in the book by Ibn Kathir called “ The Signs Before the Day of Judgment.” Hadiths state that:

1. There will be alliance with Christians and Muslims against an enemy beyond Rome. If we look at the current political situation, it is possible that the West will turn on Russia. Naturally, Russia will seek allies among those with whom the West has been in wars the longest (the Muslim Arab world).
2. This alliance will be victorious until the dispute of how the victory was won. There seems to be a perceived provocation from the Christian side, Muslims reacting harshly to the situation, at which point the alliance will be officially dead: “ Dhu Mukhammar said: ‘The Prophet (S) said: You will make a peace treaty with the Romans (Christians), and together you will invade an enemy beyond Rome. You will be victorious and take much booty. Then you will camp in a hilly pasture: one of the Roman men will come and raise a cross and say ‘Victory to the Cross,’ so one of the Muslims will come and kill him. Then the Romans will break the treaty, and there will be a battle. They will gather an army against you and come against you with eighty banners, each banner followed by ten thousand men” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah).
3. The region where the Christian-Muslim alliance dies is Syria and likely will involve biological warfare:“Yusayr ibn Jabir said: Once there was a red storm in Kufah. A man came who had nothing to say except: ‘O ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, has the Hour come?’ ‘Abd Allah was sitting reclining against something and said: ‘The Hour (Judgment Day) will not come until people will not divide inheritance, nor rejoice over booty.’ Pointing towards Syria, he said: ‘An enemy will gather forces against the Muslims and the Muslims will gather forces against them.’ I asked ‘Do you mean the Romans?’ He said: ‘Yes. At that time there will be very heavy fighting…. There will be a battle the like of which has never been seen, so that even if a bird were to pass their ranks, it would fall down dead before it reached the end of them. Out of a family of one hundred, only one man will survive, so how could he enjoy the booty or divide any inheritance?”
4. It appears that prior to the death of the Christian (Roman)-Muslim alliance, the Constantinople (Istanbul) will not be under Muslim control and Muslims will only take it back after the war with the Romans: “…Then they will fight. 1/3 of Muslim army will run away, and Allah will never forgive them. 1/3 will be killed, and they will be the best of martyrs in Allah’s sight. 1/3, who will never be subjected to trials or tribulations, will win and will conquer Constantinople.”
5. The Dajjal (antichrist) appears in Syria during the Roman-Muslim war, on the side against the Muslims leading to the climax of the war (Second Coming of Jesus): “Whilst they are sharing the booty…Satan will shout to them that the Dajjal has taken their place among their families. They will rush out, but will find that it is not true. When they come to Syria, the Dajjal will appear…When the time for prayer comes, Jesus the son of Mary will descend and lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allah (the Dajjal) sees him, he will start to dissolve like salt.”

A few very important points here:

a. There will be an alliance with Romans (Christians) and Muslims that will fight enemy beyond Rome (that is the West). This alliance will be victorious until it ends. Once it ends, there will be an all-out war between the Romans and Muslims starting in Syria.
b. During the Roman-Muslim alliance, Constantinople (Istanbul) IS NOT under Muslim rule. Even today, although majority of people in Istanbul are Muslims, the rule is secular. It appears that the Romans will rule Istanbul during the Roman-Muslim alliance, and Muslims will only reclaim it after the alliance is broken.
c. It is interesting that many of the Biblical prophecy interpreters claim that Gog will be a leader from the North (north of Israel). If this were true, then Gog would either come from Turkey (Istanbul?) or Russia. Hadiths appear to support this in that they state that Istanbul will not be in Muslim hands during the war between Israel and Gog (Russia). Some Biblical scholars refer to the Antichrist as the Gog, leader of Magog. If the Antichrist is already in Israel, sitting in the Temple, he might proceed to mediate between Muslims and Romans during one of the prophesized treaties from the hadiths. He is the mediator from the progeny of Aaron. Perhaps, the peace talks will be held in Syria. It seems the peace-talks will not go well, the Antichrist sides with the Romans and together they attack Muslims from Syria. And the war goes forth. Imam Mahdi is leading Muslims and will be victorious against the Antichrist (Gog)- Romans alliance.
d.Muslim scholar Imran Hossein (mentioned earlier) places Gog and Magog peoples in the Caucasus Mountains, in the region of the Black Sea based on the Hadiths and the Noble Qur’an (please visit to read more about this in English: http://www.imranhosein.org/books/131-an-islamic-view-of-gog-and-magog-in-the-modern-age.html )

References:

http://www.islamic-dictionary.com

Ibn Kathir’s Signs of the Day of Judgment: http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophecies/signs_judgment.pdf

The Third Jewish Temple plans and news: http://www.templeinstitute.org Check out the “Events” section for the campaign to build the third temple.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
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