Thinking Your Way Through a Labyrinth of Contemporary Issues
Now, interested readers should note that the “you” in the title is actually referring to Lisa Haven, a Christian journalist who has a very intriguing blog where she spreads a lot of these fascinating and mind-boggling ideas. On a relatively recent post she comments on Erdogan being heralded as the new Muslim Caliph (or Khalifah if you want the more authentic transliteration of the Arabic word). Erdogan is the current president of Turkey. She then goes on to document her evidence that the AntiChrist depicted in the Biblical passages correspond with the depiction of the Mahdi in Islamic tradition, and also makes the proposition that Erdogan is an AntiChrist candidate. Yes someone actually wrote an article about this. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify some major misunderstandings on Lisa Haven’s part and add my own thoughts into the mix.
Firstly, with regards to Erdogan, apparently he has aspirations to renew the Ottoman empire. I honestly don’t care what Erdogan wants to do or what people are claiming, but he certainly isn’t the Khalifah, or hasn’t been elected or recognised as one, and he is certainly not the Mahdi. It’s funny that Lisa goes on to quote various Hadiths about the Mahdi but then fails to tie this back to Erdogan, making her whole post kind of moot. But I believe the main intention of the article was to draw a correlation with what the Bible says about the AntiChrist’s coming and the coming of the Mahdi, and Erdogan was just her way of introducing the topic and also as a shock factor, since she reports that some Muslims are calling Erdogan “God”. I really fear for those Muslims that do, but I have a hard time believing any Muslim would suggest that Erdogan is God, so this is likely just spreading of false information because even her sources are going on hearsay.
Now what is the Mahdi in Islamic tradition? To put it simply he is a person charged with renewing the Islamic religion and faith and will help the Prophet Isa (Jesus) when he comes to fight Ad-Dajjal (the AntiChrist). Who the Mahdi is I haven’t got a clue, but the Mahdi is a title. The Mahdi will be a Muslim man who will get a calling to fulfil his role as the Mahdi. The main issue I have with Lisa’s post is when she says that the Mahdi will kill Jews and Christians but then uses two Quranic verses (and misreferences one of them) completely unrelated to the Mahdi or to him killing Christians and Jews. Actually every Quranic verse Lisa references is unrelated to the Mahdi. As far as I understand, the Mahdi will fight and kill whoever sides with Ad-Dajjal, and unfortunately this will include Jews, Christians and even Muslims who have become bedazzled by Ad-Dajjal’s magic tricks.
Lisa makes a convenient table for us which has Biblical verses about the AntiChrist next to Hadiths about the Mahdi for easy comparison, and I have to say that the correspondence is uncanny especially about the AntiChrist being astride a white horse and the Mahdi being astride a white horse. That sort of correlation is not an accident, I believe, but my reasoning for the similarity is the opposite of what Lisa is suggesting: that the AntiChrist depicted in the Bible is actually where the Mahdi is being mentioned but instead of being mentioned as the Mahdi or whatever the term may have been at the time, the name AntiChrist was used instead to twist the meaning of the prophecy. (This broaches into the topic of the Bible being deliberately written in a way to misguide the Christians, but not something I want to get into in this post.)
A very interesting clarification that is made within Lisa’s post is of a Muslim Jesus which is not to be confused with the Christian Jesus. Unless the Quran is referencing a different Mariam (Mary) who’s uncle is Zacchariya and who gave birth as a virgin to a Prophet named Isa (Jesus), I’m certain Muslims and Christians are referencing the same historical figures. This nicely ties in with the previous paragraph because Lisa makes a reference to the AntiChrist’s partner who is a false prophet. I never heard that the AntiChrist comes with a false prophet partner before but this makes sense if the AntiChrist being referenced in the Bible is actually the Mahdi and the “false prophet” mentioned is actually Prophet Isa when he comes again. If there were writers who deliberately wrote the Bible in such a way as to make Jesus the Son of God (or God) then prophecies of the Mahdi and Prophet Isa’s second coming would be twisted because they indicate the coming of another religion, Islam, and of course Prophet Isa came with the message of Islam, so all of this had to be twisted until you get the notion of a Messenger of God is now the Son of God. (I don’t mean to offend anyone, just clarifying my position.)
There is a very informative book written on this subject by Ahmad Thompson (a Muslim Sufi) called “Dajjal the AntiChrist”. I just want relate two hadiths that Ahmad quotes to give the Islamic perspective on this subject (pages 185-188):
From Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him:
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: “The Prophets are like brothers; they have different mothers but their life transaction is one. I am the closest of all the people to Jesus son of Mary, because there is no other Prophet between him and myself. He will come again, and when you see him, you will recognise him. He is of medium height and his colouring is reddish-white. He will be wearing two garments and his hair will be wet. He will break the cross, kill the pigs, abolish the jizya and call the people to Islam. During his time, Allah will end every religion and sect other than Islam, and will destroy the Dajjal. Then peace and security will prevail on earth, so that lions will graze with camels, tigers with cattle, and wolves with sheep; children will be able to play with snakes without coming to any harm. Jesus will remain for forty years, then die, and the Muslims will pray for him.” (It was related by Ibn Hanbal)
From An-Nuwas ibn Sam’an, may Allah be pleased with him:
One morning the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, spoke about the Dajjal. Sometimes he described him as insignificant, and sometimes he described him as so dangerous that we thought he was in the clump of date-palms nearby. When we went to him later on, he noticed that fear in our faces, and asked, “What is the matter with you?” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, this morning you spoke of the Dajjal; sometimes you described him as insignificant, and sometimes you described him as being so dangerous that we thought he was in the clump of date-palms nearby.”
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I fear for you in other matters besides the Dajjal. If he appears whilst I am among you, I will contend with him on your behalf. But if he appears while I am not among you, then each man must contend with him on his own behalf, and Allah will take care of every Muslim on my behalf. The Dajjal will be a young man, with short, curly hair, and one eye floating. I would liken him to Abdal-‘Uzza ibn Qatan. Whoever amongst you lives to see him should recite the opening ayat of Surat’al-Kahf. He will appear on the way between Syria and Iraq, and will create disaster left and right. O servants of Allah, adhere to the Path of Truth.”
We said, “O Messenger of Allah, for the day which is like one year, will one day’s prayers be sufficient?” He said, “No, you must make an estimate of the time and observe the prayers.”
We asked, “O Messenger of Allah, how quickly will he walk upon the earth?” He said, “Like a cloud driven by the wind. He will come to the people and call them (to a false religion), and they will believe in him and respond to him. He will issue a command to the sky, and it will rain; and to the earth, and it will produce crops. After grazing on these crops, their animals will return with their udders full of milk and their flanks stretched. Then he will come to another people and will call them (to a false religion), but they will reject his call. He will depart. He will depart from them; they will suffer famine and will possess nothing in the form of wealth. Then he will pass through the wasteland and will say, “Bring forth your treasures”, and the treasures will come forth, like swarm of bees. Then he will call a man brimming with youth; he will strike him with a sword and cut him in two, then place the two pieces at the distance between an archer and his target. Then he will call him, and the young man will come running and laughing.
“At that point, Allah will send the Messiah, son of Mary, and he will descend to the white minaret in the east of Damascus, wearing two garments dyed with saffron, placing his hands on the wings of two angels. When he lowers his head, beads of perspiration will fall from it, and when he raises his head beads like pearls will scatter from it. Every kafir who smells his fragrance will die, and his breath will reach as far as he can see. He will search for the Dajjal until he finds him at the gate of Ludd (the biblical Lydda, now known as Lod), where he will kill him.
“Then a people whom Allah has protected will come to Jesus son of Mary, and he will wipe their faces (i.e. wipe the traces of hardship from their faces) and tell them of their status in Paradise. At that time Allah will reveal to Jesus: “I have brought forth some of My servants whom no-one will be able to fight. Take My servants safely to at-Tur.”
“Then Allah will send Gog and Magog, and they will swarm down from every slope. The first of them will pass by the Lake of Tiberias, and will some of its water; the last of them will pass by it and say, “There used to be water here.” Jesus, the Prophet of Allah, and his Companions will be besieged until a bull’s head will be dearer to them than one hundred dinars are to you nowadays.
“Then Jesus and his Companions will pray to Allah, and He will send insects who will bite the people of Gog and Magog on their necks, so that in the morning they will all perish as one. Then Jesus and his Companions will come down and will not find any nook or cranny on earth which is free from their putrid stench. Jesus and his Companions will again pray to Allah, Who will send birds like the necks of camels; they will seize the bodies of Gog and Magog and throw them wherever Allah wills. Then Allah will send rain which no house or tent will be able to keep out, and the earth will be cleansed, until it will look like a mirror. Then the earth will be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing. On that day, a group will be able to eat from a single pomegranate and seek shelter under its skin (i.e. the fruit will be so large). A milch-camel will give so much milk that a whole party will be able to drink it; a cow will give so much milk that a whole tribe will be able to drink from it; and a milch-sheep will give so much milk that a whole family will be able to drink from it. At that time, Allah will send a pleasant wind which will soothe them even under their armpits, and will take the soul of every Muslim. Only the most wicked people will be left, and they will fornicate like asses; then the Last Hour will come upon them.” (It was related by Muslim)
So there you have it. I highly recommend getting this book as it is clear and very informative. Leave a comment with your thoughts and what you thought about Lisa Haven’s post (it really is a shocker XD), and like if you liked this post. 😉
Mohammed Wilkinson, 2016