Correlations Between the Antichrist and the Islamic Mahdi PT1
This is a study online. It is very detailed and that’s why I am presenting it. I think it hits many points of what we are witnessing and what is to come.
There has been a lot of discussion among prophecy scholars as they begin to notice the eerie similarities between certain figures and events foretold in Christian and Islamic eschatology (the study of the end times).
As most of us know, the Christian prophecies predict an Antichrist, False Prophet, an end times government system, one world religion, and the return of Christ. What is now becoming more known is that sects of Islam also prophesy a figure known as ‘Al Mahdi’ who is seen as a Messiah-like figure for Islam, as well as the return of Jesus that will reinforce the Mahdi, their own Antichrist figure known as the ‘Dajjal,’ and an Islamic government.
None of this may sound terribly interesting at first glance due to the fact that all three Abrahamic faiths share similarities. However, there is a twist. The startling difference is that the figure prophesied in the Judeo-Christian texts regarding the Anti-Christ is clearly shown to be the ‘villain’ while the anticipated Mahdi of Islam is described as being a hero and a ‘messiah’ of sorts.
This has led many scholars to believe the prophecies regarding the Antichrist and the Islamic Mahdi are describing and pointing to the same figure and events and that the Antichrist could ultimately be the Mahdi.
So in order to explore the similarities between Christian and Islamic eschatology, we’ll review the correlations between:
1). The Antichrist of Christianity vs. Al Mahdi (the ‘Redeemer’) of Islam.
2). The Antichrist of Christianity vs. the Dajjal (the Antichrist) of Islam.
3). The False Prophet of Christianity vs. the Islamic Version of Jesus.
4). The End Times Empire of the Antichrist of Christianity vs. the End Times Empire of the Al Mahdi of Islam.
Throughout this project I will also be providing the historical background when necessary in order to have a foundation to explain the prophetic similarities.
My goal with this project is to create the most comprehensive study possible on this subject and to get as close to the sources as possible. All too often dealing with this subject, I have noticed much of the research is presented without sourcing. Most of the research I have come across on this topic is also very brief and lacking in detail. Therefore, I’d like to create this in an effort to provide an in depth collection of the information regarding this subject while focusing on original sources.
INTRODUCTORY POST: THE ANTICHRIST
Due to the fact most people are aware of the Antichrist figure and because we will be discussing his characteristics and actions throughout this project in depth to make comparisons to the Mahdi, this won’t be too tedious but will simply offer a brief introduction to the history of the Antichrist prophecies.
Note: Not all Christians believe a future, literal Antichrist is to appear. Those who adhere to a PRETERIST view point of Biblical prophecy believe the Antichrist prophecies were fulfilled in the life and actions of Nero while those who adhere to the interpretation of HISTORICISM believe the prophecies have been fulfilled metaphorically throughout the course of this current church age. Historicists believe the Antichrist is not a literal figure but instead a metaphor for the continual spirit of Antichrist prevalent throughout the church age.
Opposed to the Pretersist and Historicist view, this project will consist of the FUTURIST viewpoint taking on the perspective of a still future, literal, and single human Antichrist.
A Brief Summary & History of the Antichrist Prophecies
The Antichrist is given many names throughout the Hebrew and Christian texts. These titles include but are not limited to:
The Abomination that Causes Desolation.
The Man of Lawlessness.
The Son of Perdition.
The Little Horn.
The Man of Sin.
The Beast/The Beast out of the Sea.
The Antichrist will ultimately be a powerful political and military world leader of the final one world government prophesied in the Bible. Although the Antichrist will be assisted by a religious leader known as ‘the false prophet,’ the Antichrist will also take part in this movement and demand political as well as religious allegiance. He will implement a one world monetary system as well as create a false peace with Israel who he will later betray. The Antichrist will be a fierce world dictator who will lead mankind into the most terrible period of history the world will ever know, known as the tribulation.
Examples of Antichrist Prophecies
A thorough list of Antichrist prophecies will be analyzed in depth later, the below are only a few examples of Antichrist prophecies found in the Old and New Testaments:
Example 1: The Two Shepherds of Zechariah 11.
One of the Old Testament prophets, Zechariah, foretold the coming of two shepherds. One would be the ‘Good Shepherd’ while another ‘Evil Shepherd’ is yet to come who will be the Antichrist.
Christians believe Jesus was the ‘Good Shepherd’ promised to come. Even Jesus acknowledges He has fulfilled this role when He states:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. -John 10:11-12
Reading the above linked Zechariah passage will also help clarify the good shepherd was Jesus with the prophecy:
I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay. But if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”-the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.
This is an obvious prophetic reference to us today of the betrayal by Judas. However, both the prophecy in Zechariah and Jesus allude to a future bad shepherd who will be the antithesis of Jesus, the good shepherd. Just like the bad shepherd will ‘oppress the flock,’ so will the Antichrist.
Example 2: The Man of Lawlessness of II Thessalonians 2.
This passage is a direct refutation to the concepts held in futurism and historicism claiming the Antichrist has already come or that he will not be a single man but is instead some figurative concept or government system. Some important excerpts from II Thessalonians 2 are:
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.
Many important things in the above passage:
1). He will be a physical man.
2). He is described as being different from the ‘spirit of lawlessness already at work.’ This is a contrast between the general Antichrist spirit throughout the age and an actual human figure who will appear and will embody this spirit.
3). This passage must be contrasted with the ‘King Who exalts himself’ of Daniel 11: 36-39 (among others we will be discussing later).
He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.
RESEARCH: THE ANTICHRIST
” Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”
(1 Jn 2:18)
Defining the Title
The term “antichrist” occurs only in 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7, and there in both singular and plural forms. It is clear that John applied the plural antichrists to those former members of the Christian congregation who had recently departed from the flock (1 John 2:19) under a mantle of false teaching and practice. In the 2 John 7 passage he is clearly addressing the Gnostics who denied that Jesus had come in the flesh – relegating his appearance to some sort of ethereal apparition. In general the concept of antichrist is part of a complex set of biblical images and figures that represent the activity and power of evil – of those forces that are antagonistic to God and his people. (Eerdmans)
It is the singular use of the term “the Antichrist” as a title in 1 Jn 2:18 that is most pertinent to our purposes of comparison. Of particular interest to this project, the term antichrist actually stems from Greek ἀντί or anti = “over against”; “instead of.”
ἀντίχριστος [antichristos /an•tee•khris•tos/] noun masculine: against Christ
Although it is correct to think of him as “against Christ” it is probably more theologically correct to think of him as “instead of Christ” or a “pseudo Christ” because he will deceive many by posing as the Messiah. Specifically, this figure in the singular form when viewed through the lens of Daniel’s famous 70 week prophecy:
““And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.”
Daniel is quite transparently warning of a political or military persecutor in addition to one of a deceptive influence. One that will exalt himself as god in chapter 11.
The historicism presented by the preterist camp (that events in the book of revelation have already occurred) I find to be reflective of a lack of homework in the Old Testament. The battle of Armageddon is referenced way back in the second Psalm and I don’t think the notion that the nations of the earth have already declared war on “the Lord and his anointed one” is a defensible one. In addition God promised a literal thousand year reign by Jesus Christ in a myriad prophecies by Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets. Finally the notion that Revelation was fulfilled by 70 AD is refuted by the book of Revelation itself.
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
John wrote the book in approximately 90 AD on the Ilse of Patmose. The events of 70 AD preceded John’s return from the Isle of Patmose by 25 years, after Emperor Domitian (who had banished him) was killed in 96 AD. There would have been nothing left of the “things that are” or “shall be hereafter” for him to write about if they had all been fulfilled by 70 AD! Hence, I find those views to be historically and scholastically untenable.
While the specific title “Antichrist” only appears in John’s writings this figure has many titles and is one of the most popular and discussed characters from cover to cover of the Bible. (Missler)
Old Testament References
• Bloody and Deceitful Man Ps 5:6
• Branch of the Terrible Ones Isa 25:5
• Chief Prince Ex 38:2
• Crooked Serpent Job 26:13; Isa 27:1
• Cruel One Jer 30:14,23
• Destroyer of the Gentiles Jer 4:7
• Enemy Ps 55:3; Jer 30:14, 23
• Evil Man Ps 140:1
• Head over many countries Ps 110:6
• Head of Northern Army Joel 2:20
• Idol Shepherd Zech 11:16, 17
• King of Princes Hos 8:10
• King of Babylon Isa 14:11-20
• Little Horn Dan 7:8f; 8:9f
• Man of the Earth Ps 10:18
• Merchant, with balances of deceit Hos 12:7
• Mighty Man Ps 52:1
• Nail Isa 22:25
• Prince that shall come Dan 9:26
• Prince of Tyre Ezek 28:2-10
• Profane Wicked Prince of Israel Ezek 21:25-27
• Proud Man Hab 2:5
• Rod of God’s anger Isa 10:5
• Seed of the Serpent Gen 3:15
• Son of the Morning Isa 14:12
• Spoiler, Destroyer Isa 16:4,5
• Vile Person Dan 11:21
• Violent Man Ps 140:1f
• Wicked One Ps 9:17; 10:2,4; Isa 11:4; Jer 30:14, 23
• Wilful King Dan 11:36
New Testament References
• Angel of the Bottomless Pit Rev 9:11
• Antichrist, (Pseudo-Christ) 1 Jn 2:22
• Beast Rev 11:7; 13
• False Prophet Rev 13
• Father of the lie Jn 8:44; 2 Thess 2:11
• Lawless One 2 Thess 2:8
• Man of Sin 2 Thess 2:3
• One come in his own name Jn 5:43
While many of the references are quite direct some of these references are allusions or contain symbolism pointing toward this coming world leader. As this research develops through sound hermeneutics and exegesis we intend to hone in on the specific references which offer the richest comparative value. I will assure the reader that although I am a Christian and an enthusiastic student of the Bible, I am approaching this comparison to the Imam Mahdi with an open mind. As titillation, I find the biblical title “the Assyrian” to be quite provocative.
Freedman, D. N., Myers, A. C., & Beck, A. B. (2000). Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (66). Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans
Missler, Chuck. The Book of Revelation Study Notes. Koinonia House,Coeur d’Alene Idaho 2005.
Strong, J. Enhanced Strongs Lexicon (1996).
Since fewer people will be acquainted with Islamic eschatology, this introduction segment will be slightly longer than the Antichrist introductory post above and will be divided into three posts:
1). Islamic Texts.
2). Islamic Eschatology.
3). Figures in Islamic Eschatology.
ISLAM INTRODUCTORY POST 1 of 3: THE ISLAMIC TEXTS
To fully understand the origins of Islamic eschatology, let’s take a brief look at their religious texts we will be using for this project.
The Koran is, of course, the holiest and most famous of all Islamic religious texts. In comparison, what the Bible is to Christianity, so is the Koran to Islam. ‘Koran’ literally translates into ‘recitation’ or ‘reading’ and is believed by Muslims to be the divine revelation of Allah to Mohammad. It is composed of 114 chapters known as ‘Surahs.’
The exact meaning of the word “Koran” is not clear for us today, but the three main theories. It may either be connected to the word for ‘collect’; or to the word for ‘tie together’; or perhaps best to the most commonly used word for “read” or “recite,” which is an important verb in the book itself. The Koran as a book is the result of:
1. Alleged revelations to Muhammad in the period 610- 632 (Muhammad’s death).
2. Writing down of these revelations by people around Muhammad in a period probably starting some years after 610, and ending a couple of years after 632.
3. Compilation of these writings stretching from mid-630s and perhaps until mid -650s.
4. Stories relating to Muhammad, largely stories in which he communicates with God, usually concerning contemporary matters.
The Sunna, or ‘the clear and trodden path,’ consists of Mohammad’s sayings, teachings, customs, and the examples he left for his followers to live by. In essence, the Koran focuses on theology while the Sunna focuses on lifestyles of Muslims. Many Islamic practices are taken from the Sunna and are not found in the Koran at all.
Its most common usage is denoting the examples, the deeds, sayings and unspoken approval of Muhammad as this has been recorded and systemized in the hadiths. The sunna of Muhammad has generally become considered obligatory by most Muslims. The other meaning of the term is to indicate the basic principles of Islam.
The Hadith will be used the most during this project as it is literature that contains most of the beliefs of Islamic eschatology. This collection deals mostly with the traditional sayings of Mohammad.
The Hadith, in Islam, is second in authority only to the Qur’an. The Hadith is a record of the prophet Mohammed’s life, actions, and deeds. A saying in the Hadith is called a sunnah. These sunnah were transmitted by word of mouth down through the centuries having been memorized first by Muhammad’s companions and then later by subsequent Muslims. Therefore, the Hadith is the written record of the oral traditions passed down from the Muslim to Muslim of what Mohammed was supposed to have said and done.
ISLAM INTRODUCTORY POST 2 of 3: ISLAM ESCHATOLOGY
Major Signs vs. Minor Signs.
The study of Islamic eschatology is usually broken up into two parts: Major signs and minor signs. To offer a comparison that the reader may understand, this is similar to the prophecies of the Bible that differentiate between the ‘birth pangs’ of end time prophecy and the ‘hard labor’ of the tribulation.
Islam also believes the minor signs will coincide with the major signs. So whereas Christianity describes ‘birth pangs’ foreshadowing a coming climax, in Islam, the minor signs do not foreshadow but instead ‘coexist’ with the major signs that the age is drawing to a close. We will be going over most of these further in depth and how they compare to Christian prophecies but here are two lists to outline what the major and minor signs entail:
Major Signs of the End Times According to Islam.
The Appearance of the Mahdi (And various signs preceding his arrival)
The Appearance of the Dajaal (And various signs preceding his arrival)
The Return of the Islamic Jesus (And various signs preceding his arrival)
The Appearance of Gog & Magog
Three Great Landslides
A Great Smoke Covering the Earth
Abnormal Solar Rise from the West
The Great Fire
Of course, many of the above share similarities with the Christian end times that will be explained in depth shortly. These include the Antichrist, the false prophet, Gog and Magog, natural disasters, volcanic eruptions (world wide smoke), mountains falling into the ocean (landslides), the earth being scorched (a great fire), etc.
Minor Signs of the End Times According to Islam.
As you can see if you review the above, there are several minor signs that take place during the end times according to Islam. Most of the prophecies can be summarized into the following classifications:
An increase in materialistic interests vs. a decrease in religion.
An increase in immorality vs. a decrease in righteousness.
The environment will become more hostile and natural disasters will increase.
Crime and violence will increase and become more acceptable.
Persecution and ridicule towards the religious will increase.
Of course, most of these are very similar to the ‘birth pangs’ mentioned in the Bible which also include an increase in materialism and secularism, an increase in immorality and spiritual apostasy, an increase in natural disasters, an increase in crime and violence, and persecution of the religious on both a level of violence and ridicule.
As the reader will see, both religions describe similar trends and events that will precede and take place during the end times. The similarities between the major signs of Islam to the ‘hard labor’ of Christianity and the minor signs of Islam and the ‘birth pangs’ of Christian prophecy.
Next I will be listing a summary of the Islamic Mahdi, Dajjal, and Jesus (Isa).
SLAM INTRODUCTORY POST 3 of 3: THE MAIN FIGURES OF ISLAMIC ESCHATOLOGY
Three figures of Islamic eschatology will be mentioned frequently throughout this project. Due to this, I feel it is necessary to give the reader a basic foundation of each figure so they will be able to more easily follow along with this project’s information and comparisons.
The name Al Mahdi
Also known as:
Imam Mahdi, The 12th Imam, or The Hidden Imam.
The Guided One, The Awaited One, or The Lord of the Age.
A Brief Description
The Mahdi is one of the major signs to signal the end times. In fact, he is such a major part of the Islamic end times that the ‘minor signs’ are often referred to by some Islamic scholars as ‘The signs accompanying the Mahdi.’
Ultimately, the Mahdi is seen as being the redeemer of Islam or who some describe as being ‘The Islamic Messiah.’ He is highly anticipated in the same way many Christians anticipate the return of Jesus or in the same way Jews anticipate the appearance of the Jewish Messiah.
A Brief Summary of the Mahdi’s Future Accomplishments
We will be going over the prophecies pertaining to him in depth right after this post and compare them to the prophecies of the Antichrist but here is a brief list of some of the things he is expected to accomplish. If you are familiar with the Antichrist prophecies, some of the below may surprise you and you will be able to spot some of the similarities immediately:
1). Become the universal leader for all Muslims.
2). Will rule the non-Muslim world as well.
3). Conquer Israel.
4). Have his headquarters in Jerusalem.
5). Will make a seven year peace treaty with Israel.
6). Will rule for seven years (or possibly 8-9).
7). Discover the ark of the covenant and ancient biblical texts.
8). Cause only Islam to be the practiced religion.
9). Distribute wealth to the populace.
10). Be a powerful and unprecedented military and political leader.
11). Be given supernatural power from Allah over nature.
12). Arrive on the scene after a period of great turmoil.
13). Establish a new world order/government.
14). Will wage war against Jews and Christians.
The name Dajjal
Also known as:
The Liar or The Deceiver. His full title ‘Al-Maseeh Ad-Dajjal’ literally translates into ‘The Messiah Deceiver.’
A Brief Description
The Dajjal is by far the most perplexing figure in Islamic eschatology. Although much is written about him in the previously mentioned Hadith, he still remains a very mysterious figure. His main goal is to serve as the antagonist to the Mahdi and the Islamic version Jesus and will try to lead mankind away from Allah and from following the Mahdi and the Islamic version of Jesus.
Some descriptions of the Dajjal character include:
1). He will be a great deceiver.
2). Be one-eyed.
3). Perform false miracles.
4). Claims to be Jesus Christ and will claim to be divine.
5). Be of Jewish descent.
6). Is killed by the Islamic version of Jesus.
The Muslim Jesus.
The name Jesus
Also known as:
Isa, Eesa al-Maseeh, Hadrat Isa, Isa bin Maryam, or Nabi Isa.
Jesus, Jesus the Messiah, Honorable Jesus, Jesus son of May, or Prophet Jesus.
Important Note: For the remainder of this project in an effort to avoid confusion between Jesus of Christianity and Jesus of Islam, we will be using his Arabic name Isa when referring to the Islamic version of Jesus.
A Brief Description
Contrary to the Christian belief regarding Jesus, according to Islam, Isa was never crucified, was not the Son of God, was not divine, never experienced death, and was only a human prophet. The expected return of Isa is not remotely similar to what Christians expect with the return of Jesus. Instead, the character and actions of Isa are far more similar to the false prophet mentioned in Revelation.
A Brief Summary of Isa’ Future Accomplishments
1). He will be subordinate to the Mahdi.
2). Directs all attention off of himself and onto the Mahdi.
3). A devout Muslim.
4). Institutes Islamic Sharia Law.
5). Acts as a Muslim evangelist.
6). Abolishes Christianity.
7). Kills the Dajjal as well as his Jewish followers.
8). Persecute Christians and Jews and forces them to convert or face death.
9). Remains on earth approximately four years.
10). Marries and eventually dies.
In researching the Antichrist and the Islamic Mahdi it has been necessary to get an understanding of Islamic eschatology. Eschatology can be cryptic and difficult to understand within one’s own religion, much more so a foreign one. For a proper comparison of a prophetic figure, a basic understanding of chronology involved is in order. To that end I have endeavored to gain understanding of Islamic dispensationalism in comparison to Christian.
DISPENSATION — a period of time under which mankind is answerable to God for how it has obeyed the revelation of God that it has received. The term “dispensation” is found twice in the NKJV: “The dispensation of the fullness of the times” (Eph. 1:10) and “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2; administration, NIV). The KJV uses the term four times (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25).
Dispensationalism is a Christian theological view of history and Biblical interpretation that is held today by most conservative Protestants. It functions as an interpretive framework for understanding the flow of the Bible from cover to cover.
As a Christian dispensationalist, I believe all of history can be divided into several dispensations. According to my view, all of history has been pointing toward the Second Coming of Christ, when salvation will be made complete. Traditionally seven dispensations are commonly identified.
Innocence, from Creation to the Fall of Adam and Eve and God’s sending them out of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24);
Conscience, the covenant with Adam, ending with the judgment of the Flood (Genesis 9);
Human government, the covenant with Noah, extending to the time of Abraham;
Promise, from Abraham’s call (Gen. 12:1) to Moses;
Law, from the giving of the Law to Moses (Ex. 19:8, 20–31) to the death of Jesus Christ;
Grace, from the death and resurrection of Christ to His Second Coming;
Kingdom, the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth and the thousand-year reign of Christ over the nations.
A caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) is the political leadership of the Muslim nation. The Caliph is the head of state; based on him being a successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s political authority. This Hadith divides Islamic history into five distinct stages. It states that Al-Mahdi will live in the last period of Caliphs. Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman reported that the Messenger of Allah said,
“Prophethood (meaning himself) will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain, then Allah will raise it up wherever he wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood remaining with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, He will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a reign of violently oppressive [The reign of Muslim kings who are partially unjust] rule and it will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, there will be a reign of tyrannical rule and it will remain for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, Allah will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Then, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood.”
[As-Silsilah As-Sahihah, vol. 1, no. 5]
In this Hadith, the Messenger of Allah divided the history of the Muslim nation into the following stages:
The reign of the Prophet Muhammad
Reign of the rightly guided Caliphs. A Caliphate that rules according to the guidance revealed to the Messenger of Allah. These are the thirty years which the Messenger of Allah stated comprised the reign of the rightly guided Caliphs [“The Caliphate will remain in my nation after me for thirty years. Then, it will be a monarchy after that.” Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others, Sahih Al-Jami` ‘As-Saghir no. 3341].
The reign of unjust rule. This period represents a falling away from the “rightly guided” principles and lasts until the fall of the Ottoman State in the twentieth century. This period includes all states that ruled in the Muslim World during those centuries.
The reign of the tyrannical rule. This period started in the end of the Ottoman state and continues. This is the period Muslims believe they are in now. The tyrannical rule is that of all the governments of all non Muslim nations. Islam divides the entire world into to two camps: the House of Islam and the House of War. The House of Islam where the Muslim law and faith prevail. The House of War is one in which it is the duty of Muslims to bring to Islam by conversion or jihad. In the Muslim view our current dispensation is one where the righteous House of Islam is under the tyranny of the unrighteous House of War.
The return of a Caliphate that rules following the guidance of the Prophet. This is the golden age that is to be brought in by the Mahdi. There is considerable controversy between the Shiites and Sunnis on the particulars of the Mahdi. The Sunnis believe that Al-Mahdi will be an ordinary man, born to ordinary women raised by ordinary men and living an ordinary life with the people of his time. He will not live in caves, as the Shiites believe. The Shiites are waiting for their Mahdi to appear from an alleged cave, where they claim he has been in hiding for over ten centuries.
Islam claims to be a further revelation of the Abrahamic faiths so a set point of Abraham is appropriate for our endeavor. That would juxtapose the Christian dispensation of Promise, (Abraham’s call to Moses) with the reign of Muhammad. It follows that we would pair Law, (from the giving of the Law to Moses to the death of Jesus Christ) with the Reign of the rightly guided Caliphs. Now here is where it really starts to get interesting the current Christian era is called Grace, where its Islamic equivalent is The Reign of the Tyrannical Rule. Now that is quite a provocative contrast to say the least. Yet there are some striking parallels. Christians believe this will resolve with the return of Jesus Christ as a warrior to overthrow a tyrannical Antichrist government and all opposing faiths such as Islam juxtaposed with the Islamic belief that the Mahdi will be a warrior that overthrows Western democracies establishing world wide Sharia law and abolishing the religions of Christianity and Judaism among all others. Of course on the Christian side this will usher in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, for the Muslim the Rise of worldwide Islam.
Taking both traditions at face value while granting them both the benefit of a doubt, I will explore how these dispensations and the concurrence of certain details logically infers an eschatological sequence of events. It is within the reconciliation of the two dispensational outlooks that the figure of the Antichrist and the figure of the Mahdi begin to be revealed.
Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1995).
As-Silsilah As-Sahihah, vol. 1, no. 5