Portents of Jesus’ (pbuh) Second Coming
Many portents revealed in the Qur'an and the Prophetic hadiths, as well as various statements made by Islamic scholars, indicate that Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return is drawing nigh. In addition, the Bible contains information about the period before Doomsday and Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming. All of the events related in these sources indicate this blessed event's nearness.
Signs of the Last Day
What are they awaiting but for the Hour to come upon them suddenly? Its Signs have already come. What good will their Reminder be to them when it does arrive? (Surah Muhammad, 47:18)
As the above verse indicates, God has revealed some of Doomsday's signs in the Qur'an. In Surat az-Zukhruf 43:61, God informs us that "He [Jesus] is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it…" In a hadith, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said:
Doomsday will not take place until Jesus son of Mary (pbuh) comes as a fair ruler and a just imam. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
As both the Qur'an and the hadiths relate that Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is a sign of Doomsday's approach, other portents need to be regarded as signs indicating that his second coming is drawing nigh.
Therefore, the following pages will analyze these portents, as mentioned in the Qur'an and the prophetic hadiths, as signs of his second coming. As we examine these portents, we will see that many of them have taken place consecutively.
Mutually Supported Messengers
When we look at what the Qur'an says about previous prophets, we see that God supported many of them with other prophets, or at least with His servants possessed of knowledge.
Prophet Moses (pbuh) sought help from God, Who replied to him:
He [God] said: "We will reinforce you with your brother [Harun] and by Our Signs. We will give you both authority, so that they will not be able to lay a hand on you. You and those who follow you will be the victors." (Surat al-Qasas, 28:35)
When we look at his life, we see that God also supported Prophet Moses (pbuh) with other servants. For example:
Remember when Moses said to his young servant: "I will not give up until I reach the meeting-place of the two seas, even if I must press on for many years." (Surat al-Kahf, 18:60)
They found a servant of Ours to whom We had granted mercy from Us, and to whom We had also given knowledge direct from Us. Moses said to him: "May I follow you on the condition that you teach me some of the right guidance you have been taught?" (Surat al-Kahf, 18:65-66)
God also supported Prophet Abraham (pbuh) with Prophet Lot (pbuh), who came to believe in Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) message:
He [Abraham] said: "You have adopted idols apart from God as tokens of mutual affection in this world. But on the Day of Rising, you will reject one another and curse one another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no helpers." And Lot believed in him. He said: "I am leaving this place to follow the pleasure of my Lord. He is the Almighty, the All Wise." (Surat al-`Ankabut, 29:25-26)
We can see another example in Prophet Mohammed's (may God bless him and grant him peace) life:
If you do not help him [it does not matter, for] God helped him when the unbelievers drove him out and there were two of them in the cave. He said to his companion: "Do not be despondent. God is with us." Then God sent down His serenity upon him and reinforced him with troops whom you could not see. He made the word of unbelief the lowest … (Surat at-Tawba, 9:40)
God also supported Prophet David (pbuh) with a servant. The Qur'an tells us about Prophet David (pbuh) and Saul, who was sent as a king, in the following verses:
Their Prophet said to them [the Children of Israel]: "God has appointed Saul to be your king." They said: "How can he have kingship over us when we have much more right to kingship than he does? He does not even have much wealth!" He said: "God has chosen him over you and favored him greatly in knowledge and physical strength. God gives kingship to anyone He wills. God is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing." (Surat al-Baqara, 2:247)
When Saul marched out with the army, he said: "God will test you with a river. Anyone who drinks from it is not with me. But anyone who does not taste it is with me – except for him who merely scoops up a little in his hand." But they drank from it – except for a few of them. Then when he and those who believed with him had crossed it, they said: "We do not have the strength to face Goliath and his troops today." But those who were sure that they were going to meet God said: "How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by God's permission! God is with the steadfast." When they came out against Goliath and his troops, they said:
"Our Lord, pour down steadfastness upon us, make our feet firm, and help us against this unbelieving people." And with God's permission, they routed them. David killed Goliath, and God gave him kingship and wisdom and taught him whatever He willed… (Surat al-Baqara, 2:249-51)
In other verses, our Lord relates that He gave knowledge to Prophet David (pbuh) and Prophet Solomon (pbuh), and that Prophet Solomon (pbuh) became Prophet David's (pbuh) heir:
We gave knowledge to David and Solomon, who said: "Praise be to God, Who has favored us over many of His servants who are believers." Solomon was David's heir. He said: "O humanity, we have been taught the speech of birds and we have been given everything. This is indeed clear favor." (Surat an-Naml, 27:15-16)
As we have seen thus far, God has, from time to time, supported His Messengers with others. Our Lord will also support Prophet Jesus (pbuh) with a holy individual. According to the prophetic hadiths, this person will be the Mahdi.
The word "Mahdi" means "he who leads to the truth." Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) states that God will send a servant to do away with the chaos that will emerge during the End Times and to lead people to salvation. The prophetic hadiths tell us when and where he will appear, what he will do, and that he will act together with Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
There are a number of prophetic hadiths about this, some of which read as follows:
"What will you do when the son of Mary (pbuh) descends among you and leads as one amongst you?" (Sahih Muslim)
A section of my people will not cease fighting for the truth and will prevail until the Day of Resurrection. He said: "Jesus son of Mary will then descend and their [the Muslims'] commander will invite him to come and lead them in prayer. But he will say: 'No, some among you are commanders over some [among you.]'" (Sahih Muslim)
Some Muslim scholars have written detailed expositions saying, in effect, that the Mahdi and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will act together. Some of these read as follows:
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rasul Barzanji:
The existence of the Mahdi and his appearance during the End Times, and his being of the family of our Prophet and of the sons of Fatima, has been stated in hadiths that have the status of mutawatir, and it is meaningless to reject these hadiths… (Al-Isha‘ah li Ashrat al-Sa‘ah, p. 192)
In another hadith, our Prophet spoke thus: "The Companions of the Cave will be the helpmates of Jesus." Jesus will descend to Earth at the time of the Mahdi. The Mahdi will join with Jesus to destroy the Antichrist (Dajjal). During the time of his rule, the Sun will be eclipsed on the fourteenth day of Ramadan, and during the first part of that day, the Moon will grow dark. These occurrences will be contrary to custom and the astrologers' calculations." (Maktubat [Letters of Rabbani], vol. 2, p. 380; Maktubat [Letters of Rabbani], pp. 1162-63)
The Mahdi will appear shortly before Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and wage an intellectual struggle within the Islamic world. He will bring those Muslims who have strayed from Islam's essence back to true faith and moral values. According to the Hadith literature, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will primarily address the Christians and the Jews, free them from their superstitions, and call them to live by the Qur'an. As Christians abide by Prophet Jesus (pbuh), the Muslim and Christian worlds will come together in a single faith. As a result, the world will enjoy a period of peace, security, happiness, and well-being known as the "Golden Age."
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami also states that the Mahdi will appear shortly before Prophet Jesus (pbuh):
The Mahdi will be the middle of this community, and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) the end. The reference to the middle means that the Mahdi will come shortly before Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is described as the end because he will come immediately after. (Ibn Hajar Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 24)
Therefore, all of these demonstrate that the portents regarding the Mahdi's coming also indicate the second coming of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh). In the following sections, we will examine how the Mahdi's appearance portends the good news of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming.
Those Who Oppose The Messengers
In the Qur'an, God revealed the following: "In this way, We have assigned to every Prophet an enemy from among the evildoers …" (Surat al-Furqan, 25:31).
Thus, given that God's Messengers have always been opposed, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) also will face enemies when he comes again. At the head of those enemies, of course, will be the one who leads the deniers and "plots evil actions" (Surat an-Nah, 16:45).
The prophetic hadiths describe that individual as the Dajjal (Antichrist), a word that in Arabic means "liar; fraud; one who confuses hearts and minds, good with evil, divine religion with superstition; who conceals the true face of things; and a trouble-maker and accursed person who wanders everywhere." The Dajjal, the name given to a great negative power, will appear in the End Times. The hadiths usually portray the Dajjal as a person; however, it may also refer to an ideology that tends toward violence and oppression and that has devilish characteristics.
In the end times, when extraordinary events will take place, the Dajjal – one of the fiercest deniers of all time – will be the enemy of God's Messenger and will seek to install a satanic system. In fact, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) has described the enormity of the tribulation caused by the Dajjal in these terms:
"Since the birth of Adam (pbuh) until the advent of the Last Hour, there is no fitna [tribulation] much greater than that of the Dajjal." (Sahih Muslim)
Other prophetic hadiths refer to the Dajjal as one of the major portents of Doomsday:
"It [Doomsday] will not come until you see ten signs before," and [in this connection] he mentioned the smoke, the Dajjal, the Beast [Dabbat al-Ard], the Sun's rising in the west, the descent of Jesus son of Mary… (Sahih Muslim)
Great Muslim scholars have reported as a certain fact that the Dajjal will come to Earth before Doomsday. Abu Hanifa, for instance, states:
The appearance of the Dajjal, Gog and Magog, the Sun rising in the west, the descent of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) from the sky, and other portents of Doomsday are true and inevitable as sahih [authentic] news. (Abu Hanifa, Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar)
God will use Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to defeat the Dajjal, who will appear at the same time as the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and the Mahdi. As our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) has informed us, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will kill the Dajjal and thereby usher in a holy period during which Islam's moral values will hold sway over the Earth. One hadith regarding the slaying of the Dajjal says:
When the Dajjal faces him [Jesus], he [the Dajjal] will begin to dissolve like salt in water. He [Jesus] will say to him:"I have to deal you a blow;you cannot escape." So Jesus will kill him with his spear at the gate of Ludd, and he will die there. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
In his works, the great Muslim scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi devotes considerable space to the End Times and Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return. He stresses the fact that when Prophet Jesus (pbuh) returns, he will wage a great struggle with the Dajjal, the representative of atheism, and defeat him. Some of Bediuzzaman's statements on this subject read:
Moreover, in the world of humanity, with the intention of denying the Godhead, the secret society of the Antichrist (Dajjal) will overturn civilization and subvert all of mankind's sacred matters. A zealous and self-sacrificing community, known as a Christian community but worthy of being called "Muslim Christians," will work to unite the true religion of Jesus (pbuh) with the reality of Islam, and will kill and rout that society of the Antichrist, thus saving humanity from atheism. (Bediuzzaman, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Letters, 29th Letter)
… "He will be so powerful and long-lived that only Jesus (pbuh) will be able to kill him (the Antichrist); nothing else will be able to." That is, it will only be a revealed, elevated, pure religion that will be able to overturn his way and rapacious regime, and eliminate them. Such a religion will emerge among the true followers of Jesus (pbuh), and it will follow the Qur'an and become united with it. On the coming of Jesus (pbuh) and the emergence of the true Christian religion, the Antichrist's irreligious way will be wiped out and will cease. The Antichrist's person could otherwise be killed by a mere germ or by influenza. (Bediuzzaman, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Rays, Fifth ray, Fifth point)
What Bediuzzaman calls the "true Christian religion" is none other than Islam. This becomes more apparent when his other explanations are considered. Indeed, the hadiths also inform us that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will rule with the Qur'an, eliminate the superstitious beliefs of Christianity, and gather humanity under a single religion: the morality of Islam.
As can be seen from all of these statements, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and the Dajjal will be on the Earth at the same time. For that reason, just as with the portents of Doomsday and the Mahdi's coming, the portents regarding the Dajjal also foretell Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming. In the following sections, we shall study the portents of the Dajjal in some detail, as they also indicate that Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return is close at hand.
Statements in the Torah and the Bible
So far, we have only looked at the Islamic sources, which contain a great deal of information about the End Times. No matter how corrupted their texts may be, however, the Torah and the Bible still contain some good news about Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return. Even if we cannot be completely sure of their accuracy, it is useful to bear in mind those that are compatible with the Qur'an and the prophetic hadiths, for there is a strong likelihood that all such statements that are compatible with those in the Islamic sources have kept their original form.
The name of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) does not appear in the Old Testament, although we are told that a savior, a Messiah, will come from the line of Prophet David (pbuh). The Jews refused to accept that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was sent to the Children of Israel, and so rejected him. Thus, they are still waiting for their "Messiah-savior" to come. Moreover, the Old Testament also contains some references to the End Times.
The New Testament, on the other hand, contains a great many statements on these subjects, especially of the second coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and its signs. These statements describe the natural events that will mark the times before and after his second coming. Most of the portents are set out in some detail in the prophetic hadiths as coming about in our day in a more striking manner than in any earlier time. It is important to realize that not just one or two of the signs are appearing in our day, but that just about all of them, one after the other, are doing so. Thus we can say, based particularly on
Islamic sources but also on the Old Testament and the New Testament, that we are living in the End Times.
The following sections contain extracts from the Old and New Testaments, both of which refer to the End Times and point to Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming.