The Blessed Period of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)
Throughout this book, we have related that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will come again and explained the closeness and signs of this event based on the Qur'anic verses, the hadiths of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), the explanations of Islamic scholars, and the explanations of various Biblical verses.
The Qur'an relates that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was taken to God's sight and informs us about his second coming with various signs. As our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) relates in his hadith, "I swear by God that Jesus will most definitely return. And he will return as a just judge and as a fair ruler..." (Sahih Muslim) and many similar ones, Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) mission during his second coming and the characteristics of this period are related with many clear and detailed examples. Moreover, they leave no room for doubt and are in accord with the developments of our own time. Indeed, for centuries, Islamic scholars have made very important comments regarding this event and have conveyed the type of environment that will exist during the End Times. The Bible also contains very clear descriptions of his second coming. For example, the Messiah will prevail over Earth: ... the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people." (Daniel 2:44); "... This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1: 11)
It is striking that the revelations sent to the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims to guide the faithful concur on Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming. Although the Torah and the revelation given to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) were distorted, they include many explanations that agree with the Qur'an. It is possible that these explanations have been handed down to our time from the periods of their original revelation. (God knows best.)
If all of these signs and events are analyzed carefully, it becomes clear that only 15-20 years remain until Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return. Maybe he has come already. This is a great news for humanity, and a source of great joy and zeal.
We need to keep in mind that Prophet Jesus (pbuh), a holy Messenger of God who was blessed with a miraculous birth, infancy, and life, also was honored with propethood. With the verse "... high esteem in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near" (Surah Al `Imran, 3:45), God gives the good news of Paradise to this blessed Prophet (pbuh). For this reason, humanity must do its best to greet him upon his second coming. Even a person of limited means prepares for an ordinary guest several days before he comes by cleaning his house, thinking of ways to make his guest as comfortable as possible, and anticipating all of his needs. But given that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) cannot be compared to any other guest, humanity must welcome this all-glorious Prophet (pbuh) who will very soon honor the Earth with his presence in the best way possible.
The second coming of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is a great blessing for humanity and a favor of our Lord. When he comes, he will immediately attract attention with his innocent, very clean and shining face, and very purposeful, wise, and pertinent speeches. For the first time in their lives, people will meet a blessed Prophet (pbuh)of the highest human characteristics. Just as his birth, life, his being taken unto God's sight, his second coming and the life he will lead after that will, by God's Will, abound in miracles. All of humanity will adore his moral excellence and his unprecedented wisdom. Every word he utters, each movement he makes, and every decision he takes will be for a purpose and pertinent, and by God's inspiration.
All people, especially believing Christians and believing Muslims, have to prepare for this event with great zeal, excitement, and enthusiasm. Those who do not prepare are making a great mistake, for this indicates their lack of true belief. No one, who has faith in God's verses, and is aware of world developments and the signs of the Hereafter, can decide not to prepare for this blessed visitor. Or, after saying "I have faith in Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming," one cannot decide to make preparations later, for when that blessed period comes, no one of conscience will be able to offer an acceptable excuse for his or her lack of preparation. Saying that 15-20 years is a long time, is a very flawed way of thinking. They will see those years pass as quickly as 15-20 days, and thus regret their lack of preparation. Every one needs to keep in mind that for those living in the 1970s, the 1980s and 1990s seemed very far in the future. But time passed very quickly, and the 2000s came in a blink of an eye.
We can understand how to prepare ourselves from the Qur'an, the sayings of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), and the interpretations of such great Islamic scholars as Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. The most important stage of this preparation is the ideological struggle against all anti-religious systems.
As Bediuzzaman indicates, all believers have to unite in an ideological struggle against such atheist ideologies as Darwinism and materialism, which distance people from religion's morality, and make a common effort to eliminate them. To achieve this goal, a worldwide preparation has to be made before Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return. Indeed, as the hadiths reveal, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will fight against all ideologies of unbelief. Bediuzzaman also said that since Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will act with God's revelation, all of his decisions will be pertinent and he will eliminate all irreligious systems. (The Letters, p. 6)
We need to remember that Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is a metaphysical and miraculous event that will affect the entire world. There will be worldwide radical changes in the social and political spheres, and the world will unite around him. Thus, all Christians and Muslims must prepare to host him in the best way possible. The best common action will be the one undertaken by those Christians and Muslims who are wholeheartedly devoted to God; who believe in Him, seek only His approval, submit themselves to Him, and glorify Him; and who essentially have the same values.
Obviously, this means that Muslims and Christians need to treat one another with tolerance, love, understanding, and peace. People need to end conflict, prejudice, and misunderstanding, for there is no time to lose.
How Can We Recognize Prophet Jesus (pbuh)?
Sincere believers will find it very easy to identify Prophet Jesus (pbuh). As we mentioned earlier, his characteristics and superior wisdom will set him apart from all other people. In brief, he will introduce himself through his actions; defeat all systems of unbelief, as well as those that distance people from religion's morality, through an ideological struggle; and ruin their adherents' plots and games.
By God's Will, he also will perform many miracles, show that God's religion is just, and prove that the followers of God always will be superior. As a result, he will be a means to manifestate the verse:
"As for those who make God their friend, and His Messenger and those who believe: it is the party of God who are victorious!" (Surat al-Ma'ida, 5:56).
Another indication of his identity will be the absence of any relatives or any one who knows him. This is an important characteristic that will distinguish him from all other self-proclaimed messiahs, for as we explained earlier, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) came into existence without a father, by the command of God:
"Be." God likens his situation to the creation of Prophet Adam (pbuh):
The likeness of Jesus in God's sight is the same as Adam. He created him from earth and then He said to him, "Be!" and he was. (Surah Al `Imran, 3:59)
As God mentions in the verse above, neither Prophet Adam (pbuh) nor Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was born in the normal manner: Prophet Adam (pbuh) had no parents, and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) only had Mary (pbuh), his mother. But when he comes again, everyone who knew him, including his mother, will have been dead for many centuries. For this reason, it will be quite easy to distinguish him from all fake messiahs, for it is very unreasonable for a person who has been known to others for a long period of time to make such a claim.
The Good News of the Golden Age
In many of his sayings, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) draws attention to a period when Islam's morality will prevail, when Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and the Mahdi will be on Earth, and the Qur'an's moral values will prevail: The Golden Age. This period will be very similar to the time of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) and, since he used the characteristics of Paradise to depict this period, it is called the Golden Age.
In the previous sections, we dealt with the suffering and hardship that people will experience during the first phase of the End Times. Just after these events, which are also the signs of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) coming, the Golden Age will come. This is great news for everyone, for this period will be characterized by the abundance of every type of goods and crops; the establishment of security, justice, peace, and happiness; and the use of advanced technology for humanity's comfort, ease, joy, and peace. No one will be in need, for all goods and services will be available to meet their needs. Many hadiths say that "weapons will be silenced," and thus herald a world filled with peace. In the Golden Age, enemy nations will become brothers and sisters and re-establish peace, friendship, and love among their leaders and peoples.
Technology will reach its peak, and people will receive its fullest benefits. Medicine, agriculture, communication, transportation, and industry will undergo remarkable development, and people will continuously witness new discoveries leading to further advances. Overall, the pace of discovery will accelerate.
The arts will flourish, and the broad horizons and deep thinking granted by faith in God will advance all branches of art. Such a spirit will enable people to produce glamorous works of music, theater, and painting. According to one hadith, people will be so content that they will spend their days with no idea as to how time passes and how one day turns into the next. They will pray to God to prolong their lives in order to receive more benefits from these graces.
Another Prophetic hadith states:
… the younger ones wish they were grown-ups, while the adults wish they were younger… The good become even more good, and the wicked ones are treated well. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 17)
Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) also gives the following good news:
Unprecedented Abundance in the Golden Age
There will be at the end of my people a khalifa who will apportion out wealth, and he will not count it. (Olum-Kiyamet-Ahiret ve Ahirzaman Alametleri [Death-Doomsday-Hereafter and the Signs of the End Times], p. 433)
In the End Times there will be a khalifa [successor] who will distribute wealth without even counting it. (Sahih Muslim)
The land will reveal the treasures within. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 45)
The land will turn like the silver tray growing vegetation... (Sunan Ibn Majah)
The son of Mary [Jesus (pbuh)] will return and kill the Antichrist. Then you will live for 40 years in prosperity. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 90)
Everywhere food will cook in pots, unseen prosperity will dominate, and material wealth will be disregarded. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 66)
The reason for Jesus [pbuh] to abandon charity is: There are no needy poor people in want of charity left. (Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 10, p. 339)
Even without the plough, the produce of wheat would multiply seven hundred times, one mudd [a measure of wheat] becoming 700 mudd. (Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti)
Then the land will be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing and, as a result thereof, there will grow [such a big] pomegranate that a group of people [between 10 and 40 people] will be able to eat it and seek shelter under its skin. Milk cows will give so much milk that a whole party will be able to drink. And the milk given by camels will be such [a large quantity] milk that the whole tribe will be able to drink of it. And the sheep will give so much milk that the whole family will be able to drink of that… (Sahih Muslim)
The High Cost of Living and Poverty Will End
... And wealth will be so abundant that no one will accept it. (Sahih Bukhari)
The Hour will not be established until wealth will be in abudance – so abundant that a wealthy person will worry lest nobody accept his Zakat, and whenever he will present it to someone, that person will say, "I am not in need of it." (Sahih Bukhari)
Then will my Ummah be blessed, the number of animals will increase, and the land will bear its fruits. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 26)
Definitely possessions will be in abundance then, flowing like water. Yet no one will [condescend] to take any (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 464.)
Earth will Fill with Peace, and Chaos and Trouble Will End
Like the cup fills with water, so will Earth fill with peace. There will be no enmity left between any people. All hostility, fighting, and envy will disappear. (Sahih Muslim)
The warriors will abandon their weight [weapons and kits]. (Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 10, p. 334)
The soldiers put down their weighs [their weapons, etc.]. (Olum-Kiyamet-Ahiret ve Ahirzaman Alametleri [Death-Doomsday-Hereafter and The Signs of the End Times], p. 496)
Spite, mutual hatred, and jealousy against one another will certainly disappear. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
No other [religion] will be accepted…, religion will be united. Nothing and nobody but God will be worshipped. Since there will be no one left to accept charity, it will be abandoned. Treasures and discoveries will be discovered. People, knowing the proximity of Judgment Day, will no longer crave material wealth. And since there will be no reasons for enmity and crossness, they will be no more...
Poisonous creatures will do away with their poison, and children will play with scorpions and snakes. They will not harm the children. The wolf will graze with the sheep and not harm them. The world will fill with peace and contentment, and combat and fighting, warfare and attacks, will disappear. The world's vegetation will be returned to its state at Adam's [pbuh] time. One branch of grapes will satiate a group of people, horses will be freed, and there will be no need for oxen, because the fields will plant themselves... (Muhammad ibn `Abd ar-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, pp. 242-43)
Jesus [pbuh] will live as a just judge, a fair imam, and leader among my people. He will destroy the cross [of the Christians], kill the pig, lift the jizyah tax, and abandon charity when no one desires more sheep or camels. All enmity and hostility will cease, Earth's face will be like a silver plate, and vegetation will be plentiful again, just like at Adam's [pbuh] time. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 496)
After that, he will rule with justice, break the cross, kill swine, abolish the jizya, and abandon charity. No tax collector will be after sheep or camels. Enmity and hatred between people will cease. Scorpions and snakes will not be poisonous, and even children will play snakes without being bitten. The girl will try to chase away the lion, but it will not harm the child. Wolves will be among sheep like sheepdogs. The world will fill with religious unity like the cup fills with water. Nobody but God will be worshipped. Nothing will be left of warfare and conflict. The rule of the Quraysh tribe will end, and Earth's face will be like a silver plate. Vegetation will be plentiful again like at Adam's [pbuh] time. One branch of grapes will satiate a group of people. A pomegranate will satiate a group of people, the price of an ox will be small, and a few coins will buy a horse. Someone asked: "Oh God's Messenger (may God bless him and grant him peace), why will horses be cheap?" [He replied:] "As there will be no war, there will be no demand." [It was asked:] "Why will oxen be so expensive?" [He replied:] "Because all of the land will be arable and oxen will be needed." (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Then he will live for 40 years. No one will die during his time. People will say [go and graze] to their sheep and animals, and they will go. Even though they will pass through crops, they will not feed off one ear of grain. Snakes and scorpions will not harm anyone, and predators will stand by the doors and not hurt people... (Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti)
Jesus [pbuh] will kill the Dajjal. Then the Earth will become safe so that lions may graze with camels; tigers with cows, wolves with sheep; and so that children may play with snakes without being harmed. (Ibn Ahmad Hanbal)
Prophet Jesus (pbuh) Will Not Bring a New Religion
He will lead as you for 40 years according to the Book of your Lord and the sunnah of your Apostle, and then die. (Sahih Muslim)
Jesus [pbuh] will not come to the people of Mohammed as a Prophet, but to practice the religion of Mohammed… (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 68)
Jesus (pbuh) will descend and will practice our Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) law. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 1309)
He will judge by the law of Mohammed, will adhere to a Prophet even though he is one himself, and will belong to the people of Mohammed… He will be the people of the Prophet, and he will be the most devoted among them… (Muhammad ibn `Abd ar-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li- -Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 243)
No Prophet shall come during the period between me [Mohammed] and Jesus (pbuh). And Jesus [pbuh] shall descend. Recognize him when you see him: A man of medium height and of a ruddy, fair complexion. He will be dressed in two pieces of a yellow garment. The hair of his head will appear as if water is trickling out of it, although his hair will not be wet. He will fight for the cause of Islam... And Jesus (pbuh) will kill the Antichrist [Dajjal]. He will live on this Earth for a period of 40 years and, at the end of this period, will pass away. The Muslims will offer the funeral prayers of Jesus [pbuh]. (Ibn Ahmad Hanbal, Musnad)