Signs of Jesus’ (pbuh) Second Coming
The Signs from the Islamic Resources 3
24. The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks
There will be a peace agreement in Bayt al-Maqdis. (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, vol. 3, p. 184)
Bayt al-Maqdis is the name of Masjid al-Aqsa. This hadith may well indicate that an agreement will be reached in Jerusalem. For the last 50 years, Palestine has been consumed by fighting and tension. An important step toward bringing peace and security to this region was taken during the 1993 peace negotiations in Oslo. No matter how unjust some of the decisions were, and although some could not be fully implemented, the fact that the two sides did reach agreement on specific issues was an important development. In 2003, peace negotiations between the two sides continue, particularly with the American "Road Map" initiative.
25. An Embargo against Iraq and Damascus
“It may happen that the people of Iraq may not send their qafiz and dirhams [their measures of food-stuff and their money].” We said:” Who would be responsible for it?” He said: “The non-Arabs would prevent them.” He again: “There is the possibility that the people of Syria may not send their dinar and mudd.” We said: “Who would be responsible for it?” He said: “This prevention would be made by the Romans.” (Sahih Muslim)
Abu Hurayra relates: "The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: ‘The time will come neither a dirhams nor a qafiz will be given to Iraq. Its mudd and dinar will also not be given to Sham. Its irdab and dinar will also not be given to Egypt. You will return to the point from which you started.’" (Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawud)
The embargos imposed upon Iraq and Damascus are signs of the End Times. For more than a decade, Iraq has endured embargos. Meanwhile, there exists the possibility of placing an embargo upon Syria.
26. The Restructuring of Iraq
Doomsday will not come until Iraq is attacked. Innocent people in Iraq will seek shelter in Sham. Sham will be rebuilt, and Iraq will be rebuilt. (Muntakhab Kanz al`Ummal, vol. 5, p. 254)
The hadith draws attention to the reconstruction of Iraq. Many Iraqi cities were reduced to rubble during the Iran-Iraq war, and then again during the two Gulf wars of 1991 and 2003. After this latest war, Iraq’s rebuilding became compulsory because so much of it had been ruined. Looting also contributed to this situation. This appeared in newspapers, as follows:
27. Iraqis Flee to Damascus and the North
The innocent and clean people of Iraq will flee to Sham. (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, p. 210)
Immediately before the outbreak of the latest Gulf war, tens of thousands of Iraqis sought to migrate to other countries, especially Syria. This bears a great similarity to the event described in the hadith. News and pictures about this attempted migration appeared in the media.
28. Fitna in Damascus
The tribulation in Sham will calm down on the one hand and flare up again on another. This corruption will not end until an angel from the sky calls: “The Mahdi is your leader. The Mahdi is your caliph.” (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, p. 63)
The hadith indicates that there will be terrible chaos in Sham before the Mahdi appears. This refers to the chaos developing in Syria.
As we mentioned earlier, however, “Sham” means “the left” and refers to those countries to the left of the Hijaz.
During the early years of the twentieth century, civil wars, rebellions, conflict and great wars were already raging in this region. These conflicts triggered one another and had a great impact upon all of the people living there. The statement “This tribulation … will calm down on the one hand and flare up again on another” is noteworthy in this regard: Over the last fifty years, several major events occurred in this region, among them the Suez War, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Lebanese civil war, and the ongoing tension in Palestine.
29. Chaos in Damascus, Iraq, and Arabia
Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: “There will be such troubles and calamities that nobody will be able to find a place of shelter. These woes will move around Sham, fall upon Iraq, and tie the hands and feet of the Arabian Peninsula. The community of Islam will fight against troubles in the steppes. Nobody will feel any sympathy for them or even say: “Alas!” As they try to remedy their woes on the one hand, they will emerge again on the other.” (Muntakhab Kanz al-`Ummal, vol. 5, pp. 38-39)
The expression, “The woes will move around Sham, fall upon Iraq” may well indicate the Second Gulf war in 2003. Before and during this war, there was always the possibility of extending the war to Syria, although the war remained limited to Iraq.
30. The Division of Iraq into Three Parts
According to our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), the people of Iraq will be divided into three groups. One part will join the looters. One group will flee, leaving their families behind. And one group will fight and kill. Prepare yourselves for Doomsday when you see this. (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar)
Another sign of the End Times is the division of the Iraqi people into three. As the hadith relates, some Iraqis will join the “looters.” Indeed, at the end of the war, some Iraqis took advantage of the loss of authority and engaged in looting. In fact, some of these people stole and looted, acts that can be defined as “pillaging.” The hadith informs us that some people would try so hard to escape that they would not even think about the families they would leave behind.
The hadith also tells that some people would fight and be killed. During this latest Gulf war, some Iraqis fought and died.
"The division of Iraq into three," as is related in the hadith’s first part, also came true after the first Gulf War in 1991, when the country was divided into the following regions: between the 32th and 36th parallels, south of the 32th parallel, and north of the 36th parallel.
31. War in the Streets
“Between the Tigris and the Euphrates, a city will be built where the children of Abbas will reign. It is called Zawra [Baghdad]…” “O Rasul al-Akram, the leader of believers, why is it called Zawra?” “It is called Zawra because the war surrounds it, expanding to the borders.” (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 426, no. 776)
You do not see for I am seeing the places of turmoil between your houses as the places of rainfall. (Sahih Muslim; Doomsday: Portents&Prophecis; p. 84)
Guerilla warfare became widespread in the twentieth century. The ensuing conflicts often take place in streets and between houses. The most recent example occurred in Baghdad in 2003. Indeed, the first hadith above relates that a war will expand to all the corners of Baghdad. The events of the latest Gulf war and the related news reported by the media confirm the news foretold in the hadiths. (God knows best.)
32. A War between Muslims and Jews
The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims fight against the Jews… (Sahih Muslim)
By the beginning of the twentieth century, conflicts between Arab Muslims and Jews were characterized by terrorism and violence. Toward the end of the First World War, the Ottoman Empire disintegrated and Palestine, until then an Ottoman Arab territory, was placed under the administration of Great Britain. Failing to bring peace to a land ravaged by violence, Great Britain finally turned the problem over to the UN in 1947. The UN proposed that Palestine be partitioned into two independent states so that the Jews could have a homeland. This was the first Jewish state in 19 centuries.
Arabs in Palestine and the surrounding countries sought to change this situation, and in 1948 a bloody war broke out between them and Israel. Israel, which proclaimed its independence that same year, then violated the UN plan by occupying a large portion of Palestine. All that was left for the Palestinians was the west part of the Jordan River (the West Bank) and some land surrounding Gaza city (the Gaza Strip).
During June 1967, Israel carried out a massive invasion. Egypt, Syria, and Jordan had been making preparations to attack Israel for months when, in a sudden counter-attack, Israel launched the war on the morning of June 5. Israel jets flew over the Mediterranean Sea for a while and then suddenly turned toward Egypt. Egypt, which had prepared for an Israeli air attack from the east instead of from the north, was caught off guard and saw the majority of its air force destroyed before the pilots could get their planes in the air. Within 5 days, the Israeli army defeated the Arab armies one after another. Within 6 days, Israel roughly tripled its size. The invaded, and now occupied lands included the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights (part of Syria), and Egypt’s giant Sinai Peninsula.
Israel also occupied East Jerusalem. After the 1948 war, Jerusalem had been divided into East and West Jerusalem. West Jerusalem, the modern part of the city, and it was held by Israel; East Jerusalem, the Old City and location of many religious shrines, was held by Jordan. After the 1967 War, Israel controlled both parts of Jerusalem, and the Wailing Wall, which has become Israel’s national symbol, came under Jewish control for the first time in 19 centuries.
Nasser, who strengthened his army with Soviet weapons, denied the ceasefire that ended the Six Days War in in March 1969, in order to regain the land to Egypt, which were lost in April 1968. He also initiated a months-long mild “war of attrition.” Attacks on Israeli targets were finally ended by heavy Israeli artillery bombardment of and air attacks on the cities along the Suez Canal. This development caused Egypt to sign another ceasefire agreement with Israel.
During the Yom Kippur feast of 6 October 1973, Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a sudden attack against Israel. Crossing the Suez Canal, the Egyptian army entered the Israeli-occupied Sinai Peninsula and started to cross the Bar-Lev Line, a supposed “impassable” border established after the 1967 War. Meanwhile, Syria moved forward on the Golan Heights. The Israeli army was taken completely by surprise. Soldiers attending Yom Kippur services in synagogues were sent headlong to the various fronts. Israeli radio, meanwhile, broke its traditional Yom Kippur silence and sounded the alarm.
At the expense of considerable loss of life, the Israel Defense Forces (Zahal) stopped the Arab forces on 9 October with their conventional forces. Soon, the Syrian army’s progress on Golan Heights was also ended. Meanwhile Egypt, by now having a stronger army and reinforced by its strategic position, engaged in a long and bloody tank battle. According to the general opinon, Washington’s rapid arms support to Israel that began on the second day of the war enabled Israel to win.
On 26 October, Israel began to drive the Arabs out of the territories that they had recently recaptured. Meanwhile, the threat of Israel being driven into sea was over. Yet this was not a victory for Israel, for in just a few days the two Arab armies had inflicted a severe toll on the nation: 2,700 dead in a small country with a population of little more than 3 million.
Following this psychological shock, the Israeli government took a step back. Israel agreed to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and in 1979 Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Peace Agreement. Yet, this agreement and all subsequent ones have failed to bring peace to the region. The conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis continues, albeit with short intervals of peace.
33. The Killing of Innocent Children
When an innocent child of the community of Muhammad is killed, an angel from the sky will cry: “God is with him [the Mahdi] and with those who are with him.” (Muhammad bin Ali Sabban, Ishaf ar-Raghibin, p. 154)
One sign of the End Times is the murder of innocent children. We have seen this on a massive scale in recent years. Young African children are being forced to participate in the civil wars wracking that continent, and their merciless murders can be considered as one of these examples. Another region where children are being targeted is Palestine. Between 2002-03, more than 500 children were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. During the latest Gulf War, Iraqi maternity hospitals were bombed and damaged, causing the deaths of many children.