The return of Jesus — V

Updated 10 May 2013

The return of Jesus — V

The following series of articles mention the Major Signs that will occur shortly before the end of the world and the coming of the Day of Judgment. This part is the continuation of the coming of false Messiah, and it includes additional information about his followers and his stay on earth.

ANOTHER one of the amazing signs shortly before the Day of Judgment is the return and descending of Jesus (peace be upon him), to this earth again.
God says in the Qur’an: “And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God,’ — but they did not kill him and nor did they crucify him, but the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. Surely, they did not kill him. But God raised him (Jesus) up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And God is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him (Jesus) before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) will be a witness against them.” (Qur’an, 4:157-159)
The words, “And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him (Jesus) before his death,” refer to Jesus’ worldly death after he returns to earth. At that time, the Jews and Christians will finally believe in him as a Messenger of God and a human being only, as that will be the only option possible at that time. In fact, some scholars state that part of the wisdom in Jesus’ return is the final and undeniable refutation of the Jews’ claim that they had crucified him and to bring an end to the false claim that he was the Son of God.
There are numerous Hadith, which speak about the coming of Jesus during the last days of this world. They give a description of many of the acts of Jesus after his return.
As is clear from the last Hadith presented under the section concerning the Dajjaal, Jesus’ return will occur while the false messiah is upon the earth. The following is the continuation of the above Hadith:
“He [the Dajjaal] would then call a person brimming with youth and strike him with the sword and cut him into two pieces and (make these pieces lie at a distance which is generally) between the archer and his target. He would then call (that young man) and he will come forward laughing with his face gleaming (with happiness) and it would be at this very time that God would send Christ, son of Mary, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it. Every unbeliever who would smell the odor of his being would die and his breath would reach as far as he would be able to see. He would then search for him (the Dajjaal) until he would catch hold of him at the gate of Ludd and would kill him.”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: “By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary (may peace be upon him) will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish Jizyah[1] and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it.”
At the time of his appearance, he will bring an end to all of the false beliefs, which crept into Christianity. Thus, he will break all of the crosses, as they signify a worship of him. Similarly, at his time, he will not accept the jizyah because there will be no excuse for any Jew or Christian not to believe in him and follow him. In another narration of the same Hadith, there is a mention of the state of the followers of Jesus at that time. The Prophet said: “He would leave the young she-camel and no one would endeavor to (collect Zakat on it). Spite, mutual hatred and jealousy against one another will certainly disappear and when he summons people to accept wealth, not even one would accept it.” In other Hadith, the following is described, “Peace will prevail and people will use their swords as sickles. Every harmful beast will be made harmless; the sky will send down rain in abundance, and the earth will bring forth its blessings. A child will play with a fox and not come to any harm; a wolf will graze with sheep and a lion with cattle, without harming them.”[2]
At the time of Jesus’ return, the Muslims will be led by the Mahdi (A guided leader), as is mentioned in various Hadith, such as the Prophet’s words:
“What will be your state when the son of Mary descends among you and there will be an Imam among you?” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
In another Hadith in Saheeh Muslim, it reads:
“A section of my people will not cease fighting for the Truth and will prevail till the Day of Resurrection.” He then said, “Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their (Muslims’) commander would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say, ‘No, some among you are commanders over some (among you). This is the honor from God for this Nation.’”
This Hadith is evidence that when Jesus returns, he will not return in the role of being a new messenger with a new law. Instead, he will return as a follower of the Prophet Muhammad and submitting to the laws of Islam. In fact, another Hadith in Saheeh Muslim describes Jesus as performing the Islamic ritual of Hajj (pilgrimage).
A Hadith in Saheeh Muslim further describes that Jesus will remain ruling among the people for seven years. The Prophet said: “Then people would live for seven years that there would be no rancor between two persons. Then God would send cold wind from the side of Syria that none would survive upon the earth having a speck of good in him or faith in him but he would die, so much so that even if some amongst you were to enter the innermost part of the mountain, this wind would reach that place also and that would cause his death.” He further said, “Only the wicked people would survive and they would be as careless as birds with the characteristics of beasts. They would never appreciate the good nor condemn evil.”
As stated earlier, when one of these great signs appear, the others are soon to follow. It is in the context of Jesus’ return that the Prophet also spoke about Gog and Magog.
Footnotes:
[1] Jizyah is the “exemption tax” that non-Muslims pay to the Islamic state in lieu of military service.
[2] These items are mentioned in various Hadith recorded by Ahmad, ibn Hibbaan, Abu Dawood and others.
To be continued next week

n Courtesy of islamicreligion.com


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.